Golds Gym XRS20 Weight Bench: In Depth Review

The XRS20 weight bench from Gold’s Gym is a novice / intermediate bench for the home exercise enthusiast. It consists of a multi-angle bench, and is fitted with a leg extension and a free standing squat rack. It even features a preacher curl attachment. The heavy duty free standing squat rack is a highlight, along with the solid design and functional attachments. After close inspection, we have no hesitation in recommending the XRS20 as a preferred home use weight bench. Here’s what we especially like about this product . . .

Pros

  • A very solid frame
  • Easy to move around
  • Separate squat rack
  • Rolled Preacher Pad
  • 6-Roll Leg developer

There were a couple of things that we were less than impressed with as well  . . .

Cons

  • Leg Roller height not adjustable
  • Plastic caps on the feet tend to come off when moving the bench
  • Not enough safety supports for incline bench pressing

So, what do other users think of the Gold’s Gym XRS20?

  • 4.5 stars 846 reviews – Walmart
  • 4.5 stars 26 reviews – Sears
  • 4.5 stars 107 reviews – Sam’s Club

This gives an average rating from just under 1000 reviews of an impressive 4.5 stars.

Product Benefits

Secure Angle Support

Image of the Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Workout Bench (Without Rack)

The bench on the XRS20 is adjustable to a number of settings. The yellow bar which is used to set the angle adjustment is make from a heavier steel than the rest of the unit. This gives you the confidence that the unit is designed to handle the load that you put upon it. The mechanism for adjusting the angle is very easy. You simply remove the bar from it’s slot and move to the next desired level, where it will slot in very securely.

As well as allowing you to position the bench at a range of positive angles, you are also able to achieve a slight decline angle. This will allow you to work your lower chest area with decline barbell or dumbbell work.

Comfortable, Hard Wearing Bench Pad

Image of the

The bench pad of the XRS20 is covered in a polyester material which is rather sturdy. Obviously, it will not last as long under heavy use as a leather pad would, but it appears to be holding out well for the vast majority of online reviewers.

The thickness of your bench pad is an important consideration. If it is too soft, you won’t get the firm support that you need. If, on the other hand, it is too rigid, your level if comfort will be compromised. With the XRS20, when you poke your finger into the pad, it depresses about a quarter of an inch -which is just right!

The width of the bench is another factor that should be weighed up. On some benches, the pad is so wide that it actually restricts the natural movement of your lats and triceps as you’re bench pressing. The flow on impact is that you will not be as strong and you will not be able to stimulate the muscle as much. Fortunately, that is not the case here. The bench provides a natural fit so that your movement is not restricted as you bench.

The bench padding is attractively presented. All seams are double stitched for extra rigidity.

Allows You to Go Heavy

The Gold’s Gym XRS20 has a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds. That max weight is made up of a 300-pound maximum user weight and a 300-pound max resistance weight. That gives you plenty of scope to go heavy in your training.

It Won’t Tip Over

Made from heavy gauge tubular steel, the XRS20 is a very solid unit. When you get on this machine, whether to do a bench press exercise or when using the stand alone squat rack, you feel very safe and secure. That gives you the confidence to go all out in your training. This is especially important when you’re going heavy on squats. Unlike with most home gym units, there is no forward tilt when you rack and unrack the bar.

Bench Height

With some benches, the height of the pad that you lay on is too high for a comfortable placement of the lower body. That is not the case here. The bench height allows for a very natural positioning of your lower body, with your feet able to be firmly planted on the floor for extra power and support.

Bench Press Safety

The removable squat rack also doubles as a bench press rack. It provides you with an extremely rigid support that features built-in safety catches. These can literally be a life saver when you’re bench pressing alone. They will allow you to extricate yourself from the  rep that you can’t complete with the weight crashing down on your rib cage.

The safety catch has a width of about 10 inches, providing you with plenty of room to position the bar. It is also adjustable to four different levels, allowing you to set it for your height. The height adjustability is also beneficial when you’re doing partial reps. To adjust the safety catches, you simply lift them up and hang them on the hooks that are provided.

Removable Squat Rack

Image of the Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench

A feature that you don’t find on many home benches is the removable squat rack / bench press rack that comes with the XRS20. This provides you with a number of benefits. Firstly, the rack does not interfere with your range of movement on exercises when you are lying on the bench. In some competing benches your range of movement on dumbbell moves is compromised by the uprights of the support rack. With the XRS20, however, you simply slide the rack away for complete freedom of movement.

The squat rack allows you to do justice to the squat exercise. The majority of attached racks are quite gimmicky and fragile. However, this rack feels very solid. You’ll be able to squat heavy with confidence on the XRS20. You will have all the freedom of movement that you need with the rack being free of the bench.

The safety-bar spotters on the squat rack are adjustable to a range of heights. This is an important feature when you are training alone. Knowing that the bar will be caught if you can’t manage to execute the rep provides you with peace of mind – and that peace of mind, in turn, allows you to train at maximum intensity!

The uprights of the squat rack are adjustable to a number of heights. The supports on which the bar sits are designed to allow for a very firm hold. It has a low front lip that doesn’t obstruct the bar in any way when you lift it from the rack.

The provision of a stand-alone squat rack makes this bench great value for money. It transforms what is essentially an upper body workout tool to a full body exercise machine. Whereas most benches only give token justice to lower body training, this one is the real deal. Plus, you get all the best exercise equipment for a home gym all in one go!

You Can Do Leg Isolation Work

Image of the Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench

While the squat rack allows you to do heavy leg training, the leg extension / leg curl machine allows you to isolate your quads and hamstrings. The vast majority of benches tack on a leg extension / curl unit that does a terrible job of simulating the commercial gym experience. This one, while not as good is what you’d get at your local gym, is a huge improvement on most of the competition.

The leg extension / curl attachment is quick and easy to put on or take off. It also provides you with sufficient foot clearance from the floor to allow for a full range of motion. The range of motion is jerk-free and you are able to achieve a lock out of the knee in the top position.

The leg curl similarly offers a full range of motion to allow you to maximally stimulate the hamstrings.

You Can Use Olympic Plates

A great feature of the bench attachments (leg extension /curl and preacher bench) is that they provide you with the versatility to be able to add either standard one inch diameter hole plates or Olympic two inch diameter plates. That’s because the unit comes with a sleeve that you simply slide over the plate loading bar when you want to go with Olympic plates.

Maximally Work Your Arms

Image of the Gold's Gym XRS 20 Olympic Bench

The XRS20 has a very impressive preacher curl attachment. The attachment is quick to attach and detach and sits very solidly in its housing. A screw is provided to keep the pad in place. You’re also able to adjust the height of the preacher curl pad. The wide grip handles have an elbow attachment that provides you with a very natural and complete curling motion.

The attached handles that come with the preacher unit are very handy. However, there are times when you may prefer to use either a barbell or dumbbells. That’s no problem because the handles can be positioned far enough away from the pad that they won’t get in the way when you’re curling with the bar or dumbbells.

No More Messy Plates

The back of the XRS20 provides you with a pair of weight plate holders. This allows you to store your weight plates right there on the unit. That means no more weights littering your gym floor. The weight plate holder feature also adds to the stability of the unit, making it more rigid and less prone to movement. It also acts as an effective counter balance.

Drawbacks

Not Enough Squat Support

The safety supports, at a six-inch length, are about perfect for the bench press. However, when you are squatting, they prove to be a little too short. Because the back squat puts your torso between the rack and the bar, there is a possibility that you may actually miss the supports if your drop the weight. Bringing the supports out another four inches would have solved this problem.

Screw in Mechanism can be Tiresome

The attachable units on this bench system all feature a screw in system where a provided yellow screw is wound into an existing thread within the upright. This can be a little cumbersome, especially when the thread does not work. A simpler pin lock system would be preferable.

The Verdict

The Gold’s Gym XRS20 weight bench is a great option for the novice or intermediate home gym user. It is one of the most sturdy units we’ve come across in its price range. Standout features are the stand alone squat rack / bench press rack, complete with safety spotters. However, as mentioned the squat safety catches are a little too short, so you will probably want to have a training partner spot you when squatting heavy on this unit.

We were also impressed with the preacher curl attachment and the leg extension / leg curl unit. For the features that you get, this bench represents good value for money. We thoroughly recommend it!

 

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