I was not familiar with the Phoenix line but one of my clients owns the Phoenix Health & Fitness Power Bench MB230. Phoenix makes many very similar products and differentiating them can be confusing. The basic bench listed on this site can be bought for about $60.00. One model called Olympic, which I have never seen, appears to be very similar to the Power Bench. The real difference between the 230 and the basic bench is that this one houses equipment on which a bar can sit for chest presses. For many the difference of about $60 more will be worth it.
Recommend this product?
We are remodeling our house with a large office and gym. Although we belong to a gym there are times I want to go to a class in the morning but dont have time for weight training or cardio. There are times my husband is too busy working at home to drive 25 minutes to our gym and would love to have a couple of pieces of equipment downstairs.
The Phoenix line seems to be quite affordable. We can spend a bit more so I am anxious to review these pieces. If nothing else it will help me choose one! Phoenix Health & Fitness, Inc. sells units that they consider space saving with foldable benches to heavy duty olympic size designs.
The MB230 is a simple piece of equipment that offers the ability to do about 20 exercises. Note this is not a universal type piece of equipment. What I mean by that is that some stationary gym units you will see have attachments that come from a standing pole. If you are one who really wants the piece of equipment to have gadgets at your fingertips the Phoenix MB230 wont be it.
The MB230 is so simple that you really have to be motivated to use it. Lacking are attachments that will allow you to do lat pulldowns, for example or a chest press via a pec dec (These can be bought as add ons- I will explain momentarily) and I, for one, will be looking for a universal piece fully equiped. My client is new to the workout world, has a lot of weight to lose and I think this is a good beginning piece for her. I can train all her body parts using the MB230 and will recommend it for the beginner or a very motivated weight lifter who is looking primarily for a bench with a few gadgets. It is also a good, affordable bench if you have a personal trainer who can spot you. Since you will be doing chest presses, most likely, this doesn't afford you the luxury of a built in press. You don't have to worry about a spotter if you have a built in press.
The bench includes the ability to do work at the incline, decline and flat bench positions. The bar you see in the picture comes off so the bench will lie flat. It also has a leg lift feature and dip station position (for the tricep area).
What it comes with:
The leg lift piece is nicely padded. It includes spring clips that I have found easy to get in and out and keeps the leg unit in place. The leg unit is quite comfortable. You can add weights (plates) to a bar on the front of this bench but the weights are sold separately. This is not a weighted piece. You will be using dumbells, barbells or plates.
The seat and back of the bench are padded and comfortable. They are made of vinyl. Youll be able to do flatten the bench out and use it to do one arm bench rows with dumbbells very comfortably. In spite of the bench not being extra wide and this particular client is, she feels secure on it. Perhaps because it has a back with the added stability of a frame.
You can purchase attachments such as a lat tower, which will then add a whole multitude of options. Of course you will then have to buy attachments to use with the lat tower. (A lat tower works the back but can also be used for tricep work as well.) You can use the Phoenix Power Bench with Smith machines, which would be purchased separately. I love the Smith machine at my gym but now you are talking about using up a lot of space and we will have to pack a lot in a moderate amount so for me adding a Smith machine isn't an option.
You can also add an arm curl attachment to this piece, again giving you more options.
The Phoenix gym has a 2.5-inch steel frame and weighs just a bit over 103 pounds. It is 4.6 cubic feet and will take up 70 inches in length, 48 inches in height and 70 inches in width. (6 x 6)
The warranty is for 90 days for the parts and one year for the frame.
Pros and Cons:
Pros: Hmm...this is certainly an affordable bench that gives you options of legwork with plates and a place to put a bar.
For the price of about $120 if this is what you are looking for it will serve you well. It is sturdy enough to hold the heaviest and largest of people or body builders yet small enough to not need a huge amount of room.
The heaviest lifter does not have to worry about the weight stack not being heavy enough for him or her since there is no weight stack.
One problem with just buying a bench with no attachments is that you really have to be creative in working your legs. Phoenix has taken that problem away.
Cons: You might want a spotter if you are lifting heavy weights whether doing dumbbell flyes or chest presses since these pieces aren't built in.
With all that in mind this is not one I would buy. For a few hundred more dollars I believe I can get a piece that has attachments built in but well have to wait for my reviews.
My final conclusion:
If you are looking for an upscale bench and perhaps already own a weight set, this offers you a great price with the ability to add on and I will recommend it. I have never used this companys products so I cant stand by their durability but at this price I wouldnt worry if the vinyl cracks after 6 months. Just tape it up with duct tape! If you own this or buy it I would love to hear from you. Add your thoughts to my comment area since I will be doing research for my own use as well as yours, these reviews come in especially handy.
Feel free to e-mail me, leave a comment or question. I will be glad to answer any personal training questions you have as well.
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