Bowflex 5.1S Stowable SelectTech Bench Tested & Reviewed

Since Bowflex is one of the biggest names in the fitness industry, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench to see what this piece of equipment is capable of.

Bowflex makes everything from adjustable dumbbells to stowable benches (and everything in between) to complete all-in-one home gyms. Recently, they released a new bench, the 5.1S, which is ideal for anyone who prefers commercial-quality equipment. 

Not only is this bench high in quality, but it's extremely adjustable and features a design that's great for easy storage. To find out more about what this bench can do, check out this complete review of the Bowflex 5.1S. 

Product Specifications

Assembled Dimensions (Inches)

61.3 L x 28.1 W x 49.5 H

Adjustment Angles

6 (30°, 45°, 60° 90°, flat and decline)

Product Weight

70 Lbs

Max User Capacity

600 Lbs

Warranty

15 Years

Main Features of the 5.1S

The 5.1S is the most advanced model in this line of Bowflex weight benches. It's built strong to last long with heavy-duty commercial construction, and it can support up to 600 pounds of weight - 300 pounds of user weight and 300 pounds of lift load. 

The back pad can be adjusted to 6 different positions, including decline, flat, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°. These degrees allow for a variety of different exercises, ranging from bench presses to bicep curls to sit ups and more. There's also a removable leg hold-down brace for added decline position support.

One of the best features of the 5.1S is the space-saving design. With the click of a button, this bench can be folded to half its original size and easily stowed when not in use. This allows you to maximize space, even if you're working out in a small home gym. 

Packaging & Assembly

The bench came in one package and everything was tightly packed. It was mostly preassembled right out of the box and required just a few steps to get it up and running. 

Allen keys were included in the box and the total assembly took me about 25 minutes on my own, without any help.

Since this bench is 70 pounds, I recommend assembling it in the exact place you plan on using it, or at the very least, somewhere close by.

Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench

Pricing Guide

If you're looking for a weight bench under $100, the 5.1S is unfortunately not for you. Because it's made with commercial-grade steel, the price reflects that, so you need to be willing to pay for the quality materials and design. 

That being said, this bench does offer excellent value for money. Although it's not the cheapest option on the market, it's certainly one of the sturdiest, making it an excellent choice for heavy lifting, or anyone who value quality construction in general. 

Feature Summary:
  • Adjustable to 6 different positions
  • Easily stowed by folding
  • Removable leg hold-down brace
  • Heavy-duty commercial quality steel construction
  • Supports up to 600-pound load capacity
  • 15-year frame warranty

My Experience Using the Bowflex 5.1S

Frame & Adjustability

Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench Height

I’m pleased to say that the Bowflex 5.1S stowable bench is rock-solid and sturdy, and when Bowflex says that this bench is designed to last long, they're not lying. 

When it came time to make adjustments and put the bench to the test, I first tried the flat position for some bench-pressing. There was no wobbling, and the bench felt sturdy the entire time. 

If you want to change incline or decline positions, then you just have to use the pull-out pin. This pin allows the upright support arm to move smoothly up and down the floor leg. So, if you are satisfied with the selected position, simply pop the pin into the place and you have the back-pad tightly secured.

Not many folding benches offer this kind of decline and incline degree positions, so that’s definitely a benefit to choosing the 5.1S over another foldable bench. Usually you can see up to 10-degree decline position, if any. Bowflex 5.1S definitely stands out in terms of adjustability.

Comfort

The seat of the bench also has 2 positions available, flat or raised. The raised position is comfortable enough and also it’s high enough to prevent sliding down the seat. When the seat is raised and the backrest is lowered to the max, they are aligned by the same angle, which is great for decline exercises like sit-ups and crunches.

If you want to change the seat’s position, the raised position locks on its own, and to get it back to the flat position, just use the small red lever located next to the seat.

Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench - Flat

The ankle holders are covered in foam, which I found to be too firm for my liking. However, this comes down to personal preference, and many people actually prefer the leg brace to be firm and secure.  

The legs of the bench are adjustable, which is a good addition for those who do not have an even floor surface to work with.

Height/Weight Limitations

The gap between the seat and back pad is quite large in the flat position, so smaller people might feel uncomfortable as the bench could put too much pressure on your back.

The gap is noticeable only in the flat and decline positions; the more you increase incline, the smaller the gap is. In the flat position, it’s about 3 inches wide. If this is too much for you and you still want to take advantage of this bench, then you can solve this by putting a mat or foam roller between the pads.


Pros and Cons Of This Weight Bench

Let’s review the pros and cons of the Bowflex 5.1S stowable bench:

Pros

  • Rock-solid on all kinds of floor surfaces
  • Very sturdy construction
  • Max weight support of 600 lbs
  • High-quality pads
  • Comfortable on the back
  • Wide enough for larger people
  • Excellent brand customer service

Cons

  • Large gap between the seat and back pad when in flat position
  • Pricey

Comparisons With Similar Weight Benches

One of the best ways to do your due diligence for selecting the best weight bench for you is to compare it with similar models. There are 3 that are very similar in functionality and design to the Bowflex 5.1S bench, and they all come from the Bowflex brand:

  • Bowflex 5.1S Vs 3.1S - Compared to the 3.1S bench, the 5.1S is a lot more advanced. The 3.1S model isn't as durable, it has fewer adjustment options, and it's less versatile. However, it's also much cheaper, making it the better choice for anyone on a budget. 
  • Bowflex 5.1S Vs 4.1S - The next level up from the 3.1S is the 4.1S model. Similar to the 3.1S, this one isn't as advanced as the 5.1S, but it's the better choice if you're trying to stick to a budget. The main difference between the 5.1S and 4.1S is that the 5.1 offers 6 adjustments while the 4.1 has only 5.    
  • Bowflex 5.1S Vs 5.1 - The 5.1 bench is very similar in design to the 5.1S, but with one major difference. This bench doesn't fold up and stow away like the 5.1S, so it's not as ideal if you have to put your bench in storage or move it out of the way. 

Should You Buy The Bowflex Weight Bench?

Bowflex 5.1S Adjustable & Stowable Bench
  • Top of the line Bowflex weight bench
  • Easy button, click, lift and go process to...
  • Adjusts to 6 positions for versatility:...
  • Comes standard with a removable leg hold down...

Our rating: 4.6 Star Rating 4.6 / 5

The Bowflex 5.1S Stowable Bench is one of the best out there. It is a sturdy, comfortable, versatile bench that many people can benefit from. Overall, it’s definitely a bench that's worth checking out.

With that being said, if you are a small in stature, the gap between the seat and the back pad might be too large and uncomfortable. However, this issue can easily be solved by putting something comfy in between the gap, such as a pillow, blanket, yoga bolster, etc.

If you're still on the hunt for the perfect weight bench for your home gym, check out the Super Bench by Ironmaster, or browse through the complete guide on adjustable weight benches.

Paul J