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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL POWER - (Circa 1906) - Introduction - By Arthur Saxon


Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on 11 June 2003 *Pictures are randomly selected and are not necessarily from the book.



In explanation of the title I have chosen for my book I would that, above all, I look for strength and power in a man, especially an athlete, quite regardless of muscular development. The fact that a man may have full physical development, but disproportionate power and energy has been proven to me so many times, that, in my book, I propose to aim at an instill the value of genuine power, without any attempt to obtain large increase in the dimensions of the different muscles. This means that I look upon as almost worthless the taking of different measurements for purposes of comparison from time to time, as is generally done by young men who train on the different systems which are now before the public. I shall teach you to judge a man by his capabilities as an athlete, whether a weight lifter, wrestler or not, and not by the measurement of his biceps or chest.

In the course of my travels I have met quite a number of physical culturists who have come to me to show their development, and whilst it must be admitted it has been splendid to look upon, yet it has also been evident to me that a number of such men have injured their health in an endeavor to squeeze the last fraction of an inch from out of their muscle development.

My idea will be, and always has been, to leave the muscles to look after themselves, but I place a premium upon the possession of untiring energy, great stamina and vital power, and a sound constitution. That I myself possess such, I think my past records will show. Whether I can give you, dear reader, a percentage of my own strength and stamina, time will show, but I can at least place before you a method of training, simple though it be, which has brought me to the pinnacle of fame in the weight lifting world. It is rather a new side to find myself a teacher, but I will do my best, taking it for granted that the persons likely to buy my book are already possessed of average strength, that they have no particular weakness or defects, and that strength and power is the aim, and not useless and artificially swollen muscles, developed with the mistaken idea of gratifying the somewhat vain desire for personal glorification.

I will not delude my readers with the idea, as many do, that anyone can be an abnormally strong man, nor with the statement that I commenced as an invalid and gradually worked up to my present strength. No! I have always been strong, and I can only guess what it feels like to be weak. My strength is still growing and I glory in it. My methods may be quite simple, that may even be crude, and if that should not appeal to you, then I can only hope that the photos and other illustrations and matter describing my life and adventures will recompense you as items of interest for your outlay on this, my first book.

Iron Nation
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