Sunday, December 12, 2010

Message from Todd Baisley - Great Iron Nation Endorsement

Bob, 

I wanted to say thanks for ...  [Iron Nation].  Your cast of characters and their insights and stories are great. I remember sleeping in a gym a couple times (though never for years), working out on zero sleep many times, digging my barbell out of the snow in north central N.Y. and chipping the ice off the collars when living in a mobile home. The first year we were married, a general practitioner misdiagnosed me with cancer because I was passing blood after drinking two or three quarts of whole milk every single day of my life for 6 years despite being somewhat lactose intolerant. I still remember one of my first HIT style workouts about 16 years ago. It was between classes at college. I hit about 8 or ten sets hard, thought I was kind of OK, till the front squat/deadlift superset caught up with me 10 minutes later and I started blacking out in the hall going to my next class. Lastly, I remember jogging 7and a half miles through Panama in the middle of the night with my workout partner as we hit the always open gym that the grunt detachment had on the married housing base after working a late shift and being unable to go to our gym on Ft. Davis. 

... your book brought back many memories and as a solo trainer, ... I agree 100% that methodology is not the thread that binds natural lifters together. It is a love for lifting and a sometimes out of balance commitment to train hard and regularly. 

Thanks to you and Drew for putting together such a great book .... It really brought a smile to my face. 

God bless and have a great holiday season. 

Todd


[Ed Note: Todd Baisley is the Author of: Workforce Warrior -- Thanks for the nice message Todd. - Bob]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Iron Nation Review by David Webster

IRON NATION

By Bob Whelan and Drew Israel

The sub title of this fine new book is ”Passion for Hard Training” and the authors have this passion in abundance. Bob and Drew are two hardcore Iron Game enthusiasts in their mid-fifties who have had many years of experience in different aspects of training with weights. They have been involved in powerlifting, martial arts, personal training and a whole lot more. In addition they are academically qualified in such subjects so have balanced personal profiles of theory and practice.

Their approach in this substantial volume has been to add to their own experiences by incorporating interviews with, and sections from, other well-known and respected individuals in the industry. These include such as Vic Boff, Bill Pearl, Dr Ken Leistner, Stuart McRobert, Randall Strossen, Steve Pulcinella, Bill Starr, Clyde Emrich – I could go on, there are around three dozen in total and I was pleased to see one of this illustrious band was an old friend and fellow country-man, Mike Thomson.

The fund of training information and inspiration is clearly the most important part of the book and I am not going to spoil it for you by quoting from this absorbing publication.

There is however one part I feel bound to give special mention. Many of us knew and loved IRON MAN magazine. Readers that had the good fortune to meet the publishers also loved Peary and Mabel Rader. The section on this couple is fascinating and left me thinking that the hardships they suffered and the efforts they made must had played a major part in moulding the lovely, modest  personalities of this great couple. Brief samples of their story include the information that every day Peary rode horseback six miles to go to school.. In 1917 Mabel was born in a sod house built by her parents who had travelled from Kansas to Nebraska in a covered wagon! As a school girl she and her sibling also travelled to school on horseback, five miles in their case. Peary and Mabel’s  progress in setting up and publishing the magazine a makes a great read, especially since from their humble beginnings they eventually travelled the world to international events including the Olympic Games.

One of the many good things about this book is that you get the feel that you get to know quite a bit about the various characters, thus increasing the interest and value of their training wisdom.  If you want to get good results you will certainly be successful if you  closely study this book and develop a PASSION FOR HARD TRAINING.

-David Webster,
World Famous Iron Game Author and Historian

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

IRON NATION Passion for Hard Training - By Bob Whelan and Drew Israel ... Five Star Reviews! ... An Iron Game Classic!



Passion for Hard Training



“In IRON NATION, Bob Whelan and Drew Israel have compiled a masterpiece text on some of the most intriguing and compelling personal stories, iron game history, and gut-wrenching training routines ever put to paper. If you truly love “hard training” without all of the frills or “pomp and circumstance” so common today, you will love IRON NATION!”
--Ken Mannie, Head Strength/Conditioning Coach, Michigan State University


"Iron Nation is one of the most educational Iron Game books ever written. Fantastic!"
--Dick Conner, Powerlifting Coach, (Multiple National Champion), Strength Expert


"Iron Nation is a fascinating and unique book that will give anyone interested in no-nonsense strength training and muscle-building many hours of enjoyable reading -- and many years of great workouts."
--Brooks D. Kubik, Author of Dinosaur Training


“IRON NATION is an excellent source of information relating to many of the top people in the fitness industry who have given thousands of hours of time and energy into making the iron game what it is today. The contributors have shared what was required ... to obtain their most positive results. My hat goes off to Bob Whelan and Drew Israel for putting this material in an easy-to-read format that is a MUST to those wanting to improve their mental or physical wellbeing.”
--Bill Pearl, Former Mr. America and Mr. Universe


"The book Iron Nation represents a tremendous singular achievement for the authors. It is an impressive and unprecedented collection of training biographies, autobiographies and anecdotes from the ENTIRE realm of progressive resistance exercise training. Such a work is long overdue."
--Jan Dellinger, Author of The Dellinger Files


"As I get older, my respect grows for the history of the Iron Game and those who were part of it. Iron Nation: Passion for Hard Training reads like a Who's Who of individuals who are an integral part of that history. Their stories are extremely informative and - as the title suggests - passionate as well as motivating and entertaining. I highly recommend this book!"
--Matt Brzycki, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation & Fitness, Princeton University


"Many congratulations to you [Bob] and Drew for getting IRON NATION done. I was thrilled that you carried through on that project--and did it so well! This is an outstanding book of training information, inspiration and motivation. The passion for hard training that oozes from many of the articles is infectious, and the accompanying real-life stories and historical reminiscences are fascinating."
--Stuart McRobert, Author of Brawn and Numerous Other Iron Game Books, Publisher/Editor of Hardgainer Magazine


IRON NATION CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE:

Vic Boff, Stephen Boyd, Matt Brzycki, Dick Conner, Jan Dellinger, Jim Duggan, Clyde Emrich, Fred Hahn, Bill Hinbern, Drew Israel, Osmo Kiiha, Brooks D. Kubik, Jamie Labelle, Dr. Ted Lambrinides, Tom Laputka, Kathy Leistner, Dr. Ken E. Leistner, Ken Mannie, John McKean, Stuart McRobert, Tom Metzger, Bill Pearl, Gregg Pickett, Glenn Pieschke, Steve Pulcinella, Mabel Rader, Ralph Raiola, Dick "Smitty" Smith, Jon Schultheis, Bill Starr, Bradley J. Steiner, Dr. Randall J. Strossen, Mike Thompson, Dennis B. Weis, Bob Whelan, Paul Young


There Has Rarely Been Such An Awesome Display Of Talent In A Single Book! There are over 30 Chapters in this BIG, (8.5" X 11"), Book and each is written by a unique individual in the modern Iron Game.




A UNIQUE
LOOK AT TRAINING!


"This book offers a very unique look at training, one that hasn’t been given to the casual reader or interested party previously. If you like to train, you can relive some workouts that were challenging and mindful to the authors."
--Dr. Ken E. Leistner
Strength Writer, Iron Game Legend



BOOK DEDICATION

This book is dedicated to Peary and Mabel Rader for more than 50 years of dedicated service to the Iron Game. Mabel even gave us a chapter for the book! 







A BIG (8.5 by 11 inch) COFFEE TABLE SIZED BOOK WITH OVER 250 PAGES!


IRON NATION, Passion for Hard Training, covers every possible philosophy and every possible aspect of Weight Training and the Iron Game. We do not promote a particular philosophy other than TRAINING BRUTALLY HARD. Everyone in IRON NATION is bonded by the PASSION FOR HEAVY & HARD TRAINING!


Here is just a tiny sample of what IRON NATION, Passion for Hard Training, will Teach You:

  • First-hand Accounts of How the Old-Timers Really Trained
  • Behind the Scene at York Barbell
  • Olympic Lifting
  • Odd Object Lifting
  • High Intensity Training
  • Wisdom from Dr. Ted Lambrinides
  • Strength & Conditioning in the NFL and College Athletics
  • Stories of Brutal Workouts
  • Wisdom from Dr. Ken E. Leistner
  • The Best Ways to Build Muscle
  • Lifting The Inver Stone with Randall J. Strossen, PhD.
  • Slow Speed Training
  • Powerlifting
  • A Brutal Brooks Kubik Dinosaur Workout
  • How Arthur Jones Trained
  • Bill Starr Workouts
  • How to Train Smarter and Avoid Injuries
  • How Peary and Mabel Rader Got Started
  • Great Training Information from Osmo Kiiha
  • Great Information as always from Stuart McRobert
  • How Dennis B. Weis Trains
  • How Bill Pearl Trains
  • Great Information from Bradley J. Steiner
  • OVER 30 DETAILED CHAPTERS COVERING EVERY ASPECT OF WEIGHT TRAINING!


  • "Bob and Drew started writing and compiling the interviews for this book, Iron Nation, almost 15 years ago. The primary focus was to chronicle the most significant developments in the field of strength training through the words of people actively involved in the Iron Game. Some contributors were very well-known experts in bodybuilding, Olympic lifting, football strength training, strength and conditioning coaches, etc., and others were just guys and gals who had spent many years training in gyms and garages.

    I think Bob and Drew have succeeded very well. You will greatly enjoy this book, which is destined to become an INSTANT CLASSIC."

    Osmo Kiiha
    Editor in Chief, The Iron Master



    "As what might be considered a kind of "elder statesman" of the Iron Game (I have been in it and writing about it since the 1960's) I have been both appalled and delighted by that which I have seen transpire in the muscle and strength-building field over the decades. The size-mania, living in the gym, cosmetic-oriented "appearance training", and of course the damn steroid drug scourge, has appalled me. The work of men like Bob Whelan and Drew Israel, and the occasional literary gems that evolve as a result of the work of these men — such as this new book, IRON NATION, has delighted me. There are few activities as rewarding — mentally, physically, and spiritually — as sensible progressive resistance (barbell/dumbell and similar types of) exercise. And we who love this activity and who wish to see it continue to enrich those seekers-after-personal-strength-and-excellence always celebrate a quality literary contribution to our beloved field. We recommend it highly.”

    --Bradley J. Steiner, World Famous Weight Training & Martial Arts Writer


    "There is so much misinformation out there and so many books that are comprised of pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo bull by authors who look like pencil neck geeks. Iron Nation is just the opposite. This book is chock full of REAL information by authors who TRULY know the Iron Game and what it takes to build strength, power, and muscle! Iron Nation is literally a Lessons Learned Bible from some of the best minds in the Iron Game. The workouts alone are a gold mine and the stories will make you smile and laugh. This book will supply all the information you need to attain your physical goals. I highly recommend it!"

    --Bill Piche, Editor Cyberpump.com


    “…I loved the cover photo of the various weights. It sort of put me in the mood to read it. IRON NATION is a great read, full of biographies, along with the training methods of many names we have long been familiar with in the various weight training journals … The reader is given insights into the writers’ personal views, opinions and training methods. I loved the essays from Vic Boff and anything and everything that related to the late and great John C. Grimek, who I am proud to be able to have called a personal friend. …I also learned new facts and personal accounts from the … authors who have been gathered together in this super journal. I truly recommend this book to those who wish quality muscle with strength related to size. Muscle that’s not going to disappear two weeks after taking a lay off as happens to those who train light and who’s idea of nutrition is the use and abuse of chemical aids. This book fills a fine gap to balance the propaganda we are so used to that strength can be easily accomplished so long as the trainer takes so and so’s ‘super supplements’. The authors in contrast, suggest … hard, tough and intense workouts, of brief duration, but training that brings worthwhile muscle and power that won’t disappear overnight. Bob Whelan and Drew Israel have done a fine job, bringing back some sanity and honesty to the iron game.”

    --David Gentle, Features Editor of Health and Strength Magazine, the worlds’ oldest continually published journal on physical culture.


    "... I thought the book was unique, enlightening, and professionally done. I especially enjoyed the pieces on Vic Boff, Jan Dellinger, Clyde Emrich, Bill Hinbern, Osmo Kiiha, Bill Pearl, Smitty, and Bill Starr whose contributions to the iron game I have followed closely over the years. I think the major contribution of the work that you [Bob Whelan] and Drew Israel have put together is that it shows such a variety of approaches and that those who have pursued these training regimens have done so out of love and not so much for fame or fortune. I think your book will increase in importance as future generations look back on how we did it!"

    --John D. Fair, Author of Muscletown USA, Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell



    "Your cast of characters and their insights and stories are great. ... your book brought back many memories and as a solo trainer, ... I agree 100% that methodology is not the thread that binds natural lifters together. It is a love for lifting and a sometimes out of balance commitment to train hard and regularly. Thanks to you [Bob] and Drew for putting together such a great book .... It really brought a smile to my face."

    --Todd Baisley, Author of Workforce Warrior


    "I am Dennis B. Weis "The Yukon Hercules" and I can't think of just one good thing to say about the book IRON NATION by Bob Whelan and Drew Israel. But I can think of nearly 36 good things to say!!! IRON NATION is not just a plain vanilla book of one standard training philosophy. It is much more than that. IRON NATION features a roundtable discussion with nearly 36 of the most notable experts in the iron game today. It was obvious to me, when reading IRON NATION that any friction that may have existed between any of the diverse panel of experts was left outside the door. Their non-stop "gateway" of exact insights and expressions regarding the different aspects of training will help bodybuilders, powerlifters and strength athletes achieve new levels of success. IRON NATION, in my personal and professional opinion is a logical 'please all of the readers all of the time', book. I most certainly enjoyed reading it, cover to cover, and will consciously make every effort to mention it to people. Congratulations Bob and Drew on a book well written."

    --Dennis B. Weis, Author of Mass!, Raw Muscle!, and NUMEROUS Other Muscle Books



    If you LOVE WEIGHT TRAINING, we KNOW that you will LOVE THIS BOOK!





    Iron Nation Review by Randy Roach, Author of “Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors"



    Around 1997 a good friend of mine, Ted Nellis, traveled from Ontario, Canada to Washington, D.C. in order to experience one of Bob Whelan’s popular strength training clinics. Drew Israel was a guest speaker and told Ted of a book project that he and Bob had undertaken. Ted then informed me of the book upon his return. It did, in fact, take another 13 years to come to fruition, but it was certainly worth the wait.

    I think many would agree that “Iron Nation” is not for the faint of heart, nor would it serve as an effective recruitment tool for today’s modern, mainstream exercise facilities. In the preface of Volume I of “Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors,” I wrote on those I believed were the true pioneers of the fitness explosion:

    “These men are the root of the booming fitness industry we see today. They are the true die-hards, who in the decades past, trudged for miles to remote, dingy and often hard-to-find gyms. In many cases, they would simply build their own in basements or garages using any scrap material accessible to them. Take away all the modern conveniences made available by today’s super-fitness facilities, and you would lose 95 percent of those gym populations, leaving only the likes of these men.

    They have been pointed at, labeled, clinically categorized, and even laughed at, but to the men of the Iron Game, the way they are is simply the way they were wired."

    Well, herein lies the likes of these very men chronicled within the pages of Bob Whelan’s and Drew Israel’s 2010 release, “Iron Nation.” I say “likes” because this hardcore training nature was not confined to the days of old, but actually traversed the decades as clearly demonstrated in this book of well over 120,000 words. I would venture to say that no matter how much the fitness craze has proliferated in various directions over the recent years, these men, like it or not, are the anchor for the entire industry.

    Whelan and Israel carefully chose a number of trainers ranging in age and methodologies to share both their entry into the Iron Game and what training sessions stood out most within their minds. Let’s just say these short stories have no shortages of blood, sweat, and vomit (no tears), not to mention, tons of bravado and ego. Many of them are very talented with the pen and were able to express themselves with both intellect and humour. Fred Hahn’s rendition of his encounter with big Jim Flannagan was worth the read alone!

    As an amateur historian myself, I enjoyed reading the historical backgrounds for every single one of the contributors to this book. Nonetheless, “Iron Nation” offers much more than personal histories and tough workouts. These men freely gave their best advice on building strength and muscle. To say they know how to utilize the barbell would be short changing them significantly. The resistance they constantly butted heads with came in the form of weight stacks, kettle bells, logs, water and sand filled barrels, chains, springs, axels, and yes on occasion, barbells and dumbbells. All of these tools are presented in a pretty wide spectrum of training philosophies from Olympic weight lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, high intensity training, super slow training, odd lifts and strongman training.

    Bob Whelan and Drew Israel have sequestered a great cross section of trainers and compiled their histories and advice into an engaging format and appropriately named it, “Iron Nation.” I read the book right through from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed every story. This style of book easily begs further volumes, but hopefully their next release won’t be in 2024. But then again, who am I to advise on releases!

    - Randy Roach,
    Author of “Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors”






    Iron Nation Review by David Webster, World Famous Iron Game Author and Historian



    The sub title of this fine new book is ”Passion for Hard Training” and the authors have this passion in abundance. Bob and Drew are two hardcore Iron Game enthusiasts in their mid-fifties who have had many years of experience in different aspects of training with weights. They have been involved in powerlifting, martial arts, personal training and a whole lot more. In addition they are academically qualified in such subjects so have balanced personal profiles of theory and practice.

    Their approach in this substantial volume has been to add to their own experiences by incorporating interviews with, and sections from, other well-known and respected individuals in the industry. These include such as Vic Boff, Bill Pearl, Dr Ken Leistner, Stuart McRobert, Randall Strossen, Steve Pulcinella, Bill Starr, Clyde Emrich – I could go on, there are around three dozen in total and I was pleased to see one of this illustrious band was an old friend and fellow country-man, Mike Thomson.

    The fund of training information and inspiration is clearly the most important part of the book and I am not going to spoil it for you by quoting from this absorbing publication.

    There is however one part I feel bound to give special mention. Many of us knew and loved IRON MAN magazine. Readers that had the good fortune to meet the publishers also loved Peary and Mabel Rader. The section on this couple is fascinating and left me thinking that the hardships they suffered and the efforts they made must had played a major part in moulding the lovely, modest personalities of this great couple. Brief samples of their story include the information that every day Peary rode horseback six miles to go to school.. In 1917 Mabel was born in a sod house built by her parents who had travelled from Kansas to Nebraska in a covered wagon! As a school girl she and her sibling also travelled to school on horseback, five miles in their case. Peary and Mabel’s progress in setting up and publishing the magazine a makes a great read, especially since from their humble beginnings they eventually travelled the world to international events including the Olympic Games.

    One of the many good things about this book is that you get the feel that you get to know quite a bit about the various characters, thus increasing the interest and value of their training wisdom. If you want to get good results you will certainly be successful if you closely study this book and develop a PASSION FOR HARD TRAINING.

    -David Webster,
    World Famous Iron Game Author and Historian







    Iron Nation Review by Fred Fornicola, Co-Author of "Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness"



    It seems that over the years the field of health and fitness has become tainted with countless gadgets and gurus. It appears that important aspects such as iron history and a passion for hard training are things that, unfortunately, aren’t always understood or appreciated by a lot of people who “workout”. It’s a damn shame; too, because appreciating history and being fervent about one’s training is reward all on its own as most of you reading this already know. If you have a love for iron - and I assume you do by your interest in the new book, IRON NATION - you will most certainly not be disappointed by what’s held within the confines of its covers.

    Much can be appreciated and learned from the pioneers who helped forged the iron game over the last several decades and fortunately for us, a couple of true physical culturists took it upon themselves to assemble some of the finest information on iron culture to date.

    “Maximum” Bob Whelan and Drew “The Human Wall” Israel have painstakingly spent over 14 years gathering information, doing interviews and formulating what could be called an “epic book” in their recent release of IRON NATION. Bob and Drew took on the unenviable task of not only amassing all of this insightful and historic information, but also tackled the arduous task of self-publishing this brilliant piece of work – not an easy task - as they, the editors and publishers, have maintained the integrity of the books information as it was intended.

    Before you even open the book you get a feel for the detail that went into IRON NATION as its cover sets the tone with vintage dumbbells, kettlebells and a rare 45lb Andrew Jackson plate….and this is just the beginning. The list of “who’s who” will have you sitting on the edge of your weight bench when you see the host of contributors as they reminisce about their past while they share stories, their thoughts and some of their more memorable workouts – and I can promise you, those workout stories you don’t want to miss!

    What’s so interesting about IRON NATION is its diversity. At one point you are reading an interview between Bob Whelan and legendary iron man, Vic Boff and learning how Vic was inspired by George Jowett and Bernard MacFadden and how over the years he developed a very close friendship with the great Sig Klein, Milo Steinborn and bodybuilding great, John Grimek and then a few chapters later your finding out how poor Tom Metzger barely made it through a “typical” training session with Doc Ken at 3AM at the Iron Island Gym. Speaking of Vic Boff, here’s a quote from the book that I personally appreciated reading when he was asked by Bob what his training philosophy was: “… the attitude of physical culture is to follow or practice the laws of life that lead to good health. The proper mental attitude, intelligently applied exercise, wholesome food, fresh air, bathing, sunbaths, relaxation and sleep…”. I don’t think you could sum it up any better than that.

    Bradley J. Steiner does a wonderful job of laying out what he calls “the essentials of physical development” – a definite “don’t miss” for a sound program for health and fitness. Bill Starr discusses many of his insights to great strength and makes no bones about it that “there are no shortcuts” while Matt Brzycki discusses his epiphany after 4,368 hours in the gym. John McKean shares his success of singles training and being “heavy handed” and Brooks Kubik talks about how he “barreled” his way through to developing great strength. Paisan, Ralph Raiola adds some lightheartedness with a heavy fork and Doc Ken (always a crowd pleaser), goes down memory lane and shares some great stories and insights as only Dr. Ken can.

    Speaking of stories, Mabel Rader (whom she and Perry have this book dedicated to) contributes a chapter and tells about the birth of Iron Man magazine and how a $100 bill saved their business and allowed the Rader’s to publish one of the greatest health and fitness magazines for over 50 years! Dick “Smitty” Smith tells about his involvement with Dr. John Ziegler, isometrics, power rack training (a definite must read) and the Isotron machine while Super Slow aficionado, Fred Hahn share’s how Big Jim Flannagan’s Fury left him “walking like a ghoul”.

    Then there are thoughts from Dick Conner who tells of how he borrowed money to buy some of those “magic muscle builder” machines from a company called Nautilus and Randall J. Strossen was on the other side of the pond trying to defeat the Inver Stone. Jan Dellinger of York barbell contributes “…a collection of learned lessons and insights garnered from a rather diverse group…” and Coach Ken Mannie tells of his youth in Steubinville and becoming “steel city tough”.

    It’s great to read how Kathy Leistner share’s her husband’s intensity while showing no signs of hard training to be only in a man’s world and how Arthur Jones made Tom Laputka learn the meaning of the word INTENSITY!

    Additional chapters has Bob interviewing world renowned bodybuilder, Bill Pearl who credits Leo Stern for his success as a bodybuilder and how he now has a “barn museum” with all types of equipment, some of which was used by Eugene Sandow and gifted to him by Sig Klein. As an added bonus, Bob Whelan offers a unique look at his “life with the iron” as a number of others round out the journey and offer their experiences to help make Iron Nation a book that every iron enthusiast should own.

    - Fred Fornicola,
    Co-Author of "Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness" 

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    The Great Bill Pearl Endorses Iron Nation

    "IRON NATION is an excellent source of information relating to many of the top people in the fitness industry who have given thousands of hours of time and energy into making the iron game what it is today.
    The contributors have shared what was required ... to obtain their most positive results. My hat goes off to Bob Whelan and Drew Israel for putting this material in an easy-to-read format that is a MUST to those wanting to improve their mental or physical wellbeing."

    --Bill Pearl
    Former Mr. America and Mr. Universe

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Iron Nation Review by David Gentle


    “…I loved the cover photo of the various weights. It sort of put me in the mood to read it. IRON NATION is a great read, full of biographies, along with the training methods of many names we have long been familiar with in the various weight training journals … The reader is given insights into the writers’ personal views, opinions and training methods. I loved the essays from Vic Boff and anything and everything that related to the late and great John C. Grimek, who I am proud to be able to have called a personal friend. …I also learned new facts and personal accounts from the … authors who have been gathered together in this super journal. I truly recommend this book to those who wish quality muscle with strength related to size. Muscle that’s not going to disappear two weeks after taking a lay off as happens to those who train light and who’s idea of nutrition is the use and abuse of chemical aids. This book fills a fine gap to balance the propaganda we are so used to that strength can be easily accomplished so long as the trainer takes so and so’s ‘super supplements’. The authors in contrast, suggest … hard, tough and intense workouts, of brief duration, but training that brings worthwhile muscle and power that won’t disappear overnight. Bob Whelan and Drew Israel have done a fine job, bringing back some sanity and honesty to the iron game.”

    --David Gentle, Features Editor of Health and Strength Magazine, the worlds’ oldest continually published journal on physical culture.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    The Key to Might and Muscle (Circa 1926) - Chapter 4 - Curative Exercises - By George F. Jowett

    Broken in health, in spirit, and financially, without a single hope for the future.
    Nothing but pain, sleepless nights, and a nauseating terror of food.


    The absolute necessity of a mother to turn bread winner in order that food
    and clothing could be provided for two little tots who were beginning to feel
    the pangs of poverty. Five years under treatment at home, in hospitals and
    in convalescence had stolen the little nest egg that had been hoped would
    some day provide the foundation for a home. The future appalled, and no
    wonder, for who can ever hope to stand for long against the ceaseless
    battering of ill health. No man is so constructed that he can resist
    forever. Such was the condition of one man who eventually came under my 
    observation and direction in the search for better health.


    The wife of this man happened to know an acquaintance of mine, who had
    unbounded faith in my abilities. Together they talked the situation over
    with me, which finally ended by my promise to see what I could do for him.
    He was only a young man as far as years were concerned; that is, he was only
    in his early thirties, thirty-two to be exact, but so much sickness had made
    him appear haggard and worn-out. Stomach trouble had necessitated an
    operation. I kept my appointment to talk over things, and the end of our
    conversation was that I carried hope into that home of trials. I talked to him 
    something like this:


    "Now look here, my friend, I know you are in a bad enough condition, and I
    realize your circumstances, but you have to remember that there is a
    beginning and an end for all things. There is a place and time for medicine,
    and a place and time for corrective exercise. You have long since arrived at
    the point where medicine finished and exercise should have begun. You have
    no kick against the physicians; they have done their part. When they
    informed you that the cause of your stomach troubles was removed, it was
    practically all over for them. They gave you medicine to allay your
    sufferings and a specified diet for you to follow. Medicine will do a lot of
    things, but it will not rebuild weakened tissue. The trouble is you have
    relied too much upon medicine, and you failed to grasp the fact that your
    whole system had weakened through so much illness. Here is where exercise
    comes in. You do not have to look at me like that. I am not going to put a
    heavy weight in your hands and tell you to juggle it around, and at the same
    time practice Christian Science. It will be altogether different. You will
    find it a battle, but the chances are a hundred to one in your favor if you
    are game enough to struggle."


    Well, we started the next day, and believe me or not, within three months
    from the date of our conversation he was helping around the house. Another
    four weeks saw him accepting a light position. Six months after the day he
    commenced he was happily working at his old job, and within the year he was a
    picture of health. Not a Hercules, but much stronger than the average man.
    The sun was shining for him and the world appeared like an entirely new place
    to his wife and children.


    This true story is not a miracle, or a near miracle. It is just common sense
    methods applied in the right place.


    Too many people neglect their body in the first place, and it becomes a
    depository of dangerous elements that destroy tissue and lead to sickness.
    It is only natural that when a person becomes very sick, he should turn to
    his doctor and seek aid; but how many times do people have to listen to the
    physician say, "At some time or other you exposed yourself, and added neglect
    to exposure. This is the result." Then they realize that they are too late
    and have to face the music. Later the stage of convalescence is reached,
    usually after a harrowing experience, but it is the same story - neglect.
    The physician has performed his duty, and instead of the patient thinking a
    little for himself and profiting by the doctor's advice, he relies too much
    upon the doctor. Too frequently I hear the same story, "Oh, I've never been
    the same since that illness." Is there any wonder when they turn a deaf ear
    to nature? As the old scriptural phrase reads, "They have eyes but they see not."


    The convalescent stage should be the commencement for remedial exercise. In
    making the following statement, I am not for one moment overlooking the fact
    that the physician is a very valuable man, and medicine one of our blessings;
    yet there are many ailments that can better be taken care of by exercise than
    by medicine, as my medical friends will agree.


    Stomach trouble, for instance. A common enough ailment, only too prevalent,
    but it is generally the result of a lack of body toning, bad eating, drinking
    alcoholic liquors and excessive smoking. Indigestion and hyperacidity are
    two of the worst, although the last is generally the cause of the first.
    Wrong functioning of the pancreas fails to absorb the fats, or break up the
    sugar and starch elements in the food. Although I have named the condition,
    incorrect functioning of the pancreas, I believe I would have been more
    correct if I had stated that wrong foods caused the pancreas to work overtime
    and have fagged it. The liver becomes sluggish as the digestion becomes
    poor. The biggest reason for the stomach disorders is lack of physical
    activity, that allows food to lie dormant too long in the stomach before it
    is dispelled into the channels of evacuation. This is one of the main causes
    of constipation, prolapsed stomach, and the unsightly protruding abdomen.


    Now I want you to remember that the lining membranes of the stomach and
    bowels allow certain things from the food, like sugar molecules and little
    droplets of fat, to pass through just as water is passed through blotting
    paper. These particles enter into the veins, which are very numerous on the
    other side of the membranes. Consequently, you will readily realize the
    necessity of good digestion, and the natural requirements for these elements
    of nutrition to enter the blood stream. Food is absorbed in the blood very
    quickly, because the size of the absorbing surface is so large. It is
    actually claimed that the lining membranes of the stomach, the small and
    large intestines, taken together, have an area of twenty square feet.
    Somewhat more than the area of the entire outside of the body.


    The more vigorous the daily vocation, the greater quantity of food is eaten,
    and the greater quantity of substance drawn into the blood stream, and also
    evacuation has more volume besides being more regular.


    Your food is your energy, and it is a proposition entirely up to yourself
    whether you are going to use this energy or misuse it. The majority misuse
    it, hence the disorders. Now to correct these various ailments, I will
    select a few exercises that have a gentle persuasive effect upon the muscles,
    the organs of digestion, and the nervous system.


    Take up your position with the hands placed upon the hips, feet spaced about
    six inches apart, just enough to keep the balance of the body comfortably.
    Bend from side to side in a slow, easy rhythmic movement. Let your breathing
    be regular and not forced in the least. Do not make the mistake of trying
    how many times you can do each exercise. About nine or ten times in each
    direction is enough with which to commence. In every case the individual
    should allow his physical condition to be his guide.


    The next exercise should be taken up with the feet spaced much wider apart,
    with a light bar of ten or fifteen pounds lying across the broad of the back,
    each end grasped in the corresponding hand. From this position twist the
    body sideways from the waist, not the hips, in a spiral movement. As the
    body seems to be turned to its limit, the person should pull against the bar
    in order to obtain a little more twist. The reason the bar is allowed to lie
    across the shoulders, or broad of the back, instead of on the shoulders, is
    to gain more twist from the waist. It used to be that the exerciser would
    use the palms of each hand against the side of the chest, but my objection to
    this is that it causes a compression of the walls of the chest, interfering
    with both breathing and progress.


    In all exercises where possible, I desire to see the person use some amount
    of weight; it helps to give a muscular resistance that cannot be supplied by
    the body only. Of course, if a person is in too weak a condition, that is
    different. Going back to the last exercise, I want to advise against
    allowing even the heels to leave the floor; that is why I suggest a waist
    movement against a hip movement. The feet must be kept flat on the floor.


    For the third exercise I like to choose the one where the person lies upon
    the back on the floor, then slowly draws one knee up at a time to the body.
    In the second stage of progression, this exercise can be performed by drawing
    both knees, simultaneously, up to the body.


    Then, turning over face downwards, so that the hands and toes only are
    resting upon the floor, with the arms locked at the elbows, and body straight
    upon its points of balance, we begin an exercise that is a little more
    vigorous. From the position described, draw the knee right up to the body,
    but allow the toes to rest on the floor. It is from here that the exercise
    is really commenced. Give a slight hop and straighten out the right leg, and
    at the same time pull the left knee up to the body. Do not hesitate, but
    keep both legs going one after the other. However, do not do it as though a
    race was being run; do it gently and always keep the hands on the floor.


    These four exercises are quite enough with which to start, and as the
    conditions become improved and a greater degree of strength is acquired, more
    movements can be added and these can be eliminated for exercises of a more
    vigorous nature.


    I know many have the idea that bending from the waist forwards and backwards
    are also good exercises. I agree, but the reason I have omitted them is
    because I want to say that people who are susceptible to vomiting from
    stomach disorders should not do them until after two or three weeks of
    practice with the other exercises. Where vomiting is not one of the
    troubles, the forward and backward bends are all right to use at the
    commencement.


    These exercises are not as vigorous physically as those recommended for
    constipation and some other ailments. At the same time there is enough
    action to prepare the muscular toning for the exercises that follow in the
    various stages of progression. However, the circulatory organs are
    stimulated and the blood stream wonderfully nourished.


    Constipation requires a somewhat more vigorous routine, due to the collection
    of feces that has clogged the intestinal passages. The exercises must be
    such that a continual massage is being brought to bear upon the intestines,
    at the same time that their natural functioning abilities are being repaired.
    Laxatives rob the channels of evacuation of their natural power. All along
    these passages are rings of muscles that contract and relax continually, and
    which gather and thrust the feces along the passages. As I have said, drugs
    interfere with the work of these muscles by relieving them of their natural
    duty, and the trouble is that the muscles deteriorate with non-use. When the
    body has become used to the effect of the drugs, which it does sometimes, the
    person faces a serious proposition.


    However, I have known of many chronic cases of constipation effectively cured
    by exercise. The muscles of the abdomen are naturally equipped to aid the
    thousands of ring muscles that are part of the intestines.


    Body builders have made the expression habitual, when describing the
    abdominal muscles, as having a washboard appearance. They have more than a
    washboard appearance; they have the washboard effect, continually massaging
    the intestines in order to prevent solidification of feces and stimulate
    evacuation; but we never see a victim of this ailment with a well developed
    set of abdominal muscles. In most cases the waistline is large, sagging, and
    fat. The muscles have lost their elasticity, and the armour of muscle
    protection is gone. A victim can wear all the body belt supporters he likes,
    but nothing like that will give back life to the deteriorated muscular tissue.


    In a chronic case, I generally advise a few days fast, in order to give the
    stomach a rest. As a matter of fact, a short fast is sometimes advisable
    with stomach trouble, but not in all cases. A person should always seek
    advice on this before going ahead on his own initiative.


    Since the working powers of the muscles have gone, we are obliged to devise
    exercises that will perform these duties as much as possible, and at the same
    time coax these muscles back into vigorous existence and build them up. The
    most commonly known exercise for the abdomen is the "sit-up." In this
    exercise the person lies full length on the back upon the floor, with some
    heavy object across the feet to hold the legs down as the sit-up is made.
    This is performed by either folding the arms upon the chest or locking the
    hands behind the neck. From the prone position the exerciser rises to the
    sit-up position, and then lowers the body back, repeating the movement a
    number of times. Personally, I do not like the exercise from a curative
    point of view, in fact, not for a beginner. My objection is based upon the
    fact that beginners, who are not seeking curative aid, are seldom able to
    perform the movement correctly. They invariably come up with a snap, which
    is wrong. Others cannot do it at all. A very few can. The movement should
    be done slowly in both raising and lowering the body, so that the muscles
    receive full play and give the desired effect upon the intestines. I prefer
    this exercise for a more advanced stage of muscle building. In its place I
    advocate sitting upon the floor with the feet under some object, back
    straight, and the arms folded behind the back, leaning at the slightest
    possible angle backwards. From this position twist the body from side to
    side as much as possible with a slow movement. After this, lie flat upon the
    floor on the back, then place the hands on the floor and raise the body until
    the arms are straight and only the hands and heels are resting on the floor.
    Keep the body free from any bend. Now raise one leg straight as high as you
    can. Keep the legs moving thus, one after the other. Then you can practice
    drawing the knees up to the body alternately. Both exercises are good.


    In the more advanced exercises, I find that raising the body onto the
    shoulders, from the prone position, with the hands pressed upon the hips, and
    the elbows on the floor as a means of support, is a very good body reducer
    and aid for constipation. From this position the legs should be worked up
    and down in a movement similar to pedaling a bicycle. This exercise can be
    followed by another exercise from the prone position. Lie flat upon the back
    and place the hands under the hips, then raise one leg upwards in a circular
    movement towards the head. As the leg is lowered, the heel should not be
    allowed to touch the floor; then raise the other leg. Keep the legs
    straight, raising and lowering in a slow rhythmic movement. After this, the
    same position can be adopted, and both legs raised together.


    As a further aid a good massage of the abdominal muscles will help
    considerably.


    The beauty of the last two exercises is that they develop the muscles of the
    abdomen from the lower extremities of the abdomen upwards. This part of the
    abdomen is of the most importance. From the line of the navel down into the
    groin, the fourth twin muscle of the abdomen begins and ends. It is in this
    region that the appendix becomes affected, and hernia is made possible or
    impossible, according to the state of development in which the muscles are.
    I have seen many body culturists who could show a nice upper abdominal
    display, but were sadly neglectful of the lower part. That is another fault
    of the "sit-up." It develops mostly the abdominals from the chest to the
    navel, and the last pair of muscles which are long and wedge shaped are
    almost passed over. The exercise where one and both legs are raised while
    lying on the back in the prone position is the best, as it gets them all.
    Better progression can be made upon this exercise, by increasing the
    resistance by hooking a light kettle bell over each foot.


    These last two exercises, and the shoulder stand, or bicycle tread, are
    effective in strengthening the lower torso, and should be among the exercises
    used by those who feel that they have a tendency to rupture. The external
    oblique muscles should be specialized upon in hernia tendencies. I have
    actually known of several cases of hernia cured by these and other exercises.


    Hernia is the result of weak musculature. The muscles of the body are our
    anatomical protectors, and if we neglect them we are trifling with our lives
    equally as much as the soldier who forgets his rifle.


    An exercise that I like very much for strengthening the external oblique
    muscles is practiced by taking a fairly light dumb-bell in each hand, of
    about fifteen pounds each, then raise them to arms' length overhead, and
    stand with the feet set firmly apart. Look up at the dumb-bells and lean
    over sideways as far as you can, then straighten up and lean over to the
    other side. Keep up the movement, and you will find that the weights held
    overhead will cause a great leverage from the external oblique muscles in
    order to bring the body back to the erect position. Then again, the
    dumb-bells are so light that the arms will not tire before the side muscles
    get their workout, and the overhead principle provides a fine leverage upon
    which the exercise can be made progressively more difficult.


    Do not practice the "sit-up" or the leaning forward exercise with a weight
    held behind the neck, if you feel the tissue of the groin to be weak. In
    fact, do not perform any exercises that have a bearing down tendency upon the
    abdomen. Exercises performed upside down are always good and can be safely practiced.


    Perhaps the condition of nervousness is another of the most common ailments
    that often makes life seem unbearable. A nervous person may not be too sick
    to work, but he finishes the day ragged, and always on edge. This condition,
    more than any other, is a lack of body toning. It is invariably a condition
    of the nerve cells that have been deprived of the necessary amount of
    nutriment in proportion to nerve expenditure. Among people whose vocation
    involves more mental effort than physical, are found the largest numbers of
    sufferers. The muscles of the body lie under the skin practically useless,
    expending none of their surplus energy, and conserving none. Your batteries
    are running on their own reserve, and that cannot last. What we put out must
    be accounted for. Nature demands some form of recuperation, and that is only
    obtained from physical stimulus. Insomnia is one of the big evils resultant
    upon nervousness. Even the hours nature has set on one side for recuperation
    and conservation are stolen by this fiend. But it is a condition that has to
    be decided by the individual. It is not a condition which has to be put up
    with, or that cannot be overcome. Exercise will solve the problem.


    A number of years ago, one of my clients, who was one of the biggest business
    men in America, was a nervous wreck, and on two occasions I was informed he
    had tried to end his life. Everything, apparently, had been done. The best
    experts in one thing and another had failed. Two of our foremost physical
    instructors had failed, and also an imported expert from Europe. I was later
    approached, and when I had my first interview with this millionaire, he
    frankly told me that he did not believe any one could help him. I talked to
    him, and he placed his confidence in me, and inside of three months I had a
    new man. According to our tests he had improved 230 per cent and he showed
    his gratitude to me in many ways. I applied psychology with exercise in this
    case and won. I try to apply psychology with every person I handle. In the
    thousands whom I have handled, I have learned a lot in applying it. I study
    them, place myself in their shoes, and figure out what I would do in the
    ignorance of facts. Ultimately I see their problems, and my knowledge and
    experience on health and body building have successfully helped me to bridge
    the gap and restore all who were willing to help me, help them.
    .
    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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