Eugen Sandow, ‘What is Physical Culture?’, The Gospel of Strength According to Sandow (Melbourne, 1902).


Perhaps I cannot do better than begin this series of talks with one which shall serve as a definition of Physical Culture. First of all, I should like to make it clearly understood that I do not propose by my system to produce a nation of athletes. To make a heavy-weight lifter, or a runner, or a wrestler, is to apply Physical Culture to weight-lifting, or running or wrestling, as the case may be but Physical Culture pure and simple is the development along natural lines of that wonderful combination of muscles that the Creator has given to man and woman. Indeed, the reader will find that the keynote of this booklet is Nature, and that the word ” Strength” in the title refers rather to perfect robustness of constitution than to mere muscular power that permits of a man performing Herculean tasks.