Up until the release of isokinetics.net in May 2000 isokinetics and isokinetic web pages had usually been to sell you something. The largest manufacturers like Cybex and Biodex had their own web sites but they contained little information on actually using their own products.
Cybex and Biodex relied on training courses, manuals and books to teach people how to use their products. This was fine if you could get on a course and if there was one near to you. But not so good if you started work in a department with a machine (which you often spent many months looking longingly at) until your manufacturer deemed it suitable to get some expert (normally from a university) to come and teach a course.
Biodex went further and had a University of their own running a series of accredited courses (try getting on all of them!) whilst Cybex performed great research exalting the values of their machines - which were often sat in the corner gathering dust as no one in the department knew how to use them (people in the real world change and leave jobs often in between courses it's very inconsiderate).
I was in the same position!!!
Isokinetics and isokinetic testing had been part of my course at university. We had a Cybex (Cybex Orthotron II) isokinetic system which was at the time state of the art (as far as isokinetics went). By today's isokinetic or active dynamometer standards it was rudimentary to say the least.
Working in local hospitals the opportunity to work with an early Biodex system finally arrived.
Most of the tests were isokinetic concentric knee flexion and extension tests and exercises (as the Biodex expert didn't recommend shoulder testing).Mainly on patients after surgery most notably ACL reconstructions. The bulk of the work was post arthroscopy of the knee
I coveted that machine and looked longingly at it whilst watching the only member of staff who was trained to use it test and rehabilitate her patients on it. Patiently we all waited until an expert (a rep from the company) came to teach us how to use it (originally they had sent Zevi Dvir!). Finally I was into the elite sports muscle testing world. Of interest we also had a Biodex balance performance monitor which I also had to wait for training on!!
Isokinetic testing and exercising was a buzz area and I tested anyone I could. I used normative isokinetic values at first (still used by Biodex whilst Cybex have the group summary function) but rapidly moved on to muscle ratios across the joints (quads to hamstrings), between the sides (right to left), and within muscle ratios (concentric to eccentric). You might call this early muscle balance testing.
It seemed bizarre to wait for training so I decided to help teach the new members of staff how to use isokinetics so they didn't have to wait for the company expert to start using the machine. It went so well that a local hospital asked me if I would run a course for their staff.
Excited I wrote a large handout (100 pages - it was my first course) but at the last minute they pulled out! My manager felt my pain and said we should advertise the course and see if anyone wanted to attend. We did and the first course was so over-subscribed we had to borrow a Cybex Norm to go along with our Kin-Com AP. Obviously the rep did not trust us to use their latest machine on our own and attended the course as 'an adviser' That day he asked me if I would teach for Cybex and I have ever since! The handout was so big it really wasn't suitable for print and as I had a background in computer programming I decided to make it into a web site.
Isokinetics.net was born! (5th May 2000) We are now on the 3rd incarnation of the site
Since then I have worked with the TechnoGym REV9000, Biodex System 3, Cybex lift task, Eurokinetics Isocom, Humac Norm, Biodex System 4 machines. I have been privileged to help develop an isokinetic machine, worked with safety standards regulators, been involved in countless pieces of research. Taught across the world at some of the best medical and academic institutions and made many friends (one of whom never gets the credit for this journey he deserves or ever asks for - Mr. Dennis Griffin - from Pheonix Healthcare).
In January of 2003 the site finally broke 1 million visitors and after winning an award that year it reached 8 million visitors in total.
And so the story goes on ..............