Stone, M. H., Johnson, R. L., & Carter, D. R. (1979). A short-term comparison of two different methods of resistance training on leg strength and power. Athletic Training, 14, 158-160.

"In recent years a number of new ideas for strength training have been promoted amidst claims of superiority over all other forms of resistance training. Most of these ideas have been accompanied by a gadget or machine. Few of the claims made by the manufacturers of these machines have been investigated objectively." (p. 158)

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of short term Nautilus training and free weight training on leg strength and power.

Ss (N = 34 males) trained for four weeks using a combination of Nautilus and free-weights. They were then divided into two groups, one performing only Nautilus activities, the other only free weights (all movements with the greatest velocity). Both groups trained three times per week for five weeks. The length of time for the study was selected as being a more common duration devoted to preparatory strength training for many sports.

The free weight group was significantly better than the Nautilus group in strength (1RM squat) and vertical jump. There was no significant difference between the groups on Nautilus leg press. The superiority of free weights over Nautilus exercises was attributed to several possible factors.

Implication. Training with free weights has a larger effect on free moving strength and power activities than that obtained using static machines (Nautilus). If any strength activities are to be performed for athletic activities, they should preferably use free-standing weights.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.