Flying – Just A Theory!

29 comments written by Joshua Trentine

Flying – Just A Theory!

By Brenda Hutchins

While eagerly reading everyone’s comments to the “Inroad Theory Vs Whatever” post, I was struck by the similarity to the Wright brothers, who were simply dismissed while trying to solve the problems of flight. According to the extensive accounting on Wikipedia (indented, italicized  text), they endured mockery during fledgling attempts.

…even the “Dayton Journal” refused to publish their story, saying the flights were too short to be important. The lack of splashy eyewitness press coverage was a major reason for disbelief in Washington, D.C. and Europe and in journals like “Scientific American,” whose editors doubted the “alleged experiments” and asked how U.S. newspapers, “alert as they are, allowed these sensational performances to escape their notice.”

Science is fraught with those that argue against improvement, because they are anchored in the past, always protecting their phony baloney turf. Refusing to accept empirical observation because it is not performed in the laboratory in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study is pathetic. Every single one of us has people in mind who were not supposed to improve beyond their current status (as told by doctors and/or therapists). Quite frankly they were simply discarded by failed “scientific” healthcare therapy.

Nevertheless, they show up every day, because they are unwilling to accept the final verdict of unfulfilled results meted out by established run-of-the-mill therapy practices. It irks me that somehow eager graduates emerge as toe-the-boiler-plate converts, inoculated against thought to break with ineffective established practice, no matter how blatant. Instead they march to the beat, green-lighted to overlook lack of results. After all, their job is now simply parting the patient from their money (insurance benefits) until all sessions are exhausted according to their individual plan.

Perhaps we are in error for not taking time to formally document what we do. Why? Simply because we are heavily booked with appointments to actually help those slighted souls regain use of their bodies, one by one.

Much like our definition of exercise is our foundation,

…The Wrights—and Lilienthal—used the equation to calculate the amount of lift that wings of various sizes would produce. On the basis of measurements of lift and wind during the 1901 glider’s kite and free flights, Wilbur believed (correctly, as tests later showed) that the Smeaton number was very close to 0.0033, not the traditionally used 60 percent larger 0.0054, which would exaggerate predicted lift.

It seems to me that a perfect example of going against conventional “theories” is exemplified by the Wright brothers who worked at the problem of flight from a different angle.

…Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

…Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine’s surfaces.

They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice.

… At the outset of their experiments they regarded control as the unsolved third part of “the flying problem”. They believed sufficiently promising knowledge of the other two issues—wings and engines—already existed. The Wright brothers thus differed sharply from more experienced practitioners of the day,… who built powerful engines, attached them to airframes equipped with unproven control devices, and expected to take to the air with no previous flying experience. Although agreeing with Lilienthal’s idea of practice, the Wrights saw that his method of balance and control—shifting his body weight—was fatally inadequate. They were determined to find something better.

A similar vein of reading, study, trial-and-error exploration, and observation laid the foundation for the Renaissance of Exercise. During the period—roughly mid-1979 to late 1982 – was Ken Hutchins’ most fertile opportunity for intellectual exploration and development. He credits this to the environment provided by Arthur Jones at his expense and creation. When time permitted, he was encouraged to read and write incessantly, explore photography, talk with colleagues, travel, or study past and present prototypes. He used every moment to develop his understanding for future advancement of equipment and educational materials. He remained busy, but without formal structure. He was afforded a truly self-paced education.

It was during the Nautilus Osteoporosis Study that he realized efficient muscular loading, as well as motor control, were severely compromised because of friction-laden equipment. Out of necessity, advances in conventional protocol culminated in what is recognized today as the ideal. However, only recently has the ideal equipment emerged to complete the manifestation of the philosophy and is no longer an illusive goal.

Equally unfettered by convention, and

On the basis of observation, Wilbur Wright concluded that birds changed the angle of the ends of their wings to make their bodies roll right or left. The brothers decided this would also be a good way for a flying machine to turn—to “bank” or “lean” into the turn just like a bird—and just like a person riding a bicycle, an experience with which they were thoroughly familiar. Equally important, they hoped this method would enable recovery when the wind tilted the machine to one side (lateral balance). They puzzled over how to achieve the same effect with man-made wings and eventually discovered wing-warping when Wilbur idly twisted a long inner-tube box at the bicycle shop.

Other aeronautical investigators regarded flight as if it were not so different from surface locomotion, except the surface would be elevated. They thought in terms of a ship’s rudder for steering, while the flying machine remained essentially level in the air, as did a train or an automobile or a ship at the surface. The idea of deliberately leaning, or rolling, to one side seemed either undesirable or did not enter their thinking. Some of these other investigators, sought the elusive ideal of “inherent stability,” believing the pilot of a flying machine would not be able to react quickly enough to wind disturbances to use mechanical controls effectively. The Wright brothers, on the other hand, wanted the pilot to have absolute control.

Unlike the way the Wright brothers were able to “bank” or “lean” into the turn just like a bird or better yet—just like a person riding a bicycle, an experience to which most of us can relate—the surprise of just how good RenEx-corrected designs feel is unimaginable. You simply must experience it for yourself to begin to grasp the magnitude of possible personal results that follow.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Steven Turner February 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hi Brenda,

Great article I think the Wright Brothers showed what can be achieved when not following the “so-called experts” in any field of endeavour. I also think that renaissance exercise is going to prove the same.



avatar Joshua Trentine February 29, 2012 at 12:48 am


We have the same inextinguishable belief.


avatar Luke O'Rourke February 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Sometimes, often most times, humankind’s practical advancement outpaces our ability to explain and prove the advancement.

As was with the Wright Bros. who no doubt had little idea about the scientific explanations of aerodynamics and lift and so forth, but who nevertheless achieved the practical application of those theories.

There are probably myriad examples of this, from the applications of medicines before it was known why they worked to the hundreds of filaments Edison experimented with for his light bulb. If Edison had known more about the nature of electrical conductivity he obviously would not have spent so much time in trial and error, and the Wright Bros. would have build the Concord and Arthur would have built RenEx.


avatar Joshua Trentine February 29, 2012 at 12:49 am

Well said Luke!


avatar Stan February 27, 2012 at 11:20 pm

It is a common misconception among non technical people that theory precedes practical applications, that scientists develop theories from which applications are logically deduced. In fact, the opposite often happens: theories are developed after the fact to explain why something unexpected seems to work. Another great example of this is the science of thermodynamics. The study of, and the development of better steam engines lead to the development of the science of thermodynamics.

It should also be noted that the history of science is littered with failed, discredited, or weak-from-the start-theories. Often the empirical evidence retains value and stands up better than the preliminary theories or explanations which are offered to explain the observations. Wrapping a weak or speculative theory around solid experimental data doesn’t necessarily add value.

Given the generally dismal view with which you hold the field of exercise science, and given that you seem not to have much interest advancing the field of exercise physiology (at least relative to your agenda of advancing the practical application of physical training), I do wonder why you bother to spend so much effort on presenting your protocol with the language of science (i.e., inroad theory), putting out fancy flow diagrams, precise definitions of exercise, etc. If you have valid empirical evidence for what you do, that should be more than sufficient. You don’t need to know precisely why it works to know that it works. Leave that part to the guys with NSF grants, and the proper laboratory equipment.


avatar Ethan February 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Precise definitions and the language of science are needed to advance knowledge and thus the field of exercise physiology. The dismal view is not of the science itself, but rather of the misuse of the field to perpetuate incorrect associations and misleading conclusions.


avatar Joshua Trentine February 29, 2012 at 12:52 am

True Ethan


avatar Joshua Trentine February 29, 2012 at 12:52 am


I agree with most of what you say here…..and to answer your question, it’s just what we do.


avatar Scott Springston February 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

Interesting article but please note that Wikipedia is the biggest joke running. Anyone can post anything to Wikipedia so it is about the poorest source you could pick for accuracy. Yes, there is much resistance to change regardless of how good it may seem. Sliced bread? Who needs that?? If there is one thing I think I have in common with Arthur Jones it was his feeling that people are basically idiots, ha ha…


avatar Joshua Trentine February 28, 2012 at 11:49 am

Awaiting any inaccuracies you may have found in the article.


avatar Scott Springston February 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Like I said Wikipedia is a source not to be trusted for anything but a good laugh. The article by Brenda seems ok. This one statement you made seems to sum up REN-EX more than anything,,,,You simply must experience it for yourself to begin to grasp the magnitude of possible personal results that follow,,,,,,, Unfortunately as much as we’d like to many of us may never be in a position to ever have that experience but it is good to know that something better may be out there. Even if it’s something many of us aren’t going to be able to experience right now though, some day we may be in a position to do so if luck runs our way.


avatar Joshua Trentine February 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

There are NO historical inaccuracies in this article.



avatar Scott Springston March 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

Boy it’s sure hard getting through to you. I didn’t say there were inaccuracies in this article. What I’m saying is Wikipedia is a joke. Smart people don’t use it as a source for anything but a good laugh. If Brenda is any where near as smart as Ken , and I’m sure she is, she should know better than to use Wik as a source.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks for the heads up.

I still don’t see how it matters if the info is accurate.

We will consider other sources in the future.


avatar Joe A March 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm


I disagree completely. Academia may laugh at Wikipedia (mostly because they are still flabbergasted that such a massive, collaborative effort could be pulled off so well without funding). And while it will never be an acceptable source for serious research citation…it is commonly referenced on the web, most especially in blog land. Assuming the author verified the accuracy of the info, Wikipedia remains an easy source to link to, that is readily accessible to all readers. Wiki entries require citation of external sources…so those interested have the opportunity to explore the topic further, if desired.

I’m sure you’d prefer that Brenda cite the the 1977 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica that you purchased from the door-to-door salesman, which now collects dust on the shelf in your study…but it is neither necessary nor desirable for this type of publication (blog).

So, unless you noticed something inaccurate that you’d like to point out to the author, then you are making much ado about nothing. It is simply ironic that you even hint toward the lack of intelligence in anyone, for any reason, let alone for appropriately recounting the facts of the topic in question.

There’s the damn joke…


avatar Scott Springston March 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

I think REN-EX is trying to raise above the level of the common man ( idiot) who references the web. REN-EX has chosen to try and be as scientific and accurate as possible and to raise to the thinking mans level so I hope you see my point ( see my last post) that using Wikipedia does not go hand and hand with that goal.

avatar Joe A March 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm


I see your point…it is just moot. You condemn the use of Wikipedia because,”REN-EX has chosen to try and be as scientific and accurate as possible,” yet you fail to point out even one thing cited which is inaccurate. You have to see the idiocy of that position, right? I sympathize with your need to stand up in defense of what you think ‘smart people’ should or should not do when authoring/publishing their own blog; however, your concern seems misplaced.

I’ll not argue this topic further, as I don’t wish to lead the comments too far astray from Brenda’s article. Plus, I bet the RenEx team doesn’t have time for this silliness as they are “heavily booked with appointments” actually helping people…

avatar Bob Lantis April 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I don’t know what kind of “look-ups” in which you’re interested, but Wikipedia has many thousands (if not millions) of well-researched, referenced, and accurate articles written by authors considered to be expert authorities in their respective fields. Some of the smartest people in the world collaborate and publish there.

To dismiss this in its entirety as “a joke” is certainly your right, Mr. Springston. Yes, indeed there are lots of crap articles, unsupported by documented research, references, and often consisting of self-serving jibberish that is little more than self-promotion or an irrational socio-economic-political stance. If one lacks the discernment to determine the relative validity and worth of an article, then don’t use it. My recommendation here extends to one who lacks the ability to recognize the public-domain contributions of the experts who, in essence, provide a ready source of valuable information to anyone willing to make use of it. Dismiss it all as being no more than a joke? The joke is on you, Sir.


avatar Steven Turner March 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hi Josh,

This might be a bit off topic but on one of our television station called SBS Insight program (Australia) “Massive obsession” (can be googled) they done a story on “Muscle Dysmorphia” (article Am J Psycharity 2000) – Muscle dysmorphia is a form of body dysmorphic disorder in which individuals develop a preoccupation with their muscularity”. The program looked at the male quest for physical perfection, asking when a healthy lifestyle tips over into becoming a pathological obsession. The show brought up many interesting points in relation to mainly young impressiable males.

It was interesting to me that Arthur Jones many years before wrote an article on ,”The Psyhology of body builders” (Drew Baye’s book Nautalis Principles) many of the points that Arthur mentioned about obsessions of bodybuilders were raised in the show (Arthur again ahead of his time). One point Arthur made was “he started making outright attempts to belittle the significance of the new developments”, a bit like the Wright brothers

The final point is that many of the comments to the SBS website went along the lines that “what would these professional medical people know about bodybuilding” amongst other negative comments.

I think that HIT exercise (Renaissance Exercise) should continue to promote the positive health benefits that can be obtained without the need obsessive behaviours such as Muscle dysmorphia. Also,”…Men with muscle dysmorphia reported stringly higher rates of current or past major mood disorders, and eating disorders than the normal comparison group …reported a lifetime history of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder…”.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Ken Hutchins literally saved me from many of the compulsive behaviors that go along with the lifestyle of being a bodybuilder.

It’s not a productive way to live.


avatar Scott Springston March 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

I’ve known several pro type bodybuilders and their lives are a mess. They were big and muscular yes but their personal lives were shambles. Most couldn’t keep a steady job or stay married to the same person. Drugs on and drugs off you name it. Eventually some ended up in work positions I won’t even mention here.


avatar Luke O'Rourke March 3, 2012 at 11:48 pm

I wish Ken could have a talk to you about posting at the T-Nation board. There’s not much Darden there.

I’d like to see the Johns-Hopkins info here, and not wasted on the knuckleheads. To post at Darden’s board would be qualified as a compulsive behavior, as it would be a rationalization to believe anyone there could benefit, or that it’s remotely a best use of your time.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 4, 2012 at 12:04 am

Thanks for the advice.

Perhaps you believe that the 12 guys that reply to every thing are the viewership. I’ve seen a few hundred thousand views on our posts so I tend to think otherwise.

If I had anything at all from Hopkins I would post it here. Tormenting the inmates over there doesn’t qualify as postable material here.

We’ll have a new blog up on monday.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 1, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Thanks for posting this Steven.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 3, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Thanks to everyone who attended the workshop!

really great dialouge.


avatar Tiffanie March 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

Having used RenEx equipment myself, I cannot contest that Joshua and Ken ARE the modern day Wright brothers. Good article.


avatar John Tatore March 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Thanks Josh, Ken, Al & Jeff. As always very educational.


avatar bill bodle March 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I know I speak for my fellow trainers at our place — sat. was a great learning experience for us. It was great to meet the RenEx people, see your facility, experience the machines, and learn from all of you. Already looking forward to our next trip back to Cleveland.


avatar Joshua Trentine March 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm


Thank you, we enjoyed our time with your instructors. We may do something big in the fall.


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