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Fluid Interval Training Equipment VS Pneumatic Equipment

Resistance Training Equipment Comparison Matrix:

Inaccurate description of features Accurate description of features:
Feature Pneumatic/Air equipment Fluid Interval Training equipment Fluid Interval Training
Resistance system Pneumatic/Air Fluid Fluid
Resistance Level Near zero start with non-incremental resistance Low resistance with limited maximum resistance Starts at zero – resistance dependant on cylinder positioning. Maximum 10,000 pounds.
Strength Training Yes No Yes
Speed/Power Training Yes No Yes
Eccentric Loading Yes No-concentric only No
Designed for Rehabilitation Yes No Yes
Passive Stretching Yes No Yes
Assisted Mobilisation Yes No No
Isometric Loading Yes No No
Cardiovascular Yes Yes Yes
Accessible moving parts
(pinch points)
No No No
Seats/Support Ergonomic &Contoured Various Various
Wheelchair Accessible Yes No No
Inclusive Fitness Initiative Accreditation (IFI) Yes No No
Footprint Small Small Small
Noise Level Silent Silent Silent
Dual Function (2 exercises per machine) Yes No Yes
Machine Weight Light Light Light
 
Position Statement Regarding Fluid Interval Training vs Pneumatic Exercise
It has recently been brought to my attention that an inaccurate chart has been created that compares Fluid Interval Training to Pneumatic Exercise. It is a classic example of a manufacturer trying to present their equipment in a more favorable light by making unfounded claims. It is very much like trying to compare the proverbial apples to oranges. This is not unusual however since numerous people have unwittingly disseminated wrong information about Fluid Interval Training for many years. What is really disturbing is that it is done without having done due diligence. Although 'some' of their statements apply to 'some' Fluid Interval equipment manufacturers 'most' of their statements definitely do not apply to this manufacturer. Now that Pandora's Box has been opened and the misleading comparisons have been brought out I feel very obliged to 'honestly' address each and every point so the truth will be known and potential buyers will be able to make an educated decision based strictly on the merits of each product line.

Note: I have intentionally left out comparisons that are in agreement or require no comment.

RESISTANCE LEVELS
  Claim: Pneumatic (P) starts near zero with non incremental resistance. Fluid Interval Training (H) Low resistance with limited maximum resistance.
  Fact: Fluid Interval resistance starts at zero because no resistance exists until the user moves the exercise arm.

The highest resistance is limited only by the location of the cylinder attachment. Our cylinders are tested to 10,000 pounds of force so even the person who could generate 1,000 pounds of force would struggle with moving the exercise arm if we chose to position the cylinder that way. However, we position the cylinder to provide sufficient resistance to provide optimal results for 'most' people.

STRENGTH TRAINING
  Claim: 'P' Yes
'H' No
  Fact: According to the exercise physiology textbooks the requirement to build strength are a 'progressive overload to the contraction of the involved muscle'.

This principal is an integral part of Fluid Interval resistance training and in fact the load is always applied to the contraction of the muscle, never the unloading where injuries usually occur.


SPEEED/POWER TRAINING
 
  Claim: 'P' Yes
'H' No
  Fact: The definition of power development is work (force x distance) divided by time. Put another way it means moving a given load at velocity. Research has shown that using about 60% of max strength with velocity is optimal for developing power. Fluid Interval resistance does this extremely well because the resistance remains constant to the user's ability to generate force throughout the range of motion and is not limited by the varied strength curves naturally occurring in the human body. In other words, greater fiber recruitment results with Fluid Interval resistance for both strength and power development making it an optimal load for each and every repetition.

ECCENTRIC LOADING
 
  Claim: 'P' Yes
'H' No
  Fact: Correct. Some proponents of conventional strength training like to point out that Fluid Interval equipment does not have eccentrics and won't build strength. Wrong. Over 350 studies have been done that clearly prove that the only requirement to build strength is, as previously stated, 'a progressive overload to the contraction of the involved muscle. One only needs to look at swimmers, rowers and cyclists to see if strength and muscle is developed. These activities are concentric only. Interestingly you do not hear about the benefits of not having eccentrics involved in the exercise. For example, the risk of injury is greatly reduced since injuries usually occur during the eccentric phase of a lift. That is because less muscle fiber is involved in the lowering of a weight but the load remains the same. This creates microtrauma (tissue tearing) and requires 48 hours for recovery. Many other benefits are offered with Fluid Interval resistance that include less time requirement since cardio and strength can be achieved in the same time frame; the appeal of simplicity because no machine settings or chart following is required; and the enjoyment of exercising at your own pace while interacting with a friend with a system that adapts to each individual's ability.

DESIGNED FOR REHABILITATION
 
  Claim: P' Yes
'H' No
  Fact: What could be more natural for rehabilitation than a system that adapts to your ability no matter what the limitation? The most important factor in rehabilitation is to avoid reinjury of the involved joint or surgery. Other methods including pneumatics involve experimentation. Finding the correct resistance without overloading excessively is critical. With Fluid Interval Training the patient can safely push/pull as hard as their brain allows. The 'Golgi tendon organ' alerts them if they are exerting too much force. When a device such as pneumatics or weights generates force against them it could be too much resistance but they are still required to lower the load even if it is too much. Think of using a pool for rehab; it is exactly the same principal. It is nearly impossible to reinjure soft tissue damage in a pool. Fluid Interval Training offers the same type resistance but with much greater control.

RESISTANCE LEVELS
 
  Claim: Pneumatic (P) starts near zero with non incremental resistance. Fluid Interval Training (H) Low resistance with limited maximum resistance.
  Fact: Fluid Interval resistance starts at zero because no resistance exists until the user moves the exercise arm.

The highest resistance is limited only by the location of the cylinder attachment. Our cylinders are tested to 10,000 pounds of force so even the person who could generate 1,000 pounds of force would struggle with moving the exercise arm if we chose to position the cylinder that way. However, we position the cylinder to provide sufficient resistance to provide optimal results for 'most' people.

PASSIVE STRETCHING
 
  Claim: 'P' yes
'H' no
  Fact: Passive stretching is great but it can be done anywhere and does not require a machine to do it. Yoga is a good example of passive stretching. It has been found that active or dynamic stretching works just as well or even better in many cases. This means the muscles are being stretched with resistance. Fluid Interval Training does this well because most of the machines work in both directions in a reciprocal fashion. While one muscle is contracting the opposing muscle is relaxing, then they switch in rapid succession. This helps with joint unloading as well which helps to lubricate the joint and improve flexibility in the connective tissue not to mention increased blood flow to the surrounding tissues.

ISOMETRIC LOADING
 
  Claim: 'P' yes
'H' no
  Fact: Correct. Isometric loading means to generate force against an immovable object. Although there is some benefit to gaining strength doing this it only builds strength in one position in the range of motion and there is no known carryover to the other points in the range of motion so it has very little functional applications. Many inexpensive types of devices can be used to produce this effect if desired but using a high priced machine such as pneumatics would seem counterproductive. Fluid Interval Training can easily be adapted for this application if desired but for reasons mentioned it is not done.

CARDIOVASCULAR
 
  Claim: 'P' yes
'H' yes
  Fact: This is an interesting claim on the part of pneumatics but according to the American College of Sports Medicine in order to qualify as cardiovascular exercise it must elicit at least 55% of VO2 max. (not heart rate measured) and typical strength exercise does not qualify for that. This is the ACSM guidelines, not here say. This is due to something called the 'Presser Response'. There are several attributes to the Presser Response but the most significant with regard to typical strength training is that the involved muscle becomes so tight it acts like a series of rubber bands that restrict blood flow and cannot remove metabolites and get sufficient oxygen to the tissue quickly enough to achieve an aerobic effect. This is why it is called anaerobic (absence of oxygen) exercise. There may be some benefit with the ability to change resistance on the fly but because only one muscle group is being utilized there would probably not be enough muscle mass involved to meet the ACSM requirements.

Fluid Interval Training on the other hand works in a reciprocal manner so blood is constantly being moved in and out of the tissues. And because two muscle groups are involved with most machines, there is greater muscle mass which requires more oxygen. These factors have been proven to meet the ACSM requirements for true cardiovascular exercise.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS
 
  Claim: 'P' yes
'H' no
  Fact: Correct. We have several wheel chair access machines in the works but not yet completed.

DUAL FUNCTION (2 EXERCISES PER MACHINE)
 
  Claim: 'P' yes
'H' no
  Fact: Wow. This claim really shocked me. One of the key benefits of Fluid Interval Training machines is that they have resistance in both directions. They have been that way for over 30 years. Fit Express equipment goes one step further and has one cylinder for each muscle group that can be adjusted independently of each other which allows adjustability for the different strength curves of each muscle group.

SUMMARY
 
  In closing I would like to add that there are several other advantages of Fluid Interval Training equipment vs pneumatic machines.
  Cost: Pneumatic machines require a compressor to provide pressure to all machines. This is how resistance is achieved. Of course, compressors are expensive. Consequently, pneumatic exercise systems are expensive too. Fluid Interval equipment are internally resisted and seem to function better over time. That is why Fit Express offers a lifetime warranty on its cylinders. Initial costs are less when considering the overall function where most machines have two functions.

  Maintenance: Correct. We have several wheel chair access machines in the works but not yet completed.

  Power   Requirements: Fluid Interval Training machines do not require any outside power source so they are truly 'Green Machines'. People are the power source and nothing happens unless they are being activated by a human. Pneumatic machines not only require power to operate but they also generate heat which also requires energy to cool. Both cost money.

Now that the playing field has been leveled potential buyers can have the information needed to make an educated decision about the true benefits of pneumatic vs Fluid Interval Training