Body-Solid Powerline PAB21X Ab Bench Reviewed

Body-Solid is a name that many people who are dedicated to fitness have come to know and love. I have recently reviewed a few different products from this brand, like the Body-Solid Power Rack, so this time I took the liberty to review something different from this company: the PowerLine PAB21X Ab Bench. 

Many people are looking for ways to improve their abdominal muscles. Whether you want washboard abs or just a stronger core in general, the PAB21X can help you get there. You'll quickly find that this piece of equipment is not just for crunches, but for a total abdominal workout.

So let’s take a closer look at the PowerLine PAB21X Ab Bench to find out if it's right for you.

Product Specifications

Assembled Dimensions (L*W*H)

40" x 18" x 38"

Weight Capacity

400 lbs

Back Positions

Infinitely Adjustable

Seat Positions

N/A

Product Weight

31 lbs

Warranty

10-year frame, 1-year parts

Main Features Of The PAB21X

Body-Solid's PowerLine series of products is well known in the fitness industry, and the PAB21X is a great example of what the brand is capable of. So what can you expect from the PowerLine Ab Bench?

First of all, you can expect a frame that is sturdy and solid, made from alloy steel and put together with durable components. Although it's solid, the ab bench weighs just 31 pounds, so it's easy to move around the house or into storage. It's rated to handle a maximum weight of 400 pounds, which is plenty for most people.

Another noteworthy feature is the PAB21X's versatility; this unique ab bench provides a full range of abdominal resistance for core training, and the adjustable curved back design delivers a more intense abdominal contraction than other machines are capable of. The design allows for a full range of motion that starts at 30 degrees back of center to 30 degrees forward of center. 

The included ball bearing pulley allows for a wide range of movement to target each core muscle group, including the hard-to-reach obliques. The machine is compatible with both Olympic and standard-sized weight plates for resistance, which you'll need to purchase separately.

The company includes a 10-year warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty on all other parts and components.

Package & Assembly

The PAB21X is packed in one box with all of the components tightly packed and well-protected. As far as I can tell, nothing was able to move around while shipping, which is generally the main reason for damage upon arrival.

The assembly was very easy and it took me less than 30 minutes. If you are small you might need an extra pair of hands hands to help out, but I found it easy enough to assemble on my own.

One downside was that the bolts were not marked properly, so it took me a few minutes to figure out the proper placement. Also, I suggest being extra careful with the pulley system to prevent it from curling or twisting while you assemble the machine.

Price Guide (Value For Money)

In terms of cost, the PAB21X is fairly priced based on what you get and what you can do with this machine. If you're looking for ways to strengthen the abs, then it's definitely worth what you'll pay in my opinion.

Feature Summary:
  • Designed to provide a range of abdominal resistance exercises
  • Curved back pad to provide the maximum-intense ab contraction
  • Sturdy 3” x 4” welded frame
  • Supports Olympic and standard weight plates
  • Ball-bearing pulley designed to provide complete movement for each core muscle group
  • Machine weight: 31 lbs
  • Weight support: 400 lbs
  • Dimensions: 40"L x 18"W x 38"H
  • 10-year frame warranty, 1-year parts warranty
PowerLine PAB21X

My Experience Using This Ab Bench

People are often skeptical when it comes to ab machines because they feel that they can get a decent ab workout with crunches alone. While crunches provide a great workout with no equipment required, the full spectrum of abdominal muscles cannot be trained with just crunches. And that is where the PAB21X comes into play.

First of all, the frame itself is not heavy, but it’s quite sturdy, even for a larger individual. I have no trouble believing that this machine can indeed support 400 pounds.

After trying it out, I was surprised that despite the fact that the back pad appears to be firm, it is actually very comfortable on the backside. I found that it's easily adjustable and slides smoothly up and down the frame by easing the thumbscrew.

The one thing that immediately caught to my attention was the back pad’s size as well as the gap between the back and seat pad. I’m 5’10" and while I was comfortable, I do think that an overly tall or short person might experience issues with sitting properly do to the small size of the pad and large-ish size of the gap. But like I said, I had no issues.

When trying out the pulley system, I was quite surprised to find how strong it was and how smoothly it rolls, so no extra grease is needed for smooth movement. I’ve used 80 pounds of total weight in standard plates and experienced no issues (except for a challenging ab workout, of course). 


Pros & Cons Of The PAB21X

As with every item in the fitness industry, even the PowerLine PAB21X has a few cons in addition to the pros: 

The Good 

  • Sturdy frame and straps
  • Comfortable and firm back pad
  • Strong pulley with smooth rolling
  • Long frame warranty (10 years)
  • Compatible with both Olympic and standard weight plates
  • Great price

The Bad

  • Back pad is not very long, so people taller than 6'2" might have some issues
  • Sitting gap might not be comfortable for people smaller than 5'3"

Conclusion - Who Can Benefit From The PAB21X?

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In short, this is one effective piece of equipment if you are up for some challenging abdominal core exercises.

The PowerLine PAB21X is compact, sturdy, comfy, easy to use, and best of all, it's an affordable solution for getting washboard abs. While I would not recommend it for people taller than 6'2" or smaller than 5'3", I would recommend it in general.