RenEx® Strength Training: An Absolute Requirement for The Prevention of Osteoporosis


At a Nautilus Seminar in 1985, an off-the-cuff discussion occurred between Ellington Darden, Arthur Jones, and me. As mental gymnastics and theoretical exploration, we collectively contended that muscle hypertrophy was irrelevant to bone remodeling. I reflected on this topic for several days thereafter and subsequently reversed my agreement with our original statements.



Hanging on By A Thread


I’d like to share a helpful piece of imagery that I’ve been employing both with myself and my clients. This imagery came about from me trying to find a more vivid way to describe the minimal amount of force required phraseology I had been using. While that phrasing worked initially, I quickly found that people stopped concentrating on it as well. My suspicion is that it isn’t threatening enough. (more…)

Proper Exercise

. . .and its Role in Reducing Fat

Copyright © 1990 by Ken Hutchins


Proper exercise is a logical strategy to fatigue momentarily the major muscular structures of the body. Momentary fatigue appears to be the major factor required to stimulate muscular growth.

A proper exercise program involves quantity movement of the body against quality resistance of the exercise tool—barbell, dumbbell, or exercise machine. For a variety of reasons, momentary fatigue must occur within one-to-three minutes. This requires persistent recording and standardization of the movement to ensure progression of the resistance as performance demonstrably improves. For these reasons, proper exercise means strength training. The best strength training program is OVERLOAD. (more…)

Try This Mental Trick At Your Next Workout


A statement I frequently hear from clients is how difficult it is to keep going on an exercise when it gets so intense that it feels like the gas tank is near empty, and I might not be able to do another rep. This is a common feeling among people who train intensely. (And if you want to get better results, you want to be training intensely) Whenever I hear this statement, I realize that I personally look at this situation differently – and in a way that makes me feel both more comfortable and also allows me to get more intensity (and results!) out of my workouts.


I want to quickly share what I do with you, so you can use it today: My goal when I’m lifting a weight is NOT to see how many reps I can do, but, instead, my goal – the thing I’m trying to achieve – is specifically get the gas tank to empty. (more…)

Why RenEx?


An exercise theorist by the name of Ken Hutchins developed RenEx for use in a research project on osteoporosis conducted by Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries and the University of Florida.  Since elderly women with frail bones were the research subjects, special care had to be taken to reduce the risk of injury.  If not done cautiously, lifting weights might cause fractures in the thinned bones of these women.  Fractures would occur if the weakened bones encountered any force that exceeded their structural integrity.  However, for reasons discussed in the previous chapter, enough weight had to be used to produce a rate of fatigue that would result in meaningful inroading.  Mr. Hutchins had to find a way to use enough weight to be meaningful, yet still keep forces low enough to not cause injury to very frail subjects. (more…)

Proper Attire for Your Overload Workout


Dress Cool. During your workout it is important to remain cool. Wear clothing that optimizes cooling and permits your instructor to see your major joints. Alignment and form discrepancies are difficult to criticize if your instructor cannot accurately estimate the position of your shoulders, elbows, and knees. (more…)

Exercise vs Recreation

Exercise vs Recreation is the most important and basic concept in exercise philosophy. However, it is rarely acknowledged or applied in any area of fitness or medicine.
Perhaps the most destructive as well as the most misunderstood concept in fitness today among researchers, the commercial health facilities, and the general public alike is the confusion of exercise and recreation.
We accept that both exercise and recreation are important in the overall scheme of fitness, and they overlap to a great degree. But to reap maximum benefits of both or either they must first be well-defined and then be segregated in practice. (more…)

 The Need for Non-Variation in Exercise


The argument for exercise (not resistance) variation has been a natural persuasion since before Nautilus. And it fostered a greater support and sales of ever-more-isolatory Nautilus equipment models addressing the numerous and distinct muscular and joint functions of the body. At Nautilus, we often boasted that – using only 12 Nautilus machines – we could provide a subject with a different exercise routine for every workout during the year without repeating any single routine. This was largely facilitated by a large repertoire of exercise sequences as well as protocols. Different routines might revolve around pre-exhaustion, double pre-exhaustion, triple pre-exhaustion, infimetrics, single-joint movements, multiple joint-movements, hyper, negative-only, negative-emphasized, negative-accentuated, and on and on. We entertained subjects with a surprise workout several times each week – every time they trained. We emphasized the benefits of shocking the subject’s system with routines to keep it off-guard and to continually require the body to adjust. This routine variation perhaps had much to do with the continual state of soreness some subjects experienced. Of course, the hard-core athletes liked this – even thrived on the soreness – and respected us for it. We often bemoaned the limited opportunity for variation in most of the Nautilus commercial facilities. Since they were constrained to herd people along in a systematic, repeatable flow, they were not up to representing Nautilus exercise for what it could be. (more…)


Many people who are affiliated with slow-movement exercise may wonder about the apparent jettisoning of the word ‘slow’ from our moniker. Realize that the single greatest impediment to the true understanding of Hutchins’s original protocol was the belief that slow movement was the target and focus. Despite countless dissertations describing the assumed and primary objective and despite the scrupulously written subprotocols for instruction on the equipment, most people simply never captured the genuine meaning.

I have heard countless reactionary objections to this statement…”Are you saying I’m an idiot? How hard is it to count to ten?” or “What do you mean I don’t understand? Ken says to go slow so I go slow”… And herein lies the source of the problem of why the protocol appears to produce varying results for people. (more…)

Learning High Intensity Training


High Intensity Training is a learned skill. It must be carefully taught, cautiously practiced, and performed with intense concentration. Learning High Intensity Training is a step-by-step process. This article will give you some guidelines to follow and points to think about during your training sessions. Learning the Exercises Each exercise you will perform during your training sessions should be learned with the greatest attention to detail. Whether you prefer to train on machines, free weights, body weight exercises, or even playground equipment, learn and practice the most correct way to perform the movement. This may be different from person to person. Previous injuries can sometimes interfere with an ideal performance. In such cases, you will need to find the safest, most productive way to perform the exercises for your particular situation. (more…)

Click the link below for the article!



Intensity vs. Work in Exercise

The Assumed Objective vs. the Real Objective of Exercise
The ASSUMED primary objective of an exercise:
To perform as many repetitions as possible with as much weight as possible.
But this is actually the secondary objective.
The REAL primary objective of an exercise:
To momentarily weaken the musculature, to inroad it as safely, quickly,
efficiently, and deeply as possible for the purpose of stimulating the muscular
growth mechanism with the least amount of weight in the least amount
of time.
A common statement is made by trainees as they begin to encounter difficulty of
an exercise. They inappropriately complain:
“I can’t lift it.”
And my response is:
“Who cares? I’m not expecting or asking you to lift it. And your muscles don’t
know or care if you lift it. So why are you so concerned? It doesn’t matter if it
won’t move. Just keep trying. If you can do so in proper form, great! If you can’t,
great! Just keep trying, but do not break proper form or change the way you are
exerting effort. Your ability or inability to move the weight has no bearing on your
ability to apply force against it, no matter how slight your force output. And your
ability or inability to move the weight has no bearing on whether or not you are
stimulating a growth response.”

What is Valsalva?

Proper breathing during weight training is not intuitive. Most of us inappropriately hold or force our breath, particularly as intensity increases during an exercise. Unfortunately,  breath-holding  obviates  our  ability  to produce high intensity muscular contractions and it can actually be dangerous. Breath-holding during exercise increases  blood  pressure  rapidly  and  this   can  lead  to fainting, painful Exercise-Induced Headaches (EIH), or even stroke.

The fancy term for breath-holding is Valsalva. Taking its name from 17th  Century Italian anatomist, Anton Maria Valsalva, the Valsalva Maneuver, or simply, Valsalva, occurs when  we  attempt  to  forcibly  exhale  while  keeping  the airway closed.

To concisely experience Valsalva, try the following:

Stand up. Curl your fingers, and link your hands together in front of your chest. Take a deep breath and try to pull your hands apart as hard as you can without letting go. Pull hard. While pulling, notice how the muscles in your chest and abdomen tighten up. Notice also that your throat (glottis) closes up. Try it again and pull really hard. The harder you pull, the more tightly your throat closes and the more likely you are to grunt or strain as you bear down. (more…)