What’s a WOW Look like these days? [video]


I get the title question via e-mail from time to time. The short answer is, not much different than it has.

The long answer is today’s actual workout, part of which you can see in the video above.

The workout in total included the following :

(1) Nautilus Nitro Leg Press (ass off the seat DeSimone style)

  • Dual Leg : 320×20
  • Operative Leg : 160 x 20
  • Operative Leg : 165 x 20
  • Operative Leg : 190 x 25
  • Dual Leg : 380 x 25
  • Non-operative Leg : 285 x 26
*This exercise was performed for rehabilitative purposes, not hypertrophic purposes.

(2) Nautilus Nitro Hip ad/abduction machine :

  • Abduction : 170 x 16
  • Adduction : 125 x 21

(3) Neck Mobility Homework

(4) Single leg-soft lock stability work

(5) Homeworks 2 + 3 from this video

(6) Negative Only ARX Pulldown (should be 11 reps — need to check the video!)

(7) Negative Only ARX Press (should be 9 reps — also need to double check)

(8) TSC ARX standing bicep curl : 60 seconds @ 72

(9) DeSimone low-back-ball x 27

(10) DeSimone ab-ball x 60 (total)

(11) DeSimone V-ball x 20 (total)

(12) Bodyweight Congruent Exercise heel raises : L=16 R=14

(13) Dynamic Neck Flexion on the Omni

(14) Static Neck Extension on the Omni

(15) Static neck side/side on the Omni

Incomprehensible Resistance

I have a bit to say about the workout, and plenty to say about rehabilitation. While I may update this post at a later date with some thoughts on those subjects, I’m much more interested in talking about motorized resistance, especially while I have people’s attention on it.

I’m interested in it because it leaves me speechless when I see, with unrelenting consistency, how many people are completely clueless on the concept, and remain clueless.

I’m not just talking about stupid people either, I’m also talking about people who are extremely intelligent, yet, in no way, shape, or form, understand how motorized resistance works.

It eludes them entirely.

You can explain it to them, show them, and answer questions. And yet, they often, still fail to understand.

And I’m beginning to understand why.

It’s not the biggest “aha” moment I’ve ever had, but, it’s big enough.

I think the biggest reason that people fail to understand it is much the same reason they fail to understand why political systems today are crumbling.

That reason is slave-thinking — and I do not mean this term in it’s common, or uncommon understanding.

People are stuck in a bubble and are completely unable to think outside of whatever that paradigm is.

In politics today, everyone believes that the legal system is a floating abstraction. Whatever you want the law to be, you can make it (and therefore, all political action that follows “the law”, is legal).

Don’t like the federal constitution? Just interpret differently.

Or if you’re a strict constitutionalist/libertarian/XYZ, amend it.

No one stops to think that you aren’t allowed to amend it any which way you, anyone, or everyone wants.

A limit that exists objectively, outside of any human beings capacity to change, is incomprehensible, even to most die-hard libertarians.

You say it, and it’s like you’re saying the moon is made out of swiss cheese.

The same phenomenon occurs in exercise.

You suggest cardio doesn’t exist, and people wonder how long it will be before your favorite outfit includes a straight jacket.

Similarly, you remove the “weight” from “weight training”, and people jump off an intellectual cliff.

People do this because they are currently only capable of thinking about exercise in some combination of athletics, gravity, bulky weights, cams, barbells, dumbbells, bodyweight, feats of strength, and so on.

Of these, gravity is most interesting to me because it underpins all the rest. And when you remove this “pin” holding everything up, the concept crumbles. A person becomes incapable of understanding “exercise”, without weights and gravity.

It doesn’t make any sense to them, especially if you are still referring to dynamic exercises.

They have no-fucking-clue.

And even though I’m starting to understand why, it still baffles me. I think this is because the second you try it, the understanding is instantaneous.

The direct experience of using motorized resistance makes it very, very obvious of how it works.

But until then, good luck.

Such was part of the intention of the above video. So far, it looks like very few (new) people understand what the hell is going on when you pull on a moving cable, even with a RPM style gauge staring them in the face.

God people are fucking dumb.


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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11 Responses to What’s a WOW Look like these days? [video]

  1. eric October 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    Interesting post Anthony. Can this kind of negative only training be achieved (inevitably in a inferior manner) without an ARX set up? I’m based in ireland and currently don’t have the funds to buy and ship this out from the US.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Hey Eric

      Of course! It’s just a lot harder to do without motorized equipment, because you need to get the weight, or even your bodyweight, into position … and that means either a positive contraction, or having 1-3 buddies help you.

      Further complicating matters is that you can lower more weight in a controlled manner than you can lift. Your muscles are stronger at resisting release, than they are at positive contraction, so to speak (because there may be a better way to word that).

      I’d recommend reading what Drew Baye has to say on negative (emphasized) training here


      (Emphasized indicating that positive contractions are still a part of the protocol, unlike negative only like I did in the video, in which there are no positive contractions taking place).

      • eric October 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

        thanks very much Anthony, and yes i will check that link out

        • eric October 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

          Just as a follow up i messaged Mr Baye and he recommended i look into HIIT.

          I do have a question about negative only training Anthony, (with the caveat i understand you are performing this for rehabilitative purposes) though, in that does neglecting (or in my case minimising) the positive concentric phase lead to any sort of decline in the rate of muscular hypertrophy?

          That is to say, am I missing anything out by minimising the positive phase and concentrating on the negative?

          I have a feeling i might have got a few concepts mixed up so forgive me if i’ve said anything ridiculously idiotic.

          Thanks again,

          • Anthony Dream Johnson October 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

            Wait a second … Drew recommended you look into HIIT, or HIT?

            HIIT is usually something Drew would not recommend, although he might in certain, limited, rare cases, with a stationary bike or something (or more commonly if a person is an athlete, but that’s a big maybe, I don’t speak for Drew).

            Re negative training – I did not do this workout for rehab purposes. The only injured part on my body is my left knee. Rest of my body is fine.

            Negative only work is widely accepted as beneficial during rehab though (although that doesn’t necessarily make it true, just saying it’s popular and not contested much in rehab circles, as I understand it).

            Are you missing out on anything?

            By my judgement, probably not, although, that’s still a probably. Even with access to my Omni, I don’t exclusively train negative only, and I have no plans to, other than for perhaps an n=1 experiment.

            Hyper reps are also fun =).

            I really, really doubt you will miss out on anything performing negative emphasized repetitions (unlike negative only, you are still performing significant positive work).

            Finally, by working the positive contractions less/none, you will get less of a metabolic effect from your workouts.

            This is not important to me because I’m not an athlete, and I do not think this adaption is especially important for health.

            If anything, metabolic conditioning is a short-term, fleeting adaptation at best. IMO you are a lot better of maximizing your effort on every single exercise, rather than running through them (which will floor most people at the end of a standard HIT workout).

            • eric October 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

              yeah i believe it was HIT, not HIIT. my bad.

              you make some excellent points Anthony, and i have already started introducing negative emphasised training into my workouts. and holy shit is it a new world of pain (doms). sleeping like a baby on my workout days.

              thanks again

  2. Donnie Hunt October 15, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Hey Anthony,

    I definately hear ya on some of your points here. The whole “need” for cardio stuff, having to move “weights” or using “machines with weights”. I watched your Youtube video talking about gravity based resistance vs. motorized resistance, again recently. I think you made some really good points. I’m gonna have to go back and read this article again after I type this. Your talk about if aliens where to design an ideal machine for humans to exercise with really made me think.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      Hey Donnie

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the video/article.

      For the record (for anyone else reading this), the “aliens” bit has nothing to do with aliens. It’s a metaphor for stripping down a concept to it’s basic, fundamental premise.

  3. robyn HB October 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Does anyone know Bill Desimone’s opinion on low back exercise machines, such as the Medx Low back machine?

    • Anthony Dream Johnson October 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

      That’s a good question. I’ll send him your comment.

      At the same time, the only low-back exercise he recommends is in Congruent Exercise, which requires a stability ball underneath the abs. This has little to do with the abs as I understand it, and is instead a safety measure for the spine.

      I’ve also heard (unconfirmed) whispers that Bill is skeptical of the safety of static contractions for the low back, such as Doug McGuff detailed on a video, simply laying on the floor.

  4. Jared October 30, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    Why not the first homework in the crossfit video?

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