Weston Price and Bodybuilding


Earlier this week, Physical Culture Study was lucky enough to chat with Sally Fallon Morrell, the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. For those readers who are unaware of the Foundation’s work, the WAPF has spent nearly two decades educating people on healthy dietary practices.

Advocating the consumption of saturated fats, raw fullfat dairy and a host of other supposedly ‘unhealthy’ foods, the WAPF can be seen as a sane voice in a world of low-fat fanatics. More recently, the Foundation has spearheaded the move to make raw milk sales legal into all 50 American States. With 42 down and only 8 more to go, few would bet against them.

So without further ado, check out a rather enlightening discussion with Sally.


In both the bodybuilding and fitness community more generally it is commonplace to see diets that are high in lean cuts of meat, carbs and low in fat.

How does the Western Price diet differ from such approaches and what do these approaches lack?

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Lessons to be Learned from Strongmen, the Modern Titans


Our latest post comes from the wonderful and talented Samantha Olivier from Ripped.me. We’re delighted to have Samantha featured on the site again and know you’ll enjoy her latest piece.

Some things never grow old, or they even age like wine. Strongmen rise as champions in the most formidable arenas and forge their muscles in the fires of most astonishing physical activity. These behemoths have proved that some rules are set in stone, and that following them brings stellar results. They look as if nothing can stand in their way, ready to take down a mountain with bare hands if need be. So, what is there to be learned from these professionals who always seem to perform to the best of their ability?

Foundations of excellence

The lessons that can be learned cover not only physical, but also mental excellence. Strongman competitions are arenas where one must not let anything stand in the way of physical performance and inner focus. Physical strain and demanding competitions weigh heavily on the mind, apart from going hard on the bodies. Everyone messes up sometimes, even the best of the best. The trick is to pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes.

Before you know it, the next competition comes and you need to leave regret, self-pity, and frustration behind. It is not that strongmen do not get consumed by anger. What separates them from the lesser mortals is an ability to burn that excess anger and deal with it privately, using personal rituals. Prior to spotlight time, they do not walk around nervously, busting their heads. They switch to a different mindset for building confidence and utilize techniques such as box breathing in order to relax.

Furthermore, anxiety is something that we all have to cope with. What strongmen do is melt that notion with the art of impeccable preparation. This involves making yourself ready for all the possible scenarios, including a change of rules, mean competitors trying to push you out of balance, poor organization of the event, media pestering, etc. They also must prepare the necessary equipment because they cannot rely on others to do it for them.

Walk among the titans

Brute strength can make a difference, but without a flawless technique, it is not worth much among the titans of sport. It takes an incredible amount of time and effort to perfect it, and you have to train in a way which emulates the real thing. If you are troubled by potential mistakes, well make them in the gym, before you enter the real arena. And note that strongmen do not like gimmicks and unnecessary complexity. Their training routines are on-point, simple and highly-effective.

If you want to look at how others do it, always focus on those who have proved their worth over and over again, displaying incredible mental and physical feats worthy of true giants. Embracing the strongmen mentality could help you take on any challenge in life. So, do you have the mental tenacity, physical capacity, can rely on quality gym wear, and have a plan in store? With the path seared into your brain, and your body prepared for the trials and tribulations ahead, not much can go wrong.

Remember that when you push your body to the limits, it is mental strength that allows you to go an extra mile. Strongmen know exactly what to eat, when to relax and rest, and how to train. This holistic approach allows them to reach their full potential, unlike people who make the mistake of training too often and hard, hoping that will take them far. And if you think your troubles are menacing, how about not being able to walk to the bathroom the morning after a competition? Compared to what strongmen face, your problems probably look petty.

Reaching new heights

Famous strongmen always stand as true paragons of physical greatness. They do not carry the weight of the past, they are focused on what lies ahead. So, strive to push the boundaries: start small, but never seize dreaming big. You do not want to just survive another day in the gym, but to bounce off its walls. The path to dazzling success is paved with blood, sweat and tears, not daydreaming, grief, and self-doubt. These things spiral downward quickly and never let you see the heights of strongman-grade grandeur.

Sandow and Stout: An Irish Story


The Irish alcohol industry has, at its core, always been particularly adept at marketing. From Whiskey to Guinness, sellers have used a variety of inventive advertisements to flog their wares to a thirsty public. Illustrating this is today’s post about a strange encounter between Eugen Sandow, a Prussian born strongman and Murphy’s Stout based in County Cork, Ireland.

The above image depicting Sandow lifting a horse overhead was one of many used by the brewing firm in the early years of the twentieth-century to promote their stout.

So how did Murphy’s come to secure the image rights of one of the world’s most popular figures? The answer seems to have come down to sheer serendipity.

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6 Truths About Modern Weight Loss Programs



When you have a keen interest in the history of fitness techniques, it gives you an interesting perspective on the more modern trends. They come and go like the seasons, and, if this blog is still going in thirty years, no doubt I’ll be writing about their impact – or lack of. That said, no matter what fitness plan or weight loss regime you are doing, some things will always remain the same. Here are six truths about modern fitness and weight loss programs.

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A Helpful Guide For Boosting Post-Workout Recovery

It can be easy to get carried away with pumping yourself up for your big workout. But some people forget to take the right steps after a workout. Sometimes, what you do post-workout is the most important thing for getting results. Since mass gaining mostly occurs while you sleep, you want your body to be primed for recovery.

Focusing on recovery also helps to prevent injuries and gives you more energy for training the next day. There are a few simple steps you can take after your workout to boost recovery. Here are some of the things you’ll want to do.

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Pioneers in Strength Sports


As Jan Todd noted in her article on classical fitness systems, physical culture historians have tended to devote their attention to the latter half of the nineteenth-century and beyond. This has, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to a dearth in materials on the forbearers to modern strength training and strength sports.

Weightlifting, as we well know, is a millennia old tradition, practiced by warriors, athletes and lay trainers for a variety of reasons. Owing to the difficulty in finding accurate sources however, the historian is often left frustrated in their efforts to track down famous figures from the past. Indeed, most work on early 1800s strength training is the result of persistence and luck.

Today’s post on a Mr. Thomas Thompson, an early English strongman is entirely the product of luck. Though almost untraceable in the secondary literature, Thompson’s feats of strength, if true, were remarkable even by today’s standards.

The following source on Thompson comes from the January edition of Chamber’s Journal:

On March 28, 1841, Thomas Thompson lifted three barrels of water, weighing together 1,836lbs. He also put an iron bar on his neck, seized hold of its two ends and bent it until the latter met.

On another occasion he raised with his teeth a table 6ft. long, supporting at its furthest end a weight of 100lb. He also tore without serious effort a rope of a diameter of two inches and lifted a horse overhead.

Although the extract ends quite abruptly it certainly piques the interest. Was this Thompson actually the famed Thomas Topham, whose strongman feats fascinated the writer J. T. Desaguliers? Or was this an entirely different man who lived during the same time?

More research is needed on this point but suffice to say that the human desire to lift heavier and heavier weights is not a modern phenomenon!

Marian Mason: England’s Trailblazing Woman of Fitness

Delighted to have featured once more on Doing History in Public, an initiative run by the students at the University of Cambridge.

Doing History in Public

By Conor Heffernan

Although sporting historians have long noted the importance of English women in the development of sport in general, few studies have devoted themselves to the study of gymnastic exercise systems such as callisthenics. This has done a great injustice to Marian Mason, England’s first female physical fitness instructor who, beginning in the 1820s, ran one of the most sought after training studios in all of England.

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Don’t Buy Supplements Without Reading This First!

In recent years, the amount of people taking supplements for fitness purposes has risen tenfold. They can increase strength, energy and focus during your workouts. Some can even support muscle growth, enhance the immune system and improve joints. So it’s not hard to see why they have become so popular. But when all supplements claim to help us reach our fitness goals, how do we know we are buying the best?

Like most things, some supplements work more effectively than others. So the more knowledge you have before you buy, the more informed your decision will be. If you’re interested in buying a supplement to aid your workouts, here are some things you need to do first.

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Scots v. Sandows


Though the fitness industry of the early 1900s pales in comparison to the present, there is little denying that the twin evils of advertising and marketing were as important back then as they are today.

This was especially the case for Eugen Sandow, whom many credited with having the world’s most perfectly developed body. This claim, as can be guessed, often invoked the ire of Sandow’s fellow physical culturists who felt that although genetically endowed, Sandow was far from the world’s best athlete.

The animosity between Sandow and others in his field often prompted weightlifting competitions between Sandow and others, the most notable being the contest between Sandow and a fellow showman by the name of Samson. On this occasion, Sandow not only matched his competitors feats of strength, but bettered them.

This contest took place in the early 1890s and from then on, Sandow was regularly described as one of the world’s strongest men. It is surprising to note then the relative calm that surrounded newspaper reports in 1898 regarding Sandow’s defeat in a weightlifting competition.

The competition, which has seemingly evaded the historian’s eye up to this point, saw the Prussian showman attempt to set a record in the One Hand Lift. Despite achieving a rather impressive lift, Sandow was on this occasion, denied.

According to the Amateur Weightlifting Club in London, a body overseeing such records, Sandow’s 180 lb. lift was ineligible for the record as it had been matched by two of the club’s members.

In fact, one such member went even further and lifted 200 lb. in one hand thereby surpassing Sandow’s record by a whopping 20 lb. The man in question was Launceston Elliot, who just two years earlier had secured a gold medal in the 1896 Olympics. Hailing from Scotland, Elliot had actually be trained by Sandow in his early teen years making his achievements over Sandow’s records even more interesting.

Despite the fact that the pupil had far surpassed the teacher, newspapers of the day remained relatively neutral about the event. Elliot continued his weightlifting and showman career well into the 1920s but could never come close to Sandow’s marketability despite his superior strength.

A timely reminder that the media and advertising often influence who rises to the top in the fitness game!

Those Must-Try Activities For All-Round Fitness

The vast majority of us want to be as fit as possible. Yet, that can be difficult to achieve. This is partly due to the nature of our lifestyles. It can often be difficult to find ways of incorporating fitness into our daily routines. However, there are a number of ways that you can make sure that you are getting the kind of exercise you need. In this post, we will go through some of the best activities for all-round fitness. While certain things are great for calorie-burning or toning, all of these are excellent all-round options. Let’s take a look, now, at what they are.

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