Archives for March 2020 | ViiV Fitness Blog



By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness

Here's a common question we receive: Is there any research that shows the efficacy of the ViiV-Rx Isometric Machine?

ViiV Research Studies

Yes, there is a ton of peer-reviewed research on isometrics. Just ask Google and you will have more than enough to make your head spin. But before you go and do that, let me save you some time and aggravation.

As the old saying goes,
"Necessity is the mother of invention." That is where my journey with isometrics began.

Back in the day, I used to have clients lift and lower weight very slowly on a few pieces of selectorized weight machines. Then, one day, along came Seymour, a 93 year old gentlemen with an artificial hip. This would be my first experience working with an artificial hip.

As I got Seymour positioned to move some weight on the leg press, it was immediately obvious that he had very little range of motion; so small that it wasn't worth attempting movement. This forced me to quickly improvise. I made a few position adjustments, added a lot of extra weight, and told him that together we were going to lift the weight into a more extended position where he would push against a range limiter that prevented his legs from extending any further. Once we got there, I told him to push as hard as possible to prevent the weight from descending until he couldn't do it anymore.

He loved it! He got stronger each week and his quality of life improved dramatically.

As a result of Seymour's success, I started to experiment with this technique on other clients who needed a change of pace due to injuries or stalling progress. Everyone started having success and enjoyed it. It was hard to ignore what was happening.

Did I look for research before doing this? No. I didn't have time. Did I ask other people for their opinions? No. It started with an idea and it worked! From there I observed, listened, and tweaked as it evolved into something that became very effective for all clients, even those with normal healthy joints.

My point is this: There is no substitute for your own personal experience. You don't need any reassurance or evidence from a laboratory to try something new or pursue development of an idea.

YOU are the research! YOU are the best scientist there is! Try it first and see how it works for you. All you have to do is start playing.

I understand that the approach we take with the ViiV-Rx is radically different from what is considered mainstream. I understand that the ViiV-Rx is a big purchase. I understand there is comfort in numbers; going along with the pack is easier than breaking away from it. So I understand why people ask "Is there any research?"

Yes, scientific evidence may give us some peace of mind, but there are some things you need to keep in mind about peer-reviewed research.

First, you can find 10 studies to support what you want supported, and 10 studies that show the exact opposite. What's the tie-breaker? Your own experience.

Second, the training methods in research studies are typically not anything close to what you will use in real life. Also, what is realistic for your clients/patients will often times produce better results than the methods employed in studies.

Third, you and your clients/patients don't really give a damn about research. The truth is, all of you care about one thing: does it work or not?

I have collected a mountain of data and stories over the past 17 years. If you need research, get in touch with me and I will shower you with hours of stories about the life-changing effects of 20 second isometric workouts. And my research is even better than peer-reviewed studies because it is longitudinal. I've had the benefit of working with individuals for up to 20 years! That's a lot better than the 6-8 weeks you will read about in a study.

The ViiV-Rx and the methods we promote at ViiV Fitness are backed up by many years of continuous research; the best research there is: How it actually works in real-world conditions for a wide range of ages and fitness levels over a long period of time. It doesn't get any better than that, and besides, nothing is better than a personal story.

The use of isometrics is growing rapidly. If you need research, you can find a bunch of it on our website or contact me directly. Most importantly, you need to start doing it for yourself. You can't be a rock star without first learning how to play the guitar.

ViiV-Rx or ARX?

ViiV-Rx or ARX?
By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness

ViiV vs ARX

We regularly hear from people who wrestle with this question so I will address it en masse. Before I begin, there are two things you need to understand:

First, I want to say that I have nothing against ARX. It is a fine product produced by a company that has vision and great intentions for changing the landscape of the fitness industry. I wish them continued success.

Second, we are the fattest, sickest, most unhealthy country in the world and my research interest has been to find the best way to change the lives of millions of people who want to get on the path to improved health and quality of life.

My goal has been the discovery of the closest thing to exercise in a pill by refining things down to what is necessary, what isn't, what is most sustainable, and what will have maximum impact with minimum downside.

That being said, it is my opinion, backed up by 17 years of research, that the ViiV approach is much further ahead of ARX due to one major thing: simplicity.

We are waiting at the finish line for ARX to get there.

I've said it for a long time now: This is where everyone is going, they just don't know it yet.

For 17 years, I have used four stations (or less), with five seconds (or less) of maximum isometric effort, 20 seconds (or less) total
motionless workouts that produce a euphoric energized feeling which changes lives. And people LOVE it! 

As Da Vinci said: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Think about that for a moment.

It is incredibly difficult and time consuming to continuously refine something down to being so simple that it is almost unbelievable, yet, that is what you have with the ViiV.  While others strive for sophistication through evolving more complex layers of technology and granularization, the sophistication of the ViiV approach lies in the lack of complexity, combined with its ability to produce life-changing results in a matter of seconds. So what is more sophisticated?

So let's talk about some of the common questions that arise:


There are two questions here:

1) Don't you only get stronger in the range of motion you train in?

2) Don't you need to move through a full range of motion? 

Your muscles have an origin and insertion point between bones. Muscle cells run the entire length of the muscle. The muscle either contracts or it doesn't. The fact that movement is prevented or allowed is irrelevant. There is no adaptation to becoming stronger in only one joint angle and weaker in all the others. It doesn't happen that way in real life, and I’ll bet you can't find one person who could ever pinpoint that adaptation while going through real life movement. 

Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Even though I advocate a motionless method for improving your physical capacity, I am not a proponent of being motionless. Far from it. Movement is absolutely necessary for good mental and physical health, and I tell clients to get a lot of it. However, it is not necessary to move your joints through a full range of motion against resistance to receive enormous health and fitness benefits.

I have been documenting this for
nearly two decades. As I wrote in my last article, "ViiV-Rx Makes Weight Lifting Obsolete," isometric contractions expose you to the highest loads possible in seconds. Moving through a full range of motion doesn't allow you to even come close to that kind of loading.

Just look at a force vs. joint angle curve. Maximum neuromuscular engagement is best in your most efficient joint angles (which is what you do on the ViiV). Moving through a full range of motion is inefficient and places unnecessary stress on your joints.


Believe me, I wrestled with this question myself a long time ago because I liked the negative only technique.

But suddenly the answer hit me: The most your muscle can do is the most it can do, no matter what type of contraction you are doing.

It doesn't matter if you can lower 50% more weight eccentrically when your concentric force production doesn't even come close to what you can do isometrically. Isometric force production still blows the others away.

Again, as I wrote in my last article, the increase in voluntary activation with isometric contractions is significantly greater than that of concentric and eccentric contractions, with eccentric contractions coming in last place.

What about the negative? I say what about it? The key to getting stronger is improving the efficiency of your nervous system. This doesn't just happen in the first few weeks of a strength training program as conventional wisdom says, it happens continuously. The ViiV will get anyone much stronger (more neurologically efficient) with much less wear and tear on their body. Positive/negative is rendered obsolete.


I understand why dynamic contractions are hard to leave behind. It's what we've done for a long time. Change is difficult. Part of this is the adherence to the "fatigue as the stimulus" way of thinking. We like the sensation it provides, and the immediate effect on our muscles: temporary swelling, fatigue, and soreness.

But it isn't necessary for wowing clients/patients with life-changing improvements in health and physical fitness. I've experienced how brutal a maximum positive and maximum negative repetition on ARX can be, and you must keep a few things in mind.

If you were to experience this incredibly stressful event in nature on a weekly basis, you were either very unlucky or very stupid. This is unnatural. To do this on a regular basis puts undue stress on the body,
ages you in fast forward, and it isn't necessary. Our primal hardwiring does not like to do this.

The masses do not like it either. With ViiV, you get seconds of relatively comfortable and painless stress that leaves you energized and ready to take on the world. The improvements to your nervous system also make everything you do in life easier. A ViiV session appeals to our natural instincts.
What do you think most will opt for?


Imagine this: you walk into the showroom and see the car you want. The price is 25 grand. You write the check and pay in full, but there's one catch: In order to drive it, you have to make monthly car payments for the remainder of the time you own it. Huh? That is ARX.

With the ViiV-Rx, you pay for the car in full (12 grand) and get to drive it right away with no further cost to you. The software is accessible by an app that you download  from the app store free of charge. When we notify you of an update, all you do is download the update. Or set your included iPad to download it automagically. How simple and cost effective is that?

A great example to tie all of this together is a very important lesson learned by people who tackle the challenge of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Upon completion, all of them will tell you that they learned how little they really needed to be comfortable, productive, and happy. When you hike for that long it quickly becomes apparent that things you thought you needed weren't worth the extra weight, space, or cost, especially when other necessary items in your backpack could do the same job and get you the same outcome. 

ARX offers the ability to blast yourself with positive/negative, along with isometric capability. The question is, do you really need the extra stuff? Does the cost justify it?

I say no. Call me crazy, but the way things are moving, I think that many ARX owners, despite the extra tools, will eventually have a very costly isometric machine, because in the future they will be using it in isometric mode almost exclusively.

Why do I think this? The masses are going to drive you in this direction. Why? The spread of OSTEOSTRONG franchises and the current rise of independent businesses that use isometrics exclusively.

Not only does this growth help bring more attention to ViiV, it wakes more and more people up to how simple and easy it is to get life-changing results in seconds a week. Believe me, once they get a taste, they aren't going back the other way.

I've been to your future already. It's isometrics. It's the ViiV-Rx. Trust me, if you want to wow your clients/patients and change lives, it doesn't take much. Use the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.