Should You Add a Bench to a Functional Trainer?

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Every gym has a couple of weightlifting benches that are used by all kinds of individuals. If you are one of those who have purchased a functional trainer but did not get a bench along with it, you might have doubts regarding the workout benefits.

But, in reality, are you missing something? Read further to find out.

Any functional trainer helps in providing a full-body workout even without using a bench.

Using a bench along with a trainer enables individuals to perform additional exercise variations and, above all, isolate the muscles.

Isolating muscles helps strengthen specific muscle groups targeted by the trainer, whereas standing exercises involve the entire body.

Below are a few exercise options that are also possible while using a bench and some of the best bench models available for purchase.

Why Do We Need a Bench with a Personal Trainer?

Any functional trainer has two height-adjustable pulleys. As a machine, the trainer is an extremely flexible piece of gym equipment that’s beneficial in various ways—right from providing a full-body workout to targeting every muscle in the human body.

As a standalone unit, the trainer is versatile in enabling individuals to perform tons of workouts.

When we include a bench as an add-on, some more exercises can be additionally performed. These include the lat pulldown, cable chest press, cable fly, incline cable press, seated overhead press, cable pullover, and low row.

Here is only a sample of the extra list of exercises we could perform using a bench and a functional trainer.

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The truth is that with/without a functional trainer of any other gym equipment, we can use the bench in various ways to explore better exercising options.

When we use a trainer with a bench, we can perform standing/kneeling variations to the exercises mentioned here.

The general concept behind a functional trainer’s design is to provide individuals the independence to train various muscle groups in the body when standing on the feet—train the back, chest, shoulders, and more even without a bench.

But, bringing a bench to the training room makes a difference in the training routine compared to standing/kneeling exercises.

Any standing exercise makes use of the entire body to stay stable (and avoid any dangers of falling off). Hence, many muscles are involved simultaneously, bringing enhanced movements to the whole body.

But, the limitations to weight is a big disadvantage as our body weight isn’t sufficient in the long run. Performing the same exercises on a bench is advantageous here as the bench adds stability to the body.

The back muscles are specifically benefitted as they are isolated from training better—we don’t use the legs or make much use of the core when using a bench for back exercises.

Hence, training helps individuals focus specifically on certain muscle groups that they want to target more.

Making use of a bench equips individuals to add more weight and hence, pave the way for better muscle growth and strength.

On the other hand, training with the feet involves the whole body that’s missing when using a bench. Hence, without a doubt, we should make use of both.

Do exercises with a bench when you want to isolate certain muscle groups and target them specifically.

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These might be muscles that are comparatively weaker than others, and isolating them helps in improving the physique.

Soon after this, do some standing exercises that involve the entire body. The combination of a bench and a functional trainer nicely complements each other.

What are the Best Benches that Go Well with a Functional Trainer

Without a doubt, any bench gives added advantages over exercising solely with a functional trainer, but for more exercise options and achieving any workout goals, a few important features are essential.

Adjustable: Get a bench that comes with an adjustable backrest as this allows us to perform various exercises and target muscle groups in various ways.

Heavy: We don’t want to get a bench that’s wobbly and unsafe. Choose a stable model, and for this, the weight of the bench is extremely important. Never choose a model that slides around but ensure that the unit is light enough to transport it easily.

Detachable Leg Lock: In some models, the foam pads are detachable, and this helps the individual stay down when doing exercises where you pull down, and the weight helps in lifting you. So, get a bench that comes with a detachable leg lock to be removed whenever needed.

Solid Construction: It is always suggested that we purchase a bench with a solid frame and construction, has an optimal load limit, and stays strong when we exercise using it. A model with a shaking seat or backrest is a risky option that must be eliminated from your list.

Best Functional Trainers with Bench

Some functional trainers come along with a bench. The manufacturer provides both of them separately, or in some cases, the bench can be attached to the trainer’s frame.

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Though we must pay an additional amount for getting everything together, purchasing as a package is a comfortable option that saves time and effort. Also, as a package, the trainer and the bench synchronize well, giving a neater look that’s professional and elegant.

Getting a bench separately is no lesser, and either of the options works fine. But, buying the bench separately might cost a little more unless we choose an inexpensive model.


The Inspire Fitness FT2 is a functional trainer that comes with a frame attached to the bench. Such design assures impeccable safety as there is no way that the bench might shake or move.

Feel free to lift any heavy weights and be guaranteed no movement at all. There is a provision to disconnect the bench from the trainer by pulling out a pin—this is a simple and easy process.

Don’t worry about anything if you have decided to purchase the FT2, as it is a complete package that fits everything needed to work out in a home gym. Besides having two pulleys on the sides, there are other variations, including:

Base Version that includes:

  • A built-in Smith barbell that can bear up to 460lbs. maximum resistance
  • Dedicated lat pull-down pulley and bar
  • Low pulleys present in the center of the machine

Fully-loaded Version (+$500):

  • A detachable bench which has an adjustable backrest and seat
  • Preacher curl and leg extension attachment
  • Use the leg extension attachment to perform exercises such as crunches, glute-ham raises, leg extensions, and leg lockdown for pulldowns.

The unit is not cheap and occupies much space, but it has everything that’s needed, including in-built cup holders.