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One expert's opinion: Todd Bublitz is one of these
   

Published on  http://experts.about.com/q/Aerobics-2267/indexExp_50465.htm

This is a good example how some "experts" will go all out dismissing anything that differs with their beliefs. From the answers and the opinions Todd Bublitz gives here we know one thing with certainty, that he has never used the ROM machine even though he sort of claims that he has. It is impossible that he would be writing this kind of nonsense opinions about the ROM if he ever had tried the ROM. Todd has very impressive credentials but they don't help him very much in the case of the ROM. He is the same kind of arrogant not knowing "expert" described in http://www.guardiansofthestatusquo.com/ . To see a sort of biography on Todd Bublitz go to: http://www.allexperts.com/expert.cgi?m=1&catID=939&expID=50464

On 3/24/2006 Todd apparently became aware that there might be something wrong with his stubborn opinions about the ROM and he wrote: P.S. I will no longer take questions or comments about the ROM machine (right on Todd, I would not either in your position as a currently well regarded "expert". Too risky to damage that "expert" reputation).

Topic: Aerobics



Expert: Todd Bublitz, RCEP
Date: 1/7/2005
Subject: ROM machine

Question
I have been woking out aerobically for about 25 years - I started out running, then swimming, then the nordic track, now the stairmaster. I recently saw an add for the ROM machine. I think it looks great but my husband is a doctor and he is very sceptical about the fact that 4 minutes can give you and adequate cardio workout, which is what the makers claim. it is very pricey at $14,000. I would be willing to pay if I thought it worked. do you know about this machine? thanks, juli

Answer
Juli,

The only thing more ridiculous than the suggestion that you can get a good workout in 4 minutes is the pricetag.

I did a thorough investigation of this machine a month ago and I could find no legitimacy.

Stat away.

Best wishes,

Todd

Expert: Todd Bublitz, RCEP
Date: 1/19/2005
Subject: ROM Exercise machine

Question
Hi, Todd...

I read your concise review of the ROM exercise machine. Could you elaborate a bit, please?

I look forward to your additional comments as I have ordered the free video but remain skeptical.

What specifically about their claims was "ridiculous", seeing how they have several scientific studies, by USC no less, to bolster their positions?

Also, Tony Robbins and some world class athletes (golfer David Duval) swear by it. Not that their opinion is sacrosanct, but it makes one think.

What was the extent of your "month long investigation"? Did you actually try the machine for any period of time? What documents did you find to refute their own scientific claims?

Thank you very much for your extended opinion.

ADAM

Answer
Adam,

The debate here is whether high intensity, short duration exercise is superior to moderate intensity, long duration exercise in improving health, weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
First, let me site the American Heart Association Scientific Statement titled ”Exercise and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease - A Statement From the Council on Clinical Cardiology (Subcommittee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention) and the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism (Subcommittee on Physical Activity)
http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/107/24/3109

Here is part of the first paragraph:
“Regular physical activity using large muscle groups, such as walking, running, or swimming, produces cardiovascular adaptations that increase exercise capacity, endurance, and skeletal muscle strength. Habitual physical activity also prevents the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) and reduces symptoms in patients with established cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that exercise reduces the risk of other chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, and cancer of the breast and colon…. This statement focuses on aerobic physical activity and does not directly evaluate resistance exercises, such as weight lifting, because most of the research linking physical activity and cardiovascular disease has evaluated aerobic activity.”

The “studies” on the ROM website are dated 1994-1996. Certainly, if high intensity, short duration exercise proved to be as good or better than moderate intensity, longer duration exercise, then more studies and more current research would be available. The evidence is just not there.

Before I get to their “studies”, did you look at their “Articles”? They are nothing but advertisements in catalogs and magazines. Are they kidding?

The first study they present, “Japanese Study 1996”, was not done with their machine, the ROM. The study was titled “Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max.” and was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 28(10):1327-1330, October 1996.
http://www.ms-se.com/pt/re/msse/abstract.00005768-199610000-00018.htm;jsessionid=BuYY1IN8NT9yjiNLlUN4fkWqZDD42dFMzbXzVKrnty6xa0JX4T9l!-1773259706!-949856032!9001!-1

I do not know why they did not include a link to the actual study, except that they can insert their own commentary the way they present they information. They had the nerve to say that the results would have been better if the ROM were used instead. If you read what is put on their website, you would see the problem;
“In the moderate intensity group, seven active young males exercised on stationary bikes 5 days a week for 6 weeks at 70% of V02max for 60 minutes each session. A second group followed a high intensity interval program. Seven students exercised five days a week. The subjects did seven to eight sets of 20 seconds at 270% of V02max. The training protocol was altered one day a week. On that day, the students exercised for 30 minutes at 70% V02max before doing 4 sets of 20 seconds intervals at 170% VO2 max.”

The study was done on “active young male physical education majors”. I would suggest that their aerobic capacity was already pretty good and that exercising at 70% of their VO2max was not too strenuous for them. Are you a young, physically active physical education major (age 18-21)?

They tout the “Ground Breaking Results” (their words, not from the actual study) as showing that the high intensity, short duration exercise increased the anaerobic capacity and the moderate exercise did not. Well, DUH! High intensity, short duration exercise is anaerobic exercise. Moderate intensity, longer duration exercise is an aerobic exercise – the type of exercise known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The results were no surprise and did not show any health benefit of the high intensity exercise over the traditional aerobic exercise. Also, the full benefit of traditional aerobic exercise will not be seen in 6 weeks (the duration of the study) and certainly the benefits would surpass that of the high intensity protocol. Since none of us work at an anaerobic capacity in our daily lives, there is no need to increase our anaerobic capacity and there are no significant cardiovascular benefits of improving the anaerobic capacity. If the study subjects were more typical of the average person looking to buy a piece of exercise equipment, the aerobic benefit of the moderate intensity protocol would have been much, much better. In my experience (15 years as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist), a sedentary person who starts a traditional exercise program can make gains in their aerobic capacity of 25-50% in 8-12 weeks. That will not happen with high intensity, short duration exercise.

This study was not done on the ROM machine and the subjects doing the high intensity training were also doing 30 minutes of moderate intensity training a week. This extra aerobic exercise falsely increased the aerobic benefit of the high intensity subjects. Also, this does not correlate with what the ROM sellers state, that you can get “a cardio workout in only 4 minutes per day”.

The second “study” was done at USC. Since this “study” was not submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, it must be looked at with a bit of skepticism. If other experts in the field cannot read the entire study paper, the results may be considered “insignificant” or “biased”. According to the paper on the ROM website, the ROM was tested against “a control group of six subjects who did basically no exercise during the study.” Of course the “control” group made no gains in aerobic capacity (VO2max), body weight or body composition (body fat %). The group using the ROM made less than a 6% improvement in aerobic capacity compared to those doing no exercise. The difference in body composition showed a “trend for an improvement” in the ROM group. A “trend” means that the difference was not statistically significant – this means that difference could have been simply by chance. I sent an e-mail to the “author”, Dr. Robert Girandola, for his comments on the benefits of the ROM for the price of $14,615, but he has yet to answer.

I could not verify the existence of the final “study”, “Canadian Study 1994”. The journal it supposedly was published in, “Metabolism” does not exist today. The study title is not given, but a search of PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) does not show that the author, Angelo Tremblay, PhD., published a paper on the subject in 1994. The problem with this study is that both groups started with moderate intensity, longer duration exercise, then one group changed protocols to a high intensity protocol. Also, the duration of the two exercising groups were different. We have apples and oranges here and you cannot make an accurate interpretation with poor study design.

Anyway, I'm getting tired of trying to defend what is already proven. Believe what you want. As they say, “There's a sucker born every minute.” If you want to spend that kind of money on a piece of exercise equipment, I'll put some bungee cords on my stationary bike for your arms to pull on and charge you only $9,000 – and I'll guarantee you the same results as the ROM. Honestly, a Schwinn Airdyne or a rowing machine would have the EXACT same results if used in the same way as the ROM. Guaranteed!

Oh, yes, Tony Robbins and David Duval are not exercise or fitness experts.

Best wishes.

Todd

Expert: Todd Bublitz, RCEP
Date: 3/24/2006
Subject: ROM Machine

Question
I read a response to someone's question that you gave about the ROM Machine and I found your answer to be inadequate and lacking useful information. If you did a thorough investigation of the ROM Machine then where are the results to prove you found no legitimacy? Did you try it thoroughly for an appropriate amount of time, or did you just blow it off because it seemed ridiculous? I'd like to see skeptical "Experts" like yourself actually put the ROM Machine to the test. If the machine really does work after all of that then it really works. Why hasn't there been testing done by health experts, are they scared that they might be wrong about the machine?

Answer
Aaron,

I gave my professional opinion and you can ignore it if you wish.

I did recently try the ROM machine, using each of the exercises for short and long bouts of exercise. My test reinforced my opinion that the ROM is not worth the $14,615 price tag. The machine does give a good workout, however, I believe that the ROM holds no significant benefit over other multifunction (total body, or cross trainer) machines. The ROM most mimics the exercise from a rowing machine (exercise one) and a stair stepper (exercise two). I would say that the ROM is comparable to rowing machines, cross-country ski machines, the SCIFIT Total Body machine (www.scifit.com), the NuStep Recumbent Cross Trainer (www.nustep.com), elliptical machines like the Schwinn Elliptical and the Schwinn Airdyne Bikes (www.nautilusinc.com). I have used all of the other machines I mentioned and they all cost less than $2000. In fact, you could buy ALL of the machines I just mentioned for the cost of one ROM. If you worked your hardest for just 4 minutes on any of these other machines, you would get a comparable workout to the ROM. Remember, the professor that studied the ROM compared 4 minutes of exercise on the ROM to no exercise at all - and ANY exercise is better than nothing. Dr. Robert Girandola of the University of Southern California said of the machine, "I would never recommend the ROM for just 4 minutes, as compared to a 30 min aerobic workout...and also the cost of the device is much too high to justify." This is the same researcher that the ROM company uses in its sales pitch.

Of course, there is no way that 4 minutes of ANY workout will give you the benefits of 30-60 minutes of sustained moderate intensity exercise. That is a scientific FACT. The principle is simple; the more muscles you use and the higher the intensity, the higher your exertion, heart rate and calories burned. This can be done on any machine that works both arms and legs. This makes the ROM almost identical to a rowing machine - but then the ROM does have a "stair stepper" exercise that can be done in addition.

So, I have personally used the machine and talked with the researcher that studied the machine. I have used a dozen other similar machines so I am able to make a head-to-head comparison. I would love to see the ROM put to the test with other similar machines. I have no doubt that there would be little difference. There are people who have personal preferences; some like bikes, some like rowers, etc. Aside from knowing that you bought the most expensive piece of exercise equipment available, I don't know any reason why a person would buy a ROM.

Regards,

Todd
Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, ACSM
Certified Exercise Specialist, ACSM
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) - www.acsm.org


P.S. I will not longer take questions or comments about the ROM machine.
(Comment by us, the ROM manufacturer: You will see on our free video that Todd is lying about having ever used the ROM himself because he would have never been able to come up with such rediculous opinions if he had. He really dug a hole for himself.)
==================================================================

Here is another thead on another website involving the same Todd Bublitz:
http://experts.about.com/q/Aerobics-2267/ROM-Exercise-machine-1.htm 

Expert: Todd Bublitz, RCEP
Date: 1/20/2005
Subject: ROM Exercise machine

Question
-Dear Todd,

Thank you for your comprehensive answer to my questions about the ROM. I agree with most of what you write, especially the non-peer reviewed aspect and the transparent content of their "articles" which is simply promo material mindlessly published by lazy "science editors" who never do research but take the money from companies for this insidious form of advertising.

That said, is it remotely possible that there IS some truth to their concepts and it goes against the status quo so directly that it is all but impossible to get funding for proper studies and analysis? This could be similar to the state of the "science of nutrition" which languished for generations before the proper studies were done to prove what was promoted as far back as the 1920's. Some of the more fringe herbs and healing techniques still face potential heavy denial and may yet prove to be quite valuable.

So $14K is ridiculous on the face of it, but maybe the principle is worth SOMETHING??

Also, did you use the ROM? How did it make you feel after 4 minutes?

Thanks and keep up the good work!

ADAM------------------------
(Comments by us, the manufacturers of the ROM: This questioner at least gives Todd a chance to have some second thoughts that might persuade him to actually reconsider. But no, he keeps digging a deeper hole for himself.)


Answer
Adam,

Four minutes of exercise is better than none at all. Four minutes of exercise ten times a day should give you similar health benefits as 40 minutes of continuous exercise. Four minutes a day, in no way, will give you the same health benefits as 30-40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.

The only thing the ROM people have correct is that 4 minutes of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

Dr. Robert Girandola from USC sent me the following reply this morning:

"Hello Todd: The study was NOT a published research study and I would never recommend the ROM for just 4 minutes, as compared to a 30 min aerobic workout. ALL I showed for them was that VERY unfit subjects can increase their aerobic capacity by working 5 days/week on the Rom for 4 min, but these were VERY unfit subjects.
bob g" (note from Alf Temme, ROM manufacturer: This Robert Girandola pronouncement is most amazing to me. Here this "professor" uses the University of Southern California to apparently knowingly create misleading information to promote an apparently nearly useless piece of equipment? That does not bode well for the reputation of USC, does it? Here you can read the report that was written by this Professor Girandola: http://www.fastexercise.com/studies.asp Click on the thumbnail images of the two documents . My question is: Is this man a fraud or has he gotten too much pressure from higher-ups for straying too far from the norm of currently accepted EXPERT dogma of exercise physiology. I would say that this USC study on the ROM is totally useless and that any other USC studies on anything are to be looked at with a high degree of scepticism if USC professors conducting such studies are permitted to put out study reports that they later can declare as FALSE. In the study report on the ROM Mr.Girandola reports that the average study subject was 140 pounds and 21 years of age. He did not report that the subjects were VERY unfit, as he does in his "Hello Todd" message above. I would call that a big blow to the reputation of USC and any study conducted by that University. I think I should demand a new study with closer supervision. I do not want any ROM studies that are outright false and at best highly misleading.  To see what I think of "expert opinion" go to this website and read http://www.guardiansofthestatusquo.com/ .

(continnued blog thread answer by this Todd Bublitz):
The concepts that you are wondering about are available for any college Masters or PhD candidate to investigate. The results would be published and available for all to review. These concepts were examined in the "studies" presented on the ROM website. The results were not impressive and were predictable, so no significant further research has been done. Large amounts of money are not needed. College students and professors get grants to do whatever research they wish. This is a dead end area. The concept of one short term exercise bout is not ever going to be anywhere as beneficial as a moderate intensity, longer duration exercise bout. This is scientific and physiologic truth. If you wish to do several short term bouts of exercise with a total time or effort that equals a longer term bout of exercise, than the overall results should be similar.

Todd

Expert: Todd Bublitz, RCEP
Date: 8/21/2006
Subject: ROM Machine!

Question
Hey Todd!
Could you order the free video on that ROM machine that you have been trashing and see what other cardio experts are saying?  It only takes one click and the video is delivered in a couple of days. . .totally free without strings. I would be very interested in your comments after you see the video. There were a number of credible experts like yourself on that video which began as disbelievers until they actually tried the machine.  The thirty minute video is very extensive in its coverage of this piece of equipment.
Thanks
Anthony   

Answer
Anthony,

Of course I viewed the video before I used the product.  My professional and scientific evaluation stands. The "professionals" on the video are probably paid for their endorsements.

The ROM is not any better than any other multi-use exercise machine.  Period!

Don't waste your money.


Todd
American College of Sports Medicine Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist


Comments by ROM, the manufacturer: We are now informed that Todd supposedly used the ROM (read above:"Of course I viewed the video before I used the product"). It would be interesting to know where and whenTodd actually used the ROM, if he cares to tell us. We are not aware of him having used the ROM. He would certainly not stick with his original stubborn disbelief if ever he had tried the ROM. It would have been a very notable occasion for anyone to let Todd use their ROM machine anywhere and see the amazingly hilarious transformation of expert "know it all" attitude to total believer in 4 minutes flat. It happens all the time in our showroom with these "experts". Are we intimating here that Todd lied and never used the ROM? Yes, we are, and we do not only intimate that he lied, we make that assertion. It would be nice if Todd were to have the backbone to actually arrange with us to try the ROM and be instructed properly in its 4 minute use and be totally blown away by the experience. It would be additionally very amazing if he were to report on that experience honestly on his "expert opinion" blog. We were afraid that Todd's postings would disappear on the AllExperts.com pages and therefor we posted all of them here before they would disappear. We were right, the original postings did indeed disappear.