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Started By dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.)

Started on: 11/7/2004 11:24:27 AM, viewed 1135 times
MedX/Nautilus Comparison

Good morning everyone,

I completed a test of the Nautilus vs MedX equipment this morning on a couple of machines. I performed 1 set of pulldowns (torso arm) and 1 post-exhaust static hold on the pec deck machines.

I performed 7 reps of 480 lbs on the MedX torso arm last workout. This time, I put the pin on 240 lbs on the Nautilus torso arm and gave it my all. To my surprise, the Nautilus machine FELT much heavier. I only performed 2 & 1/2 reps. I immediately dropped the weight to about 200 lbs and got about 3 more reps. I noticed several differences in regards to the machines. The MedX machine was MUCH smoother without any "skips" in the movement. When I was using the Nautilus machine, it felt like the weight was "catching" on something (maybe friction) throughout the movement, and I had to "break through" these catch points throughout the movement. The total speed of each rep was taking 2-3 times longer to complete on the Nautilus because of this. So my rep speed "automatically" dropped to about 4 seconds instead of the usual 2 or 3. The other thing I noticed is the Nautilus machine has your arms much furthur out front and wider than the MedX. While I was performing my set, my biceps were much weaker and felt like they were in a bad position for helping. It seemed as though my lats had to do more work on the Nautilus than the MedX. I guess that could be a good or bad thing. Had the grip width and position been like the MedX, I am confident I would have been able to get about twice the number of reps. It also seemed as though the pecs were LESS involved in the Nautilus torso arm because of the grip width.

The Nautilus Pec Deck surprised me even more. It was actually LIGHTER than 2 times as much as the MedX. I was expecting it to be about the same weight ratio as the previous exercise, so I put the weight on 120 pounds since I do about 200 on the MedX post-exhaust static hold. It was super light! I jumped the weight to 200 pounds (which is the same as the MedX) and it actually felt lighter STILL than the MedX! I was able to hold the weight about 30 seconds before lowering it.

It appears the 2 machines had COMPLETELY different weight comparisons. The torso arm feels much heavier but the pec deck feels much lighter. The pec deck also felt smoother to me for some reason (even though it was the exact SAME line for both machines, no differences).

After trying both types of machines, I must say the MedX is FAR superior in regards to smoothness and feeling like you get a good even workout. The Nautilus machines made me feel like I was getting "robbed" by friction. The MedX makes the amount of force on the muscles seem even throughout the whole rep whereas the Nautilus makes the reps feel more like a "balancing act" in regards to completing one.

It appears that Ferrari was right in 1 case (the torso arm) about Nautilus being 2 times as heavy. It appears the other case was the opposite. The MedX pec deck is harder than the Nautilus.

Regardless of which is heavier, I still feel like I got a good workout with the Nautilus even if my ego had been injured on that torso arm machine. 🙂


This Topic has 9 Replies: Displaying out of Replies:

Ferrari (Gatineau, QC, Canada) on 11/7/2004 11:39:54 AM

Good post Darrell,

The pulldown was the one that I had investigated to see the travel of the weight stack. I had not looked at the pec machine.

One question though, is the pulldown the one with the straigth handles or the wider one with the "U" shaped handles?

I use the U shaped one as it is much smoother and is overall a greater design.

The straight armed one does appear to hit on something and the weight is way too heavy in the contracted position.


dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 11/7/2004 1:41:03 PM


Thanks. It was the one with the straight handles. I didn′t see one with "U" shaped handles.


HD4Me (Austin, Texas, U.S.A.) on 11/8/2004 8:42:43 PM

Which model of nautilus? You can′t just say "nautilus" without explaining which model set. At my facility, we have medx selectorized equipment, nautilus nitro and nautilus "next generation" (chain driven circa 1985). In the past, I′ve also trained on Nautilus 2st, which is on par with Medx in regards to adjustability.

In my opinion, while medx is superior, it is not superior in the manner in which you suggested. Unless you trained on next gen pieces, the nitro and 2st line feel maybe a notch less smooth than medx.

Which was it Darrell? It makes all the difference in the world.


dafortae (a, a, U.S.A.) on 11/8/2004 9:56:29 PM


I′m not sure which it was. I′m guessing maybe BOTH types. One had a gray weight stack (the smoother one), the other a black weight stack (the torso arm). The machines themselves were black with a big blue panel on both that said Nautilus with large letters. The only thing I guess that may determine the difference from what I saw was the color of the weight stacks. Since one was smoother than the other, I′m guessing they were different generations (I could be wrong though). Regardless, MedX is far superior compared to the ones I tried. I′ve also used some REALLY old Nautilus machines in the past (years ago) at a different gym, and if I remember correctly, those were less black and more gray and red. Those seemed better than these blue panelled ones (still not as good as MedX though).


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