I recently visited my home state of Texas and made a point to see Kurt Edeker, D.C., at his New Motion Machines fabrication plant in Austin. You may have read some of the NMM articles in recent issues of IRON MAN, but you can’t really fathom the genius behind those full-range functional units until you try them. That’s precisely why Kurt was totally stoked to put me through the motions on his four gym-ready machines.
He had them lined up outside under a large tin roof—biceps, triceps, hamstrings and quads—each with a much smaller footprint than most Nautilus machines and appearing much less ominous and complicated. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering that they train the target muscle with action at two joints as opposed to one. Full-range, ergonomically correct action is the result—guaranteed to produce results in size and strength.
Those familiar with my Positions-of-Flexion mass-training protocol know that full-range work for any muscle requires working it at three different positions along its arc of flexion, an attack that produces everything from exceptional fiber activation to full muscle development to balanced strength to flexibility. For example, for triceps you train the stretch position with overhead extensions, the midrange position with lying extensions and the contracted position with pushdowns. So your upper arm is up next to your head working triceps at its ultimate stretch point, then out perpendicular to your torso and finally down on the same plane as, or slightly behind, your torso. POF requires three different exercises to attain full-range work for the tri’s. Edeker’s machine combines all of those into one smooth-flowing movement—and the feeling in the triceps is incredible.
You start in the stretch position, as if you were beginning an overhead extension—upper arm up next to your head, forearm flush against your biceps, hands back behind your ears. As you drive the handles forward, your shoulder joints rotate your arms in an arc so that as your triceps contract, your upper arm moves forward, out and then down. By the time your arm is straight, it’s back behind your torso, the way it is at the end of a pushdown. In a sense it’s a combination pullover/triceps extension/pushdown apparatus. And the feel is unreal.
The biceps machine moves in the exact opposite direction of the triceps—your arms begin straight, down and back behind your torso—like the beginning of an incline curl. As you start to curl, your upper arm moves forward and up until you’re contracting the biceps with your upper arm up next you your head. In POF the three biceps exercises are incline curls for stretch position, barbell curls for midrange and concentration curls for contracted. Once again, the machine combines all of those into one smooth move—and the result is a cramping contraction that you’ve never felt before. You can use these arm machines working both arms at a time or unilaterally—as I am in the photos at left)
I’ve been using POF for biceps and triceps for a long time, but I still got unique and searing stimulation from the two arm machines. The NMM I felt the most, however, was the one for hamstrings because, as Dave Goodin, natural IFBB pro, said as he stood by watching me test it, “Almost all leg curl machines suck!” Most of them have a “hump” in the middle that raises and bends your waist—and that limits hamstring contraction. Because your torso is bent slightly forward, taking it out of the same plane as your thighs, the hamstrings are still semistretched when the lower legs are pulled into the contracted position. Not so with the NMM hamstring unit. It has you start with your leg straight and forward, foot out in front of your torso. As you begin the leg-curl motion, rotation occurs at the hip so you end up with your upper leg angled back past the plane of your torso, calf up against your hamstring, and hamstring in a total—and I mean complete—contraction. I actually let out a yelp on my first rep because I wasn’t used to a complete, intense hamstring contraction.
Yep, Dave, you’re right: Most of the current leg curl machines suck. That’s why the NMM hamstring unit will become the gold standard for building and strengthening the backs of the upper thighs and will no doubt help prevent the abundance of hamstring pulls that occur in sports.
The quad machine works in a motion exactly the opposite of the hamstring unit. You start in the hamstring finish position, extending the lower leg as the upper leg moves forward. Your leg ends up with knee locked, foot out in front of your torso—like the completion of a leg extension. Once again, I’ve been using the three-position POF quad routine—leg extensions, squats and sissy squats—for ages, but I still felt unique fiber activation in my quads from the machine, which, like the others, combines all of those POF moves into one.
New Motion Machines are poised to take bodybuilding to the next level. Every gym should have the four that I took for a test drive, and Edeker has more in the works for other bodyparts. He’s stoked and ready to roll out the first four, and I’m excited to see POF integrated into machines so effectively and efficiently, something I thought was impossible. My hat’s off to Edeker. He’s really got something revolutionary—my sore, throbbing arms and legs can attest to that. IM