Received this question from Bradley:
Hi there Skyler,
forgive me for asking, but if mechanotransduction is the main stimulus for hypertrophy and not how well you perform an exercise, what is all the fuss about hi-tech machines, such s ARX, renex etc, that are worth crazy money? do the machines benefits extend beyond hypertrophy?
thanks and happy New year
This is a great question! I’ll take it piece by piece.
It’s important to make sure that we clearly define “exercise performance” in this context. The performance that does not seem to matter as much is objective improvements vis a vis more weight and reps. Doing cheat curls to move more weight and reps won’t lead to bigger arms, for example. The performance that does matter is qualitative, that you behave in such a way that your efforts are to better contract the tissues tasked with performing task. Truly quality over quantity.
Hi-Tech Machines & Other Benefits
Are they worth the money? Well for hypertrophy the answer is probably not. However, and this is a biggie, they allow for many more modes than just “get sole, brah.”
I have clients who have used the ARX for years now and are not any larger than when they started, but we knew that going in. They had already been training for some time and had only modest hypertrophy gains. Remember: the problem was never the stimuli per se; they were never going to grow much in the first place!
So where they do provide value is easier setup for one.The second is mode of operation: I’m able to use the ARX in a variety of ways depending on the client’s chronic condition. If they have osteoporosis, I set it up and use it like a Biodensity. If they have diabetes, I include concentric-only work. If they really care about tension, heavy negatives. If they’re a total nerd and need the quantification, just look at the screen!
We don’t need convenience food to survive, but it certainly makes managing our lives a little bit easier given our circumstances. Machines are a tool that can make your task easier, depending on the circumstances you’re operating in.