Beginner Bench Press Recomendations?


So I live in Sydney and am looking to put on some size. I cannot bench much. Would someone please help out with some good value recommendations for weights, barbell and maybe a bench press/half rack or something?

Iron or vinyl? Should I spend more and get an Olympic barbell and rubber weights?

Does this have safety spotter arms or should I get a half rack? A half rack is a bit tall, big and expensive?

Thanks so much.


  • +1

    Do you live near a tafe gym or some king of fitness training school?

    Goes against ozbargain nature but I’d recommend a couple PT sessions to learn the proper form & technique to avoid injuries in the future.

    Wanting to get fitter & stronger is great, but saving money now might be at the expense of even more physio & pain later on.

  • +2

    I think a lot of beginners go down this route buying cheap benches and weights and find they are quite flimsy, crap to use, lots of flex in the design, and limited to exercises available.

    I would recommend you put the money toward 1 year of gym membership and then have a whole range of commercial quality equipment to use. It makes a huge difference. If you're putting on size you'll be needing much more than a bench press too.

    Get a membership

    • Yea thanks, I suppose I just find gyms uncomfortable and unhygienic, especially weights.

      • i agree- you would be amazed how boring bench gets at home- much more fun to go to gym- once you get there.

      • Good gyms, especially now, clean their equipment regularly (asking the members to do it after every use and by staff every few hours) so I wouldn't worry too much.

        Also if you go to a gym, you'll learn what you like and don't like it terms of exercises without buying the equipment.

        If you're really dead set on working out at home, start by getting dumbells, not a barbell. Dumbells are less limiting in terms of exercises and a lot easier if you fail to lift a weight and are working out at home.Standard weights (not olympic) are fine. All olympic weights are is a bigger hole in the middle, so you can have stronger bars, but that's probably not important if you're not that strong.

  • -2

    Bench press at home is complete waste of space. So limited.

  • As people have said a gym membership is ideal however in line with your request I will give my two cents. I would go with iron. The reason being that once you want to start stacking more weights, they thinner so you can fit more more weights on the bar, this saves money as you can combine more small weights to make a heavier weight opposed to buying more heavy plates because you can't combine efficiently. Secondly I would probably skip the bench press equipment and just get an adjustable bench. Something like this ( This will prove more versatile as you will be able to perform a wide range of dumbbell exercise that cover the whole body. If you are more serious, I would look at getting one of those easy adjust dumbbell sets because using those spinner things to constantly adjust weights is a pain in the ass and becomes tedious.

  • If you can afford shipping you might wanna check out They have a shop in Banksmeadow and have a showroom but because of COVID/lockdown they don't allow visitors to the shop or even pick ups and only ship orders out for now unfortunately.

    I got my power rack, olympic barbells and weights from there before covid and I was able to check out the showroom and pick up what I wanted and chuck it in my station wagon.

    I would definitely recommend getting an olympic barbell with olympic weight plates instead of the standard barbell/plates. I only use the standard size for dumbbells but I also have olympic dumbbells too! :)

    Check out these links if you don't know the difference :)

    But it looks most their stock is OOS! Check em out anyway though.

    If you're serious about wanting to put on muscle mass and actually enjoy training, spend extra for quality equipment and don't get the cheapest kit you find. My 2 cents. Good luck.

  • Grunting loudly is important

  • If you want to put on some size your diet is going to be just as important.

  • I was asking the same thing in another thread.

    Looks like the budget half racks are flimsy?

    Any recommendations for good adjustable dumbbells? I heard some people mention the kogan ones can get a bit loose…

    • Lifespan Cortex Revolock look amazing, linear adjustment and no pokey outey bits on the ends. But dang not cheap! I actually have found knockoffs (or same factory OEM?) on alibaba, but shipping a couple of these starts to get quite expensive too. Was considering ali ones because you can get different sizes - I'm not quite convinced 32kg would be enough… also there are other brands stocking an almost identical product, hence thinking it's an OEM deal.

      I watched this earlier this year which also has a good rundown, but alas not too many of these are available in Aus