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Revolutionary RenEX Weight Stack or Deja Vu?
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PFI96

Recently the RenEX presented the details of it's new weight stack the UltraGuide Freedom Stack. Regarding this weight stack, their materials state the following:

"Renaissance Exercise Equipment Ltd. presents the first exercise machines in the world that blend a near frictionless top plate with a pin-indexed, zero-contact, tunable weight stack that floats on air."

As I viewed the RenEX materials and the pictures of the new weight stack, I got a sudden sense of Deja Vu.

Sure enough I had seen that weight stack before -- 3 years ago on a visit to MedX headquarters in Florida during a meeting with long time MedX equipment engineer Phil Sencil. MedX was prototyping a completely re-designed line of new machines, and Phil had designed a new weight stack with a near frictionless top plate with a pin-indexed, zero-contact, weight stack that floats on air.

Since that time MedX has discontinued the redesigned line, but a number of the prototypes are in the possession of a friend of mine, and I have used them on a couple of occasions. I also have dozens of pictures.

As you will see in the picture I have included, the RenEX stack is neither the only one of it's kind, nor even the first of it's kind. Phil Sencil's MedX design pre-dates the RenEX stack by at least 3 years.

What the pictures show is the RenEX weight stack is nearly identical to the MedX stack with a couple slight differences.

Here are the details that you will see in the pictures:

1) The only plate that touches the guide rods is the top plate, and that plate has the long bearing cylinder/cartridge built on it to house the bearings and stabilize the plate. Two bearings in each cylinder. The MedX is better in the sense that the cylinder is longer and the bearings are separated by a greater distance for greater stability.

2) Rather than have the bearing cylinders mounted above the top plate like the RenX does, the MedX version has the cylinders mounted underneath the top plate. When the stack bottoms out, the cylinders disappears into the weight stack. No clutter above the stack and more room for clearance. The MedX also connects the bearing cylinders to the weight selector rod for added stability.

3) Each plate has a set screw pin inserted in the top side of each plate to keep the plates in alignment.

4) All the holes in each plate are enlarged so that they never touch the guide rods.

5) The MedX has a built in accessory incremental weight stack that uses pin selection instead of the crude manual donut slider add-on weights the RenX has.

So to answer the question: "Where does innovation come from?" Apparently it comes from MedX.


Tim Ryan
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Al Coleman

Ohio, USA

Good work Watson. Unfortunately much of it is mere coincidence, which is really beside the point.

We are offering it, MedX isn't.

Anymore or do you still have more digging to do?

I'm not sure what your motive is here. It is funny how people pipe up once they feel like they've been left behind.

Onward and upward.

Al
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Tim could have presented these similarities in a positive manner, instead he is antagonistic and for no apparent reason. There could be reason to discuss the benefit of such designs however Tim doesn't bother. Why exactly do we need to know about supposedly better features of a design that isn't being manufactured or sold?

Tim hasn't even used the RenX system yet suggests it is 'less than' this other phantom...irresponsible.

As I said at the very outset of the Ren X thread - the reaction is all too similar to 'JReps are Stage Reps' and similar shallow B.S.

As I have said countless times before it is no wonder the HIT community remains so fractured.

Sad Tim...sad.

Andrew
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sgb2112

PFI96, why did MedX not bring those machines into production?

And how productive have those prototypes been for your training?
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

Tim,

Thanks for this, we've never seen it.

Our design existed in 2002, it's been in our machines since 2005. The one piece required for it to all work is missing in the MedX design.

We've patented the missing link. There is good reason that this never showed up in a MedX machine. 1) it was cost prohibitive. (we're putting our $ where our mouths are on these weight stacks. 2) It's incomplete.

The question that needs to be asked is: What's wrong with the current MedX weight stack?

Our weight stacks are FAR superior to any design out there and I'm sure anyone can see that RenEx went way above and beyond in all areas. EVERY component in our machines is superior. This goes much further than just the weight stack design, but we'll be keeping that title too :-)

Keep tryin Tim...


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PFI96

Andrew,

Antagonistic? Huh? You must be confusing me with someone. All I did was state the facts calmly and without emotion. Nowhere did I accuse anybody of anything, and nowhere did I attack or criticize the RenEX machines. I don't need to use them to recognize that their weight stack is nearly identical to the MedX version.

Tim

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PFI96

The reason MedX never completed their prototypes and brought them to market is because quite simply, they ran out of money. The company has been in financial hardship for years. Investors had been financing the R&D and the funding dried up.

Tim
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

AShortt wrote:
Tim could have presented these similarities in a positive manner, instead he is antagonistic and for no apparent reason. There could be reason to discuss the benefit of such designs however Tim doesn't bother. Why exactly do we need to know about supposedly better features of a design that isn't being manufactured or sold?

Tim hasn't even used the RenX system yet suggests it is 'less than' this other phantom...irresponsible.

As I said at the very outset of the Ren X thread - the reaction is all too similar to 'JReps are Stage Reps' and similar shallow B.S.

As I have said countless times before it is no wonder the HIT community remains so fractured.

Sad Tim...sad.

Andrew



It is sad...sour grapes...

i just remembered Gus showed the top plate and chimney at the INDY HIT conf in 2004. Many of you were there and saw the early prototype at this time.

much more than 3 years ago.

so who copied who?

haters can't stop us
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

PFI96 wrote:
Andrew,

Antagonistic? Huh? You must be confusing me with someone. All I did was state the facts calmly and without emotion. Nowhere did I accuse anybody of anything, and nowhere did I attack or criticize the RenEX machines. I don't need to use them to recognize that their weight stack is nearly identical to the MedX version.

Tim



i'd get your facts straight first
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

PFI96 wrote:
The reason MedX never completed their prototypes and brought them to market is because quite simply, they ran out of money. The company has been in financial hardship for years. Investors had been financing the R&D and the funding dried up.

Tim



First:
If Phil--or anyone else--has devised a similar control such as our chimneys, why are they missing from the market? Answer: They are too expensive for our competitors to consider in their products.

Second:
The chimneys, regardless of length or orientation, inadequately control the stack pin without the tuner.

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PFI96

Josh,

The design was not in your machines in 2002 or 2005. Gus put linear bearings in his top plate and Teflon bushings in each individual weight plate beneath. That's a far cry from having this weight stack design.

Furthermore, in 2002 Ken Hutchins was convinced that there was virtually no friction coming from the standard Nautilus weight stacks -- nor ever could come from them -- unless the guide rods were out of plum. He spent several pages in the SS tech manual ridiculing anyone who would claim that there was friction in the weight stacks, and even poked fun at Gary Jones for even bothering to polish the the guide rods in Nautilus machines -- claiming it was an utter waste of time. Oh, I see, but spending untold thousands of dollars building a weight stack to fix a supposed non-existent problem is brilliant?!

Additionally, Gus personally told me that he had to spend many, many hours on the phone with Ken convincing him of the value of a linear bearing top plate, and that he only succeeded in this within the last year. Thus, there is no way Ken would have designed this RenEX stack prior to this.

As far as my experience with the MedX prototype, it works quite well. It doesn't need the "auto centering tuner" your stack has because the bearing cylinders are fused to the weight selector rod. Everything is locked together as one and functions as a rock solid table that, along with the pin indexing, holds everything in alignment and centered. The top plate never budges from its centered alignment.

You've never used the MedX version -- nor even seen it until today with the the one picture I provided -- yet you're certain it's inferior to your RenEX version. Andrew should be criticizing you not me.

Lastly, please provide the patent number relating to your weight stack design.

Tim

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PFI96

The so called "chimneys" housing the bearings are quite common in any number of applications utilizing linear bearings. Nothing unique or revolutionary there. Engineers have been using them since the invention of linear bearings.

Note the MedX top plate fuses the chimneys to the center selector rod. The top plate cannot budge. No tilt. Problem solved without need for a "tuner".

Tim

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db144

Josh:

Are your machines so expensive you're afraid of openly state the cost? You keep harping on the quality and no expense spared so why don't you just tell us how much for each machine.

d
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

It's always only a matter of time before the attacks begin. So be it.

The mere suggestion that the concept of our designs is derivative of what is shown here is insulting. While obvious similarities appear, the author of this original post should know all the facts before making feigned accusations.

If we want to get all historical about the origins of the RenEx Equipment resistance delivery systems, Gus Diamantopoulos from Toronto developed a fully integrated linear bearing top plate and lower friction retrofit as early as 2003, and that predates even the designer's stack in this post. I was his first customer in retrofitting my machines, both nautilus and superslow systems, with Gus' designs. And it was our collaboration with Ken that eventually led to the development of ideas that Ken had had about weight stacks since the 90's. It was a fusion of ideas that led to what we have now and none of us has ever seen any other designer's weight stacks that are similar before this post. This is fact.

Going back farther....am I the only one who remembers Nautilus's attempts with linear bearings (ableit crappy ones). Heck, even smith machines and 45 degree LPs use bearing systems.

Of course ideas coalesce. Of course given enough time many minds will arrive at similar conclusions and even inventions. When technology funnels ideas down to the current state of the art, there will always be parallels. But we are talking about intricate machines that provide exercise effects related to a protocol.

Our machines don't just finally deal with friction, which they do. They don't just address the shortcomings of other equipment manufacturers when it comes to biomechanics and functioning, which they do. And they don't just support our protocol, which they do (and no others do). They do all of this at a level of quality that is second to none.

If anyone wants to dispute this claim, then bring it on. Get on our machines, do what we say and then offer your criticism. We would be amazed if anyone had any experience other than an otherworldly sense of being able to exercise with utmost comfort, intensity, and frankly, joy.

We stand by our claim. There are the first machines of their kind. They offer a completely different biomechanical efficiency, they virtually eliminate friction,they feel incredible to perform on, and the support renex protocol, exclusively.

Oh, and you know what? The incremental system we have is pretty darn efficient. Or wait, I'm so sorry, I guess there's a huge difference in pin selected increments vs. a different type of MANUAL selection that does the job exactly the same...


Visit www.renaissanceexercise.com


Joshua Trentine
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

db144 wrote:
Josh:

Are your machines so expensive you're afraid of openly state the cost? You keep harping on the quality and no expense spared so why don't you just tell us how much for each machine.

d


It has nothing to do with fear, show me you qualify to buy one, tell me what features you want, i'll give you a price.

I'm having no problems selling them, they began to move well before I showed one picture or any description.
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

PFI96 wrote:
Josh,

The design was not in your machines in 2002 or 2005. Gus put linear bearings in his top plate and Teflon bushings in each individual weight plate beneath. That's a far cry from having this weight stack design.

Furthermore, in 2002 Ken Hutchins was convinced that there was virtually no friction coming from the standard Nautilus weight stacks -- nor ever could come from them -- unless the guide rods were out of plum. He spent several pages in the SS tech manual ridiculing anyone who would claim that there was friction in the weight stacks, and even poked fun at Gary Jones for even bothering to polish the the guide rods in Nautilus machines -- claiming it was an utter waste of time. Oh, I see, but spending untold thousands of dollars building a weight stack to fix a supposed non-existent problem is brilliant?!

Additionally, Gus personally told me that he had to spend many, many hours on the phone with Ken convincing him of the value of a linear bearing top plate, and that he only succeeded in this within the last year. Thus, there is no way Ken would have designed this RenEX stack prior to this.

As far as my experience with the MedX prototype, it works quite well. It doesn't need the "auto centering tuner" your stack has because the bearing cylinders are fused to the weight selector rod. Everything is locked together as one and functions as a rock solid table that, along with the pin indexing, holds everything in alignment and centered. The top plate never budges from its centered alignment.

You've never used the MedX version -- nor even seen it until today with the the one picture I provided -- yet you're certain it's inferior to your RenEX version. Andrew should be criticizing you not me.

Lastly, please provide the patent number relating to your weight stack design.

Tim





your timeline is all wrong and yes my studio in Orlando has had these weight stacks for OVER two years
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

Al Coleman wrote:
Good work Watson. Unfortunately much of it is mere coincidence, which is really beside the point.

We are offering it, MedX isn't.

Anymore or do you still have more digging to do?

I'm not sure what your motive is here. It is funny how people pipe up once they feel like they've been left behind.

Onward and upward.

Al




Onward and upward is right, i should post some of the hilarious hate mail from some of the old superslow guys

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PFI96

You claim the RenEX weight stack is patented. Please provide the patent number.

Thanks.
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PFI96

your timeline is all wrong and yes my studio in Orlando has had these weight stacks for OVER two years[/quote]

That's your timeline not mine. In an earlier post you stated:

"Our design existed in 2002, it's been in our machines since 2005."

I merely commented using your dates, so if they are wrong it's your mistake.

Whatever the case, it's irrelevant. What you had back then is not what exists now and now what MedX created previously. So you had linear bearings in a top plate -- big deal. Nautilus had linear bearings in a top plate back in the early 70's. Does that mean they are the true creators of all this?
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Al Coleman

Ohio, USA

Folks get all up in arms when they see us post anything. What no one sees is all the silly and childish hate mail we get from the old SuperSlow crowd.

I dont care if people don't like our "tone". We met up with Ken at a different time during his life and met with him on a level that others weren't able to. So sorry :(

No emotion? Well I hope your honest journalistic investigation brings clients through your door. Does passive-aggressive count as an emotion?

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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

PFI96 wrote:
You claim the RenEX weight stack is patented. Please provide the patent number.

Thanks.



there's a patent in there trust me.

the write up for the patent will be available on renex when i'm ready
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Joseph Anderson

Dammit, I was kinda hoping my DL thread would be the controversial topic for a while.

Thanks Tim . . .
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Robert Francis

New York, USA

Congratulations Josh & RenX on what appears to be a quite a leap in reducing (eliminating?) weight stack friction.
Early renditions of the Hutchins' Superslow Machines had some pretty rough stacks. I think later versions had better stacks but my Superslow machines were of an early vintage. Ken's machines looked like they were much imprvoved when he allied himself with MedX for those several years. Although I never got to try one, my impression is that they had a really fine, refined action.

Tim's post on the MedX "Floating" stack may not have been meant to detract from the RenX product but to point out several things that might naturally come to mind. The first being that Tim knew of and had used a stack sharing the principle elements of your design...
AND,
That your presentation of this design comes after your association with Ken Hutchins, who has been inside MedX for most of the last several years, including during the development of the Phil Sencil stack.

I had emailed Rob Serraino about narratives that I thought were very familiar in posts made by you in the Renaissance thread, familiar meaning things Rob had written on, to you and me and some others years ago, and wondered if he cared.
He suggested it was of little importance and told me to go to your website and have a look at the stack.
Without notice, he emailed me several of Tim's photos of the Sencil Stack.
Of course I called Rob to ask what the hell is going on and he mentioned that the pics were from Tim's MedX trip some years back.
You are right regarding that an innovation is meaningless if it is not brought to market.
It is also clear that your design DOES NOT violate prior art.

I am just trying to say that Tim's post is a natural reaction and not malicious.



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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

zanderinst wrote:
Congratulations Josh & RenX on what appears to be a quite a leap in reducing (eliminating?) weight stack friction.
Early renditions of the Hutchins' Superslow Machines had some pretty rough stacks. I think later versions had better stacks but my Superslow machines were of an early vintage. Ken's machines looked like they were much imprvoved when he allied himself with MedX for those several years. Although I never got to try one, my impression is that they had a really fine, refined action.

Tim's post on the MedX "Floating" stack may not have been meant to detract from the RenX product but to point out several things that might naturally come to mind. The first being that Tim knew of and had used a stack sharing the principle elements of your design...
AND,
That your presentation of this design comes after your association with Ken Hutchins, who has been inside MedX for most of the last several years, including during the development of the Phil Sencil stack.

I had emailed Rob Serraino about narratives that I thought were very familiar in posts made by you in the Renaissance thread, familiar meaning things Rob had written on, to you and me and some others years ago, and wondered if he cared.
He suggested it was of little importance and told me to go to your website and have a look at the stack.
Without notice, he emailed me several of Tim's photos of the Sencil Stack.
Of course I called Rob to ask what the hell is going on and he mentioned that the pics were from Tim's MedX trip some years back.
You are right regarding that an innovation is meaningless if it is not brought to market.
It is also clear that your design DOES NOT violate prior art.

I am just trying to say that Tim's post is a natural reaction and not malicious.






Zand,

I didn't read it this way, but my interpretation may be biased by the hate mail that I've received from Mr.Ryan and some of his associates.

Ken Hutchins has not been inside of MedX in many years, no one on my team ever saw this stack.

Many of the decisions on this stack came from Gus and myself. Gus has drawings of this concept as early as 2002. Many people have seen a similar weight stack in my studios in as early as 2005.

The weight stack is only a piece of the puzzle

Our machines don't just finally deal with friction, which they do. They don't just address the shortcomings of other equipment manufacturers when it comes to biomechanics and functioning, which they do. And they don't just support our protocol, which they do (and no others do). They do all of this at a level of quality that is second to none.

And I do agree, it's all for not if it never came to market.

Joshua
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db144

Josh:

As I expected they are horribly expensive compared to the industry average. You'd think I'd mortgage my house to buy your machines? You silly boy.

What will you do once the rehab centers and SuperSlow facilities stop purchasing your machines?

d
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