Monday, June 8, 2009

Ab Circle Pro: That Circle Ab Machine

Today a female friend asked me for my opinion on "that circle ab machine" she's been seeing on TV. I immediately realized that she was asking about the Ab Circle Pro, which has quickly become one of the top-selling fitness products in the US. She said that she wants to lose some belly fat, tone her muscles (especially those thighs), and get her abs in shape for summer. She also asked about the Ab Coaster Pro and the Ab Roller Pro, neither of which I had even heard of until today.

I told her that, since I haven't actually tried any of those new abdominal machines yet -- and had very little knowledge about the Ab Circle Pro, much less the other two -- I couldn't provide an honest answer. The handful of reviews I've seen and heard for the Ab Circle seem to paint a similar picture: it provides a decent abdominal workout and a good low-intensity cardio workout, but it costs a lot, leaves you with "knee burns", and is easy to get bored with.

Personally, the boredom part seems obvious to me. While it's true that some machines make exercise more fun, the vast majority of them simply make you do the same boring movement over and over again like a hamster on a wheel. That's one of the main reasons why I avoid most exercise/fitness machines and focus instead on different types of "free-form" exercise (like bodyweight movements and free weight exercises). That being said, I really don't know how the Ab Circle Pro and its repetitive movements feel to someone using the thing on a regular basis. Shoot, maybe it really is like a "treadmill for the abs" and feels great when you're on the thing!

Here's what I do know: all ab machines, and 95% of fitness/exercise gadgets for that matter, are designed to leave you wanting more. What I mean by that is that, in reality, those thousands of late-night infomercial fitness and weight loss products aren't really designed to be super-effective. If any one of them was actually that great and helped the average person lose weight, get toned, build muscle, get six pack abs, etc. then people wouldn't need to buy anything else. Then the companies that make these products would stop making money and cease to exist. The goal is always to offer a relatively inexpensive, easy-to-use product that provides -- or at least has the potential to provide -- some sort of tangible fitness benefit, but is easy to get bored/frustrated with quickly and slide under the bed, out of site, so that it's easy to forget you never really used it and really wasted your money.... :-)

Anyway.... I felt bad that I wasn't able to help my friend with a real review or even a simple rating of the Ab Circle Pro. If you've used this "circle ab machine" and want to help us out, please leave your reviews, ratings, testimonials, comments, opinions, etc. in the area below. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

it 100% works! im so happy i bought it! i lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks and i have a four pac right now. it is wrth all of the mony and is a great ab workout.

one con is that it hurtsyour knees so i just put a cloth on my knees while on the machine

Melissa Anderson said...

I got the ab circle 2 yesterday and ive used it a few times the past 2 days.. Ill have to go purchase something, like a yoga mat , so it will not slip wheilr iam using it. I like this machine BUT the only thing is my knees are so sore from using it. You guys should really include something for your knees. There brusied already, and i dont want to get discourgaed from using it, besause my knees hurt. All and all its great :)

Rachel B said...

my ab circle pro is great. i guess i got one of the good ones! i use it almost every day for about 5 minutes at a time. i think maybe people are using theirs in the wrong way and that's why they're having problems. i give my ab circle 4 stars out of 5... only because the knee pads DO hurt your knees a lot!

Pilar said...

i got an ab circle pro for christmas and have been using it almost every day. i REALLY want to lose about 10 pounds by the end of february. the first few times i use the ab circle my abdominal muscle were really sore but now it's not so bad. the machine is definitely a good way to get strong abs but i'm not so sure about the cardio benefits of it yet. has anyone successfully used it for burning fat (especially that tummy fat)? i would love to hear opinions on that aspect. thanks.