Rom Machine

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A complete workout in just 4 minutes a day? That’s what the makers of the ROM cross trainer claim is possible with their piece of exercise equipment, while admitting that it sounds too incredible to believe. On their website it reads: The biggest problem is that 4 minutes sounds too good to be true for a complete non-impact cardio, resistance- and flexibility workout. The common maxim goes: “If such a machine really existed, then obviously everybody in the world would know about it.” The website also mentions the difficulty they have in getting endorsements from fitness experts: The third problem are so called “experts” (personal trainers, doctors, etc.) when asked for their opinion about our 4 minute ROM machine, they will not even bother to inform themselves, read anything about it or try it out before giving their negative opinion or even ridiculing our ROM. Most of these “experts” are so closed minded that they cannot even be educated as to the logical insights that are embodied in the very intelligent ROM design and function.

Is it true that fitness experts are too close minded to even consider the claims of the ROM cross trainer, or is this a case of “attack is the best form of defense” on the side of the ROM machine distributor?

On the web, one can find quite a few blog entries and other articles written by people giving their opinion on the ROM machine. They claim varying degrees of expertise in health and fitness related topics. One blog called “Exercise Equipment Expert” writes a review of the machine after reading information at the website, however not trying out the machine in person, and concludes: “You can get a better workout on a rowing machine, doing squats and dumbbell bench presses.” Jim Fiore, a science professor and a blogger at, writes of the ROM machine makers: “[…] one of their basic claims is that if you workout harder, you don’t have to workout as long to achieve the same benefits. Apparently, their lack of knowledge of the body’s energy systems makes them eminently qualified to assess the value of this “new excellent idea”. That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement either. When the ROM cross trainer’s makers posted a link to his article and criticized that he had never tried the machine, he rebutted: […] I really DON’T have to try it to find out that it cannot possibly do what they claim it does BECAUSE my education does indeed tell me that it would be a total waste of time.” Todd Bublitz is a health and fitness writer at and was asked what his opinion of the ROM machine was. His answer was short but sweet: “The only thing more ridiculous than the suggestion that you can get a good workout in 4 minutes is the price tag. I did a thorough investigation of this machine a month ago and I could find no legitimacy.”

So the question begs…is there any fitness expert out there who thinks that the ROM machine can provide the high intensity, short duration full body workout that it promises? The ROM cross trainer’s website has a page called Studies with various studies regarding the benefits of high-intensity interval training. Three of the studies were done with the ROM machine. One study dates back to 1995, but two more recent studies were published in May 2007 in the Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Both those studies claim to have found results that study participants exhibited significant results and positive improvements in whole body strength and body composition after training on the ROM machine. Thus, those fitness experts concluded that the ROM cross trainer does give a user a workout in 4 minutes.

Although the ROM machine manufacturer’s negative smearing of experts does seem like a sour grapes reaction to negative reviews of the ROM cross trainer, it does become quite clear that there is a lot of expert opinion about the ROM machine which doesn’t come from first hand experience. One thing becomes quite clear when reading the different testimonials, blog entries and studies on the ROM machine: you should probably try the machine out yourself, to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

The ROM machine is a cross trainer that promises to deliver a workout in just 4 minutes a day. ROM stands for Range of Motion, and the ROM cross trainer is thus called, because of the range of motion a user goes through when performing exercise on the machine. The ROM machine is made by ROMFab, located in Southern California and has been manufactured by the company for almost 20 years.

The ROM cross trainer has two stations: an upper body workout and a lower body workout. On the upper body station, at the front of the machine, the user is seated. One upper body repetition consists of pulling the side arms towards the chest, opening the side arms out about 10 inches from the body in a reverse V shape, pulling the opened side arms around the upper torso until the side arms hit their stop and can go no further. Without stopping the reverse motion is made, the side arms are brought together again in a reverse V movement and the user pushes the side arms forward, engaging the abdominal muscles and stretches all the way forward without letting their bottom lift from the seated position, until the side arms hit the front stop of the ROM machine. All this movement is done under constant resistance. There is resistance in the pull element as well as in the push element.

The lower body workout is performed on the rear of the ROM cross trainer. There are two pedals extending from the rear of the machine. It resembles a stair climber, but that is where the similarity between the two exercises stops. The user steps onto the rear pedals using the rear side arms for support, and pushes one foot down as far as possible. At the same time the opposite foot will raise to the user’s chest. Depending on the user’s flexibility the range of motion that can be attained on the rear of the ROM machine is quite astounding. Usually a user won’t be able to perform the full range of motion right away, but after a few weeks of regular use on the machine, a user’s flexibility improves.

The most important component of the ROM machine is its 80 lb flywheel which is mounted on a hub and nestled into a stainless steel hoop. On the side of the flywheel there is a centrifugal brake that engages once the flywheel hits a certain RPM, creating friction with the hoop, which creates resistance. When the ROM machine user performs either of the exercises the fly wheel will start to spin as both stations are connected to the flywheel through a transmission and a series of chains. The faster the exercise is performed, the faster the flywheel spins. The faster the flywheel spins the further the centrifugal brake is engaged, and the more resistance is created. The more resistance created, the more difficult the workout, which means: the stronger the Rom cross trainer user is, or the more strength and effort put into the workout, the harder the workout will be. Although there are two stations on the ROM machine, there is only one flywheel, and thus only one user can use the ROM cross trainer at a time.

The ROM machine is built to last. It is made of chromed and powder coated steel and stainless steel components. The majority of the ROM cross trainer’s components are custom made for the machine with enduring quality in mind. To prevent distortion and bending over time from users’ yanking, the side arms are made of solid steel bar, whereas on the majority of exercise machinery the structures are made of tubing, as it is more lightweight, and thus cheaper. But the ROM machine’s quality does come with a price tag: a hefty $14,615. But if you want an exercise machine that gives you a complete workout in just 4 minutes, it might just be worth it.

The ROM Machine is the brainchild of John Pitre, hailed by many as America’s leading surrealist and social commentary painter, selling more prints worldwide than any other artist. His paintings addressed the themes of over population, drugs, and ecological deterioration already during the 60s and 70s, well before they became obvious problems of our times. In addition to being a talented artist, John Pitre is often called a modern day DaVinci, holding over thirty patents to his name. Through his scrupulous study of human anatomy in the arts he has also designed the world’s most advanced fitness equipment, the ROM cross trainer which was awarded the Best of What’s new in 1993 by Popular Science Magazine.

The ROM machine was conceived of and designed while Pitre was living in Telluride, CO. In the winters, he would ski to keep in shape, and in the summers hiking provided ample opportunity for fitness training. However, in spring, the snow would melt, but the trails were too treacherous for hiking, so staying in shape became difficult. In John Pitre: The Art and Works of a Visionary, he writes: “This challenged my creativity and passion for invention, so I analyzed what I could put together to prevent us from getting totally out of shape before summer came. Within short order, pulleys, ropes, iron bars and other interesting leftover parts borrowed from the mines around Telluride began to appear in my barn, which I slowly transformed into a gym of sorts. [..] In time, I discovered that if the weight declined at precisely the same rate the user’s muscles lost strength, he or she could continue the exercise well past the point when the muscles normally failed.”

This eventually evolved into what John Pitre called The Time Machine, reflecting the time savings benefit that the ROM cross trainer offered its users. In 1990 John Pitre approached Alf Temme to manufacture the ROM machine. Temme had a long history of working in the health and fitness industry. After undergoing changes in the industrial design of the ROM machine which streamlined it for easier manufacturing, the ROM cross trainer took the shape it has today, and for the most part the design hasn’t changed much in the last 19 years.

The first years of manufacturing and marketing the ROM machine were filled with challenges, including the heavy skepticism on the part of consumers. The ROM cross trainer’s claims of a 4 minute workout were just too hard for many people to swallow. However in 1993 Popular Science Magazine awarded the machine and its makers the prestigious Best of What’s New awarded, which granted the machine more credibility. The company began to sell more and more of the machines, and referral sales became a great source of continued sales. However, the scientific community still remained skeptical of the revolutionary fitness claims of the ROM machine. This was soon to change, though.

In 1996, a Japanese scientist by the name of Nishimura Tabata published a study “Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max,” which is now recognized as one of the foundations of the high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, exercise strategy. The studies of Tabata and other proponents of HIIT have shown that this method of exercise can be more effective at burning fat and maintaining, or building muscle mass than high-volume, lower intensity work-outs. Finally the high-intensity short duration physiology behind the ROM machine was supported by studies in the scientific community. Further studies have proven that HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which explains how a user can burn a similar amount of calories after working out 4 minutes on the ROM cross trainer as they would as a result of performing a traditional cardio workout like jogging or cycling.

As a result from the increasing acceptance of the validity of HIIT fitness and growing sales because of word of mouth, demand for the machines increased so much that in 2003, the company had to move its production facility to an 82,000 square foot factory in North Hollywood, CA. The ROM machine’s components are fabricated at this location from raw materials (sheets of metal, bar, tubing, etc) and assembled, the final product being crated in custom wooden crates, waiting to be delivered to their final destination.

ROM machine is that it makes the most efficient use of the time because it’s the perfect exercise. One day you do the front part of the machine and the next day you do the back half of the machine and then you alternate to give your muscles a rest. The front part of the Rom Machine exercises every muscle in your upper body including your abs. It’s like a rowing motion only the range of motion is much more exaggerated. In the process of using all the muscles and using the machine in a fluid motion, you get your cardio. The back part of the Rom Machine is like a stair stepper but again the range of motion is exaggerated. This has much more cardio benefits because you are using your biggest muscles. I have to pace the kitchen for 10 minutes afterwards to catch my breath.


The time required for an effective cardio-vascular exercise depends on the degree of oxygen consumption during the workout. The greater the amount of oxygen consumption during the workout, the shorter the required duration of a cardio workout. In other words, the quality of the workout determines the time required. More muscle cells involved means higher oxygen consumption means less time required. In fact the time requirement is exponentially less when the oxygen consumption increases in a linear fashion. The ROM enables even totally out of shape people and seniors to achieve much higher oxygen consumption levels than with ANY OTHER FORM OF CONVENTIONAL EXERCISE and therefore they can shorten their exercise periods while getting superior results.


Most everyone believes (incorrectly so) in the myth that a cardio workout requires at least 20 to 45 minutes per day. The truth is that if you want to improve strength, flexibility and cardio vascular endurance, that you must do slight damage to each of these systems by putting a slight overload on them. An overload on the muscles will create micro tears in the muscles that will in the repair process cause the muscles to become stronger. An overload on the tendons will create small damage by creating a very mild tendonitis and that will create more flexibility during the healing process of the tendonitis. An overload on the cardiovascular system is measured by way of total oxygen consumption during an exercise period. It can be low oxygen consumption during a long period of time or a very high oxygen consumption during a short period of time to reach the overload. An added advantage of a high oxygen consumption during a short time is that the length of time required for a cardiovascular workout becomes exponentially shorter with a linear increase of oxygen consumption. Oxygen consumption is expressed in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (mlO2/kg/min). With conventional forms of exercise it is nearly impossible for the untrained general public to reach the high levels of oxygen consumption required for a short and effective cardio workout. With the ROM Machine untrained individuals will easily reach the very high levels of oxygen consumption that require only minutes for an effective aerobic workout that yields the same or better cardiovascular benefits than the conventional 20 to 45 minute aerobic workouts practiced by the general public. To understand this, you need to read and understand the following lengthy technical explanation:


Walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour consumes a low 7mlO2/kg/min and therefore requires about 85 minutes for significant benefits to the cardio-vascular system. Sprinting at a pace of 15 miles per hour consumes a high 50 to 60mlO2/kg/min (this is a 4 minute mile pace) and therefore requires only 3 minutes for significant benefits to the cardio-vascular system.

Following is a table showing different activities walking, jogging, running and their oxygen consumption rates and number of minutes required for a good cardio-vascular result.

1. Walking at 3 miles per hour 7mlO2/kg/min 85 minutes

2. Jogging at 4miles per hour 14mlO2/kg/min 35 minutes

3. Running at 5.5 miles per hour 21mlO2/kg/min 18 minutes

4. Running at 6.5 miles per hour 28mlO2/kg/min 12 minutes

5. Running at 8 miles per hour 35mlO2/kg/min 8 minutes

6. Running at 9 miles per hour 42mlO2/kg/min 6.5 minutes

7. Running at 15 miles per hour 60mlO2/kg/min 3 minutes

The amount of oxygen consumed during any activity is determined by 4 factors:

1. Total muscle mass involved in the activity.

2. Range of motion of the muscles determines the percentage of muscle cells involved.

3. Number of repetitions of muscle movement per minute.

4. Resistance or workload worked against by the muscles.


Walking involves 25% of the body’s muscles and those muscles are working only through an average of 15% of their full range of motion. This means that only 25%x15%=3.75%, or less than 4% of the body’s total muscle cells are involved in oxygen consumption during walking. These 3.75% of all the body’s muscle cells will consume more oxygen if you walk faster (or jog or run) or if you walk uphill or if you carry two 50 pound suitcases while walking. To get a high amount of oxygen consumption out of only 3.75% of your body’s muscle cells those few cells will have to be extremely highly trained, such as in top athletes. To get from A to B, walking is a very energy efficient activity and therefore does not consume large amounts of oxygen. For a cardio workout you would like to engage in an energy wasting activity, an activity that needs a lot of energy to accomplish the task. Problem is that most doctors keep recommending walking as their favorite exercise prescription and they don’t even expect their patients to follow their advice of spending 45 to 90 minutes walking. They only keep recommending walking because it is advice that is immune to malpractice lawsuits. As soon as doctors were to recommend anything more out of the ordinary they could be sued out of business by their colleagues in the legal profession with medical “experts” testifying in court against them. If a person keels over during a 90 minute walk there will be no lawsuits. The reason why people will not follow their doctors’ advice and why the doctors do not follow their own advice is because people will not do things that require a lot of time and have marginal results. If doctors were to prescribe exercise that takes only 4 minutes per day they would be vastly more successful in getting their patients to do daily exercise. Now the problem for the doctors would be to get the patients to sign a disclaimer for such good advice and they would have difficulty getting their patients to spend $14,615 toward their health for a ROM machine instead of spending a multiple of that amount toward their illnesses.


Through clever engineering the ROM Machine enables even totally out of shape people and seniors to get significant aerobic benefits from a 4 minute workout, because the ROM engages 44% of all your muscle cells in work performance. Those 44% muscle cells are 12 times as many cells as the 3.75% in walking or jogging. Even if those 44% are untrained cells of 90 year old or totally out of shape people, they will far exceed the oxygen consumption those people could otherwise get out of the 3.75% they could reach during walking. Highly trained athletes on our ROM machine always want to quit on our ROM machine after only 2 minutes because their highly trained muscle cells consume so much oxygen that it maxes out their cardio capacity very quickly. These highly trained athletes are so overwhelmed that they believe that it is impossible for them to go another two minutes and finish the total 4 minutes if they are already exhausted at 2 minutes. The ROM however will automatically reduce the workload when these athletes have reached their limit cardio capacity. In fact the ROM will automatically adjust the workload every second during the 4 minute workout, exactly matching the user’s ability at every moment during the workout. Its 85 pound flywheel has a centrifugal brake that applies more resistance to the flywheel the faster the flywheel spins. The exercises done on the ROM make the flywheel spin, but elderly and unconditioned people cannot make the flywheel spin very fast before they meet the braking force that matches their low level of work capacity. Highly trained athletes have enough strength to spin the flywheel very much faster before they also meet the braking force that matches their own ability to perform physical work. When the highly trained athlete runs out of steam he will no longer have the strength to overcome the resistance of the centrifugal brake at high revolutions and the braking action will automatically slow the flywheel down to lower revolutions at which the centrifugal brake will reduce the resistance to exactly match the diminished strength of the then drained athlete so he can finish the 4 minutes. Weak people can finish the 4 minutes with much more ease than highly trained individuals but they get a much lower performance score at the end of the 4 minutes. The Rom gives you a score at the end of the 4 minutes based on the average RPM (revolutions per minute) of the flywheel during the 4 minutes. That score will gradually increase over weeks and months of using the Rom Machine and the increase in the score reflects the improvement in your total physical condition. The score reflects the improvement of the condition of the combination of your cardio system, your muscle strength and your flexibility. When your total conditioning improves, the ROM 4 minute workout never gets easier. It actually gets harder the more your total condition improves because you will be able to spin the flywheel faster and the centrifugal brake makes you work against higher resistance and you will get a higher ROM score.


The ROM involves 12 times as many muscle cells as does walking or running. Even very out of shape and weak people can get to very high oxygen consumption rates with the ROM because so very much more muscle cells are involved in oxygen metabolism while using the ROM. It engages 55% of all your muscles through an average of 80% of their full range of motion. This means that 55% of 80% or 44% of all your muscle cells are involved in consuming oxygen. That is 12 times as many muscle cells as the percentage of muscle cells involved in walking or running. On the ROM the number of repetitions and the resistance/workload are always maximum for the user’s ability to perform work because the centrifugal brake on the ROMs flywheel regulates the resistance automatically to match the user’s diminishing strength during the workout. The user’s strength determines how fast the flywheel spins, which in turn determines the number of repetitions per minute and the resistance/workload applied by the centrifugal brake.


Highly trained athletes can of course spin the flywheel extremely fast and therefore in 4 minutes will get cardio benefits that far exceed those of conventional aerobic workout routines (except sprinters and competitive short distance runners who will get very high cardio benefit from their high intensity short distance activities). Trained athletes will get a much higher performance score on the ROM and they will be more exhausted than totally out of shape people who get a low performance score. The better shape people are in, the harder the 4 minute ROM workout is for them and the higher their performance score is at the end of the 4 minutes.


A person’s maximum aerobic capacity is measured as VO2max. This measurement expresses the maximum oxygen consumption a person is capable of during a maximum work demand. This measurement expresses the combined effectiveness of function of the several individual components of the body’s cardio-vascular system comprising the following:

1. The effectiveness of oxygen transfer by the lungs into the blood.

2. The condition of the muscles that operate the lung breathing function.

3. The effectiveness to transfer CO2 out of the blood and to exhale it.

4. The ability of the heart to pump maximum volume of blood.

5. The condition of the blood vessels to transport the blood

6. The effectiveness to transfer oxygen and carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles

7. The effectiveness of transfer of CO2 from the muscles back into the blood.


The ROM machine gives a performance score at the end of the 4 minute workout and that score is a composite evaluation of the total work performed and therefore is a reflection of the average VO2 measurement over the 4 minute period. When the ROM score increases, it is evidence that the combination of the 6 cardio-vascular performance components listed above plus muscle strength and flexibility have improved. You can see the gradual improvement of your health reflected in the gradual improvement of the ROM scores.


The testing for this VO2max measurement is done in exercise physiology labs with a person hooked up with a facemask that allows the test subject to inhale a measured amount of fresh air while the exhaled air is captured and sent through a device that measures the amount of CO2 exhaled. From the amount of CO2 exhaled the maximum oxygen consumption can be calculated during the activity. The ROM does not measure VO2max, but it does create a score that reflects an increase of VO2max when the ROM-score increases. The ROM simply measures the total work performed during the 4 minute workout and expresses that into a score that reflects the ability of your body to perform work, which in turn is a direct reflection of the condition of your cardio-vascular system.


The merits of short duration and high intensity training and high oxygen consuming exercise are being increasingly recognized by trainers of sports teams everywhere. Our time has not yet come with the ROM because as yet too many so-called “exercise experts” are persisting with their mistaken beliefs. The merits of H.I.T. have been recognized in several scientific studies. Click on “Studies”.

Rom Machine

Rom Machine

Exercise 4 Minutes per Day & Get fit, Loose Weight Faster. A complete Exercise Machine ROM Machine. For More Details Call 818-787-6460 or Visit Since 1990 California USA.

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