WCW Wrestler takes on the ROM!

My father-in-law

My father-in-law

Here is part two of Sgt. Craig ‘The Pitbull’ Pittman taking on the ROM. (Did you miss the first video? It’s right here.) We had a blast filming these; he’s heard me rave about the ROM since I started using it earlier this year. (I think he was impressed that I’m getting any kind of regular workout; probably one of his greatest disappointments when his daughter & I started dating in the 1990s was how his precious little girl – scion of two Olympic athletes! – was seeing, not quite a 98 pound weakling, but someone who didn’t have much athletic attention span. The ROM is changing all that.)

The Sergent (that’s how I thought of him as a teenager; the first time I took his daughter out, with some of our mutual friends, he said to me & the other guy with me – “You take care of these girls, and bring them home on time – otherwise I’m going to have fun playing with your carcasses!”) has had an illustrious career, beginning with Olympic and Marine wrestling, continuing with Japanese Vale Tudo fighting, and culminating in WCW wrestling. These days? He lives the quiet, sedate life of a law enforcement specialist in Florida. You don’t want to mess with him.

With that said, the ROM gave him quite a run for his money – as you can see in the video! What I appreciate about the machine is how it matches the level of athleticism and energy you put into it. It’s gentle enough for my dad – who’s no physical slouch himself, but has back problems – and yet can wear out a world-class athlete.

And me.

(To see my complete ROM health & fitness journey to date, go here!)

ROM Experiences: 30 Years in 30 Days

ROM in RoomIt’s October 1, 2009 – in 30 days I’ll be 30 years old! Truth be told, I haven’t felt like a twenty-something in years, at least not the kind that marketers market to – getting married and having a child probably effected that. As you know, this year I’ve been using the ROM, a high-end workout machine that boasts a complete cardio, strength, and fat-burning workout in just four minutes a day. I’ve been more consistent by far in using the ROM than any other workout regimen I’ve attempted in my life. With that said, there have been some setbacks (more on these this month). Even so, Jeff V. from Maryland (remember him?) continues to be a motivator and fount of practical wisdom for me in my unfolding ROM journey. When I asked him for some advice for myself, other ROMmers, and potential ROMmers, here is what he told me:

Keep up the efforts on the machine. I think the key to positive results is committing to the machine each day. Every now and then I’ll catch myself taking it easy during the 4 minute effort. Then I push it (I mean what the heck, it’s only 4 minutes, right?). I believe the key is making a full effort each time you get on the machine.
Each time I do the upper body, I do one set of 40 crunches and two sets of curls with 25 pound dumbbells. Each day I do the lower body, I do one set of 40 crunches. That’s it. Total time spent each day working out is 6 minutes. I weigh the same. I have the same muscle mass as 6 months ago. My pecks look a little more defined. Overall, I’m fully toned. I can eat a barn … and I sleep well each night. One other side effect … I haven’t had a cold or any type of sickness since starting the ROM 6 months ago. If I feel a cold coming on, my body shakes it off before lunch time.
I live in a condo. My little one bedroom unit is too small for the machine. So I added the ROM to our gym. I’ve got 30 people trained up. They’re all believers. There are also a fair number of folks who still sweat it up on the tread mills (all caught up in the rat race of pushing it, sweating it, all while being plugged into their iPods, watching the TV monitor, and reading the Washington Post … all at the same time). They all look so busy.
I roll into the gym each morning like I’m on vacation. No stress. No rush. No debilitating physical effort. No huge commitment of time. In at 6:50 Am. Out before 7:00 AM.  After 6 months, you’d think the folks sweating it up (and investing so much TIME and effort each morning) would have a more open mind to the ROM … especially after seeing with their own eyes the fact that I’ve maintained a high level of fitness.
Thank you, Jeff. You continue to be an inspiration. Here’s to 30 days – and 30 more years – on the ROM!

Four Minutes, $14,000 and Thou

Washington Post Logo III enjoy reading what others are saying about the ROM. I recently came across this article published in the Washington Post a few years back. Here are some highlights:

When I heard that a machine could deliver a complete cardio and strength workout in four minutes a day I, like you, yearned to believe. The device is called the ROM (for “range of motion”), sold by Romfab, of North Hollywood, Calif. It resembles an amalgam of a classic cruiser motorcycle and a Space Age rowing machine, and ostensibly forces users to employ significantly more muscle fibers than they would doing traditional exercise. This translates into higher oxygen demands on the body and increased calorie burn. But a full workout in 240 seconds?

The ROM allegedly moves the body through a wider range of motion than other gear and, by requiring continual pressure, provides resistance throughout each movement — no recovery moments like those between pedal strokes or bench presses. The premise, at least, is sound: Research has shown the muscle-fiber/oxygen effect and one study concluded that eight minutes of sprint intervals, for example, offer cardio benefit roughly equal to an hour of brisk walking.

One four-minute ROM session, says Romfab, burns 465 calories (40 on the machine and 425 more throughout the rest of the day due to “afterburn,” a phenomenon known by fitno-nerds as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC). By comparison, an hour of treadmill walking, ROMiacs assert, burns 415 calories — 350 on machine, the rest through EPOC. (The EPOC effect is scientifically validated, but some research questions whether EPOC can exceed exercise calorie burn.)

The front of the ROM, for upper-body work, has a long-backed seat, footpads and moving handlebars; the back, for leg and butt work, looks like an elliptical-StairMaster mix. The manufacturer recommends four minutes on the front one day, four on the back the next, repeating for life. Retail price: $14,615 (!). That’s about the cost of 225 hours of personal training — or a year of tuition at a fine in-state university.

But cheaper access exists: I went to ROM Works, a studio in Catonsville, Md., that charges $50 a month for unlimited use. Owner Ron Price, a strapping 62, credits the device with saving his life after a heart attack 15 years ago.

When I tried the ROM, it performed as advertised, providing resistance throughout full strokes and mandating a broad range of motion…

Again, you can read the full article here. The ROM in all her glory

A reader sent in a follow-up statement, adding

I was very pleased to see your column on the ROM machine but I don’t believe a fair evaluation can be made without long term use. I have owned one for three years and it is my primary exercise activity. I have lost 15 pounds and greatly improved my general fitness level. It works for me because there is ‘no excuse’ for not being able to exercise four minutes a day and because the high price of the machine is a great incentive to use it. -Bob

P.S. I happen to be 74 years old but I believe it is suitable for any age group.

At age 29, I’m not as spry as I was, say, in high school. But if Bob can ROM on, so can I!

For the whole (health) story-to-date, go here!

ROM Experiences: Jeff

ROM LogoI started corresponding with Jeff V. in Maryland about six months ago. I had my ROM for a few months, and he just bought his. Here’s what he told me at the time:

I’ve been eyeballing the ROM since the mid ’90’s. I finally got fed up with the standard gym routine. I’m more excited than ever to receive the machine and start up my daily routine. I’ll go get a body fat reading and measurements of legs, arms, etc so I have a baseline to compare to. I’ll keep you posted.

I caught up with Jeff recently to see what his experience with the ROM has been like. Here’s what he told me:

All is well here. I’ve been using the ROM every day since March. Prior to using the machine, I was going to the gym several hrs a week. I haven’t gained or lost any muscle mass. I’ve kept what I had. That’s a win in my book. Also, my fiancé jogs a lot. Prior to using the ROM I ran too and always found it difficult to stay up with her. Now I don’t run at all. On the days she asks me to run with her, she can’t stay up with me. Ain’t that something!

Yes Jeff, it certainly is. It inspires me to stay the course on my whole-health journey to age 30. ROM on!

ROM Coach Tips: Challenge Yourself!

Sometimes when doing a workout that’s ‘only’ four minutes its hard to remember why this is such a big deal. It’s then that a deadly apathy can creep in. ROM coach Britt gives us some practical tips to avoid this:

  • Try to beat your own score
  • Keep eye on the computer, make sure push & pull are close in number
  • If you’re trying to lost belly fat, push & pull proximity is crucial – you need the ab workout.

Thanks a lot… :)