Big biceps are a universal sign of fitness because they look great, and they’re hard to miss. Whether man or woman, strong, defined arms are one way of broadcasting your love of fitness and the work you put into your body.
When it comes to transforming your body and building body-confidence, these are some of the most obvious areas to work on. Even if you don’t know much about fitness, you’ve probably done a bicep curl.
Today we’re discussing preacher curl benches – which help you get the most out of your bicep curls and build bigger arms at home. Let’s jump straight into our product reviews and what they can bring to you and your arm-building workouts…
Top 7 Best Preacher Curl Benches
1. Valor Fitness CB-11 Adjustable Preacher Bench
The first entry to our list is a strong one. Valor have a decent rep in the fitness industry and a wide variety of products. At first glance, the Barbell holder’s design is great here, meaning you could use almost any form of barbell without too much risk of wearing the knurling down.
Equally, the footprint is small enough but seems to offer a good sense of stability (especially weighted down with a human). These are balanced, and the overall result is a good product, even if it’s not the most high-quality finish.
Concerns raised about this product tend to be quality assurance related. Some machining errors can make construction a real hassle, while low accuracy attachments of parts can produce some ‘wobble’.
We’d like to see the increased quality of machining, product inspection, and improved accuracy. This would really tighten up the end product which – at a design level – is pretty good. The instability is not associated with weight/size/footprint, but with an easy adjustment to the quality of the bolt-holes and improving the density of the padded foam.
These are some significant let-downs on a product that is, otherwise, pretty solid. There seem to be small issues that differ from user to user, so we’re definitely concerned for the quality assurance of the product and how it all fits together.
2. Fitness Reality X – Class 1500 Ib Preacher Station Bicep Developer
At first glance, this thing is very busy: there’s a lot going on, and you’d be forgiven for being taken aback by it. This is a swiss army bench, with a whole bunch of different roles and seemingly including a collection of fiddly attachments. It’s a weight bench with a preacher curl, not just a preacher bench.
While most preacher curl stations are referred to as a preacher curl bench, this one actually is a bench. It’s a standard utility bench with a preacher curl attachment, among many other things.
The utility of the bench is going to be pretty varied, but we’re not yet convinced that’s a good thing. Most people buying a preacher curl already own a bench – so if you’re in this group, it’s probably going to be more effort than it’s worth for you.
If you are looking for a multi-purpose bench setup, then this could be a decent choice. However, it’s important to note this is a huge piece of equipment with more size and weight than most on this list. It’s designed for larger people (billed as being suitable for 6’4 users) and doesn’t pull the punches on clutter when the leg developer attachment is on.
The difficulty in putting it together and moving it is also met with the poor quality handling and care of the product. Shipping is often criticized for being lackluster with quality assurance issues such as broken parts, cosmetic damage, or rips to the padded sections. Overall, a decent product for larger people – if you can get it in good shape!
3. Deltech Fitness Preacher Curl Bench
The finish of this product is already a sign that the actual use of a barbell in the Barbell holders is going to damage both. These are going to be significant problems if you’ve not got a dedicated bar for curling.
The overall design does lack inspiration and is decidedly less stable than some products on this list. Pad quality is decent, and the footprint is also okay, but the tripod design can cause some wobbling during heavier weights/when moving more quickly.
Happy customers tend to report the decent quality of the product, compared to its price, as well as the way that the padding performs. The convenience of a smaller product like this (especially contrasting the last product) has seen high praise.
As with some other products, quality assurance concerns are holding this product back. These are the common issues of poor machining on the product but may also include rusting to the tubing of the product.
The quality assurance and balance of the product seem to be the primary concerns here.
4. Body Solid Powerline PPB32X Preacher Bench
This is about as minimalist a product as you’re going to find and – as a result – it has a lot of maneuverability without much weight or stability. These aren’t the end of the world, but you can certainly feel the trade-off.
It’s technically a 4-footed product, but the rear feet are very closely spaced, unbalancing the seat area a little. The padding itself is thin, and the under-lay is wooden, which can rapidly produce discomfort as the padding wears down.
The adjustability of the product is also a trade-off from the reduced weight and size. The combination with some less-than-amazing adjusting knobs and stability result in a seriously “wobbly” experience if you’re on the top seat settings – which most people seem to need.
The design just doesn’t seem well-suited to most people, and the result is a product that could have been a great, small, economical option but seems somewhat unsuitable to people under 6 feet.
It does the job for some people but just lacks some of the adjustability we’d like to see in a preacher curl bench, which is open to a lot of individual differences in arm/leg length! It’s a good product, but these adjustments could rapidly boost up our ratings.
5. Body Champ Preacher Bicep Developer
This is another multi-purpose utility bench, and it comes with some of the same intimidating problems associated with the Fitness Reality model. However, it’s not enormous, so that’s a good start!
The design of the preacher curl is a little bit of an afterthought here, and it shows in the width of the arm pad, which is narrower than we’d like. The padding is a little thin, and there are some quality assurance problems for the symmetry of the pad itself, resulting in a difficult experience for some users.
The length of the product is, also, the opposite of the problem seen with Fitness Reality: this product is too short for most people. Those who are 5’10 or higher seem to see issues with the lower aspects of the product restricting their movement/use. Equally, the curl can be difficult to perform because it is not adjustable.
Adjustability is essential since we all have different limb/torso lengths, and comfort is easier with adjustable parts. This product does compromise that for multi-purpose functions and – accordingly – loses some of the key features of a good preacher curl bench.
6. Titan Fitness Preacher Curl Bench
Titan may actually be redeeming their oft-questionable reputation with this one. This product takes all the best bits from the industry-standard design we saw with Deltech and improves on them.
The design itself is relatively stable with the 4-foot design and solid footprint. On top of this, it provides effective Barbell holders with a rubberized lining to help reduce friction and keep the bar and curl station in great condition.
The arm pad isn’t adjustable, but the seat is and seems to be pretty reliable and stable. The padding is decent and doesn’t stand out from the industry alternatives, but isn’t as uncomfortable as many. Improvements here would really set this preacher curl apart.
It’s the best we’ve reviewed so far, and it’s an excellent economical choice but definitely could benefit from additional padding. If you’re considering this, you may want to provide some “aftermarket” cushioning for the arms.
7. Pure Fitness Preacher Curl Station
This product looks awesome, with its cool pad colors and design. However, the function does let it down compared to something like the titan preacher curl bench.
The construction is relatively flimsy by comparison and doesn’t offer the stability we’d look for – with a smaller footprint and lack of rubberized feet to grip the floor. The Barbell holders are also both shallow and unprotected, resulting in poor bar stability and increased wear and tear.
The seat itself does not adjust on this product, but the arm pad does. This is not much better than the opposite since it leaves taller people bunched up and hunched over when using the preacher curl station.
This also doesn’t provide stability to load a barbell, making it a difficult product to use – meaning you’re likely to have to load the bar from the floor when using heavier weights. The overall stability and construction quality leaves a lot to be desired compared to the Titan bench – a series of problems that reduced cost simply can’t make up for.
Benefits of Using a Preacher Bench
The idea of using a preacher bench is a simple one: you support the upper arm to ensure there’s as little movement in the body as possible. The only thing that can move the weight, when performed properly, is the bicep – resulting in better bicep gains with a preacher curl bench.
A good product thus provides support to the upper arm and shoulders, keeping you comfortable during the movement. It will, therefore, allow a comfortable full-range repetition, keeping tension on the biceps throughout and forcing you to control the end-range of the movement, supporting better strength and muscle mass gains.
What to Look for When Buying a Preacher Curl Bench
Build quality/ Material/ Stability
The ability to use the product for extended periods of time into the future is key – durability, material choices, and the care of design are all important here.
The better a product holds up to use, the better it’s going to be. With the preacher curl station, this is usually pretty high – the most common areas for concern are moving parts/locking mechanisms and the pads that you rest your arms on.
Poor construction in either of these areas is going to be a large concern since it may mean you’ll need to replace some – or all – of the product. Buying quality means buying once for most people, and it’s good to see some of the companies on our list demonstrate this really well.
The better quality, the better product – and that doesn’t always mean paying through the teeth, as we’ve shown above!
Weight & Size/Footprint
The weight and size of a preacher bench will determine how unwieldy it is, as well as how much space it’s going to take up in your home gym. The footprint is a simple one: the amount of space it takes up on the floor.
These are the main things you’ll need to think about if you’re buying for a small space. Not all home gyms are huge, and there’s definitely a time and place for buying a new kit that fits your space. The preacher curl also needs to be high enough up your priority list to justify the space it takes up.
Fortunately, these are also rarely issues. The preacher curl station is a small piece of equipment compared to something like a squat rack and should be a pretty easy purchase to fit into most home gym spaces.
Arm Rest/ Arm Pad
This is going to be where a lot of the quality shows up – for better or worse. Quality pads are not only durable and hard-wearing but also comfortable. They make the experience of preacher curls more effective and less painful on the upper arm, shoulder, and elbow.
This is why you’re using a preacher curl station, so decent quality here is imperative. Making sure you’ve got a product with a good pad is worth the extra dollars, all things considered.
The finish of the pad is going to be important initially, but over time things like the construction of the pad (e.g., sewing and attachment) and the quality of the filling will become key. These determine the longevity of the product and the support it offers.
It’s easy for lower-density foams to compress over time and result in a poor experience a few months or years down the line. Better pad quality means better workouts for longer – a key for the best preacher curl bench.
The hooks that hold the bar are going to be important for keeping your curl bar of choice in good working order. There are a lot of things that can reduce the quality and experience of using the product, so it’s going to be a serious factor in keeping all your equipment in good working order.
The quality of barbell holders on a preacher curl tends to be lower quality than you’d see on a squat rack because the quality of the bar used on them is lower. If you’re using an EZ curl or similar short bar, it’s probably not an issue.
However, if you’re using the same barbell as you would with squats, deadlifts, and other compound exercises, it becomes more important. Poor Barbell holders can wear down the knurling, damaging the quality of a barbell you may have paid $$$ to secure!
We’ve talked about this above, though not to a huge extent, so keep it in mind when shopping for a good home preacher curl bench.
This is easy to miss out on, but – just like the arm pad – comfort over the long-term is important here. Some products out there don’t have seats, but those that do are going to get judged on the stability and comfort of the seat and seat pad.
These are where you’re going to be seated while you curl, so there’s an inherent value to a better pad. They’re going to offer better comfort and a better experience, extended over the months/years of use.
This is just one more area where good quality pays off exponentially over the life of a product. Again, firmness and quality of the pad build are what matter here, as well as stitching and how well it’s attached to the frame of the preacher curl station.
While we’ve been critical of Titan in the past, they produced the best preacher curl bench from today’s review list. It offers up all the benefits of a good quality preacher curl station without any of the cheap, flimsy problems associated with a product like Pure Fitness’ curl station.
Titan really surprised us with this one, and while it could do with thicker padding, the overall function is great for the price range and the status of the competition!
Preacher curl stations can really improve your bicep training and help bring the biggest arm gains, so it’s a great time to invest and build some guns! It’s an iconic exercise and piece of equipment, and there are clearly some excellent home preacher curl options!