When I decided to change my appearance and loose fat I also decided that I want to train at home. So what to buy first? I have planned to start with the basics – The Big 3 (squat, bench, deadlift) so I needed a barbell, weights, bench and some squat stand.
Adjustable Bench Marbo MH-L007
Marbo Sport is a reputable polish manufacturer of wide range of fitness equipment. They have 3 levels of equipment:
- MH – Marbo Home which is their basic line of equipment
- MS – Semi Pro for more avid home lifters
- MP – Pro line suitable also for commercial use
Since I didn’t wanted to spend a lot of money I was looking for a bench with height adjustable uprights so I could use them also as squat stand (this is probably viable only for shorter people, I am 5 ft 3.4 in). And I have found this amazing little bench.
Features And Specifications
- the bench is made from steel profile 1.57 x 1.57 inch (40 mm)
- weight is 55 lbs (25 kg)
- maximum weight is 550 lbs (250 kg, including the lifter)
- the width of the bench is 43.3 inches (110 cm)
- the length of the bench is 51.2 inches (130 cm)
- uprights can be adjusted in 5 steps between 44.5 – 60 inches (113 to 152 cm)
- uprights tops (J-shaped) have a rubber “piece” to protect the bar
- 3 backrest positions – flat, about 40° and maybe 80°, so no decline
- 3 seat positions
- possibility to mount accessories such as preacher curl attachment and pull-down/row attachment
- 2 wrenches of the same size for the majority of assembly
- Phillips screwdriver for attaching the backrest and seat to the frame
- hammer with a piece of wood
As far as I can remember assembly was simple and went smoothly with one exception. This exception was the slider which allows the seat to move when you want to change the backrest to incline.
It was extremely tight so I used the hammer and piece of wood to get the slider into place. The better option would probably be to grind an inner side of the plastic piece of the slider or lubricate the plastic.
I want to mention one other thing, which wasn’t a big issue but it would be much nicer if the manufacturer did it for you. I’m talking about attaching the backrest and seat because there were no pre-drilled or even marked points where you should screw the screws into them. So it’s on you to measure and position the seat and backrest so they don’t collide when you increase the incline to the maximum.
Maximum weight I used for bench press was 181 lbs (82,5 kg) and I weighed around 165 lbs (75 kg) so I’ve reached around 60 % of its maximum capacity. The bench handled the weight without issues.
As I wrote at the beginning I’ve used it also as a squat stand. I did that by pulling uprights completely out and turning them around, so the shorter part of the J (the place where the barbell rests:)) was facing away from the bench. I think I’ve used the maximum height setting of the uprights to use it this way.
Maximum weight I used for the squat was around 200 lbs (90 kg). The bench seemed stable even with the uprights in the maximum position, but for the peace of mind, I’ve placed 45 lbs (20 kg) plate on the seat to counter the big weight on one end.
Here I want to point out one important feature and that is the width of the bench (distance between uprights). Most of the benches in the same price range have uprights very close together. This could cause issues when you are loading the full-length barbell (7.2 ft / 220 cm) as it could tip to the side you load first. This bench handles it with flying colors.
It is simple to assemble, has a good paint job, is sturdy and stable. I liked it a lot and would recommend it to anyone who is just starting his lifting career and doesn’t want to spend a lot of money.
Since I’ve had it was replaced by a newer model – MH-L107. It seems that it’s hard to find in the US but I’ve found great alternatives, for example:
- Body Champ BCB3780 – separate bench and squat stand, very good reviews
- Gold’s Gym XRS 20 – separate bench and squat stand with safety catchers, very good reviews
If you are a more serious trainee I recommend to invest in a power rack and an adjustable bench rather than dedicated bench press bench.