Why Didn't Infimetric Exercise Take Off?


I recently rediscovered an old article by Arthur Jones in which he says the future of exercise is infimetric exercise - using one limb against the other to create resistance. But, since there’s nothing further from Nautilus on the subject, I assume the concept never gained any real traction. There are some infimetric machines out there, but they’re few & far between.

I’m curious as to why the concept didn’t take off. Was research done & it determined this style was ineffective for gaining size & strength? Was it simply determined at the beginning that it had no merit & no research ever done?

AJ tried infimetric exercise with several machines he prototyped, but he couldn’t get the consistency nor the motivation from the trainees to make it worthwhile.

Just out of curiosity, what’s your opinion as to the effectiveness of the protocol assuming a trainee was motivated & consistent with it? I see some merit to it based on the article by him, but I’m not a scientist, so for all I know, it could be bunk. I’m assuming you’ve never had any of your trainees use it, correct?

I believe the protocol has potential, but it has never been tested with a large group of trainees.

The Nautilus Infimetric Bench Press could be an intense exercise if done in an all-out High Intensity manner. If you did it that way, you certainly knew you worked those muscles! I remember doing it decades ago. The problem was was NO feedback. How much Force did you apply? The Infimetric bar on the Multi-Biceps and Multi-Triceps machines could be used in the same manner.

I think Charles Spencer was big into that stuff . I think he made some home made versions of that stuff. He used to post here but left years ago . I think he’s on Facebook?

Interesting concept. Are there any modern versions/machines out there?

The Kieser company over in Europe (who manufacture MedX machines and some based off Nautilus Next Gen designs) produced a Leg Press design based on the Infimetric concept. I saw some photographs of it somewhere.

1 Like

I need continuous feedback in my workouts. It is was initiated the drive to do better. I doubt I could do an Infimetric workout longer than a week.

Even the warmup with traditional weight training. Was it easier or more difficult, If easier, I got fired up. If more difficult, I got determined. I need feedback to push me.


I agree. It seems interesting as maybe like a one time thing as a goof, but you don’t really have any meaningful way of measuring progression. I hate to say something is useless, but even if the world burned down and this was the only equipment left… I think just plain push ups and pull ups would be much better for keeping your gains in the apocalypse.


I like using it for triceps and biceps as a ‘finisher’ after the muscle has already been worked. I don’t think of it as a ‘stand alone’ way to work a muscle. Example ; after the triceps are thoroughly worked, I’ll throw a towel over the rotating end of a Olympic bar on a bench for triceps and on something low for biceps and it’s a great way to end the workout.

I’ve also used it with lateral raises after a shoulder workout but I find it works best with triceps probably because it’s the easiest to find a place to do it. For biceps it’s a little harder to find a spot the right height, etc, for it to work.

Can’t think of a way to use it on other muscles but if I could , I would … it’s a great finisher after the muscle has already been beat up.

1 Like

Interesting. I can see this done before me. What made you do this as a finisher in the first place? (Did you intend to polish the end of a bar? LOL)

Nah, nothing getting polished except your triceps … a good Olympic bar has the ends that rotate so the movement is very smooth.

1 Like

Didn’t Mike Mentzer have a technique that involved this?

Charles Spencer spent a lot of years developing machines for infimetrics. Wrote extensively about it on his WordPress blog. Then gave up on it. His blog was called Go2Strength. Still seems to be available.

I had often thought of an exercise that might be in the Infimetric family, but requiring much more coordination, but 100% feedback. How much can you bench press when only adding weight to one side of the bar?

I thought of the idea when bench pressing with 5 more pounds on one side of the bar. It wasn’t near my max, but 5lbs wasn’t very much of the percentage of weight on the bar.

== Scott==
I think this just shows that Arthur wasn’t infallible. As great as he was he was wrong on some things now and then.

Thanks for mentioning this site … never heard of it or Charles Spencer.

That’s a lot of reading but I will skim through it. Always like hearing others ideas on things … which being too bull headed early on, I wouldn’t listen if it wasn’t coming from Darden or Leistner. For Spencer to start building machines for this, he really had to believe in it.

Like I mentioned earlier, I like doing infimetrics as an extra or finisher on a muscle after it’s already been beat up with other movements. But I have my doubts on how effective it could be by itself on a fresh muscle.

Too bad biceps, triceps and shoulders are the only muscles it’s easy enough to do them on.
I think it could be done with rows and pull downs too but I haven’t found a spot in the gym to set up for it correctly.

He wasn’t any big, famous commercial guy. Just a very dedicated man, who built his own machines in his basement. He posted a lot on the old forum.

There is a company called NOSSK that sells a cable and pulley system that could probably be used for infimetric rows and pulldowns. Just need to attach the pulley to a sturdy cross bar or column.