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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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X-Force, FIBO, and Wow!
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Matt, Sweden

Sweden

Through the years (16 as a trainer and 23 as a trainee) I've seen two prior Swedish attempts to address the issue of proper loading of the muscles in the negative phase of a movement. One was poor and one was utterly useless. The latter was actually so worthless that I thought they were kidding when they showed it on TV. After checking the calender I noticed that it wasn't april 1st, so I guess they were serious :)

The first attempt was made by a company called Agaton Fitness. The design involved hydraulics that lifted 40% of extra weight while the trainee was conducting the positive work. As he or she started the negative work the extra weights were added to the weight stack. Hydraulics are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. Thus the price of the Agaton Fitness Leg Press was somewhere around $ 25 000. Naturally the company went bankrupt within a few years.

The other attempt involved a barbell hanging from two steel wires and an electrical motor. The electrical motor lifted the barbel to the top position of the movement as soon as the trainee had completed the negative phase. The problem was that the lifting process needed 5-10 seconds to complete. Useless.

One of my employers Mats Thulin (he still owns 10 percent of Nautilus in the Nordic countries) has solved the problem in a very sophisticated way. I have a few concerns though:

1) X-Force machines are heavy! The leg press machine weighs in on a whopping 945 kgs (2083 lbs). That's a problem in many (most?) gyms. The floors must be modified to be able to carry the weight.
2) As stated above by Ellington the X-Force machines are 20% larger than corresponding Nautilus Nitro machines.
3) X-Force machines will be very expensive. Too expensive for most health club owners. As someone wrote earlier I believe that professional athletes will be the only ones to enjoy these fantastic machines for years to come.

Personally I don't think that the X-Force machines will become really popular until these three problems has been solved. I hope I'm wrong. I really want Mats to succeed.
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Spidercam

Hi Matt
How long was the Agaton eccentric leg press in production?
I am interested in the mechanics of it. Do you have any pictures?
Don.
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eldrin81

Virginia, USA

Price is probably the biggest hurdle for these machines. The other is the fact that most gyms across the nation don't even know what the term negative means in relation to exercise.
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PHS

Matt, your contributions to this thread about X-Force machines, as well as those of Drew Baye in comparing the efficacy of the all-motorized Randy Rindfleisch machines, are appreciated.

While the X-Force weight training machines may well be too heavy, too large, and too expensive for the average health club to purchase (and we should probably be reminded of Dr. Darden's report that this was also said of Arthur Jones's first Nautilus machines), consider the possibility that they could be marketed, as with so many other things in life, to only the very affluent. As someone mentioned, the first target group (and wasn't this the case with the first Nautilus machines?) will be professional sports teams, which will have the incentive and cash to utilize them. Elite university intercollegiate sports programs would probably become a secondary market. But the scary part might be watching a series of elite health clubs in America's richest enclaves - Greenwich, CT; Palm Beach, FL; Aspen, CO; Beverly Hills, CA; Atherton, CA; Bloomfield Hills, MI - utilize X-Force machines for club membership prices that outstrip the ability of 99% of citizens to join.

While any scientific and engineering breakthroughs in the area of variable resistance weight training machines are welcome, that such improvements for a great while at first may only be available to the super rich is somewhat troubling. If the Rindfleisch fully motorized machines can be made more readily available to the masses, then I (for one) would welcome that even while missing the load feel of traditional weight stack machines with their motorized improvements.

Dr. Darden mentioned a prototype X-Force multi-exercise machine with a tilting motorized weight stack in the middle that allowed for multiple stations. This might well be a much better way to go than individual exercise machines at $10,000 per pop.

If such variable resistance weight training machine breakthroughs are not readily available to mass audiences of trainees it will be interesting to see what the blowback is. When all was said and done, Nautilus health clubs back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Jones machines first became the rage were always affordable to join. Let's hope X-Force technology and that of Randy Rindfleisch can similarly become available to the widest possible audiences. Exercise protocols for the wealthy is not a chapter heading I want to see in any future HIT text.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

If X-Force could manufacture their machines here instead of overseas that would help bring the cost down significantly for North American buyers.

The biggest problem with machines like these is ignorant buyers. Without understanding the importance of the negative and the advantages a heavier negative provide, it would be hard for a gym owner to appreciate the greater value of the machine and justify the more expensive purchase price.

One concern I have with these in a typical gym is the potential for overtraining. I and the couple people I was training on the motorized machine all very quickly overtrained. Improvement was rapid at first, then not only dropped off, but started to regress. I normally have pretty good recovery. I can make steady progress training once every three to four days. When using the motorized machine in a negative-only fashion I eventually had to back down to once every two weeks just to stop getting weaker. After they picked up the prototype when I was done evaluating it, I took a while off, but my legs still weren't recovered. I finally stopped training legs a few weeks back and am finally starting training legs again this weekend, because I and others felt they were so badly overtrained while using the machine.

While I don't believe this would be a problem with the X-Force, since each rep would not be a maximum negative, and is still limited by the weight stack, I think gym owners need to caution users not to overdo it. As much as the average bodybuilder overtrains to begin with, adding the increased intensity possible with a machine like the X-Force makes it even more likely.

Higher intensity requires lower volume. I believe these machines will produce superior results, but only if used with brief routines and close attention to recovery. A person attempting to use machines like these following a typical bodybuilding magazine routine would quickly overtrain.
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Ellington Darden

Drew is right. Negative training requires much more recovery than normal training. I figure that with X-Force, a trainee will need at least 1/3 less exercise than normal and certainly more recovery time.

X-Force, by the way, has been busy for the last five months taking orders for machines throughout Europe -- and especially in Germany and France.

Ellington
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

I agree, the problem with gym management is that they are always more than happy to jump on the latest trend even if in a few years the equipment sits unused until they can unload it. Cheap crap is often brought in because Joe Blow really has no idea what he is doing and neither do the trainers.

If they are unfamiliar with a new piece of equipment they just make stuff up to tell the client. For instance at our local Ballys I asked a " trainer " about their Hammer line , specifically if they had a decline press, I was told no but, they had two decline benches for "free weights ". So I walked down the Hammer line and sure enough there stood a Hammer decline press.
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overfiftylifter

Dr. Darden, wouldn't part of the marketability of the X-Force and the motorized equipment used by Mr.Baye be how little exercise would be necessary? Imagine ads showing how "fit"(I am not so sure about bodybuilding)you can be with one training session every two weeks. Back up this promotion with a book(Dr. Darden you are a fine author and could probably recruit several models for a pre and post training/images)using the "Twice a Month is All You Need" billboard and let the marketing fly.

Overfiftylifter-may I recommend Dr. Darden who appears in fantastic shape himself in his mid sixties be a possible model to show the potential relating to the AARP population.
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overfiftylifter

Mr. Baye after your layoff due to overtraining have you returned to the motorized machines?

If you have returned to the devices, how often are you going to train a bodypart or if whole body, how many sessions in a month?

When you and others were making progress, was this improvement in your ability to use the machines? Do you achieve any improvement in body composition?

Overfiftylifter
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

The prototype was picked up and taken to a studio in Austin, TX, so I have not resumed using it.

I believe the extremely high tension negatives caused so much microtrauma it very quickly got to the point where the body was doing all it could just to recover. Results seemed impressive at first, but after a few weeks we were very overtrained.

My legs have been sore almost constantly since I started using it, and for a long time afterwards. I am squatting and standing up all day long at work, setting up machines and getting dumbbells on and off of the lowest tier of the rack, and I never even used to notice anything in my thighs when I did - I didn't think about it at all - it got to the point where my legs were sore all the time. I stopped training them a few weeks back, and they're just now getting to the point where they're not constantly sore.

While I believe negative-only training has tremendous value, I believe what we were doing was overkill and we should have held way, way back. I regularly do negative-only chins and dips, for example, and never had the same problem with those.
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Seriousstrength

New York, USA

Drew Baye wrote:
The prototype was picked up and taken to a studio in Austin, TX, so I have not resumed using it.

I believe the extremely high tension negatives caused so much microtrauma it very quickly got to the point where the body was doing all it could just to recover. Results seemed impressive at first, but after a few weeks we were very overtrained.

My legs have been sore almost constantly since I started using it, and for a long time afterwards. I am squatting and standing up all day long at work, setting up machines and getting dumbbells on and off of the lowest tier of the rack, and I never even used to notice anything in my thighs when I did - I didn't think about it at all - it got to the point where my legs were sore all the time. I stopped training them a few weeks back, and they're just now getting to the point where they're not constantly sore.

While I believe negative-only training has tremendous value, I believe what we were doing was overkill and we should have held way, way back. I regularly do negative-only chins and dips, for example, and never had the same problem with those.


Did you notice any growth from using it Drew?
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Seriousstrength wrote:

Did you notice any growth from using it Drew?


A noticeable increase over the first few weeks, then just lots of soreness and fatigue after that. As brief as the workouts were, I think we were still overtraining.
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overfiftylifter

Mr. Baye, perhaps this is a machine that would be more useful.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=i49aWZIATsA

NEXUS MODUS type device looks interesting with its different settings.

Overfiftylifter-I like the variable moving movement bar on the push and pull machines. I haven't seen this before.
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NewYorker

New York, USA

Drew Baye wrote:
Seriousstrength wrote:

Did you notice any growth from using it Drew?

A noticeable increase over the first few weeks, then just lots of soreness and fatigue after that. As brief as the workouts were, I think we were still overtraining.


Sounds like it would be most useful used intermittently for maybe 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
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DSears



I believe the extremely high tension negatives caused so much microtrauma it very quickly got to the point where the body was doing all it could just to recover. Results seemed impressive at first, but after a few weeks we were very overtrained.




That's interesting. It's like we need microtrauma but not TOO much microtrauma. I tried the method outlined by John Little on the BBS site of doing a single rep, I think he called it "done in one" or something like that.

It hammered me for several days so I came to the conclusion that we need fatigue but not too much fatigue. The way I figured it the inroad was a lot deeper than a normal set and that I couldn't stand that much inroad.

David
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overfiftylifter

I wonder if there are different types of "inroad"? Is the inroad different when one does a volume routine like German Volume Training compared to a low volume higher load program? Is post workout fatigue, deep sense of soreness, post session "pump" a measure of inroad or different types of inroads?

Past experience has found some workouts seem to produce a general physical fatigue without deep soreness. Some workout programs produce deep soreness w/o the fatigue and other produce amazing "pump" with post energetic effects.

Overfiftylifter-I wonder how the mechanical motor machines with the constant tension would work with the use of less exertion? With inertia virtually eliminated and constant tension with movement applied at about 50-70% of all out effort(I know it would be hard to measure), perhaps this application would be more rewarding.
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

DSears wrote:

I believe the extremely high tension negatives caused so much microtrauma it very quickly got to the point where the body was doing all it could just to recover. Results seemed impressive at first, but after a few weeks we were very overtrained.




That's interesting. It's like we need microtrauma but not TOO much microtrauma. I tried the method outlined by John Little on the BBS site of doing a single rep, I think he called it "done in one" or something like that.

It hammered me for several days so I came to the conclusion that we need fatigue but not too much fatigue. The way I figured it the inroad was a lot deeper than a normal set and that I couldn't stand that much inroad.

David


Arthur considered 20 % inroad to be optimal.
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the rhino

Ontario, CAN

is it just me or does Dorian look like Bono? wtf Dorian not cool
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overfiftylifter

I am going to be in London for a couple of weeks soon and was wondering if there are any of the X-Force being used in that city?

Overfiftylifter
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Ellington Darden

overfiftylifter wrote:
I am going to be in London for a couple of weeks soon and was wondering if there are any of the X-Force being used in that city?

Overfiftylifter


There are no X-Force machines in use anywhere, except in Stockholm, Sweden. The first delivery of machines will not occur until January of 2010.

Ellington

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overfiftylifter

Thank you Dr. Darden.

Overfiftylifter
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Acerimmer1

How heavy are the stacks?
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tallopenmind

Why not just use hit with barbells until reach muscular potential?
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jack32

I recently learned that Roger Schwab's facility will be taking delivery of the machines sometime soon!!

Jack
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jastrain

jack32 wrote:
I recently learned that Roger Schwab's facility will be taking delivery of the machines sometime soon!!

Jack


schwab knows what he's doing---why the fuc@ is schwab not in nyc or the surrounding area???--i would love to hit my true potential--why are all the smart people outside of the metro-politon area??
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