The Future of High-Intensity Training
We were very pleased to once again be the Premier Sponsor of—and exhibit our 21st-century strength training technology at—the 2022 Resistance Exercise Conference, this time held on May 13th and 14th in Minneapolis.
Now in its twelfth year, the REC is committed to bringing in and showcasing the leading scientists and experts in the field of resistance exercise and strength training. Their goals and values are very similar to ours. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce training injuries, deliver the training stimulus in a safe and time-efficient manner, and give access to those who want and need strength training but are unwilling or unable to go to a weight room to get it.
This is why we sponsor this event when it comes around each year. Many of the attendees are ARX customers themselves, but even those that aren’t are “on the same team.” We love to help the REC gather this group in one place, and we love to help this community promote its values both at the conference, and for some time afterwards as they return to their cities.
Good speakers, good hosts, good times, and great feedback about our latest and greatest gear. Let’s take a look!
A Walk-Through of the REC
This year’s conference was held at the JW Marriott hotel in the Mall of America. Not only was the hotel itself very well-appointed, it was a great opportunity to walk around the mall for a while and see the attractions.
Day one started on Friday afternoon with some great talks (more on this later), and was capped off by an excellent cocktail event for attendees.
Day two started bright and early, as the attendees participated in REC’s Saturday Morning Workouts! On everybody’s name badge was a time, representing the time at which they were due to begin their workouts at a local location of Discover Strength. A series of shuttle busses got everyone where they were going and had the whole group back in time for the first talk at 8am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and ready for a day of learning and immersion.
With ARX, Trying Is Believing
Live demos are a hallmark of ARX’s presence at any conference or trade show, and this one was no different.
It’s one thing to intellectually understand what it’s like to have access to an unlimited amount of resistance through a full range of motion in both directions…but it’s another thing entirely to feel it.
Along with a handful of personal demonstrations, our Director of Education, Jim Keen, gave a live presentation to the crowd of attendees at 11:45am on Saturday demonstrating the ease and convenience of ARX compared to weights of any kind. You can check out a clip of it here.
The Future of Exercise Needs Leaders
It’s always fun to see what the lineup of speakers and presenters looks like, and this year was no exception.
From right to left, we first enjoyed the keynote talks of Dr. James Steele and Dr. James Fischer—whom we’ve highlighted previously here—covering large high-intensity data sets and effect sizes, and the effect of observation/guidance on trainees, respectively.
Dr. James Fischer’s talk about the effect of coaching and guidance on a personal training session was especially appropriate for this crowd made up of largely one-on-one personal training business owners/staff. It turns out that there is good research to show that the “observer effect” extends to workouts, with people performing better with a trainer, workout partner, or coach than they perform when working out solo. They also tend to keep their scheduled workout commitments when there is another person in the picture.
Dr. James Steele’s talk on large high-intensity training data sets, and the aforementioned study in particular, made the very salient point that we cannot evaluate progress in a vacuum, but instead must temper our expectations by asking, “compared to what?” What is a “good” result of five or more years of strength training? Very interesting.
Christie Schwanden, author of Good to Go, was also on hand to provide her unique perspective on the body’s ability to recover from workout (and other) stresses. Every time you engage in a recovery modality that doesn’t work, you are robbing yourself of time that could have been spent on effective solutions. After speaking with hundreds of experts and poring over hundreds of hours of data, she shared an intriguing list of things that are popularly assumed to aid recovery that are little more than “extra-strength placebos.”
Arguably our favorite talk was from Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, whose research we cite frequently to support the use of ARX.
He spoke about time-efficiency as a priority in strength training, both to ensure focused use of our valuable time, and to enhance adherence to strength training regimens long-term. If it’s too much of a hassle or a time-suck, you will eventually quit your strength training routine.
This slide was especially gratifying. What a “feather in our cap” that these techniques—each of which are easy and automatic with ARX—are regarded as “Advanced Methods” in the world of weight lifting, where it’s much more impractical and inconvenient to apply them.
Using ARX, supersets don’t require un-racking and re-racking weights, rest-pause protocols can be standardized precisely for comparisons, and drop sets happen automatically without requiring that you to stop to set the new weight (which is a guess!).
It’s no wonder that the results from ARX are so much greater than the results from weight lifting, and with a fraction of the time commitment.
We also very much enjoyed the presentation by Kristin Rowell, FNTP, JD. People’s knowledge of the supplement creatine is typically very surface-level. We’ll admit we learned some new stuff by the end!
A Very Proud Sponsor
There was one segment of the weekend worthy of special note, and that took place Saturday evening before the end-of-conference banquet.
ARX was able to sponsor a VIP Happy Hour event in a suite at the hotel where, gathered in the same room, were some of the high-level speakers, presenters, and luminaries of the event. The guest list included, but was not limited to:
- Jim Flanagan of Nautilus fame
- Bill DeSimone (author of the seminal Moment Arm Exercise and now Joint-Friendly Fitness)
- James Steele
- James Fischer
- Brad Schoenfeld
- Pak Androulakis Korakakis
- Andrew Coates
- REC Founder Luke Carlson of Discover Strength
- Several people I’ve forgotten—please forgive me!
It was a pleasure to bring these people together in this way, and we had a great time going around chatting and introducing everyone. In many ways it just one part of the “passing of the torch” that this conference makes possible, and we look forward to many such gatherings in the future!
Speaking of which…
ARX at the Forefront of the 21st Century
It’s conferences like this one that are going to lead the fitness industry out of “the dark ages,” during which time we’ve gone from Nautilus and MedX and other similar advanced technology, back to barbells and dumbbells, back even further to clubs and kettlebells, and finally even to logs, stones, and just anything you can find on the ground to move around (tires, sleds, etc).
But it’s not enough to merely point to inventions of the late 20th century and encourage people to “go back.” Instead, our attention is better spent on encouraging those interested in health and fitness to move forward to new technology like ARX.
ARX is an idea whose time has come, and we’re proud to sponsor and facilitate this new movement towards unprecedented improvements in the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of resistance exercise.
Welcome to the future of exercise.