The BlackWing soars high as one of the finest, flat-incline-decline, adjustable benches out there. It’s a fusion of the best features of the best benches – with tons of angles, an improved ZeroGap™ Technology feature between the seat and back pad, a closed ladder adjustment system, vertical storage, and compatibility with the Leg Roller Attachment.
But how exactly does it hold up against REP’s other high-end, adjustable benches? Here’s a closer look.
The BlackWing and AB-5000 both have the ZeroGap™ Technology feature, which allows you to slide the seat to leave no space between the back and seat pads, a common issue with adjustable benches. But there are many other features that differentiate these two benches.
ZeroGap™ Technology Feature: While both are ZeroGap™ Technology benches, the newer BlackWing has improved it. The AB-5000's ZeroGap™ Technology adjusting pin is on the underside of the seat pad, whereas it’s on the side of the seat pad for the BlackWing. This makes it easier to access and use. In addition, the BlackWing includes an updated metal spring pin for a more premium feel.
Decline Option: Out of the box and with no extra attachments, the BlackWing offers some decline capabilities. On its own, the AB-5000 is just a flat-incline bench with no decline angles.
However, both benches are compatible with the Leg Roller Attachment, which allows you to lock your feet in for decline exercises. So, they both have the ability to be a flat-incline-decline bench, but you will need that additional purchase.
Adjustment Angles: The benches have different adjustment angles, too. The BlackWing (without the Leg Roller Attachment) has 12 back pad options ranging from -8 to 85 degrees, and it has six seat pad angles from -10 to 45 degrees.
The AB-5000 fewer options. It offers seven back pad angles, from flat to 90 degrees and five seat angles (-15 to 45 degrees).
Some of the angles themselves are different, too. Due to more options, the BlackWing’s jumps are smaller, but it only inclines to 85 degrees, whereas the AB-5000 gives you the full 90. And while the BlackWing has more seat pad angles, its decline option isn’t as aggressive: -10 degrees, compared with -15 for the AB-5000.
The BlackWing’s back pad angles are -8, 0, 10, 20, 30, 37.5, 45, 52.5, 60, 67.5, 75, and 85 degrees. Its seat pad angles are -10, 0, 8, 15, 30, and 45 degrees.
The AB-5000's back pad angles are 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees. Its seat pad angles are -15, 0, 15, 30, and 45 degrees.
Back Pad Adjustment: The adjustment mechanisms of the two benches are different. The AB-5000 has a pop-pin adjustment design, whereas the BlackWing has a closed ladder design. A closed ladder allows for quicker and easier adjustments. Here’s a closer look at the difference between a ladder-style and pop-pin bench.
A closed ladder adjustment system on the BlackWing
Seat Pad Adjustment: The seat pads adjust differently, as well. The AB-5000 uses the same pop-pin style. But the BlackWing uses a new, patent-pending, ladder-style, pop-pin system. This design allows you to quickly change the angle of the seat by simply lifting on the seat pad, and a pin locks it in place. Use the pop-pin to adjust the angle back down.
Horizontal Handle: The horizontal handle on the BlackWing makes it easier to maneuver it around your gym, even though the bench is heavier (131lbs vs. 110lbs). The AB-5000 has a vertical handle.
Updated Front Foot: The BlackWing’s updated front foot increases the overall stability of the bench.
Vertical Storage: The AB-5000 was not designed to be stored vertically, whereas the BlackWing was built with vertical storage in mind. When you are done with your workout, the space-saving design allows the bench to be stored in an upright position, taking up only 3.1SQFT of space. Just prop it up on its integrated, metal storage stand with a protective, plastic liner. By comparison, the AB-5000 has a 8SQFT footprint.
BlackWing vs. AB-5200 2.0
The AB-5200 2.0
The AB-5200 2.0 is another new bench on the block – a revamp of the toughest, most customizable bench with a decline option. Both the BlackWing and AB-5200 2.0 can be stored vertically, have a similar horizontal front handle, and have a closed ladder system for the back pad that adjusts up to 85 degrees.
The big differences between the BlackWing and AB-5200 2.0 are:
ZeroGap™ Technology Feature: Although the AB-5200 2.0 has a smaller pad gap (1.4”) than most adjustable benches, it doesn’t have the ZeroGap™ Technology feature like the BlackWing does.
Adjustable or Fixed Post: With the AB-5200 2.0, you can choose an adjustable or fixed post. The fixed post makes it a flat-incline bench, and the adjustable post gives it an added decline option. This post selection is not an option for the BlackWing; it comes standard as a FID bench.
Adjustment Angles: As a fixed post bench, the AB-5200 2.0 has 10 back pad angles (0, 20, 30, 37.5, 45, 52.5, 60, 67.5, 75, 85 degrees) and four seat pad options (0, 8, 20, 30 degrees). When you select the adjustable post to give the AB-5200 2.0 decline capabilities, you add three more back pad angles (-8, -6, -4), bringing the total of back pad angles to 13.
The BlackWing (without the Leg Roller Attachment) has 12 back pad options (-8, 0, 10, 20, 30, 37.5, 45, 52.5, 60, 67.5, 75, 85) and six seat pad angles (-10, 0, 8, 15, 30, 45).
Seat Angle Adjustments: The AB-5200 2.0 has a closed ladder system to adjust the seat. However, the BlackWing uses a ladder-style pop-pin system for the seat.
The BlackWing's ladder-style pop-pin system
Leg Roller Attachment: The BlackWing works with the Leg Roller Attachment to create additional decline options, but the AB-5200 2.0 is not compatible with that attachment. So, if you want to do decline exercises, you must pick the adjustable post, and the back pad only declines to -8 degrees – a much less aggressive angle than the BlackWing’s options with the Leg Roller Attachment.
Customization: The AB-5202 2.0 is more customizable than any other bench. In addition to selecting the fixed or adjustable post, you can choose a standard or wide bench pad from the get-go. Further customize the AB-5202 2.0 by selecting a frame color, with the ability to choose a different accent color on the guide rails. You can only pick one color for the BlackWing.
Commercial vs. Home Gyms: BlackWing is best for a home gym, because it has a small learning curve to use it. The removable leg attachment, ZeroGap™ Technology, and vertical storage aren't ideal for a busy gym with lifters of varying experience (and patience) levels. The AB-5200 2.0 with a fixed post is an equally robust, adjustable bench that's perfect for a commercial facility instead. It's easier to use and you can customize its color to match your gym.
The AB-5200 2.0 in black and white
Ultimately, all of REP's premium benches are top-of-the-line with different highlights for each. The right bench for you depends on your personal needs and goals (OK, and your desires, too).