Arthur Jones is forgotten about today, but anyone who has ever used ANY machine in a gym has used one of his inventions
Jones was the first person to recognize that machines could be SUPERIOR to free weights for muscle building
Jones loved muscle building, but hated the false machismo that many men had with lifting. He did not care about squat bench deadlift numbers.
He recognized most lifters had no sense of scientific objectiveness with training, they only knew how THEY liked to train.
He realized that “strength” was largely activity specific, the same as any motor skill.
If you wanted to become stronger, you had to increase muscle size and strength in the most scientific way possible
Jones realized in the 1960s that free weights had some imitations:
- You had to balance the weight yourself
- Certain lifts worked better some body types versus others
- Selectively targeting a muscle could be difficult because of the compound nature of most lifts
- There was secondary joint stress in many of the big exercises that limited loading
Machines had already existed for a few decades, but Jones became the biggest innovator that the Industry had ever seen, he realized that a well-built machine could be the answer for FAST and EFFICIENT Muscle building.
How do you OPTIMALLY build muscle?
- Train the primary movement function for a given muscle
- Maximize stability to INCREASE force output
- Align the resistance to the muscle function as closely as possible
- Make the exercise easy to load
- Minimize secondary joint stress
- Make the exercise customizable to all bodies
With these principles in mind, Jones set about designing the famed Nautilus equipment
These machines he considered scientific instruments, the versions we see in gyms today are inferior imitations of what Jones built himself
Anyone who ever trained on the original 1970s equipment can tell you how effective they were (youtu.be/x_jdwyvrpaY)
When the “free weight vs machines” question would be asked Jones did not hold back. (youtu.be/_MaldG7eqUU)