Someone asked this on Russian.SE:

How should one express the concept of "take turns" in Russian?

For example, taking turns using the bench press in the gym, or taking turns on the Xbox controller or iPad.

I was under impression that "bench press" was the exercise, not the apparatus, but they have reassured me you can call that the apparatus too:

If the bench comes with a barbell and safety rack and is clearly designed for bench pressing, then the whole apparatus can be referred to as a bench press. So, "Someone's already using the squat rack" and "Someone's already using the pull-up bar", but "Someone's already using the bench press". This might be colloquial, though.

So can you call a bench used for bench pressing a "bench press"?

  • 1
    @Kris: so can you call this equipment "bench press"?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 13:12
  • 1
    @Kris: so can you call a workout bench a "bench press"? Does the phrase "I bought a used bench press for $99" make sense?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Kris This is a somewhat different usage from drill press or steam press or printing press. I don't see why it isn't a valid question.
    – deadrat
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 17:25
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    bench press is the thing and the activity. Sorry, did anyone say that??
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:20
  • 1
    @Quassnoi 1 YES< it means you bought the physical object on which bench presses are done by a person.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:31

4 Answers 4


The term "bench press" is used to refer to the equipment:

Weider Pro 345 B Mid Width bench press

You can call it this, but the usage is rare. It is usually called a "weight bench". Or just a bench.

You can verify this by browsing online stores that sell this type of equipment. It's a fairly consistent pattern across different retailers, actually.


"Bench press" as an item (not the exercise) is usually used to refer to a machine for bench pressing. It would include a stack of weights, a bench and a mechanism to transfer your force to the weights. They're less common than they used to be, as chest press machines take up less space.

If you bench press with a barbell or dumbbells, what you use is just a bench. If you're not already talking about a gym context, weight bench or gym bench might be a good way to be clear.

Your case of a bench with a rack attached is interesting. I also use this for other exercises when the other benches are busy, and have never heard anyone refer to it as a bench press in my gym

But if you used bench press, people would almost understand - they'd just think you used a machine rather than free weights for the same exercise.

  • Please see my comment at OP.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 13:06

If the sole purpose of the bench is to do bench presses, and there are other benches in the room, then it seems like the logical alternative would be to refer to it as "the bench press bench". This seems silly, and unecessarily pedantic.

If it was the only bench, then you could just call it "the bench" if you want, although some people might not realise what you're referring to.

So, yes, let people call the bench "the bench press", if it leads to clearer communication, since the purpose of language is to allow clear communication, rather than "satisfy the rules of grammar", which in fact constantly evolve to suit the needs of the population.


Just call it the press bench instead of "bench press," that's how I do it.

I don't know if it's a valid proof: but if you put it in google, the suggestions come up:

Press bench -- dimentions/for sale/workout/equipment


Bench press -- form/record/chart/set

  • 2
    Ah, but the press bench is where reporters sit at a baseball game.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 16:51
  • @HotLicks Oh, that's why everyone in the gym hurriedly tries to spiff themselves up, every time I announce "I'm goin for the press bench." ;)
    – user143977
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:16

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