I received an e-mail asking me to review Body by Jake Ab Scissors Ultra. I pointed this person to my review of Body by Jake Ab Scissors (To be written as the Original for this review.) but he wanted me to review the Ultra. I assume if one person asks others are curious as well. I hope this helps you make a decision. I will be comparing the two machines so you can make an informed decision.
The Ultra retails for around $315. The Original will run you around $250. They both have the same design. The Ultra is an upright machine. Unlike others I have reviewed that have you lying down Jakes two machines have you sitting up. I have used all types of machines. The lying down position is just as effective as the sitting up position. Your choice of machines, props or tools will depend on what you feel you will be comfortable on.
General Information on Body by Jake Ab Scissor Ultra:
The Ab Scissor Ultra is similar to the Ab Lounge because you are doing what the Ab Lounge calls a jackknife movement. It is also called and I prefer to call the movement a reverse double crunch. For clarification a crunch is a type of exercise that can be done in many different ways and is a terrific way to tighten your abs. Cardio vascular work, however, is the best way to get the fat off around your abdominal muscles.
Both the Ultra and the Original are very easy to use. There are no attachments. The only pin involves the seat. I never had to lift a 45 pound plate to put on the machine.
If you sit on the Ultra and move forward your legs will rise to a 45 degree angle. Hopefully this will happen because if it does then you are doing the crunch correctly! When I wrote my review of The Ab Scissor I commented that it is one of the most effective machines I have used.
Between using that machine and using the Ultra I discovered ProForm Ab Core Master which I gave five stars.
The Ultra is designed to tone and tighten the upper abs and to firm and flatten your lower abs. Since there is the ability to move from side to side you can work your oblique muscles as well. (The muscles on your sides.) We are told that in just four minutes a day youll see a difference. I usually really dislike claims like that but if ab work is done effectively it really doesnt take long each day to get a good workout. In class we spend about five minutes a day on our abdominal areas. With the instructor and good form it is amazing what can happen. Jake suggests doing three movements in four steps. The first one is a crunch to the front. The second one works the side of your body the oblique muscles. Then he wants us to the other side. The fourth step is back to regular crunches
Both machines weigh the same at 43 pounds. The sizes are also the same. The Ultra is about 50 inches long, 23 inches wide and 54 1/2 inches high. It has rollers so it can be moved if you want to store it. (Storing exercise equipment is not recommended by me unless you have to have the room because you wont use it if it is in storage.) However if you do want to store it the Ultra folds to 26 1/2 inches. The maximum weight of the user is also the same. It is 275 pounds and can be used by both short and tall people. This is a really big advantage over the Ab Lounge where people have trouble if they are too short or too tall.
Using the Ultra:
The seat on the Ultra is a bit larger than that on the original. When I used this machine it felt stable. It feels exactly like the Ultra. The Ultra is very easy to get on and off of. There is no back to these machines. At first that may feel strange. I do prefer a back. I think it is a safety measure when using abdominal machines. I raise my arms to grab the curved handles. The Ultra has fancier handles. They are chrome with chrome trim and comfortable to hold.
Once on the machine I move forward. As I do so my legs go up in what I previously described as a jackknife or what I call a double reverse crunch. It is really important as is true in all crunch moves to make sure your abs are doing the work and not your arms. Your arms guide the handles down while your abs actually move you down. Keep them tight the entire time.
The resistance is "different." I knew how to use it on the Ultra since I learned on the Original. There are five resistance levels. When I first saw the easy to pull out knob and five holes I assumed that in some way the machine was adding weight. That is not the case. The Ab Scissor which makes me double crunch of using the term Jake uses Scissor Action is based on what is called a Gravitational Linkage System.
The concept is simple and complex at the same time. What happens is that my own body weight determines the actual level of resistance. Ill give you an example. If I want the resistance to be easy, for beginners, the knob is in the first hole, essentially level 1. If at that moment I weigh 130 pounds the machine uses that weight for the ab movement. If I move it to 2, the machine adjusts based on my weight to make it a bit more difficult all the way up to level 5. When using the Ab Scissor I found level 5 challenging but not impossible so for me there is room to increase. If someone who weighs 200 pounds gets on the machine adjusts according to that weight. Beginner level would be at 1 or 2; intermediate would be 3 or 4; and advanced would be 4 or 5. Ive been doing ab work for so long that I was able to use the highest resistance. I dont believe in using resistance every day so those of you who are very fit can still use this in my opinion. First you arent using level 5 every day and second your core area is what is working. The tighter you make it the harder the crunch will be. Resistance is an added bonus a couple of times a week.
Moving the seat so I can work my obliques is easy as well. The seat doesnt move on its own nor do I just move my body to the side. There is a pin under the seat. I pull the pin and turn the seat to the right or left. I then release the pin and the seat locks into place. It was very easy. This machine is very easy even if it sounds complicated. Dont worry. You will learn how to use it in about 30 seconds though it will take a bit longer to put it together. You wont need a day so dont worry about that. It should only take a couple of hours at the most.
Jos final thoughts:
So other than a larger seat and fancier handles are there differences in the two machines? I put the retail price at the top ($315) however while searching I found the Ultra for a price that is really close to the Original. ($250)
Although the Ultra is advertised as coming with a revolutionary video called Cut the Fat Program which includes a step by step approach to meal planning along with a Cut the Fat Log to track your progress so does the original. They also mislead the consumer by making it seem that a timer you will get if you buy it right now is novel. It comes with the Original as well.
My bottom line: If you like this machine and I do, buy whichever one you can get for the least amount of money.
Please talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program, if you are a man over 40 or a woman over 50.
Feel free to leave me a question or comment.
Thanks for reading. All my fitness equipment reviews can be found here.
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