"I know how to make rebound exercise even better," I heard one day when I was at the National Health Federation Convention, in Anaheim, California. The voice belonged to Harry Sneider, fitness coach of Ambassador College, in Pasadena, California.
"If you can improve on rebound exercise, you have my undivided attention," I remember saying. That was the beginning of Aerobic Resistive Rebounding, a simple concept of putting light weights in the hands and running, jumping or bouncing on a rebounder while moving the weights in organized motions. Since Harry Sneider's background was that of training body builders and training athletes for Olympic competition, he felt rebounding would fit in his system of honing and fine-tuning his athletes. The cellular, or whole-body exercise concept was appealing to him, but he wasn't going to turn his back on resistance training. It took a little ingenuity and 1, 2, and 3 pound sand bags to combine the two exercise methods. This is one case where the sum of the two parts is greater than the parts.
Resistive, on isotonic exercise, involves muscle contraction under opposition with movement. Weight lifting is a good example of organized resistive exercise. Who can argue with success? I am not about to argue with Mr. Universe or Jack Lalanne, but when Dr. Sneider began to introduce rebound exercise to them, they too caught on to the fun and easy benefits.
Engineers Study Rebound Exercise
One way exercise is measured is by the amount of work preformed, or accomplished. So I turned the problem over to an engineer friend of mine. I introduced him to Harry and Sarah Sneider's Olympic Trainer, an exercise package consisting of three sets of hand-held weights, 1, 2, and 3 pound sandbags to be used in conjunction with rebounding. The participant goes through an organized series of upper body movements while walking, jumping or running on a rebounder. His conclusions are simple but revealing. He has been kind enough to take us through easy-to-understand logical steps to an amazing conclusion. You'll enjoy the step by step logic.
Step 1. If one stands still on the rebounder and holds a one pound weight in each hand, it will exert one pound pressure on each arm, a total of two pounds on the trunk and legs.
See? that's easy to understand. If you stand on a bathroom scales and somebody hands you two pounds of butter, the scales will add two pounds to your weight.
Step 2. If one jumps on a rebounder creating a 2 G force, the weight will create 2 pounds of force at the bottom of the bounce on each arm; a total of \ pounds on the trunk and legs.
Your weight is doubled when you bounce high enough to create 2 Gs. Even your clothes weigh twice as much. Even the weights in your hands weigh twice as much.
Step 3. If one creates the bounce by rhythmically moving the weights in the hands forcefully up and down, the G force is at least doubled again at the bottom of the bounce and 1 G of deceleration at the top of the bounce. This subjects each arm to an additional five pounds of resistance, or a total of 10 pounds.
If you are analyzing this as we go, you are beginning to seethe synergistic effects of two forms of exercise being combined into one.
Step 4. If one moves the weights from the shoulders to the waist while sinking into the mat six inches and bouncing off the mat six inches, the weights in the hands move upward a total of approximately 2 feet each bounce.
Remember, the formula for work-produced is weight-times-distance.
Step 5. Assume one bounces six inches off the mat 100 times in a minute, moving the weights 1 foot in a curl exercise. That would be moving 10 pounds x 2 feet x 100 times, or 2000 foot/pounds of work in one minute. ... or, if you used 2 pound weights with the same exercise, it would be 4000 foot/pounds of work. . . . or, if you used the three pound weights, 6000 foot/pounds.
That's three tons of work! The skeptic will say, "That's impossible," then go out and lift one-forth of his automobile with a small jack in order to fix a flat.
Step 6. For the purpose of illustration, let's assume that you use the two pound weights moving them an average of one foot while sinking six inches into the mat and bouncing six inches off the mat. You complete the Daily Dozen (a series of exercises shown in "Harry and Sarah Sneider's Olympic Trainer"), 25 repetitions, 3 sets. It takes you 20 minutes. This would be the equivalent of moving a 40 ton freight car 1 foot in 20 minutes, or a Volkswagen up 40 steps in 20 minutes, or curling a 100 pound barbell 200 times in 20 minutes!
That's just calculating the movement of the weights in your hands, what about your body?
Step 7. Assume you weigh 150 pounds and are bouncing high enough to create 2 Gs. At the bottom of the bounce you weigh 300 pounds. Your entire weight is moved upward 1 foot 100 times a minute x 20 minutes, or 600,000 foot/pounds!
That's the equivalent of moving a 300 ton freight train engine1 foot in 20 minutes! Add that to the 40 ton freight car and you will begin to understand why resistive rebounding is destined to revolutionize our concept of weight training. Granted, the springs in the rebounder do some of the work,but that's the beauty of it. Your cells can't tell the difference!
Dr. Kenneth Cooper's Institute of Aerobics Research Studies Rebounding
Anything as amazing as the reported results of rebound exercise doesn't stay hidden forever. Those who begin to enjoy the benefits become disciples. They extol the virtues of rebounding, and soon even the most skeptical come around. Scientists are skeptics by profession. Somebody sent copies of my "Miracles" and "Sneider's Olympic Trainer" to Dr. Kenneth Cooper's Institute of Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas. Near the end of 1981, I received a telephone call from R. Donald Hagan, Ph.D, Director of Exercise Physiology, telling me that some of the stories in the "Miracles" were simply too hard to believe. When I told him that they were all true, he asked me, "Are they backed by scientific studies?"
"No." I said. "I'm not a scientist. I'm merely reporting what I'm learning."
"Well, we need scientific evidence before we can accept rebound exercise as a viable form of exercise."
"You're a scientist aren't you?" I countered. "Why don't you study rebound exercise and report back to me? Besides, it will be more credible if you perform the study rather than us." I received a letter dated December 10, 1981, confirming our conversation, which began, "It has been a pleasure talking to you about rebound exercise. We are preparing a research proposal to study rebound exercise. . . We would be most interested in evaluating the 'daily dozen charts' outlined in Dr. Sneider's book on rebounding, and any other exercise program that you believe people would be interested in knowing about."
The report of the completed study came across my desk six months later. They must have been impressed because this is the way it started out.