Exercise in the 21st Century

This is the video of a workout I performed yesterday in Austin Texas at Efficient Exercise under the supervision of Skyler Tanner. The workout consisted of

  • 3 “Hyper Reps” for the lower back (that means maximum positive and maximum negative effort)
  • 3 “Double Negatives” on a horizontal plane (equivalent to a back to back chest press/seated row)
  • 3 “Double Negatives” on a vertical plane (equivalent to a back to back pull down/overhead press)

I did not do anything direct for my legs this workout since Keith Norris put me through the most intense leg workout of my life on Monday (which included, as a finishing touch, 3 leg press “hyper reps” on an older, horizontal plane CZT machine).

That leg workout alone left me sprawled out on the floor for a solid 30 minutes – something that’s never happened to me before my entire life. It has also left my legs “tender”, all the way through today (Friday). They are literally still “soft to the touch” – impressive on Keith’s part and humbling to my own.

Couple random thoughts …

1. I’ve used these machines before under the supervision of Drew Baye. They remain as intense now as they were then. They (perhaps obviously if you watch the videos), have undergone significant improvements since the models I used with Drew.

2. “Intense” is an understatement in the context I have used it above, unless you yourself have used the machines. The CZT machines, by leaps and bounds, allow for the most intense workout possible.

3. With the above stated, I think these machines also place the most responsibility on the user, when compared to any other piece of exercise equipment currently available. Even with a trainer supervising (the machines are setup in such a way that they can be used solo), and even with the computer tracking your strength numerically, these machines place more emphasis on mental effort than anything else I have ever used or even heard of.

4. In case it’s not abundantly clear at this point, the workout intensity these machines allow for, is much greater than it appears on camera (even with a guy like Keith Norris training, which you can see below).

If you ever had any doubts about the potential of a low volume, safe, high intensity approach to strength training, I would be shocked if Keith’s physique didn’t put those to rest. He is even more impressive to observe in person than on video.

Final Thoughts

It’s mentioned in the videos already, but I’ll repeat it for the sake of getting it to sink in – these machines, in my opinion, are the machines of “the future”. CZT machines are more efficient (and of higher quality) than other motorized machines, and more effective than traditional weight based machines – even those of Nautilus and MedX.

If I had consistent access to them, you would see me use them almost exclusively. My personal preferences as of right now would make me lean to workout that looked something like …

  • Leg Press (horizontal plane machine)
  • Chest Press (vertical plane machine)
  • Pulldown (vertical plane machine)
  • Lower Back (core machine)

And not much else (granted, I haven’t tried everything on these machines, but from what I have done, that’s what I would select for my workout).

The format I would start off with would be negative only repetitions instead of hyper reps or double negatives (I have not tried positive only). Out of the three styles I have tried, those, for reasons I cannot fully explain, seemed the most intense.

I have heard of some clues though.

One is that the negative portion of a rep produces more micro-trauma than the positive portion (Drew Baye). The other is that the negative portion of a rep requires less oxygen than the positive (Mark Alexander).

While not necessarily “natural”, I believe these two factors in tandem, allow for an incredible degree of fatigue in the muscles. Combined with a lot of patience for recovery and a disregard for metabolic condition resulting from strength training, I think there is a lot of potential in negative only training on these machines.

Special Thanks

To Mark Alexander, Keith Norris, and Skyler Tanner of Efficient Exercise for volunteering their time, effort, and facilities to satisfy my curiosity and month long build up of training angst (before arriving in Austin I had not worked out for a clean 30 days).

If you live in Austin and are not training with these guys, you are missing out. And if you live in Central Florida, keep an eye on Drew Baye as I hear he is supposed to be getting one of these in the not too distant future.

ps- Don’t be surprised if you see some of these men speaking at The 21 Convention some day.

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

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13 Responses to Exercise in the 21st Century

  1. Mark Alexander October 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Anthony, great job with your focus and intensity during the workouts. To say we threw you for a loop is an understatement considering your previous time away from training and the new machines. I hope you continue to see Austin for all that it is truly worth as we have a vision for Austin to be the epicenter of health and fitness in the years to come.

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson October 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

      As others have told me in my endeavors, I don’t think you realize what you have Mark. Austin, EE, and your team, already are an epicenter of health and fitness. Only way to go from here is up.

      Now go get that deal with NASA! =)

  2. needsinnatt21c October 16, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    The youtube preview picture looks like you are playing a gran turismo in a racing seat 🙂 .
    Could you explain what the stuff on the monitor is meaning?

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson October 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      I’m not familiar enough with the machines to answer that, but from what I do know, the vertical plane machine is currently more “accurate” than the horizontal plane machine (which requires compensation for the user and their limb length).

      If you contact Mark he can explain it better.

  3. Keith Norris October 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Enjoyed having you visit “the ATX”, Anthony, and hope that you’ll swing back through town soon. We truly see Austin as the epicenter of all things related to Physical Culture, and we at Efficient Exercise endeavor to be the gold standard in the delivery of quality personal training to Austin area residents. Thanks highlighting what we do, and for spreading the good word.

    • Anthony 'Dream' Johnson October 17, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

      Np Keith. Thanks again for the hospitality while in Austin – sadistic as it was 😉

      • al October 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

        Swab you one bad ass mo fow….

  4. Donnie Hunt December 16, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    I might be a little late commenting commenting on this but thought I would anyway. This looks like alot of fun and alot of torture! Lol! These machines look awesome! I’ve not had the experience yet but hope to eventually. Hope you’re doing well Dream.

  5. Sharon Hamlin April 3, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Hello Johnson!
    This is really a good invention of 21st century.I’m not familiar with this machine but through your video & post I think it’s a great blast for the workout lovers.
    It’s far more better than traditional weight lifting with this equipment one can easily enjoy the weight lifting exercise.I said the word “enjoy” cause I’m so afraid of weight lifting exercise.That’s why I said so.But all in all it’s a marvelous machine I wish I could use it….. 🙂


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