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Arthur Jones, Nautilus memorabilia

alfresco

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I have a vast amount of material on Arthur Jones and Nautilus. More than
everybody else in word combined. No shit. A small amount is in the public
domain, most is personal material that Arthur Gave me. I was very
fortunate to have known him for years many dating back to the 70’s up
until his death, where prior to that I lived with him, at his house, on and
off for many years where I cooked, cleaned, shopped, got mail, visited his
friends, had interesting friends visit, etc. and was privy to many conversations
(some taped) until late at night. Never boring. He had an underrated sense
of humor and he was always very generous and kind to me.

This may be old news for some, new news for others . . . just setting the stage.

Bottom line . . . I am willing to share what I can with everybody here, if there
is any interest. (Some is very personal and can’t be divulged out of respect for Arthur.)

If the response is scarce, negative and or PM is not receptive, I will not continue. Fini.

Some information has never been seen publicly which I have scanned already
and will be easy to post up, some I will have to scan myself. No biggie.

Beware . . . some, but not all, is about exercise. Remember, Arthur was rich
and poor many times, was involved in aviation, TV and movies, with wild
animals for perhaps longer than he was with exercise so there is some real
history here. But there will be plenty of bodybuilding stuff to come. Just hang in there.

But . . . I do not want, will not be part of a debate about exercise techniques or
styles or whatever. Please go somewhere else for that. I will quit contributing
to this thread if that happens. This is not an idle threat, I just seen too many
threads go sideways and I don't want this to happen here.

This I would like to think of as a history lesson about an inventor, aviator, and a
very smart, influential, and unique person who changed many aspects of exercise,
bodybuilding, etc. forever. It is impossible to walk into any real gym today and
ignore his influence in my opinion.

And I will be happy to entertain any questions you may have. I don't have all
the answers, will try to not speculate, but will give you an honest answer if I
have one.

Please let me know who is in and who is out.
 

zacharykane

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More than interested in this! First gym I ever worked at was a Nautilus franchise gym!
 

Sides

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Jul 26, 2006
Messages
638
Ron, you know I would love to read all of the historical information you've got, and I would especially like to get your personal views and insight into them, as a witness and participant to the events, and with your own recollections of the situations and people involved.

Every day we are losing more important figures like Jones to the inexorable ravages of time, and if people like you don't tell their stories, and set out what you know on the printed page (or at least on a computer screen), then those stories and the true record of the past will be lost forever. Everything possible needs to be written down, or future generations will never know what truly happened, and how they can learn from our successes and mistakes.

"The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory"...

There are few figures as important as Arthur Jones to the history of fitness, resistance training exercise, and "bodybuilding", however we wish to define that term. As you mentioned, his influence is there in every gym in the world, whether the people training and working out there realize it or not.

At the risk of derailing the thread already, I would also like to get your input on strength coach Marty Gallagher's recent article referencing Arthur Jones, Casey Viator, and the famous (or infamous) Colorado Experiment. Gallagher's point being that, as Arthur Jones himself noted in an article he wrote in the April 1971 issue of Muscular Development, the 19-year-old Casey Viator had already achieved a hell of a good physique by himself, using only the traditional barbell/dumbbell exercises, before Viator ever met Jones, or used a Nautilus machine.


Of course, what Gallagher does not mention is that Viator went on to become even larger, stronger, and more muscular under Jones' tutelage. How much of that Viator owed to Arthur Jones' instruction, or how much of that Viator would have attained training by himself using traditional methods as the years went by and he gained muscle maturity, is open to conjecture, as the world will never know.

The historical fact is that Viator did build a good physique on his own, met Jones and built an even better physique under Jones' instruction, and went on to have a great career and become a legend in bodybuilding.

And Arthur Jones is a legendary figure in bodybuilding and fitness himself, and so I will be delighted to read all the recollections and historical information you have on Jones, whether it concerns bodybuilding or Jones' life in aviation and other affairs.

Looking forward to reading this thread very much, learning from it, and perhaps chiming in from time to time if permitted.
 

alfresco

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More than interested in this! First gym I ever worked at was a Nautilus franchise gym!

Not sure 'franchise is the right word. They could use the word 'Nautilus'
at no cost but I think that is where the relationship ended. They were
'independent'. At least that was my understanding. I could very well be
wrong here.

Nautilus could had been as big as Nike but it was not managed that well
(my opinion) and I don't think Arthur was interested in the hassles and
was starting to lose interest in bodybuilding as time went on. He had a
very low opinion of most of them and less so as time later on. Same with
doctors. I have seen him rip doctors a new a-hole, tell them in person
how stupid they were. But they kept coming to his seminars (I was put
through a set of leg extensions by him at one seminar). But it was body-
builders who played a huge part of getting Nautilus started. I think it was
a love / hate relationship at best.
 

alfresco

Featured Member / Kilo Klub Member
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Registered
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Jul 29, 2006
Messages
2,058
Ron, you know I would love to read all of the historical information you've got, and I would especially like to get your personal views and insight into them, as a witness and participant to the events, and with your own recollections of the situations and people involved.

Every day we are losing more important figures like Jones to the inexorable ravages of time, and if people like you don't tell their stories, and set out what you know on the printed page (or at least on a computer screen), then those stories and the true record of the past will be lost forever. Everything possible needs to be written down, or future generations will never know what truly happened, and how they can learn from our successes and mistakes.

"The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory"...

There are few figures as important as Arthur Jones to the history of fitness, resistance training exercise, and "bodybuilding", however we wish to define that term. As you mentioned, his influence is there in every gym in the world, whether the people training and working out there realize it or not.

At the risk of derailing the thread already, I would also like to get your input on strength coach Marty Gallagher's recent article referencing Arthur Jones, Casey Viator, and the famous (or infamous) Colorado Experiment. Gallagher's point being that, as Arthur Jones himself noted in an article he wrote in the April 1971 issue of Muscular Development, the 19-year-old Casey Viator had already achieved a hell of a good physique by himself, using only the traditional barbell/dumbbell exercises, before Viator ever met Jones, or used a Nautilus machine.


Of course, what Gallagher does not mention is that Viator went on to become even larger, stronger, and more muscular under Jones' tutelage. How much of that Viator owed to Arthur Jones' instruction, or how much of that Viator would have attained training by himself using traditional methods as the years went by and he gained muscle maturity, is open to conjecture, as the world will never know.

The historical fact is that Viator did build a good physique on his own, met Jones and built an even better physique under Jones' instruction, and went on to have a great career and become a legend in bodybuilding.

And Arthur Jones is a legendary figure in bodybuilding and fitness himself, and so I will be delighted to read all the recollections and historical information you have on Jones, whether it concerns bodybuilding or Jones' life in aviation and other affairs.

Looking forward to reading this thread very much, learning from it, and perhaps chiming in from time to time if permitted.

Thank you Sides. I will do what I can here to satisfy your hunger. I know you are sincere
and have a great mind for this stuff. I hope I can live up to your expectations. Please do chime
in. I value your input.

I have lots of info on the Colorado Experiment, in fact all the workouts that Casey did, number
of calories consumed, etc. And I have talked with many times the 'scientist' who oversaw the
'experiment'. (Sadly all the the information associated with it is gone, was not kept.)

Arthur clearly stated this, this was about rebuilding previously existing muscle. He made no secret
about that.

Yes, Casey looked good before he hooked up with Arthur. That is why he chose him. It was a
business arrangement really. And he looked way better training under him. Who knows what
he could have looked like had he continued along that path. (His physique had some flaws that
I don't know could be overcome, Nautilus or no Nautilus.) Or could he have done so without
Arthur and just barbells?, I can't answer that. Nobody can. But read the link below. Very
interesting. It might go a long way in answering some of your Casey questions.


When I am sure there is enough interest, I will start posting fotos and letters. I hope it is good
enough and not disappointing.

Too much hype on my end . . . we will see.

And I will read the link you enclosed.
 

alfresco

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Definitely IN...would be neat to know more about his mindset and influences which ultimately led to what we have today.

I do have some info on that. Much came later, after the fact but he was a
very curious man by nature, questioned most everything and was willing
to experiment until he found an answer, if there was one. He had many
unanswered questions, questions that I don't think at the time, or even
now, anybody knows the answer to. He had a brilliant mind and was able to
connected seemingly unrelated events and but them to good use. He was a
'generalist' and he mistrusted so called experts.

He always said that if you knew the outcome of an experiment it was not
an experiment.
 

alfresco

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Messages
2,058
Definitely IN...would be neat to know more about his mindset and influences which ultimately led to what we have today.

That is a tough one. You would have to been born him and lived his life.

It was a long journey that started in Tulsa, OK and one that eventually
led to a design failure on machine he built in Africa that failed so miserably
that the solution became obvious. Or appeared to be obvious and the
beginning of many failures to which we we know know as Nautilus.

It was one step at a time, solving one problem after another. A long journey
I will attempt to shed some light on. It may not answer your question, may
pose more questions that I cannot answer but I hope it is a fun and interesting
journey. It will be told by many people, not just me.
 

Dugbet

Well-known member
Registered
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Oct 6, 2020
Messages
1,325
He was a fascinating character, the kind of guy that you never end up knowing enough about him, I think he didn't get all the attention he deserved, this thread can be great if it serves to create a legacy.
 

wutang

Active member
Registered
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
181
I have a vast amount of material on Arthur Jones and Nautilus. More than
everybody else in word combined. No shit. A small amount is in the public
domain, most is personal material that Arthur Gave me. I was very
fortunate to have known him for years many dating back to the 70’s up
until his death, where prior to that I lived with him, at his house, on and
off for many years where I cooked, cleaned, shopped, got mail, visited his
friends, had interesting friends visit, etc. and was privy to many conversations
(some taped) until late at night. Never boring. He had an underrated sense
of humor and he was always very generous and kind to me.

This may be old news for some, new news for others . . . just setting the stage.

Bottom line . . . I am willing to share what I can with everybody here, if there
is any interest. (Some is very personal and can’t be divulged out of respect for Arthur.)

If the response is scarce, negative and or PM is not receptive, I will not continue. Fini.

Some information has never been seen publicly which I have scanned already
and will be easy to post up, some I will have to scan myself. No biggie.

Beware . . . some, but not all, is about exercise. Remember, Arthur was rich
and poor many times, was involved in aviation, TV and movies, with wild
animals for perhaps longer than he was with exercise so there is some real
history here. But there will be plenty of bodybuilding stuff to come. Just hang in there.

But . . . I do not want, will not be part of a debate about exercise techniques or
styles or whatever. Please go somewhere else for that. I will quit contributing
to this thread if that happens. This is not an idle threat, I just seen too many
threads go sideways and I don't want this to happen here.

This I would like to think of as a history lesson about an inventor, aviator, and a
very smart, influential, and unique person who changed many aspects of exercise,
bodybuilding, etc. forever. It is impossible to walk into any real gym today and
ignore his influence in my opinion.

And I will be happy to entertain any questions you may have. I don't have all
the answers, will try to not speculate, but will give you an honest answer if I
have one.

Please let me know who is in and who is out.
Huge fan of Arthur Jones! Hank Grundman, who along with his wife created the Iron Man competition. In 1979 just out of high school I worked as a security guard in the condo that he lived in, The Esplanade. He opened and owned the first commercial Nautilus gym in Hawaii. He gave me this old paperback book and said, "If you read this you will know more about Nautilus and Jones' training method than 90% of the people out there." That book changed my life. It was my training Bible and I read it many times. I forget the name but it was read and I think it had a pic of a lady doing the pullover. It's tucked away somewhere. Soon after that, I discovered Mike Mentzer and he really inspired me.

I would love to hear anything and everything you have of Jones. What an experience it must have been spending so much time with him. It seems that Ellington Dardon has strayed quite a bit from Jones/Mentzer/Yates training philosophy.

One of the biggest tragedies in resistance training is how few know who Jones was. They have no idea that virtually all the modern machines they are using today stem from Jones' creation. They don't even notice the cam on the various machines. I was speaking with a personal trainer in his forties that been a trainer for a living for almost 20 years and he never heard of Jones.
 

Bio

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Messages
6,607
Of course I'm in! I'm bodybuilding history geek!! Alfresco if this doesn't get quite the response you were hoping for please post some things up anyway because now you have the bodybuilding geeks chomping at the bit for some real history!

To those of you that have any interest in this, please like Alfresco's initial post or take a second to respond with the word 'Interested' at minimum!
 

alfresco

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Of course I'm in! I'm bodybuilding history geek!! Alfresco if this doesn't get quite the response you were hoping for please post some things up anyway because now you have the bodybuilding geeks chomping at the bit for some real history!

To those of you that have any interest in this, please like Alfresco's initial post or take a second to respond with the word 'Interested' at minimum!

Thank you Bio. You and all the other are keeping me motivated. This
will take a while so be patient and hold on to your seat.

It is no small task, will no small amount of time but I more than happy
to share what I have. It is fun for me revisiting. There is a lot of material
I cannot post out of respect from Arthur (letters he had written,
conversations (some I have on tape) we had when he was a mercenary
in Africa but more than enough keep every happy and interested I hope.

I will do the best I can with what I have. That is all I can do. Like I said earlier,
much of the info has to do with him and wild animals and the animal business.
But lots of bodybuilding stuff also that many / most have never seen.

It was a literal gold mine when he send me over to his storage locker to look
for something. I would be gone hours looking through his stuff.

He never complained to me about anything and he had much to complain
about considering the physically and mental rough life he had.

He left me many unpublished manuscripts (animals) that I wish I could share
but can't with a clear conscience. But some of the bodybuilding stuff is in
the public domain aside from the material he gave me. Towards the end if his
his life he was really ambivalent about just about everything. But the phone was
always ringing (I always answered it, acting like a filter), friends would drop by,
some bat shit crazy (many stole things from him) and some really cool people
in the iron game going way back to when he trained at Joe Golds Gym, Arthur
called Joe Bullet Head) and people wanting to reconnect or get an interview
.
And he also quit writing. His typewrite just sat in a table in the corner of the kitchen
unused. But I would, now and again, send him books and articles I though
interesting. AT first he would rite back than later nada. When I called and
asked how he was doing the response was always 'just waiting to die'. Sad.

He was always surprised at the books and people I could locate. And he would
always ask what they said about him which always surprised me, like he cared.
 

alfresco

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A good place to start.

Sorry about the poor resolution. Can't squeeze in a bigger image and the
best resolution, 300dpi. It can be read with a little patience. I will try and
figure out a better way in the future. But for now . . .
 

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