You can use this on your website as we discussed, if you'd like:
After almost 8 weeks of working out on my ROM, I finally decided to do a full benchmark test. I was debating whether I really wanted to do this, but finally, my curiosity got the best of me, and I did it.
Let me first explain my workout routines prior to getting the ROM:
For YEARS...30 of them to be exact...I've spent 1 1/2 - 2 hours or more DAILY in the gym...my gym, that is. The equipment has changed throughout the years, as have the routines, so I will describe my most recent routines.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were a combination of cardio/weightlifting. I would do my non-motorized treadmill for 20-25 minutes, then my elliptical for another 15-20. Then I would do a weight routine using a combination of free weights and my multi-station heavy-duty gym equipment that has chest, legs, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, etc. etc. etc. that can be set up many ways for many muscle groups. (I used to do totally free weights, but not having a spotter pushed me in the direction of a safer alternative). I would do weights for 30-40 minutes. I have a trainer that would send me new routines every 8 weeks so I wouldn't get stagnant. Then, I would do about 10 minutes of stretching. Total time for Mon, Wed, and Fri: 1 hour and 30-35 minutes.
Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun would be total aerobics. My aerobic equipment consists of the following: motorized treadmill (by Bodyguard...a very good one), the aforementioned non-motorized treadmill, a NordicTrak ski machine, an elliptical machine, a stationary bike, and a step machine. On my aerobic days, I would choose any four of those pieces of equipment and work out on them for between 13 and 25 minutes, jumping from one to the next. Total aerobic time: 1 hour and 10-15 minutes. Then, I would do 8 sets of abs (except Sunday I would only do 3 sets of abs), then 10 minutes of stretching. Total for those days: around 1 hour and 40-45 minutes, give or take.
After 3 weeks on the ROM, I did a very informal benchmark test doing military presses, bench presses, and pec flies, and using the same weight amount I'd been using on my weight routines, and performing one set on each:
My military presses went from barely being able to get 8 reps with the arm position being set for less range of motion, to being able to do 11 reps and starting at a lower point on the arm position, which makes it MUCH tougher to get past a certain sticking point (more range of motion)
My bench press at that time was the same (7 reps)
My pec flies went from 10 reps to 13 reps.
After almost 6 weeks on the ROM, I did the same informal benchmark test as above:
Military presses went up to 12 reps
Bench press went up to 8 reps.
Pec flies went up to 15 reps.
But these two tests were just not apples to apples, because I only warmed up for a minute or two on the elliptical, and had no 40-45 minute aerobic routine before performing the sets.
My BIG 7 1/2 week benchmark routine today consisted of the following:
A complete aerobic routine that went for the regular 1 hour and 10-15 minutes and spanned four pieces of aerobic equipment: 24 minutes on the non-motorized treadmill, 21 minutes on the ski machine, 18 minutes on the elliptical machine, 13 minutes on the motorized treadmill (my usual routine of 5.0 mph on a hill-climb custom program I created).
Then 7 exercise movements, just one set each, to see how my strength compared:
a set of military presses, a set of bench presses, a set of pec flies, a set of leg presses, a set of leg extensions, a set of leg curls, and a set of ab crunches on my ab machine station.
So, on this benchmark test, not only did I do an "apples to apples" routine, I actually did a NEGATIVE apples to apples routine, where I had several things I did that actually made my benchmark test more difficult than my usual old routines:
1) I had already worked out my lower body on the ROM earlier
2) I was out rather late last night and was mildly hung over (not something that usually happens these days!)
3) I did the above weight work after an extended aerobic session, when I'm accustomed to doing only around 2/3 as long on aerobic equipment before doing any weights.
Non-motorized treadmill, ski machine, and elliptical machines seemed as though I not only DID NOT LOSE any cardio strength, but may have been a tad EASIER, and I don't think I was slacking. In fact, I think I may have performed more "speed spurts" during those routines, and gotten up to faster speeds on them.
Motorized treadmill seemed tougher than it used to be, but I think it might be because out of all the cardio equipment, it probably uses leg muscles most similarly to the ROM, and I had already fatigued my muscles earlier on lower body ROM. Plus, the treadmill uses much less percentage of those muscle groups, and because of that, they probably get fatigued much quicker. So, after having done the ROM, my legs fatigued quickly on the treadmill. But overall, the cardio workout went very well, and other than the motorized treadmill, I may have even felt a bit stronger on most parts of the workout! Pretty amazing that one can achieve that level of cardio fitness in a 4 minute workout!
Weight routine (using the weight amounts I used to use in my old pre-ROM weight routines):
1) Military presses: even after the long cardio workout, I was able to get 10 reps using the greater range of motion setting. (Pre-ROM: 8 reps with less range of motion).
2) Bench press: was able once again to get 8 reps (Pre-ROM: 7 reps)
3) Pec Flies: about 15 reps (Pre-ROM: 10 reps)
4) Leg presses: I got 15 reps (Pre-ROM: 10 reps!)
5) Leg extensions: I got 11 reps (Pre-ROM: 10 reps)
6) Leg curls: I got 10 reps on my weaker leg, and 11 reps on my stronger leg. (Pre-ROM: 10 reps)
7) Ab crunches: I got 50 reps (Pre-ROM: 35 reps!!!) (By the way, the definition I'm getting in my abs is totally awesome...in thirty years of doing loads of abdominal work, I've never had the definition that I've achieved in just 7 1/2 weeks on this ROM machine!)
I found this entire benchmark to be totally remarkable! Other than feeling more winded on the motorized treadmill portion, everything else cardio-wise was pretty much the same or easier than before!
And the increase in muscle strength across the board was remarkable, especially when you figure in all the cardio I had done prior to performing the sets!
Needless to say, I have NO intention of ever going back to my long-winded workout routines! And now that I've performed this benchmark, I am more convinced than ever that long workout routines are TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!!!!!!!
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ADDENDUM TO EARLIER EMAIL FROM FRAN:
Here's an addendum you can add to my benchmark test from last Sunday, if you want:
If you recall my long email about my benchmark test last Sunday, the one portion that seemed a bit tougher than before was my old motorized treadmill hillclimbing 13 minute routine (part of my old long aerobic workout). I chalked it up to the fact that, out of all my aerobic equipment, it most nearly simulates the muscles that are worked during the lower body ROM routine, and since I had done my lower body ROM only 2-3 hours prior to my benchmark test, I think that's why the treadmill portion was the weak link. (All the other pieces of equipment, which actually always were the HARDER workouts for me in the past, were actually EASIER).
So, I decided to try the motorized treadmill again today, about two hours after my UPPER body ROM routine, so I wouldn't have the lower body muscle fatigue factor. Let me also mention again that in my old aerobic workouts, the motorized treadmill was actually the EASIER part of my cardio routine, not the TOUGHER part...EXCEPT when I performed it FIRST. I think because with a motorized piece of equipment, you don't have a chance to "ease" into it like you do with a non-motorized one. So, by doing the treadmill today FIRST, I figured that would be the best benchmark test I could ask for.
The workout seemed pretty much equivalent to what it used to be, which is a good thing. It did not seem any tougher, nor did it seem any easier (as the other pieces of cardio equipment did). And, maybe it wasn't easier because my legs (unbeknownst to me) are still slightly fatigued from my lower body ROM yesterday (since you are supposed to allow 48 hours of recovery time).
But the good news is: I didn't seem lose any cardio ability on the motorized treadmill, and that's all I wanted to determine.
I decide to do a couple more weight benchmark tests for muscles I had not yet tested. I had tested shoulders, chest, legs, and abs. So today I tested back, biceps, triceps, and calves. Here are the AMAZING results (all were performed using the identical weight amounts that I used to use when I lifted weights during my old routines):
1) Back: Lat pulldowns: prior to ROM: 10 reps; During benchmark test today: 15 reps
2) Bicep cable curls: prior to ROM: 10 reps; During benchmark test today: 15 reps
3) Tricep pushdowns: prior to ROM: 10 reps; During benchmark test today: an astounding 27 reps!!
4) Calf presses: prior to ROM: 15 reps; During benchmark test today, about 25 reps! (the 25th rep was about halfway). Let me also state that on the calves, I do NOT do the extra ROM calf routine! So, this result was totally from the regular lower body ROM movement!
All I have to say is, THANK YOU for my ROM!
From: Fran [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:17 AM
To: FastExercise - Sales
Cc: Tom Long
Subject: My testimonial online!
Cool...you posted my testimonial! You may also want to post the other one I sent to Tom after that one that lets people know that even the treadmill portion wasn't tougher when I didn't perform it within hours of the lower body ROM routine. I sent that to Tom a week later than the one you posted.
Just to let you know, you have my wrong email address posted...it's email@example.com not firstname.lastname@example.org (needs an "s" on "studio"). I'll be happy to answer any questions people email me. But right now, they are problably bouncing back to them because it's the wrong address.
I'm so amazed at what this machine does! And you know, it gets HARDER every time, because now I know how to get the most out of it! Everyone asks me what makes it so different from everything else. I tell them "besides the fact that you only exercise for four minutes, it's different because the harder you push it, the harder it pushes back." I think that's probably the biggest difference!
Anyhow, please make sure my email address is correct...I would love to tell people about how it's totally changed my whole life! Not only has it saved me TONS of time (remember I told you it MAKES me $150 a day in extra productivity time), but it's also SAVING me tons of money, because for now, I still don't have to hire someone to help me with my workload, because I have 1 1/2 more hours each and every day to do the work!