T Nation

What Happened to Nautilus Machines/Theory?

I’ve not been to commercial gyms much but as far as I understand, nautilus machines as momentarily popularized by Arthur Jones were fading away a couple decades ago. What happened?

It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy of silence about them. People will talk about free weights vs. machines but they are not the same kind of machines.

Furthermore, the science behind the nautilus machines sounds very logical and interesting so you would think there would be serious discussion and debate about it but yet I can hardly locate a reference.

I used to like them as far as machines went but I don’t see them anywhere either.

I guess they’re “swimming with the fishes”.

Just the way the health club industry is moving. Probably just not promoted as much as Cybex and Lifefitness machines at the national IHRSA conference.

[quote]Alffi wrote:
I’ve not been to commercial gyms much but as far as I understand, nautilus machines as momentarily popularized by Arthur Jones were fading away a couple decades ago. What happened?

It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy of silence about them. People will talk about free weights vs. machines but they are not the same kind of machines.

Furthermore, the science behind the nautilus machines sounds very logical and interesting so you would think there would be serious discussion and debate about it but yet I can hardly locate a reference.

[/quote]

The proof is in the results. Bodybuilders stick with what works. If Nautilus machines were truly better, they would not be so hard to find, no matter how “logical” they are.

Arthur Jones sold Nautilus long ago.

The same company still exists, but is now selling Bowflex machines.

I don’t know if they are still producing commercial gym machines.

Arthur Jones also made the MedX line of machines, and I believe it was his son that started Hammer Strength.

[quote]shavethefuzz wrote:
Arthur Jones also made the MedX line of machines, and I believe it was his son that started Hammer Strength.[/quote]

True…and may his son live long and prosper.

Whenever somebody mentions Jones I always think of Robert Duvall from Secondhand Lions.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
The proof is in the results. Bodybuilders stick with what works. If Nautilus machines were truly better, they would not be so hard to find, no matter how “logical” they are.
[/quote]

The economics of body-building. Awesome.

Mostly Hammer Strength and Cybex machines at my gym… we do have Nautilus as well though, but much fewer of these.

I don’t use many machines but one that I did use religiously back in the days was the Nautilus Pullover machine. I loved that machine!

speaking of nautilus, anyone know where i can get this shirt? probably not but have to ask. yeah i am a fan of jones and casey

[quote]Przeminashell wrote:
speaking of nautilus, anyone know where i can get this shirt? probably not but have to ask. yeah i am a fan of jones and casey[/quote]
That dude is jacked.

Most of those machines so popular in the 70s were gigantic… and expensive.

My university had a few of the Nautilus machines.

I liked the calf raise that used a belt around the waist.

[quote]Scott M wrote:
Most of those machines so popular in the 70s were gigantic… and expensive. [/quote]

I bet they were a bitch to maintain as well. Replacing a chain is probably more difficult than a cable.

I work out at a newer YMCA and they have all Nautilus equipment and it is garbage. They have maybe 5 hammer strength machines there and they are the only machines in that gym that are worth using in my opinion.

There is a gym in my town that has a lot of old Nautilus machines from the 70s.

Most of them are completely idiotic and useless, but some of them have a really good arc of motion compared to some more modern machines.

I train at Bally’s gym and they have recently replaced many older Nautilus machines with brand new ones. They must still be popular to some. I do love their leg extension machine.

[quote]Alffi wrote:
I’ve not been to commercial gyms much but as far as I understand, nautilus machines as momentarily popularized by Arthur Jones were fading away a couple decades ago. What happened?

It’s almost like there’s a conspiracy of silence about them. People will talk about free weights vs. machines but they are not the same kind of machines.

Furthermore, the science behind the nautilus machines sounds very logical and interesting so you would think there would be serious discussion and debate about it but yet I can hardly locate a reference.

[/quote]

The free weight vs machine argument has been going on for decades and will continue to rage on. Both are tools. The old Nautilus machines did represent very good tools though. Most machines getting put out today are nothing more then poor imitations of the old Nautilus.

The 1st gen pullover is still found in many different hardcore gyms around. Westside has one, Metroflex has one, Dorian at Temple gym has one. Simply because it provides very hard exercise for the lats.

Eventually Jones became fed up with the bodybuilding scene. He sold Nautilus to create MEDX. If you have not been on one. MEDX machines are IMO the smoothest, most biomechanically sound machines out there. There designed strength curves allow a trainee to work harder then using more traditional methods. Eventually he put all his efforts into spinal re-hab making a line of equipment that cures most low back injuries. The low back machine almost works too good. Many chiropractors, low back docters and drug prescribers would have lost alot of money had they taken off.

Sadly we he sold the company the whole company moved away from his vision of making a better tool and more towards profits. Since then I think Nautilus has had half a dozen owners and are looking to sell right now. Also it looks liked MEDX is falling apart. Jones retired in 1997 I believe and died about a year ago.

My Avatar is my on a Nautilus pullover because I liked it that much.

Actually most of these Nautilus machines are now in home gyms now. They can be purcahsed much cheaper then most other used machines and are built to last forever.
A bunch of the boys on Drdarden.com have some elaborate home gym setups.

Michael