West Point Study

Dr. Darden,

Two questions.

  1. I read on page 63 of the New HIT book that parts of the West Point Study were filmed. Do you know what happened to these films?

  2. Do you have any insight on the West Point Study that we would find interesting? Things you would do differently perhaps or stories from it?

Arthur Jones filmed a lot of the going-ons at the West Point Study. Some of the segments were edited and distributed. There may be some on the Internet.

David Landau in Ft. Lauderdale would probably know if any related videos are still available.

Most of my insights and stories are in Chapter 8, Military Muscle, of The New HIT.

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Dr. Darden,

Do you have the actual routines that were used during the west point study?

Yes, but why would you want them?

There were 17 slightly different workouts. Most of them started with the largest muscle groups and finished with the smallest.

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Experiment with them, take a two week rest and perform the workouts myself

Although they could be too many exercises compared to your 30-10-30 extreme HIT programs

Are they similar to the routines you have in your book “the nautilus book, newly revised edition”, pages 141 to 144

The routines are similar to those in The Nautilus Book, newly revised edition.

Also, the West Point Study used some prototype machines for the legs, chest, shoulders, and arms that were never manufactured.

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Thank you Sir

Any reason why those prototypes were never manufactured?

The prototypes would have been expensive to manufacture and expensive to sell. Jones quickly figured out how to redesign them in a less complicated and more efficient manner.


I suppose there is always the temptation to believe there was something magic in the particular sequence of exercises/machines that were used. But even if you get by that, there continues to be great curiosity by some people about all the details of the experiment, just because it has become an important part of the historical lore regarding Nautilus and HIT.

Perhaps you should make these available just for the completeness of the historical record?

All the West Point workouts were published in 2003. The book was Younger Women, Faster Airplanes, and Bigger Crocodiles by John Szimanski.

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Unfortunately, that is an elusive book. Not many copies were printed, and the author died in 2008.

Who ever has (or claims to have) the publishing rights now will sell you a digital copy. But it appears that he is using an obsolete publishing format/DRM. His website indicates the software is supported through Window 7. The resulting document is tied to a particular PC/hard drive for all eternity. If you have to reform the hard drive, or decide to upgrade to a new computer and still want to read the book, you will have to buy another copy. Leaving aside the inconvenience of trying to read a book on a computer, I am not inclined to purchase digital content with those kinds of restrictions.

This is likely one of those books that will vanish eventually…

Reading about this book reminded me of the stories of Arthur’s fussing with Terry and his downturn at the end of his life. I have to wonder what was It really that made him depressed the last 10 years of his life? Here’s a guy who had everything and yet at some point it all turned sour for him. What was the big turning point for him or was he never satisfied with the way things were going and as he got old and decrepit he just got more morose?

I know you have asked the question before, but no one seems to have an explanation. Based on his public persona, Jones didn’t seem like someone who would be very open about his inner state of mind. So maybe no one really knows.

Remember Anthony Bourdain? Seemed to be having a great life, all kinds of opportunities and money. But he killed himself. So you never really know what is going on behind the public image.

I believe it was some of all of those things.

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I’m wondering if Jones found having all those things like jumbo jets , a TV studio, herds of elephants and alligators , women , etc etc didn’t really make him happy? I think I read where he just up and sold all those wild animals , etc to help fund his MedX project? How does he go from collecting all those cool animals he seemed assessed with for so long and then just turn around and jettison them? I wonder what period of his life was he the happiest? What was his Rosebud?

Sometimes the pursuit of a goal is more interesting and enjoyable than the satisfaction you get from achieving the goal. When he was collecting his animals, there was the thrill of the hunt. Afterward, you mostly just have the hassle of maintaining the collection. Chasing animals in the wild is a lot different that staring daily at a bunch of caged animals that are expensive to maintain.

Beyond that, some people develop passionate interests in something, and enjoy it as long as they are learning and progressing. But once they have a certain level of mastery, and aren’t making further progress, they get bored and start looking for the next thing to chase.

Maybe he just ran out of things to chase, or the energy to chase them?


== Scott==
Ive often experienced that. I remember how exciting it was when I first started collecting nautilus machines! Finding that BNTA was like my Red Ryder BB gun but at some point I got just about every machine I wanted and the thrill of the chase was gone. Well almost gone, there’s still one or two I still want! It’s that way with photography, I amassed a big collection of lenses and cameras and I’m getting close go mastering their use so the thrill isn’t there as much as when I had none. I collect lots of stuff. One big difference I see in myself and Jones is that I hardly ever part with anything I’ve collected. I still enjoy those things if only to look at them on a shelf.

I never heard Jones talk seriously about happiness. Over the long run, I believe he thought happiness was the devil in disguise.


You probably knew Jones better than anyone. Did you ever think about writing a book about him … not so much a biography but more about your experiences with him in an honest way, meaning the good, bad and ugly of the guy ?

I know you thought the world of him and saw all sides him . He was a guy that intrigued all of us and I’m sure if there was a book about Arthur Jones by you , they’d have a hard time printing enough copies.

Several years ago, I did come up with a title page of a book about Arthur Jones. I wanted to call it:

HEAVY: The Raw, Untamed Adventures of a Man Named Jones.