WHY ARX WAS CREATED
Every successful invention is created because it solves a problem. In our case, the problem we solve is a very old problem and there have been many attempts to solve it.
For ages, we have been trying to contract muscles against resistance for the purpose of delivering a stimulus to the body so that the body can then produce highly-desirable adaptive responses like increases in strength, muscle development, metabolic conditioning, and more.
But unfortunately we couldn’t come up with a form of resistance that matched the user’s strength. It was always either too little or too much, making our training either inefficient or dangerous.
ARX’s Adaptive Resistance™ Exercise technology solves this problem so completely and so easily that taking advantage of it almost feels like cheating.
In the same way that using a car to more quickly and safely get to your destination may have felt like cheating compared with using a horse and buggy.
ARX Founder and Chairman, Mark Alexander, used to have the feeling of ‘cheating’ after using early ARX prototypes in 2011. Considering he had nearly thirty years of weight training experience at that time, he knew he had something special to offer the world—special enough to completely change the old 20th-century paradigm of “the weight room.”
While the prototype provided Adaptive Resistance™ using a motor system—just like our current equipment—it was very rudimentary and basic compared to what we’ve innovated today. However, it was light-years ahead of the gravity-based tools that had come before.
Fast forward nearly a dozen years of R&D, repeated iterations, and a few hundred machines delivered, and we are now firmly at the forefront of modern strength training.
Enter: ARX, A.K.A ‘The Cheat Machine’
In conversations, online and in training facilities we’ve seen this nickname ascribed to our technology. At first it felt like it had a bad connotation, as it’s associated with:
- Phrases like, “Cheaters never prosper”
- Describing someone as “a cheat”
- Cheating on a test
And so on.
And while we didn’t want our brand or our technology associated with that type of behavior, we eventually began to develop a sense of pride about it. After all, what would compel people to describe us this way?
It’s now pretty obvious.
A normal person who wants to make serious strength training a part of their life knows that they’re about to commit to going to a weight room three, four, or even five days out of every week. And at each visit, they’re going to spend not less than forty-five minutes, and often up to double that amount or more. Add up the commute to the gym and back, and you’re looking at a huge time commitment.
They know there’s a lack of clarity around what routine to perform, and it’s very common to see people “program-switching” every two to four weeks, failing to see progress right away, and changing to a new protocol. This is compounded by the inability to track progress in any way besides sets, reps, and weight.
They also know there’s a large risk of injury associated with serious strength training. Weights are famously unsafe, and such high volumes of workload almost guarantee wear-and-tear injuries somewhere down the road.
Then there’s the low potency of the weight lifting stimulus itself. It turns out that lifting weights is not the best way to stimulate the body to build new muscle tissue. So not only do trainees commit hours per week, lack clarity around tracking and progress, and risk injury, but they are doing all that just to expose their bodies to a sub-par strength stimulus.
‘The Cheat Machine’ Makes Sense Now, Right?
The use of ARX technology only requires a fraction of the time commitment of weight lifting. We’re talking less than an hour per week compared to 5-10 hours per week.
Using ARX carries with it a lower risk of injury since the resistance can never become excessive, never acts on the user unprovoked, mistakes in form are no longer grave errors, the speed is computer-controlled, and the range of motion is pre-set to avoid excessive ranges.
Training data is tracked automatically, progress is ensured, and there is never any confusion around what protocol to perform.
And ARX is far more potent because the user is never under-loaded, which means that ARX maximizes the stimulus to provoke the body to rapidly produce any desired adaptation from strength training.
You know how in Super Mario Brothers he gets the star, starts blinking and glowing, the music starts playing, and he’s invincible? If you had an endless series of stars it would be like cheating, right?
So we had to ask ourselves: can we really blame people for getting every benefit of strength training more rapidly, more safely, more conveniently, more quantifiably, and with less time commitment…and then feeling like they’re using some type of cheat code?
A Weight is The Real ‘Cheat Machine’
The truth, though, is that while ARX “cheats” the process of the strength training game like a cheat code, weight lifting actually just cheats you, the user.
You are forced to select a weight that’s less than what you could have lifted. You purposely select “60% of your one-rep max” or “80% of your one-rep max,” for example. You could be lifting more, but then your set would be over after one repetition. So you cheat yourself of mechanical tension just so your set can last longer.
ARX gives you maximum eccentric contractions, but weight lifting cheats you of that work. So you cheat yourself of maximum muscle damage just because you can’t lift that amount of weight in the first place.
And you could be reaching deep levels of fatigue when weight lifting, but in order for your set to last that long you have to select a very, very light weight. So you cheat yourself of even more mechanical tension just to put the muscles under metabolic stress, and increase your risk of injury in the process.
Remember the three elements of the strength training stimulus. You’re always cheating yourself when you’re using weights.
- You can go heavy, but you can’t go for very long, so you’re cheating yourself of muscle damage and metabolic stress.
- You can do negatives for more muscle damage and tension, but you’re cheating yourself of metabolic stress and risking injury from going so heavy.
- You can continue your sets to deep fatigue and high rep-counts, but you’re cheating yourself of mechanical tension and muscle damage because the weights have to be so light.
‘The Cheat Machine’ Confusion Is No More
And there you have it.
Every new solution to an old problem feels like cheating at first. But not only is the use of the new technology not cheating, it actually turns out that the use of the old solution was cheating us in several ways we couldn’t see.
You’re cheating yourself when you lift weights. You can eventually get the job done, but it takes forever, you’re risking injury, there’s no clarity around protocols, and the stimulus isn’t even all that potent.
Using ARX lets you get the job done as rapidly as possible, with minimal risk of injury, while automatically tracking performance data, and using the best-possible strength training stimulus currently available.
‘Cheat Machine’ indeed!