ARx Fit Equipment & The Future of Exercise

(click to play)

Keith Norris, even with an incredible and impressive physique before incorporating ARx Fit equipment into his workouts, is a living, breathing testament to the merits of motorized resistance training.

This stands in stark contrast to the skepticism of “the masses”, who generally do not even posses a working understanding of the equipment. “Naturally”, they attack what they do not understand (gee, where have we seen that before?).

This is tragic on their part because I am convinced, independent of protocol, motorized exercise equipment is the future of exercise, the same way cams and weight stacks were, once upon a time.

This does not mean all other equipment will disappear, or be made obsolete. Gravity dependent equipment will, and I believe currently is, simply no longer the best and highest possible for the human animal.

Selectorized machines that crudely track for changes in strength through a given range of motion were certainly a step in the right direction, but they do not account for :

  • changing levels of strength via fatigue
  • individual limb length
  • individual muscle length
  • individual tendon length
  • eccentric/concentric strength differences
  • *unforeseen/currently unknown interplay between all of the above*

Human anatomy is universal, and yet, we do not all work exactly the same. We are literally, different sizes. Hell, we may not all even be 100% homo sapien.

But how will we know when to end a set!?! The naysayers will say …

And this depicts how tradition-dependent most protocol is today, even within high intensity training. [So deeply ingrained, they do not even know it half the time]. Everything is designed around the limitations of available equipment. Okay fair enough … but what about when those limitations are removed?

What happens when protocol is designed first and foremost for the human animal, with the equipment in a distant second place?

What happens when Atlas is unchained?

This has never been done before to my knowledge, and it will be interesting to see what develops in this regard in the years and decades to come …

In the meantime, check out the quick video of Keith. I thought it was a simple video, a simple statement, and yet a powerful testament to what motorized equipment can do, even for someone like Keith who was already in top of the food chain shape.

Disclaimer : this video was independently filmed, edited, produced, and published by The 21 Convention. The contents of this video are not necessarily endorsed by ARx Fit. The production and publication of this video was not commissioned by ARx Fit or any such person acting on their behalf.

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 and

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15 Responses to ARx Fit Equipment & The Future of Exercise

  1. Donnie Hunt April 2, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    No momentum. Speed is not an issue. Progressive weakening into a set is not an issue. No sticking points. Etc., etc. 🙂 The ability to focus on muscular contraction with all that stuff outta your way.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Agreed. However, not only is speed “not an issue”, you have additional options with speed entirely absent with gravity dependent equipment, or severely limited.

      “one and done”
      Or, perfect 10 second positive, followed by a different speed negative (trainer adjusted at the turn around in less than a second).

  2. Carl April 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Looks like you need to use your thumbs to press & hold buttons on the hand grips to trigger up or down motion. Does that interfere at all with security of grip on the pulling or pushing movements?

    I understand it is recommended that you don’t exert maximum effort until you have done a rep or two to warmup and fatigue the muscles. Is that your practice?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

      Hey Carl

      If the trainee is training alone, yes, they generally need to use the thumb triggers for *dynamic* exercises. This is a non issue on TSC. When a trainer or partner is present the entire machine can be operated via remote by the observer.

      As for interference, not in my experience, even on the pulldown when the forearms are called into action. I think this is because there is no “weight” being used, so, it is categorically different than having a “button” to press on a gravity based exercise machine – which would require a lot more “finesse”.

      Its hard to explain until you try it, however, I think if you did, your findings would be the same, even on the first go.

      Re effort : first, it is important to understand that “maximum effort”, relative to the skeletal muscle itself, is not possible on the first rep. Try as you might, your second rep will very likely be higher in force output.

      Second, even the ultra intense “hyper rep”, does not represent maximum force output for a given muscle. The true maximum is only possible when the fibers, at maximum static contraction effort, at maximum torque, are then forcefully lengthened into a quasi-eccentric contraction.

      Finally, in light of all the above, when I perform hyper reps, I generally do not give 100% effort on the first rep – unless I performed a “warm up set” of 2 reps at a low ~50% effort, followed by a 30 second break, before starting, which is equally common for me.

      The same also applies to negative only.

      *Finally, finally*, the above is done as precaution. It would be false to think there was imminent injury every single time a trainee hopped on and gave what they believed was 100% effort on the first rep. This is because the machine provides a perfect resistance curve – and people tend to underestimate their maximum strength, if they even have the capacity to contract their muscles as hard as they think they can …

      • Carl April 4, 2013 at 8:22 am #

        Thanks for the comments.

        It would be neat to try one of these, but they seem to be about as rare as black swans.

        • Anthony Dream Johnson April 4, 2013 at 11:59 am #

          Hey Carl

          Depends on where you live. They have ARx equipment all over the country, even parts of Europe (London, Denmark).

          Give them a buzz and theyll let you know about the closest one.

  3. MC April 6, 2013 at 3:18 am #

    You can’t fool me Anthony Dream Johnson. Everyone knows you need barbell back squats to get that big.

    Just a couple questions ADJ: How heavy is the machine itself? Would carrying it down a flight of stairs pose a problem for one person? It comes fully assembled like yours was cause I’d imagine it’d be easier to carry disassembled?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 6, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      God damnit … I’ve been figured out! The bb squat is king!

      I’m not sure how heavy the machine itself is. That also depends on whether the motor is attached. The motor probably weights as much or more than the machine itself.

      If the motor is not yet attached, and the machine is folded up, one strong person should be able to carry it, even down stairs. Not with the motor attached though. I don’t even think Keith could swing that one.

      As far as how it comes, mine was not brand new, so I am not sure how put together a new one comes. Was easy for me though.

      1) bring machine inside
      2) unfold back
      3) insert pin
      4) attach motor

      The motor is heavy, so you may need another person to help attach it just because it is heavy. should be able to answer much better =)

  4. CA April 7, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Can you program the device to move at different speeds for the positive and negative, e.g., a slow concentric and a fast eccentric?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      On new models, yes, a trainer can adjust the speed on the fly. This is actually done in the new 2012 ARx video from The 21 Convention Austin if you watch closely.

      You can’t “pre-program” it to do so though, it has to be trainer adjusted for the time being.

      A slow positive and a fast negative could be interesting though. Maximum metabolic effect.

      • CA April 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

        I happened to have stumbled on a study someone did on an isokinetic machine. They reached the conclusion that a fast eccentric was better for hypertrophy than a slow eccentric. But how do you do a meaningful fast eccentric with free weight? You can drop the bar, of course, but then the muscles are not under load, so you really don’t get what is required – a fast movement because you are unable to resist the force. Maybe X-Force, if you really set the weight high, and had someone help you on the positive. Then I thought of the ARX – might be the ideal way to do it.

        • Anthony Dream Johnson April 8, 2013 at 11:44 am #

          Hey CA

          I’m not sure isokinetic machines are the same as ARx machines. I believe this can be achieved on hydraulic machines for example, which are in no way the same as ARx machines. I’ve seen Keith call ARx equipment “dynakinetic” which may be more appropriate, because unlike hydraulic machines, the ARx provides a perfect resistance curve at all times for all efforts by all trainees.

          Re free weights : yes, it’s impossible to do a fast eccentric with gravity dependent equipment. Certainly possible on the ARx though. I will give it a try this weekend or next. Although by “fast” I’m thinking 3-5 seconds, vs. 8-10 seconds.

  5. Paul June 26, 2013 at 3:26 am #

    Hey anthony i am just so interested in getting an arx machine how much money do u think i would be looking at to get one delivered to australia

  6. Francis April 4, 2016 at 8:53 am #

    I’d like to state the obvious. These machines are just moving isometric machines that measure the load your muscles apply. The machine is just a winch that pulls or releases. The force measurement is inline and it is up to you to pull/push with the machine; concentric or resist the pull; eccentric. The only interesting function is device that measures the force applied and keeps track of it so you have a real time measure of your efforts. The price and leasing amounts are ridiculous.

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