Did the Astronauts do Strength Training on the Trip to the Moon?

Testimonial NASA Astronaut Physical Conditioning Director

In regard to the Exer-Genie Program with the NASA MSC Astronauts, we have found that Exer-Genie exerciser has been a must for our program being of lightweight material it proves to be adequate for spaceflights, and it is ideal for a quick workout for the Astronauts when he is on travel.

The Exer-Genie exerciser has played an important part of our rehabilitation program, especially in knee and shoulder injuries. We feel that the Exer-Genie exerciser is a durable piece of equipment that can be relied on to get the job done of keeping our Astronauts fit for their spaceflights.

Of no other piece of equipment, that I have used while with the Space Program, can I make such a statement. Any additional information needed, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely, Joe D. Garino Astronaut Physical Conditioning Director

Why did NASA chose this Tool to do the Strength Training?

NASA was attracted by the lightweight and small size of the Exer-Genie Exerciser and decided to put the exercise concept to the test to see if it could provide a valid method for exercising astronauts in micro gravity. Using the Lockheed Human Performance Laboratory in Sunnyvale, California, NASA scientists put the Exer-Genie Exerciser and the isometric/variable isokinetic method of exercise through a series of extensive studies.

The Results validated the tool to be perfect for Strength Training

NASA found the Exer-Genie Exerciser was not only feasible but

  • was effective in conditioning muscle fiber and
  • maintaining bone mass in micro gravity.

In terms of time, space and equipment the Exer-Genie Exerciser proved to be a more efficient system of exercise than conventional methods. As a result, the Exer-Genie Exerciser was used in the Apollo Space Program, and played major role in keeping the astronauts fit for their 500.000 mile journey into space on Apollo 8 which orbited the moon 10 times, as well as on the Apollo 11 flight to the moon with crew members Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

The Scientist behind it: Professor Lawrence Morehouse

When NASA consulted Professor Lawrence Morehouse, Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of California, he discovered that short, intense periods of exercise (as little as five minutes in duration) spaced throughout the day were the key to combating muscular atrophy and strength loss. Shortly thereafter, the medical establishment implemented this same strategy with virtually all post-operative patients and began having patients begin walking and moving at the very first opportunity. The result was that patients healed faster and with fewer complications.

The ROM Machine

Dr. Lawrence Morehouse founded UCLA´s performance laboratory and wrote sections on exercise and physical conditioning for the Encyclopedia Britannica. He designed NASA’s fitness and strength training program for the astronauts. Most notably, he discovered that a combination of exercises – one for short periods of time daily – can provide all the muscle developing, stretching, aerobic stimulation and cardiovascular conditioning most people need. Dr. Morehouse’s findings revealed that we need very little exercise each day – if it is the right kind of exercise.