Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Tried ARX (Adaptive Resistance Exercise) and This is What Happened...

As a personal trainer I'll be the first to remind you that there are no quick fixes on the path to health and fitness. There is no easy button. You have to do the work. There's no pill, shake or carb-blocking supplement that will get you results any faster than good old fashion exercise and eating right.

In fact, these distractions are largely a waste of your time, energy and money and can actually take you further away from your goals because they shift your focus away from the hard work you need to do.

There's no two ways about it, if you want results you have to do the work.

So when I first heard about ARX I was naturally a little skeptical. When I saw that they advertise that you can get results in as little as 10 minutes a week, red flags were going up all over the place. "You gotta do the work," my inner personal trainer screamed out.

I learned about ARX from a local gym owner over at Optimal Force Fitness is Fort Worth, TX who contacted me on Instagram and asked if I wanted to come in for a free demo of the equipment and meet for coffee. She seemed like a nice lady, I have an open mind and it is always good to make friends in the local fitness community. Let's see what this is all about.

ARX stands for Adaptive Resistance Exercise and it turns out it is very forward-thinking technology. At first glance the equipment looks like typical gym machines. There was one that resembled a leg press machine and another one like a pulley machine, but they aren't like typical gym machines at all.

Trying the ARX equipment at Optimal Force Fitness

This equipment doesn't use traditional weights or plates, instead it uses a computerized resistance system to match the exact resistance to the user's force, which means you get the perfect rep every single time.

If you start to get tired and your output declines, the resistance declines. If you are stronger for one rep than the next, the machine adapts the resistance by the second, perfectly every time. If you slept three hours last night and skipped breakfast your output is going to be less than if you ate a hearty meal and slept like a baby. The ARX technology matches the exact force you produce, never more, never less, giving you maximum benefit while reducing the chance of injury. It's as effective for athletes as it for the elderly.

Dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are all effective resistance training tools and people have been using them to sculpt amazing, strong and fit bodies for centuries, but is there a better, more efficient way?

The muscle contracts during the lift (the concentric phase) and lengthens as the weight is lowered (the eccentric phase). The muscles can support more weight in the eccentric lowering motion, but due to the limitations of having to lift the weight first, we can usually only lower a weight as heavy as we can first lift it.

Since the ARX technology is not using physical weights, it matches your force with the ideal resistance every second for both the concentric and eccentric actions. So unlike most exercises with traditional weights, you can perform the eccentric action of the exercise with more resistance than the concentric. It's one way that the ARX technology maximizes the time and effort of your workout.

If you're worried about doing only machine-based exercises, you'll be glad to hear there is ARX equipment for squats and deadlifts too so you still can get the benefits of functional fitness, which is important to me.

It's not a quick fix but it may be a short cut, but only because you are getting the maximum benefit out of every muscle action. There's no wasted time or energy. It's working smarter and harder with every repetition. There's no such thing as a half ass workout with ARX technology, so there is no wasted time in the gym.

While I am not about quick fixes, I am all about maximizing my time and efficiency.

I put my money where my mouth is to see if this will work with my fitness lifestyle. This is not a sponsored post. I was was not paid or given a discount to write this post. I signed up with Optimal Force Fitness, paid for a three month membership with my own hard-earned money and scheduled 30 minute sessions with a trainer twice a week.

I am really excited to see my progress in strength over the next few months. I am training for a few half marathons in the spring and the ARX technology is a great supplement to my plan because it allows me to focus on running while efficiently working on strength training. I won't have to spend any energy on my own strength programming. I don't have to think about how much weight I should use, how many sets and reps and when I need to progress in order to meet my goals. I'll get my strength work done and be back out on the road.

Have you ever heard of ARX? There are big fitness names backing it, like Dave Asprey and my favorite Podcaster, Ben Greenfield...and now Lea Genders Fitness (wink).

I'm intrigued. I'll let you know how it goes as I progress through the next three months. Could this be a game changer for my strength training in 2018? Only time will tell...

The downside so far? No dogs allowed. Here's what Ollie thinks about that.

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Keep Running,


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