Monday, 20 May 2024

Weights Bench

Body Solid GFID31 Flat Incline Decline Bench Review

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The Body Solid GFID31 weight bench is a more affordable version of the popular GFID71, and offers a range of flat, incline, and decline positions.

Although the two benches look similar, there are a number of important differences. This includes the attachment options, weight capacity, and distance from the floor to the back support.

In this Body Solid GFID31 review, we take a closer look at the design features, exercise options, and attachments. This is to help you find the best adjustable weight bench for your fitness goals and budget.

Design features

Body Solid GFID31 Weights Bench

One of the most important features of any weights bench is its weight capacity. But in order to realise your full potential, it’s also important to find a design that puts you in an efficient position to lift the weight.

That’s why the GFID31 has been fitted with a leg brace, which can be used to hold your ankles in place and prevent you sliding up the bench in the decline position.

Because the back support is slightly higher off the ground than some benches (20″ to the floor instead of the usual 18″-19″), the leg brace also helps to keep you further back in the seat during incline presses.

However, it’s worth pointing out that not all of the padded rollers are removable, meaning you’re always going to be left with the set closest to the seat.

For most people this isn’t a problem as removing the lower set of rollers gave them the space they needed during the flat bench press. But if you would rather find a bench that lets you remove the leg brace and rollers altogether, it’s worth taking a look at the Body Solid GFID71.

So apart from the bench height and weight capacity, what features should you be looking for?

Comfort and ease of use
Weight benches are traditionally very accessible, meaning they’re designed to support a wide range of user heights and fitness levels, which is part of the reason they’ve become so popular.

But there are subtle differences between designs that make one easier to use than another, such as transport wheels and the back support adjustment.

For example, the GFID31 allows you to quickly switch between any of the incline settings thanks to a solid and secure 6-position ladder-style system.

The seat also features a range of settings designed to give you the best support during each exercise, with both sections of the bench covered in thick DuraFirm™ padding for added comfort.

Making the best use of space
If you want to make the most of your workout space, the footprint of the bench can also be important, which is where there is a major difference between the GFID31 and GFID71.

That’s because the GFID31 is a full 11″ shorter than the GFID71, which also makes it 43 lbs lighter, and a lot easier to move around.

Also, the lighter, shorter bench is often the best option for certain types of squat rack, as it gives you more freedom over where you’re positioned. This is particularly true of power cages and smith machines, where you may want to perform seated military presses inside the frame.

Although the weight capacity is 600 lbs instead of the 1000 lb we’re used to with the GFID71, Ironmaster Super Bench, and some XMark designs, the price tag and compact frame keeps it competitive.

So what about attachment options? Is this a bench that only supports upper body workouts or can you isolate lower body muscle groups as well?

Body Solid GFID31 Weights Bench

Body Solid GFID31 – Features Summary

  • 600 lbs. capacity
  • Specifically designed with a shortened base frame to fit perfectly in all Smith Machines, Power
  • Racks, and Multi-Press Racks
  • Height from floor to top of pad in flat position 20″
  • Space between seat pad and back pad in flat position 3″
  • Assembled dimensions: 59″ L x 27″ W x 22″ H

Attachment options

The GFID31 can be fitted with the GPCA1 Preacher Curl attachment

The Body Solid GFID31 only includes the removable leg brace as standard, but you can also extend the range of exercises with the optional GPCA1 Preacher Curl, and GLDA1 Leg Develop attachments.

Some FID benches combine these into a single attachment, which has several major advantages. Not only does a single attachment take up less space when not in use, but you can often use the same type of resistance.

For example, the XMark XM-4419 FID bench features a removable preacher curl pad, leg developer, and curl yoke, where you can load weight plates onto a peg and use this as the resistance for both exercises.

Although this is the same system the GLDA1 Leg Developer uses, the preacher curl only provides you with the bar support and preacher curl pad. This means you have to purchase the bar separately.

Additional cost aside, having to remove the bar from the support when you want to change the weight is certainly a lot more time consuming than the XMark design. But you do have greater freedom over your choice of grip position and bar style.

If you’re looking for a FID bench that offers a lat row as an optional attachment, the GFID71 is compatible with the Body Solid GLRA81. This allows you to increase the range of exercises for your back, arms, and shoulder muscles.

Comparison with the GFID71 and Ironmaster

Before making any final buying decisions, it’s worth checking to see what the upgraded GFID71 has to offer, as well as the bestselling Ironmaster Super Bench.

The most obvious comparison to make is between the weight capacity, where the GFID31 is rated to 600 lbs, whereas the GFID71 and Ironmaster can support the full 1000 lbs.

You’ve also got to consider the design at the front of each bench, both in terms of the padded rollers and attachment options.

The GFID31 is at a slight disadvantage due to the fact the top rollers can’t be removed, but because they’ve been attached so close to the seat, this shouldn’t be something that restricts your lifting.

Compare this to the GFID71, and you’ll see that both sets of rollers can be removed, leaving you with just the back support and seat. But because there’s more of a gap between the top set of rollers and the seat, it becomes more awkward to rest your feet on the horseshoe base frame.

Body Solid GFID31 weight bench vs. Body Solid GFID71

Our personal preference is for the GFID31, as the top rollers are flush with the top of the seat and barely noticeable, with the T-Bar leg brace taking up less space when detached.

In terms of price, the GFID31 is in the middle of the three, and you can usually save around $100 by choosing this model over the GFID71, which may not fit all racks due to its length.

We’ve often seen the Ironmaster Super Bench priced under $300 on sites such as Amazon, but although the 10 year warranty is impressive, it still falls short of the lifetime coverage offered by Body Solid on their benches. Still worth a look for anyone needing a compact weight bench with a higher weight capacity.

Exercise options

The main benefit a FID bench has over your standard weight bench is its decline positions, which is one of the settings offered by the GFID31.

The 2″-3″ of added height this bench has over similar designs also helps provide more of a decline, with the T-Bar used to securely hold your legs in position during heavy presses and flys.

Even if you’re buying the bench on its own without any attachment options, you can still put together an effective upper body workout when combined with a smith machine or free weights.

If you choose to upgrade by adding the leg developer, then you can also isolate your hamstrings or quads to help build lower body muscle strength and tone.

Unfortunately you don’t have the dip handles or pull up tower attachments like you do with the Ironmaster, but the preacher curl station can still be useful for training your biceps with a barbell or dumbbells.

Body Solid Weights Bench Buying Guide

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Lifetime: Frame & Welds
  • Lifetime: Upholstery, Grips (Normal Wear)

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

In summary, the Body Solid GFID31 is an excellent intermediate level bench for anyone that's just starting a resistance training program and needs something affordable that still supports a large amount of weight.

The high quality DuraFirm cushioning, lifetime warranty, and range of positions (decline through to vertical) are also impressive qualities, with a lightweight frame and transport wheels that makes it easier to transport if needed.

But unless you're particularly tall (6ft 4ins+), we can't help feeling that the Ironmaster Super Bench is a better option.

At the time of writing this review it was listed for a similar price on Amazon, but offers a 1000 lb weight capacity, wider range of attachment options, and wider range of incline settings.

The Super Bench is also one of the few designs we've seen at this price range to have zero gap between the seat and back support in the flat position. Unfortunately this isn't something the GFID31 can replicate, and you're going to be left with a 2.5" to 3.25" gap between the two sections when using the flat and decline settings.

Product dimensions: 27"W x 59"L x 22"H Weight capacity: 57 lbs Product weight: 600 lbs

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