Rep Fitness has been not so quietly redesigning its entire line of products over the last couple of years. So when they started to redesign their already best-in-class benches, I was interested to see just what they would change.
The Rep AB-5200 has been my bench of choice for the last several years. I love it and didn’t think it needed a redesign at all. After using the 2.0, I was wrong!
***Rep Fitness offered to send me the AB-5200 2.0 free of charge. I normally turn those offers down, but in this case, I didn’t. The AB-5200 1.0 was already my #1 recommended bench and my daily driver in my own gym. I wanted to review both the 5200 2.0 AND the BlackWing and I couldn’t afford to buy both. So I took Rep up on their offer to send me the 5200 2.0 so that I could then spend almost $800 on the BlackWing 🙈💰. While I realize this review is very positive, it was absolutely NOT influenced by the fact that I didn’t pay for the 2.0 bench. It’s just a really great bench.
The Short Version
With more stability, better pad material, nicer aesthetic touches, and several functional improvements, the Rep Fitness AB-5200 2.0 adjustable weight bench is not only better than the 1.0, but it’s also better than any other bench in its price range. Very few are even close.
I will always look at Rep Fitness as a bench company first. Yes, they are making some of the best gear in the industry in every category, but they built their reputation with their benches.
Their updated and revised lineup further cements that opinion. If you’re gonna buy a weight bench for your garage gym, Rep Fitness is where you should go. That doesn’t mean other companies don’t make great benches. They do. Rep’s are just better.
Retailing at $549-$599 depending on configuration, the AB-5200 2.0 sits at the perfect price point for most garage gym owners. At that level, you aren’t looking at a temporary or budget solution, you are buying a bench you’ll have for the life of your gym.
That’s why I selected the AB-5200 2.0 as the “smart choice” on our recommended benches page. It’s not the $800-$1200 that “high-end” benches cost, but it shares many features and benefits with that class of bench. In fact, when I look at the AB-5200 2.0 next to Rep’s flagship bench, the BlackWing, it’s hard to tell the difference in a lot of areas.
The AB-5200 2.0 can be either a flat/incline or an FID (flat/incline/decline) depending on how you order it (more on that later). You can also get two different sized back pads, both finished in the grippiest vinyl I’ve ever used. Rep calls it their “CleanGrip material” and I wish it was on every weight bench on the market.
This bench has 10 different back adjustment angles (13 if you get the decline version) and 4 seat pad adjustments. Those adjustments happen inside of a captured ladder adjustment system that I actually like better than the system they have on the BlackWing.
If you like options, you can get the AB-5200 2.0 in 36 different finish combinations. There is no other bench on the market whose appearance is as customizable.
Add to that 11-gauge steel construction, a 1,000 lb capacity, and knurled stainless steel adjustment handles, and you have an extraordinarily stable bench that even the strongest person lifting the heaviest weights will appreciate.
If you are looking for the best overall value in an adjustable bench, head over to Rep now to pick up your own AB-5200 2.0.
Want to see what other benches we recommend? Check out our recommended benches page here!
Unboxing video coming soon
- Assembled Bench Weight – 115lbs
- Assembled Bench Height – 17.5” (Including Pad)
- Assembled Bench Width – 25.8”
- Assembled Bench Length – 57.6”
- Back Pad Angles – 0, 20, 30, 37.5, 45, 52.5, 60, 67.5, 75, 85
- Optional Decline Back Pad Angles – -8, -6, -4
- Seat Pad Angles – 0, 8, 20, 30
- Back Pad Length – 41.7”
- Back Pad Width – Standard: 12″ & Wide: 14”
- Seat Pad Length – 11.4”
- Seat Pad Width – Standard: 12” Tapers To 8.9” & Wide: 14” Tapers To 11″
- Pad Gap – 1.4”
- Footprint – 57.6”(L)x25.8”(W) (10.33SQFT)
- Rear Foot Width – 25.8”
- Front Foot Width – 7.5”
- Weight Capacity – 1,000lbs
- Frame Material – 11-Gauge Steel
- Front/Rear Ladder Adjustment Handle Material – Knurled Stainless Steel
- Pad Material – CleanGrip
Rep AB-5200 2.0 Pros & Cons
11-gauge steel construction
2 back pad sizes available
Extra grippy back pad material
36 different finish options
Extremely easy to adjust
Knurled stainless handles
1.4″ seat gap
Seat material hard to clean
No leg roller option for decline
What I Like About The Rep Fitness AB-5200 2.0 Weight Bench
I’ve been training on the AB-5200 1.0 for several years and have a long list of things I like about it (you can read my full review here). The 2.0 has added to that list as well as changed some of the things I didn’t like about the 1.0 into things I now appreciate.
Build Quality & Stability
Coming in at 115 lbs, 10 lbs lighter than the 1.0, I was concerned that the AB-5200 2.0 would be less stable than the 1.0. And since stability was one of the only knocks on the 1.0, I think that concern was valid.
Well, apparently there’s more to stability than bench weight because the 2.0 is considerably more stable than the 1.0. The build quality and design improvements on the 2.0 address every concern that critics of the 1.0 raised and then some.
The biggest knock on the AB-5200 1.0 was that the back pad had some side-to-side play when in an incline position. There were even several homemade fixes that addressed that. It never bothered me, but I completely understand the concern that some folks expressed. Especially those lifting considerably more weight than I do.
The 2.0 has pretty much no play in the back. As a note, mine didn’t come out of the box that way. One of the screws that tighten the seat hinge was loose on mine, so the back had some play out of the box. Using a 6mm Allen key, 3 seconds later it was not only fixed but rock solid!
Decline Is An Option
If you’ve followed me at all, you know my #1 rule in buying things for your garage gym is to buy only what you need and not to waste money on bells and whistles you’ll never use. Decline on a bench is often one of those things.
So many people, myself included, when buying their first adjustable weight bench, look only for FID benches (flat, incline, decline). Because of that, they overlook options like the AB-5200 1.0 when they shouldn’t.
I love that the Ab-5200 2.0 gives you the option. The adjustable post that allows the bench to decline is a $30 accessory that can be added at any time. This allows you to save the $30, see if you actually need the decline option, and then buy it if you do.
I love that. Just be aware that leg rollers are not an option on this bench. If you need something to secure your legs for decline exercises, the AB5200 2.0 isn’t the right choice for you.
So while I’m personally not a fan of decline bench work and don’t think decline is all that necessary on a bench, I do like that it’s an option for folks who have different needs than I do.
36 Different Finish Options
Yep, you read that right, 36 different options for finish combinations. No matter what color your gym is themed in, you can find an AB-5200 2.0 to match.
This does not mean the bench comes in 36 different colors, though. The bench itself comes in metallic black, matte black, army green, blue, white, and red. You have the same six color options for the rails. That leaves you with 36 possible color combos for your new bench.
Normally, I don’t really care about things like this as it’s usually a company covering up for quality issues or lack of features by offering a ton of colors. That’s not the case here. The AB-5200 2.0 is a fantastic bench that also happens to come in a lot of finishes.
Ease Of Adjustment
As I’m writing this article, I’m evaluating the Rep BlackWing bench. It’s a ZeroGap™ bench and Rep’s flagship model. And so far, I hate how it adjusts. The ZeroGap™ adds extra steps I’m just not used to. So it’s been kind of a pain.
With the AB-5200 2.0, you simply lift the back of the seat up to adjust. To move them down, simply grab the handle, lift it up, and slide it back down. Combined with the captured ladder system that secures the adjustment hardware, the AB-5200 2.0 couldn’t be easier to adjust.
Every time I use my BlackWing, I wish it adjusted the same way the 5200 does.
The Pad Material
Up until now, I used to use a piece of vinyl drawer liner to add grip to my bench (I even made a YouTube video about this little hack). No matter how grippy the manufacturer said their bench pad was, other than the Thompson Fat Pad, there was never enough grip.
Now there is.
The Clean Grip vinyl on Rep’s benches, including the AB-5200 2.0, is the grippiest material I’ve ever felt on a bench. And I no longer need to add grip with the drawer liner. You can dig your shoulders in as aggressively as you’d like on this bench and they aren’t going anywhere.
What I Wish Was Different About The Rep AB-5200 2.0
There are a couple of things I wish were different on the AB-5200 2.0. This list would have been a lot longer for the 1.0, but Rep has addressed almost every deficiency the 1.0 had when making the 2.0.
No Leg Rollers For The Decline Option
In order to effectively use a decline bench, there needs to be a way to secure your feet. If there isn’t, you may slide right off the bench in its decline position and land on your head. At the very least, it will feel like you are going to do that.
And that’s how I feel when using the decline angle on my AB-5200 2.0. The CleanGrip pad material does keep me firmly in place, and hanging my legs over the end of the bench helps, but I still feel like I’m going to slide off.
It also makes decline situps a challenge. Without leg rollers to anchor your feet, it’s very awkward to perform decline situps. In fact, it’s a movement I won’t do without the rollers. And that makes the decline option on this bench a lot less useful than it could be.
The Vinyl Covering Is Hard To Clean
Just to reiterate, I love the Clean Grip vinyl that Rep is using on its benches now. It is grippy and sticky and perfect for heavy bench pressing.
But the drawback to that stickiness is that every bit of dust and dirt in my gym sticks to the back pad. And unlike previous models, that dirt doesn’t just wipe off with my workout towel. It takes a gym wipe or other cleaner to get it clean.
Now, we should be using gym wipes to wipe down our benches after every use anyway, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Except that I don’t wipe down my bench every time and I’m guessing a lot of you don’t either. And when I don’t, the bench always looks filthy.
Could the vinyl be sticky without attracting dirt too? I’m not sure. And I’ll take the better vinyl over this issue all day long. But it’s still something I wish was different.
In the meantime, get yourself some Wipex gym wipes and use our code “gym-crafter-exclusive” for 10% off your order.
The Rep AB-5200 2.0 vs. The Competition
This is an extraordinarily competitive price range for adjustable benches. Most companies have a very strong offering that compares well with the AB-5200 2.0. Below are the four benches I used as gauges for the AB-5200 2.0 and how they stack up. They are also the closest competitors.
If you are looking at adjustable benches, you’re sure to have a Rogue model on your list. And you should since Rogue makes some really good benches, most made in the US. The Rogue adjustable bench 3.0 is the direct competitor of the AB-5200 2.0.
The Rogue 3.0 is built from 11-gauge steel, comes in 10 different colors, and uses what I’m pretty sure is the same vinyl as Rep on the seat and back pad. It’s easy to adjust and comfortable to use. It’s also made in the US which is important to some people. If that’s you, the Rogue 3.0 is a great option.
If made in the US isn’t a dealbreaker for you, I do think the Rep bench is just a tad better than the Rogue 3.0.
The back pad on the Rep is both wider and longer. That’s important in a bench with a seat gap as the bigger the back pad is, the less that gap will come into play. The Rep also gives you the option of decline, something the Rogue doesn’t offer at all.
I also like the design and details better on the Rep. The knurled stainless handles are a huge difference in my opinion. Both benches look nice, but the Rep is noticeably nicer due to these touches.
Oh, and let’s not forget the price difference. Rogue, as usual, costs a lot more. Not only does it retail at a higher price, but Rogue charges shipping and Rep does not. On average, Rogue will charge you another $80 to ship the bench to you bringing the total cost difference to almost $240.
The Rogue adjustable bench 3.0 is NOT $240 better.
I really like Get RX’d. If I were a CrossFitter, they would have a lot of my money. That said, I don’t know that they would like my honest description of them…
Get RX’d is like the Toyota Corolla of the home gym world. Well-built, reliable, and reasonably priced. At the same time, nothing fancy or unique. If I put a piece of Get RX’d gear in front of you with the branding covered up, you would probably never be able to identify the manufacturer.
And that’s true of their FIDAB-2 bench. Made from a combination of 7 and 11-gauge steel and coming in 5 available finishes, the FIDAB-2 is a solid adjustable bench with all the features you’d want at a reasonable price (MSRP is $499).
The FIDAB-2 can decline and has optional leg rollers. It has a fairly grippy vinyl covering on its well-sized and comfortable seat and back pad (although I do like Rep’s Clean Grip vinyl better). It also stores upright and can be moved around easily.
My favorite feature of the FIDAB-2 is the optional dumbbell holders for rows. If you’ve ever done chest-supported rows on an incline bench, you know what a pain it is to get into position with heavy dumbbells. With a $40 accessory, you can change that and add two cradles that hold your (standard, not PowerBlocks type) dumbbells.
I do like the finish on the AB-5200 2.0 better as well as the knurled stainless handles and other branding and aesthetic touches. I think the back pad is better as well. And, the seat gap on the Get RX’d is one of the biggest around at almost 2″. That’s almost twice the AB-5200 2.0.
But the biggest deal breaker for me is the shipping cost.
Shipping costs on the FIDAB-2 will run anywhere from $125-$275. That makes it $100-$200 more than the AB-5200 2.0. Since the Rep offering is better, it doesn’t make sense to go with the Get RX’d model.
First, I want to acknowledge that Titan has leveled up their game as of late. Nowhere is that more evident than their Titan series adjustable bench. I was absolutely blown away when I tried it. If it didn’t say Titan on it in about 150 different places, I wouldn’t have believed it was a Titan product. Yep, it’s that good.
In fact, it’s so good that it was almost my budget pick on our recommended benches page. The only reason it isn’t is that I wanted the budget pick to hit a lower price point. But make no mistake, if your budget accommodates this Titan bench, but not the AB-5200 2.0, go for the Titan. You will not be disappointed!
Made from 11-gauge steel and requiring almost no assembly (that’s very different than the hour plus it took us to assemble the other benches on this comparison), the Titan series bench gives you a solid foundation to train on. In fact, it’s the most stable of any bench on this list.
The back pad is grippy and well-made. The padding is firm without being uncomfortable.
If you are looking for a great adjustable bench and need to spend a little less than the REP AB-5200 2.0, this is your best choice. But if budget isn’t an issue, the Rep is still better in a few ways. Here’s why…
The Rep can decline, and the Titan cannot. You can’t get a wide back pad for the Titan, and it only comes in one color. The biggest difference, though, is the hinge on the seat.
When using a bench with a seat gap, you learn not to sit or lie on the gap. It becomes a habit fast. But with most benches, the hinge that sits in that gap (and is the entire reason for the gap’s existence) is typically recessed below the level of the seat and back pad.
On the Titan, it’s level with them (I would even swear it sticks up above the seat just a tad). That means that if you do sit or lie on the gap, it’s gonna hurt. A lot. That hinge is big and hard and not fun to sit on (yes, that’s also what she said 😂).
Personally, I absolutely hate this feature, and it needs to be fixed on version two of this bench (Titan always releases a 2.0). But, at $100 less than the AB-5200 and with free shipping, it’s a feature a lot of people can and will overlook.
Ranked as our “best adjustable bench” on our recommended benches page, the BlackWing has every feature you’d want in an adjustable weight bench (and some you may not). As Rep’s flagship bench, the BlackWing is more fully featured and costs a good amount more than the AB-5200 2.0.
The BlackWing is heavier and more stable than the AB-5200 2.0. It does a better job at decline, and optional leg rollers are available to secure your legs while using the decline. The seat is wider, the front foot is wider, and the entire bench is more substantial.
The biggest difference, though, is that the BlackWing is a ZeroGap™ bench, meaning you can adjust out the gap between the seat and the back. It’s a great feature for those who want to eliminate that gap. It’s also a feature that requires several adjustments every time you move the back or seat. Honestly, it’s kind of a pain in the a$$.
As I’m writing this review, I have the AB-5200 2.0 AND the BlackWing in my garage. And I think I might like the 5200 better for my needs.
The back pad on the 5200 2.0 is long enough to function as a flat bench on its own. You don’t need to sit on the seat, and therefore the pad gap doesn’t come into play. It takes using this bench all of about 3 times to get used to this.
With the BlackWing, you have to fiddle with the seat every time you adjust something. Sometimes you need to move the seat, then move the back, then move the seat again. Other times, you also need to tighten the seat once it’s moved. You really have to hate the seat gap to go to all that trouble!
The BlackWing is still our “best” recommendation because, overall, it is a better bench than the AB-5200 2.0. That said, I don’t know of too many people who would buy the AB-5200 2.0 and wish they’d bought something else. This is especially true if you don’t need the ZeroGap™ or the leg rollers (which can also be used to turn the BlackWing into a Nordic curl bench).
Alternatives To The Rep AB-5200 2.0
So, you like the AB-5200 2.0, but it’s not quite perfect for you? Here are a few alternatives that may work for you instead.
Don’t need decline or 36 different finish options? Want to save $100 over the price of the AB-5200 2.0? Then the Titan Series adjustable bench is the ideal choice for you. It’s one of the best things that Titan is making right now and the first piece of Titan gear I’ve recommended (outside of their racks) in a very long time.
Do you want the ability to decline with leg rollers? Like the idea of a zero-gap seat? The Rep Fitness BlackWing is your best choice if that’s the case. It’s a beast. of a bench with rock-solid stability, two back pad width options, and Rep’s ZeroGap™ technology. It’s the easiest-to-use and adjust zero-gap bench on the market!
On a tight budget but still want decline, leg rollers, and great stability? The Rep Fitness AB-3000 2.0 is your best bet. Coming in at just over $300, the AB-3000 2.0 will serve you well for years. It was my primary bench for several years (I had version 1) and every time I used it, I was happy with the purchase!
As I stated at the beginning of this review, Rep Fitness will always be a bench company in my mind. They’ve been at the cutting edge of weight benches for some time now, and everyone else is just trying to catch up. Look at all the Rep knockoffs that are out there, and you’ll see exactly why I recommend Rep benches so highly.
Of those benches, the AB-5200 2.0 is one of their best. It’s not only the “smart choice” on our recommended benches page, but it’s the same bench I’d recommend to friends or family who asked me what bench they should buy.
Head on over to Rep to get yours today. They ship so fast these days, you’ll have it in no time.
I found a good deal on the AB-5200 1.0 used, is that a good deal or should I buy the 2.0?
The 1.0 is a fantastic bench. If you can get it for $200 or more less than the 2.0, it’s probably a good deal. That said, the 2.0 is definitely worth at least $200 more than the 1.0. The Clean Grip vinyl and vastly improved stability alone are worth that price difference.
The Get Rx’d FIDAB-2 uses some 7-gauge steel. Why doesn’t the AB-5200 2.0 also use 7-gauge steel?
The simple answer is that it’s overkill and not needed. Even the beefiest of power racks are made from 11-gauge steel. The same gauge Rep makes the AB-5200 out of. There is zero benefit of using 7-gauge steel over 11-gauge for a weight bench.
This is simply a play for people who shop based on specs alone. They see heavier gauge steel and assume that must be better. It’s not in this case.
Where is the AB-5200 2.0 made?
Rep designs all of their products in Colorado, but has them made in China. Keep in mind that some of the highest quality products in the world are made in China (everything Apple makes is a great example of this). Rep’s manufacturing partner does an excellent job of making high-quality gear, and as far as quality goes is up there with a lot of made in the US equipment.
Rep Fitness AB-5200 2.0
The Rep Fitness AB-5200 2.0 is a solid, well-built weight bench with 36 different finish combinations available. It's stable, has grippy vinyl on the pads, and has an optional decline adjustment. It's a fantastic bench at a great price.
- Large back pad
- Highly adjustable
- 36 finish combinations
- Upright storage
- No leg roller option
- Vinyl gets dirty easily