These training articles were like nothing anyone had ever seen before… Arthur simply gave a name to some ideas about training that had always been “true” — and while they were simple, and involved common sense and self-evident truth they rocked the strength world to its knees.
He had, in the previous years, put his ideas into practice and the results were tremendous, but what he needed was close supervision and justification for his ideas in a controlled setting where the results could be monitored and recorded.
In 1973, Arthur got his wish and “The Colorado Experiment” began at the Department of Physical Education, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and supervised by Dr. Elliott Plese, Director of Exercise Physiology Lab.
Over the course of one month, with himself and Casey Viator as the subjects, training ideas would be put into practice and studied extensively.
For an article in the September 1973, Volume 32 Number 6 of Ironman Magazine, Arthur wrote up his thoughts:
PURPOSE of the EXPERIMENT . . . it is the author’s contention that the growth of human muscular tissue is related to the intensity of exercise; increases in strength and muscle-mass are rapidly produced by very brief and infrequent training … if the intensity of exercise is high enough.
It is the author’s second contention that increasing the amount of training is neither necessary nor desirable . . . on the contrary, a large amount of high intensity training will actually reduce the production of strength and muscle mass increases.
It is the author’s third contention that “negative work” (eccentric contraction) is one of the most important factors involved in exercise performed for the purpose of increasing strength and muscle-mass.
It is the author’s fourth contention that nothing in the way of a special diet is required . . . so long as a reasonably well-balanced diet is provided.
It is the author’s fifth contention that the use of the so-called “growth drugs” (steroids) is neither necessary nor desirable … on the contrary, repeated tests with animals and double-blind tests with human subjects have clearly demonstrated that the use of such drugs is strongly contraindicated.
It is the author’s sixth contention that maximum-possible increases in strength and muscle-mass can be produced only by the use of full range, rotary form, automatically variable, direct resistance.
And the results:
First subject (Casey Viator), 28 days
Increase in bodyweight……..45.28 pounds
Loss of bodyfat…………..17.93 pounds
Muscular gain……………..63.21 pounds
The Nautilus Upright Squat Machine, shown here, is a good example of this. This machine was designed to provide all the benefits of the barbell squat, while reducing or eliminating the drawbacks. This was the only leg machine that Casey used in every workout for the duration of the Colorado Experiment. While it was effective, the potential for the user to be catapulted right out of it was deemed far too great, so this was the only one ever manufactured.