Basic Nautilus Concepts -Revisited

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Basic Nautilus Concepts -Revisited Empty Basic Nautilus Concepts -Revisited

Post  Fitness Scientist on Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:42 am

Basic Nautilus Concepts -Revisited

by Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist

Other posts gave a basic overview of standard (basic) Nautilus training principles. In this chapter, I would like to offer some thoughts about improving the basics.

First, I must let you know that I followed the basic concepts as outlined, for many years -as did the members of my clubs. The basic concepts produce excellent results and will satisfy most trainees. Others, however, will want to expand their consciousness.

During the period that most of my members were following the basics, I began to experiment with myself and friends to see if improvements could be made and progress accelerated. Ways were found of altering the basics, without drastic changes, to speed strength, size, ' and fitness improvements.

As an example: referring to the speed of movement, taking two seconds to lift the weight and four to lower it. It never did make sense, to me to be concerned with a four second control on the negative movement (lowering) .Because our negative strength is AT LEAST 40 per- cent greater than our positive strength (lifting) , no matter how slow we lower it, the resistance is still at least 40 percent too light.

One of the mistakes is attempting to apply logic that works for a positive contraction to a negative movement. While they are similar, they are different and should be considered as such.

I contend that during a standard workout, the lifting movement should be SLOWER than the lowering movement. Exactly the opposite of what is going on in every club I ever visited.
Instead of two up and four down, the speed-of-movement should be (at least) four up and 2 seconds (or less) coming down.

Putting aside the fact that the negative resistance is too light to be concerned with, here’s what happens when you slow down the lifting movement: You increase the intensity of the contraction because you FORCE the muscle to work HARDER.

The slower the lifting movement, the less chance there is of momentum helping you with the lifting phase. 2 seconds up seems slow compared to what some people demonstrate, improperly, on Nautilus, but it is still too fast. Want to prove it to yourself?

Next workout, get on the leg extension machine and set the resistance as usual. Then, instead of following the two up — four down method, use a 4 seconds up and 2 seconds down method.

You will notice several differences, (1) you will probably not get as many reps as you have been; (2) the “burn” will be greater in less time than before and (3) the weight will seem heavier.
All of these factors indicate that the muscle has been “working harder.”

What I believe happens when you slowly control a negative movement using your typical workout weight is: that the negative movement BECOMES A REST PERIOD FOR THE MUSCLE FIBERS.
Still not convinced? Try this: Do a set, of any exercise using a speed-of- movement that is the typical 2 seconds up and 4 seconds down; however, reverse the speed-of-movement and take 4 seconds to lift the resistance and only 2 seconds to lower it.

You altered only negative speed and by 2 seconds. My bet is that you will not match the reps from your previous workout – using the previous two up and four down contractions -- or if you do, the severe muscle pain will surprise you. Of course, I am assuming that your previous workouts are intense and that you have been working with a maximum weight to muscular failure.

Again, my argument is that since the negative weight is at least 40 percent too light, depending on the muscle group involved, you should not waste time slowly controlling it.

IF we were discussing a PURE NEGATIVE WORK- OUT, my recommendations would change and seem contradictory. But they are not! Please refer to posts on PURE NEGATIVE.

I will discuss various speeds-of-movements in other chapters and move on to discussing another basic Nautilus training principle: repetitions. Considerable difference of opinions still exists, even among Nautilus people as to which upper and lower body repetition system is better.

My experience and studies indicate the higher the repetitions, the better the results. Meaning: the closer you work to 12 reps, on upper body, the better the results. The closer you work to 20 reps on lower body, the better your results.

Regarding the 8 to 12 or 15 to 20 reps for lower body, I previously reported in other books, that: During my first several years operating a Nautilus club, I followed the 8 to 12 reps on upper and lower body. Then, after talking with Arthur Jones, and discussing some experiments he conducted, I switched to 15 to 20 reps on the lower body. The results were much better for all members - I continue to recommend the 15 to 20 system for lower body.

I cannot say with certainty why this system of reps works better; perhaps it is the fact that most people are forced to use less weight and perform more proper reps before reaching failure. All I know is 15 to 20 reps works; better than 8 to 12. Try it and see what you think.

Regarding the recommendations of never squeezing handles, breathing normally {whatever that is), and following a certain sequence of exercises: I disagree with all of those recommendations when considering advanced training.

It is impossible to exercise at a high-intensity without holding tightly to hand grips, breathing abnormally, grimacing, and, in general, putting stress on your body. The advice of never squeezing hand grips, etc., is fine for beginners, but for advanced trainees, those who have conditioned their bodies to expect and adapt to more than standard workout, it just doesn't work.

How can any highly trained athlete compete at the, (highest level and not strain, grimace, or flex various muscles. Although the basic concepts and recommendations do apply to beginners, they may not apply to advanced trainees.

To understand these concepts, it is important that you put aside everything that you have learned about exercise. Can you do it? I hope so.

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Fitness Scientist

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-04-26
Age : 82
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Post  Jozzzef on Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:16 am


I agree with you about squeezing handles and grimacing. One can't lift heavy and appear as he was watching TV or something else.

The rep speed concept is the one I've never heard, but it doesn't mean that I detest it.
Negative part of the movement is the strongest and therefore requires higher weights in order to properly and as much as possible stimulate muscle fibers. However, one should not drop weight as is seen in gyms.

Thanks for your valuable information



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Join date : 2010-04-19

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Post  Ciccio on Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 am

Hi Joe,

I read about this "reversed" rep-cadence (4/2) before from you and since wondered if this is the reason that the "old" superslow, the one used by Ell Darden (10/5) and the one used in the old superslow studies (10/4) which proofed to be superior to the 2/4 then-standard of Nautilus, was responsible for the success and the "new" superslow (10/10) is a bigger mistake then anything else.
With 10/5 your basic premiss of doing the positive twice as fast as the negative phase is kept.
And when Ellington was asked the last time he still holds this cadence in highest regards. How couldn't he, as it was used for two of his best gaining trainees, D.Hudlow(Upside-down BB), E.Muller(BIG).


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