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THIS COULD CHANGE THE WORLD


THIS COULD CHANGE THE WORLD

By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness


Monkey Lifting Dumbells



Two monkeys walk into a lab.
They lift weights.
They get really strong.
How strong?

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, because it's the truth: changes in your strength are all about changes in your nervous system, not changes in the size or strength of your muscle fibers.

Here's more proof:

A recent New York Times article titled "How We Get Stronger" explored the findings of Drs. Glover and Baker published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Their paper titled "Cortical, Corticospinal and Reticulospinal Contributions to Strength Training" is the first report of a strength training intervention in non-human primates and gives us even more insight into what is really happening within our nerves when we lift weights.

This study is unbelievably significant!

So let's get to the good stuff. Stay with me while I quickly set the table with a few key details:

You've got two main bundles of nerves that descend from your brain and direct movement: the corticospinal tract (CST) and the reticulospinal tract (RST).

In evolutionary terms, the RST is ancient. It arises from the more primitive areas of the brain. It is common in lower tier species such as reptiles. These nerves direct broad preparatory and movement related activity and postural control.

The CST is younger in evolutionary terms and more refined. It controls fine motor skills. It's found in monkeys and humans, but rarely in reptiles.

With tiny transmitters and electrodes implanted, the researchers tracked how each set of nerves responded and changed as the animals lifted with their right arm only. The monkeys trained 5 times a week for 3 months, increasing the weight load until they could complete the equivalent of "a human doing 50 one-armed pull-ups," said lead author Isabel Glover.

What drove this impressive gain in strength?

Answer: Progressively stronger and more urgent nerve commands to the muscles. But those messages came from, and strengthened only one set of nerves - the more primitive RST.

What does this mean?

First, as you will soon learn, the tract of nerves strengthened is significant. We never knew this before.

Second, "Strength isn't just about muscle mass," said Dr. Glover. "You get stronger because the neural input to your muscles increases."

See, I told you so.

So you still think you're making your muscles stronger when you lift those weights?

Think again.

You're really strengthening your nervous system, literally.

The key to all of this?

Load.

Here's why the tract of nerves involved is significant. The RST is bilateral and has the largest density of projections to the trunk and proximal limb (thigh and upper arm) muscles on both sides of the body, often engaging the upper and lower limbs at the same time.

It is the integrator of whole body movement.

Even though the monkeys only lifted with their right arms, their spinal circuits adapted to demonstrate a greater output even on their left side. Significant changes occurred in both the gray and white matter of the spinal cord on both the right and left side, with the trained side showing a greater effect.

The highest load lifted led to the greatest activation of all muscles in the right arm. But the really cool thing is, the same thing happened in the left arm that did nothing. The lighter loads lifted didn't have any effect on the immobilized left arm.

Get it?

Load is the key!

- Not fatigue

- Not time

- Not metabolic stress

LOAD! LOAD! LOAD!

So what's the bottom line?

With increasing loads, the brain (both higher and lower functioning areas) improved connectivity and efficiency of those connections to send information more quickly and strongly down the spinal cord, where spinal circuits got information out to the limbs more quickly and strongly, so more force could be generated by the muscles.

There was, however, one other interesting thing to note. Based on the locations of changes measured within the nervous system, the authors did not see any evidence that changes in motorneurons outside the spinal cord, i.e., the nerves that activate muscle (motor units), played any role in the ability to lift more weight.

Understand? The magic happens in a primitive area of the central nervous system much further upstream from the muscles.

Yet, we put our focus on muscle, while the changes that actually matter are within the brain and spinal cord.

With the ViiV you can experience the highest of loads safely and leverage the function of the RST to maximize physical fitness results with just a few seconds of time invested. This is why just 5 seconds of maximum effort on one exercise can strengthen your entire body and change your physical fitness overnight! (See my previous article titled The New Minimum Effective Dose, which details results of a study I did supporting this claim.)

So here's the deal:

Load is most important.

When you hop on the ViiV and give it everything you've got for 5 seconds, you will trigger the greatest improvement in the connectivity, strength, and efficiency of your nervous system.

- The greater the improvement in the efficiency of the nervous system, the less your muscles need to be activated to do anything below a maximum effort, which is almost everything you do every day.

- The less your muscles need to be activated to do the same given workload, the wider your comfort zone for any effort level becomes so you can do more, for a longer period of time. Your "gas mileage" improves at all effort levels.

The best part is you can get these results with just a few seconds of effort once in a while, and keep these results for a very long time.

You can workout less, play more, and your physical fitness will be great all the time.

Can you see the implications of this information?

Yeah, the ViiV way could change the world, if the world will let it.

BREAKING NEWS! ONE YEAR OFF AND NO STRENGTH LOSS


BREAKING NEWS! ONE YEAR OFF AND NO STRENGTH LOSS

By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness 

No Strength Loss


Recently I asked Cecilia if she would be willing to go through another session. The thing is, it had been more than 1 year since her last visit. She agreed.

Before beginning neither one of us had any expectations. This was purely experimental. So she went all-out for 5 seconds at 4 stations.

In the interest of brevity i'll just focus on her leg press results.

Cecilia's first session on the ViiV was 7/10/19. Her score was 1,022 LBS of force. She was 58 years old.

Cecilia hit her all time best score of 1,246 LBS of force on 1/16/20. That was her last session until she gave it everything she had on 3/04/21, one year and 7 weeks since her last session to be exact. 

That's a long time to not workout, right? You thinking what I'm thinking? Yeah, this could be ugly, right?

Wrong.

Cecilia's score was 1,200 LBS! 

She was able to hit 96.3% of her previous best score ever. A score easily within the normal deviation you see on a session to session basis. So as far as I'm concerned this is incredible!

At this visit I also checked her body composition. Her lean body mass as a percentage of her body weight was identical to what it was back on 1/16/20. 

You should know that Cecilia does not have a regular workout program. She has a busy work schedule, likes to walk, and plays competitive tennis for several weeks during the local season. Other than that she just enjoys her life. She will be 60 years old in a few weeks.

Aren't you supposed to get weaker and fatter when you don't workout and get older? 

Cecilia didn't.

Talk about freedom from exercise.

Here's another perspective:

During the course of her sessions (6 months), Cecilia had a 21.9% improvement in her leg press strength. She raised her "ceiling" by that much. 

For fun, let's count her latest score as her best ever. That means her total improvement would be 17.4%. Still a considerably higher ceiling from where she started. How many people would love to be that much stronger?

BTW, her other exercises were 98.0%, 95.1% and 93.1% of her previous best scores. 

What does all this mean? I'm not sure. I'm trailblazing for you. 

All I know is that Cecilia had no complaints about her energy level or physical abilities over the past year and you can't get these results with any other kind of exercise.

ViiV MEANS FREEDOM FROM EXERCISE


ViiV MEANS FREEDOM FROM EXERCISE
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness
 




Let's face it, exercise sucks! That's why it gets ridiculed and ignored. This 1937 quote from Paul Terry says it all: "When I feel like exercising, I just lie down until the feeling goes away."

But why the bad rap?

It's unnatural. We're hardwired to avoid expending extra energy unnecessarily. There's a reason why 80% of adult Americans "do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week." 

They are the smart ones.

One of my favorite books titled “The Joy of Laziness” makes a strong case for why you should slow down, conserve energy, and most definitely avoid the fitness craze

When I say "freedom from exercise" I don't mean you shouldn't be active. A moderate amount of movement each day is a must for proper organ function, a healthy immune system, and optimal mental capacity, to name a few.  

What I mean is that you don't need to exercise or workout on a daily basis to be physically fit. 

All you need is the energy and strength to be able to do what you have to, or what you want to when the time comes. But you don't need to wear yourself out with a workout to feel like you're not as worn out when you're not wearing yourself out.

There's a much better way to get the benefits of exercise without the exercise.

The ViiV way.

When you go all out for just a few seconds on the ViiV your body is exposed to the highest loads possible. High loads lead to the greatest strength and neurological efficiency improvements.

This means a new, much higher "ceiling" for your physical capability.

The ViiV yields the greatest changes in voluntary activation (VA); the ability to voluntarily activate your musculature. Higher levels of VA are like a Ferrari, you may not always need the extra power, but it sure comes in handy when you do. (All of this was previously discussed in more scientific detail in my article ViiV-Rx Makes Weight Lifting Obsolete?)

But here's the real magic of ViiV:

The greater the increase in VA during seconds of an all out effort, the greater the decrease in VA during everything you do below a maximum effort, which is nearly everything you do on a daily basis.

THAT IS YOUR EXERCISE!

So combine a higher ceiling with even less effort to do everything and what do you have?

• A much more physiologically efficient body. 
• A much less stressed body.
• A much more capable body.

Think of it this way: it is a huge boost in your cardio without doing any cardio. The best part is you can get it from a few seconds. 

Why punish your body and age it faster with a bunch of exercise?

The ViiV way gets you a whole lotta somethin' for a whole lotta nothin'.

The ViiV means freedom from exercise. 

WHY TOM BRADY STILL KICKS ASS AND TIGER WOODS DOESN'T


WHY TOM BRADY STILL KICKS ASS AND TIGER WOODS DOESN'T
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness




Tiger Woods vs Tom Brady



One is 43 years old, the other is 45.
One is, let's just say, an "athlete." The other is gifted with elite athlete qualities.
One looks "doughy," the other looks like he could play free safety in the NFL.
One is still at the top of his game after 20 seasons, the other was dominant for 12.

I'm talking about Tom Brady and Tiger Woods.

One has remained relatively injury-free playing a violent game of collisions. The other has amassed an extensive surgical history from playing a gentlemen's game without ever being touched.

I'm talking about a tale of two vastly different approaches to performance enhancement.
One has bucked tradition and become a model for longevity. The other was conventional and serves as a cautionary tale.

I'm talking about why the ViiV-Rx is the athletes best friend.

On 2/06/2021, a great article was posted on the site
Inverse.com titled: Can Athletes Weight Lift Too Much? Tom Brady's Workouts Trigger a Debate. The piece revisits a historic concern in sports history about the potential adverse effects of weight lifting for athletes. 

Who's to say what "too much" is? I think the more important question is: Do they need to? 

Consider this.

Tiger was a skinny kid who burst on the scene professionally in 1997 by destroying the field to win the 
Masters. He could hit the ball a mile further than anyone else and from that day forward his ability changed how golf courses were set up. 

Did he lift weights? No. He did what highly refined skill and destiny do.

Then he gradually wrecked himself with running, lifting weights and hand-to-hand combat with Navy Seals. This headline from April 6, 2020 says it all: 
Tiger Woods Workout Routine From His Prime Is Kinda Insane. 

The truth is, if Tiger never touched a weight he would have accomplished the same things and would still be dominating the field to this day.
He is that gifted. Even at 42 years old with a broken down body, he still had the fastest club head speed on the PGA Tour.  

On the other hand,
Brady avoids lifting weights. He opts for resistance bands, the rationale being avoidance of too much stress on the muscles and joints to limit inflammation and remain pliable. Even his diet eliminates foods that cause inflammation.

See the theme here?

Avoiding inflammation. 

When you go into a locker room after a practice or game what are athletes doing? Taking an ice bath to reduce inflammation and heal.

Inflammation is an athletic performance killer. It's something your body has to work harder to recover from.
So why do something that you think is improving your performance when it actually works against you?

Like weight lifting.

So I ask the question again. Do athletes need to lift weights? Well, with what I know about isometrics now, I say not anymore.

Athletes need two things: to play their sport so they can be as skilled as possible, and to be as powerful as possible. The former is what game-skills-at-game-speed-practice is for, the latter is what ViiV does best.

Here's why:

A maximum isometric effort for just a few seconds on the ViiV-Rx exposes the athlete to the highest loads possible. This leads to far greater neurological adaptations than those achieved with lifting and lowering weights. See my previous article titled 
ViiV-Rx Makes Weight Lifting Obsolete? for more scientific detail. 

Increases in the ability to voluntarily activate musculature are much greater with the ViiV-Rx. A new 100% can be achieved as the "ceiling" is raised. This improves neurological efficiency, which means the athlete can do more with less neuromuscular activity. This saves energy and delays fatigue as the duration of competition increases.
Staying fresh as long as possible is a huge competitive advantage.

For athletes, exposure to high loads is important,
but getting there quickly is even more important. Developing force rapidly is the difference between winning and losing. With ViiV, the athlete can develop force quickly in just a few seconds without any movement whatsoever. This leads to maximum motor unit recruitment, firing rates, and contraction force.

All of this means more power.

It means no stress on the joints and muscles.

It means no inflammation.

It means better athletic performance.

Ready for a bold statement? I will guarantee any athlete that they can rise to their highest performance potential by shunning traditional approaches to performance enhancement. Take time to practice your skills, keep yourself powerful with a few seconds of all out effort once in while on the ViiV-Rx, and rest to stay fresh for game day, and prolong your ability to do what you love for many years into the future. 

It's really that simple.

Sorry weight lifting. You've been replaced.

The athlete has a new BFF.

THE ViiV-RX SEAT ANGLE


THE ViiV-RX SEAT ANGLE
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness







The ViiV-Rx 90º Seat Angle. It's a subject that arises occasionally, so let me put your mind at ease.

I firmly believe that most of the concerns related to the seat angle on the ViiV-Rx stem from teaching and tradition, not from personal experience. In other words, most people go on what they have been taught or told it should be, instead of actually feeling it and thinking for themselves.

Many years ago I was one of those people blindly following what I was told. Then I tried it and it was even better than I thought. I experienced benefits that I wouldn't have thought possible.

The first thing you have to remember about this seat angle is that the ViiV is an isometric machine. There is no movement. Your knees don't move back and forth as you lift and lower weights, so there is no need to recline the torso to relieve possible congestion when the thighs get closer to the belly.

Isometrics, not dynamic movement. HUGE difference.

The second thing to think about is that reclined seat backs invite back problems because the natural lordotic curve is encouraged, and potentially increased, as the torso lays back. When pushing with the legs the ability to extend the lower spine to assist with hip and thigh extension is much greater, and this is a recipe for back strain.

Also, angled seat backs allow the body to "slide up” the seat back. At best, this creates less downward pressure between the buttocks and seat bottom and at worst, a slight amount of space. Either situation allows lateral movement of the hips. The combination of all of this can result in simultaneous extension and twisting of the spine.

Why bother with that?

All of that is non-existent with the ViiV-Rx. When you start pushing with your legs, the pelvis is driven down and back. Your lower back is comfortably flattened against the seat back. You can contract your hip extensors intensely without any possibility of extending your lower back for extra help.

It's beautiful. It's comfortable.

The third thing to consider is that with an upright seat angle there is no need for ANY kind of restraint system. Your hips are "locked-in”. Even with a restraint system on a reclined seat back, you still can't get the kind of "locked-in” that you can get on the ViiV-Rx. With the ViiV you can actually say, "Look Mom, no hands,” because you don't need to hang on to anything. It's that good.

Don't believe me? I understand. I didn't believe it either until i felt it.

But it's real.

For more information please check out my video on our YouTube channel:

https://youtube.com/user/LessIsMoreFit



THE NEW MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE


THE NEW MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness

Minimum Effective Dose of exercise

A popular buzzword in the high intensity training strength training community is Minimum Effective Dose (MED). This simply means the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. Well, if the desired outcome is improved strength and physical fitness the following takes MED to a completely new level.    

Based on my experience over nearly two decades of observing and listening to the feedback of hundreds of clients I decided to have some fun and conduct a small research project using the ViiV-Rx. The ViiV-Rx is a perfect research tool because it allows for force measurement, standardized duration of effort, and accurate reporting.

This project involved both men and women and the study design was this:

PRE-TEST

Week 1: Maximum isometric effort for 5 seconds on 5 stations in the following order: CHEST PRESS, LEG PRESS, CORE PULL, VERTICAL LIFT, and SHOULDER SHRUG.
 
WEEKS 2-7

Maximum isometric effort for 5 seconds on VERTICAL LIFT 
only. This exercise was chosen because it was hypothesized that it would have the greatest total body impact.

POST-TEST

Week 8: Maximum isometric effort for 5 seconds on the same stations tested in week 1 in the same order.

To recap, only one exercise was performed each week between pre and post testing. Exactly 5 seconds of effort was put forth each week for a total of 30 seconds of effort over the 8 week span between full body workout tests.

RESULTS

The average improvement in total body strength was 30%. That's a 30% improvement that includes increases in the neuromuscular performance of specific anatomical actions (CHEST PRESS, LEG PRESS, CORE PULL, SHRUG) that were 
not directly activated for two months! 

Now that's getting something for nothing.

In addition, the feedback from the participants was consistent. They all commented on how much more energetic they felt, how much better their posture was, how much stronger they felt, how much easier all their daily activities became, and how hard it was to believe that just a few seconds of effort could make such a huge difference.  

How's that for a Minimum Effective Dose?

DISCUSSION

Why did this happen? How can such a small amount of maximum effort affect the entire body?

It's simple. Strength improvement is primarily neurological. It's the nerves that change your strength, not changes in muscles (Read my article titled 
Muscle Growth with ViiV-Rx). Maximum voluntary isometric effort also leads to much greater improvements in neurological efficiency that are long lasting (Read my article titled ViiV-Rx Makes Weight Lifting Obsolete?) The higher the degree of effort, the higher the degree of voluntary activation and the greater the reach into the entire body.

Remember, it all starts in the brain then flows downward and outward.

The results of my informal study are consistent with findings from unilateral training studies. In a 2018 paper by Andrushko et al., titled 
Unilateral Strength Training Leads To Muscle-Specific Sparing Effects During Opposite Homologous Limb Immobilization, forearm muscle strength, muscle thickness, and muscle cross-sectional area were all preserved in the casted limb after 4 weeks of eccentric wrist flexion 3 times a week. 

The point is this: It's all about the nervous system. 

I'll leave you with this:

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
-- Antoine de Saint Exupery


This information shows us that we can get pretty damn close to perfection. This is yet another reason why maximum effort isometrics will continue to spread and attract the attention of everyone. 

Get on board with us now. ViiV Fitness is so far ahead of everyone else that whoever is in second place isn't even close.

MUSCLE GROWTH WITH THE ViiV-Rx


Muscle Growth With The ViiV-Rx
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness


Will use of the ViiV-Rx be sufficient for significant muscle growth? Yes.

muscle growth with isometric exercise

In a 2014 study by Maeo et al titled Neuromuscular Adaptations Following 12 Week Maximal Voluntary Co-Contraction Training, subjects stood with their arm fixed at a 90 degree angle and performed a maximum voluntary isometric contraction for 4 seconds followed by 4 seconds of relaxation. This was considered one repetition. One set was 10 repetitions. They performed five sets per day (50 repetitions), three days per week for 12 weeks. Both muscle strength and size increased significantly in the training group with no change in the control group.

So there you go. If you want to increase muscle size you can do so with the ViiV-Rx. All you need to do is increase the 
volume of your contractions (the same thing you do when you lift and lower weights). And with the ViiV you get the bonus of being able to measure your force output for each and every one of those contractions.

But there was another very interesting thing about this study that needs to be discussed:
The increase in muscle size did not contribute to the increase in muscle strength.

This isn't surprising. There has never been any evidence that muscle growth and muscle strength are related. The story that exercise-induced changes in muscle size lead to improved muscle strength is a legend. It is folklore. Furthermore, "building muscle" is an illusion, and it certainly doesn't matter.

Stay with me while I explain.

1n 1955, 
The Problem of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Review by PJ Rasch was published in The Journal of American Osteopathic Association. This paper examined the lack of direct evidence that muscle hypertrophy from exercise plays an important role in increasing strength.

In 2016, Buckner et al had the benefit of examining an additional 60 years of evidence in 
The Problem of Muscle Hypertrophy: Revisited. Certainly an additional 60 years of technological advancement combined with a greatly expanded knowledge base would yield more answers, right? Nope. Nothing has changed.

We still have no answers to explain why:

1. Changes in muscle size do not contribute to changes in muscle strength. 

2. Muscle growth gained is lost quickly when workouts stop, yet muscle strength gained persists above baseline for months/years. In fact, it has been demonstrated experimentally that doing a 1 repetition maximum (1RM) test once a month maintains 1RM strength,
despite a complete loss of muscle hypertrophy.

3. Muscle growth is the same for low-load or high-load training, yet muscle strength is wildly divergent. High loads produce much greater strength improvement than lower loads.

Yet, here we are 65 years later, in the year 2020, and we continue to believe that changes in muscle strength are contingent upon changes in muscle size, and evaluate the effectiveness of resistance training devices and programs on whether or not they "build muscle."

It's all fiction.

So how did we get here?  

In a 2019 review titled 
Exercise-Induced Changes in Muscle Size Do Not Contribute to Exercise-Induced Changes in Muscle Strength, Loenneke et al concisely outlined the historical context of how we arrived at the traditional narrative. They present strong evidence that muscle growth is not necessary, sufficient, or contributory for changes in muscle strength. The two seem to be separate and unrelated adaptations to resistance training.

Now let's talk about another misconception: muscle growth.

If a change in the size of your muscles as a result of exercise does not make you stronger, and the relatively quick loss of that increase in size does not make you weaker, and you can get the same change in size if you use a low or high amount of your maximum effort, what is this change and what is the benefit?  

There is no benefit.

In the 1963 textbook 
Physiology of Exercise, Morehouse and Miller  wrote "It has not been proved that hypertrophy is necessarily a desirable reaction ... it may be simply a by-product of training, perhaps a noxious one." 

Perhaps noxious? Well, considering the various injuries that typically occur as a result of resistance training it can certainly be argued that it is harmful. It's also no secret that multiple markers for tissue damage and skeletal muscle necrosis are significantly elevated after resistance training. 

Is this really a good thing to do on a regular basis?

Is it natural to frequently expend extra energy to move weight through your most inefficient joint angles to achieve a point of discomfort that leaves you inflamed, weakened, stiff, and sore just to temporarily increase the size of your muscles? For no gain? 

Doesn't make sense. 

Here's the truth: Your muscles are perfectly capable of propelling you through life just the way they are. Your nervous system adjusts to yield more strength when you need it and improves its efficiency to handle future demands deep into the future. No change in muscle size is required. The fact that exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy goes away quickly after a few days makes it perfectly obvious that this is not a necessary or even desirable state to achieve. 

Remember, based on all the evidence since the beginning of time, exercise-induced strength gains persist despite a complete loss of exercise-induced hypertrophy gains. Are you seeing the theme here? 

Muscle size doesn't matter. Muscle strength does.

So what is exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy?

It is a by-product; a temporary shift in fluid and blood flow specific to the muscle trained. You may know it as "the pump." It is similar to the increase in size your ankle displays when you sprain it. It is an injury. 

How do you treat an injury? Rest and ice.

In a 2019 study titled 
Cold Water Immersion Attenuates Anabolic Signaling and Skeletal Muscle Fiber Hypertrophy But Not Strength Gain Following Whole Body Resistance Training, Jackson et al found that muscle hypertrophy was reduced in a group immersed in cold water after each resistance training session compared to a group that passively recovered. Strength was not reduced in either group. 

So a total body "ice pack" reduced hypertrophy? No, it reduced swelling which is typically called
hypertrophy.

In a 2015 study by Roberts et al titled 
Post-Exercise Cold Water Immersion Attenuates Acute Anabolic Signaling and Long-Term Adaptations in Muscle to Strength Training, after 12 weeks of resistance training two days per week, muscle mass accretion was significantly smaller while total fiber cross sectional area and myonuclei density per fiber did not improve significantly in the cold water immersion group (COLD) compared to the active recovery group (ACT). Maximum leg press strength significantly improved in both groups. 

Wait a minute. If the increase in muscle hypertrophy is not just swelling, then why would the COLD group see no significant improvement in fiber cross sectional area and myonuclei density while the ACT group did and they both used the same training program?  

If hypertrophy is real a little cold water shouldn't stop it from happening.

But it isn't. It's an illusion.

Here's the deal. Mother Nature favors power; she likes the greatest strength improvement for the least amount of change in body mass. It's smart economics.

What matters most is what you can do with your body when you want to, or need to. The size of your muscles doesn't propel you out of bed in the morning. The strength of your muscles does.

My focus is on improving the physical capacity and quality of life of the millions of people who want and need the smartest, most efficient and sustainable way to get there. The ViiV-Rx is a perfect fit; it is a great tool for improving neurological efficiency, maximum strength and power to weight ratio.

Strength is all that matters.

IS THERE ANY RESEARCH?


IS THERE ANY RESEARCH?

By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness


Here's a common question we receive: Is there any research that shows the efficacy of the ViiV-Rx Isometric Machine?

ViiV Research Studies

Yes, there is a ton of peer-reviewed research on isometrics. Just ask Google and you will have more than enough to make your head spin. But before you go and do that, let me save you some time and aggravation.

As the old saying goes,
"Necessity is the mother of invention." That is where my journey with isometrics began.

Back in the day, I used to have clients lift and lower weight very slowly on a few pieces of selectorized weight machines. Then, one day, along came Seymour, a 93 year old gentlemen with an artificial hip. This would be my first experience working with an artificial hip.

As I got Seymour positioned to move some weight on the leg press, it was immediately obvious that he had very little range of motion; so small that it wasn't worth attempting movement. This forced me to quickly improvise. I made a few position adjustments, added a lot of extra weight, and told him that together we were going to lift the weight into a more extended position where he would push against a range limiter that prevented his legs from extending any further. Once we got there, I told him to push as hard as possible to prevent the weight from descending until he couldn't do it anymore.

He loved it! He got stronger each week and his quality of life improved dramatically.

As a result of Seymour's success, I started to experiment with this technique on other clients who needed a change of pace due to injuries or stalling progress. Everyone started having success and enjoyed it. It was hard to ignore what was happening.

Did I look for research before doing this? No. I didn't have time. Did I ask other people for their opinions? No. It started with an idea and it worked! From there I observed, listened, and tweaked as it evolved into something that became very effective for all clients, even those with normal healthy joints.

My point is this: There is no substitute for your own personal experience. You don't need any reassurance or evidence from a laboratory to try something new or pursue development of an idea.

YOU are the research! YOU are the best scientist there is! Try it first and see how it works for you. All you have to do is start playing.

I understand that the approach we take with the ViiV-Rx is radically different from what is considered mainstream. I understand that the ViiV-Rx is a big purchase. I understand there is comfort in numbers; going along with the pack is easier than breaking away from it. So I understand why people ask "Is there any research?"

Yes, scientific evidence may give us some peace of mind, but there are some things you need to keep in mind about peer-reviewed research.

First, you can find 10 studies to support what you want supported, and 10 studies that show the exact opposite. What's the tie-breaker? Your own experience.

Second, the training methods in research studies are typically not anything close to what you will use in real life. Also, what is realistic for your clients/patients will often times produce better results than the methods employed in studies.

Third, you and your clients/patients don't really give a damn about research. The truth is, all of you care about one thing: does it work or not?

I have collected a mountain of data and stories over the past 17 years. If you need research, get in touch with me and I will shower you with hours of stories about the life-changing effects of 20 second isometric workouts. And my research is even better than peer-reviewed studies because it is longitudinal. I've had the benefit of working with individuals for up to 20 years! That's a lot better than the 6-8 weeks you will read about in a study.

The ViiV-Rx and the methods we promote at ViiV Fitness are backed up by many years of continuous research; the best research there is: How it actually works in real-world conditions for a wide range of ages and fitness levels over a long period of time. It doesn't get any better than that, and besides, nothing is better than a personal story.

The use of isometrics is growing rapidly. If you need research, you can find a bunch of it on our website or contact me directly. Most importantly, you need to start doing it for yourself. You can't be a rock star without first learning how to play the guitar.

ViiV-Rx or ARX?


ViiV-Rx or ARX?
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness

ViiV vs ARX

We regularly hear from people who wrestle with this question so I will address it en masse. Before I begin, there are two things you need to understand:

First, I want to say that I have nothing against ARX. It is a fine product produced by a company that has vision and great intentions for changing the landscape of the fitness industry. I wish them continued success.

Second, we are the fattest, sickest, most unhealthy country in the world and my research interest has been to find the best way to change the lives of millions of people who want to get on the path to improved health and quality of life.

My goal has been the discovery of the closest thing to exercise in a pill by refining things down to what is necessary, what isn't, what is most sustainable, and what will have maximum impact with minimum downside.

That being said, it is my opinion, backed up by 17 years of research, that the ViiV approach is much further ahead of ARX due to one major thing: simplicity.

We are waiting at the finish line for ARX to get there.

I've said it for a long time now: This is where everyone is going, they just don't know it yet.

For 17 years, I have used four stations (or less), with five seconds (or less) of maximum isometric effort, 20 seconds (or less) total
motionless workouts that produce a euphoric energized feeling which changes lives. And people LOVE it! 

As Da Vinci said: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Think about that for a moment.

It is incredibly difficult and time consuming to continuously refine something down to being so simple that it is almost unbelievable, yet, that is what you have with the ViiV.  While others strive for sophistication through evolving more complex layers of technology and granularization, the sophistication of the ViiV approach lies in the lack of complexity, combined with its ability to produce life-changing results in a matter of seconds. So what is more sophisticated?

So let's talk about some of the common questions that arise:

RANGE OF MOTION

There are two questions here:

1) Don't you only get stronger in the range of motion you train in?

2) Don't you need to move through a full range of motion? 

Your muscles have an origin and insertion point between bones. Muscle cells run the entire length of the muscle. The muscle either contracts or it doesn't. The fact that movement is prevented or allowed is irrelevant. There is no adaptation to becoming stronger in only one joint angle and weaker in all the others. It doesn't happen that way in real life, and I’ll bet you can't find one person who could ever pinpoint that adaptation while going through real life movement. 

Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Even though I advocate a motionless method for improving your physical capacity, I am not a proponent of being motionless. Far from it. Movement is absolutely necessary for good mental and physical health, and I tell clients to get a lot of it. However, it is not necessary to move your joints through a full range of motion against resistance to receive enormous health and fitness benefits.

I have been documenting this for
nearly two decades. As I wrote in my last article, "ViiV-Rx Makes Weight Lifting Obsolete," isometric contractions expose you to the highest loads possible in seconds. Moving through a full range of motion doesn't allow you to even come close to that kind of loading.

Just look at a force vs. joint angle curve. Maximum neuromuscular engagement is best in your most efficient joint angles (which is what you do on the ViiV). Moving through a full range of motion is inefficient and places unnecessary stress on your joints.

WHAT ABOUT THE NEGATIVE?

Believe me, I wrestled with this question myself a long time ago because I liked the negative only technique.

But suddenly the answer hit me: The most your muscle can do is the most it can do, no matter what type of contraction you are doing.

It doesn't matter if you can lower 50% more weight eccentrically when your concentric force production doesn't even come close to what you can do isometrically. Isometric force production still blows the others away.

Again, as I wrote in my last article, the increase in voluntary activation with isometric contractions is significantly greater than that of concentric and eccentric contractions, with eccentric contractions coming in last place.

What about the negative? I say what about it? The key to getting stronger is improving the efficiency of your nervous system. This doesn't just happen in the first few weeks of a strength training program as conventional wisdom says, it happens continuously. The ViiV will get anyone much stronger (more neurologically efficient) with much less wear and tear on their body. Positive/negative is rendered obsolete.

FATIGUE AS THE STIMULUS

I understand why dynamic contractions are hard to leave behind. It's what we've done for a long time. Change is difficult. Part of this is the adherence to the "fatigue as the stimulus" way of thinking. We like the sensation it provides, and the immediate effect on our muscles: temporary swelling, fatigue, and soreness.

But it isn't necessary for wowing clients/patients with life-changing improvements in health and physical fitness. I've experienced how brutal a maximum positive and maximum negative repetition on ARX can be, and you must keep a few things in mind.

If you were to experience this incredibly stressful event in nature on a weekly basis, you were either very unlucky or very stupid. This is unnatural. To do this on a regular basis puts undue stress on the body,
ages you in fast forward, and it isn't necessary. Our primal hardwiring does not like to do this.

The masses do not like it either. With ViiV, you get seconds of relatively comfortable and painless stress that leaves you energized and ready to take on the world. The improvements to your nervous system also make everything you do in life easier. A ViiV session appeals to our natural instincts.
What do you think most will opt for?

THE PRICE TAG

Imagine this: you walk into the showroom and see the car you want. The price is 25 grand. You write the check and pay in full, but there's one catch: In order to drive it, you have to make monthly car payments for the remainder of the time you own it. Huh? That is ARX.

With the ViiV-Rx, you pay for the car in full (12 grand) and get to drive it right away with no further cost to you. The software is accessible by an app that you download  from the app store free of charge. When we notify you of an update, all you do is download the update. Or set your included iPad to download it automagically. How simple and cost effective is that?

A great example to tie all of this together is a very important lesson learned by people who tackle the challenge of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Upon completion, all of them will tell you that they learned how little they really needed to be comfortable, productive, and happy. When you hike for that long it quickly becomes apparent that things you thought you needed weren't worth the extra weight, space, or cost, especially when other necessary items in your backpack could do the same job and get you the same outcome. 

ARX offers the ability to blast yourself with positive/negative, along with isometric capability. The question is, do you really need the extra stuff? Does the cost justify it?

I say no. Call me crazy, but the way things are moving, I think that many ARX owners, despite the extra tools, will eventually have a very costly isometric machine, because in the future they will be using it in isometric mode almost exclusively.

Why do I think this? The masses are going to drive you in this direction. Why? The spread of OSTEOSTRONG franchises and the current rise of independent businesses that use isometrics exclusively.

Not only does this growth help bring more attention to ViiV, it wakes more and more people up to how simple and easy it is to get life-changing results in seconds a week. Believe me, once they get a taste, they aren't going back the other way.

I've been to your future already. It's isometrics. It's the ViiV-Rx. Trust me, if you want to wow your clients/patients and change lives, it doesn't take much. Use the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid. 

LIFE-CHANGING RESULTS IN SECONDS

Obviously someone noticed a change in Jill, and now three weeks after her first few sessions others have noticed a change in Jill as well. Even Jill's sister, who had not seen Jill in nearly 4 months couldn't believe how much better she was walking. And no, she still has not told anyone what she is doing. 
Read More…

HOW YOU SHOULD FEEL AFTER A WORKOUT

So if given a choice, which of these options would your current and future clients choose? If they can get the same benefits from something that leaves them feeling fantastic, and they will, why would they want to endure the discomfort, technique-laden requirements, and potential joint issues associated with moving weights up and down?  Remember, we're talking about what they want, not what you want.
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WHY SHORT DURATION ALL-OUT ISOMETRICS ARE THE NATURAL THING TO DO

General George Patton said, "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." The purpose of this article is to get you thinking differently about an old form of exercise, and to put your mind at ease. Contrary to what you may hear or believe, there is nothing dangerous or limiting about giving it everything you've got against an immovable object for a few seconds. Mother Nature says it's ok. Listen to your mother.
Read More…

INTRODUCING THE VIIV-RX

For the past 16 years I have been using maximum isometric contractions exclusively with clients. The results from 20 second workouts (yes, you read that correctly, 20 SECONDS!) have been fantastic. Isometrics are simply safer, more comfortable, more efficient, and easier for your clients to understand and perform.
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