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Body Conditioning Perfected

Exploring the TRIMAX system

Don Mehl | May 1, 1993

Strength training, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, is as important to an individual's total health as is cardiovascular conditioning. Several reasons for this are:

1. Loss of lean body mass, which can be as much as 30% between the ages of 30 and 80 years, can be stopped and even reversed with regular strength training.

2. Gaining muscle, which is very active tissue, will increase metabolism. The greater the lean muscle weight, the greater the number of calories burned, both during and after exercise.

3. Altering body shape by improving the lean to fat ratio through resistance training will improve postural alignment, reducing the risk of back and/or spinal problems.

I have worked out for 20 years using free weights, Nautilus, Universal, Paramount, Polaris, Eagle, Keiser, and Soloflex systems along with stretch cords, cable systems, isometrics, isotonics, isokinetics, and many other machines too numerous to mention. I have endured thousands of hours of weight training because of my commitment to myself and to my sport. This training has greatly improved my athletic performance and overall health.

The problem I have now, like most adults, is TIME...there just isn't enough of it. Married with two young children, working 70 hours a week, and chairing several sports and fitness committees, I have little time left for my own training. Beneficial and satisfying as weight training is, few of us can afford the luxury of spending an hour or two several times a week at the health club - to say nothing of the travel time involved!

Searching for a system that I could use at home at my convenience, I researched every imaginable weight training device and method available. After hearing swimmers and coaches at several meets, seminars, and clinics talk about the great results they were having with the TRIMAX system, I called for their free brochure and video tape. The material that I received from TRIMAX explained in detail the principles of fitness training that governed the development of their machine.

TRIMAX is a system of specially designed and patented oil-filled hydraulic cylinders that create "personal accommodating resistance". These cylinders accommodate the intricate variations of a muscle's strength curve. Throughout your range of motion, your strength varies. For example, when you perform a bicep curl, you are weakest at the beginning of the movement, strongest at about 120 degrees, and then your strength declines again. This strength variation is called your strength curve, and it varies between each muscle and between individuals. Therefore, to train a muscle completely through its full range of movement the resistance must change during that movement. You can only train a muscle to the point where it fails at its weakest "link" in the movement. TRIMAX provides variable resistance throughout your full range of movement and at variable speeds.

I have been plagued by shoulder problems for ten years, but against my better judgment and my doctor's advice, I continued my intense weight training and swimming regimen. However, I could not perform many of the weight training exercises to muscular failure because my shoulders would fail first. It wasn't until I worked out on TRIMAX that I was able to truly "overload" each muscle group without pain to my shoulders. Moreover, since I've been training with TRIMAX my strength has increased dramatically and my shoulders no longer bother me during or after my swims.

As Certified Fitness Coordinator and Chairman of the Physical Fitness Committee for the El Paso Fire Department, I participated in a search for the highest quality, multi-purpose machine available. To meet the selection criteria, the machine was required to:

1. Accommodate all levels of fitness.

2. Be safe and easy to use.

3. Offer user specific accommodation (variable resistance to conform to changes in strength that occurs in all muscle movement).

4. Work all muscle groups and allow rapid changes between exercises for full impact circuit training.

5. Allow maximum results in the least amount of time.

6. Be compact enough for all fire stations.

7. Be manufactured in the USA of the highest quality materials and workmanship.

8. Offer the best warranty and support services available.

Safe and efficient firefighting requires extreme levels of strength, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, flexibility, and proper body composition. To help prepare 550 firefighters to meet this challenge, we purchased thirty-two TRIMAX machines for the individual stations and Training Academy. TRIMAX is the only exercise system available, at any cost, that meets all of the above criteria.

Another distinct advantage that TRIMAX has over all other types of home gyms is that it works both agonist and antagonist muscle groups simultaneously, thereby shortening total workout time through bi-directional (push/pull) movement. This allows more work to be done per unit of time than other weight training methods, thereby consuming more calories.

We have worked out on these machines for over six months, putting them through many more hours of use that they would receive in someone's home during the same period. Every TRIMAX machine continues to provide our fire department with the most effective workout available. Incidentally, after using these machines, eight individuals purchased TRIMAX machines for their personal use at home.


Don Mehl is head coach of the Rio Grande Swim Club, chairman of the Border Masters Swimming Committee, member of the USMS Sports Medicine Committee, and recent chairman of the USMS Coaches Committee.

The TRIMAX System. To order a video tape and brochure, call 1-800-747-7077

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