T Nation

Your Thoughts on X-Force?

Dr Darden,

Having heard about your connection with Mats Thulin, I was wondering about your opinions on X-force? Pros and cons compared to regular machines? The feel must be very different…

I have contacted their gym in Stockholm re an introduction.

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I have written more than 10,000 words about X-Force, which includes all the pros and cons. You can read what I’ve said on the x-force.se website.

X-Force is the most precision exercise equipment I’ve ever used. It is remarkable.

I wish it was all over the USA.

In my experience your 30-30-30 protocol is superior to any “high-tech” designed machine as the 30-30-30 can be used on the simplest of machines. The extreme slowness assures muscle inroading without unloading. John Little’s Max Pyramid has similar intent (IMO) however larger trainees will eventually exceed machine weight stack limits. 30-30-30 is a great progression as I have yet to exceed machine weight stack limits. While 30-30-30 is “brutally hard” the application is “incredibly easy” … as is Max Pyramid.

Thanks planet health.

Yes, 30-30-30 and 30-10-30 were designed to be applied to the simplest machines. Hard but simple is a an accurate description.

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i have used the xforce machines in the Tampa area of florida and i will say they are best and most efficient exercise equipment imho, and i wish they would be available to everyone nationwide

dan (hit4me)

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I’ve always wanted to try the X-Force equipment, but I don’t think it will ever happen. I guess they are just too expensive for most gyms.

One development does look interesting though. The Tonal strength training machine, which uses programmable electromagnetic resistance, allows the user to dial in a pre determined amount of negative upload.

So if you set up the machine to do chest presses with 100 lbs of resistance, you can enable a negative upload feature that will increase the resistance only on the eccentric. Dial in 20% and you will get 100 lbs on the concentric and 120 lbs on the eccentric. Basically, it seems to do what the Xforce machines do, only via programmable electromagnetic resistance, rather than tilting weight stacks. They also have programs which simulate the use of chains, i.e., accomodating resistance.

Dr Darden,

Currently satisfied with my combined program based upon your ideas (see another post), I do make plans for the addition of X-force during winter. Hopefully once every 2nd to 3rd week.

How would you construct a program on X-force? Any differences in cadence?

Go back to the X-force.se website that I mentioned earlier. The lengthy article that I wrote gives you the guidelines to follow on setting up a routine.

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In my experience and studying of the various viewpoints … I believe it will eventually be understood that resistance must be applied through a weighted load. These activities from X-force, bands, apollo, bullworker, hydraulics, pneumatics, springs, motors, atlas (charles) statics, etcetera do not sustain growth or measurable strength beyond “initial break-in” or perhaps on under-conditioned trainees. I cannot present technical detail at this time, just my observations and experience. Somewhere in our physiological system there exists a gravity based “controller”. The CONSTANT BACKLOADING that a weight applies to a muscle … at controlled speeds (i.e. ultra-ultra slow or zero) serves as a non-volitional dampening effect which is not realizable without weights. I have experienced this in application, and it is quite easy for trainees to test.

Show results of all this knowledge.


I think in the absence of any proof of superiority, namely results, I will for the time being side with Ell, Arthur Jones, Roger Schwab, Joe Cirulli, Jim Flanagan , etc and my own results.
But if shown otherwise of course, I will happily admit I was wrong.

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Thanks again Dr Darden,

Finally found your article on x-force.se. As always an interesting and rewarding read, recommended to everyone interested on this forum.

Fat loss aside, have you put any well-built trainees through a bodybuilding program on X-force?

In my book, The Body Fat Breakthrough, you can see before-and-after photos of five bodybuilding guys that I’ve worked with on X-Force.

And I believe you are wrong about a lot of those assertions. But it isn’t worth my time to discuss further. Good luck with your training.

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is x-force always 2sec concentric, 4 second eccentric?

3 sec concentric, 1 second pause, 5 second eccentric…hence 3-1-5

== Scott==
I find I very hard to argue with what he has to say mainly because I have no idea what the heck he’s trying to say ? Ha ha!


Given that the weight stack has to change positions between the concentric and eccentric portions of the movement, I assume that some kind of momentary pause is necessary to allow for that? I wonder what happens if you execute the turnaround too quickly?

Dr. Darden

Curious as to would you incorporate not to failure training 3x/week with xforce equipment?


It would certainly be interesting to try.