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The lexicon of muscle-building, and training - Part 34

The pre-exhaustion technique was important in Nautilus training, and is a method of training whereby a single-joint exercise is used to fatigue a given muscle and then, immediately afterward, a multi-joint exercise is performed for the same muscle.

The cam attempted to eliminate or minimize the effects of leverage through varying the resistance over the range of motion. It automatically reduces or increases the resistance during the exercise to approximate the changing strength of the user over the course of each rep — increased resistance during the strong part of a rep, and reduced resistance during the weak part. Different cams were used for different machines. Although the user puts a fixed weight on a given Nautilus machine, the cam increases and decreases the effective resistance over the course of a rep.

Free-weights, and most other equipment, typically yield exercises that have easy and hard phases, with the hard points being called the sticking points. In these exercises you're limited in the weight you can use by what you can handle through the sticking point. In each Nautilus exercise the weight feels comparable throughout the start, middle, and end phases of a rep — the sticking points are eliminated, or substantially reduced.

The cams were developed to best match the average strength curves of the involved muscles. The cams for some exercises were more successful than for others, and some Nautilus machines were more successful than others. There are different generations of Nautilus machinery, with variations in design and performance. Although the cam is probably the most important feature of Jones' original innovations, there are other distinctive qualities of Nautilus machinery.

Whether the theoretical advantages of Nautilus machinery were delivered in practice, is another matter. There may not be any significant difference between the potential results from machines without variable resistance cams, and machines with variable resistance cams, and free-weights may be more effective than machine manufacturers prefer us to believe. But because Nautilus satisfies most of the features of good machinery (noted under Equipment), it comprises one of the best lines.

Also see Equipment, and Pre-exhaustion.

Negative rep

The negative is the eccentric or lowering phase of a rep, when a muscle lengthens. Negative reps are abbreviated to negatives, and often called eccentrics.

A generally advanced form of training specializes on the negative part of the rep.

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