The B.A.W.L.A. Primary Physical Improvement Course c. 1948

This course of exercises is suitable for youths and men who are commencing weight-training and for boys of twelve years or over. The muscles are exercised through the full range of contraction, thus eliminating the possibility of “muscle binding.” The routine is intended not only to normalise the muscular development and build up strength, but also to tone the respiratory and circulatory systems, to improve the posture and to increase suppleness.

Exercisers should be clad in a swimming suit or a pair of neat-fitting trunks, socks and rubber-soled gymnasium boots (or shoes). Keeping warm is essential and if the weather is at all chilly a woolen sweater should be worn. Exercising in trunks only is not recommended except in hot weather.

Training sessions should last not more than one hour and should take place in the evening. Three periods weekly (e.g., Monday, Wednesday and Friday) are usually most suitable, but those who are engaged in other forms of activity may train 4 or 5 times weekly according to their individual reaction to the work.

The routine has been arranged so that the minimum number of weight changes is necessary and so that the most vigorous work takes place at about the middle of the session. The exercises should be performed in the order given and exactly in the same manner described. The poundages given after the description of each exercise include the weight of the bar and collars and are intended only as a guide as to what weight should be used at the commencement.

These poundages should be suitable for the average beginner of 17 or 18 years of age and who weighs about 10 stone stripped. It may be necessary to reduce these poundages or to increase them in some cases according to the strength-ability of the pupil.

The weights used should be increased gradually according to the improvement in strength, the average increase about every two weeks in the early stages being 2 1/2 lbs. in the upper body exercises and 5 lbs. in the exercises for the larger muscles of the legs and back.

Schedule No. 1

A Body-Warming Movement (“Half Snatch”

  1. Two Hands Curl
  2. Press from Behind Neck
  3. Rowing Motion
  4. Deep Knee Bend
  5. Press on Back
  6. Stiff-Legged Dead Lift
  7. Heels Raising
  8. Side-Bend
  9. Rectangular Fix
  10. Abdominal Raise
  11. Pullover at Arms’ Length
  12. Wrestler’s Bridge

Each exercise to be performed in 10 consecutive repetitions, except Exercise No. 7 which should be performed in 2 groups of 15 repetitions.

Intermediate and Advanced Schedules

Schedule No. 2

A Body-warming Movement (“Half Snatch”)

  1. Two Hands Press
  2. Two Hands Curl
  3. Deep Knee Bend
  4. Bent Arm Pullover to  Arms’ Length
  5. Heels Length

Schedule No. 3

A Body-warming Movement (“Half Snatch”)

  1. Alternate Press with Dumb-bells
  2. Rowing Motion**
  3. Side-bend with Dumb-bell
  4. Stiff-legged Dead Lift
  5. Wrist Movement

Schedule No. 4

A Body-warming Movement (“Half Snatch”)

  1. Press Behind Neck**
  2. Zottman Exercise
  3. Abdominal Raise (Note: It is preferable at this stage to perform this exercise while lying upon an inclined board or plank, the feet being held at the upper end by means of a strap placed around the ankles)
  4. Straddle Exericse
  5. Lateral Raise Lying

Schedule No. 5

A Body-warming Movement (“Half Snatch”)

  1. Lateral Raise Standing
  2. Rectangular Fix**
  3. Alternate Swing
  4. Press on Back (Note: This exercise is best performed with the shoulders resting on a low bench or stool)
  5. Raised Pullover at Arms’ Length

The movement should be performed exactly as described in Exercise No. 11 except that the shoulders should be raised from the floor by resting them on a high cushion in order to increase the range of movement.

The exercises in Schedules 2 to 5 (with the exception of Exercise A) are to be performed in 2 to 4 groups of 8 to 10 consecutive repitions, except 5, Schedule 2 (heels raising) and 5, Schedule 3 (Wrist movement), in which groups of 15 repetitions are to be used.

Where the time available for training or the pupil’s energy-reserve demands that less work be performed, the exercises marked * may be omitted at the discretion of the instructor.

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