Ab Circle Pro or Body by Jake? A $10 Alternative That is More Effective!

October 13, 2009

Ab Circle Pro sells for $199, Body by Jake Ab Scissor Ultra sells for $159, and the basic “old school” Ab Wheel sells for $10. The ironic thing is that cheap little ab wheels are more effective than either of these over priced, yet wildly popular, ab machines. The crazy thing is according to the merchant, over 700,000 Body By Jake Ab Scissors have been sold to date. Who knows how many Ab Circle Pro units have been sold, but it has to be a ton judging by all the recent infomercials on TV late at night or early in the morning.

body by jake ab circle pro

[Getting flat abs or a a six pack is mainly about diet. The Ab Circle Pro advertises that you do “Cardio & Abs at the Same Time”. Technically they aren’t lying, except that the type of cardio performed will do very little if anything to make a difference.]

I Wish I Had Those Advertisers on My Side (Not Really)

Advertisers are getting better and better. I was shocked at how many Thighmaster units have been sold worldwide. I have read as many as 10 million have been sold since 1988. I don’t want to necessarily slam these companies for trying to make money, but are they really offering good value for the money? It isn’t that I’m against expensive pieces of equipment. When I eventually setup a home gym, I will drop a $1,000+ just for an Olympic Bar, adjustable bench, and a power rack…but it will more than payoff over time.

Read This Before Buying Any of These Ab Devices

I am guessing that many people will find this post while researching the “Body by Jake Ab Scissor Ultra” or “Ab Circle Pro” in Google. Anyway, most of the reviews you see in Google towards the top of the page are from affiliates promoting this product…making money when you purchase the product. I have nothing against making an honest buck online, but in this case, I wanted to save you some hard-earned money.

[Don’t think for a second that these professional fitness models got their defined bodies from these devices. To be honest I think the main spokeswoman’s abs are too defined anyway! I realize that she works hard, but I doubt most women want a mid-section like that.]

You Won’t Lose Weight Using These Devices

The infomercial you just watched was done by professionals…they know how to push emotional triggers in a way that makes you want to buy regardless of price. The bottom line is that these devices will work your abs a bit, but do very little in the way of helping you lose weight.

Where the “Ab Circle Pro” Results Come From

This disclaimer on the testimonial page says it all…”The complete Ab Circle Pro system includes a reduced calorie diet and regular aerobic exercises…Participants ate a reduced calorie diet and did the Ab Circle Pro workout regularly.” So in addition to the ab workout (which was suppose to be cardio at the same time as the ab workout)…the participants did extra cardio. They also reduced their calories. The diet is the real reason behind the fat loss and the cardio helped a bit as well. The Ab Circle Pro played a very marginal role in the results you see on TV as well as the website.

$10 Ab Wheels Will Do A Better Job Tightening the Mid-Section

At almost any sporting good store or places like Sears or Target, you can find Ab Wheels. They range from $8-$100. Don’t go for the expensive ones…I have had a cheap little plastic ab wheel for close to 10 years and it has served me well. The key with this simple piece of equipment is that your mid-section is doing all of the work, not the device. It doesn’t really need to be more complex than this. No need to spend any more than $10-$15 max.

ab wheel

[The cheap little ab wheel I have looks almost exactly like this.]

What About Those Fancy Instructional Videos?

Well, thank goodness for Youtube! You can head over there right now and see several examples of good ab wheel workouts. This gentleman does a good job of explaining form. The main point is to make sure you don’t hyper-extend your back. I don’t like to crunch my abs hard at the top, but I do insure that my back doesn’t arch and that my abs are supporting the resistance, not my spine.

[You will see people doing these from their feet…I feel it is safer and just as effective to stay on your knees. It looks cool to go from your feet, but in my opinion you are asking for a back injury.]

I Use the Ab Roller As A Way of Doing an “Advanced Plank”

In case you don’t know what a plank is, here is a post I did explaining planks and an ab workout I have done for quite a few years: 7 Minute Abs? 8 Minute Abs? What About 6 Minute Abs? In fact…If you are a beginner, I would recommend doing this routine for a month before adding in the ab wheel. What I like to do with the ab wheel is roll it forward a foot and hold that position for 30 seconds then another foot or so and hold that position for 30 seconds and just a bit further and hold that position for as long as comfortable. I like to use it for tough static holds to generate serious tension in the abs. I do this maybe 1-2 times per week at home in addition to my plank workout.

No Need to Get Fancy to Lose a Bunch of Body Fat

Honestly…I know that this won’t sound as fun as those late night infomercials, but simply eat less. To find out exact eating strategies, you can go to blogs like this one and get a ton of useful info. Find 4-5 good sites and set aside a few hours instead of watching TV and you can learn a ton of strategies that work. Again…if you are dead set on getting the “Ab Circle Pro” or “Body by Jake Ab Scissor Ultra”, you will still have to insure your diet is right. If I can’t save you from spending $199…at least let me help you with your diet!

[Be careful when dealing with advertising! Here is a video of a fitness model who was a spokesman of Hydroxycut, admitting to using steroids to achieve his look…not Hydroxycut. I think his physique looks way too big and unnatural anyway…but I respect him for telling the truth. He was fired as a spokesperson almost immediately after stating this fact.]

Note: What do you guys think about me calling these companies out? Too critical? I don’t like messing with someone’s way of generating income, but I also don’t like seeing people spend money when there is much cheaper and superior alternatives.

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!

Thanks for reading all these years!


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

admin October 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm


I do have Stuart’s massive book…”Low Back Disorders”. It is one of the reasons I avoid crunches sit-ups etc. Good point.


I just think of alcohol in terms of calories. Obviously, I wouldn’t endorse drinking a lot and drinking to get drunk…but I am a realist too. I stayed out late and drank a decent amount on the weekends a regular basis from the age of 19 to about 27 (like many people do in that age group). I stayed lean by eating less calories during the week.


Yeah…people are always looking for an easy fix. Advertisers play on this desire.


Thanks. I do try my best to help people without wasting their money.


I did watch some of it. I may watch the full thing at another point.


You are getting amazing results. I always love to hear that! You can eat a high GI carb after the fast and still be fine. The main thing is to keep the meal at a medium calorie level if you are following Eat Stop Eat. The amount of calories matter more than the type of calorie in this instance. On the days you aren’t fasting and eating multiple meals, then try your best to keep insulin at stable levels for best results….bottom line, just eat paleo about 1/2 to 1/3 of the time and you will be fine.


I am going to ask you do a guest post on my site soon…long overdue, since Conditioning Research is one of my favorite fitness blogs.

Scott N,

I think P90X probably works well for people who want a plug-and-play solution to losing body fat. It is hard work like anything else. I don’t think it is necessary, but I also don’t think it is too bad.


I have no clue why people would want big rounded muscles that droop because of the mass. I’m glad you are avoiding that look now. You will age much better with at a natural size, with low body fat.


I miss those cheesy commercials. His toupee is bad!


You can use a stability ball as a way to make planks tough. Craig Ballantyne has a few good ab routines on youtube.


I am hoping this article gets ranked high in Google for the term Ab Circle Pro, just so I can give people a better alternative.


I love that video. I have seen it before…but very inspiring.


Yeah…a good balance of eating less and the right amount of intense exercise gets the job done. I need to head over to your site…it has been a while. I am hoping to see some pics of Florida, since we are in rainy season in Seattle now.


I haven’t tried the one you attach to your feet. I should give that a shot to mix things up…looks pretty effective.


Talking about proper nutrition never sells the product, but is the reason behind the majority of the results. Those advertisers are great at what they do.


Great points you made to your housemate. So many people don’t understand what it takes to get abs. You summarized it perfectly.


Yeah…it is all about eating “as if” you didn’t exercise to really make that exercise help to burn fat. Sometimes easier said than done.


That is a creative solution to use in place of the ab wheel. I have never heard of that before.


I have seen a lot of videos of people making their own…I actually think it is easier to just go out and buy them for the cheap $10-$15 range.


Thanks for the compliment. My main goal is to let people know they can stay lean year-round without being obsessed with fitness. They also don’t have to lose their sense of style. Some people feel they have to turn into gym rats to get fit…so wrong!


I remember playing around with one of these when I was little as well. Kids make toys out of anything…but since it has a wheel it is twice as fun!

Donkey Lips,

Yeah…I certainly don’t make the money these guys make, but I do feel good about helping people. This site is very rewarding for me. Have you ever seen “Pump up the Volume” with Christian Slater. I kind of feel like that. Just a small voice broadcasting info to people who want to listen (except that I’m happy, don’t smoke, etc)


I get a lot of traffic for a blog, but just a minute fraction of exposure of what these guys get. I will try my best to reach more and more people over time.


Thanks for re-tweeting this post. I really appreciate it. These ab machine commercials will become less and less effective as the internet becomes more social. Gotta love it.


I am now doing Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock’s “Body Weight Blueprint for Fat Loss” which incorporates “Prasara Yoga” along with body weight intervals. It is a more aggressive form of Yoga and it works very well. I was a big-time skeptic of Yoga until I began doing this type of Yoga. Overall I don’t think yoga on its own is the way to go. I think some type of yoga mixed in with more intense workouts will give better results. The type of yoga I am doing is quickly giving me better range of motion in my joints which is a great benefit.


Good point…I do see a lot of these type of devices being sold at garage sales.


I am glad that you are brave enough to go against the grain and give a different view point. Maybe there is a place for people who haven’t trained for a long time to get some benefit out of these devices. I guess my biggest complaint is that the models they show wouldn’t get abs like that from these devices…these exercises just aren’t challenging enough.


You can certainly do both. Sounds like a decent strategy to me.


I am jealous of your site design. That is a sharp looking blog (and I look over 100+ per week). I will bookmark and head on over in a couple of days…running out of time today.


Wow…bodybuilding.com was raided! Crazy. That is a mega-company. I will have to read up on this.


I had a friend who got P90X…it looked pretty good to me. I can imagine that people could get great results if they followed the program…it actually looks pretty rough! There are a lot of ways to get fit and P90X looks solid. Hopefully people who use that program can get even better results by implementing a few tips I talk about on this site.


abril October 27, 2009 at 2:20 pm

The only really good personal trainer who didn’t try to sell me crappy supplements and protein drinks after each workout, told me to use an ab wheel. I train on my own now after not being able to find a PT like him, but I sometimesuse the playground swing for a good ab exercise where the movment is sortof like an ab wheel. And it’s free.

shaun judy November 19, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Great post rusty..These videos are awesome! The ab roller wheel is great I use it in conjunction with Insanity/P90X.

Aaron Curl February 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

The truth is, yo yo dieters and new years gym attendees need these products. Or, better yet, the companies target these people! The general population want a super easy “system” that will do all the work for them. So sad! If it were so easy to have great abs then why is America so overweight and obese?

Emily March 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I am 17 and I’m 5’7 and weigh 131 lbs I am not fat or anything but I saw the infomercial for the ab circle pro, and I was definitely considering buying one, not to lose weight but just to tone up what I have and I have to say with being a high school student with many extra curricular activities going on, the whole “three minutes a day” sounded amazing, but what sounds “too good to be true” typically is indeed, to good to be true, but luckily I decided to do my research, and look at the reviews for this machine and others like it. I had been to a few sites before this one and everyone seems to have the same opinion as you as far as you, concerning this machine. As far as I’m concerned, of course you were not too harsh, or even harsh at all. I could be wrong but I think you posted this to inform and to help people from getting ripped off. And you helped me from wasting my money on a machine that doesn’t provide results. And I’m sure I’m not the only person you have helped but even with helping one, well I say that’s something to be proud of. These advertisers are just trying to get rich quick and they don’t care if their product actually works all that matters to them is the profit they make. So I wanted to take the time to say thank you and assure you that you definitely did the right thing by posting this. Again thank you Rusty. 🙂

Jason April 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Yo, P90X is awesome.

I am totally a fan of the at home gym.

Sick blog post, thanks!

bobsmith0227 April 14, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Best program I have ever found was right here http://get-ripped-abs-here.blogspot.com/ incredible stuff!

Mark - Look Sharp Fitness April 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

This post is golden Rusty! I have a couple of friends who had the Ab Circle Pro a few years back and I showed this article to them just to rub it in their face 🙂

I have been thinking about getting an ab roller for quite some time now and this post made me go out today and buy one. Can’t wait to try it out!

Ron May 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I dated a girl who bought an ab glide. The first time she used it, she went “whish to the left, whish to the right, whish to the left, whish right into the table next to her and got a nice bruise and slight sprain on her knee. Next day it was returned, never to be seen again!

keep fit October 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

The disclaimer says it all – all the data that follows is meaningless.

Niko - noexcusefitness November 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I noticed this post is a couple of years old. What’s making me laugh as I am surfing the interweb, with my laptop and I can see there is an ab circle pro tv advertisment on right now, lol….When will people learn?

Trevor June 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I love the ab wheel it works awesome and it’s only 1 payment of $9.99!. I still find it hilarious when I go shopping at a place like Costco and I see a couple trying out some machine you stand on and it vibrates to melt off the pounds…. And it’s $2,000 dollars..

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