Wednesday, 1 July 2009

ROM - Gimmick or Ahead of it's Time?

Remember this?

I was today reminded of its existence by this post on Real World Strength Training.

The ROM looks and feels like a marketing scam; but having in recent years embraced the HIT concept and in recent months read Body by Science and started putting into practice the 8 - 12 minutes per week concept, suddenly I am looking at the claims of ROM's makers in a different light.

Has anyone ever seen or used one of these things? I am now wondering whether my perception of the product, based on the sensationalist marketing and low quality website, as a gimmick or scam, is unfair. Could it actually a product with some merit?

I haven't had time to look at ROM website in detail, but thought I'd throw this out there for comments...


John Sifferman said...

Yes, there is some merit to the ROM. It can be used to elicit a metabolic surge that will burn energy for hours following the workout session. It's a machine designed to maximize EPOC through HIIT. So, it does have value in that it can help you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health numbers - along with some of the other benefits of HIIT exercise.

However, there are MANY drawbacks. First is the price at $14k. Second, I must ask myself, what other benefit would I receive from using this machine to exercise? Surely, this is not mimicking any real life skills. I'm not going to get any better at doing anything from using this. It won't even help me walk better due to the principle of Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

The other issue is that it is a single machine, with only a few functions, and literally a VERY low number of possibilities for progression and variation. You'll eventually plateau when using this regularly, and then you'll have to resort to something else.

Seriously, inventors have been trying to make machines that can simulate real life activities for the purposes of exercise for decades, and they still can't beat natural human movement - and never will IMO.



PS - thanks for the link!

Methuselah said...

Hi John - nice summary. When you consider that you can buy the all-singing, all-dancing, top of the range Nautilus multi-gym for less than that, it kind of puts it into perspective.

I think boredom and lack of variety is the most compelling argument against this device. I am a little undecided about the functional aspect at the moment. I am a big fan of bodyweight exercise and being a paleo type, I like to do activities that feel useful and meaningful. But I am engaged in a Body by Science trial at the moment and reading the book has softened my view a little . I am willing to accept that for certain people under certain circumstances, an entirely goal-based approach without any functional basis can work. For example, I am loving that I only spend about 45 minutes working out each week at the moment because I have so much more time for other things!

Deline said...

I love the reverse psychology marketing they're doing. By sounding their pitch as if they are almost exasperated that they've created something so good, that it's become the bane of their existence having this product that just sounds too good to be true..

..all the while enticing you to give them an address so they can mail you shwag and start to the process of converting you into a customer.

$14k for something a flimsy looking as that? Yeah I would try anything too to sell it.

Marnee said...

Yeah I have seen them in action. There is a gym in Ahwatukee that is nothing but these things. There is also a juice and coffee bar in the place. It looks like your typical "low impact fat burn." But also having been recently taken in with the Body by Science premise and methods, I find the whole thing highly questionable and more of a novelty than anything.