There is a huge variety in benches seems like when it comes to competitions and I feel like it makes a pretty significant difference.

The padding material, the covering, height off the floor (which should be standard in my opinion) as well as recently the width of the pad.

Now, most of the meets I do use a Forza or similar so I had a bench made that is pretty much a forza except it's a walkthrough bench and has band pegs for added training versatility.

And obviously at Westside we have several forzas so the change to a meet situation isn't all that drastic.

However it wasn't always that way for me in years past when training. I'd train off of benches that were too narrow, too short, too tall, very slippery, whatever.

I guess at the time I felt like it wasn't a big deal. Because I'd go to meets and the bench would feel fantastic and my performance would reflect that. That said, I wondered if the opposite were true, that training off of lesser quality benches was really effecting my ability to train optimally?

I'm not talking about a forza vs a spf bench (same thing really) or even a metal militia bench vs forza. I'm talking about crappy commercial gym stuff where the measurements are way off.

I would assume the difference would be even greater for those of you who compete in the USAPL. Those ER racks are really not bench friendly (least in my opinion) with how thin the pad is and the covering material.

So what do you think, does using lower quality equipment (equipment less than meet quality) help you train or does it confuse and inhibit optimal training?