Not all adjustable benches are made equal – and not even adjustable benches from the same family tree.
At first glance, the AB-3000 and the new kid on the block, the AB-3000 2.0, may look similar. And they are in some ways. They’re both steel, flat-incline-decline benches that come in multiple colors. They both have a ladder-style adjustable system for quick and easy angle transitions and a built-in leg attachment that holds you in place during decline exercises. They can both handle a 1,000lb load.
But the 2.0 version has some new, upgraded features that would make the OG version a little jealous.
Protective Rubber Covers
From the ground up: The OG didn’t have rubber covers on the front or back bases, but the 2.0 does. These covers help protect your floor – and they grip the ground better to hold the bench in place while you lift.
Then there are the adjustment positions. The seat angles remain the same: flat, 5, 10, 15, and 20 degrees. But the back pad is all kinds of different, based on lifters’ feedback and to provide more useful and comfortable positioning. The OG had seven back pad angles, and the 2.0 has eight. And many of these angles are not the same. The decline angle remains –12 and the top incline position is 85 for both.
But the other incline positions went from being 20, 35, 50, and 65 degrees to 15, 30, 45, 60, and 70 degrees. The new options allow lifters to hit more optimal incline angles for the incline dumbbell press to target the upper chest. Research has found the best incline angles for greater muscular activation at certain points are 30 and 45 degrees. Steeper angles (one study looked at 60 degrees, which the new bench offers) shift the muscular emphasis from your pecs to your shoulders/delts.
There’s more. To make it super easy to set the angle position, the AB-3000 2.0 has the back pad adjustment numbers laser-cut into the ladder. Fancy. It is also quieter, as the updated ladder features noise dampeners.
In addition to the new back pad angles, the 2.0 comes with upgraded padding. The AB-3000's cushion was made from textured, grippy vinyl. The new CleanGrip pads are extra dense for added durability, and they are even grippier than before. Yet their smooth surface is easier to clean. Grippier + smoother? Yes, it’s magic. (OK, in truth, the CleanGrip pads have smaller perforations, which trap less dirt and debris.)
The back pad is also updated. The AB-3000 had a rounded back pad. The new-new is squared off with a greater surface area for more back support. The back pad is denser and has more grip, creating an even better bench experience than before.
The 2.0 kept the same seat pad (because it was already awesome). The seat pad gets wider and thicker on the front, so it’s more comfortable on the back of your knees when using the Leg Rollers. But you don’t like the wider flare on the front, the 2.0’s seat pad is now reversable, so you can switch it to the back of the bench.
The rear base on the 2.0 is also wider than the original bench. This is to enhance side-to-side stability.
The handle is updated, too. The 2.0 replaced the original, standard vertical handle with a horizontal handle on the leg attachment. This design stays out of the way when you’re lifting. It also makes it easier to move the bench around your gym. Some say it makes the bench feel lighter to maneuver.
If you like to lift in style, you’ll dig this update. The AB-3000 2.0 comes in more colors, too. The OG bench came in matte black, metallic black, red, and blue. The 2.0 comes in all those shades, but also a sleek white. Both benches, regardless of color, are finished with a durable powder coat.
To make a decline bench safe and useful, it needs a leg roller (which probably should be called a foot roller or shin roller, because you slide your feet not legs under the pads and they secure you in place, so you don’t slide down the decline). Both the AB-3000 and the 2.0 have built-in leg rollers. When not in use, you can move the leg rollers back for better clearance.
But the 2.0’s leg roller is totally ballin’. The leg roller on the AB-3000 2.0 can be moved farther back for better clearance and farther forward than the original design for more comfort in decline. The farther position is great for lifters with bigger calves.
The leg roller also has six different settings that you can lock into position using included pins. No need to tighten a single bolt. So, you can pick your preferred angle and lock it in -- and quickly change that as needed. Bam.
Bottom line: The AB-3000 and the AB-3000 2.0 are both incredible benches. There’s a reason the AB-3000 has been called the best-value, adjustable, FID bench for home gyms; it was already above and beyond, even before the 2.0 came around. Whether you prefer the 2.0 version or original will be a matter of personal preference. But either way, you can be confident you’re adding a totally solid, adjustable bench to your gym.