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Bowflex 5.1 vs 5.1s – Comparing Adjustable Weight Benches from Bowflex

January 24, 2021

Bowflex 5.1 vs 5.1s bench comparison

Bowflex is a brand that makes some of the best weight benches on the market. There are two models to pick from namely the 5.1 and the 5.1s. At first glance, the two-weight benches look similar in design but there are a few differences between these two exercise benches you should know about before you buy. The major differences are weight capacity and stowability.

In today’s comparison review we’ll be looking at these major differences between the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s so you can make a decision on which one is best suited for your weight lifting routine. For many, the 5.1s is the winner because of its higher weight capacity and easier storage option.

Keep reading to find out what the specifications are of both Bowflex units so you can make an informed decision.

Comparing Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s

The Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s bench models biggest differences are maximum weight capacity and stowability. The 5.1s has the higher weight capacity (600 lbs) and takes up much less space when stored than the 5.1. Both models have the same incline and decline positions and share the same warranty.

Bowflex 5.1

Bowflex 5.1s

Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Bench
Bowflex 5.1s Adjustable Bench

Number of Positions:

6

Number of Positions:

6

Adjustable Seat Pan:

yes

Adjustable Seat Pan:

yes

Stowability:

no

Stowability:

yes

Stabilizing Levelers:

yes

Stabilizing Levelers:

yes

Leg Extension/ Curl:

yes

Leg Extension/ Curl:

yes

Transport Wheels:

yes

Transport Wheels:

yes

Max User Weight Capacity:

480 lbs

Max User Weight Capacity:

600 lbs

Removable leg hold-down brace:

yes

Removable leg hold-down brace:

yes

Warranty:

30-year warranty on frame, one-year warranty on upholstery

Warranty:

30-year warranty on frame, one-year warranty on upholstery

Number of Positions

With the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s models, there are 6 different positions that they adjusts to; flat, decline (-20 degrees) 30, 45, 60, and 90 degrees. This ensures that you can perform a wide variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups with a quick adjustment to the bench during your workout. 

Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench

Adjustable Seat Pan

Both the 5.1 and the Bowflex 5.1s bench models have adjustable seat pans. These adjustable seats provide extra comfort for your lower back when you’re lifting weights. There are two different positions available for the seat pans which are raised and flat. The raised position prevents you from sliding when you’re lifting weights.

With the Bowflex 5.1s model, when your seat is raised and you lower the backrest they will be aligned by the same angle. This position is ideal for crunches and sit-ups.

Storage & Stowability

The Bowflex 5.1 weight bench is non-foldable so it can be difficult to store. It may be suitable for bigger houses and training areas with more floor space. On the other hand, the weight bench has wheels on it so that you can move it around easily. The 5.1 bench's dimensions are: 56"L x 26"W x 20"H inches when assembled.

If you’re looking for a weight bench that’s easy to set up and store when you’re done exercising then you will want the Bowflex 5.1s bench. This adjustable weight bench is foldable and has the dimensions of 52"L x 28"W x 23"H when you fold it. When folded it rests on the detachable leg brace making it stable while in its storing position. The adjustable weight bench also has wheels so you can move it around easily.

Stabilizing Levelers

It’s important for weight benches to have stabilizing levelers, especially when it’s an adjustable exercise device. Both the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s model comes with stabilizing levelers with rubber feet to prevent the weight benches from sliding on tiled floors while you’re exercising.

The stabilizing levelers also prevent these weight benches from wobbling when you’re weight lifting which helps prevent injury.

Bowflex 5.1 Adjustable Weight Bench

Leg Extension/ Curl

The Bowflex 5.1 weight bench has a leg extension/curl attachment that is removable. So if you don’t want to use this attachment you can easily uninstall it. It’s easy to reattach this device when you want to use it again.

You’ll find that the 5.1s stowable bench also has a leg hold-down brace that you can easily detach and reattach when you need to. Note that the leg brace will need to be attached when in its storing position as it rests on the leg brace.

The leg extension/curl helps you maintain your body position and correct posture to allow secure workouts and prevent back injury. It should be noted however that the leg brace cannot be used for leg curls on either model.

Transport Wheels

Both the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s models come with transport wheels. Since these benches are quite heavy, it could cause injury if you try to carry them. So the two-weight benches come with wheels so you can pull or push them to other areas. The wheels make it easier for you to transport your weight bench from room to room in your home.

If you want to load the 5.1 or the Bowflex 5.1s weight bench onto a trailer or truck, use a ramp to pull the device onto your vehicle or trailer. This is so you don’t have to lift the bench onto your trailer or vehicle.

The Bowflex 5.1 model weighs 63lbs. and the Bowflex 5.1s storable bench weighs 70lbs. So the transport wheels definitely help to make moving these devices around easier.

Max User Weight Capacity

The max user weight capacity for the 5.1 Bowflex adjustable bench is 480lbs. But if you’re more on the stockier and heavier side you may want to pick the Bowflex 5.1s because it has a max user weight capacity of 600lbs.

It is important to note that while your body weight is very likely well under these limits if you routinely lift heavy weights the 5.1s may be the better choice. If you are not a body builder or powerlifter who is usually doing circuit training or high reps with lighter weights then the increased weight capacity of the 5.1s may not be an important feature for you.

If the combined weight of your body and dumbbells/barbells are close to the max weight capacity on your adjustable bench it can cause it to wobble or move while you’re lifting weights which is very dangerous and also compromise the structural integrity over time. Obviously surpassing the weigh limit should never be done and could result in serious injury.

Price

The Bowflex 5.1 adjustable bench is slightly more expensive than the Bowflex 5.1s version. This could be because the 5.1 adjustable bench is slightly bigger than the Bowflex 5.1s version and it’s easier to adjust the backrest.

But if you want a foldable bench that offers more stowability and a higher weight capacity then you’ll want the Bowflex 5.1s weight bench and it’s more affordable than its predecessor.

Warranty

Both of the benches get the same 1-year upholstery warranty and 30 years for the frame. Interestingly some reviews of the 5.1s state that it only has a 15 year warranty on the frame, which is incorrect as the owners manual for the 5.1s states that is has a 30 year warranty on the frame, the same as the 5.1.

What Others are Saying about the Products

The reason why Bowflex is such a popular brand is that there’s plenty of customer satisfaction on both the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s weight benches. Users of the weight benches state that they’re the perfect units to add to a beginner or advanced home gym.

These units are easy to assemble and they’re effortless to adjust. Both benches are covered in thick padding for comfort and the stabilizing levelers ensure that the units don’t move, no matter what type of flooring they’re placed on.

Levers and all adjustable parts are secure at all times so that the units don’t come apart when you’re lifting weights. Mostly, users are impressed by the durability and the sturdy heavy-duty construction of the Bowflex 5.1 and 5.1s weight benches.

Final Thoughts:

Even though there are some differences between the two Bowflex weight benches mainly being their stowabilty and maximum weight capacity with the 5.1s coming out on top they are both reliable units. The adjustable seating and leg holders allow you to perform various types of exercises such as leg raises, sit-ups, and safe dumbbell lifting. But if you want a unit that has a higher user weight capacity and that can fold up for easy storage then the Bowflex 5.1s weight bench will be best suited for you. What's more, the Bowflex 5.1s comes with an attractive price tag for a heavy-duty commercial quality bench.

On the other hand, the 5.1 model may not be a foldable unit but it does come with the same 30 year warranty period as the 5.1s model. Always, Bowflex offers excellent customer support. So, which Bowflex weight bench is right for you?

About the author 

Kevin Lee

Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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