Mike Pullano is the Chief Product Officer at ARXFit, an adaptive resistance exercise technology that integrates software and motorized resistance for clients to have a safe, quantified, and efficient resistance training experience.
In this episode, Mike Pullano shares updates on ARX, new research comparing ARX to Moderate-Intensity Resistance Exercise, providing more evidence to support the effectiveness of high intensity training over traditional resistance exercise, and much more.
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- 1:07 – Updates from ARX, Post-COVID consumer/product trend
- 7:09 – Research overview and study design
- 17:32 – RESULTS: Waist circumference, muscular fitness, VO₂max
- 20:04 – Experimental design, How ARX technology works
- 31:34 – Thoughts on the effectiveness of high intensity training
- 37:46 – Case study results vs. Client results
- 46:17 – Other outcomes, discussion, conclusion
Selected Links from the Episode
- Upgrade Labs Biohacking Conference
- Oura Ring
- Personalized, Adaptive Resistance Training is Superior to Traditional Resistance Exercise -A Randomized, Controlled Trial (Lance Dalleck et.al.)
- Western Colorado University
- CAROL Bike (use Coupon Code HIB to get $250 OFF and 6-months FREE licensing)
- Dexa Scans / DXA
- Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle
- ARX Resistance Exercise Secrets: Why Everyone Should Be Doing It and How ARX Stacks Up Against Competition
Grep P says
Neat study. I particularly like that the strength tests were conducted with conventional movements, rather than an ARX specific protocol and metric. It gets rid of questions about specificity of strength developed on the ARX.
Regarding proximity to failure on ARX: As Mike sort of suggested, failure is not a relevant consideration for that mode of exercise. Failure happens on a fixed resistance machine when fatigue reduces your strength below the level required to sustain movement. With ARX, movement continues regardless of how weak you get. So some other criteria must be used for terminating the set. Sounds like depth of inroad or % reduction in peak strength is what he uses. Interesting that he typically does not go below 25% inroad, as that level of inroad seems easily reached with normal equipment.
With regard to the superiority of the ARX results: perhaps it shouldn’t be that surprising. The academic literature suggests that with strength, what seems to matter most is that you have some minimally sufficient amount of practice with high force efforts that are similar to or identical to the movements that you will use to test strength. Since all reps on the ARX are (or can be) maximal effort reps, and invoke maximum effort in both directions (concentric and eccentric), you should be able to expose the muscle fibers to higher tension for longer periods of time than can be achieved with fixed weight equipment. With the latter, you are submaximally loaded at the start, always underloaded on the eccentric, and only reach a maximum effort on the final rep, assuming you go to failure (which may not have been the case for the moderate intensity training group).
While very interesting, there isn’t much practical value in this for me at the moment. For me, and for most ordinary people, the machine is way too expensive ($40,000) to consider for home purchase and use. Last time I checked, there were no ARX training facilities within reasonable commuting distance in my area. Even if there were, I’m not sure I’d be up for paying $50 or more per training session, 100 times per year, year after year. Mike makes a good point that lack of time is one common excuse for not training; we should also recognize that lack of money to pay for training sessions could be just as much of an obstacle for many. Affluent people are not the only ones who need strength training.
The cool thing is that you don’t need an ARX machine to apply it’s principles. Think of a one arm chinup or pushups applying just enough assistance as needed to complete the rep. There you go. If it becomes too easy then you just need a weight vest with very little weight and you can keep the same training. For lower body you can do pistol squats with a weight best and/or dumbell/kettlebell on one hand on the same side as the working leg and the opposite hand givesyou balance and assitance or a step up with a barbell but using the opposite leg to bring just enough assistance. You can do nordic curls for hamstrings, Single leg calf raises for calves and more exercises and so on. Now, is ARX mechanism better than a traditional training method ? hard to tell with just one study being done on it so far and with the methodological flaws you mentioned.