What Is Ab Coaster Max?
Billed as an alternative to sit-ups, crunches and hanging leg raises, the Ab Coaster Max is a workout machine that focuses on building and strengthening the muscles in your abdominal core.
Specifically, the device promises to help you build a chiseled six-pack quickly, and without any strain on your neck or back in the process. It features an all-steel construction with vinyl covered molded foam pads for comfort during use.
How the Ab Coaster Max Claims to Work
The website states that the secret to the Ab Coaster’s effectiveness lies in its uniquely smooth bottom-up motion, which it claims works your lower, middle and upper core on the way up, then again in reverse order on the way down. This “constant core contraction” is supposed to deliver twice the workout in half the time.
Additional weight can be added below the seat if desired, though these are sold separately (and not through the manufacturer). The device tracks your reps at the digital display found near the handlebars at the top of the machine. Roller wheels on the front bar allow you to quickly and easily put it away for storage when not in use.
You also have the option to rotate the seat left and right to work on your oblique’s, and you can even alternate back and forth to get a well-rounded set of reps in, should you choose to. The makers of the Ab Coaster Max state that it is ideal for all fitness levels, saying that the bottom-up motion is easy to do and safe up to 300 pounds.
The question, of course, becomes rather straightforward: Is it really that simple to achieve the body you’re looking for?
Can You Truly Coast Your Way to Great Abs?
On the website, we’re shown several different individuals in before and after photos that seemingly illustrate the transformative power that the Ab Coaster Max can provide, but are these images entirely realistic?
As it turns out, while abdominal exercises are still a key foundational necessity for getting that six-pack chest, new research is showing that what we consume in our diet is actually more important than the workouts we choose to undertake when it comes to revealing muscles that are often trapped under an outer layer of body fat. To hammer home this point, both WebMD and Bodybuilding.com list diet regulation as a crucial step in the process of chiseling your mid-section.
To be fair, the makers of the Ab Coaster state in multiple sections of the website that these results are not typical, and that the testimonial users followed the reduced calorie eating plan included with the product in addition to regular usage.
Ab Coaster Max Pricing & Return Policy
As of this writing, the Ab Coaster Max was available for sale directly through the manufacturer, as well as on online mega-marketplace Amazon.com. Through the former, it’s offered in two options:
- Free 30-day trial: $9.99 + $29.99 P&H (then four equal monthly payments of $49.99)
- One payment of $199.96 + Free P&H
In either case, you’ll also receive a workout instructional DVD, a 14-day express program, and a fast track meal plan that includes several different calorie-cutting recipes.
On Amazon, the Ab Coaster is sold for $199.96, and shipping is free.
The manufacturer offers a 60-day satisfaction guarantee on all orders placed through the website directly, less P&H. You can call customer service at 1-973-287-5180 anytime within this period to make arrangements for your refund, though you’ll be required to pay return shipping.
Through Amazon, you’ll have 30 days to return the product for a refund. This can be initiated on your Amazon.com customer dashboard.
Ab Coaster Max vs. the Competition
Workout machines have been a staple in the As Seen on TV industry for decades now, and as a result, there’s a seemingly endless number of different products out there that claim to be able to give you the rock-solid core you’ve always dreamed of.
In fact, by typing “Ab Coaster” in on Amazon.com, we were able to find several products that were nearly identical from a functionality perspective to the product at hand, including the LOVSHARE, OrangeA and Popsport, to name three examples.
We also noticed that a very similar model called the Ab Coaster CS1500 is available, which seems to include a larger weight capacity at 400 pounds, as well as a reinforced steel construction and small amenities such as adjustable handlebars and vinyl-covered molded foam pads. This particular version seems to be targeted more towards commercial gyms than the in-home application of the Ab Coaster Max, and it was priced at $795 online as of this writing.
So, with this in mind, how are you to choose which option will deliver the best bang for the buck?
In general, we’d recommend using the following as a rough guideline during your search:
Pay attention to customer reviews. Platforms like Amazon are valuable to consumers because they allow a neutral ground for them to post honest reviews about products, recounting both positive and negative aspects of them freely. In the case of Ab Coaster, the product had 60 reviews as of this writing, the vast majority of which were 5-star rated. No other similar product came close to this.
Remember that no product is a magic fix. As we learned earlier on, being fit and having a toned body requires more than just a dedication to exercising regularly. You’ll also need to commit to lowering your caloric intake in order to truly bust fat and see the results you’ve worked so hard for.
Consider what makes a good ab workout machine in the first place. A quality, effective product will work out the full range of your core muscles evenly, allowing you to engage them separately or together as desired. Ideally, it should also provide a unique position that allows for a more effective workout than a standard crunch or sit-up.
Always read the return policy carefully. When purchasing an exercise machine online, stop and realize that without having tested the device yourself, there’s always a chance that you simply won’t enjoy using it, regardless of how effective it is or isn’t. Always be sure you read and understand this policy in full before handing over your credit card information.
Our Verdict: The Ab Coaster Max
At the end of the day, will the Ab Coaster allow you to coast your way to great abs? As we learned above, perhaps, though it can’t do it alone.
The Ab Coaster’s novel design seems as though it might indeed provide a great core workout by engaging your lower, middle and upper abdominal muscles in one smooth, easy motion. It’s also common to hear complaints about the strain that crunches and sit-ups are known for, so the product could certainly provide an attractive alternative for those looking to hone in on their core without doing these basic exercises.
We also found the adjustable chair, digital timer and front rolling wheel to be potentially convenient features that give the product some additional value and versatility.
Having said all of this, we haven’t tested the Ab Coaster out for ourselves, and without doing so, we can’t be certain that it will truly be able to deliver “double the workout in half the time.”
Also, because the machine costs nearly $200 on its own, we can see some budget-minded consumers having a difficult time rationalizing an immediate purchase, especially considering that you can still achieve an effective ab workout for free on the floor in your living room.
Of course, the Ab Coaster may potentially provide a more intuitive, effective, and comfortable experience overall, so it’s difficult to say which would be objectively “better,” as it is likely to vary highly from person to person.
Ultimately, if you feel that the Ab Coaster Max’s unique form factor and motion will fit into your workout plan, you can always give the trial a shot and see how it works for you in practice. Just be prepared to lose out on the initial $29.99 shipping fees, as well as any incurred fees to ship the product back, should you decide it isn’t for you in the end.
1 out 2 people found this review helpful
Poor product and customer service
First of all, I ordered this product online via a trial basis because I have used one similar in the gym and loved it. After receiving it, I was able to put it together easily. It is slim in design, and I loved how I can move it when not in use. However, after using it a few times, this is my review.
The cushion for your legs is a challenge to keep your legs on, especially when turning the seat sideways. They slide right off if you wear workout pants or if you have any moisture or sweat on your legs. No, placing a towel is not an option, it will slide right off.
The range of movement is less than ideal in my opinion. I have a long torso, so being able to fully extend my ab muscles and pull back up into my chest was not happening unless I wanted to pull something in my back.
What I thought was a 60-day RISK-FREE trial was a joke. After calling customer service to return the Ab Coaster, which has not even been 30 days, I was offered a $40.00 credit to keep it, after still explaining the issues I have and I want to return, I was then offered a $60.00 credit to keep the item. I still wanted to return the item because as I have stated, it’s not worth the money, and I am not getting the workout I was hoping for. I was then given a return number and was told I will have to pay for return shipping, which cost more than the actual product. Unfortunately, I ended up choosing the $60.00 credit because it was going to cost me the same amount either way. I was told my final price would be $253.74 minus $60.00 (?).
The item cost: $199.96
Trial offer/shipping and handling: $29.99
I am not sure how I got another $10.00 tacked on to a final price.
I would absolutely NOT recommend this to ANYONE!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend