Consumer Reports Tests The Ab Coaster

The Ab Coaster promises to give you rock hard abdominals within weeks, so Consumer Reports decided to put their claims to the test. Especially the one about its patented “bottom up” method.

The device says it works by engaging your whole abdominal system, which it does, but so does a modified crunch that you can do yourself. And you’ll save yourself $400 to boot.

For more on the Ab Coaster and other sports and exercise equipment reviews, check out Consumer Reports.


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  1. MamaBug says:

    I love practical ways around spending a shit ton of money for something you could do yourself. Now, if only they would run this right after or right before the infomercial…

  2. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    I always wondered why people bought these — when it’s pretty dang easy to train those muscles in every day situations, or even (as mentioned above) basic crunches.

    Irony: We drive 10 miles sitting on our arse, only to arrive at the Gym, sit BACK DOWN on our arse, to sit on a machine we can push with our legs—-to make our arse smaller.

    Huh? Why not just walk somewhere?

    • JJ! says:

      Walking is, sadly, not always an option for various reasons.

    • Veeber says:

      Someone was on Morning Edition today who said “At least if my son is watching TV I know he won’t be outside where he could get shot”

      • Enduro says:

        That’s a very real concern here in Detroit. There was a woman who would only let her honor role student son go 8 houses in either direction. He got shot minding his business playing with a friend on a front porch four doors down.

    • RandomHookup says:

      My favorite is people who take the elevator up to the gym to get on the Stairmaster (or who drive 2 miles in perfectly good weather to get on the treadmill).

      • oblivious87 says:

        Personally, I hate running on cement. It hurts my feet and I can’t pace myself well enough to run the entire time. A treadmill paces me so I run for 30 minutes at 8mph instead of going 10mph, lasting 5 minutes and being exhausted and having to walk for 5 and repeating.

        I wish I could still afford a gym membership, the east coast gyms cost almost $100/month while my old membership was $30/month! But its nice having a small home gym which I use almost everyday instead of 3-4 times a week like I was doing with the gym.

    • tbax929 says:

      I used to belong to a gym and was always amused by how much people would fight you for a parking space as close as possible to the gym.

    • alaron says:

      I have back and knee problems; I can’t walk or stand very much. I only use the bike at the gym, none of the weights.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      But I like the gym. It’s fun! And they have hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, a pool, and the smell of burning fat!

    • Garbanzo says:

      Why not? Because it’s cold/wet/dark outside and the car exhaust stinks and you can’t watch TV while you exercise.

  3. coujo says:

    but but but!! its a really fancy laundry rack!!!! its worth 400 bucks!!! just like my treadmill and stationary bike and that stair machine thingy over there in the corner

    • AllanG54 says:

      You’re just not motivated enough. I have a recumbent bike that I bought in Feb of 2009 and still use it at least 4 times a week. When I first started using it I could do a little over 6 miles in 30 minutes but now I’m over 9 in the same 30 minutes and that’s on the hardest level. Just have to want to do it.

      • RandomHookup says:

        No argument there, but some folks believe buying the machinery will make them motivated or solve their problems. There is often a low/no cost option to at least start with.

  4. slim150 says:

    poor design. how can you hang clothes on it when you no longer use it?

    • PineRoot says:

      Ha, when I bought my bike I made sure I was able to hang shirts, towels, or pants on it. I guess with this one you could hang a shirt or to on the bars, maybe a towel?

  5. keepnitreal says:

    The website sells it for $250, not $400. Would that not make a difference in the review? I use this product at 24 hour fitness and can tell you it is an incredible machine. No negative review can change that fact. There will always be the argument that you can do exercises without equipment, but I don’t think that will change the minds of 100s of millions that go to gyms to work out or buy home gym equipment and reap big benefit from doing so. Just as many go to the gym or buy for home and do not use the equipment. Bottom line – free country, let people spend their money where they will and let the marketplace drive a product out of the market.

    • RandomHookup says:

      The big argument would be that consumers need this kind of information to help them make an informed decision. It’s a big purchase and can’t be easily undone (if at all).

      • keepnitreal says:

        I agree with that….. but with accurate information (price off that much?). And….you absolutely cannot duplicate some of the directions and intensity of contractions that this machine produces with crunches. Again – that is why it is on the floors of gyms across the world. If you are not in the market for a good piece of fitness equipment to help you get into shape, just don’t even think about it. If so, this product is awesome, solid and very effective. look at all feedback you can find. If you go to the website of this product you will see MANY publications in their press section that have unbiased reviews that are great. Just trying to balance things.

        • coren says:

          I’d argue that it’s in gyms because no one goes to a gym to be told “ok, sit down, we’re gonna have you do modified crunches” – you go to utilize the equipment they have. It might be the best piece of unnecessary ab equipment, which still makes it unnecessary

  6. Hands says:

    In my days as a massage therapist my clients always used to ask me about machines like this, wondering if they were any good. I told them, “if it’ll get you to do the exercise, then go ahead and buy one.”

  7. Griking says:

    That Consumer Reports host is still annoying.

  8. rpm773 says:

    Can I buy just the video?

  9. the_Jenkins says:

    My wife had me buy her the Ab Circle for her birthday a few years back. Worst mistake ever. I said I’d do it just becuase she really really wanted/needed it. It sits in the corner now; she’s used it maybe 10 times in a year and a half. Waste of $300 and she won’t talk about it to me anymore.


    • Shadowman615 says:

      Hell, at least you didn’t have to come up with a gift idea that year. Sometimes that alone is worth the money.

  10. pot_roast says:

    I just looked on Craigslist. Found one that says its barely been used, $200.

    It may suck for many other things, but Craigslist is a great place for exercise gear.

  11. B says:

    So it’s not a better way for reseting my beer on my stomach?
    I’ll pass.

  12. Starfury says:

    Are any of the machines they show on TV worth getting? I’ve seen the bow one, this one, and a buch of others that ‘fix’ your body problems.

    At my house we pretty much know the people in the ads work out constantly, diet, and also have genetics to help them look that way.

    • spugbrap says:

      * Results not typical

      (gotta love that small print in so many ads)

      • lim says:

        I suppose showing the typical results doesn’t make a good comercial. Imagine it! The equipment sits in the corner collecting dust etc. There is some ironing hanging from it, maybe some tinsel left over from Christmas. The owner enters with a bowl of Sugar Smacks, stubs his toe on the machine, swears, then limps over and turns on the tv.

  13. biggeek says:

    I find it disingenuous how these goofy exercise machine commercials use professional fitness models who have spent years working out all day in real gyms…And then imply that they got their “perfect abs” by screwing around on these corny home machines 10 minutes a day.

  14. David in Brasil says:

    Came to see someone’s bottom up, left disappointed.

  15. sopmodm14 says:

    if you want to lose weight, hire an exercise science degree holder

    swinging your hips on a swivel doesnt flex/extend the torso too much…you’re not working them out

    best way to lose weight is just exercise and sweat it out

  16. KevinD88 says:

    sex is the best way to get abs

  17. Conformist138 says:

    Hmm… Well, I’ve lost 100lbs so far and built up a ton more muscle (I used to look like Mrs. Stay Puft, thank you) and I’ve done it *gasp* while hardly spending anything. I walk when the weather allows, I toss my $10 yoga mat on the floor and use my couch to help with sit-ups and arm exercises. Now that I’m way smaller and can handle more of a work-out, I do things like jump rope or do jumping jacks. All stuff that can be done at home with no need for space-hogging, expensive gear and doesn’t need more floor space than my tiny living room has available.

    I guess I don’t really get it- Of everyone I know with this kind of machine in their house, I don’t know anyone who actually used them enough or ever got into shape. Same with people who have gym memberships or who are sold on special diet shakes or prepared meals. But, the people I know who’ve done it through just getting out and doing it, lifting whatever rock they find or just hitting the pavement, they usually stay in shape. Maybe too many people are buying these products looking for a miracle to replace willpower and really hard work.

    Too lose weight or get into better shape, there is going to be discomfort at some point. Consider it like a payday loan- there’s a ton of fees and interest to pay on all those cheeseburgers! This time, the payment is in the form of pounds of flesh and it is not too fun to deal with your body throwing a tantrum about it. Never trust anyone who says they have something that does the work for you or that is discomfort-free or guaranteed to be fun.

  18. adamrush says:

    When do we get a video of Ben or Meg testing out the Shake Weight? That’s something I might pay money for (the video test, that is, not the Shake Weight itself).