bodybuilding in general

General topics of body training in articles from vintage physique magazines.

Why You Need To Exercise

Here’s Why You Need Scientific Exercise

By the editor of Your Physique

famous bodybuilder Jonh Grimek

Healthy living and Scientific exercise with weights has rewarded Jonh Grimek with the title of "Mr. America of 1941". Don't yon envy his trophy and magnificent physique? You may not be rewarded with a "Mr. America", title, but you will surely be more them amply repaid for your efforts by obtaining better health a stronger physique and a more manly appearance through the use of weights.

Too many persons cling to the delusion that because they work hard all week they are getting all the exercise they need and therefore do not require any additional exercise.

They do not realize that there is as much difference between work and scientific exercise as there is between night and day.

The facts are. work exhausts vitality, drains energy from the body, tears down physical structures. Work is tiring, devitalizing. Work of any kind very seldom ever builds magnificent muscles. The most muscular marvels whom you ever saw never secured their magnificent development from work, because ordinary physical labor never builds shapely, powerful, attractive muscles. Surprising as it may seem most of the world’s greatest Strong Men are “pen-pusher — men like John Grimek. Anthony Terlazzo. Johnny Terpak, and many others spend most of the day in an office, sitting at their desks. But who does not envy them their beautiful bodies, their tremendous strength?

From now on, forget the False idea that you are getting all the exercise you need from your daily work.

Scientific exercises are properly planed movements with some form of apparatus, which may be your choice of barbells, dumbells, cables or other such equipment. These intelligently directed movements soon bring about the most astonishing results — both internally and externally. Regardless of your age, if you are a reader of this publication, you need scientific exercise with some form of apparatus. This means that whether the acquisition of big muscles appeals to you or not. it still makes no difference, you NEED scientifically directed EXERCISE

Why? Here are more than a dozen reasons WHY you should start at once on a program of proper exercise under a capable Health Director.
1. Exercise is the Key to Personal Efficiency. Self Mastery, and the cultivation of Power of Will.

2. Exercise helps strengthen all the vital internal organs, tones up the liver, kidneys, heart. Intestines, sex organs — enabling these and other vital structures to perform their respective functions normally and healthfully.

3 Exercise improves and helps maintain the circulation of the blood, preventing stagnation sluggishness —

4 Exercise assists in removing fatigue poisons from the system, eliminating congestion.

5. Exercise helps build up new, healthier, stronger body cells.

6. Exercise greatly assists in keeping the body more radiantly ALIVE and BUOYANT. . . remember. ACTIVITY is LIFE and muscular inactivity and stagnation means death

7. Exercise helps to insure proper elimination of waste from the intestines and bowels. Anyone who is constipated certainly need exercise.

8. Exercise makes the mind sparkling, clear, keen, with greater trigger-like responsiveness.

9. Exercise aids the entire body in becoming more responsive and efficient, assuring a better coordination of nerve and muscle — thus giving you the ability to swiftly snap out of the way of approaching danger, thus avoiding costly, painful accidents.

10 Weakness, sickness and various manifestations of disease are prevented or overcome with the added aid of scientific exercise.

11. Exercise stimulates, arouses and tones up the various ductless and important endocrine glands.

12. Exercise make the VITAL Organs POWER HOUSES of Electrical Energy and Dynamic Strength.

13 Exercise prolongs YOUTH, helps pospone old age, stiffness tension 14. Exercise enables you to DO more. BE more. EARN more.

15 Exercise sweetens life. All time and money spent in exercising the body pays a LARGER interest than any other investments

Through work you EXHAUST, EXPEND your energy. It is power flowing OUT of your body. Something GONE from within you. It means a definite loss.

Muscle model Keith Wegeman

Keith Wegeman by Bruce of Los Angeles

By the aid of SCIENTIFIC Exercise you REVITALIZE the body, you recharge the exhausted cells. It is power coming INTO your body from without- You are GENERATING NEW ENERGY (assuming you also eat correctly). SCIENTIFIC Exercises RECHARGE the human battery. With all of these reasons given, I have not mentioned the fact that it is only by SCIENTIFIC Exercise that big, powerful muscles can be build altho this is the chief ambition of so many young, ambitious fellows, — and a worthy ambition at that.

Now that these facts have been brought clearly to your attention you will understand right away WHY you do not get all the exercise you need from your work. I’ve seen coal miners, workers doing the hardest kind of manual labor in steel mills, men working all day with pick and shovel and laborers in hundreds of ether fields of endeavor — but never have I seen one of these men with a physique the equal of any of our Great Strong Men and Muscular Marvels… and neither have you.

And here’s a most astonishing fact. The average person has an idea that to acquire such a muscular physique as our great Strong Men possess- demands an extraordinary amount of hard work. This is not true. Some intensive training about three evenings a week for a few months will show the most astonishing results. It is not a question of hard work, but rather the correct type of exercises enthusiastically performed: faithfully, persistently, patiently continued. Let me repeat, it is not “hard work” or exhausting effort that builds mighty muscles — but a properly balanced diet and a few well directed scientific exercises performed for a few minutes every other day.

Light calisthenics and free hand movements are largely a waste of time and effort if you are seeking REAL HE-MAN muscles. There are powerful body-resisting exercises which are extremely beneficial which can, and often should, be used in conjunction with your apparatus.

Regardless of your condition you can be greatly helped by the aid of scientific exercise. This means, properly directed exercise planned for your particular needs given by a really competent instructor. Teacher or Trainer who has specialized in this phase of professional activity. Your condition is carefully studied, so no matter whether you have a weak heart, are ruptured, etc, certain corrective exercises are designed to help you back to normalcy. Even bed-ridden patients in hospitals have to exercise with weights. These were not barbells or dumbells but weights attached to pulleys suspended from a wooden frame built over the patients beds, to help them regain the muscular power in their legs, thighs, arm, back etc.

It makes no difference what your age — you need scientific apparatus-exercise. This docs not mean that a man of 75 or 85 years of age is expected to toss over head several hundred pounds. Nothing of the kind it does mean that we should all train with suitable exercises adapted to our needs. And observe I wrote ‘train’, not strain. Scientific exercise is PROGRESSIVE. As you gain in strength and muscular power the amount of the weight or resistance is increased according to your increasing needs

Exercising with some form of apparatus makes it more interesting, offers greater resistance, speeds results, enables you to concentrate on what you are doing better. Each piece of equipment is designed for convenience and efficiency. As already stated, one of the finest and best investments every man and young man can make for themselves. No home is complete without some form of exercising apparatus, and every home should have an exercise-room or training quarters where all the family can participate in their choice of scientific body-conditioning exercise.

Because you may indulge in various games sports, golf, or other outdoor activities do not assume that that is sufficient. The ‘mind’ is concentrated on the game or excelling in the sport rather than the specific physical benefits. However, all scientific exercise will help you play a better game, become more proficient in your favorite sport.

The term “becoming muscle-bound’ by intensive exercise has scared many thousands away from acquiring a beautiful body, but let it be known that such a condition positively does NOT exist. Scientific exercise with any kind of apparatus invariably makes the various muscle groups supple, limber, responsive soft muscular tissue when relaxed: and absolutely flexible. So do not fear the bogey idea of a purely imaginary condition of ‘muscle bound’. Stiffness in the muscles comes from eating too mud starchy food and a lack of scientific exercise

In seeking advice on any subject ask an authority, a specialist on the particular problem. Don’t ask someone who knows nothing about SCIENTIFIC exercise whether or not you should exercise Ask us. because its our business to know and give you sincere, unbiased facts based on more than a quarter of a century of practical experience in dealing with hundreds of thousands of men In every part of the globe. Don’t ask your parents, your so-called “friends”, acquaintances or most local doctors as they know very little about scientific exercises adapted to your particular needs. It is sad the (misconceptions so many supposedly -learned” doctors have regarding exercise. Usually they advise against exercise because they are evidently ignorant of the true facts regarding scientific exercise or else do not want to lose a “paying” patient.

There is nothing difficult or complicated or hard about any exercise which we advocate. We strive to make them as simple as possible, as easy, as pleasant, as resultful as possible. No silly contortionist tricks or queer, stupid stunts. Scientific exercises are planned and designed to save your time, your effort, your temper.

Even though you are not interested in acquiring “Big Muscles” do not neglect your exercise. You need regular exercise. It’s a good habit to form. Performing your exercise regularly for at least a few minutes every other day helps you maintain that grip on yourself; prevents you from slipping, physically. . . and mentally

Scientific exercise is usually best performed with some type of apparatus. What kind of equipment you use does not so much matter, as the thing that really counts, is using it consistently, faithfully, regularly. So many fellows find their exercise periods so fascinating that when they secure one piece of equipment they want more. And it really is a big help to have on hand barbells, dumbbells, cables, iron shoes and the abdominal board; extra plates, bars, collars for dumbells of different weights for different exercises

There is no excuse for not exercising. You have been told why it is necessary. Courses by Internationally Known Health Educators are available to give expert, personal instruction according to your individual needs. The different types of apparatus are still available at unusually low prices Don’t deny yourself or your family all the many benefits which exercise with scientific equipment can bring to you. Use the long winter evenings by giving yourself an intensive Body Building and Conditioning Course and whip that body of yours into. A. I. shape before the warm summer days are here.

There are many things during this war — you can very well get along without. But its patriotic to keep or get FIT Weaklings and the inefficient are definitely out. It’s a DUTY, an OBLIGATION and a PRIVILEGE to put yourself in SUPERB condition for your Country. It’s sabotage to deliberately neglect yourself.

We want to be fair, to be honest, to be absolutely sincere. We have always strived to be, so we have said, and repeat again, that health cannot be obtained from the application of only ONE method. Health depends upon the intelligent application of ALL Natural Health methods. You need the right kind of foods, baths, sun and air baths, rest and relaxation, living under favorable conditions, .maintaining emotional control, elimination of all destructive forces and such factors as well as scientific exercise But we say, EXERCISE is MOST important, so vital and essential to your best welfare you can’t afford to ignore or neglect it. Start TODAY and get the Courses, the Training and Equipment you need NOW.

Your Physique, Volume 3 № 1, Mar 1943


Your Great Breathing Muscle

YOUR GREAT BREATHING MUSCLE

by Joseph E. Weider
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher

Do you know the natural way to breathe? Where are your great breathing muscles located? How can they be strengthened and of what benefit can they mean to you? An enlightened article that should be read and practiced by everyone.

extraordinary dreadnought chest pose of Frank Leight

This extraordinary dreadnought chest pose of Frank Leight, was submitted for publication by his photographer Lon, of New York City. Many of our readers will remember that Frank Leight's chest was selected as the best in America, by leading authorities year after year.

As you of course know, the diaphragm is the floor of the chest, separating the heart and lungs above from the stomach and liver below it; it is the partition between the thoracic and abdominal cavities.

We breathe in two ways: by raising the ribs and holding the diaphragm still, or secondly, by lowering the diaphragm while the ribs remain stationary. Of course, these methods may be combined, and most people really do blend them more or less.

When muscularly exerting ourselves we need all the air available, and we instinctively secure it by breathing deeply both ways. But, by far the greater portion of time is spent in comparative repose; so the manner of breathing during these hours must be highly important.

Diaphragmatic breathing — permitting the ribs to remain virtually stationary while we contract and relax the diaphragm — is the proper method for repose, and this is proved by several facts. The descent of the diaphragm gently massages all the organs below it, improving the digestive and eliminative functions. Habitual chest breathing leaves the abdominal organs inert, except when they are stirred by vigorous bodily exercise. Secondly, the absorption of oxygen from a given volume of air is greater when it is breathed diaphragmatically than when the chest method is used. Thirdly, breathing with “the floor of the chest” means a considerable economy of muscular energy, because to raise the ribs involves some of the body’s largest muscles.

But with the average person, the diaphragm grows weaker after the first few years of childhood. Unhealthful habits, tight clothing, and especially careless, stooping posture in walking and sitting, cramp the great breathing muscle. From inactivity, it finally loses nearly all of its involuntary action, moving only by an effort of our will. Many persons lose control of it entirely, and many suffer for years from various organic complaints as a result. One of the finest things any boy or girl could do for his or her health and strength is to guard against loss of the
diaphragm’s natural action, as he or she grows older.

Weider-era bodybuilder London's Sid Robertson

Sid Robertson by Les Demi-Dieux

Test yourself now. Stand erect, hands on front and sides of upper chest, fingers spread. Now take an ordinary breath and see where the expansion occurs. If you feel the ribs rise and your waistline remains unmoved, your breathing is chest respiration. If the ribs hold their place and the abdomen expands, you are breathing diaphragmatically — properly for all times except when exercising.

Sometimes a person, in trying to breathe diaphragmatically, will contract the abdominal muscles and mistake their expansion for the result of the diaphragm’s descent. Guard against that; the muscles must remain relaxed so that the diaphragm may descend easily. Its ascent is simply a matter of its own muscular relaxation between the downward movements. Practice persistently, always keeping your mind on the exercise. Every week’s work will show results, till the habit is formed.

I have known diaphragms to be so weak that no amount of effort while the person was standing would bring them under voluntary control. In such cases one must lie down. Reclining on the back makes diaphragmatic breathing far easier, and by keeping the hands on the chest walls one can tell very accurately how he is coming on.

Breathe slowly, letting inhalation and exhalation occupy about the same length of time. Never hold your breath for more than a few seconds. At first you should not try to breathe very deeply; for your diaphragmatic capacity may be small for several weeks, and a too forceful inspiration will shift you into the chest method.

Your Physique Volume 3 N 6, February-March 1944


The Principles of Power Training

Here is how you can become 50% stronger in a few enjoyable work outs.

By John Leonard, Mr. Universe

One of the goals of every iron man should be SUPER STRENGTH.

Unfortunately, too few bodybuilders ever fully exploit their strength potential.

The main reason is that they really don’t know how to train for maximum power. They believe that only such movements as the squat, bench press and deadlifts are power builders. They are, of course, wrong!

Any exercise can be used for molding giant power. The key is HOW the exercise is employed.

Fortunately, the principles of power training can be clearly outlined and are easily understood. Follow the simple rules and you can add up to 50% to your present power in any movement in a few short weeks.

muscle model from vintage physuqye magazine

Massive Joe Williams displays type of rugged development heavy weight training builds. Joe is enormously powerful - a fabulous squatter and bench presser. Bruce of Los Angeles pic.

SELECTION OF EXERCISES: When training for power you can concentrate on ONE movement only. Power cannot be spread over many movements. You will make fastest progress if you select one exercise and practice this solely for several weeks.

FREQUENCY OF TRAINING: Train 3 to 5 times weekly, dependent on your energy level If you feel fresh and have an urge to train, take a work out. If you feel listless and lacking in energy, do not train that day. Learn how to judge your energy level from your feelings. If you study yourself you will soon know when you should take a work out and when one should be missed.

HOW TO PERFORM EXERCISES: Warm up with a light poundage, performing 4 or 5 fast reps. Take a rest and add some poundage Perform 2 to 3 reps. Take a rest and add some poundage. Perform a single rep. Continue to add poundage and to perform single reps until you have reached your limit.

Take a rest.

Reduce poundage to original weight. Perform the FIRST HALF of the exercise only. As an example, in the curl you should curl the weight from the thighs until the forearms were parallel with the ground only and then lower the barbell to the thighs. Continue to perform single reps of this stage of the exercise only, adding poundage with each, until you have reached your limit.

Take a rest.

Reduce poundage to original weight. Perform the SECOND half of the exercise only. As an example, in the curl, start with barbell curled to shoulders and lower until forearms are parallel to the ground. Then, curl barbell back to shoulders. Continue to perform single rep of this stage of the exercise only, adding poundage with each, until you have reached your limit.

Take a rest.

Reduce poundage to original weight. Perform only a QUARTER movement. Once a-gain using the curl, move the weight from the thighs to a quarter of the distance of a full curl. Lower to the thighs. Add poundage and continue with single reps until you have reached your limit. In this final, quarter action movement, swing, heave, cheat in any possible manner. The entire idea should be to use as heavy a weight as possible. The more weight you learn to handle in this quarter action, the more you will eventually be able to use in the full movement.

MENTAL APPROACH: Cultivate and maintain an utter contempt for heavy poundages. Do not let them frighten you or set up mental blocks. Mental blocks, more than anything else, keep bodybuilders from handling heavier poundages. In 192O’s the a 300 pound clean and jerk was unknown in America. Once that mark was surpassed, dozens of lifters were ‘capable’. They had been capable for YEARS but needed someone else to succeed before their mental blocks were removed. In the 1930*s it was 350 pounds that was ‘impossible’. The 1940’s found 400 pounds the ‘limit’. Today, 500 pounds “can’t be done”. Yet, that mark will be reached and once it is, many will follow the leader. And–those who do follow the leader, could be first if they only believed in themselves and ignored the word ‘impossible’.

REST: At least 9 hours sleep nightly is needed by the power trainee. Occasional ‘breaking of training’ and a late night out is advised, but not too frequently. Once every two to three weeks is sufficient.

DIET: A heavy carbohydrate, liquid and protein diet is important. Large quantities of starchy foods, along with thick soup, milk and meat three times a day are imperative to success.

BODYWEIGHT: A maximum bodyweight permits a building of maximum power. You cannot retain razor sharp delineation and beat the world in power.

AFTER POWER: After you have developed a maximum in power in any exercise you can retain close to 100% capability by an occasional power work out. Otherwise train in the normal bodybuilding style.

Muscle Man, V. 1 №1