Time is money, right? So how much would it be worth if you really could get an effective workout in only 4 minutes a day? The creators of the ROM QuickGym would like you to believe it’s worth over $15,000. A club in California (where else?) thinks it’s worth $40/month for a membership. On the other hand, the so-called “experts” will often discount it’s value simply by looking at it.
Who’s right? (by the end of this post, I will be - but I’m sure you already knew that)
First, we need to consider these important principles:
Specificity: If your goal is to get really good at doing 4 minutes of exercise on the ROM, then by all means, you need to train with the ROM.
Will it help you shoot better free throws? Make more tackles? Run a faster 5k? No. Uh-uh and certainly not.
Progression: Once you adapt to your initial stressor(s), to make further adaptations, you need to do more and/or work at a higher intensity.
Variety: One of the arguments of the ROM is that it has a life-span of 30+ years. Therefore the “actual cost” is only $1.25 PLUS 4 minutes per day. This may be good in theory, but if you plan on doing the same activity/duration/relative intensity for 30+ years, there’s a good chance you’ll hit a plateau sometime in the first 6 months (if not sooner). So for much of the next 29.5 years, you’ll have to do something other than the ROM. This means you’ll still have the expense of $1.25/day to let the ROM sit there, in addition to whatever your other form(s) of exercise may cost.
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ROM’s Strengths: Even the ThighMaster has a useful purpose - and because I like to think I’m a li’l smarter than the ”experts” ROM says “will feel threatened by such a perfect machine” (can it really put personal trainers out of business?) I’ll give ‘em the benefit of the doubt by focusing on its strengths first.
Tony Robbins owns one. So does Sly. Even Tom “top-gun” Cruise has one. The marketing DVD is packed with testimonials from various experts and “lay people”, all (presumably) first time users at a bodybuilding/trade show.
Upon completion of 4 minutes, when asked if they’ve ever experienced such a workout, everyone breathlessly agrees it’s the toughest workout they’ve ever done.
For the uninitiated, although BIG, bodybuilders aren’t typically recognized for their knowledge of training. Flip through an issue of Flex magazine and you’ll discover most of ‘em are still doing ever-so-slight variations of the workouts Arnie was doing back in the ’70s (plus a little chemical “help”, if you know what I mean).
Getting to the point, the greatest strength of the ROM Quick Gym is it’s marketing strategy. They do a fair job explaining why all the “experts” are wrong.
To their credit, while I was reviewing the ROM DVD, I did hear one of their “experts” admit that ‘the best exercise is the one you’ll do.’ If the ROM truly is better than any other form of exercise, it’s only because the price tag can be a strong motivator.
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ROM’s Weaknesses: From what I can tell, the ROM is limited to a single dominant plane of movement (in the real-world, we move in all 3)
Plus, it separates the muscles of the upper body from the lower body. Ever try running with just your legs? Or how about walking with only your arms?
Like most machine-based exercise, the ROM is incredibly concentric dominant. While the ability to produce force is great, we also need the ability to reduce and stabilize forces.
And for $15,000, you could buy a cheap car and a weight set.
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Believe it or not, I would recommend this machine IF…
You’re an actor in need a quick way to get that hot & sweaty look before shooting an action/love scene.
You’re a bodybuilder preparing to go onstage and pose for the judges (of course you’ve spent countless hours doing “real” training up to this point).
Space and time are both limited and you recognize that ’something is better than nothing’ in the short term (as in a hotel stay).
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Bottom line: Can the ROM QuickGym be a useful tool under the right circumstances? Sure, but those circumstances are limited.
If a person was currently doing NOTHING, would 4 intense minutes of SOMETHING cause something to change? Of course.
I’d rather deadlift, sprint or do push-ups for 4 minutes and save the 15 grand for shiny new car.
Two questions Joe. Have you ever used a ROM even once? Have you ever talked to any one, including an athlete that uses it? According to your own statement "From what I can tell" my guess is, you have not.
Regarding your first question: I also have not manufactured any light switches, but I understand the principles of electricity well enough to know how to turn a lightbulb on and off. While my limited knowledge of electricity may not qualify me to have much of an opinion on ohms law, ground fault interupters or flux capacitors, I do know a thing or two about exercise.
Regarding your second question: what's your point?