Why MedX®

It is first important to be familiar with these terms below, to best understand what makes MedX® so superior to all other exercise machines on the market today and why here at Smarty Pants Work-Out we chose to use them exclusively.


Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus exercise equipment in the 1970’s, developed MedX® exercise equipment in the 1990’s. Jones decided he wanted to fund a research project to develop a superior machine that could measure lower back strength and could be used to treat lower back pain. After millions of dollars of research, Jones sold Nautilus, and the MedX® Lumbar Extension was created. At the same time a medical machine called the MedX® Cervical Extension was designed to treat neck problems, was also created. After years of research, it was discovered that MedX®, with an amazing 94%, had the highest success rate for lumbar (back) and cervical (neck) patients. These machine were so successful that Jones then decided to develop a whole line of MedX® exercise equipment.



MedX® is set apart from other strength training equipment by the fact that it has low friction, small weight increments, short weight strokes and proper strength curves.


Why low friction is important:

MedX® has between 0 and 5% friction in it while traditional equipment has up to 30%. What that means to you is, if you had 100 pounds on a machine with 2% friction, you would be pushing 102 pounds during the positive phase of the movement and resisting 98 pounds during the negative phase. This is a four pound difference between the positive and negative phases. On traditional equipment, with 30% friction, that 100 pounds turns into you having to push 130 pounds during the positive phase and resisting 70 pounds during the negative phase.

That’s a difference of 60 pounds! With that kind of difference, your muscles have ample opportunity to recover during the negative phase, which means that you will be unable to effectively fatigue the muscles and subsequently will not get the most benefit from your workout. The amount of friction plays a vital role in the process of improving your strength and changing the shape of your body.


Why small weight increments are important:

MedX® allows you to increase or decrease the weight being used by 2 pounds, whereas traditional equipment only allows five to ten pound increments. Why this is important is based on two fundamental premises: 1) it is critical to fatigue the muscles within one to three minutes or four to eight repetitions, and 2) as a person gets stronger, the weights need to be increased to work the muscles more deeply each time. This is where the problem of large weight increments comes in. If you increase the weight too much, by five pounds or more, the muscle may fatigue sooner than the required one minute or four repetitions. Conversely, if you don’t add enough weight, because the increment is too large forcing you to keep it the same weight as the time before, you may perform too many repetitions and be on the machine longer than the three minute optimum time frame. That is why the small weight increment of two pounds that MedX® offers is the most beneficial for effectively working your muscles.


Why short weight strokes are important:

MedX® is the only equipment company with a short one foot weight stroke. Most companies’ weight stroke is two or more feet. What that means is that the weight stack movement of only one foot on a full-range repetition is safer and smoother than the competition with a longer weight stroke. Another reason the shorter weight stroke is important is that if you have 120 pounds on the one foot weight stroke machine, then that means you are moving 120 pounds. On the other hand, if you have 120 pounds on a two foot weight stroke machine, then you are really lifting about 240 pounds depending on the machine. That also means that if you increase the weight by two pounds on a one foot machine, you really are increasing it by two pounds, whereas on a two foot machine you are raising it by five pounds which equates to a 10 pound increase.


Why proper strength curves are important:

Cams on strength training equipment need to support the strength curves in the body. The cams on most equipment are incorrect in this regard. For example, if we put 100 pounds on the machine, then at the beginning of the movement you would be pushing 100 pounds. As you moved through the full range of motion to the fully extended position, the cam would be moving so that the weight would continue to lighten so that at the end of the movement that 100 pounds would have smoothly lightened to 71.4 pounds. Each muscle has a different natural strength curve so each piece of equipment should have a different cam. For example, if you put 140 pounds on the Leg Extension machine it would start at 120 pounds in the fully flexed position, increase to 150 pounds within the first fifty degrees, and then it would decrease to less than 50 pounds in the fully extended position. Each machine needs to be properly calibrated and designed to accommodate the muscle group it is targeting.

For all of these reasons, MedX® is simply the best, most effective strength training equipment on the market today.


* Cam – the rotating piece in the equipment by which rotary motion is transformed into linear motion or vice versa
* Friction – the force that resists motion between objects in contact
* Negative phase – the part of the exercise where you are lowering the weight stack back to the starting position, in this phase your muscles are stronger
* Positive phase – the part of the exercise where you are raising the weight stack to full extension
* Strength curve – the natural variation in strength you possess throughout full range of motion of any single exercise
* Weight stroke – the distance the weights have to travel to full extension

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