152 – Mike Pullano – The Evolution Of Health Clubs, ARX Startups, And ARX Muscle Hypertrophy

Mike Pullano is the Product and Fulfilment Manager at ARXFit, which he uses to exercise an average time of 7 hours and 8 minutes PER YEAR.

In this episode, Mike and I do a deep dive on ARX technology to understand its role in the evolving exercise market, how business can incorporate ARX into their service portfolio and whether or not it’s superior for stimulating optimal muscle hypertrophy.

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  • The evolution of health clubs: from big-box gym to boutique
  • A deep review of the features and function of ARX
  • Strategies for ARX-based startups who also want to provide infrared sauna, vibration therapy, red-light therapy, and more.
  • Why Mike believes ARX is the most effective tool available for optimising muscle hypertrophy
  • And much more




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Would you like to learn how to build a profitable strength training business with ARX? – Listen to my episode with EverStrongSF Co-Founder, Abe Williams, and ARX Product Specialist, Mike Pullano, here. In this episode, we discuss how to price and package ARX for maximum profitability, how to differentiate your strength training business, how to use ARX to guarantee client progression over the long-term, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

This episode is brought to you by ARXFit.com, ARX are the most innovative, efficient and effective all-in-one exercise machines I have ever seen. I was really impressed with my ARX workout. The intensity and adaptive resistance were unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I love how the machine enables you to increase the negative load to fatigue target muscles more quickly and I love how the workouts are effortlessly quantified. The software tracks maximum force output, rate of work, total amount of work done and more in front of you on-screen, allowing you to compete with your pervious performance, to give you and your clients real-time motivation.

As well as being utilised by many HIT trainers to deliver highly effective and efficient workouts to their clients, ARX comes highly recommended by world-class trainers and brands including Bulletproof, Tony Robbins, and Ben Greenfield Fitness. To find out more about ARX and get $500 OFF install, please go to ARXfit.com and mention Corporate Warrior in the how did you hear about us field – ORDER HERE

Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

Comments 12

  • Does he describe his ~8 minute workout somewhere? Didn’t hear it in the podcast

    • Hi David! While I’m not as regimented as I used to be when I first found ARX due to the demands of ARX from a time-perspective, the general protocol I shoot for is as follows:

      Workout A:
      2 Sets of 6 reps at speeds of 7sec positive and 7sec negative with no pauses between each rep.

      Leg Press + Chest Press + Row

      Workout B:
      2 Sets of 6 reps at speeds of 7sec positive and 7sec negative with no pauses between each rep.

      Pull Down + Overhead Press + Tricep Pressdown + Biceps Curl

      Most of the time, I try to shoot for this A/B split during the week, but if time becomes stressed, I’ll just a Big 4 (Leg Press, Chest Press, Row, Pulldown) and call it a day.

      With ARX, all the parameters are preset so all I need to worry about is sitting down and giving my best effort. Over time, I’ve found that these sessions typically fatigue my eccentric strength 30-40% by the end and I find that to be all the stimulus that is necessary to maintain my strength and muscle mass.

      I do regular DXA scans (typically 2x per year) and even on such limited exercise, I’ve actually continued to still gain muscle over the past 5 years (albeit .5-1lb per year) which is pretty amazing, IMO!

      • That’s amazing! Thanks for sharing and excellent work Mike!

      • Hi MIke, great interview! Thank you for sharing all with us! With regards to your protocol, I noticed, that you typically do 2 sets x 6 reps. Are these 1 warm up like and 1 working set or both are working sets so to speak. I’ve heard in Mark Alexander’s interview, that you at ARX seem to prefer doing a second set or attempt based on your data collected so far, but I was curious how is it in your case. And typically do you have parts of your workouts that you consider a warmup? Some reps of a set, dedicated set, pre workout warm up or whatever?

  • So in May of this year, I saw an announcement that a fitness studio with ARX equipment was opening up in my town. I was jazzed with the prospect of at least getting to try out this state of the art gear. But at the time I saw the ad, I had lots of stuff going on, so I wasn’t able to sign up for some sessions right away. By early July, I was ready to explore further. To my shock, the place had already gone out of business. It was only open about 6 or 7 weeks before it folded. They had a good location, and the pictures of the facility looked nice, so I can’t imagine what went wrong.

    ARX are promoting a well known business model: offer a unique, premium service for a premium price. That is good for the business owner that has an ongoing business, and for the company leasing the equipment. But it seems destined to be a niche business catering to affluent customers. Personally, as a consumer, I tend to stay away from those kinds of businesses because I’m frugal. And philosophically, I don’t like the idea of tying my fitness program to something that is expensive and not widely available. (Though I still appreciate well-designed high end stuff, even if I rarely buy it.) Different strokes for different folks!

    • Hi Greg– having had personal, firsthand experience with the location you mentioned, I can tell you that the location’s closing was caused by some alleged malfeasance on the part of one of the partners in the business. The training side of things was actually going well.

      They had two ARX machines, a full set of dumbbells, some TRX bands, a yoga floor, a salt wall, infrared saunas, and some other equipment as well. While their closing is unfortunate, I wouldn’t be too quick to attribute it to a commercial failure of the salt wall, ARX, the infrared saunas, or any of the other tools that they had under their roof.

      My $0.02 from the cheap seats!

      Also, Google around; there’s another ARX-Equipped location in your town that also has float tanks ????

      • Small businesses have a pretty high failure rate, and it is often for things other than the product or service offered, so I wasn’t intending to imply anything wrong with the ARX gear. But 6 weeks is a pretty short lifespan, so it makes one wonder.

        Based on the equipment they had, it looked like they were blending ARX with free weight and body-weight training and HIIT. It will be interesting to see how ARX-only training studios fare when compared to those who use it as one of many tools. Though I suspect I would like ARX, I’m not sure I’d want to use it as my exclusive training method.

        Also, it was via their web site that I learned of the existence of the HIITMILL X (by Stairmaster). Yet another unique bit of gear.

        As for the other place: their web site says ‘opening soon’. And the vibe appears more New Age than HIT… 🙂

  • Another thought regarding the potential for pushing the envelope on your genetic limits via ARX training…

    The value for any kind of strength training is that it produces a general adaptation – you get bigger muscles that can be used to support whatever movement you need to do. That said, strength and muscle mass are not perfectly correlated. For any particular movement that you do, your performance in that movement is a product of general adaptations (i.e., bigger muscles) and other things. So you can get big glutes, strong spinal erectors, and strong hamstrings doing a variety of things, but if your objective is to deadlift the most weight that you can, you are going to have to be training the deadlift heavy and regularly, to get the elements associated with that lift that are highly specific (mostly neurological and motor skill stuff).

    So consider someone who has already reached a pretty high level of muscle mass and strength via other training methods, and then they go on to train on an ARX. The easiest thing to track is the strength that they can produce against that machine. My expectation would be that, if they have never done that kind of movement pattern against that kind of resistance, they will get stronger. That is just what happens when you start training novel movement patterns. The harder question is how much of that strength gain is the result of further general adaptation, and how much is specific to that movement. That is much harder to assess, because the person I’ve just described will have a lot less upside for muscle growth. So the precise monitoring of strength levels that the machine offers may be quite motivational in terms of letting people see further progress, but what it really means is still subject to some interpretation.

    • Great point Greg. We talked about the skill training a bit in this ep. Certainly useful for new trainee motivation. If I’ve understood Mike & co correctly and blend that with my experience using ARX, it seems to get everything out of you in terms of efficiently and effectively fatiguing all muscle fibers. The adaptive resistance during the concentric and eccentric is incredibly intense. During my workout, I could not complete the set because I just could not contract anymore. I was fried, and it got me there faster than any other peice.

    • Greg P. according to my personal experience, the exercises, that you can do on the ARX are very similar to the gym/weight versions in terms of paths of movement. Omni is a total cable set up, so you pretty much get the same freedom of movement as with dumbelss or barbels or typical machines for your body structure. With the Alpha, at least for the leg press, things are also very similar. The important factor is the Adaptive Resistance Difference though. Unlike with weights, with ARX, practically all ROM portions may be productive.
      So with regards to your skill comment, I do not think, that using ARX will have a big skill change required if one has already training experience with typical exercises. What is very handy about ARX though is, that you really can develop your skill to exert hard in a much safer enviroment :)))
      I refer to ARX machines as tools, that have a certain purpose. In this case the purpose is to load the musculature in the most effective way possible.
      Imagine, that you need to drill a hole in the wall in your home and there aree three scenarios:
      1. Dig with your finger – takes a lot of time and collateral damage 🙂
      2. Use sissors for example – not the prefect tool, still poor result, slow, but damage of fingers is minimised;
      3. Use an electric drilling macine – you will have your hole exactly deep and wide as you want it and you will have it in seconds. But you still need to use the tool for the job right?!
      So ARX is a great tool for exercising your muscles. But if you’re lloking to improve your chin ups numbers, then obviously, ARX can only be an asset to your chin up bar practice.

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