Category: Basics

Bradley J. Steiner, ‘Diet And Rest’, Powerlifting (1972)

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Aside from your mental state, which is entirely within your capacity to control, there are two other items that you can fully regulate most of the time as well: your diet and the amount of rest you obtain. Both are as essential in building strength and size as is exercise.

Strength is built on solid foods. Meat, fish, poultry and eggs. Milk and cheese. Thick hearty soups. Whole grain bread. Fruits and vegetables. All sorts of nuts, beans, peas. That’s good eating. That’swhat you need to build strong, solid, healthy muscles! Two nice-sized meals a day are usually enough for most mature people who train. Many people can easily do with three big meals a day, plus one or two healthy snacks if they train hard and try to couple it with a full-time job and family responsibilities.

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Marvin Eder and the Four Hundred Pound Dip

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Few bodybuilders and weight trainers are unfamiliar with the dip exercise. A favourite of Vince Gironda, albeit with some modifications, the exercise is a prime builder for the chest and tricep muscles. Done correctly, the exercise is for my money, up there with the bench press. Done incorrectly, you’re just flopping up and down.

While records on the Dip exercise are few and far between, I wanted to write a short post about Marvin Eder’s incredible feat in the early 1970s, which saw him parallel dip over four hundred pounds!

The History of Protein Shakers

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Before beginning, I have to thank a series of individuals for their help in devising this article. The good folks at DavidGentle.com and Ironhistory.com helped point me in the right direction for the earlier history of the shaker. Likewise Ron Campbell’s Bodybuilding Books and Magazines group on Facebook which provided several leads which helped sharpen out the later history of today’s post. Finally Dr. Ben Pollack and Paul Becker from the Rheo H. Blair website were incredibly giving in their time and knowledge.

With that in mind, I’m now going to undoubtedly bastardise and misinterpret all the information garnered from the above individuals but hey, such is life! Today’s post is possibly the most innocuous but to my mind fascinating one yet. It is the history of the protein shaker, that plastic bottle currently fermenting your last whey protein shake in the bottom of your gym bag. Now the reasons for this are simple. Protein shakers have become increasingly popular over the last decade in particular. When I began working out drinking from a protein shaker was a universal announcement that you were a dumb meathead. Nowadays on my morning commute I see office workers, mothers, children and everyone else in between sipping water and a cacophony of drinks from their shakers. So shakers have become cool, and as is our nature on the site, we want to know more about the pre-history.

So with that in mind we’re going to trace the history of the protein shaker, from the early iterations to the modern day bottle. In doing so, it’ll become clear that the shaker is a fascinating symbol of the fitness industry’s acceptance within mainstream culture over the past several decades. It is the Trojan Horse for meatheads seeking acceptability.

Guest Post: The Origin, History and Evolution of Yoga

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Yoga is a spiritual discipline, which focuses on establishing the balance between the mind and the body. Many people enjoy it across the world and it’s one of the most popular ways of exercising and relaxing.

However, while most of us love doing yoga, not so many people know a lot about it.

Here is how yoga developed over the years:

A Quick History Of Fitness

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Photo by Jonathan Colon.

Many people believe that the health and fitness craze is something new. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The history of physical fitness dates back to the beginning of mankind. People throughout history have partaken in certain physical exercises for numerous purposes. In the past, these exercises were essential to improve the individual’s strength and speed so they could escape from predators and other dangerous situations. Today, exercise is different. It is done for health and some people exercise as a hobby. Within this guide, you’ll learn a little more about the history of fitness.

Dennis Weis, ‘Bits of Advice & Routines Number 6’, Iron Man Magazine, March (1977).

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At this point in my series of articles I think it is appropriate to introduce one of the greatest Super Stars in the physique world past or preset. The man is Boyer Coe. From my observations of people who are interested in physical development and physique contests, there are usually one or two men who will stand out in an individual’s mind as being at the top in their chosen field which in this case is physique contestants. The two men who immediately come to my mind are Chuck Sipes (who I have already discussed in detail) and Boyer Coe. I am not even going to attempt to describe his sensational physique. I would probably waste at least 4 to 5 paragraphs describing Coe and still not come up with a description which would do justice to him. All I can say is to study his photos which are published in just about every issue of Iron Man Magazine.

Kathleen Engel, ‘Put Size on Your Thighs with Nasser El Sonbaty’, Muscle & Fitness, 63: 6 (2002), 134-138

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For Nasser El Sonbaty, who has spent 19 years torching, torturing and otherwise harassing every muscle fiber on his 5’11” frame, there are two absolutes. “The first thing is consistency; the second, intensity.” Given his behemoth lower quarters — complete with voluminous muscle bellies, subterranean separation, Gibraltarian density and shape — we took notes.

Nasser pounds his quads once a week, his hamstrings twice. He is loath to describe an actual routine. “To tell you the truth, my routine is always changing. When it comes to quads, I do squats, legs extensions and hack squats, but the order of the exercises changes, the amount of sets for each exercise changes, and the amount of rest between sets changes.” When he trains quads and hams together, he varies the order from workout to workout. “If I think I need more leg development, then I train quads on Monday morning and hamstrings Monday afternoon. Then on Friday I’ll do hams and quads again.”

Guest Post: The Roots and History of Golf

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As with any other modern sport, the early origins of golf stretch thousands of years back. A game similar to what we know today as golf was played during the reign of Julius Caesar, and has gone through various changes until it became the modern-day sport. From striking a feather-stuffed ball with club-shaped tree branches, to a game where a leather ball was hit with the intention of reaching a target, several hundred yards away, to hitting a ball through hoops using a hammer ‒ various nations had different versions of the game, but the roots of today’s game are traced back to 1457 in Scotland.

The History of the Goblet Squat

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Some exercises prove so simple and effective that we often take their existence for granted. The goblet squat has for me, been one such exercise. Over the past five years I’ve helped numerous friends begin their journeys into the lifting world with the aid of this trusty mechanism. While not everyone is as enthusiastic about the Goblet Squat as me, the exercise is a great primer for people learning about correct squat mechanisms. Furthermore it has proven a godsend in opening my hips before a heavy set of squats on leg day.

So what exactly is a Goblet Squat? Who invented it and how did it rise to popularity?

Dr. Ken Leistner, ‘Hip and Thigh Power’, The Steel Tip, Vol. 1, No. 12 (1985).

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Heavy training for the hips and thighs gives the trainee the most return for the effort expended, but is usually not at the top of the list of “Favorite Modes of Training” due to the discomfort one is subjected to if the training is intensive enough to stimulate gains. The earliest lifting advice I received as an aspiring football player was to train the hips and thighs heavy, hard and consistently, even if it meant reducing the work done for the other body areas. Great gains in “overall body strength” come not from bench press specialization programs but from thigh, hip and lower back work. The proviso is that one train in a meaningful and productive manner, truly taking each set of each exercise to the limits of one’s momentary ability.