Stitcher Radio

Stitcher Radio
click logo - STITCHER

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

PHYSICAL TRAINING SIMPLIFIED - The Complete Science of Muscular Development - (circa 1930) - CHAPTER 1 - Why Exercise? A Brief Introduction to the Results One May Expect - By Mark H. Berry

Originally Posted on NaturalStrength.com on 22 April 2004


In this age, it is the man who is equal to unusual situations who succeeds in every walk of life. The man capable of holding the difficult post must be he can stand the greatest strain and stress of circumstances without wilting or suffering a collapse. This is true whether the strain be of mental or physical nature. The nerves must, in every case, be able to stand up under the strain, and a greater physical reserve means steady and well trained nerves under positive control. The mental worker thus equipped is far superior to his fellow men who are lacking in the physical back ground.

There can be no growth without life or activity. This is true of the human being as much as of the modern city or a great nation. The city expands and the nation becomes great in direct proportion to the amount of life and activity within it. Keep a small child inactive and it will fail to bloom into full grown manhood or womanhood. In direct ration to the extent you keep the child tied up will it fail to attain its rightful heritage of vital maturity. Keep the child in bed and it will turn out at maturity nothing more than a helpless cripple. Keep the child confined in the house with no chance to romp and play and regardless of the amount of sunlight which may shine upon the child, it will reach maturity weak and ailing. Let a youth or young man cultivate habits of laziness or indolent inactivity and he becomes soft and physically useless. For this reason you find so many clerical workers and others following soft vocations who are thin, weak and practically void of muscle. Particularly is this true when the individual has never found it necessary to indulge in hard work or strenuous activity of any kind. Coming out of school, and never having been athletic, they drift along the line of least resistance into a pen or pencil pushing job or light machine work involving no particular effort. Some few will grow fat in such a life, especially if they have had to do some form of hard work during boyhood, as for instance on a farm, or if they have been fairly athletic in school. Each of us has an inheritance, handed down from our vigorous hard-working ancestors, of internal organs capable of withstanding the strenuous life. We should be capable of surviving the rugged life of the pioneer. Nature meant each and everyone of us to be strong and virile, with every life-sustaining function developed to the fullest extent. We were not placed on earth to be a bunch of mollycoddles or weaklings devoid of muscle. Not by any means. We are on this earth to carry our some great mission, and nature intended that strong and supremely fit men should carry out the destinies of the human race. Look at the anatomical chart. Note the shape and proportions of the muscles of man. If you are not using your muscles as you should, if your muscles fail to show the contours which they naturally should, then you are cheating yourself and not making the most of the wonderful body with which you were endowed.

The occupations of the present day do not demand any degree of muscular development or strength, but the health and efficiency of the individual does demand that he possess a strong and fully developed physical organism. If you fail to appreciate our reference to health in connection with a properly developed body, I can only say that it will be difficult for the non-physical culturist to realize the meaning of health in the degree possessed by those who are wholly and vigorously alive.

As one grows older, either constant improvement or deterioration takes place. There is no standing still in life; life is motion, and one cannot stand still and yet remain in motion. The very forces which keep you alive depend upon activity. We sometimes hear persons speak of preserving their present conditions, physically, but in reality there is nothing you can do to preserve a certain degree of health, strength or development. When such a condition is apparently is taking place, it is necessary to strive constantly to improve in order to hold a certain standard; otherwise you are really slipping, ever though slightly.

Up to maturity, providing no condition of disease is present, one should continue to improve physically, and having reached that stage, the average man begins to deteriorate. The wise individual takes steps to continue improving and to prolong the age of actual and inevitable decline. Each of us has some sort of "before" and "after" history. At maturity, we are either better or worse physically than we were in our youth. In middle age, we have either improved or deteriorated. You will hear average men speak of how good they were "before" and how badly they have gone back "after." However, among physical culturists, the average story is just the reverse, and it is far from uncommon to hear almost unbelievable tales of how much improvement has taken place between "before" and "after." It resolves mainly into the manner in which your life in conducted. Each person holds within himself the power for improving; by following certain known rules, and living in a sensible manner, any person who is not suffering serious disease may realize the joys of a strong, enduring, vital life of health.

Within the following pages, the author has set forth the rules which must be followed. None should despair or give up hope, as many of those who are now recognized among the world's leading examples of physical perfection had to start from a condition of weakness and even chronic sickness. Even though you should fail to attain the same degree of ideal perfection exhibited by the models illustrating this book, you may at least realize the limits of your own possibilities and acquire a physique and health of which you may well be proud.

In your case, before and after can mean a great deal, as it did in the case of many of the athletes of whom we have used photographs to illustrate this book. One of the outstanding cases of physical improvement is that of Albert Manger, of Baltimore, Maryland. At the age of 21, he weighed 97 pounds. Unfortunately, he had no photo taken at that time, but after exercising for one year and gaining 26 pounds he had a Kodak snapshot taken. That is, he weighed 123 pounds at that time: a copy of that photo is to be found in these pages. During the past year or more, he has been weighing over 190 pounds in the best condition less than eight years after starting to exercise with bar bells. Sometimes you hear of weighing in for a lifting contest at 181 pounds, but it is necessary to train down to do so. How would any of my readers who weigh 97 pounds to 123 pounds like to be in such a condition that they found it necessary to train down to 18l? We believe Manger first came into prominence as a lifter about five years ago, and he weighed around 180 pounds normally at that time. So you see, he continues to improve in development and strength.

We would suggest that you closely observe the tremendous difference in the condition of Mr. Manger as shown by the comparative photographs in these pages. Certainly, we cannot guarantee such results for you or anyone else, but investigation fails to reveal any essential reason as to why he should improve to a greater extent than other individuals, unless it was due to the fact that he was far under weight for a young man of his height. Still, you will meet many young men who a are tall and emaciated in appearance. If Albert Manger was successful in doubling his bodyweight, surely some other undeveloped young men should be able to bring their bodyweight to normal. Besides increasing his strength to the extent that he has been able to win the Light Heavyweight Champ ionship of America for the past four or five years; Manger has also won A.A.U. Championships in his district of the country at putting the shot and throwing weights. If he has failed to become the National champion at such sports we can only say that other outstanding performers at weight throwing did not weigh less than a hundred pounds at the age of twenty-one.

We also show you the "before and after" photographs of Joseph Jerzeski of Cleveland, Ohio, who made a remarkable improvement in ten months' time. Permit me to copy his letter as published in an article I wrote for STRENGTH Magazine. He was just recovering from an attack of arthritis at the time the first photo was taken. " I was paralyzed and had to be fed for a month. Six months passed and every joint in my body was affected with inflammation; severe pains and aching accompanied the least possible movement. I was pitied by my friends, for I was underweight, pale and crippled. But I was a different man when I appeared on the beach this year. Due to bar bell training I have gained twenty-five pounds. I could barely lift the 1 1/4 plates overhead when I started training, but by gradually increasing the weight I was able to use more weight. By doing so my health returned, the severe pain and stiffness left me, and my strength increased till at present I am able to handle my partner, who weighs 160 pounds, in hand to hand balancing."

A gain of twenty-five pounds would hardly seem remarkable for the average man, but Mr. Jezeski was not in an average state of health, so in that case twenty-five pounds was a degree of improvement worth taking about.

David Myshne, of New York City, was another twenty-one year old "man" weighing less than one hundred pounds. At a height of five feet, eight and a half inches, he weighed 92 pounds. He weighed less than Manger probably because he was somewhat shorter than the latter. After practicing the exercise principles advocated herein, he built himself up to a bodyweight of 148 pounds, and now possesses a splendid physique. Comparative figures reveal some very worthy increases. Neck 13 1/2 to 16 1/4; normal chest, 32 3/4 to 41 3/4; upper arms, 10 1/2 to 14 3/4; forearms 9 3/4 to 12 1/2; waist, 27 1/2 to 31; hips 33 3/4 5o 37; thigh 17 1/2 to 22 1/2; calf, 13 to 15; wrist, 6 3/4 to 7 1/8; ankles, the same at 8 3/4. What one of my readers who happens to be cursed with weakness and a sickly looking body would not welcome a chest girth of nine inches, with five inches added to each thigh and four and a quarter inches on his arms?

Then Joe Miller of Salunga, Pa., added ten inches to his chest girth in the space of one year with corresponding increases all over. Compare his "before and after" condition: neck 13 1/2 - 16; normal chest, 32 1/4 - 42 1/4; waist, 32 and unchanged; hips, 38 - 39 1/2; thigh 18 1/2 - 22; calf 12 1/2 - 14 3/4; upper arm, 12 1/2 - 14 1/4; forearm, 9 3/4 - 12 3/4; at the end of the year he weighed 160 pounds at a height of five feet, six and a quarter inches.

William "Bill" Raisch is now recognized as one of the leading male adagio dancers of the stage, and in great demand, due to his strength in handling his partners. Nevertheless, he can look back a few years when physical strength seemed as a far fetched dream, never to be attained. As a young boy he had the misfortune to suffer a most severe burn which nearly destroyed the muscular tissue and skin of his entire right upper arm. Physicians solemnly declared there was no hope of the arm ever being useful. Young Raisch went along for a few years, hoping against hope for some means of regaining the natural use of his arm. He became acquainted with the physical culture movement, and after attempting light methods for a while, was introduced to the possibilities of progressive exercise with bar bells. He witnessed Henry Steinborn in training, at the time the latter was at about his best. Inspired by the example of the wonderful physique of Steinborn, young Raisch was fired into action, and within a short space of time a remarkable improvement was noted in the appearance and condition of his arm. The physicians who had claimed there was no hope were amazed at the degree of improvement. The transformation was almost equal to building new tissues to replace those entirely destroyed by fire. Closely peruse the photographs of Bill you will find herein; note the shape and present muscularity of his right arm, then try to imagine that the same right arm had once been burned almost to the bone. Bill Raisch is today, positively about the huskiest specimen of 165 pound manhood you would want to meet.

Consider, also, the efforts of physical improvement necessary on the part of Joe Nordquest and Alan P. Mead, both of whom are to found among our collection of illustrations. At the age of eight, Joe Nordquest suffered the loss of his left lower leg; he stared to exercise with bar bells in his mid teens and had to wage a long, hard, uphill fight to build himself up. Alan P. Mead lost one lower limb in the late war, and after returning to civilian life undertook to develop himself to compensate for his great physical loss. The same progressive measures have succeeded in making him a record holder at lifting, and probably the world's most outstanding example of a living chart of anatomy, for all the muscles of his body are so clear cut as to suggest such a chart. We have numerous people who have developed themselves in spite of the fact that they are handicapped with the loss of one limb.

As a further proof of the results to be realized from the regular practice of vigorous physical exercise we will cite another case which should prove interesting.

A gentleman who holds a position of good standing in the engineering profession, visited us and related his experience in raising his bodyweight from 120 pounds in street clothes to 175 stripped, and overcame the dread disease, consumption, or tuberculosis of the lungs. He had run himself down into that condition of poor health by working night and day for several days at one time, such periods of overwork being repeated quite frequently, in an effort to complete rush contracts. A friend advised progressive bar bell exercise, and luckily for him, he heeded the advice. Due to the diseased condition of his body, no improvement in body weight was noted during the first six months, but from then on progress was sure and steady. Today, you would be inclined to disbelieve any statement concerning his ever having suffered from consumption.

The strenuous exercises to which he has become accustomed has made it possible for him to lose sleep for great stretches of time, and although his bodyweight is temporarily reduced, his reserve of energy gives him the recuperative powers to survive strenuous engineering campaigns with no ill effects. For instance, while his fellow workers are stricken with various minor illnesses as the result of exposure to semi tropical heat wile harvesting sugar cane, he was in such condition that the extreme heat caused him no trouble. His physicians were positive when diagnosing his sickness as consumption; strenuous exercise brought him around to health, even though physicians generally warn against any form of strenuous exertion when suffering that disease.

As one of our pupils, a professor of psychology, stated, "I want to say that I consider the psychological effect of developing a good body to be of tremendous importance. I am much stronger than I have ever been before. I no longer suffer from the feeling of inferiority which had handicapped me. I believe that all men who have a weak body are secretly ashamed of it. However, they often develop disagreeable traits to compensate for the feeling of inferiority due to the weak body. Besides increasing my strength I have increased my endurance. I can walk twenty miles over very rugged country in deep snow with no bad effects, whereas formerly it tired me to walk three or four. I no longer suffer from constipation and bilious spells which affected me during the years of my youth."

What greater proof for the need of widespread physical education is needed than a knowledge of the sickness, weakness and physical defects among our populace. For instance, during the late war when the Draft was put into effect, in making examinations of young men for entrance into service it was found that forty-seven out of every hundred had physical defects, still quite a large percentage of those with minor defects were kept in the army, many of them given treatment to fit them for active service. However, twenty-one out of a hundred were rejected as unfit for service, even though the requirements of the Draft were not as strict as those for entrance into the regular army.

If we are to apply these figures to the average populace it would be bad enough, but we must remember these men represented the flower of our youth or young manhood, men between the ages of twenty-one and thirty mostly, with a small percentage from eighteen to twenty. We would rightfully expect young men of these ages to present a higher degree of efficiency. If such findings are true among young men, how about middle-aged men? Surely the physical standard among the latter would hardly compare with the younger men. Reliable figures also show us that 75% of our school children have defects, which are certain later to lead to bad health. It has further been figured that there are something in excess of forty-two million men and women gainfully employed in this country, and out of that number two million must remain away from work every day due to sickness. The computed average, for each employed person, of days lost annually is eight days, plus, or a total of at least three hundred and fifty million working days lost each year. You can figure it anywhere from five to ten dollars a day, and at either extreme the amount of lost money is appalling. Health authorities tell us the majority of those minor disabilities could be prevented.

To the average citizen, the only incentive for physical training is the winning of some title, prize, or purse. Senseless indeed, would it be to advocate physical culture or athletics for training the body if the only benefit derived was the winning of medals, or money or glory. The great physical culture movement would be an utter folly if this were true, and physical exercise would be valueless except for athletes who could make a good living out of it. Many athletes do, of course, consider the glory and prize to be of utmost importance, just as school boys are apt to think of athletics and physical condition as a means of winning honors for their school. Physical training and exercises are encouraged in schools and colleges for a different reason. The intelligent educators who are responsible for the inclusion of physical training in our universities and public schools realized the importance of physical exercise as a necessary measure in promoting and safeguarding good health and a life of usefulness among our future citizens.

Proper physical training builds a reserve of vital energy in the human system and strengthens the internal organs so that they will function in a healthy manner. There results an increased resistance to disease and a greater prospect of a long and useful life. Muscles are strong and enduring only when they receive strong impulses form the internal, controlling organism, the nerves, and the bloodstream, by means of strong circulatory and respiratory functions. The active muscles must be properly nourished or they would waste away. An increase in the size of muscles signifies a more efficient working of the vital organs. We state a logical fact when we say that larger muscles and greater strength cannot result without increased nourishment being abstracted from the food.

Since the dawn of history, physical strength has been worshipped by humanity. The man of great strength has been recognized through the ages as the complete man. In the days of the cave man, the law of the survival of the fittest prevailed as it does even today in the jungle. Then, men hunted one another, and the strongest survived each conflict. Men began to live in colonies known as tribes, and the man who was physically most fit ruled as chief. Now days, no such condition prevails, it is true; nevertheless, supreme physical condition is just as much admired today as in the days of the cave man. Witness the glamour of heroism surrounding our athletic champions. The physical hero of today is better known and given greater publicity than our giants of mentality. The athlete is evidently acclaimed for his excellence in some branch of sport, but the subconscious urge leading people to cheer him is the age old worship of physical strength.

To the average person, the subject of weight lifting and the cultivation of strength is merely something of interest to men who are naturally strong and rugged and wish to make a living as professional strong men in a circus. To those devotees who have been initiated into the romance of the lore of strength, it possesses a certain fascination. It is doubtful if any sphere of human endeavor offers such opportunities for a vivid imagination. To the earnest initiate, the romance of strength offers unlimited play for imaginary adventures. Each new enthusiast dreams of the time when he shall be one of the leading lights with a big part to play in making world strength history. Though the realization of such dreams may come to but a limited number, the great majority never lose hope of some day sitting among the elite.

The individual who has just decided to exercise is faced with a most perplexing problem. If, in his search for a suitable method, he reads the principal magazines devoted to exercise, his dilemma will be all the more pronounced. Means of exercising are as diverse as the hobbies and means of amusement indulged in by our fellow citizens. Systems and courses of physical culture are nearly as numerous as the professors who conduct them. Providing a justifiable excuse or explanation could be given for the existence of each of the widely heralded systems, there would hardly be any sensible reason for the writing of this present book. However, as a fair amount of study and investigation will prove to the open minded individual who is searching for the truth, there are both correct and incorrect ways of exercising. Some exercises, if continued in a regular manner, will prove beneficial; others will turn out to be nothing more than a waste of time, and most of all, many means of exercising may result in harm to the inexperienced beginner. Certain things in regard to healthful exercise of the human body should be understood by one who wishes to intelligently choose a means of physical exercise. It is with this idea in mind that we now endeavor to enlighten the uninitiated.

Chiefly, the reason for practicing muscular exercise is to promote a sound condition of health. This is induced by stimulating and invigorating the action of the vital functions. First of all, the circulation is stirred up, and an acceleration of the circulation results in a demand for more oxygen through the lungs. With a stronger and more vital circulation of blood coursing through the veins and arteries, the various internal organs are bound to benefit. The increased blood flow and consequent demand upon the digestive and assimilative functions results in a better average state of health, the internal organs are more vigorous, the muscles better nourished, the individual is stronger, more enduring and more efficient in general.

The observant reader will soon be aware of our advocacy of weight lifting exercises as a means of properly developing the human male body. We refer to such exercises at this time as weight lifting exercises, chiefly because the uninitiated will at first be unable to disassociate bar bell exercises from actual weight lifting. Closely related as they are, due to the nature of the apparatus used in the practice and performance of both, and the fact that all prominent figures in the weight lifting world have been developed and trained along the same identical lines, there exists in reality a considerable difference between the two.

When body building exercises are practiced with bar bells with the idea in mind of developing and strengthening the muscles and improving the health, the physical culturist performs a certain routine of movements with moderate weights. At the start, very light poundages are handled, performing each movement a certain number of times. Very gradually the repetitions and poundages are added to as he becomes accustomed to the exercise. Two things take place. The muscles grow to become better able to do the new work, and at the same time by increasing the resistance the muscles are coaxed to grow and become capable of accomplishing even more. In the performance of bar bell exercises, no attempt if made of exert the body, not to actually use the strength, till you have progressed to an advanced stage. At that time you will be thoroughly prepared to train along advanced lines or to participate in actual lifting should you desire.

Weight lifting in the strict sense consists of attempts to elevate the greatest possible amount in one movement or series of movements which combine into one continuous lift. The main difference between actual lifting and body building exercises is the degree of exertion put into the effort. In lifting, you put every bit of energy at your command into the effort, while in exercising a number of repetitions are performed, each of which is well within your reserve limit, and no attempt is made to handle the limit of your ability, even for the full number of counts.



Iron Nation
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT