So, You Were Sold MedX Equipment Designed for SuperSlow® Protocol?
By Ken Hutchins
For a while between late 2003 and mid-2006, I agreeably worked with the then regime at MedX (They are now under different ownership.) to modify some of the MedX machine models to SuperSlow standards. Once the relationship ended, they agreed not to offer these machines to the public again and to avoid the use of my federally-registered trademark, SuperSlow®. I am confident that they have not broken their promise as many of the new regime are old and ethical friends of mine.
However, it might be possible that there are distributors or rogue members of the sales force who are not so ethical. Also, I am sure that none of the MedX team knows the accurate story of those so-called SuperSlow modifications.
Our original agreement was that the machines we selected would be made to my specifications for performing SuperSlow protocol. There were several meetings at my shop as well as at MedX between me and the prototypists. It was agreed that the modifications would occur in stages.
First Stage: Leg Press
The SuperSlow Systems Leg Press was copied exactly, but fitted with a new weight stack to circumvent the exorbitant friction resident in the standard MedX. The MedX people accomplished this with perfection.
The only caveat regarding this machine is that its final version included an integral half pipe for the performance of heel raise (calf exercise). If you have this machine, an additional gusset bolt is required to brace the seatback more vertically. People have been badly injured (neck) due to slippage of the back pad. This occurred because the required additional gusset bolt was omitted in the manufacture.
Second Stage: Stop Gap
Some of the other machines (Compound Row, Pulldown, Seated Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Rotary Torso and Pullover) were partially modified and slated for a more-thorough redesign, like that done for the Leg Press, at a later time.
1. Compound Row. The Compound Row was fitted with a new cam that performs rather well. I allowed the incorporation of handles with a universal joint to replace the original swivel. This was a minor mistake (my fault entirely) that needs reversing.
By the way, the timing for the cam is performed by positioning the seat rearward until complete cam wrapping occurs at complete shoulder extension. Then, range of motion is set by gapping the weight stack. I would be surprised if anyone at MedX knows this procedure before reading this.
2. Pulldown. The Pulldown was slightly improved by moving the movement-arm axles slightly forward. I remain extremely dissatisfied with this machine.
3. Seated Leg Curl. The Seated Leg Curl seat was replaced with a “floating” seat to mimic the one made by SuperSlow Systems.
The seat track is friction laden and unstable, but often behaves better once you sit and get going in the exercise. It is somewhat better if its bearings below the seat are checked and periodically tightened. MedX tried to improve on my design and made it worse.
The movement arm couple is unnecessarily complex and difficult to manage.
The cam needs more fall-off as well as a timing crank. This was not immediately possible, because a timing crank requires a frame redesign to house a remote cam and crank mount. What came about was definitely makeshift.
4. Leg Extension. The MedX Leg Extension has a cam adjustment to make the resistance decrease slightly more at completion of the positive. This machine was not changed other that to set the already-existing cam adjustment in favor of the slightly greater fall-off. To be really up to SuperSlow standards, this machine requires a more radical cam and a cam-timing crank. As stated earlier regarding the Seated Leg Curl, a timing crank requires a frame redesign to house a remote cam and crank mount.
5. Pullover. The MedX Pullover frame was fitted with independent and lockable movement arms that were to be used only for Timed Static Contraction exercise. The weight stack and all associated linkages were removed.
6. Rotary Torso. MedX’s lead design engineer tried valiantly to modify the Rotary Torso’s cam-and-follower to provide a greater resistance fall-off. Due to fears of structural deficiency, he only improved it slightly and not near enough for SuperSlow protocol. A few months later, my sister, Kathy, attempted to use the machine and could not move the movement arm at the machine’s least resistance.
Stage Three: No Changes
The remaining machines were allowed to go into facilities with no more than new artwork on the plastic weight-stack guard and a special color of paint. Repeatedly, I complained about these inadequacies and repeatedly, I was promised they would be corrected as soon as possible.
Then things changed. I was informed that I had approved of everything, so why the complaints? I then remembered that I had signed off on a document to approve the names of the machines to be used in our ventures. Apparently, this document was used as though I had approved their designs!
The MedX exercise machines that received no modifications (other than the new artwork on the weight-stack guard and a special color of paint) include:
- Hip ABduction
- Hip ADduction
- Lateral Raise
- Overhead Press
- Chest Press
I rejected the Chest Fly and any other machines for use with SuperSlow, including all medical testing machines.
After reading our last post, So, You Were Sold MedX Equipment Designed for SuperSlow® Protocol? by Ken Hutchins, Mike Stima phoned. Mike is the former Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering at MedX Corporation. Mike told Ken, “I read your piece, and I support your statements. Don’t change a word of it. It is exactly correct, and anyone who wants my input on the subject is welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”