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Nautilus Biceps Curl Machine for Home Gym?

Hi Dr Darden, I hope you are well. I have a chance to purchase an original nautilus bicep curl machine for my home gym, and was just wondering would it be a good investment - as I have never used one before - or would I be better to stick with dumbbell, barbell and cable curl variants?

Is that the one that’s chain-driven? If so, jump on it! We have one at our gym and it’s awesome! Plus one of the original side lateral machines that is chain-driven as well. They’re almost a collector’s item these days I think.

If the machine is in good condition and a good price, I would go for it. If it’s the Nautilus Multi-Biceps machine, you have a number of ways to train on it other than just two arms together. If it’s a first Generation machine that has the Infimetric/Akinetic bar, that gives you even more training options. That machine has a relatively small footprint. If you can try it out for a few reps before you buy, I would definitely do that. Everyone has different preferences for equipment.

The first Nautilus Biceps machine was a plate-loading machine with a Biceps side and a Triceps side. Is that the one you’re talking about?

Excuse my ignorance, I don’t think it’s an original. I have uploaded a picture of the machine for reference.20201119_154355

Holy cow, that thing is outrageous.

That’s the Multi-Biceps machine. Looks like no Infimetric/Akinetic bar on it though.
Still have a number of options when using it. Road test it for function.

Seems like a lot for home gym bicep work. I am not sure I understand the obsession with Nautilus. It seems a ez curl bar with some bands could do almost the same thing?

I’ve had at least 3 of the multi bicep machines. They are ok but I found they provide very little a good pair of dumbbells won’t . Since I’m a Nautilus nut I would have kept one if I had the space but I don’t . I prefer the plate loading curl and have that but it’s only slightly better than dumbbells. Very few Nauitlus are as they say game changers, I just think they are wonderful machines and keep mine because I’m a Jones and machinery junkie.


No one will argue the versatility you have with dumbbells. Everyone has personal preferences on different exercises and equipment. What one person likes, another does not. I think the Multi-Biceps is better than dumbbells, but that’s my opinion and preference. If you have room for certain machines, that gives you some variety in training in addition to barbells and dumbbells. And if it makes your training more fun then it’s a good thing. Training is a very personal endeavor. To me, using both free weights and high quality machines is the way to go. If, you have the space.

I’ve learned that having fun using my machines outweighs any possible gains I may have got on them so I keep and use many nautilus machines . Just jump on the machine with its weight preset and I’m ready to go! I’d have every nautilus machine ever made like Michael Petrella if I had a 200 ft barn , ha ha, but I just want it to be clear that using a nautilus machine won’t suddenly bring spectacular results , they are spectacular machines but you gotta love them or be nuts like me to have a bunch of them around as a few dumbbells and chin and dip bar will do just about everything you really need.

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Can someone explain usage of the infimetric bar on my multi bicep machine. Thanks

With the Infimetric bar in place you have 3 ways to use it.

  1. Infimetric- pull the selector pin, pull both arms till contact is made with the bar. You now work one arm against the other. One arm resists the movement of the other. Movement should be smooth. Maintain contact with the bar. You can go for a specific time or number of reps. Pull and resist as hard as you can. I usually used it as a finisher after a regular two arm set.
  2. Isometric- same as above except there is no movement. You can pull for a maximum isometric contraction at any angle you want. Once again, for a specific amount of time. Ex.= 30-60 sec.
  3. Akinetic- Use the selector pin and use a medium weight. Now perform it the same as infimetric. Perform reps until you cannot maintain contact with the bar. As a opposed to Infimetric, you now have an amount of weight in play. Easier to estimate the measurement of effort as opposed to the infimetric mode. Again set a specific time or rep goal, but continue till you can’t maintain contact with the bar (the weight stack will drop).

Keep the movements smooth and fluid, as opposed to the wild flailing I sometimes saw some guys used. Not many people knew how to use the Infimetric bar properly or even knew what it was for.

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So the pin is moved to the center of the weight stack?

Take the selector pin OUT of the weight stack for Infimetric. Only the top weight plate will be raised to the Infimetric bar. For Akinetic, use less weight than you would for a normal set, maybe 70% of what you would use for a regular set of 10 reps.

The infimetric bar (that blocks the weight stack from going all the way up) is swung in
so that it is between the two stack guide rods. So yes, the bar should be in a position where it is in the center of the weight stack If that is what you meant by your last post.

Thank you very much for your help!

Something to consider for a bicep “machine” option:
My favorite curl “machine” was a Scott bench lifted to a steeper angle, using a curl bar with 25 lb plates and adding 20 lb chains as accommodating resistance. The weight curve simulates a cam and there is no frictional resistance. We attached thin ropes to the chains so that the length that the chains hung below the bar could be adjusted so that every move of the bar lifted some chain.

Add as many sets of chains as you can lift. Of course you can alter the percentage of plates to chain ratio to alter the shape of the resistance curve. Try this and you won’t regret it.

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Im surprised that you HIT guys don’t talk much about chains and bands for accommodating resistance. It seems like it would be a great fit.

Theoretically the nautilus machines are supposed to match your strength curve. But with free weights bands definitely come close. Especially with a standing barbell curl for example. I too am surprised that it is not more discussed.

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