Thursday, July 16, 2009

ENDURANCE by Earle E. Liederman - Author and Publisher, (1926), - Chapter 14

As several times previously I have stated, what are exercises of endurance for one may be muscle-building work for another. Hence, experimenting must or should be done by the individual himself, to determine in what class certain exercises belong, so far as he is concerned individually. As endurance work places a heavy demand upon the lungs, and also as most forms of leg work tire the respiratory organs quicker than any other type of movements, it is necessary that special attention should be applied to all leg exercises.

The common deep knee bending exercise consists of squatting down until practically sitting on the heels and then rising again until the legs are straight. This really is a movement of endurance, for, with a little practice, it can be done hundreds or times without stopping. In the beginning, however, to one who never before has fully bent his knees ten times, it quickly will cause fatigue; but rapid progress can be made in this exercise so that after a few months one, two or three hundred repetitions can be made before the student becomes winded or the muscles tired. This indicates the rapidity with which endurance will follow the determination and use of proper methods to acquire it.

After you can perform one hundred and fifty or two hundred deep knee bends without stopping or becoming winded, you must have resistance to work against, or a bar-bell or someone sitting on your shoulders, to make this movement a muscle-building one. As your legs become stronger and your wind improves, the continued practice of deep knee bending or squatting with the same weight on your shoulders day after day will make this an endurance movement, for the legs will have become so muscular and strong and the wind will have become in such excellent condition that one hundred or more repetitions readily can be performed—unless the weight is increased as the legs become accustomed to the work. By the continual increasing of the weight or resistance the work becomes progressive, and naturally comes under the classification of muscle-building exercise.

For the individual well along in years or the one with a weak heart, no progressive work should be indulged in, and the deep knee bending exercise, if done at all, should be performed very slowly, with a slight pause after each movement so as to give the heart, wind and thigh muscles a chance to recuperate. In this manner endurance movements can be performed, regardless of what the individual’s organic condition may be, except, of course, serious cases under medical care; and progress can be made in added repetitions rather than in progressive resistance.

For instance, let us say that ten counts will be sufficient for the beginner who never has bent his knees in exercise. After three months he easily can perform one hundred repetitions; after six months, two hundred; and so on. Of course, such exercise would become very monotonous if no objective were in view; for this reason a limit should be drawn as to the amount of endurance work desired. If you intended to use your thighs and wind in mountain climbing, naturally it would be advantageous to you to be able to perform five hundred deep knee bends without stopping, as this would help you greatly in your proposed climb; you would find that the endurance you had acquired from the deep knee bending exercise would help you greatly in walking up seep grades, step over step. If you did not indulge in such exercise before attempting a long and laborious mountain climb you would experience fatigue before making much headway up the mountain. But if you did not contemplate performing such a pastime or any other strenuous indulgence that would be a test of your endurance powers, it would be absurd to attempt to work up to five hundred deep knee bends, for what would be the object? Without a definite objective I am sure that between one hundred and two hundred deep knee bends would give you sufficient endurance in the muscles of your thighs for all ordinary demands of daily life or emergencies.

For the muscles of the knee, the ordinary rising on the toes is an exercise that can be continued for a great number of counts. If this work is to be made progressive, you must work against a strong resistance such as by elastic or spring exerciser, or hold a bar-bell, or a heavy weight at your side while performing this movement. But as the calves are used continually in every-day walking, they are naturally somewhat hardened against exercise so that they cannot be enlarged easily, and yet they are capable of great endurance. Even the average individual, unaccustomed to any form of physical activity, has muscles of the calves capable of propelling the body in walking for great distances. The size of the calves does not need to be given any consideration in respect to endurance. I have seen men with large muscular legs who tired very quickly in walking, and others whose legs had absolutely no muscular shape whatever who were capable of walking mile after mile without giving their legs a thought. As for preparing the muscles of the calves for endurance, I think that the best form of exercise would be heel-and-toe walking. In beginning this heel-and-toe walking you will find that the muscles of the shin play a more important part than do the muscles of the calves, as they will tire more quickly. Of course, the heel-and-toe walk is really muscle-building work for the beginner, but for the experienced walker it becomes an endurance exercise. It will be logical exercise, then, for strengthening the muscles of the shin in order to give the region below the knee greater endurance.

If you sit down in a chair and lift your feet off the floor, point your toes downward and then bring them upward toward the knee as far as they will go, you will find a strain placed upon the muscles on the outside of each shin. By bending your ankles upward and downward in this manner you exercise these muscles. Roller skating and ice skating tire these muscles of the shin very quickly, as you have found out for yourself if you do any skating.

If while sitting in a chair with your feet off the floor you are capable of raising and lowering your toes for a few hundred repetitions, you will give these muscles excellent work which will help you greatly in your endurance work performed with the legs. Deep knee bending, of course, brings into play these muscles to an appreciable extent. And while it is true that you are exercising chiefly the muscles of the thigh in performing the deep knee bend, nevertheless as the other muscles are brought into play the exercise is classified under group work; and muscles exercised in groups always have more power and coordination than muscles developed individually.

The hips also come into action in practically all forms of leg work, and strong hips are to be desired. The finest exercise for the hips that I know of is to walk rapidly through the water when it is about knee deep. By plunging forward, taking as long steps as possible, you will find that you quickly will become fatigued in the hip region. Also, walk backward in the water as rapidly as possible.

There are many who cannot do this exercise except when in bathing and many have no bathing facilities. These must indulge in other forms of hip movements. I suggest reclining work; that is, exercises performed while lying on the back, abdomen, and either side, and raising the legs upward from these positions. These exercises give direct exercise to the hip muscles.

Walking up a steep grade or up flights of stairs also is an excellent movement for the hips, but such work borders on muscle-building exercise unless, through practice, you are able to walk up twenty or thirty flights of stairs without experiencing fatigue, or if you are able to walk up a steep grade for a quarter of a mile or more without becoming breathless, you can secure excellent endurance work for the hips by such exercise.

The arms always have interested me. I have enjoyed beholding massive, knotty muscles, and it is my opinion and belief that the arm never can become too large in size. I have seen so many strong men with splendid necks, fine chest and backs, and well developed legs, whose arms spoiled the contour of their physiques owing to the fact that they lacked proportionate size. Every time you move your arms you use your chest, shoulder and back muscles, as well as, in certain movements, the muscles covering the abdomen. Because of this, it is my opinion that special attention should be given to the arms, so long as they move practically all other parts of the upper body.

Do not misunderstand me, and think that you should neglect the shoulders, back and chest because of this statement. You should exercise the other muscles just the same, but you should give a little more thought to and put a little more effort into your upper arms. Strong arms are in demand and need many times; and their coordination with the shoulders, back and chest will prove invaluable in performing endurance work.

One of the most valuable arm exercises of which I know and which will bring into play also the abdomen, chest, shoulders and back, is rope-climbing. To be able to climb hand over hand up a rope, time and time again, is really an endurance feat. That it requires great strength is true; but as the repetitions can be performed many counts it should be classed as endurance work, just as lifting a fifty-pound dumb-bell overhead three or four hundred times should be classified as an exercise of endurance. To lift a fifty-pound dumb-bell once is strength work for the beginner, and to endeavor to climb the rope seems quite a stunt to the average individual; but it is something that should be mastered, for the coordination and endurance that you will acquire from this exercise may prove invaluable in saving your own life or that of another.

The triceps muscle on the back of the arm can get sufficient work by the dipping exercise. This may be performed while lying flat on the floor and pushing up with the body rigid, or it can be performed between two chairs or parallel bars. In either case one can progress until able to perform the floor dip over one hundred counts and the dip between parallel bars over fifty counts without stopping because of fatigue.

To obtain coordination between the muscles used in rope-climbing and those used in dipping between parallel bars, I suggest and strongly urge you to include a little horizontal bar work into your program. If you have no horizontal bar convenient, the same work can be done on the side of a fence, on a partition wall, or on any other object that you can reach from the ground. First pull yourself up until your chin looks over the bar, fence, or other support, then pull upward a little higher until you are able to place one elbow over the bar or fence. Then quickly place the other elbow over, and finally pull up until both arms are straight and you are resting entirely on your hands with the bar or fence rail at your hips. In other words, you should be able to climb over a fence or any object that is in your way in one continuous motion. This movement will give you coordination between your biceps and triceps and would be of great value should the occasion ever arise for you to save yourself by climbing. Actual rowing is an excellent exercise, also, for developing the biceps and triceps and coordination between these muscles.

By the above it will be understood that I advocate outdoor exercises as well as indoor exercise for the obtaining of endurance. I know from my training experience that unless you actually perform open-air sports or pastimes calling for endurance you never will become proficient in them. You can exercise faithfully in your bedroom, perform the deep knee bending movement, many times daily, do calf and shin work and the hip work until the muscles ache, and yet if you were put to the test of running up-hill you would find your respiratory organs sadly lacking in endurance. For satisfactory results you should combine indoor exercises with actual endurance work out of doors.

The same principal can be illustrated by swimming movements. After learning the motions of the crawl stroke, while you are lying in your bed or on a cot you can go through every motion with your arms, shoulders and even to the fluttering of your feet. Yet if you had had no actual experience in swimming you would lose the coordination learned in land swimming as soon as you hit the water. Of course, the knowledge of the movement would go a long way towards helping you to master actual swimming in a shorter time than without this knowledge.

But even though you were able to swim and stayed out of the water for a year or more and simply performed the movements of swimming, you would not be able to swim such distances from such practice as you would if you did actual swimming daily. It is like learning boxing in the privacy of your own room. It reads good on paper, and as you shadow-box you knock out every imaginative opponent with whom you are boxing; but even with such knowledge, and experience, were you to put on the gloves with a fairly experienced boxer you would be found wanting.

The only thing that you actually can do in the privacy of your own bedroom is to build up your body. You cannot learn to excel in any sport and you cannot obtain endurance indoors. Such quality of movement must be done in actual practice.

Competition is the greatest means of obtaining this practice and you would do well to indulge in as many forms of competitive exercise as possible. Let us suppose that you are a fairly good swimmer and that you can swim a quarter of a mile before experiencing fatigue. If you had someone who could swim a little better than you to swim with you for the same distance it would force you to make better time in the water. Perhaps the first time you might experience great discomfort at the completion of the quarter-mile swim; but after a while it would become easy, and a half-mile swim would interest you more than ever before.

Rarely does anyone extend himself to his limit of speed or endurance without competition or self-preservation in view. If you should be in the habit of starting out alone to take cross-country runs, endeavoring to see how quickly you can make certain distances at a rather brisk trot, you would be surprised at the much better time in which you would make similar distances if someone were racing or even running with you. And you might smash all records if you were running for your life.

It can be appreciated, then, that incentive plays an important part when it comes to extending ourselves. Just as it is quite difficult for an individual living alone to exercise day after day to build up his body, so it is difficult for an individual to adhere steadily to efforts to obtain or increase his endurance powers all by himself. Where two or more people exercise together, each one taking turns at performing movements and each one trying to outdo the other, rapid progress can be made in body building, just as track records are broken in competition which never would be broken if the runner or hurdler, or whatever he may be, were performing the work alone.

It is not the purpose of this book to give you a great variety of exercises for body-building or movements that you should follow to obtain endurance. I have herein mentioned but a few of the best movement or exercises, merely as suggestions; but experience will teach you, through the practice you will undergo with your exercising, the best movement or series of movements for your case. In another book, Muscle Building, I have gone more fully into anatomical conditions and specific exercises.

I repeat that the main object of these pages on endurance is to awaken you fully to a realization of the value of the possession of coordination, strength and endurance sufficient to save your own life—or that of another, possibly someone more dear to you than your own life. However, I hope you will never be put to the test. Anyway, I hope the suggestions and advice contained in these pages will arouse enough enthusiasm within you to make your sports and pastimes more enjoyable.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FORGET LABELS — JUST TRAIN HARD! - By Bob Whelan

Reprinted with permission of Hardgainer, Vol. 9, No. 1 (July-August 1997)

Many people make strength training a lot more complicated than it really is. I get phone calls all the time from people who say they want advice but just end up sucking the energy out of me because they can’t grasp the simplicity of training. They don’t realize that regardless of what mode or method you use, the foundation remains the same.

Many people are looking for a magic formula of success, not advice. They panic when they can’t get the exact number of reps in the bench press that the training cycle they are following says they should (cycles are a rough guide, but no guarantee of training success). They get hung up on minor details and want to “label” the type of training that I do, or think is “the best.” They don’t realize that there are many ways to train hard and productively. You don’t have to train using just one of them.

Strength training is at least as much art as it is science. Only you know what works best for you. Keep good training notes. Log every workout in detail. Learn from your training. Keep your training simple, because strength training is simple. Don’t let academic types confuse you (many of them enjoy doing this). Remember the foundation—train the whole body hard with an equal emphasis on pushing and pulling, with progression as the top priority. Many modes and methods can be used to do this. Focus on the basic multi-joint movements, eat right, and get plenty of rest. That’s it! Shake the dust off of your copy of Brawn, and reread the book. “Hard,” “safe” and “productive” are the only labels that are needed to describe your training.

Mix It Up

Even though you should train brutally hard, you should enjoy it! Stuart described this well in Brawn as “the joy of effort.” It’s all a matter of thinking. If you learn to enjoy training hard, you are more likely to be consistent. You will not stick with something that is viewed as drudgery. Enjoy training! One of the best ways to enjoy training is to “mix things up.” This will renew the enthusiasm of both your mind and body, as well as produce more balanced conditioning.

I have spent a good deal of my training time doing low reps and singles, but I also do 20-rep squats, 50s days, and high reps. I’ve used multiple sets for many years byt am currently getting good results using only one set to failure for each exercise. I’ve used both free weights and machines, and have even experimented with various speeds of motion. The point is that many modes and methods work, but it’s how you use them that counts. Don’t waste energy arguing about which one is “best” because there is no point. Try the different modes and methods yourself.

Every three or four months, change your routine. Make some big changes. Do 20-rep squats for four months, then do 10-rep squats for a while. Four months later, go down to 5 reps. I couldn’t imagine doing 20-rep squats all the time! And I couldn’t imagine doing low reps all the time either. After about every four months my joints want a change. Train with no rest between sets while doing a brief workout of no more than 30 minutes. Four months later, give yourself some rest between sets and see how heavy you can go! Use your imagination and go with your instincts. Listen to what your body is telling you—only you know how you feel. Make the changes needed to keep your enthusiasm high so you can really attack the equipment when you train. Don’t get hung up on labels as this only limits the tools you have available for building your body.

I don’t train my clients using one rigid training program. I usually start them out with higher reps, and then after several months, when they have a good foundation, we’ll try some new things. We do a 50s day once a month (usually the first workout each month), complete with Doo-Wop 1950s music blasting on the stereo. (Fifties day means 50 reps each on five different machines, for a one-hour workout.) As my clients come in the door and hear Buddy Holly or the Platters (not the marines) they scream, “Oh no! It’s 50s day!!” (This makes torture fun!)

Around the 15th of the month, for a change of pace, I’ll put my clients through one workout of extremely slow movements. I’m not an advocate of training this way all of the time, but have nothing against anyone who does, as it works for sure. Every two weeks my clients get hammered with something radically different. It keeps their body shocked and off guard, and morale and motivation high.

For the past two months I’ve been training Melvin Tuten. Melvin is a huge man, 6-7 and 335 lbs. He is an offensive tackle for the NFL Cincinnati Bengals. Because of the severe flooding in the Cincinnati area, he has stayed home (in Washington, D.C.) during the off-season and has been training with me.

On a recent 50s day Melvin got 540 lbs for 50 on the Hammer Iso-Lateral Leg Press, with a dead stop pause on each rep! He is now doing mainly a moderate to low-rep high-intensity program. But we mix it up and throw in 20 reps on the Tru-Squat sometimes, along with a 50s day, a slow day, sandbag, etc.

Mind Games

Manage your own progression system. I have always believed in progression by performance, not time. All my clients have to earn a poundage increase on the basis of the performance of their previous workouts. I have never believed that you can forecast increases according to a schedule. If you get stuck on a particular poundage, you must learn to be your own sports psychologist and play games with your head.

I frequently lie to my clients and don’t tell them the weight on the machine or bar, even if they ask. I sometimes tell them that I took off weight when I really added weight. They don’t know what to expect, so they can’t worry about not getting a certain poundage. As a result they just focus on pushing or pulling as hard as they can.

Anyone who has had success in strength training ahs had to master their mind. If you train alone, this is more difficult, but this is a challenge you should enjoy and must master if you are to maximize your potential. If, for example, you get stuck with 245 x 5, 5, 4 and can’t seem to get the 5, 5, 5 that you want, change the goal for a while. Try a week or two with sets of 4 at 255, try a triple with 265, or a double with 275. Go to failure with 215, or do just 2 sets of 5 and get rid of the third set!

If you keep good notes you can make the proper changes to avoid a mental rut, and have new goals on an almost daily basis. You are your own coach and must find ways to keep your mind positive and fresh. Then go back to 245 after a few weeks, but with a new outlook.

Effort Is The Key

A barbell, Hammer machine, Tru-Squat machine, or dumbbell will not produce good results unless the person using the tool is willing to put forth the consistent effort required. If anyone tries to tell you that they have the “only way to train,” or even “the best way to train,” don’t listen. If they say it is the best way for them to train, that’s different. But if they use a blanket statement and say they know the best way for everyone to train, they are ignorant. Many times they have something to sell you. They may want you to go along with their “program,” buy a book, or pay for a certification program, etc.

Mike Thompson and Drew Israel train very differently if you look at modes and methods. But so what? Both their approaches work. If, however, you look at the basic core foundation, they are similar and sound. Neither is better than the other. Through trial and error, and by listening to their own bodies, both men have found what they enjoy and what works for them. You should do the same.

ENDURANCE by Earle E. Liederman - Author and Publisher, (1926), - Chapter 13

There is very little enjoyment in merely looking on at life; there is much more thrill and excitement in being one of the players. How many times have you watched the stout, lazy-appearing fellow, trying to interest himself in an athletic event or in some demonstration of athletics going on in front of him? And how often have you observed the weak, thin individual doing the same? The fat one has amusement in his eyes, for the antics and quick movements of the youths before him interest and cheer him. The thin one will have a different expression. His will be one of admiration and envy combined; his longing to duplicate the movements of the performers before him is much keener than that of his stout friend. But both of them would be much better off by participating in some form of activity than by idly sitting and watching, either eagerly or amusedly. The longer the fat man sits the lazier and stouter he becomes, and the longer the thin man waits the weaker he becomes.

Inactivity is a forerunner and a cause of decay. If you strapped your arm to your side for thirty days you would be astounded at the difference in size between the arm that was strapped and the free arm. I dare say the strapped arm would lose several inches in girth and any bit of muscle and strength that it had possessed would be practically gone at the expiration of that time. As long as physical activity is essential, I cannot understand how anyone would purposely neglect his body and allow it to accumulate fatty tissue or, should he not be inclined to take on weight, become thinner and weaker and more sickly. What enjoyment can such types of youths and men really get out of life?

There is more to life than working, eating and sleeping. Life should be considered a privilege, and not an obligation. To the one who is overburdened with weight and whose internal organs are sluggish, it is an effort to move about; consequently he rests considerably more than does the thin, fidgety, nervous individual. The stout man puffs from the least exertion, and were he to run the short distance of one hundred feet he might experience heart pains, not to mention breathlessness and fatigue. It is an effort for him to climb stairs. If he but realized, he would feel vastly different if he adopted physical culture, he would have much more vitality, and he would have much less desire to sit around and do little or nothing. He most certainly would take more pleasure in his experiences than from any artificial thrills that money can buy. Outside of being able to float on the water, the fat man is practically helpless when it comes to saving his own life. He cannot run, he cannot jump, he cannot climb; and in addition, when ordinary physical exertion is required he needs help.

The thin man possesses more irritability of muscle than the stout one and, naturally, is more inclined towards activity. Even though his body may be weak, his mind is willing. However, the thin man is more inclined to follow endurance work; and, therefore, as long as endurance movements are natural with him he should stick to that until he has obtained the vitality energy and health that will give him the ambition to adopt heavier training methods.

The stout man, of course, must first of all exercise to reduce the superfluous flesh covering his muscles, for with too much fatty tissue he cannot expect ever to have any amount of endurance. His ambitions may not be as high as those of the thin, sickly man who has awakened to the value of health and strength in all their phases; but every stout man surely longs to be rid of some of his fat with as much longing as his sluggish desires permit. If formerly he had possessed sufficient ambition and energy he never would have become fat; he never would have allowed the belt to become gradually tighter around his waist. But physical laziness creeps upon one very insidiously.

A few minutes of bending and twisting movements soon will reduce his waistline, much more rapidly than he may imagine; and as he goes further into physical culture methods, he will find himself gradually becoming more interested in strength work than in endurance work. This progression is natural, because the less flesh one has on one’s bones (within reason) the more rapid of movement one becomes, while fat people are slow-moving individuals and are apt to take to slow motion (strength) exercise. After reducing his waist the fat man should interest himself in strength-building exercise until he has enough strength and development to be able to handle his body with east. At that time it will be quite natural for him to interest himself in endurance movements. Although a stout man may be possessed of much patience, he would find himself becoming very impatient if he were compelled to undergo endurance work at first. Of course, there are exceptions to this general tendency. I am basing my statement upon personal observations and experience with thousands of individuals during my lifetime of teaching.

In these ways the thin man and the stout man can eventually obtain the muscular activity both in strength and endurance to be fully capable of protecting themselves in emergencies. If you are fairly well developed and athletically inclined, perhaps what I am writing may not especially interest you; but let it be a warning to you always to keep in condition. But if by chance you are a reader to whom these words “hit home,” why not now, before you lay this book aside, resolve to take up physical culture in all its branches?

The size and shape of the muscles often indicate their quality, though there are exceptions to this. I believe that muscles which are trained down to a fine point never will possess the endurance qualities of muscles that are covered by a slight fatty tissue. In the first place, a muscle that is used excessively is continually tearing down tissue; and if the muscle consists of nothing but muscle fibre continual movement will be forced action, drawing heavily upon the nervous energy. If there is a little fatty tissue covering the muscle, this tissue will be burned up first before the muscle is forced to act solely by nervous energy.
I do not mean that an arm, for example, necessarily must be fat in appearance in order to possess endurance qualities, for anyone who has seen photographs of George Hackenschmidt, the former world’s champion wrestler, knows what huge, knotty muscles this famous athlete possessed; and yet he had remarkable endurance powers. His muscles, however, were not cordy or trained down to the degree of those of Eugen Sandow. Sandow undoubtedly possessed the most symmetrically developed body and the finest muscle contour of any athlete, either in this or recent past generations. Yet it is not on record that Sandow accomplished anything in the way of endurance; his muscles were remarkable for immediate action and lifting of enormous weights. But I doubt very much if Sandow in his heyday possessed half the endurance of most of our present day boxers, runners, or swimmers.

Sandow must have performed an untold amount of work and exertedtremendous effort in order to attain the physical perfection he possessed; but he probably never did any endurance movements to any appreciable extent. Hackenschmidt, on the other hand, brought heavy dumb-bell exercise into his training program; but he also was a wrestler and often wrestled for hours at a time, and it was these long periods of wrestling that gave him the huge and powerful muscles, wind and endurance that he possessed.

I have been many marvelously developed athletes whose muscles stood out in huge knobs all over their bodies and who were very pleasing to look at, but I could tell at a glance that their muscles were incapable of performing endurance work.
It may be of interest to relate a personal experience, showing how the muscles undergo a change from time to time. About ten years ago my upper arm measured relaxed thirteen and a half inches, and when flexed sixteen and a half inches. This difference of three inches was brought on by the contractile power I had in my biceps and triceps. I had developed my arms by progressive exercising, such as I am teaching today to my students who are desirous of becoming strong and muscular. Upon becoming interested in endurance work I found, after adding endurance movements to my daily exercising period and combining them with my muscle- and strength-building exercise, that after a few years my upper arm still remained the same when flexed, sixteen and a half inches, but when relaxed it measured fourteen and a half inches, showing a gain of one inch in tissue and losing one inch in contractile expansion of flexion. The contour of the muscles remained practically the same when flexed, but when relaxed my arms now appeared considerably thicker than they did in the years before I became interested in endurance movements.

Perhaps you may become somewhat discouraged by my experience and the fact that, though I have continued to exercise for so many years, my arm has remained the same in size. So let me call your attention to the fact that I am no longer a “kid,” and my desires to become as large as possible are over. Now I am exercising daily merely to keep in condition and to retain the development that I built up through my previous progressive efforts. I no longer perform progressive work to any marked degree, so far as muscle-building and strength exercises are concerned; for I am firm in my belief that, as I have elsewhere related, to continue progressive work year after year as one nears middle life is unwise and may bring on disastrous results. When once you have developed your body, a little light activity will keep it in shape.

The only thing you can progress in, then, is endurance; and endurance movements, if not carried too far, will prove of great benefit not only to the muscular system but to your internal organs as well. When you are doing anything calling for endurance your heart and other organs will tell you when to stop, and the only time you should continue endurance movements beyond this point is when you are in competition and some destination or goal compels you to continue. But unless you are thoroughly prepared to withstand such attacks upon your body, you will find that disastrous results will follow.
For example, it would be foolhardy for you to enter a marathon race if you never have run more than a mile or two before. It would be equally foolhardy for you to attempt to swim for a mile if the farthest distance you have heretofore made was half a mile. A boxer never would attempt to fight twenty rounds if on numerous occasions during his preparatory training for the contest he had not been able to box much more than twenty rounds.

Only the other day I entered a pool for a swim. I decided that I would swim a mile. Now many times before I had made this distance, but on this particular day the air was chilly, my muscles were cold, and my stomach was empty, and the thought of the next meal was a pleasant one. However, I dived into the water with full intentions of making the distance, fifty-three laps to the mile. Lap after lap I crawled through the water, but at about the thirty-fifth lap I felt as though I had had enough. Some inward physical warning told me not to continue. I could feel the first dull pull at my heart--that feeling that is experienced by anyone performing endurance work. Immediately I came out of the water. I believe that had I gone the other eighteen laps and completed the mile swim, I might have overtaxed my heart, perhaps not dangerously but enough temporarily to interfere with its rhythmic beat and action; and every physician will tell you that continued forced muscular exertion, stimulating heart action and producing strain, eventually will cause dilatation and perhaps permanent enlargement or valvular leakage.

So, if ever you are performing exercises of endurance you should always be guided by the feeling of your organs, just as you are guided by the feeling in your stomach when it is calling for food, or the dryness of your mouth when you crave water. If you go against the laws of nature you will bring trouble upon yourself. Therefore, in all endurance exercises be sure to progress in moderation.
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT

Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

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