How to Construct a Weight-Lifting Bench

Written by chuck brown
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How to Construct a Weight-Lifting Bench
Weight training is one of the best ways to get in shape, especially from your own weight bench. (dumbbell weights in hand image by Kathy Burns from

Lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to get in shape, increase muscle mass and strengthen bones. Studies have shown that men and women in their 70s can actually develop stronger bones and strengthen muscles, resulting in better balance, coordination and all-round health. More people are looking for the quickest, best way to get back into shape, and weight lifting popularity has increased. Gyms are crowded, and more people have decided to create their own home gyms. The weight-lifting bench is a central piece of weight room equipment. Build your own, and save money.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 80 inches of 4 by 4 pressure-treated posts
  • 126 inches of 2 by 6 pressure-treated boards
  • Circular saw
  • Wood glue
  • 26 3-inch wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • Foam padding
  • Upholstery fabric
  • Shim spacers
  • 4-inch C-clamps
  • Wood file

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    How to construct a weight-lifting bench

  1. 1

    Draw out the bench on paper. Decide whether the bench will have attachments. Consider whether the bench will be adjustable or have only one position. You will need both types to get a good workout in. Choose in advance whether the bench will be stationary, that is, attached to the floor in one location, or mobile and moved from one workout station to another.

  2. 2

    Build the bench to be very strong. Remember, the bench has to support the lifter and the weights themselves. Build it with short and sturdy legs. Make sure it is braced properly at both ends and in the middle. Read steps 3 through 6 to get an idea of how to build a flat, non-adjustable, movable wooden workout bench.

    How to Construct a Weight-Lifting Bench
    Weight benches must support the lifter and the weight. ("The champion in a fitness centre". image by Andrey Kiselev from
  3. 3

    Use the circular saw to cut three 2-by-6 boards to 42 inches for the top of the bench. Cut the 4 by 4s into four 20-inch pieces for legs and three 18-inch pieces for braces. Select the best side of the 2 by 6s, and turn them over on a work bench face down, side by side. Place spacers between the 2 by 6 boards every 12 inches to keep them uniformly but only slightly separated by no more than a quarter of an inch, as they are laid out on the table.

  4. 4

    Mark off on each of the outside positioned 2 by 6s locations for the bench legs. Make your marks 4 inches from the ends of the outside 2 by 6s and 1 inch from the outside edge. Look at your 4-by-4 cut pieces, and decide which end will be the floor contact for the four legs.

    How to Construct a Weight-Lifting Bench
    Use a circlular saw to cut the heavy duty lumber. (detail of circular saw image by Thor Jorgen Udvang from
  5. 5

    Select the best mounting and wood-to-wood contact sides of the three 4-by-4 braces. Locate and mark one brace beside and up against the two legs on each end. Locate and mark the third brace in the middle of the bench, centring the 4 by 4 on the 13-inch mark from both sets of legs. Coat the wood-to-wood contact side of the three braces liberally with a strong wood glue and clamp into position. Do the same with the legs, and leave overnight.

  6. 6

    Release the clamps and gently turn the glued together bench over to upright position, so that it is standing on its legs. Sink a total of ten screws into each end, two per leg, and two per board and brace. Sink six screws into the middle brace. Do not leave any screw heads above the surface of the bench. Use a wood file to round off the sharp ends of the boards and braces. Cover with foam padding and upholstery fabric.

    How to Construct a Weight-Lifting Bench
    Use a strong wood glue and clamps to initially join the pieces of the bench. (bottle of glue on black marble image by phizics from

Tips and warnings

  • The bench described above is considered a utility weight lifting bench, which means it can be used for different exercises.
  • This is a heavy bench. Locate it where you will have it near most of the work stations.

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