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Thoughts on First Gen AB-1?

Dr. Darden or anyone else with experience,

Upon reading The Complete Book of Nautilus Training by Michael D. Wolf, Ph.D., the description for the Nautilus AB-1 (Clamshell crunch machine) is less than flattering. The book goes on to state that the handgrips, narrow seat pad, and full range of motion make the machine less than ideal for training abdominals. Thus, I was curious if anyone has a more favorable opinion of the first gen AB-1. Thank you.

Hi sgtncasello,

What does the AB-1 look like? I train at a Nautilus facility where they have a machine that fits the description. On second thought, most likely a newer version. Can you provide a pic?

I have an early Nautilus ab clam machine. For years I dreamed of having this machine and went to a lot of trouble to get one. I have unfortunately found I can get as good or better ab workout just lying on the floor and doing some crunches. I’ve tried moving the seat in multiple positions, put in pads on the seat etc and at best it gives a mediocre ab workout. If I hadn’t spent so much time and effort getting and fitting this machine in he space it now sits I’d get rid of it. The same goes for several other nautilus machines crammed into my workout space.

I own a 1st Gen Ab machine and I like it a lot. Even though I often thought about finding a way to customise it for achieving a better range of motion. Especially to start the exercise from a slightly more stretched position.
The handles on the machine are quite narrow if you’re big but I have seen videos of Gary strydom and Berry de may using it in golds in the late 80‘s. So it’s possible to train on it even with bigger size.
The movement and resistance really feels great and i really enjoy going to failure on this machine with controlled reps.

I did forget to mention that I have found that some first gen Nautilus machines seem to be made with big guys like 6’4 “ Dick Butkus in mind , not shorter guys 5’7” like me. My plate loading pullover, double chest, double shoulder to name a few were in my opinion made with bigger framed guys in mind. They might work great for you?

I always liked the first Nautilus Abdominal machine.

I once used a Nautilus Ab machine with blue pads. Not sure what gen, but I liked it.