Infomercial Insanity: X3 Bar
I’ve been seeing this ad for the X3 Bar on my Instagram and Facebook page a lot lately. It shows a big guy using a flat band doing a chest press and the marketing makes some serious claims.
So what is it? What is the X3 and what does it do? Does it work?
The Product Pitch
The first thing you’ll notice is that the ‘inventor’ is a Doctor. His name is John Jaquish and he calls himself the Tony Stark of The Fitness Industry.
The ad also claims you’ll gain muscle THREE TIMES faster than weights, the workout only takes 10 minutes and that traditional, tried and true workouts are just a waste of time.
He also claims that his ‘patented’ technology allows you to train with the ‘proper forces for every range of motion’. The system allegedly is safer and you can lift heavier with less risk for injury.
The website also states that humans are SEVEN TIMES more powerful in the strong versus weak range. (I’ll explain that in a minute).
Lastly, the Doctor states this may be ‘one of the most profound discoveries in the history of sports performance science and that people don’t even remotely look fit that workout with traditional methods.
You can own this remarkable new piece of incredible technology for $550 – $650 depending on the levels of resistance you choose.
Let’s start with the good doctor calling himself the ‘Tony Stark of the fitness industry”. Well, no….not at all.
Grow muscle 3X faster?! Workouts are only 10 minutes? Come on, seriously? When is this going to stop? The one set to failure has been around forever. It DOES NOT produce the same results as multiple sets. It can’t…it’s science. One, you’re not even warmed up neurologically to maximize a one set workout. Two, with one set you will only recruit a certain amount of motor units or muscle. With successive sets to failure, you reach further into recruiting more units as others fail and will as result, grow more muscle.
One set to failure and 10 minute workouts may provide some benefits for untrained individuals, but the improvements will slow or stop very quickly as your body adapts.
There is NOTHING proprietary or new about this ‘system’. Band training has been around for decades. There are resistance bands in the form of tubes and others that are made of layered flat pieces of rubber. The X3 are of the latter type but regardless of the shape, they all function the same way. There is no revolutionary discovery to be found here.
Bands are weakest in the initial start point as there isn’t much tension and as you pull or stretch them, they increase their resistance (progressive resistance). There is where the 7X more stronger advertising phrasing comes in. In other words, you are strongest when a muscle group is in it’s fully contracted position as opposed to when it’s in its fully lengthened or weakest position.
In a biceps curl, when your arm is straight the leverage or mechanical advantage is poor. As the arm bends, the arm (lever) gets shorter along with the muscle and your advantage increases as you near the end of the motion.
This is also one reason why Dr. Jaquish claims his bands are safer. But there’s a flaw in this thinking….
In a natural environment, there are no objects a human would ever need to lift or move that provide progressive resistance like bands do. Unless you’re bending a tree limb or branch….then maybe.
If you need to lift something, you will feel its full weight no matter what position your’e in. If you ONLY train with bands or an X3 system, you will never development the strength, both in muscles or tendons for the initial part of the lift. I believe this may actually lead to injuery rather than prevent it.
To be clear, resistance bands are GREAT training tools. I’ve been championing their use for years and I use them along with weights and other tools regularly. But they should be PART of a training program, not THE training program.
Dr. Jaquish’ statements saying that people don’t look fit and that fitness industry has failed them is absurd. I’ve been in gyms for decades and have seen more people than not that have amazing bodies and have achieved great fitness and health NOT using the X3.
Last, $550 – $650?! That price is outrageous! If you want to try a resistance band workout, head over to Amazon and get a set for $40. Unless the X3 bar is made of platinum, it’s overpriced. Heck you can even find one that looks just like the X3 without all the marketing behind it for less than $70! With the bar included!
Most important is this – you’ll never look fit and lean no matter what form of exercise you follow, if you don’t change your diet and eat a calorically appropriate plan that promotes fat loss and optimal health.
You can’t replace free weights and old school weight training methods…period. I highly doubt Jaquish build his body using his X3. The man has spent some serious time in the gym.
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