Category: Basics

Robert Fitzsimmons, ‘A Chapter for Women – To Gain Beauty with Strength’, Physical Culture and Self-Defense (London, 1901), 47-50.

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Muscle Building Will Bring Charms that the Toilet Table Can Never Furnish

MUSCLE building brings beauty to woman. This brief statement is sufficient, I think, to I make many women embark upon a physical development course. What will woman not do to become beautiful? They—some of them, at least—powder and paint, and bleach their hair, and do all kinds of other foolish things in an attempt to improve their appearance. If they but knew what a routine of daily, healthful exercise would do for them they would soon forsake their toilet tables for the gymnasium.
There is nothing in this world more lovely than a beautiful woman. There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than a browned, rosy­ cheeked, full­chested, straight—backed woman. Let her be all these and she is certainly queen.

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Interview with Wisdom of the Body’s Rob Allen

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Many of the early physical culturists stressed the relationship between mind and body, viewing the two as symbiotic. The drive towards the physique above all else is a rather more recent phenomenon. It is for this reason that I am delighted to have had the opportunity to speak with Rob Allen from Wisdom of the Body. As you’ll quickly find out, Rob’s philosophy on training and life encompasses that mind/body holism preached by men like Sandow and Hackenschmidt. No doubt you’ll enjoy reading his responses as much as me. Who knows, you may even learn something!

Guest Post:Athletic Training Through History

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Every major professional athlete today knows how important it is to have a good trainer. And if you look back in history, you’ll see that their profession, in one form or another, dates back to the Greek civilization and their organized sports competition, which included the Olympic Games. In case you were wondering how those trainers developed into the ones we have today, here is some interesting information for you.

Guest Post: The History and Significance of Meal Replacements in Fitness and Beyond

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Everyone enjoys a delicious mouthful of food, but not everyone has the time to fully appreciate it. We are talking, of course, about bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and people who follow strict diet plans in general. Not only that, but being able to cook food on a daily basis has become wishful thinking nowadays, as the fast-paced way of life makes it difficult to find the time to enjoy a hearty home-cooked meal.

You might think that this is a modern trend, but the reality is that people have been searching for a way to make nutrition more efficient for centuries. Concretely, there has always been a need and a desire to reduce the time it takes to prep a wholesome mealwithout skipping on the nutritious goodness. From unsavory high-energy fruit-and-meat blends all the way to today’s “healthy” meal replacements, the history of these foods and products is long and quite interesting. Let’s take a look at how it began, and where it has led us so far.

Guest Post: The History of Sports Medicine

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Sports medicine, as you probably know, is the branch of medicine dealing with injuries and illnesses resulting from participation in sports and athletic activities. Very few people have never had their knee, leg, back, shoulder or hand injured as a consequence of playing sports. Luckily, today we can enjoy the benefits of many breakthroughs and rapid developments in this field. However, we should acknowledge that it has taken a long time to reach the present heights.

Bill Piche, ‘Information Overload’, Hardgainer Magazine, July/Augudt (1999)

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You must go slow. You must go fast. Supplements are good. Supplements are bad. Do 20-rep squats; no, do heavy singles. You must bulk. You must keep your bodyfat as low as possible. Cycle your training. Split your training into phases. Time your sets with a stopwatch. What program are you using: Heavy Duty, Hardgainer, SuperSlowTM, Periodization…? Talk about information overload! It’s a wonder most new trainees don’t just grab a beer, a bag of chips, and become a couch potato watching TV!

Triple H, ‘Eating on the Road’, Triple H’s Approach to a Better Body (New York, 2000)

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Thanks to a schedule that keeps me on the road over two hundred days out of the year, this area has become my specialty. Charles Glass and one of his partners, noted nutritionist Mike Watson, have given me so much valuable guidance related to eating, but none may have been more important for me than their ability to get me over my fear of fast food. The fact is, you should always go with real food over supplements. So if you have to choose between another protein bar or a stop at Wendy’s … pull over at Wendy’s. Just be careful of what you order.

John Kuc, ‘A Guide to Thigh Development’ (1984)

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When I did the original outline for this article I tried to think of an appealing title. Many trainees do no leg work at all, and those that do usually do not do enough. I thought an appealing title might entice some of them into including leg work in their training programs. I later decided that an honest evaluation of the pros and cons of leg work would be the best enticement.

I won’t try to deceive anyone; leg work done properly can really be tough. There are no easy leg exercises, and to be effective you really have to go all out. This is one factor against leg work. The fact that your legs are normally covered is the second factor. Most individuals prefer to work the muscles that are seen by everyone. Also, some leg exercises require a relatively heavy weight to be effective. Heavy poundages seem to create a mental barrier for some individuals. Combine all these factors and you can see why leg work could be ignored.

The Birth of the Arnold Strongman Classic

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Earlier this year we were treated to perhaps the most exciting Arnold Strongman Classic to date. We saw Hafthor Bjornsson win the event for the second year in a row with a domineering display of power. The ‘Wheel of Pain’ from Conan the Barbarian made an appearance and it was joined by an exact replica of the famed Husafell Stone. The competition itself, and its sponsor, Rogue Fitness, spared no expense or difficulty in devising a truly remarkable show.

For those unaware of the Arnold Strongman, the competition is an annual gathering of some of the strongest athletes in the world held as part of the Arnold Classic, a multi-sporting event hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. While the Classic itself began in 1989, largely as a bodybuilding contest, it has grown since then to include everything from Ninja Warrior to fencing. It’s this multi-sporting appeal which resulted in the inclusion of a strongman event.

Regular readers of the blog will no doubt be asking why a strongman event came to the Arnold. After all, the World’s Strongest Man contest (WSM), as detailed previously on this site, had been running since the late 1970s. Herein lies the beauty of the Arnold strongman. Whereas the WSM is often times decided by a combination of muscular strength and athletic endurance, the Arnold, as conceived by the Todds, Peter Lorimer and Arnold Schwarzenegger, is interested solely in brute force. In the WSM, a competitors’ endurance is often a limiting factor. This is especially the case in any long distance carrying events or lift for reps features. In the Arnold, the lifts are closer to one rep maxes or are done under very strict time limits. The thinking behind this is that the Arnold is a better indication of who is the strongest man while the WSM combines strength and endurance. Think of the Arnold as a test of strength alone.

Now while that is simplifying things somewhat, it provides a nice indication of the organiser’s initial motivations. So with that in mind, today’s post takes us back to 2002 and the inaugural Arnold Strongman Classic.

Guest Post: The History of Physical Fitness

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Society often makes certain demands on the level of physical strength of its members. This is especially the case in times of primitive communal systems. Yet even then, even in ‘pre-modern’ societies, there were peculiar principles of physical education, because a person’s life was largely dependent on their physical qualities.

Today, fitness is still of paramount importance to health and well-being. With that in mind, the following post details a brief history of physical fitness.