The Best Tool For Resistance Exercise
June 4, 2021
• by
Jim Keen

Blog's Key-Points:

  • What Is Adaptive Resistance?
  • Don’t Let Gravity Hold You Down.
  • The Effectiveness of Adaptive Resistance
  • Efficiency of Adaptive Resistance Training Over Traditional Resistance Exercise
  • Are ARX Machines Safer Than Other Resistance Exercise Tools?
  • Quantification
  • Why is Adaptive Resistance Better Than Free Weights?
  • Weights Provide a Subpar Exercise Stimulus
  • Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
  • An Injury Is An Unacceptable Result of Exercise
  • No Need To Keep Counting Sets x Reps x Weight
  • Do I Need a Trainer To Use ARX Machines?
  • How Do ARX Machines Perform Full-Body Workouts?
  • The Benefits of ARX: The Best Tool for the Job

What Is Adaptive Resistance?

It's more than your typical resistance exercise. Let me explain…

Let’s say you’re already sold on the idea of resistance exercise. You get it. You understand everything that it does for us, things like:

  • Increased muscle size and strength
  • Increased bone density
  • Enhanced metabolic flexibility
  • Enhanced cardiovascular capacity
  • Hormone optimization
  • Alter epigenetic expression

Your next question might be, “what tools should I use for my resistance exercise?”

Well, there are many options, and it’s important to think about:

  • Which is the most effective?
  • Which is the safest, with the lowest risk of injury?
  • Which is the most efficient?
  • Which is the most quantifiable to track progress?

In the end, the quality of your resistance exercise depends on the quality of the resistance you’re using. That means that the focus of resistance exercise is trying to make your muscles contract against resistance.

At this point, it’s important to remember that not all resistance is created equal.

These days, the most popular form of resistance training is to use mother nature’s gravity. In this category of “gravity-based resistance,” think of things like:

  • Free weights — e.g., dumbbells, barbells, etc.
  • Bodyweight exercises — e.g., chin-ups, pullups, dips, pushups, etc
  • Weight stack machines
  • Plate-loaded machines

Don’t Let Gravity Hold You Down.

In every kind of gravity-based resistance exercise, it’s gravity that applies all resistance to your muscles.

This means that gravity leverages your body weight to strengthen your muscles.

There’s some science behind this. For instance, a ten-pound weight weighs ten pounds because of gravity acting on its mass (i.e., your muscles). A forty-five-pound weight weighs forty-five pounds for the same reason.

If it sounds simple, it’s because it is! That is the one reason gravity-based resistance works — and has worked for thousands of years.

However, if you choose this type of exercise, there are some drawbacks.

The most important drawback is how gravity-based resistance training requires purposeful under-loading and is not as effective as it could be. Even more, this kind of training involves an increased risk of injury and requires a significant time commitment to be effective.

Because of these drawbacks, the results for every person are difficult to measure accurately.

In contrast, Adaptive Resistance Exercise (ARX) technology solves the issues from gravity-based forms of resistance. ARX can be more effective, safer, more efficient, and more measurable than any other gravity-based resistance training tool.

Keep reading to learn how ARX is a superior tool and how you can use it to exceed your goals in record time!

The Effectiveness of Adaptive Resistance

The critical principle of ARX is that it’s motor-driven, not gravity-driven. The machine moves at a constant velocity that can be pre-set to perform any resistance training protocol.

The motor allows us to provide what we call ‘Adaptive Resistance.’ When you push, it pushes back at you with the same level of force. This Adaptive Resistance gives you the perfect amount of resistance at every moment during every repetition.

This type of responsive resistance is ARX’s “special sauce” that makes it preferable to weights in almost every way.

So what makes ARX so much more effective? We’ve isolated the most important elements of the resistance exercise stimulus: mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress.

When your muscles are fully functioning without any injuries, the amount of stimulus applied to your body can be maximized.

With ARX, you can surpass the strength, bone density, muscular development, and cardiovascular conditioning adaptations that you get using traditional gravity-based tools.

A specific muscle or group of muscles can be made to produce a maximum possible magnitude of force - in both the concentric and eccentric phases and at every joint angle - using ARX’s adaptive resistance.

Even better? It’s all done safely. Here is how:

An ARX workout machine is designed to maximize your strength stimulus and fast-twitch fiber expression when you use it. It does all of this at a slow, controlled speed of motion that would usually be impossible with gravity-based resistances.

All in all, ARX gives your muscles higher levels of mechanical tension, muscular damage, and metabolic stress compared to weights. That’s why it makes ARX more effective than other forms of resistance exercise.

Efficiency of Adaptive Resistance Training Over Traditional Resistance Exercise

With traditional resistance exercise, we have all tried to control a heavier weight than we are capable of lifting. It typically doesn’t work out for the best, does it?

That’s why we suggest progressively lifting heavier weights over time. This approach is known as adaptive resistance training. Not only can this prepare your muscles for more effective strength exercises, but it can also reduce harmful muscle injuries.

Since this technique is focused on adapting to weights at your own pace, it’s different from traditional resistance exercises.

So how do you use the heavy weights that you’re capable of lifting if you can’t even lift them in the first place? With weights, it’s not that easy.

One method we suggest is to first focus on the movements required to lift heavy weights. Once you are familiar with the technique and movements of weight lifting, you can strengthen your muscles with suitable weights without worrying about if you are “doing it right.”

To perfect various weight-lifting movements, try reducing the weight you put on the bar to under-load the weight you can handle. This way, you are still in the mindset of lifting weights while focusing on the quality of your technique and movements.

Let me show you how you could progress with Adaptive Resistance exercise. Here’s a graph of one set of chest press using an ARXmachine:

ARX machine software

Those prominent red-line peaks in force show the negative or “eccentric phase” of muscle contraction. That’s what your muscles do when you “lower the weight.”

The smaller black-line peaks show the positive or “concentric phase” of muscle contraction. That’s what your muscles do when you “raise the weight.”

The difference between the two phases is how you use your weight on the bar. On the graph, the horizontal black line that never changes represents this.

Here’s a tip: The max peak on that first rep in the graph is the force you’re capable of producing.

In practice, you might notice that you’re only capable of those levels of force during the eccentric phase - when you’re resisting the weights by lowering them - and not the concentric phase.

So if I gave you that amount of weight in the gym, you could most likely lower that weight once. But your body might not like it if you try to lift it off of your chest to start your second repetition because your lifting strength is so much weaker after your first lift.

And this is what we mean by compromising in the gym: If you lift one hundred pounds, you have to lower one hundred pounds, even if you could have lowered much, much more.

When you’re constantly under-loaded like that, it takes a lot longer to accomplish what you want to in the gym.

However, when the resistance is perfectly matched to your muscles’ capability, and your muscles are allowed to work at their total capacity, you can strengthen the target muscles far more quickly.

You can have access to any level of resistance instantly and without a spotter or stacking plates, all in a reduced amount of time compared to weights, allowing you to accumulate the desired amount of workout volume with a far smaller time commitment.

The amount of time you spend on strengthening your muscles each week shortens from hours to minutes when you have the advantage of ARX technology.

Are ARX Machines Safer Than Other Resistance Exercise Tools?

Safety. That’s a non-negotiable when you exercise - especially as a beginner to strength exercises.

One advantage of adaptive resistance exercise tools that can’t be beaten is safety.

The truth is this: even though weights are effective, they are inherently dangerous by design.

Even Olympic athletes suffer injuries while training with weights. If they can make mistakes and hurt themselves, you can bet that the rest of us - especially beginners - have a considerable chance of getting injured with weights.

Here’s how weight injuries work...

As soon as you lift a weight, you’ve committed to lower that weight. That weight is using gravity to push against your body. It’s trying to get to the center of the Earth, and you’re in the way.

On the other hand, ARX can never act on you. Instead, ARX works in response to you.

There is nothing that can fall on you when you’re training with ARX. That’s because we don’t use gravity for resistance.

ARX offers a far easier “exit strategy” if you feel uncomfortable during your training at any time.

When you stop pushing, the machine stops pushing, and the resistance instantly drops to zero. That’s called safety by design. Cool, right?

This adaptive resistance is a form of resistance that can never become excessive on your body.

With ARX being one of the safest ways to train, you can now train until you’re fatigued without worrying about injury.

Unfortunately, with weights, it’s often your fatigued state that leads to injuries. Unlike ARX, weights simply don’t adjust to how tired you are.

If you pick up a challenging new weight at the beginning of your set, it’s still that same level of weight when you’re fatigued...and that means you are potentially incapable of lifting it safely.

But that’s not the case with ARX.

With ARX, you’re always in control, and your adaptive resistance training can never become dangerous, no matter how tired you get.


One of the best advantages of ARX tools is quantification - or how easy it is to measure your progress.

Sets, reps, and weight are helpful, but imagine what you can do if you know your maximum force production, cumulative output, work rate, the total amount of work done, and other metrics.

Even better - imagine knowing all of those metrics while being able to compete against a previous performance of yours in real-time!

Your entire ARX history is saved in your profile and is available at any time for visual and numerical comparison.

No more carrying around a notebook or your phone to track your progress.

No more uncontrolled rep speeds or rest periods from workout to workout.

No more subtle changes to your range of motion that can affect exercise performance.

None of this with adaptive resistance exercise tools that make quantifying your workouts easier than ever.

Why is Adaptive Resistance Better Than Free Weights?

Even if you make tons of gains with free weights and ARX tools, let me tell you why ARX is still a bit better than using free weights.

Unlike free weights, adaptive resistance (ARX) offers perfectly matched mechanical loading that provides the resistance exercise stimulus more effectively, more efficiently, more safely, and more quantifiable than any other tool built for this purpose.

Here’s how adaptive resistance is the most popular resistance exercise tool in terms of stimulus, efficiency, safety, and measurements.

Weights Provide a Subpar Exercise Stimulus

With weight, you are forced to compromise an effective workout by underloading yourself instantly.

You have to select a weight that is far below what you could have lifted, usually only a percentage of your one-rep maximum. Your potential is so much higher than that!

On top of that, you only get to use the amount of weight that you can move through your weakest range of motion for the desired number of reps.

Again, you could be doing more, but free weights wouldn’t allow you to because its design doesn't allow you to go further.

Because of this mismatch between tool and body, you never receive the full magnitude of force production of which you’re capable. That means your workouts with weights represent a sub-par stimulus to the muscles.

You’re missing out with free weights, and there’s no way around it.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Free weight workouts are also way longer than necessary, which is another effect of the deficient stimulus provided by free weights.

Without ARX, you’d have to perform workouts that last at least 45 minutes each and at least three times per week.

But with ARX tools, the maximal loading design gives you the best stimulus possible so that an entire workout can take only 10-15 minutes once or twice per week.

An Injury Is An Unacceptable Result of Exercise

Even one injury is too many - especially when it’s avoidable. So why are we as weight lifters okay with getting injured in the process of becoming stronger?

ARX is a method that provides responsive resistance that can rarely become excessive on your body. Never worry about pushing your body to the point of no return.

You’re safe with adaptive resistance exercises.

On the other hand, weights offer unresponsive resistance that can quickly become excessive (remember the mismatch problem mentioned above?).

When the force from free weights exceeds your body’s ability to absorb it...snap city. You’re injured.

Why put your joints at risk with weights when you can get a better stimulus more safely with ARX?

No Need To Keep Counting Sets x Reps x Weight

Manually recording your training sessions is imprecise, inconvenient, and impossible to standardize over a long period.

And if you want to maximize your workout stats, comparing your workout today vs. your workout six months ago with just sets x reps x weight is just the beginning.

If you’ve ever manually recorded your training sessions, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions:

  • Are you sure the speed of your reps was the same?
  • How did you standardize the range of motion for each movement?
  • Are you sure you had the seat and joint angles in the same positions?
  • Did you standardize your rest periods?
  • Have you ever miscounted your reps?
  • Can you prove that your form was the same today vs. six months back?

You get the idea.

The good news is that ARX exists now and it automatically tracks and standardizes every aspect of your workout performance.

When you see an increase in performance, you can be 100% sure that it was due to your improving strength and conditioning rather than some uncontrolled variable that wasn’t accounted for.

Do I Need a Trainer To Use ARX Machines?

It’s well-understood that to get the absolute most out of your resistance exercise with weights, you need a personal trainer.

Here’s some perspective: None of the world-class strength athletes work out entirely by themselves.

We all need support and mentoring when it comes to mastering different exercises and training methods.

The good news? Your professional trainer would help record data, count reps, and sets, give your manual assistance or resistance when necessary, time your rest periods, and give you real-time motivational feedback.

Yes, it can be expensive - but ARX makes it affordable.

With ARX, all that support from a trainer is done automatically. That means you can use ARX all by yourself and get the same or greater resistance exercise stimulus than you can get using weights with a private personal trainer.

Everything is automatically tracked, your ranges of motion are saved and repeatable, the resistance is designed to work with your body, your rest periods are timed, and there is real-time audio and visual feedback during the workout that brings out your best effort.

So even if you can’t afford a personal trainer or training partner, ARX can give you the best workout with zero compromises.

How Do ARX Machines Perform Full-Body Workouts?

ARX for Leg Press

The Alpha - ARX’s most efficient model - allows for the performance of:

  • Leg Press
  • Row
  • Chest Press
  • Torso Flexion
  • Torso Extension
  • Calf Raise
Full Body Exercise Machine- The Omni

The more versatile ARX model - the Omni - allows for the performance of:

  • Belt Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Calf Raise
  • Pulldown
  • Pullover
  • Row
  • Overhead Press
  • High Pull
  • Horizontal Press
  • Decline Press
  • Incline Press
  • Pec Fly
  • Triceps Pressdown
  • Biceps Curl
  • Hamstring Curl

Look through those lists and see what you think your body needs the most.

Either machine, all by itself, is a full-body machine.

No need for a giant 2,000 square-foot room full of weights.

These ARX machines are multi-use and only take up the space of a large couch. Compact and practical!

The Benefits of ARX: The Best Tool for the Job

We’ve tried free weights and all of the other resistance training methods.

In our experience, adaptive resistance exercise ARX technology is the best tool for resistance exercise.

The benefits of ARX go beyond basic strength exercises. Here are a few reasons why people tell us ARX is the best tool for their lifestyle and goals

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Helping seniors regain lost bone and muscle mass
  • Improving the power and explosiveness of athletes
  • Bodybuilding
  • Helping athletes put on muscle in the offseason
  • Making athletes more resistant to injury
  • Retaining functional strength through the aging process

Can an exercise machine help with all of that? Absolutely.

ARX has so many functions and advantages over more traditional resistance training tools, and that’s why it can be the best tool for resistance exercise for you.

Give it a try today!

ARX, or Adaptive Resistance™ Exercise Machine, provides the next evolution of exercise technology utilizing motorized resistance and quantifying computer software to provide perfect, trackable resistance for all of your workouts. ARX workout machines are designed to deliver a full-body, customizable workout for users of all skill levels.

ARX workout equipment matches your force output instantly and automatically using a computer-driven, motorized drive chain system. No dangerous weights to drop and no adjustments to make, just perfect resistance.

About ARX

ARX simplifies the most comprehensive full-body workout through perfectly matched, motorized resistance. Short for Adaptive Resistance Exercise, ARX is scientifically proven to deliver quantifiable results in less time. The all-in-one strength training machine dynamically adjusts resistance in real-time to personalize every workout. ARX empowers and challenges individuals to achieve their fitness goals one perfectly calibrated repetition at a time. No dangerous weights to drop and no adjustments to make, just exact resistance. Founded in 2016, ARX is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

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