Pros: the warranty, declining bench, comfortable, can get a good price
Cons: stand alone machine
I am one to say that you can work your abs effectively on the floor if you do a proper crunch. However, having a machine such as the Body-Solid GAB300 Semi-Recumbent Ab Bench is really nice if you can afford a stand-alone piece of equipment. The price of this varies enormously so look around!
A couple of benefits to the GAB300 are that if you cannot get on the floor for physical reasons (or whatever reasons), then using this is like sitting on a chair in terms of its height.
There is no doubt that a great bench like this will put you in the perfectly correct position to do a crunch. Remember that 1,000 crunches a day are not going to give you a six-pack if you are eating unhealthfully. Don't go out and buy this because you think otherwise.There is also the advantage that using a machine like the Body-Solid GAB300 helps to isolate your core muscles and by doing that will make your back stronger.
The GAB300 is rated for light commercial use and home use. If you use it in your home, you will get a lifetime warranty. They don't get much better than that although let's face it there are no cables that will be breaking.
It measures 52 inches high by 69 inches long by 34 inches wide.
The maximum user weight is 350 pounds.
It weighs 102 pounds.
This does not come with weights although you can add them as needed.
Using the GAB300 Ab Machine
I have been on countless ab machines. As I said earlier this is like a chair, for example, I have used an ab machine that I felt like I was climbing on. In addition since some machines have a pad in front of you and I get the feeling of having to squeeze in. I like that the 300 doesn't have any apparatus in front of my abs because I could sit down comfortably. The negative to that is I find that apparatus on gym machines confining thus protective of my back. The Body-Solid 300 doesn't have this. If you feel this movement in your back try to hold your abdominals in even more. Your core area should be as tight as possible when doing any ab work.
I found the padded seat, back, and head rest very comfortable. There is a space between the back and the seat which some might find uncomfortable. Most benches you'll buy for your home have some space so I am used to it. I don't think it to be a problem.
The handles have foam and are comfortable to hold as well - no gloves necessary. The seat adjusts to three positions, which should be fine unless you are very short or very tall. I am 5' 4" tall and always set my machines so the seat is at the highest level. This was true for the GAB300 as well.
I like that the seat angles. I can set it at 45 degrees but then there are two more adjustments so I can decline it a total of 55 degrees. This makes accessing my ab muscles a bit different than other machines.
I adjusted the upper ab arm and the lower leg support and put my feet on the foot supports. Foam rollers kept my feet in place. From here holding the machine's arms I pull down on it and crunch! It is a simple to operate machine. I can do double crunches (jackknives) or turn my legs to the side hitting my obliques.
Jo's Final Thoughts
You can get the Body-Solid GAB 300 at some great prices especially at the large discount stores like Sam's Club. There are a variety of benches made by Body-Solid. Let me know if you want any other machine reviewed. I have access to the line. Although the title doesn't say it this is once again the GAB300.
I like this machine. Obviously you need the space for a stand-alone ab machine but if you have it and want one, this machine will take a lot of abuse and last you a long time.