Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Insanity of ROM

I acquired my ROM Quick Gym on 9/12/2009. This was the weekend USC beat Ohio State and UCLA defeated Tennessee. I remember it well. Me and Aaron listened to both games as we drove down to Laguna Hills and back again. Aaron and I were not able to move the machine into my apartment that Saturday evening. The 500 or so pounds of this device were just too much for us. I got it done on Sunday 9/13/2009. It took 4 illegal assistants plus me to get that thing up the stairs to my apartment living room. I was absolutely busted after hauling that thing up the stairs.

I did not workout on the machine for the first time until the Monday 9/14/2009. So here I sit on Tuesday evening September 30, 2009. I have been working out with the ROM for about 16 days. The results have been shocking. I am not prepared to go public with the actual mathematical figures yet. I will though. It has been kicking my ass, and I have been loving it. I have been able to get into a regime where I use it most mornings, usually within 30 minutes of wake up. This is a pretty hardcore way to wake up in the morning.

Let me just give you a few observation points:
  • I purchased this machine because of arthritis in my knees. My arthritis had reached the point where I was climbing out of bed each morning like I was climbing out of a wrecked car. I suffered pain throughout the day: Pain in my back, pain in hips, pain in my legs.
  • In my first few ROM workouts, the lower body exercise was very tricky and painful. My right knee screamed at me. 1 minute was all I could muster. I tried to do 4 reps of 1 minute each. The first few times I worked out, 3 minutes was all I could muster. I had to lower the resistance to considerably less than my ideal weight to be able to move those pedals without agony. About 190 was all I could take.
  • I am already at the point where I can do 3 minutes on the lower body exercise in just 1 shot. At the same time, I have moved the resistance up to my ideal weight (231). Because I have not completed the 4 minutes in a single span, I try to do two reps of 3 minutes on lower body. No matter what, I do 6 minutes of lower body exercise on lower body days.
  • I am now walking down the stairs relatively normally, without grasping the side rails. Sometimes I still grasp the side rails, but this is a psychological thing. I don't absolutely have to have them any more.
  • If I workout in the morning, I can pretty well guarantee myself a pain-free day. If I don't workout in the morning, I will suffer pain throughout the day. This much is certain. This is one of the most counter-intuitive and shocking facts about the ROM workout. Most workouts leave you sore and beat to death. ROM will make you a bit tired and sore, but not beat to death. Rather the contrary. You are invigorated.
  • A good deal of my upper body mass has been returning. At the moment I am gaining weight, not loosing it. The ROM manual warned me that this would happen. You gain muscle first. You loose fat later. This is the standard pattern with the ROM. My arms, chest, back, & legs are all muscling up again. My cellular memory is being activated.
  • The ROM literature makes some fairly outrageous claims. They claim that 4 minutes of ROM workout is equal to 20-45 minutes of aerobic exercise + 20-45 minutes of resistance training + 20 minutes of conventional stretching. Although I bought the machine, I scoffed at this sales pitch. I thought these statements an outlandish lie. Frankly, I am beginning to accept these claims. I can see no other way I might be making this kind of progress this rapidly.
  • There is no doubt that you are doing heavy resistance work over an extended period of time (4 minutes). Nobody benches 225 for 4 minutes, not even at the NFL combine. Doing a ROM workout is a little like benching and rowing 225 for 4 minutes straight. There is no doubt that you must do this through an extreme range of motion. There is no doubt you are putting an overload on your heart and lungs at the same time that you are tearing up your muscles and stretching those joints and tendons.
  • Probably one of the strangest aspects of this journey has been the metabolic effects through the day. If I don't workout in the morning, I have a tough time waking up. I will be listless all morning. If I don't workout by noon, my metabolic energy will collapse by the afternoon. This is as bad or worse than the sort of mild narcoleptic fatigue I suffered before the Armodafinil. If I do workout by noon, I will have no problems with energy through the day. This exercise does ignite the metabolism.
  • The ROM has altered my food choices and my food cravings. I want protein in copious quantities these days. I really don't like potatoes or rice as much as I did. I find myself shunning a burrito and preferring steak and eggs. If I can get those in a burrito, fine. If not, I want my steak and eggs. Forget the burrito. Things like chips and ice cream have lost much of their luster. Protein drinks have suddenly become very seductive again. They make me feel great.
  • The ROM has messed with my sleep a bit. At the moment, the time is 10:56, and I can barely finish this entry. I need to hit the sack. I did my workout less than 3 hours ago. I am pretty sleepy. My body wants to shutdown and build. I can tell. I once did the lower body workout at approximately 10:00pm. I did about 6 minutes plus 2 of upper body. I couldn't sleep until 4 in the morning. My metabolism went off the chart.
Most of the things I have written here seem insane upon review. 4 minutes of workout per day cannot have these kinds of effects. Doing 8 minutes cannot have these kinds of effects. You can't fix arthritic knees in 16 days while gaining weight when you are already overweight in the first place. Diet change usually requires conscience effort. Still, all the things I have written to you are true. This is my experience so far.

Recently, I saw a few videos regarding the ROM done by a personality. Said personality managed to con the ROMFab folks into lending him a ROM for a month or two, in exchange for the promotion. Watching him workout is underwhelming to say the very least. He seems more concerned with his music choices than his workout pace. He seems to be able to converse with the cameraman, which is a sign he is not working very hard.

Still, the dude had a doctor check his body composition before and after. He lost a total of 3 pounds in 1 month. However, he lost 13 pounds of fat and added 10 pounds of lean during that time. This altered his composition and appearance significantly. I asked Dr. Tom Long about this, and he confirmed that this information was accurate. If a half-assed effort can yield 13 pound compositions swings in 1 month, what will serious effort yield?

This makes me very hopeful. I am certainly beating the living shit out of this dude in terms of workout intensity. My first month should be better than his. I will certainly be happy with a 13 pound swing. I would prefer 20.