"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."
This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.
To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.
I've used it off and on for years. Overall, it gets two big thumbs up with a couple of provisos.
1. The price new is borderline ridiculous. I guess with what folks on this site pay for single function Nautilus pieces, it may not seem ridiculous to you all, but over $1000? Come on. That said, you can get them on Craigslist for a song (as low as $50 for one in fully working order).
2. It does alot of exercises, but many are junk (curls for instance).
Overall, it's self-spotting, the strap resistance kicks butt on bowflex type machines, and it allows you to do exercises with weight plates and the included straps which allows customized resistance.
It's best movements are:
It's not so hot for:
The leg extension and curl are OK.
Overall, if you can get it cheaply, it's a fantastic machine and perhaps the best value out there.
A word about the resistance. I weigh 210 to 220 lb. With 130lb. of strap weight on the pulldown, I pull myself fully 10 inches off of the bench (legs feet and all). So the resistance, unlike with Bowflex, is significantly higher than stated on the straps. I do hard sets of 12 on bench press with 130lb. of straps. On a friends Bowflex, I can do 15 reps or more with a stated weight of 240lb. With iron plates, I'm lucky to get 8 with 225.
My roommate and I had one in our apartment 20+ years ago when we were stationed in RI. My info may be dated so take it with a grain of salt...
The Soloflex was OK for certain exercises but the reason I got rid of it back then (and the reason that I won't buy one today) is that it took too long to do the changeovers. The rubber band things were hard to pull off and put on and it seemed like it took forever to switch between exercises.
If I had two or three of them that I could set up so to handle multiple exercises without doing changeovers I might consider them again. Otherwise I think you are better off going with a high-end Multi-exercise machine where with the pull of a pin or two you can switch exercises.
In general, any exercise where you get stronger as you reach the contracted position (mostly pushing movements) will work well on the soloflex. The converse is also true.
There is also a "butterfly" station that works well in the contracted position.
The machines are indestructible unless you let the rubber tubing get too dry.
They are very safe. The biggest chance of injury would be releasing the bar from the contracted position or in reconfiguring/assembling it, but a little common sense would prevent injury here.
the leg extension/curl requires occasional (annual) lubrication.
I use mine in my 7 foot basement when I can't get to the gym. As pointed out, I use it with the bench or without, switching during a workout will take you about 5 minutes and will require you to rearrange about 50 pounds of equipment at a spell.
I also find back squats to be good, but you might consider partials to target the hips in the bottom of the movement.
I was able to assemble the machine by myself in 15 minutes. I got mine used.
I supervise my ten-year-old daughter on an occasional soloflex workout.
You can't beat it for the $100 or so you can get one used.
BTW if anyone in Long Island is looking to part with a Rockit please let me know.
I had one when the first came out. Did not care for it to much. If you could find a used one cheap with the dip bars you have one hell of a dip and chin station. Better that most of the cheap shit they have out now. Anyone remember the friday workout chart? Chins,dips,upright row,and I forget what leg exercise. Thats a good combo. I think they recommended chins with hands faceing both ways and behind the neck chins. I saw one at a yard sale last year. I should have looked into to it just for the chins and dips. As an above post,$100, bomb proof chin and dip station and you could used free weights on the bar instead of the bands. Blast from the past.
I have one and like it very much. I use is a lot for isolation movements as the first portion of a pre-exhaust cycle and then move on to a compound movement.
I found it to have good negative resistance unlike the Bowflex, which seemed like the negative resistance dropped off. The resistance curve on the Soloflex was good all around.
The soloflex is crazy over-built. They are thick tubular steel with thick reinforcement bars welded inside.
One downside is occasionally breaking the resistance bands. I don't know if this is age related and they have just become brittle with age. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to find on Ebay for a reasonable price. The entire machine can be picked up reasonably on Ebay. Just look for one to go up for bid in your area for local pick up. This will save you freight charges. I give it a two thumbs up!
I'd like to hear opinions on the Soloflex machine.
Not having much room in my home for a ton of equipment I decided to track down a Soloflex. I had always wanted one since I was young. I found one on Craigslist not far from me. It was in good condition and got it for a steal of only $250. I also found a Soloflex Rocket like-new for $175. They both came with the original bands. These bands looked brand new but upon use I found that many of them had cracks throughout.
Initially I liked the unit but upon regular use I found issues. Getting in the Soloflex for an incline bench was rather cumbersome. The unit was a more wobbly than I had anticipated. The ease and time for changing the set-up of the machine isn't as quick as you are lead to believe. The bands sucked when the muscles were in the stretched position. There was only tension through a partial range of motion.
The Rocket wasn't bad initially but as I added increased the resistance I found that the stress was extremely high on the low back based on the design of the unit.
In the end I decided to sell them both and pick up a Powertec Workbench which took up about the same amount of space as the Soloflex.
Soloflex was working on a new free-weight system called a LIFT which was essentially a squat rack with an adjustable pull-up bar and dip attachment. It looked promising nut they scrapped the idea.