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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
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must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
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MedX Lumbar?
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cmg

I am looking into finding a place around here (Chicagoland area) that has a MedX lumbar machine. If I am looking to work that area - do I need to use the medical MedX lumbar or is the commercial one good enough?

Would the recommended frequency be once a week or once every 2 weeks?

Also, I have read that this is the ONLY machine that can exercise these important muscles. That seems a little hard to believe. How about the hyperexension bench. The hips seem to be restrained and so do the legs.

Has anyone with a bad lower back used this machine on this site? If so did it help and how long did it take?

Thank you,

Ron
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

I've used this technology for a decade, and I guarantee that people who have done deadlifts, hypers, and other back machines are shocked when their strength is tested on the medical version. Very strong in one position and relatively weak (even below average is not unusual) in other positions.

The hyper does NOT restrain the hips. The hips rotate as you move upward as the lumbar muscles more only partway through a permissible 72-degrees. The only beneficial aspect is the top third of the movement at best, and then you don't get any benefit or very little benefit through the remainder of the movement. Granted, it is far better than nothing.

The 'gym' version of the MedX Lumbar is just fine for exercise, but if you want to do testing, to determine weaknesses, response to exercise, etc. (to fine-tune the Rx better), the medical version is the way to go. However, there are ways of working around this to some degree, with a force gauge (check the MedX Lumbar review in the 'product reviews' section by clicking on Fitness Articles & Reports at ExerciseCertification.com).

Frequency, at first, depends on how bad the person's back is, how weak the person is, and how hard the person can train. Twice a week for a month or so may be apropos in really bad cases (e.g., motor vehicle accident), but eventually once a week is more than sufficient. If training hard enough, within 12-16 weeks once every 2 weeks works best... this is determined when a person is unable to improve after that approx. time and a reduction to once every two weeks produces further results (the MedX spinal equipment is highly specific and targeted, which is the reason for reduced frequency).

Once optimum strength is achieved on the machine, many people can sustain ability by doing it every 2-4 weeks, with the rate of frequency dependant on fatigue responses (slow twitch vs. fast twich).

Also, once I get people to a maximum or near-maximum load for about 60 seconds TUT, I direct them to JReps (zone-training.net), which utilizes less load, but the effects are more pronounced (super lumbar pump and fatigue with less sense of strain on the vertebrae).

This technology has corrected my low back issues, as well as my clientele (mostly rehab people); the same individuals who received no or little effect with other back machines lacking the leg and hip restraints of MedX, or by way of other traditional means (home exercises, hyper-extension benches, etc.).

What I find very beneficial is to alternate the MedX Lumbar with the MedX Rotary Torso (which also has a hip and thigh restraint mechanism). They seem to complement each other very well in how they stimulate and improve function of the spine.
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humrepair

Florida, USA

Ron,
My two cents...I have been living with back pain for 30 years.I have never had any benefit from any exercises until I used the computerized MedX medical lumbar machine.While the fitness version of the MedX lumbar is better than anything else out there, initially you should use the medical machine.
You'll want to get your doctor's prescription for this so the physical therapists can work with you and because the machines are very expensive and the facilites charge a lot to use them.I believe the first medical machines cost a 100 grand and that they are now 55 grand.Somebody down here in West Palm listed one on ebay used for 35 grand last week.
Initially I used the machine twice a week.When you get to your desired strength I have been told that using the machine once a month is enough for maintenance.I personally cut back to once a week when I had access to the fitness version.
When I first got measured on the computerized lumbar machine I was shocked at how weak my lower back muscles were.I in no way resemble a bodybuilder but even at 57 y.o. some of my muscles are strong enough to perform the MedX stack on some machines.Not with the lumbar machine.
Back pain is a very individualized problem and in my case what I found was that I had no episodes of back spasms at all in the period I was using the lumbar machine.My pain was not gone forever but in your case the MedX lumbar machine may cure your problem.Hope this helps.
Neil
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cmg

Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your help. They medical one seems to be too far for me to get to. I am very busy and don't have anytime to spare - even for health. However there is a health club approx. 2 miles from me that has the commercial machine. I may join and see how it goes.

Best regards,

Ron
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Keep the ROM limited to about half at first (from mid-point to extension). People with low back problems seem to do that half OK. Then after a month or two, increase the ROM slow to a more forward position. At that time you will need to reduce the load slightly, since it is hard to move 100 pounds through 15 inches of ROM than it is through 12 inches, for example.

Eventually you may discover that a full 72-degrees is too much... it irritates the low back. I find this with myself and with a few clients. I'd rather play it save and limit the ROM to 60-degrees. Thin and very flexible individuals seem to use the full ROM no problem.

Once you work up to your max weight for max TUT (e.g., 250 pounds for 60 seconds), cut the weight back 25% and start doing it in zones. What an incredible difference in feel, pump, and even development of the spinal erectors. Good luck.
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humrepair

Florida, USA

I've used both the computerized and fitness version of the MedX lumbar and never felt a pump after working out my back.I did feel some pain and muscle fatigue especially with the medical machine but that was when my back was weakest.Perhaps the pump effect is due to your zone training.

My advice in using the fitness lumbar would be to start out with low weight and slow repetitions and build up gradually.Of course this is my thought with any injured body parts.
Neil
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Yes, with zones. The pump is incredible. It really hits about 30 seconds after the set... you can feel the lumbars all the way up... bloated and rigid. Far less strain on the tissues and low back than traditional full ROM reps. This is how I train rehab, after 2-3 sessions of getting used to the machine, and then plying zones to areas of the ROM that are not sensitive.
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cmg

logicbdj wrote:
Keep the ROM limited to about half at first (from mid-point to extension). People with low back problems seem to do that half OK. Then after a month or two, increase the ROM slow to a more forward position. At that time you will need to reduce the load slightly, since it is hard to move 100 pounds through 15 inches of ROM than it is through 12 inches, for example.

Eventually you may discover that a full 72-degrees is too much... it irritates the low back. I find this with myself and with a few clients. I'd rather play it save and limit the ROM to 60-degrees. Thin and very flexible individuals seem to use the full ROM no problem.

Once you work up to your max weight for max TUT (e.g., 250 pounds for 60 seconds), cut the weight back 25% and start doing it in zones. What an incredible difference in feel, pump, and even development of the spinal erectors. Good luck.


Thank you Brian - I appreciate the helpful tips.

Ron
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cmg

logicbdj wrote:
Yes, with zones. The pump is incredible. It really hits about 30 seconds after the set... you can feel the lumbars all the way up... bloated and rigid. Far less strain on the tissues and low back than traditional full ROM reps. This is how I train rehab, after 2-3 sessions of getting used to the machine, and then plying zones to areas of the ROM that are not sensitive.


Though you do this on all exercises - correct? - zones?

Thanks,

Ron
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Fleischman

Alaska, USA

cmg wrote:
Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your help. They medical one seems to be too far for me to get to. I am very busy and don't have anytime to spare - even for health. However there is a health club approx. 2 miles from me that has the commercial machine. I may join and see how it goes.

Best regards,

Ron

cmg,
What has worked for your lower back issues, ever since you posted this in 2007? Thanks.
F
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cmg

Fleischman wrote:
cmg wrote:
Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your help. They medical one seems to be too far for me to get to. I am very busy and don't have anytime to spare - even for health. However there is a health club approx. 2 miles from me that has the commercial machine. I may join and see how it goes.

Best regards,

Ron
cmg,
What has worked for your lower back issues, ever since you posted this in 2007? Thanks.
F


Wow Fleischman -

You really found an old one... I found that my lower back got worse doing the Medex machine. I was always in pain. I even tried a book a friend used written by Lance Armstrong. It was exercises on how to strengthen the back. My friend swore by it. After trying that for 2 weeks I was taking 4 Advil 3x's a day.

I finally stopped low back exercise and went to a physical Therapist and found that my back muscles were so that I could not round my back. I had to do various exercises to loosen the low back exercises and strengthen the abdominals. My back has been SO much better since. I did do some deadlifts about 3 days ago that did strain it slightly and playing a bit of golf but again - so much better than what it was. I typically now squat for legs (since Covid no leg press in a gym).
So - I believe my low back is plenty strong - the issue is my abdominals didn't keep pace...

Best regards,
Ron
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HeavyHitter32

cmg wrote:
Fleischman wrote:
cmg wrote:
Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your help. They medical one seems to be too far for me to get to. I am very busy and don't have anytime to spare - even for health. However there is a health club approx. 2 miles from me that has the commercial machine. I may join and see how it goes.

Best regards,

Ron
cmg,
What has worked for your lower back issues, ever since you posted this in 2007? Thanks.
F

Wow Fleischman -

You really found an old one... I found that my lower back got worse doing the Medex machine. I was always in pain. I even tried a book a friend used written by Lance Armstrong. It was exercises on how to strengthen the back. My friend swore by it. After trying that for 2 weeks I was taking 4 Advil 3x's a day.

I finally stopped low back exercise and went to a physical Therapist and found that my back muscles were so that I could not round my back. I had to do various exercises to loosen the low back exercises and strengthen the abdominals. My back has been SO much better since. I did do some deadlifts about 3 days ago that did strain it slightly and playing a bit of golf but again - so much better than what it was. I typically now squat for legs (since Covid no leg press in a gym).
So - I believe my low back is plenty strong - the issue is my abdominals didn't keep pace...

Best regards,
Ron


Yep, it's cliche these days to talk about training the "core" - but proper training for lower back, abs, and glutes really is important especially as we get older.

A good physical therapist can be excellent at identifying these weaknesses too.

I had achy knees some years back, and the PT discovered my hamstrings and glutes were not as strong as my thighs. In addition, my IT band was overly tight. So, I started focusing on moves hitting my glutes and hams more, and focused on some lower back and ab work as well to keep a balanced core. Helped the issue a lot as did a stretching and a muscle roller for the quads and IT band.
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