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Total Omni-Directional, Direct Exercise System

by Arthur Jones

From IronMan September 1970, Volume 29 Number 6, visit

For best possible results from physical training, several requirements are absolutely essential: (1) totality of effort, (2) omni-directional resistance, and (3) direct resistance.

Lacking one or more of the above three factors, any form or amount of exercise will not provide results even closely approaching possible results.

Barbell exercises do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- meet any of these requirements: and as a con. sequence of this lack, at least 97% of the effort expended in conventional training with barbells is wasted. The results that are produced by conventional methods of weight training come from only about 3% of the efforts devoted to such training.

The above listed three requirements are basics -- factors that must be present for best possible results -- but they are not the only factors required; additionally, a perfect form of exercise must provide (4) variable, balanced resistance, and (5) full range resistance.

Again, barbell training does not meet either of these requirements. So, as recently as a year ago, the perfect form of exercise did not exist -- but now it does; and it is now possible to improve the results of weight training by at least 1,000% and probably by as much as 3,000%. According to most published scientific opinion, maximum possible sustained strength gains are supposed to be limited to about 2% per week, but we have been producing sustained strength increase rates of over 30% per week, week after week after week.

For absolute clarity, I feel it is necessary to clearly define the previously listed five requirements for a perfect form of exercise:

(1) Totality of effort: the involvement of 100% of the muscle fibers contained in the muscles being exercised.

(2) Omni-directional resistance; a form of resistance that applies force from every possible direction -- as opposed to the single direction of resistance provided by conventional forms of exercise.

(3) Direct resistance; while related to the second requirement, directness of resistance is not necessarily a result of omni-directional resistance -- in effect, omni-directional resistance is required for direct resistance, but does not produce direct resistance.

Direct resistance is a form of resistance that opposes -- directly opposes -- the movement of involved body parts; when the hands, for example, are moving vertically upwards, the resistance must be applied in a vertical direction downwards. If the hands are moving towards your torso then the resistance must be applied in a directly opposite direction.

In effect, regardless of the direction of movement of involved body parts, the resistance must always be applied in the opposite direction.

Second: direct resistance requires a form of exercise that permits working the involved muscles in such a way that their potential is not limited by other, weaker muscles.

For example: in all forms of conventional exercises, it is literally impossible to work the major torso muscles without involving the strength of the arms, and as a result, the ability to develop the strength or size of the torso muscles is limited by the strength of the arms.

In order to properly exercise the major torso muscles, the lats, pecs, deltoids and trapezius, they must be heavily worked without involving the arm muscles at all.

A bit confused? Read on; it will all be perfectly clear in the end.

(4) Variable, balanced resistance; in this instance, "variable" resistance does not refer to your ability to increase or decrease the resistance being employed -- as you can do by adding or removing barbell plates. Instead, it means that the actual resistance must change during the exercise movements; you might, for example, start a curl with 80 pounds and finish the movement with 150 pounds. Or you might start up from the low position of a squat with 300 pounds and come fully erect with 1200 pounds.

Within a given range, the resistance must be infinitely variable and it must be constantly changing as the movement progresses.

Why? Because changing the position of the involved body parts changes the strength of the muscles that move those body parts. Thus, in conventional forms of exercise, you encounter so-called "sticking points," places in the movement where the weight seems much heavier than it does in other positions, and you also encounter points of little or no resistance.

But if the resistance varies throughout the movement, then these sticking points and points of light resistance are avoided; the weight will always "feel" exactly the same at all points throughout the movement, although, in fact, it is constantly changing.

In order to attain that perfect "feel," the resistance must be balanced in relation to the changes taking place in the strength level of the muscles in various positions; the resistance must vary in perfect harmony with changes in strength produced by changes in position of involved body parts.

(5) Full range resistance; resistance must be provided over the entire possible range of movement of involved muscles. Muscles must be worked from a position of full extension to one of full contraction.

If not, then only part of the muscle is receiving worthwhile exercise; in all conventional forms of curling, for example, and this includes all forms of curling -- bench or curling machine work -- the worthwhile range of movement is never more than, and usually less than, 90 degrees of movement, out of a possible range of movement of the biceps muscles of nearly 360 degrees (approximately 155 degrees of contractile movement, and 190 degrees of supinational movement).

As a result, no conventional form of exercise for the biceps does much of anything for these muscles in their strongest positions -- in the positions where they are strongest, and thus require the greatest amount of resistance, they are provided with absolutely no resistance in most exercises and with nothing approaching worthwhile resistance in any exercise.

Although he possesses outstandingly impressive arms, Boyer Coe found, upon trying one of our new curling machines, that he had practically no strength in the fully flexed position; in spite of eight years of steady, heavy training with barbells and conventional pulley exercises, the potentially strongest part of his arms had never been given enough work to develop any real strength in the strongest position.

When resistance is provided over the entire range of possible movement, then the muscles will respond in all areas -- instead of only in some areas.

The result? Muscular size and strength never even dreamed of before -- produced within a matter of a few months instead of over a period of several years, and produced by brief, infrequent workouts.

Thus a simply enormous degree of improvement has been produced by this revolutionary new form of exercise, improvement in at least four separate areas . . .

(a) Elapsed training time has been greatly reduced, results can now be produced in months that were previously possible only from years of training.

(b) The requirement for the frequency of workouts has been reduced from five or six weekly workouts to only two or three weekly workouts.

(c) The length of workouts has been reduced to as little as thirty minutes, with a maximum workout time (for best results) of not more than one hour and twenty minutes. A maximum weekly training time of not more than four hours (three workouts of one hour and twenty minutes each).

(d) Potential results have been greatly increased; previously unheard of size and strength will be produced by many trainees following this system of training, and any trainee following this system will attain greater strength and muscular size than would have been possible otherwise.

Thus, in effect, it is now possible to attain greater size and strength in a shorter period of time with fewer and shorter workouts.

But if this is so -- many people will ask - then why isn't it possible to obtain even better results by using these methods more frequently, or by employing longer workouts?

Because, for the first time in the history of exercise, you are working all of the involved muscles; working them directly, working them over their full range of possible movement, and working them to a point of total exhaustion; thus, more frequent or longer workouts would exhaust your muscles beyond their ability to recover between workouts.

Once a muscle has been exercised properly, then no additional work is required, or even desirable; best results will always be produced when muscles are worked to the point of total failure -- BRIEFLY and INFREQUENTLY. Any additional exercise beyond that will merely reduce the ability of the body to respond properly -- results will be slower instead of faster.

A muscle must be warmed up properly, worked to the point of momentary failure - and then given a chance to recover.

Up to this point, I have mentioned only possible results, but I have said absolutely nothing about "ease of results;" do not make the mistake of assuming that these new methods are easy -- they are not. On the contrary, this method of training is by far the hardest form of work known to man; enormously result-producing it is, very fast it is, also, but it isn't easy. And it wasn't intended to be.

We looked for, and we found, the hardest possible form of exercise, unbelievably hard exercise, brutally hard exercise; as it had to be in order to produce the kind of results that it does. So if you are looking for something "easy", then look elsewhere, because this isn't it; but if you want unbelievably fast results, then this form of exercise will produce them, at least ten times as fast as any other method of exercise -- and in many cases at least thirty times as fast.

But you won't get such results by doing eight or ten sets on one of the new machines -- eight or ten sets on one of our new lat machines would probably kill you; if you lasted long enough to get through that many sets. Most people don't make it much if any beyond two sets at first, at which point they are stretched out on the floor in a dead faint, green in the face, violently sick, unable to move.

That wouldn't happen to you? Well, be my guest, but don't say you weren't warned. I don't care what kind of shape you are in at the start, until you have tried this system of training you literally do not know what hard training is. Heavy squats? High repetition squats? Fast squats? Fast, heavy, high repetition squats? Well -- some of our trainees do over twenty repetitions of full, fast squats with over 300 pounds as a "warm-up" for their lat machine work; such a warm-up is required in order to get the breathing and circulation up to a point where the body can properly meet the requirements imposed by the heavy lat machine work.

The degree of "pump" produced by such exercise? Not any, or at the very most, very little DURING THE EXERCISE, but almost immediately afterward, the muscles are pumped to a far greater degree than they have ever been as a result of any other form of exercise.

Why? Because, when all of the fibers of a muscle are working, it is impossible to produce much if anything in the way of a "pump," the individual muscle fibers are flexed -- all of them are flexed -- and blood simply cannot get in WHILE THE MUSCLES ARE WORKING.

But immediately afterwards, once a set is completed and the muscles are relaxed, the blood flows in at an enormous rate, and in a matter of a few seconds, the muscles are pumped as hard as a rock.

One or two sets of such exercise, repeated not more than three times weekly, are all that are required for producing simply unbelievable training progress, increases in both strength and muscular size; more than that number of sets, or more frequent workouts, would tear the muscles down faster than your system could rebuild them. Thus, with this system of training, short, infrequent workouts are not just a possibility, they are an absolute requirement.

And at the start of such training a certain degree of caution is well advised -- two or three weeks of careful break-in training are

An absolute requirement as well; up to this point nobody using this system has actually kidded himself by attempting to overtrain, but dozens of trainees have worked themselves to the point of violent sickness within a matter of a few minutes. And they have done so in spite of firm warnings regarding the need for caution at first.

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Neither nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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