T Nation

The One-Size/Shape-Fits-All Nautilus Cam

I well imagine that this particular subject has been addressed before - and is somewhere on this site. If any of you know of it, please let me know where it is.

Did Arthur Jones ever state that the cams on his machines were sized & shaped for 'middle-of-the-road-sized people — and they would not work well for exceptionally tall or short people?

Using single-joint exercises as an example, such tall - or short - people would have a range of motion in different exercises in which the shape of the cam would not provide the needed resistance curve to match their strength curve. The two would be out-of-synch.

Did Arthur ever mention that there exists a need for customized cams? This might well be a question that Dr. Darden knows the answer(s) to.

Any info much appreciated.

Jesse Lee

== Scott==
I found quite the opposite . I think his early machines were designed for big folks like Dick Butkus. I think only much later did the notion that Nautilus machines were going to be the used by people with less stature than a lineman start to sink in. I don’t think the cam size or shape had much to do with the size of the user as much as the size of the machine. Only a few were designed well for short people .

Ken Hutchins has recently written a book on the Nautilus cam, and this is discussed there if you want specifics.

A proper cam profile can provide well balanced resistance for almost all people if they are able to be properly positioned in the machine so that the timing of the cam and their movement is matched. This may be difficult for some unusually short or big people on some exercises.

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Thanks for the reply. I will have to think about that.

Jesse Lee

Thanks for the reply.

I will check that book out; can probably get it Amazon style.

Jesse Lee

I first started using nautilus equipment in 1972, and was really impressed with it , but didnt know how to work out ,so I called Nautilus in deland flordia(the original head quarters), They sent me a ton of info about their machines and how to use them,…including bulletin #1 & #2, which were Arthur Jone’s first training manuals, several places in the bulletins ,Arthur mentioned that maximum resistance should be when the muscle is in full contraction position,…so the original machines were over cammed for most peoplein that position, later on in 2000,I worked for nautilus as a sales rep in hawaii (6 months) Greg Webb was the chief engineer for nautilus for the last 25 years, I asked about how they get their cam profiles, he said that they work with 2 universitys as well as their own testing to get the profiles, and the profiles changed over the years to fit most people’s strength curves, if you use the 1st. gen of machines vs the power plus, next gen, 2st, and nitro machines you will feel a big difference, AND a HUGE reduction of friction

I have several of the first gen machines and the cams are way to aggressive in the contracted position. With the exception of my plate loading bi -tri I had to ad counter weights to even out the feel some. I think Jones was proved wrong on his notion that the contracted position is the strongest as well.


You still have those bulletins? Any interest in selling them?

You can get bulletins thru Drew Baye

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I did that. I can vouch for it. It’s a little pricey for a paperback, but it’s worth it to me to have it on my bookshelf and to be able to physically flip through the pages. Drew’s customer service was also excellent.

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I have them too…will never part with them

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Anybody out there have an autographed copy of Bulletin 1 and Bulletin 2?

I’m sure you do ! I remember a few years ago Brian Johnston had the pair with a soft leather binding for sale but I was too dumb to get it . I don’t know if it was signed?

I have both of Brian’s leather-bound books. Arthur Jones’s signature was mass printed in the books. It was not individually signed by Arthur.

I have the original Bulletin No. 1 (two copies) and Bulletin No.2. All three have Jones’s signed signature on the front cover.


With his signatures…I would be curious what they are worth monetarily

I know Drew has them. I have the kindle ones by John Wood. I’d live to get some of the original printed ones

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Another one i want and cant find anywhere is The Nautilus Biographies(1&2) by Alan Radley and Jones

racky – I am assuming that you mean the later generations of machines have less friction than the first generation. What, though, do you mean by “…will feel a big difference…”? Does ‘difference’ refer to the resistance caused by the cam profile?


Has anyone here ever replaced a round pulley on a machine with a cam (made for that particular exercise machine – e.g. leg curl)?