It appears that Arthur Jones,
founder and creator of Nautilus and MedX exercise machines and a pioneer of animal filmography, passed away today early in the morning.
Arthur pioneered bodybuilding out of the Joe Weider stone age mentality and into a logical, scientific and precise methodology of training. Though few in the bodybuilding world heeded Jones’ high intensity advice, one could say the same for certain presidents of the United States and our founding fathers. (I think that comparison made sense.)
I met him once at a MedX seminar in Florida back in 1993 – a seminar he conducted month after month to sell his MedX medical machines. I took a seat in the front row with my buddy David Landau, who incidentally, began visiting Arthur on a regular basis for years afterward.
As is the norm for Arthur, he was brilliant, caustic, funny, insulting and irreverent.
I was in heaven. I could have listened for hours.
At one point during the seminar I sharply raised my hand and asked Arthur what he meant by slow repetition speed. He had said that the best speed to lift and lower weights was ‘slow and controlled.’
He then had one of his trainees, I think it was Joe Cirulli, owner of the Gainesville Health and Fitness Center in Gainesville Florida (one of the nicest facilities in the country) perform a slow rep on a MedX lumbar extension machine.
I was aghast. "How could he have gone any faster?" I thought.
I said: "That seems pretty fast to me. Why not move slower if slower is better?" I was almost certain I saw the butt of a pistol emerge from his trouser pocket.
With brow furled and at the pace of a be-chapped gunslinger, he shuffled over towards me and placed one large hand on my left shoulder and crushed it slightly. He then leaned over and placed his Pall-Mall reeking mouth an inch from my ear and, with eyebrows bouncing up and down like ping-pong balls said:
"Son, if the weight is right, you can’t go too slow when you exercise."
He then released his Spock grip (his phantom finger-dents still remain) and then went on with the seminar.
I did not ask another question.
He will be missed.