Jun
25
2012

Dumpers IV, Segment D

81 comments written by Joshua Trentine

CZT/ARX

Several members of our team have personal experience with these products. On one level of critique, these machines are merely additions to the blinding myriad of machines on the market that track poor body mechanics and provide poor stabilization. Since the Nautilus heyday, proper tracking and stabilization might be expected to have been improved, but instead have degenerated in almost all equipment designs. This observation includes the hundreds of designs that have been granted U.S. patents.

Nevertheless—on another level of critique—the problem of the subject not having control over the turnarounds—like with many of the dumpers—is also an issue with the ARX machines.

The ARX machines have no weight stack. There is a motor that drives the seat (horizontally) or handles/pads vertically. The direction of movement can be controlled either by the subject via touch-sensitive pads (buttons) on the ends of the handles or by an instructor via a remote.

Although the resistance is entirely dictated by the subject’s effort, there are threatening problems during turnarounds when someone other than the subject controls the movement. This is true even with good communication between subject and instructor, but it is especially concerning when communication is poor or nonexistent. Of course, this communication—a dialog of sorts—is a dangerous dependency. As Arthur Jones repeatedly stressed, “Humans are the only animals that misunderstand…”

What’s more—and as we teach at Renaissance Exercise—talking lends to defocused effort and guard. Many people—in exercise as well as in industry and recreation—get hurt merely because they are engaged in conversation.

The turnaround control is yet worse when the subject controls the movement and he accidentally changes direction or stops. This happens if both thumb pads are inadvertently touched at once. The pads are very sensitive.

Another factor with subject-controlled turnarounds: the hand position is dictated by the need to place the thumbs over the controls rather than what is appropriate for the hands in that exercise.

In the following video we see an overhead press (among two other machines) performed without a proper seat back, without proper linear direction, and with a seat belt (fortunately) but without the ability to properly couple-lock the pelvis (unfortunately) as is required in this exercise. We estimate that the excursions are between four and five seconds (either the positive or the negative)—too fast to control many fine discrepancies. Also, there are load respites of several seconds between most excursions. During the leg press the instructor actually recommends waiting an additional “second” between the excursions to prevent the machinery from skipping a cog. In other words, the principle of continuous loading is violated.

To make matters worse, the user shows reckless behavior. He turns his head as his trapezius is loaded. He is distracted talking to the instructor. He obviously has no serious education regarding the proper execution of this exercise or proper decorum (grunting, yelling, eye contact and body-talk antics for the camera) and control during exercise. If he did, it is hoped that he would then know better than to expose his body to this machine—a machine tantamount to a trash compactor without an enclosure.

Just for the record: Any shoulder lateral raise or overhead shoulder press exercise must never be performed while standing or without a seat back and seat belt. To do otherwise is unstable and jeopardizes the back and other body parts. It is unfortunate that others will see this performance and conclude that it is to be emulated.

Following are more video links, each immediately followed by some annotated criticism. Note that many of the already-mentioned discrepancies, although not mentioned, are present and we expect the viewer to not require rehashing all of them. Only the most egregious are noted.

We’re sorry, the company that is responsible for the content of this video has decided to take it down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lYiRbvlDIY&feature=related

This demonstrates the excessive respite between repetitions with a gentleman at a trade show exhibit. It horrifies us that elderly subjects—or those of any age—are expected to engage dumpers.

We’re sorry, the company that is responsible for the content of this video has decided to take it down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbnVwY3mtrg&feature=related

Below is the response at the YouTube site to a comment that the interval between the repetitions is far too long:

Well that depends on the desired effect and goals. A rest-pause style of negative only training can actually promote more fast-twitch fiber activation. Work:Rest ratios of 1:2 & 1:4 have been shown in studies, like Tabata, to prove this point. Look at any competitive sprinter’s work:rest ratio in training and you will see longer rest being implemented. So rest-pause negative-only training actually improves the desired effect and reasons most people implement negative-only training.

Rest-pause is a violation of inroad theory and merely enables the subject to effect a series of maximum repetitions due to allowing muscle recovery between repetitions to the degree that the subject fails globally instead of muscularly. It greatly increases the dangers of the exercise due to each repetition being possible with a nearly-fresh muscle.

The “studies” mentioned prove nothing. They are worthless. Reference to work/rest ratios of sports competitors is a non sequitor often applied ad nauseam.

A common criticism of our team regarding all the dumpers is that they effect global exhaustion with slight inroad of the targeted musculature.

We’re sorry, the company that is responsible for the content of this video has decided to take it down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hqw0yYEiPk&feature=related

First, the subject performs a set of “double-negative” exercise. Since chest press and compound row are the same movement in opposite directions, this makes for the possibility of fighting the mechanism as it moves in negatively opposite directions to each of the antagonistic musculatures. Of course, this merely obviates the continuous loading requirement for efficient inroading.

Also, inherent in the negative of the compound row is the arresting of reactionary force with a chest belt. This violates two principles: It constricts breathing and it serves to compress both of the musculatures that are attempting to expand during contraction—the latissimus dorsi in the compound row and the pectoralis musculature during chest press.

Second, the subject performs leg press. The seat back places the subject with the hips too flexed and there is no apparent adjustment capability to tilt it into a more-extended position. There are no head pads or options for head support. Granted, the subject may not need head elevation/support particularly with such a vertical seat back, however he pushes with his head. His feet are probably too wide. Rare individuals with hip and leg deformities might require such a wide stance. The bottomout position is severely too flexed regarding the hips, so much so that it exceeds both of the required avoidance guidelines—pelvic flexion commencement and abdominal congestion.

In the accompanying text to some of the videos, one of the equipment highlights stated regards its infinite speed—“cadence” selection. This is a bad idea. The speed of any device—if it is to be machine controlled—must be 10/10 in almost all cases!

We’re sorry, the company that is responsible for the content of this video has decided to take it down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDNHEYUCfR0&feature=related

The subject performs: First—deadlifts. Second—dips—a very dangerous exercise that should not be recommended to anyone. Third—squats—gasping, grunting, no free ventilation—another exercise that should not be discussed, promoted, or recommended in a public viewing due to the absence of proper stabilization.

A final note: This equipment is often labeled “H” or “V” for the “axis” upon which it moves. This designation is a misnomer. The gross movement of the ARX equipment is linear, not rotational and thus, “axis” does not apply. And the words, “horizontal plane” or “vertical plane” are not distinctive either. Both of their movement formats are in both planes. Either “horizontal format” or “vertical format” is probably best. Hence, the company uses poor descriptive terms and has not thought out the effect of their word choices.

This concludes our opinions regarding CZT/ARX.

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar mark June 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

From what I’ve read here, I have the impression that the problems with the ARX are specific design flaws, as opposed to a general argument against the concept of volitional levels of resistance against motor-driven devices. Couldn’t RenEx values be incorporated into an improved design?

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avatar Scott Springston June 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

==Scott==
If you mean a REN-EX machine controlled by motors and computer chips let’s hope not. A bicycle works perfectly well to get us around and give us exercise. We don’t need to to add motors or plasma screens to it to improve upon it’s performance.

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avatar Mark June 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

In a sense , yes, that’s what I meant, but only incidentally to the question of whether there’s an essential problem with motorized exercise machines, or is ARX merely a flawed design? The theory that a motor can enable the exhibition of full effort from the first second of a set to the last seems a worthwhile pursuit. (A motorized bike that moves the same speed no matter how much physical effort you put forth? I’m pretty sure those have been quite popular for decades.)

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avatar Thomas Pinson June 25, 2012 at 11:54 am

I am pretty sure we are on the same page but could you be more precise about what you mean by “global exhaustion”? I am grateful someone is taking the time to pick these sorts of machines apart..it saves me valuable time. The “controls issue” is hard to get across to people who have never actually trained large numbers of people.

Best TP

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avatar Scott Springston June 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm

==Scott==
I have always contended that there is no need for a exercise machine that has motors,electronics , tv screens etc etc and some yokel standing there pushing a button to activate some effect. It’s just a way to introduce computers and electronics into everything when this is an area of endeavor that the body can work perfectly well in with out all those gimmicks .

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avatar Jonas June 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Two questions:

Does people get hurt with this machine eg. do you know any one who been hurt?

Does the machine builds muscle better then a barbell eg faster and/or more?

I understand your point of view, but still, it sound a

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Jonas,

Yes, I’ve had staggering reports sent(Re:XForce) to me since these machines have been in the U.S…..It is my opinion that all Dumpers have this same inherent risk.

No machine or barbell can build muscle.

Joshua

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avatar Thomas Pinson June 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

That is a pretty amazing injury rate. I never saw a serious injury in the many old Nautilus facilities I was in. Humans are a whole lot more frail than many want to think.

TP

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avatar Craig June 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm

So Josh states that he’s had “staggering” reports of injuries, and Thomas responds that that is an amazing injury rate.

Huh?

I see no number or statistics, just a vague adjective.

The whole exchange seems orchestrated, except for the mistake of referencing an injury rate that was never mentioned.

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avatar Thomas Pinson June 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Craig,

I have owned and operated several facilities and I have personally supervised the training of over 15,000 people and have not seen a single serious injury, nor have I heard of serious injuries occurring in similarly run facilities. That translates to ANY reports of serious injury as being amazing to me as serious injuries do not occur in reasonably well run facilities. When I heard that any serious injuries were occurring that is very significant……and is amazing to me as serious injuries are not really to be expected when a place is properly supervised. Exercise should not be dangerous..the showers are usually much more dangerous than the exercise area

I have absolutely ZERO connection with anyone at RenEX, financially, or otherwise. I simply followed this thread.

In the present era it is difficult for many people to imagine that someone has the depth of experience and hence the judgment that an “old hand” such as myself has ( I am certainly not alone). It would be understandable that this would confuse you. The Waltham Study was the largest medical study ever done (I may be wrong, but you get the point) and it only had 15,000 subjects. My personal sample is larger than the largest medical study ever done. There are many people with a larger sample than mine.

Rest assured, I am a complete outsider to this site and RenEx.

Best TP

avatar Scott Springston June 26, 2012 at 8:52 am

==Scott==
Where do you come across these crazy machines like CZT? Not that I’m a world traveler of gyms but I’ve never even heard of some of these. I remember 20 or more years ago I was at a local fitness center and they had these newly purchased machines that combined some kind of pneumatics with motors and they had spent a fortune on them. It took me about 30 seconds to tell they were a joke. Most of the time they sat unused.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 10:38 am

Scott,

Most of our articles come from questions from our viewers, people in the HIT community asked about these machines.

As an equipment manufacturer it is our job to know what’s out there.

Joshua

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avatar Jonas June 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

…. lot like opinions but Im not sure its based on facts.

Me personaly would be more intrested in things that made WO better (of course resting/eating is included there) then reading about everything that is wrong with everybody else. But thats just me.

//Jonas

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 25, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Jonas,

We will be happy to address these subjects when we’re done with the Dumpers.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Just watched the Cra-Z-train “Double Negatives” video again…it’s the epitome of full body bracing, in any exercise paradigm this behavior is wrong. Can anyone else see the off loading? It’s going to happen on any Dumper, but it’s so obvious here.

…Very hard to even watch.

Joshua

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I guess it’s why they took it down.

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avatar Donnie Hunt June 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I agree with Thomas, I’m glad you guys have taken the time to write these”dumper” articles and post the videos. I find all this very interesting. I wasn’t aware that some of this equipment exists. I don’t have access to any high tech/ state of the art exercise equipment and I’m not complaining. For whatever reason I like to read about all this stuff.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Thanks Donnie

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avatar Jonas June 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I do think you know what I mean when I say build muscle, no reason to over-play semantics. But point taken.

Looking forward to next installation then.

//Jonas

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Jonas,

This is not semantics, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding that must be cleared up and is especially relevant when discussing machines that act upon us.

Joshua

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avatar Nathan Block June 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Why are dips a very dangerous exercise?

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avatar Scott Springston June 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

==Scott==
Yes, can you please expand on this thinking about dips. Occasionally I have added dips to my workout and while I find it is easy to go down to far precariously stretching to pecs and shoulders I have found no trouble with them when performed carefully and properly.

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avatar Steven Turner June 26, 2012 at 12:52 am

Hi Josh,

From what I read Arthur Jones mastered the commercial value of “patents” with the Nautilus Cams as a major selling point. Since the Nautlilus days the fitness industry has not advanced in design methods that ensures a “high level” of safety to the user. To me and this does not just include “The Dumpers” most of the fitness equipment developed for commercial use is just outright dangerous besides useless or unless you want to “store it under the bed” .

I think that what many people forget is that you have only one body and it is somewhat fragile regardless of what we think. What we need to remember is the focus of our exercise should be on both the muscles/skeleton systems. The muscles transmit forces to the bones and joints and if those forces are increased from hyperloading the muscles in the negatives than the risk of injury to the skeletal system are greatly increased.

I recieved my shoulder injury to what I believe now as misplaced attention to hyperloading the negative, at that time I can claim ignorance as I was unaware of the dangers – it resulted in a shoulder reconstruction. When you have such an injury you can feel every bit of transmitted force into the shoulder joint. From my experiences I would strongly encourage anyone not to use negative hyperloading equipment or methods.

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avatar bradley June 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

Mike mentzer loved dips! he said it was the best “pec delt and triceps exercise out there!

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’m sad that Mike never got to try RenEx Ventral Torso, RenEx Pulldown and RenEx Leg Press….I just finished a workout on them a’la Heavy Duty…..just awesome!

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avatar Jonathan June 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Please could you expand on dips.
I am sure the Renaissance Ventral Torso is superb but i don’t have access to RenEx machines so i do dips in my workout(now after reading this i might change my mind) and you have stated they are dangerous,so please i would appreciate your thoughts on dips.
Thanks.

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avatar Starr May 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

Gentilissimo J.W. ti rispondo in un post degaitliato…vtsto che la tua critica costruttiva è veramente ben fatta.Nel frattempo grazie per il commento e complimenti per la stesura veramente di ottima fattura.Un salutoStefano

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avatar Thomas Pinson June 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Mike Mentzer was a very bright guy. We all miss his comments on exercise. I remember my last conversation with him with fond memories. His life seemed to resemble a Greek fable/myth. He was a very big presence. The youtube videos of him are great.

TP

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avatar Jonathan June 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Thomas
Those workout videos with Markus Reinhardt changed my entire outlook on training.
I have listened to Mike’s radio interviews over and over.
Just a little reminder,
Chest flies into incline press superset
Lat machine into pulldowns superset…just awesome!

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm

We still use these in our programs…we actually have a machine designed to go straight from Pullover to Pulldown and we often do TSC Arm Cross immediately into Ventral Torso.

avatar Ethan June 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Joshua,
That really was hard to watch. I suffered through the full length of each one. All the shifting, bracing and heaving really make for a spectacular show. In an earlier comment Mark asks about design flaws. The problem with these is that they are designed to accurately follow flawed thinking. When achieving an impressive force reading at the machine is the priority, proper positioning and mechanics are easily ignored. The response to the long respite advocating that rest-pause nonsense clearly illustrates the fundamental misunderstanding. A greater quantity of struggle is not a better stimulus no matter what sensation it might provide.

Please tell me that you’ve finished with the worst of the worst. This has been a worthwhile series though only because it’s important to bring the subject to light.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Ethan I have worse….these were some of the better ones.

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avatar Mark Alexander June 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Joshua,

You are using videos of our machines illegally through a fictitious YouTube account XYXproductions01. I would suggest you follow through on the cease and desist we sent you earlier today.

Mark

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avatar gmlongo June 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Assuming these videos accurately portray the proper usage of your machines, what reason could you possibly have to try and block their viewing by a wider audience?

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Makes you wonder….their machines, their instructors, their videos.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm

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The product and equipment reviews and critiques contained on this website reflect the opinions of some or all of the Renaissance Exercise Team and are not to be interpreted by the readers as fact. These reviews and critiques should not be taken as recommendations, but rather as opinions of the products and equipment being reviewed. Furthermore, Renaissance Exercise makes no warranty or representation, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information contained on this website, and assumes no responsibility or liability regarding the use of such information. Renaissance Exercise does not warrant the performance, effectiveness or applicability of any products or equipment discussed on this site. Furthermore, the equipment and other products discussed on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided on this site is intended for educational purposes only.

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avatar Drew Baye June 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Mark,

While I’m confident the use of the youtube videos here falls under “fair use” and is perfectly legal (section 107 of Title 17 the US Code) I can understand why you wouldn’t want them shown.

If you believe these are poor examples due to the problems with the form and instruction shown in them do you have other videos which better represent how the ARX machines are supposed to be used?

If these videos do depict how they are supposed to be used, then why not provide counter-arguments if you disagree with the criticism here rather than ask for them to be removed? It would be an opportunity for you to present your side to a larger audience.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I’m not really surprised, but the people resonsible for the ARX videos have taken them off of youtube. These videos have been up for months and years. One can only wonder why they are down all of a sudden.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

A conversation I had with another trainer today, this guy works in a different place out of a traditional gym setting that doesn’t use RenEx protocol:

“Wow…the funny thing is, you are advertising their videos…their machines…being instructed by them. It should be a display they want seen. If they were proud of their product, they would be happy you are pointing people to it.

However, visually, it is so easy to see how bad the technology and application are…”

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avatar Patrick June 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I saw the video’s before they were taken down and it was terrible. Speaking of foolish training.

http://cleveland.sbnation.com/2012/5/21/3035361/phil-taylor-injury-return-expectation-october-november-2012/in/2776586

“Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor underwent successful surgery last Wednesday to repair a torn pectoral muscle, an injury he sustained while bench pressing as part of the team’s offseason training program. The surgery went so well, actually, that sources indicated Taylor would be back sooner than expected to make an impact for the team.”

No news of the Strength & Conditioning coach being fired.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 27, 2012 at 12:30 am

He should have been…

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avatar Scott Springston June 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

==Scott==
Remember the old Nautilus brochures which had pictures and such of each machine they had to offer? It would be nice to see a REN-EX version of that showing all the REN-EX machines.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

Scott,
All that, along with videos, can be found on our equipment page.
http://www.renaissanceexercise.com/equipment/

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avatar Will June 27, 2012 at 9:52 am

I certainly have no brief to make for either ARX or CZT equipment – the very idea of motorized resistance is a non-starter for me. However, it would be useful to see some documentation of the machine-related injury report you refer to. There’s no reason to simply take your word for it; as you indicate, you’re an equipment manufacturer and these are two of your competitors.

Further, you make some rather sweeping statements about certain traditional movements that are offered up without support, as if the point is obviously true; it’s not. Specifically, you say: “dips—a very dangerous exercise that should not be recommended to anyone. Third—squats—gasping, grunting, no free ventilation—another exercise that should not be discussed, promoted, or recommended in a public viewing due to the absence of proper stabilization.”

Based upon what evidence do you support the claim that Dips (and, presumably Squats – though the wording makes this somewhat more ambiguous) are a very dangerous exercise? Of course, your sometime colleague, Drew Baye, recommends both exercises. Is he, or has he been, guilty of giving negligent training advice?

Do you have data that support such a claim? You seem rather desperate to be taken seriously. And, you seem eager to trash anything that isn’t RenEx, with the trashing usually based on nothing other than the authority of your own experience.

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avatar Nathan Block June 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

Joshua, what’s wrong with dips?Why are they “very” dangerous?Dips and chins are my favourite exercises.To hell with all the machines.The more I read about them the more confused I become.

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avatar Scott Springston June 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

Any shoulder lateral raise or overhead shoulder press exercise must never be performed while standing or without a seat back and seat belt. To do otherwise is unstable and jeopardizes the back and other body parts..

===Scott===
Let me see if I can understand where you are going with this. Are you saying any exercise where you are not strapped into a machine like a electric chair is dangerous?? I can see how being locked into a stabilized position can lead to better focus on a particular muscle but what about the need for the body to be able to function as a whole? In real life we are not strapped into machines. We need to be able to lift and move things from many different angles and positions. The body needs to work as a whole to perform many duties.Not ever doing exercises where other muscles can come into play can short change the bodies ability to function as a unit.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

(Posting for Ken Hutchins)

To Jonathan:

Dips might be made safe by using a machine correctly designed for them. I believe this “might” is also improbable. I have seen only one dip machine that I liked, that being a Nautilus prototype that never made it to market. Using it and some others, it “might” be possible to delimit the range of motion such that the shoulders are adequately protected; however, limiting the ROM is not the only issue.

Before any company produced a dip machine, I promoted and performed parallel-bar dips. I became yet more emphatic in this promotion with echoing Arthur Jones’ proclamation that it was the best exercise for the chest—even better than any chest press. We proclaimed this although Nautilus did not produce and sell a dip machine.

For many years, performing dips was my favorite upper-body exercise. With this, I have torn my left pectoralis twice while performing negative-only dips, this being primarily because of my stupidity with the negative-only nonsense.

And while I still agree that the angle of resistance during conventional dips performed on parallel bars closely follows the function of the pectoralis, I believe that dips are a serious threat to shoulder integrity.

Observe a man performing dips and note the tracking of his elbows. Then, imagine the typical woman performing dips. For some reason—shoulder-breadth differences, joint differences, behavioral differences, grip spacing differences—the woman’s elbows track more outward, the man’s more backward. Now have the man try to mimic the woman’s elbow tracking. He will instantly feel that his shoulders are going to rip loose. This exercise is far more risky for a woman than a man.

Outward tracking of the shoulders is also a concern in the chest press and the compound row, but in these exercises the issue is far more instructable and controllable.

Another issue with the proper and safe tracking of the elbows is the hand spacing. With parallel bars this can be adjusted inward enough, but who knows to do this and who bothers to do it if they know.

So we have several issues here to control. And with dips, I can’t control them in the behavior. And other instructors claiming that they have the right methods, right words, and right machinery to make these issues safe merely makes me conclude that they are woefully uninformed.

What was astounding to me—a real “duh” moment—was the admission that properly performed pushups were far safer, far more convenient and readily available almost anywhere at almost anytime and extremely productive. I don’t want clients to get up and down from the floor, but I don’t mind it for myself.

Ken

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avatar Scott Springston June 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

===Scott===
Good answer, thanks for the reply.

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avatar Jonathan June 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I really appreciate your detailed reply.
Thankyou Ken.
Best wishes
Jonathan Neaves

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avatar Matt Spriggs June 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Interesting about your injury performing dips. I also tore my left pectoralis (clavicular attachment) performing negative accentuated dips – I simply cannot recommend this exercise to anyone without major safety concerns. As far as negative training – it certainly does produce results, BUT injury prevention in my opinion goes hand in hand with exercise efficacy.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Matt I haven’t even seen “good results”….or anything that coulnd’t be achieved in a safer manner.

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avatar Thomas Pinson June 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Josh,

Shoulder abduction can be easily done with most cable set ups and there is little chance of injury. The lower pecs are worked primarily in shoulder abduction as in dips.

Best TP

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avatar Scott Springston June 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm

==Scott==
I take it the Ventral torso and the 10 degree fly are your preferred chest exercises ? It does seem like the ventral torso does mimic the dip in a way as the hands are pushing down more towards the body and closer together than say the motion on the Nautilus double chest and it appears that is a good thing. I’ve found my body doesn’t like the motion on the fly of the Nautilus double chest and the press part isn’t ideal but that’s all I have to use. I guess I should look for a machine ( it’s gotta be Nautilus) that mimics more the motion of your ventral machine. Don’t know if Nautilus made such a machine?

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avatar Will June 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Ken,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. Also, in re-reading my previous post, it comes across far more hostile in tone than was intended (I’ll blame it on the heat); nonetheless, my apologies to you and the other readers of this blog for my incivility.

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avatar Matt Spriggs June 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm

“good results” – perhaps not. I am certain that I needlessly injured myself and I did so following the notion that ultra heavy negatives are required and or desirable – they are not. Hopefully others will learn from my misfortune, although I’m doubtful. Here’s a quick question: Ever noticed when performing dips, if the subject lowers past 90 degrees at the elbow, the scapula raises significantly? Do you know why???

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

(Posting for Ken Hutchins)

Matt

In addition to the extension of the elbows and the flexion of the shoulders during the positive of dips, the shoulder girdle is depressed. The shoulder girdle becomes undepressed (elevated) during the negative. Therefore, the scapulas, along with the rest of the shoulder girdle, rise by pivoting on the medial ends of the clavivles.

The latissimus dorsi has 8-10 functions depending on how it is analyzed. One of these is shoulder depression. The pectoralis minor and major have several functions of which one is shoulder depression. During the positive of dips, both of these muscle groups converge in their shoulder depression functions.

During the negative, the opposite occurs, yet more so because of the backpressure not normally encountered when at unload.

k

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avatar Chris June 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

“I also tore my left pectoralis (clavicular attachment) performing negative accentuated dips – I simply cannot recommend this exercise to anyone without major safety concerns.”

I was in a car accident once due to some reckless driving practices. I simply cannot recommend this activity to anyone without major safety concerns. Stop driving!

“Humans are a whole lot more frail than many want to think.”

Healthy humans are anything but frail.

Has anyone here used their arms to get up from the seated position? That’s a dip folks.

@Will,

Where’d you drop your balls?

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Chris,

Grab a 100 people off the street and have them perform dips….lemme know how that goes?

Joshua

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avatar Will June 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

@ Chris – excuse me?

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avatar Matt Spriggs June 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Chris,

Thanks for your insight. To answer your question, driving is a daily requirement for me, dips are not. Read Ken’s description of the anatomy involved when performing dips, then study the glenohumeral joint and what happens if someone routinely performs dips with an excessive ROM.

Matt

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avatar Gus Diamantopoulos June 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Mike Mentzer was a close personal friend of mine as well as one of my first mentors in strength training.

One of our very first conversations centred around dips. He immediately presented his notion that dips are potentially one of the best exercises for working the upper body. But he also admitted very quickly that most people will face numerous dangers performing them and that some people should never perform them.

His plea to me was that I first try and find a machine for dips that might allow me to delimit range of motion at the stretch- this was by far his preference. He insisted that I actually shop around at health clubs to find a dip machine and then be certain to perform the exercise with a conservative range of motion. If I absolutely couldn’t find such a machine, I was to perform dips with a stepping stool that would allow me to delimit my range in the stretched position and never ever go below the “arms parallel to ground” level. Mike repeated his instruction to me several times and also warned that I must be vigilant in protecting my shoulders and cease the exercise at the first sign of any trouble.

Some months later he told me that the secrets to his upper body development was little more than the proportions of his upper extremities relative to his shoulder width which provided him with uncanny lever advantages in upper body exercises, particularly bodyweight movements. He was simply blessed with arms and shoulders that could dip with ease as well as a work ethic that’s almost as rare. Mike was able to dip with more weight for many reps than some bodybuilders could squat. And he told me of at least one story of a man who tried to copy his weighted dip set only to collapse to the floor in agony with what was very well likely a life-changing shoulder injury.

This is the problem: Mike represented a genetic anomaly of enormous proportions, muscularly speaking: A 5’7″ tall man with uniformly extra long muscle bellies and short tendons that are, quite honestly, non-existent in the general population.

Take a look at the picture of Mike at around 15 years of age in John Little’s book High Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer way and tell me how many 15 year olds look like that…

The truth is that for 99% of people, dips are not “exercise”, they are orthopaedic vandalism.

g

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avatar Scott Springston July 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

==Scott==
Good post!

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avatar Anthony June 29, 2012 at 9:03 am

FYI, downloading videos I produced, published, and distributed, and re-uploading them in full on a fake Youtube channel, is NOT “fair use”.

It’s called fucking stealing, and whoever did that knew it when they did it. That video of me working out is MY property and unless someone is going to make a documentary out of the damn thing, no one has my permission to publish it elsewhere.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 29, 2012 at 11:44 am

Anthony,

Drew has information otherwise.

I could really care less, if the videos are not for public consumption why post them on the web? Every video I post is subject to be viewed by anyone. If you are happy with the product it shouldn’t matter….I mean you did post it publicly.
We don’t have any more to say about this, there is more important work to do.
Joshua

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Someone just sent me this via email….this about sums it up.

“Put it up and it’s public! Make it private if you want no one to use it”

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avatar Drew Baye June 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Anthony,

The videos were uploaded elsewhere in case the originals were removed since they are relevant to the commentary. The manner of use here meets the requirements for Fair Use under US copyright law. Regardless of whether they are copyrighted or whether the copyright holder gives permission, short videos or segments of videos may be used when they are the subject of criticism, commentary, or being used for teaching.

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avatar Anthony June 30, 2012 at 1:34 am

Drew, the problem with Joshua stealing the videos, acting potentially on behalf of RenEx, is that the length of the videos is irrelevant.

As far as I saw and understand, all of the videos were downloaded in FULL and uploaded in FULL, individually.

“Fair use” goes right out the window when you use 100% of an original video, to make 100% of a new video.

It was not fair use, it was and is *stealing*.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 30, 2012 at 10:53 am

All of this nonsense about stealing a public video is irrelevant.
If you had any specific arguments against our article then you wouldn’t be going on and on about this stealing nonsense. It’s all just an emotional outburst.

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avatar Drew Baye June 30, 2012 at 11:06 am

Anthony,

It was not used to make a new video, it was included as part of an article as an example of the machines being critiqued. For more information on Fair Use see Reproduction of Copyrighted Works
by Educators and Librarians http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ21.pdf

“Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106a,
the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by
reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other
means specified by that section, for purposes such as CRITICISM, COMMENT, news reporting, teaching (including multiple
copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an
infringement of copyright.”

The capitalization for emphasis mine; there is no option for bold text in the comments.

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avatar Anthony June 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm

That’s a convenient comment for anyone stealing videos on the web.

That video was intended for a wide audience, and is still available for viewing on Youtube, in it’s proper and original channel.

What you’ve done is completely dishonest and unethical Josh. Any respect I had for you as an individual has totally vanished at this point.

You’re a disgrace to the HIT community. Arthur would smack you silly right now given the chance.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I’m sorry if you are embarrassed. We call it as we see it.

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avatar Will June 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Anthony, I have no idea who you are, nor do I care, but I love this line:

“Arthur would smack you silly right now given the chance.” Are you serious? Wow…

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

I laughed at that one too.

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 30, 2012 at 12:19 am

(Posting for Ken Hutchins)

Response to Anthony Johnson:

You dropped the name of Arthur Jones.

I was taught very early that if Arthur criticized me, it would be open and blunt. And if I reacted in the expected way with my nose out of joint, hurt feelings, making excuses, and sulking; he would have no use for me.

But if I returned and took additional criticism, he noted me as someone who truly wanted to learn and someone he wanted on his team.

Ken

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 30, 2012 at 12:21 am

Ken,

Thank you for this, your experience is much more relevant and much more interesting than what someone might assume.

Joshua

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avatar Scott Springston July 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

==Scott==
Ken,maybe you’ve already done so and I missed it but I would love to see your experiences with Jones written up in book form sometime. I think the conversations, machine improvements and battles and all the crazy things that happened between you and Arthur Jones during your time at Nautilus would be great reading.

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avatar Joseph Thorpe June 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I agree with you Joshua…..I think your friend Anthony is simply embarassed after raving about how wonderful ARX machines are. RenX’s review really exposed them for the garbage they are.

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avatar Ben Tucker June 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Following Dr. Darden’s protocol of weighted negative dips (and negative pull-ups) for over a year, I felt like I was working hard but it also felt dangerous. A lot of momentum and force on the joints and tendons as fatigue sets in.
Crashing down at the end just seemed ridiculous.

Since reading this forum, I’ve abandoned this practice. I feel I get just as much hard work in by working in a slow full range motion. Muscular tension is high and force is low. No off-loading by getting back into position.

I mean, honestly, how much harder can you work by not implementing constant muscular tension?

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avatar Joshua Trentine June 30, 2012 at 12:08 am

Ben,

I have found the same.

Joshua

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avatar Ben Tucker June 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Just a clarification:
I was in no way putting down Dr. Darden. I respect his contributions to the field of high intensity exercise.
The man has probably forgotten more than I’ll ever learn.

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