Thursday, June 16, 2011

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL POWER - (Circa 1906) - Chapter 9 - Diet, Etc. - By Arthur Saxon

Compared with his less fortunate brothers who box and run, the lifter has no restrictions as to diet. The man who boxes requires good wind and staying power, he therefore has to carefully limit his allowance of liquid, and has to exercise great care in his selection of food stuffs, avoiding pastry, all starchy and sugary foods which would be dangerous to his wind. The weight-lifter can eat and drink almost anything, but, of course, if a little care be exercised in selecting the articles of diet it should be possible to replace the broken down tissue with less strain on the digestive organs, inasmuch as provided you get the right food stuffs, then you need no eat so much as if badly selected, which, of course, would be a saving as above indicated, on work for the digestive organs.

Milk is a perfect food, and a splendid drink, after practising, is an egg beaten up in milk, or a glass of hot milk. As a rule, the claims of patent or concentrated foods for the would-be strong should be taken cum grano salis. One preparation, however, which I can conscientiously recommend is that know as "Bovril." It is a fact that most leading athletes recommend Bovril, and nothing can be better either before or immediately after practice than a cup of hot Bovril. It prevents and dispels fatigue. Oatmeal and milk, too, is splendid for building up the muscular system, as well as cheese, beans and peas of all kinds which contain the necessary elements for renewing tissue. I am not a vegetarian, and therefore advise the use of beef, mutton, etc., etc.

Whilst on this subject I would say do not lift within one-and-a-hour of a meal. With regard to alcoholic liquors, I am not teetotal, yet I am aware of the dangers of drinking to excess, and would strongly urge on everyone the importance of moderation in drinking. Spirits I have proved to be disadvantageous to the would-be athlete, and my favourite drink is lager beer. Beer and stout should be amongst the alcoholic liquors the best drink for the weight-lifter, as they are better calculated to build up the physical powers than any spirit drink, such as whisky or brandy. If a man has been all his life teetotal, then my advice is to "stay so." It must be admitted that anyone who commences to take spirituous liquors in moderation, is at any rate running the risk of eventually succumbing, and drinking to excess. With regard to smoking, here too, I must plead guilty, I am not a non-smoker. As is, of course, true in regard to practically everything, excess in smoking is very injurious. Moderation in all things should be the motto.

The man who works hard requires more sleep than the man who wastes his day in idleness. To deny oneself sufficient sleep can only mean in the end a breakdown, so the man who performs feats of strength must see to it that he gets plenty of rest, plenty of fresh air, plenty of good nourishing food, that he avoids all excesses, takes a daily sponge down, is quick to appreciate any slight running off in form, and to apply the remedy - rest.

Iron Nation
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Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

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