How to Build a DIY Workout Bench Press

DIY Workout Bench Press

We all know that exercising is important to our health. Weight training keeps our bones strong; it staves off disease, boosts metabolism, and promotes fat loss. But what if you don’t have access to a gym to exercise? What if your budget does not allow you to get monthly gym subscription? The solution to this problem is quite simple. Build yourself a simple DIY Workout Bench Press and start exercising. I’ve created a step-by-step instruction on how to build the bench press.

This DIY bench press is mainly built from 2x4s and a piece of plywood board. It also has a cushion and fabric that covers the bench. You could either use a simple duck fabric or heavy-duty outdoor marine fabric if you’re planning to use it outdoors. 

What are the benefits of weight training?

As we all know that weightlifting or doing bodyweight exercises makes you stronger and fitter. According to studies, weight training not only builds muscle, but it also may help prevent disease, improve mood and aid in losing weight. Abdominal fat sits in and around the vital organs, including the heart. Reducing or preventing any excess fat through strength training can improve heart health, as it also directly impacts the heart itself. Weight training boosts your metabolism by building muscle which in turn helps your body burn fat more efficiently even at rest. And having a good muscle base lowers the risk of injury as well. Weight training can improve brain power across a lifetime, especially in older adults suffering from cognitive decline. There are many benefits when exercising regularly, now you can have your own bench press at home and accessible at any time.

You also might be interested in DIY garage cabinets project that I’ve built previously.


Time to Complete

4 hours

Total Cost

$80

Skill Level

Intermediate


Workout Bench Press PDF

$7.00

This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

The plans are embedded on the webpage for free, but if you would like to support the website, you can pay a small fee to purchase the printable PDFs.

Thank you for your support!

Workout Bench Press

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Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.


Dimensions

DIY Workout Bench Press dimensions

Step 1 – Build the Base and the Post

This entire project is constructed using 2×4 lumber and a sheet of 3/4″ plywood. Take 2×4 and cut one piece to 48″ in length and one piece to 24″ in length. Chamfer the edges of the 24″ long piece on both ends at 45 degrees using a miter saw. Also, chamfer the top of the 48″ piece. Then take the 48″ long piece and attach it to the 24″ long piece 12 3/4″ from the front edge. Use 2 1/2″ screws for attaching boards together. Repeat this step to make a second set. 

attach base to the post for the bench press
attaching base to the post

Step 2 – Attach Diagonal Support at the Base

Next cut two pieces to 10 3/4″ in lengths with 45-degree miter cuts on both ends. Then place this piece on the backside of the post and clamp it in place. Attach this board to the base and the post using 2 1/2″ wood screws. If the wood is very dry, you might need to pre-drill the holes before screwing-in the wood screws, otherwise, the wood might crack.  

attach diagonal support for bench press
base and the post at attached together

Step 3 – Connect Both Stands Together

Cut two blocks to 3″ in length and attach at the bottom front of each post. You could either use wood screws or nail gun to attach these pieces. Then cut one piece to 48″ in length. Place the two stands on the ground 48″ apart and then attach the 48″ long piece right over the top of the 3″ blocks. Use 2 1/2″ wood screws to attach this piece.

attach both stands together for DIY Workout Bench Press
connect both posts together for bench press

Step 4 – Attach Bar Holding Pieces

Next cut another two blocks to 3 1/2″ in length, then cut two pieces to 20″ in length and one more piece to 48″ in length. First, attach the 3 1/2″ block with a wood screw or a nail gun. Then fasten the 48″ piece horizontally and finish by attaching the 20″ pieces vertically as shown in the picture.

DIY Workout Bench Press
attaching bar support board

Step 5 – Cut and Attach Front Diagonal Support Piece

Next cut two pieces to 36″ in length and two pieces to 10 3/4″ at 45-degree miter cut on both sides. Place the 10 3/4″ piece diagonally at the bottom of the 36″ piece and clamp it in place. Use 2 1/2″ wood screws to attach the angled piece to the 36″ piece.

build front boards for DIY Workout Bench Press
adding diagonal support to the front piece of the bench press

Step 6 – Screw-in the Front Piece to the Stand

Attach the 36″ piece with a diagonal piece at the bottom and attach it to the front of the stand. The diagonal board will be secured with 2 1/2″ wood screws from the bottom of the base. 

attach front board of the bench press stand
attaching the front piece to the post

Step 7 – Assemble the Legs

Now make two bench legs. Cut four pieces to 16 1/2″ in length and two 13 1/2″ in length. First, take the 13 1/2″ piece and then attach the 16 1/2″ pieces on both sides as shown in the picture. Use 2 1/2″ wood screws to fasten these pieces together. 

build legs for the DIY Workout Bench Press
making legs for the bench press

Step 8 – Connect the Legs Together with a 2×4

Connect the legs together with a 2×4 board. Cut a 39″ long piece and place it on top of the 13 1/2″ boards between the 16 1/2″ pieces. Secure the 39″ board using 2 1/2″ wood screws from the top and from the sides.

connect legs with a 2x4 for bench press
attaching legs together for diy bench press

Step 9 – Add Another 2×4 on Top of Bench for Stability

Cut a 46″ long piece and attach it on top of the 39″ board between the side leg boards. The 46″ long piece will be placed flush with the front leg, and sticking out 7″ past the back leg.

add 2x4 support for the bench

Step 10 – Place and Secure a 3/4″ Plywood to the Legs

Take 3/4″ plywood and cut one piece to 49″x10″. Place the plywood in the center of the bench and attach it with wood screws. Now paint the entire workout bench press with exterior paint. You might need to do several coats for better wood protection. 

add plywood to workout bench press
diy workout bench press

Step 11 – Add Foam and Wrap the Top of Bench with Fabric

Once the paint dries, cut a closed-cell foam to 51″x12″. (I used two layers of 1″ thick foam to make it softer.) The foam needs to be 1″ larger on all four sides to make the edges rounded when wrapping the bench with fabric. Then take marine fabric and cut it large enough to wrap around the foam and staple it to the bottom of the plywood. Fold the edge in two, so the material will stay on stronger. First, place the fabric on the workbench and then place the foam over the fabric in the center. Then flip the bench having the legs up and place it over the foam. Take the fabric and wrap around to the plywood and attach it with a staple gun. Use 1/2″ staples about 1″ apart. 

add cushion on top of DIY Workout Bench Press
cushion and fabric for the bench press
stapling fabric to the plywood for the diy workout bench press

Step 12 – Connect the Bench to the Stand

Now find the center of the bench and attach the bench to the stand. Use wood screws to attach the bench from the back of the stand. If you’re making this bench for someone else and planning for delivery, then the bench could be attached later on once it’s delivered. You’re done with a DIY Workout Bench Press! Stay safe and healthy. 

attach bench press to the workout stand
diy workout bench press

35 thoughts on “How to Build a DIY Workout Bench Press”

  1. Hi, this is just the project I was looking for.

    Would the bench and the stand be strong enough individually to not be joined together? Just thinking of storage outside?

    Reply
    • Hi Steve, the stand and the bench is strong, but if they are detached you’ll have to be careful when working out not to throw the bar back onto the stand to hard and making the stand flip over. I would still attach them together but maybe with a nut and a bolt so that you could easily separate the two if you need to.

      Reply
    • Hi Jeff, I’m not 100% sure on the max weight, but the stand itself could hold a lot of weight, it all depends on how you use it. Try not to throw the wights into the stand so that it would not tip over.

      Reply
  2. Hi Victor nice plan . I’m 86 years young an find your plan very clear and easy to follow
    The most weight I will be using is a hundred pounds so not using an attached bench and carful I don’t think it will flip
    What do you think?
    Also on the cut list it shows 2x6x8’
    But I’m usuing 2×4 must be reading it wrong. Thanks for listening

    Reply
  3. Hi Victor
    Excellent description of your bench press
    Your detailed description is easy to go by
    I was wondering if I went with one 4×4 instead of the 2×4 would it be more stable since I
    Will be providing my
    Own bench
    Thanks for your consideration

    Reply
    • Hi Thomas, Yes 4×4 would make it more stable, or you could add more 2x4s. I think having two 2x4s screwed together is the same strength as one 4×4.

      Reply
    • Jarrod, I fixed and updated the cut list. They all should be the same measurement. Since these are cut at 45-degree miter cut on both ends, the outer dimension is 10 3/4″ and the inner dimension is about 7 3/4″. On the cut list, it shows these diagonal boards overlapping each other because of the 45-degree cut. Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply
    • Hi Bill, To make the bar sit higher, in Step 4, change the holding piece from 20″ to 26″. That’s increasing the hight by 6″. You could always go higher if you want. Then in Step 5, you would also need to change the 36″ boards to 42″, or longer. That would make the bar sit higher.

      Reply
    • How could anyone give you an accurate weight capacity? Do you realize how many variables would contribute to a safe weight capacity of a wooden bench press that you build in your garage? Build quality, lumber and fasteners all play a role. Use some common sense and be safe man. I have built a similar bench and load it to 315 pounds on a regular basis. But I used lag bolts In a few areas. Built properly it can easily hold 300 pounds. Just rack the weight slowly and don’t abuse it.

      Reply
    • An 8 foot 2×4, when the load is square (ie directly vertical, no bending) is rated at 1,000lbs. As there are three 2x4s holding the actual weight in the rack, the rack can theoretically hold 3,000lbs.

      So basically, your 1RM is way far below what this rack can handle.

      Reply
  4. I notice in the instructions and cut list there is only only one piece of plywood, but in the photo where you are stapling the marine material it appears to have 2 pieces of plywood, is there something missing between the 2 steps?

    Reply
    • Hi Ryan, Good eye, you are correct I’m using two sheets of plywood in the photo. The reason for that is I had extra 1/2″ plywood from another project, so I wanted to use up that plywood instead of purchasing a sheet of 3/4″. If you follow the cut list and the steps, you should be fine with one 3/4″ sheet. I figured 1/2″ was too thin, so I used two sheets.

      Reply
  5. Hi there..it’s a nice project and very usefull.Can you pls tell me at what height did u put your hooks for barbell for the flat bench?i mean the distance from the standing bench up to the position of the barbell?And can you give me an advice pls at what height should that hooks be for inclined?Tks

    Reply
  6. Hi Viktor, nice project!

    If you just wanted the weight rack independent of the bench would you suggest increasing the length of the base so not to flip over?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Mick,
      Yes, you would need to increase the length of the base and the diagonal boards that attach to the base. This will make the rack stable by itself

      Reply

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