Here is a little Bio on him-----
US entrepreneur whose multifarious activities included devising the Nautilus exercise machine
Arthur Jones was not only a wild-animal importer and a film-maker but also one of the most important figures in the field of exercise science.
He invented the Nautilus exercise machine, which, in promoting short bursts of high-intensity exercise rather than hours of lower-intensity exercise, and replacing the “dead weight” of barbells with variable resistance, transformed strength training and opened it to recreational athletes.
Jones was born in Arkansas in 1926 into a medical family that moved to Seminole, Oklahoma, in 1929. He had little interest in formal education, left home in his early teens and spent several years travelling in the US, Canada, Mexico and Central America, doing a variety of jobs along the way. During the war he served in the US Navy in the Pacific.
On his return from the war he opened a zoo in Slidell, Louisiana. Having learnt to fly aircraft, he also operated an airline, using surplus B-25 medium bombers, to carry cargo from Latin American countries. Jones’s interest in wild animals inspired him to start importing them for zoos, pet shops and researchers.
“Over a span of several years, I imported a greater variety, and far greater numbers, of animals than everybody else in the world combined,” he said later. These animals included hundreds of thousands of monkeys and fish.
In 1956 he made a film while capturing hundreds of crocodiles in Africa. It was aired on the ABC network the following year, and Jones worked subsequently as producer for more than 300 films for television, including the series Wild Cargo, Capture and Professional Hunter. In the mid1960s he moved to Rhodesia but returned two years later, when the Government, objecting to Jones’s wild-game business, took over his assets.
Another long-term interest was exercise; Jones had been lifting weights in order to bulk up since his teens. While other people admired the results, he was not satisfied: “I ended up with the arms and legs of a gorilla on the body of a spider monkey,” he said. “I figured there was something wrong with the exercise tool.”
But he was unable to find anything helpful in the scientific literature on exercise physiology, and many scientists of the day believed that barbell training was worthless and even dangerous, making people “muscle bound” and causing heart problems. So Jones designed and built a score of exercise machines based on his own observations about strength training.
He observed that muscles need time to recover, and that he could therefore achieve good results even through short bursts of activity; and that leverage can affect results. Jones designed his machines so that they created different sorts of resistance – “direct”, “rotary”, “ variable” and “balanced”, and enabled athletes to move a varying amount of weight during one repetition.
Jones was unaware of the work of the Swedish doctor Gustav Zander, who had made similar machines for therapeutic exercise 100 years before: “If I had known about, and understood, Zander’s work,” he said, “it would have saved me a lot of time and a rather large fortune in money, because that man was a genius; his only problem was that he lived about a century ahead of his time.”
Having completed his first Nautilus machine, the Blue Monster, in the late 1960s, Jones presented it at a Mr America contest in California. Planning to sell his machines, he took Arthur Jones Productions as a company name; it was later changed to Nautilus, because of a resemblance between the shape of the nautilus shell and the eccentric pulleys used in Jones’s machines.
Fitness training became more popular among ordinary people in the 1970s, and Nautilus Inc expanded quickly, opening clubs throughout North America. Sales of the machines put Jones on the Forbes 400 rich list, and at one time it was estimated that Nautilus was grossing $300 million a year.
Jones sold his interest in Nautilus in 1986 for $23 million. He used some of his money to buy 600 acres in Florida, where he installed his private zoo – claimed to be the largest private zoo in the world – containing 90 elephants, three rhinos, a gorilla and 4,000 alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gavials. He also founded Jumboair Aviation Estates, a “fly-in” community in Ocala, one of whose residents is the actor John Travolta.
He later began to develop a machine particularly for those with lower back pain that analysed the strength and range of joint movement in the lumbar muscles and exercised them accordingly. The invention turned into the company MedX, which he eventually sold in 1996.
Jones’s financial record was not unmixed, and his relations with the US tax authorities and with some of his business partners were occasionally fraught. Among his less successful projects was an abortive venture into video production with G. Gordon Liddy, notorious for his role in Watergate.
Jones was proud to be a generalist but reserved a particular enthusiasm for “younger women, faster airplanes and bigger crocodiles” – as his motto went.
Jones married six times (all his wives being between the age of 16 and 20 at the time), and divorced six times.
He is survived by two sons and two daughters.
Arthur Jones, inventor of the Nautilus exercise machine, was born in 1926. He died on August 28, 2007, aged 80