Today PaleoPathologist visited his “friends” at Trufit in Denver, and was introduced to the ARX machines they just got. I suspect this just may be the next step in exercise evolution, intensity, effectiveness, and safety. The machine is designed to give you the perfect amount of resistance on the positive (concentric) AND negative (eccentric) phase of the repetitions, with multiple different exercises. PaleoPathologist thought he basically had the HIT (High Intensity Training) thing down, going to momentary muscle failure. PaleoPathologist was wrong. Welcome to Super High Intensity Training.
In short, the ARX has a computerized machine that meters out resistance in a couple of different ways. This one (above) does a chest press, an overhead press, etc. The other one does leg press, horizontal row, and some others. PaleoPathologist did leg press, lat pulldown, chest press, and row. The computer screen on the left shows you exactly how much effort it is feeding you, and it will show you last week’s workout in parallel so you can immediately see how you are progressing.
It is fascinating. The machine puts the right amount of pressure on to give you a perfect negative AND positive rep. Negative (eccentric) reps are when you are holding the weight against resistance and gradually “losing” while the positive (concentric) rep is when you are actually making headway against the resistance. If you were doing bicep curls, the positive would be when you are raising the weight while the negative would be letting it down. Muscles can hold much more weight than they can lift, so this machine works the muscle to its maximum in both phases. Bodybuilders have known for years that the negative, or eccentric, phase is very important. No weight machine can do this unless you have a trainer help you up, then let you lower the weight.
The Paleo legs actually resisted over 900 lbs for several seconds on the way to total muscle meltdown. My nautilus machine max last week was 330 lbs. The other exercises were equally incredible. Interestingly, even though the chest press was quite intense (especially on negative) I felt very little soreness in the right shoulder I injured doing the stupid Steinborn lift before I found HIT.
The workout took about 20 minutes, about three hours ago, and I’m going to need some recovery time! But I see zero risk of having injuries.
I’ve been doing the Nautilus HIT for over a year now and felt pretty good about my progress. I was starting to plateau, though. This machine feels like a whole new level. I’m pretty excited.
Here is a video of my trainer doing his first ARX leg press.
So, how does this sound to you? Horrid or fabulous or both?