The Universal Workstation is a bench system that features a range of free weight movements from bench pressing to bicep curls.
If you are looking for a new bench for a home gym, there are really two main features to look for. The first is how much weight the bench can take. With many other bench systems the maximum weight will be around 200kg or less. This is likely due to the bench just not being designed with a strong enough frame, or not having a strong enough locking system when used in an incline position.
The Universal Workstation bench can take weights of up to 280kg (including user bodyweight) making it one of the strongest bench press products available today, and much more like the level of build quality found in a commercial gym.
The second feature to look for is just how many exercises you can perform with the equipment in a limited space. Again the Universal Workstation has been designed with one of the widest range of possible exercises of any bench press station, and all have been added as extensions to the main bench so as not to take up too much space while still allowing you to correctly and safely perform the movements.
Using the Universal Workstation bench for chest exercises
The barbell rack features a pair of rests that can be individually adjusted to different heights depending on the exercise. For example higher settings for incline bench press and lower for flat bench press.
Although the different height settings are easy to lock in place, it’s best to do this with the empty bar in place so you can easily see if they are both level.
A feature with the Universal Workstation that you won’t often see on any bench system is the butterfly exercise handles positioned on each side of the bench.
These are perfect for performing chest flys when the bench is set to a flatter position, while the dumbbells supplied are better for incline flys to target the upper and inner area of the chest.
Each side can be loaded with up to 40kg, which should be more than enough resistance for most lifters. Being plate loaded and with the system being supplied with weights down to the small 1.25kg plates, you can adjust the weight you use to a much finer degree than if you were using cables or dumbbells.
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Universal Workstation – Features Summary
- Universal Weight Bench and Gym Workstation + 108Kg Complete Cast Iron Weight Set. Now comes with FREE 12-page training guide.
- Weight Bench: For weight plates with a hole diameter of 30mm
- 6 x 1.25Kg cast iron weight plates.
- 6 x 2.5Kg cast iron weight plates.
- 2 x 5Kg cast iron weight plates.
- 2 x 10Kg cast iron weight plates.
- 2 x 15Kg cast iron weight plates.
- 1 x 170cm barbell bar – 10Kg.
- 1 x 120cm EZ Curl bar – 8Kg.
- 2 x 2.5Kg 35cm dumbbell bars.
- All plates made of solid cast iron with powder coating.
- Backrest: 6-way adjustable.
- Curl station: 3-way adjustable.
- Leg press: 3-way adjustable.
- Barbell rack with locking pins: 5-way adjustable.
- Rubber feet for added stability.
- 8 x Spinlock Star Collars to secure the weights.
Dumbbells and bars provided with the Universal Workstation
Whereas many bench systems will provide you with just the bench and barbell rack, the Universal Workstation comes with all the free weight bars you will need. The barbell is perfect for the heavy bench presses when used in the rack, or can be lifted off to be separate and perform exercises such as barbell curls, deadlifts or shrugs.
The dumbbells feature the same bar thickness as the other bars supplied, which means you can use the same weight plates. If you are looking to do lots of work with the dumbbells though it may be worth buying an extra 4 x 5kg plates and 4 x 10kg plates.
The 5kg plates will help add more weight up to a certain point, but due to the limit on the amount of weight you can load them with because of the short bars, the 10kg plates will allow you to go to a whole new weight range.
The EZ curl bar provided with the Universal Workstation can be used either completely as a free weight, or there is a built in preacher curl pad and bar rest for performing preacher curl exercises. The thick padded seat and preacher pad both make sure you are performing these exercises in a comfortable position.
The weight sections with the cambered EZ curl bar are much longer than the dumbbells and will allow you to load the bar with as much weight as you need.
Weight plate storage
One minor issue with the Universal Workstation and with many bench press systems that don’t involve a power rack or smith machine is that there aren’t any pegs for storing the weight plates when not in use. If you don’t have a separate smith machine or power rack to store these then it would be a good investment to also purchase a weight plate storage tower.
Universal Workstation dimensions
- Bench dimensions (LxWxH): 180 cm, 106 cm, 90 – 110 cm.
- Cushion dimensions (LxWxH): Back cushion: 68cm, 28cm, 4cm.
- Curl station dimensions (LxWxH): 28cm, 44.5cm, 4cm.
- Butterfly – max. 40Kg per arm.
- Leg curl max. 60Kg.
- Sit ups and abdominal workout.
- Bench press max. 180Kg.
- Shoulder Training (Incline 90 degrees).
- Weight training (flat bench).
- Triceps push up.