Monday, 20 May 2024

Equipment, Weights Bench

Body Solid GFID71 Heavy Duty FID Bench Review

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The Body Solid GFID71 weight bench is a top-of-the-line model from a company renowned for the high quality of its fitness equipment.

But compared to the earlier GFID31, is the difference in price justified, and which design represents better value for money?

In this review, we’ll take a close look at the features making the GFID71 one of the best weight bench designs on the market. We’ve also included comparisons with the GFID31 and SFID325 commercial FID bench to help you find the best option for your own home workouts.

Design features

Before we start looking at the settings that are available, one of the most important things to consider is the bench dimensions.

That’s because the GFID71 is one of the longest benches we’ve reviewed, with a length of 70 inches. This gives it a much larger footprint than earlier Body Solid benches, such as the GFID31, as well as all of the benches from XMark Fitness.

Apart from the increased product weight (100 lbs in total) this can make it more difficult to manoeuvre the bench into a squat rack or power cage.

Transport wheels certainly make it easier, but if you plan on using the bench in a rack we would recommend double checking the dimensions. This is to ensure there’s enough space for the bench to support the exercises you need it for.

If the footprint (28″W x 70″L) isn’t a problem, then you’ll struggle to find a stronger or more versatile weight bench for your home gym.

The 1000 lb weight capacity of the Body Solid GFID71 is made possible by the 2″ x 3″ steel frame, with a 6-position ladder-style back pad adjustment supporting the weight through a variety of decline and incline settings.

Comfort and posture
With this design it’s clear that Body Solid have focussed on comfort as well as strength, with 2.75″ thick DuraFirm™ Pads making it extremely comfortable to use, even under heavy loads in the decline position.

But it’s not just the seat and back support that use high-density cushioning. A T-Bar Leg Hold Down is included as standard to prevent sliding down the bench during decline chest and ab exercises, which features oversized padded rollers to cushion your legs and ankles.

It’s also worth noting that Body Solid weight benches tend to position you higher off the ground than most other companies, with a 20″ distance from the ground to the flat position. Whether or not this is an issue for your training is very much dependent on your height.

If you’re not sure, we recommend setting up a basic platform that sits you 20″ from the ground, and getting a feel for whether you have enough drive through your heels to help you press the weight you plan on lifting.

So we know the GFID71 supports heavy weights and can support you with chest and ab training, but are there any attachments that allow you to train other muscle groups?

Body Solid GFID71 – Features Summary

  • Includes T-Bar Leg Hold Down with oversize rollers for extra comfort and stability
  • Includes transport wheels for easy mobility
  • 19″H x 70″L x 28″W
  • Full 2¾” thick DuraFirm Pads will never bottom out
  • 1000 lb weight capacity
  • Optional attachments: Preacher curl, leg developer, cable pulley

Body Solid GFID71 vs. GFID31

This is a comparison that we also made during our review of the GFID31, but we’ll summarise the most important differences here as well.

Firstly, the GFID71 (70″) is longer than the GFID31 (59″), so it’s worth checking the dimensions at home if you plan on using it inside an existing rack or cage.

Each bench has excellent stability, but there isn’t any real preference for someone who’s new to weightlifting. Both benches can support up to intermediate weights (650 lbs) comfortably, but the GFID71 is certainly the stronger of the two, with its 1000 lb weight capacity.

As for attachment options, the GFID71 has a completely removable T-Bar leg holder, while the GFID31 leaves the top rollers in place. This doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on your bench pressing.

Body Solid GFID71 vs. GFID31 weight bench comparison

The U-shaped base at the front of the bench does a good job of keeping the bench grounded, but the leg developer probably shouldn’t be used as your main leg exercise in either case if you have particularly strong legs.

Instead, this is better used as an isolation exercise after pre-exhausting with heavy compound movements, such as stiff-legged deadlifts and squats.

There’s also a gap of around 3″ between the back support and seat on both benches, which is a common issue with FID designs and something we noticed when reviewing the XMark Fitness collection. The only benches that seem to successfully close this gap are the top-of-the-line bench from XMark (Power Series XM-9011), top adjustable bench from Body Solid (SFID325), and the Ironmaster Super Bench.

In terms of weight capacity, both leg developers can comfortably handle over 150 lbs.

Exercise options

FID benches are fairly universal in the range of exercises they support, which are mostly for upper body workouts that target the chest and abs.

But if you were to combine the GFID71 with one or more of the optional attachments, you have a bench that can be used effectively for full body workouts.

Due to the weight limitations on the leg developer and cable pulley we would recommend most of the following as isolation exercises at the end of a free weights workout.

Bench and dumbbells only

  • Incline bench press
  • Decline bench press
  • Flat bench press
  • Dumbbell pullovers
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Tricep kickbacks
  • Seated hammer curls

  • Incline dumbbell curls
  • Concentration curls
  • Skull crushers
  • Dumbbell flys
  • Seated dumbbell shrugs
  • Seated side lateral raises
  • Decline sit ups

With the leg developer attachment you could also include hamstrings curls and leg extensions, while the preacher pad supports preacher curls with either a barbell or dumbbells.

The cable pulley station supports dozens more exercises, including lat pulldowns with various grip positions, bicep curls, and upright rows.

Attachment options

One of the major advantages the Body Solid GFID71 has over benches like the SFID325 is the range of attachment options.

Most FID benches from Body Solid and XMark Fitness either include a leg developer and preacher curl as standard, or can be upgraded if you buy the attachment separately.

The GFID71 is compatible with the following 3 attachments:

  • GPCA1 Preacher Curl Station

    The preacher pad itself is made from a similar high-density cushioning to the seat and back support, measuring 14″L x 23″W x 2″H.

    Unlike the FID benches from XMark Fitness, the GPCA1 uses an 8″ long bar support instead of a curl yoke. This means you’ll still need to buy a curling bar and own a set of weight plates before you can use it in your workouts.

    This is slightly more inconvenient than the curl yoke and weight peg version, due to the fact that you need to lift the bar off the support if you want to make a significant change to the weight on the bar.

    The 8″ length is enough to keep it stable before you start your set, but having a 45 lb plate on each end will quickly become unstable if you try to remove one from either side.

  • GLDA3 Leg Developer

    This is slightly different to the GLDA1 leg developer that’s compatible with the GFID31 bench. That’s because it needs to have an extra set of padded foam rollers close to the weight bench, as they’re not a permanent feature on the GFID71.

    The positioning of the foam rollers makes it the perfect addition for anyone looking to include leg extensions and leg curls in their lower body workouts.

  • GLRA81 Lat Row

    This is one of the only weights benches we’ve reviewed that offers a lat pulldown attachment (Phoenix 99226 includes a high cable pulley as standard).

    A high cable pulley and low cable pulley are included, which lets you add a large number of isolation exercises to your workouts. This includes everything from lat pulldowns and bicep curls through to overhead extensions and leg raises.

    The only downside is that there are no leg restraints to counter the weight of the plates against your body weight. This means that although the cable is rated to 2200 lbs, how many plates you can load on the pegs is really dependent on your body weight acting as a counterbalance.

Ease of assembly

Weights benches aren’t the largest pieces of fitness equipment, which usually makes them much easier to assemble than ellipticals or treadmills.

For the Body Solid GFID71 you should anticipate a 30 minute assembly time, but based on feedback from customer reviews, some people needed closer to an hour.

There are no step-by-step instructions in the manual, so it really depends on how well you interpret the exploded diagram and parts list.

View the Body Solid GFID71 user manual

In comparison, XMark Fitness produce some very high quality user manuals that walk you through everything you need to know about the bench you bought. This includes everything from a parts list and diagrams, through to a recommended maintenance routine for prolonging the life of upholstery and protecting the quality of the frame.

Front-mounted transport wheels have been added to improve mobility, making it easier to move in and out of squat racks and power cages.

Body Solid Weights Bench Buying Guide

What’s covered by the warranty?

  • Frame and welds: Lifetime
  • Upholstery, Grips (Normal Wear): Lifetime

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4 / 5

So after carefully reviewing each of its features and upgrade options, do we think should you buy the Body Solid GFID71 weight bench?

The weight capacity is certainly impressive, but there are FID benches that retail for around $50 less from XMark Fitness that support up to 1500 lbs, so it shouldn't be the most important factor.

The footprint is also larger than most FID benches, which is something worth bearing in mind if you plan on moving the bench a lot during your workouts, or using it inside a squat rack. If a 650 lb capacity is strong enough, the GFID31 would be the better option.

But what really sets the GFID71 apart is the combination of attachment options and a lifetime warranty on the frame and upholstery. If you're on a strict budget then this isn't ideal, as the attachments do come at an additional expense. But if you're simply looking for a strong, versatile FID bench with a high level of build quality and upgrade options, there's nothing better than the GFID71 under $500.

However, if you don't mind sacrificing the cable pulley attachment and 350 lbs of weight capacity, choosing the GFID31 over the GFID71 will usually save you around $100.

Product dimensions: 28"W x 70"L x 19"H Product weight: 100 lbs Weight capacity: 1000 lbs

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