Developing the Forearms

Developing the Forearms

By George F. Jowett

The development of the forearms is a problem to thousand of body builders, but the author, who is famed for the size and strength of his powerful arms, offers valuable help in this fine article. He sets you right on many questions, and explains why certain beliefs are mere fallacies. With usual thoroughness, he picks apart the entire muscular scheme of the forearm in such a manner you can visualize the entire-plan unfold before- your eyes. He presents practical facts gleaned from many years of personal experience, and from teachings others. It will help you immensely to build your forearms as you want them.

Bodybuilder Joe Thaler
Joe Thaler of New York, winner of the best back contest in "Mr. America 1940", at present in the US Army. This photo shows up his wonderful development and powerful arms. Another tribute to physical culture. Photo by Earle Forbes.

It is commonly said that the calves and the forearms are the two muscular parts of the body that are the most difficult to develop. It is quite true that many do find them very stubborn to respond to an appreciable increase in growth, but the fact remains that the forearms and calves are composed of the same type of muscles as the rest of the body. It is not any particular peculiarity in the muscular construction of these parts that makes development difficult as much as the fact that these two parts are functioning more vigorously daily, which causes a greater density of tissue that makes the necessary breaking down process of the old tissue a more serious task. This must be done first before growth can take place.

Some choose to term this difficulty a natural condition. Possibly it is; nevertheless, It does not alter the natural order of tissue replacement. My experience gained from observation is that most body builders expect the forearms to respond as readily as other parts, and when they do not they become disgusted and say it just cannot be done for one of many reasons — the most common ‘being, that they have small wrists.

In years past, this old alibi has been drummed into the body builder. To my mind, the alibi just a satisfactory excuse for the incompetent instructor and the indifferent body builder. Naturally all are not indifferent. Many try hard, which puts the burden for non-success where it belongs — upon the instructor.

developing forearms in bodybuilding
Assume the position as shown with the dumbell held at the exact angle. Do not allow the elbow to travel back, though It Is permissible to hug the body with the upper arm. The object is to describe a wide circle by moving the forearms at the elbow, and at the same time rotate the hand on the wrist to the limit. Do not confuse this movement with the idea that all you do is hold the arm rigid and twist the bell around. This is a common error in which the weight of the bell swings the hand, and have no benefit. Do not use too much weight ten to fifteen lbs. is enough to start, and perform 9 to 18 times.

In my study of various body building courses. It is quite noticeable how are deficient in supplying the pupil with the proper explanation, construction and function, treatise and exercise for the forearms.

The small-boned wrist theory always makes me ask the question, “What is a small wrist?” I never get an answer. The defect, if it is one, is more assumed than is actual. During many years as an instructor. I have had the opportunity to observe numerous body builders. Many were famous for their arm strength, and many others with fine arm development could have been equally famous if their inclinations had been toward professional performance or amateur competition. Many of these specimens did not have large bony wrists; very few did. To the average body builder, some of these wrists would have appeared large, and the tape would have justified the fact — but it rarely ever was all bone girth. What was most apparent was the strong mass of muscle and sinew formed around the wrist. As an example, let me quote myself. My wrist measures around 9 ½ inches. Yet, those who can go back far enough to remember me in my earlier days when I was only a middleweight, growing into a heavyweight, will recall that my wrist measurement was given a-round 7 ¼ to 7 ½ inches. As far as years ago, I had then reached manhood’s estate and the age when bones had reached the limit of natural growth in my particular case. Now, is it foolish to assume that the additional two inches gained on my wrist girth could be pure bone? Of course not! My Forearms increased with any other development that transformed me into a heavyweight, and with the increase of forearm size went wrist size. Of course many heavyweights never secured the sized arms and wrists that I and others got, but that was simply because they did not apply themselves as I and others had done.

At the same time, it must always be understood, as explained in previous articles, that a man who is naturally a lightweight cannot expect to obtain the wrist and forearm size of the heavyweight. Yet, there are many cases where men who were to all appearances naturally Inclined to be of an average bodyweight, but who became heavyweights. Like myself, they were not content to belong to the average bodyweight class, no matter how fine their development, nor how great their strength was at the weight, they persevered and so built their body until they finally became heavyweights. Usually, these men can be identified by their bony structure, that is if you observe closely enough. As an example, many remark about my heavy wrist formation, but by squeezing the wrist at the sides, the muscular bulk is forced away and shows clearly the natural bone size, which is not much different than it was when I was a middleweight. In other words, you too, can build your forearms to greater size if you will only be persistent enough. Forget the small-boned wrist idea. Muscle is muscle, and the right type of exercise will break down any stubborn tissue and allow greater growth in replacement.

exercise to develop forearms muscles
From the bang position as shown by the dotted line, the back of the hand faces directly front. As you start to raise the kettlebell into the second position shown, first bend the hand back on the wrist as much as possible. Do not allow the elbow to travel backward, and do not press the arm to the side of the body. Raise the arm slowly until it is just past the right angle line with the body. Do not go beyond this line. Slowly return to position and repeat 6 to 12 times with 20 or 25 lbs. You can practice each arm singly, or both together, or in alternate fashion.

Many instructors lacking sufficient information on forearm development advise that the constant gripping, and lifting of dumbbells of barbells during exercise provides sufficient exercise for the forearms. That is not so, because in those same movements, yon are only using the arms in the manner in which they are most accustomed. The -muscles being fully used to those movements, even though they may be more vigorous movements, will no more respond to growth than will pick and showel work increase the arms of the laborer.

Like developing any other part of the body, you must understand the construction and function of the muscles. The forearm muscles, due to the natural crossing action of the radial and ulna bones of the forearms, are arranged to provide more diversified action.

The forearm muscles are capable of four movements — supination — pronation — flexion and extension. This being the case, the mere gripping and bending the arm, lifting to the shoulder, is only one part of their fourfold action. Exercise must be employed that works the muscles from every line of their natural angle. The swift movement of the arms in weight lifting is too quick to classify the action as muscle building exercise. In a lift, there is only the momentary grip, and pull up, that hurls the weight to the shoulders, then the muscles more or less relax in order for the arms to bend, and get under the weight. The forearms are little used in the overhead heave, except at the conclusion of the lift when the supinator longus of the forearm helps to support the triceps of the upper arm in locking the arm at the elbow. To give muscles benefit, the action must be an exercise movement that thoroughtfy stimulates action throughout all the issues, therefore, the movement must be reasonably slow and complete. Particularly Is this true with muscles that are more than ordinary dense In their tissue structure, otherwise, the breaking down of old issue will not be sufficient.

The forearms are divided into a very complex arrangement of nineteen muscles. These muscles are slender-bellied, and with very long tendons. The muscles proper, on the front of the forearm, extend about three-quarters of the way down to the wrist, the rest of the connection to the hand is tendon. Those on the back of the forearm are longer, but these also have long tendons as an examination of the anatomical illustrations of the forearms accompanying this article show.

The origin of most of these muscles are inserted on the bone of the upperarm to become finally attached onto the wrist and hand.

In the last issue, explaining the biceps of the arm, I showed how the biceps were attached upon the bones of the forearm, and as the forearm muscles originate on the bone of the upper arm, you can better understand now why the arm is so powerful in bending the forearm on the upper arm. Everything muscular Is arranged this way. Those who are seeking to increase the depth of the upper arm against the elbow fold can realize that forearm development is also a necessary part of the plan to create this desirable powerful formation.

exercise for forearms muscles
This is a good exercise if you put plenty of effort behind it. You must not use too much weight. If you do, the upper arm tires from supporting the weight in the stationary position before the forearm muscles get the required workout. Hold the elbow high and level with the band. Hold the bell endways with the floor. From this position bend the hand on the wrist toward the body, then bend the hand backward on the wrist. Grip the bell tightly, and force the hand movements on the wrist to the limit, until you see the bulge on the front of the arm, and then bulge on top of the arm at the elbow. Use 10 to 15 lbs. and perform 12 to 14 movements with each arm.

Of the nineteen muscles in the forearm, four are concerned with pronation and supination, nine with the thumb, and six with the wrist, and they all have capable extension and flexion. When you hold the arm with the back of the hand up, that is the prone position, the reverse is the supine. This action aided by the crossing of the bones, permit the hand to rotate on the wrist 180 degrees, or a half circle. The rotation of the hand is caused by the crossing of the forearm bones, and not by the wrist alone. These bones control the wrist movement, therefore, you must always bear in mind that it is the forearm that involves the movements of the wrist and hand. This being a fact, all hand and wrist movements in turn involve the forearm muscles, and the hand and wrist is the angle from which we must begin in order to develop the muscles. The only thing left is to know in which direction the hand and wrist should be bent in order to get at all of the muscles. These movements comprise the exercises necessary for the purpose.

You must always remember that the actual functions of these muscles are short. The length of their pull is controlled by the limation of the hand bending on the wrist. Therefore, the true exercise operation must be gauged from the straight arm position, and bending the hand on the wrist in the varied exercise position. From this line of action, only light weights should be used, otherwise the swing of a heavy weight is going to create a momentum which will deprive the muscles of a steady complete movement.

There are exercises that are very influential for the forearm muscles that require a bent arm. These efforts are more sustained muscular contraction. By that I mean, after the muscle has become contracted from a movement, the bent arm will sustain the final contraction in a greater degree. Then there are movements of this nature which are necessary because of the supinator longus reaching high onto the upper arm bone, co-ordinates with the triceps. We must also bear in mind what I told you in last month’s issue how the biceps have a functioning relationship with the forearm. With these facts in mind you will understand the reason for light weights with certain exercises, and heavier weights in other exercises. The latter are employed where the muscles of the upper arm coordinate with the lower arm. In other words, you must know the how, when and where to employ heavy and light weight.

The forearm muscles having only an actual short range of contraction will permit, in many cases, a very much increased poundage per exercise, and what is also very important, one can exercise the muscles of the lower arm without any danger of organic reaction. The reason for this is because the forearm muscles are not directly associated with the organs. They also act more independently of other groups which enable their physical capabilities to be more safely and definitely controlled.

The thumb is an important consideration, too, in forearm development. While nine forearm muscles are concerned with thumb action, there are three that are directly associated with it—a short, and a long extensor, and the long abductor. The thumb, like the little finger has more freedom than the other fingers. While the little finger is much weaker than the thumb yet It has three direct muscles connections,—abductor, flexor and opponens.

bodybuilding workout for forearms
Place kettlebell on floor between feet. Use weight of 25 to 30 lbs. Keep the elbow free of body as shown, but you must make elbow travel toward the body as exercise is performed. Keep upper arm always in position shown. Bend forearm only and raise bell as high as is shown, with the hand bent forward on wrist so that arm resembles gooseneck formation. Do not straighten the body. Raise bell op and down from 9 to 18 times. This exercise develops strongly the frontal arm muscles.

The little finger does not act as independent of the other fingers as does the thumb, which means, while you can grip collectively with all fingers the thumb is not necessarily acting, so you should remember to grip strongly with the thumb when holding a weight in the hand during exercise.

The common extensor of the forearm branches into four sections, to be attached onto each finger. The palmaris longus extends from the bone of the upper arm down the forearm ending into a broad sheet of tissue that forms the palm of the hand. Other hand muscles of fleshy bulk form on the top of the fascia. On the back of the hand there are no fleshy, muscles, just a series of tendons. Of course there is a series of superficial muscles forming under the forearm surface muscles which you are more familiar with. These are equally stimulated by the exercises given

The one muscle one should be careful with, particularly weight lifters, is the supinator longus, that runs high on the upper arm bone and supports the triceps. Many lifters strain this muscle, which pains slightly and makes the arm weak in certain arm movements. This is because this particular muscle is not carefully developed strongly enough to co-operate with the effort the triceps demand. There is a little triangle shaped muscle at the upper part of the forearm named the Anconeus that also supports the triceps. This muscle is considered an elongation of the triceps by anatomists, and is developed in unison with the supinator longus.

If you are keen to develop the forearm muscles, it will pay you to read over the explanation given herein several times, so everything is properly grasped in your mind. After all, the forearm is a complex arrangement of muscles, and while I have tried to be brief, and yet cover all the important features necessary to know, study will clarify the subject .more to you. I have not covered all of the muscles separately, simply because so many of them operate will each other in groups that deal with the four explained movements of the forearm muscles.

The exercises submitted for your benefit within this article should be practiced as shown and described. Where a dumbell is advocated, use it. Where a kettle bell is advised use it, also where a solid dumbbell is advised gripped in the hand by the end, use it that way. In this last named, where one holds the dumbbell toy the end and describes a circle with the other end, moving the hand on the wrist, you will probably recognize an old exercise. I have noticed of the late that many have deviated from this exercise principle, using a dumbbell gripped by the bar. This is wrong in two ways. It induces one to use too much weight. The detriment of this is that once the exercise motion is set up a momentum is gathered by the heavy bell. This causes the bell to swing as the hand rotates and deprives the muscles involved of the progressive resistance necessary for development. Moreover, by holding the bell by the end, you obtain full grip of the thumb and little finger, as well as the other fingers If you grip a bell by the bar you are deprived of thumb, and little ‘finger benefit. The thumb is most important. Holding the bell by its end compels you to perform the exercise correctly, and docs the work it is ordained for.

bodybuidling exercise for forearms muscles
This exercise has been advocated from the standing position, but is not as effective as the table position because the standing position allows the elbow to travel back. The table position compels true forearms movement. Use a solid 10-lb. dumbell for thumb and little finger action, as well as entire forearm action. Describe a complete circle with free end of bell 18 times.

There is not so much difference in muscular construction in the forearm as often met with in other muscles, as explained in other ‘previous articles. The forearm size is less deceiving than other muscular bulk. There is less chance for coarse tissue because the forearms are actively employed daily. You can readily tell the difference between a true strong forearm, and a weak one. The muscles stand out in stronger relief, or else the fore-arm is fat. There is the only real difference. After- this, the forearm size and muscular display becomes a true index of power.

Most forearms show the greatest development on the outside the Inside particularly when the muscles are flexed with the hand and forearm In the goose neck formation, is usually sadly lacking. When the front of the forearm is fully developed and when flexed will take on a canoe-like shape from wrist to elbow.

The front of the forearm takes on a different shape with different muscular types. Some display an abrupt bulk just bellow the elbow when the arm is posed in the goose neck position, and the rest of the arm to the wrist is slender. When this occurs, the forearm at its buging point looks larger than It really is. This happens when the frontal muscles are not fully developed over their entire length. As these muscles develop over their length, the sinew insertion into the muscles becomes thicker with the muscle, and this cordiness is what makes up the heavier wrist and stronger arm. I have seen many arms praised (because of this short abrupt bulking, but my experience has proved to me convincingly that they are not the strong type arm of outstanding physical merit. Men who are famous for their arm strength showed a forearm that bulked with thick sinew from the wrist to the elbow. The back of the forearm was broad with a muscular sweep rolling over the elbow and down. The ball of the thumb was thick muscle as also was the outside wall of the palm of the hand. Men like Karl Moerki and Thomas Inch are outstanding examples of men naturally endowed with small wrist bones. Their normal wrist did not exceed much over six inches in circumference, and the bony structure of the hand was small, but look what arms they built. You could see the powerful muscle banking on the front, and along the outside wall of the wrist, and they were both extremely powerfully armed.

developing forearms
Use revolving kettlebell handles on your dumbell for this exercise to give free wrist movement. Load the bells to 20 or 25 lbs. each. From the hang position as show, bend the hand on the wrist inward, slowly but forcibly, bending the elbow to get more action. Without a pause bend the hand on the wrist outward as dotted line shows, straightening the arm strongly. This is a progression of No. 17 and employs all the muscles on the outer arm with greater concentration on the frontal muscle.

Exercise will build for anyone splendid, powerfully formed forearms who strives hard and long enough, but one should also combine other variations of practices as an interesting deviation from exercise. Rope climbing is great, especially when one gets to the point where the rope can be climbed with hands alone. Chinning the bar to the half- up position, with the hands gripping in varied positions, such as the regular grip with palms of the hands facing front, then in the reverse position, then with hands using the alternate grip. Hand balancers always display powerful, well-formed forearms. The constant pushing up of their body-weight balanced on the hands employs every muscle in the forearm. Bending, and twisting iron bars into varied forms, and the bending and breaking of spikes is also a fine developer. The sport of wrist turning provides another fascinating form of forearm exercise. It is the particular sport of the strong armed fellow, and many wonderful tourneys of arm strength have I seen pitted together in a wrist turning contest.

In former Germany and Austria, there were hundreds of clubs that had teams devoted entirely to the sport of kettle bell juggling. What a he-man’s sport that is! The varied spins, twists and turns, the constant catching and swinging, saying nothing about the footwork, timing and keen eye required. It gets at every muscle as no other sport can. It is an arm developing sport de-luxe. On the other hand we read of feats claimed as being great feats of arm strength that actually are not. As an example, I can recall quite a number of years ago visiting a friend in an other city who simply worshipped a local Herculean athlete. He told me that this man would show me what real arm strength was. I was only a middleweight then, but was considered fairly strong-armed. This particular athlete had such a grip that he could raise off the table top a large iron ball which it was claimed no other athlete had ever been able to budge. While I have a large hand, the other fellow bad a larger hand. On sight, lie said I could not move the ball because my hands were not large enough. Nevertheless, he began to demonstrate and to the consternation of my friend he failed on every attempt. I then asked if I might try. My friend was indignant. What was the use of me trying when this giant had failed! He weighed about 265 lbs., nevertheless, at the first attempt I raised the ball, and held it, much to their consternation. This stunt was thought as being a great feat of arm strength. It was not as much a feat of arm strength as it was a feat of having so much strength and knowing how much to employ on the grip over a certain degree, simply squeezed the ball out of the hand. What the Hercules had not noted was that ‘I had an enormous thumb joint. In fact the thumb joint of my hand constitutes more than one-third of my hand spread and size. The thumb ‘being so large and strong, a-long with the little finger grip, did the trick. I merely employed enough force to enable the ball to cling to the hand and gently raised it off the table in a perpendicular line. A clever stunt all right, but did not require as much arm power as other feats I knew of, and which I had seen performed. This bears out what I say that many feats that imply great strength to perform are not always so, therefore, do not be misled, stick to the practices that are proven of the right order. Practice the exercises without deviation as instructed. Any deviation might only be some other fellow’s pet idea, or because he has some physical peculiarity that enables him to do a particular stunt difficult to others without the same peculiarity.

famous bodybuilder Dick Dubois
Dick Dubois from Demi-Gods magazine.

Personally, I regret that lifting clubs and body builders in this country do not follow the practice of juggling kettle bells. I will never forget my initiation into the sport. As a work-out, we stood in a wide circle and tossed the bell to each other. After only a very short time, and I mean short, my forearm muscles began to ache like no one’s business, but I stuck, vanity got the best of me, and for the next couple of days a my arms were like sticks. Later, I practiced the game with more common s sense, and attribute much of the gain gotten in forearm development along with the special exercises, to this sport.

There are numerous other exercises t that can be practiced which lack of s space prevents me from giving more t than I have herein, but these will suffice, and another article I will cover e more of them. While these exercises do give a wonderful benefit to the wrist, yet, there are other exercises that involve wrist movement exclusively. This is done by nutralizing as much forearm action as possible, making the wrist do the major work, which is the opposite in forearm exercise. The wrists will be treated in a s special separate article. I aim to make this series the greatest treatise of it physical development, far beyond the range of what a book could contain, only at a greater cost than one could pay. Follow them through and enjoy the practical benefits that experienced instructions yields to you. These forearm exercises will help you more than you may now realize. Start off with weights well within your control, and increase one repetition every third practice night until you have reached the limit of repetitions to comfortably perform. Never fatigue your muscles, instead, add a little more weight and start over with the original low count and work up as before, and the results will be, the development of a fine powerful forearm which will make you feel proud to roll up your sleeve and show to anyone.

Your Physique Volume 3 N 2, 1943

The Mighty Triceps

The Mighty Triceps

By George F. Jowett

exercise for triceps
The archer movement with cables is an excellent exercise fur building up the triceps muscles. From the position shown straighten the arms from the elbows only to shoulder level. Be sure to thoroughly straighten the arm, slowly and smoothly. Practice with both arms.

ONE day I was amused in watching a group of young men practicing a series of impromptu feats of strength among themselves In a Turner’s gym. One young fellow with an imposing development, particularly of the arms, had them all stopped in chinning the bar. and curling d umbel Is and barbell to the shoulders from the full arm hang position, but what puzzled all his comrades was the fact that he was no better, and not as good as one of the boys In slowly raising a barbell or dumbell to arms’ length overhead. They just could not figure it out. None of them could compare with this particular young chap in arm development, but there it was. He could do so many feats of arm strength the others could not, but he was sunk when it came to feats of overhead lifting. The answer, while puzzling to them, is very simple. This young chap only excelled in feats where the forearm was bent on the upper arm in such movements as curling, chinning and dipping In other words he was all biceps, and only where the biceps muscles were involved did he excel. He failed at all movements, that Is in proportion to his other stunts, simply because he had no worth-while triceps development, and all feats that require the strengthening of the arms overhead, and even when pressing down, with straight aims, are controlled by the action of the triceps muscles.

bodybuilding workout for triceps
Hold the dumbells as shown, with the upper arm in line with the back, and slowly straighten the bent arms. Use a pair of right dumbells and make sure that only the lower part of the arms is straighten out. Keep the elbows in at the sides without moving them, while performing the exercise.

This again brings out the fact which I have so often stressed upon — that the size of the upper arm is not a true criterion of upper arm strength as much as is balanced upper arm development. The upper arm girth may measure much less than that of another, yet to the surprise of the larger-armed chap, the other fellow will excel in more feats of strength. Some explain this as being better in performing the tricks, or knowing the knack of doing a thing, whereas, others claim the big-armed fellow has more beef than strength. This Is rarely true, yet most people believe It. especially when they see an untrained man equal or beat is most arm-building enthusiasts center all their efforts on biceps development and pay little or no attention to the triceps, with the result that they are only able to excel on particular feats such as curling, dipping and chinning the bar. The body builder travels further who pays more attention to balanced development than the one who sticks to isolated development of one particular group of muscle. Vanity, and the craze for large girthed muscles is the cause of this isolated development fad.

bodybuilding exercise for triceps
The alternate press with dumbells is another good arm and shoulder exercise. Bring both dumbells to the shoulder- and alternately press them overhead as high as possible. Practice with kettlebells if possible, as they give a greater extension and longer pull to the muscles, and tills is what brings results.

One must always remember that the biceps act antagonistic to the triceps, and vice versa. The word antagonistic, while commonly used to explain the point is not wholly true. I would prefer to say that each support the other, except in such movements where one acts independently of the other. In this case one muscle is relaxed while the other performs, but in many movements and the majority of movements of the upper arms, the triceps and the biceps act together. As one muscle fullfils its duty the other takes up its appointed duty and carries on. You see this properly demonstrated when a person picks a barbell or dumbell from off the floor to the shoulders, and then raises the weight overhead. In the first movement the biceps function to the point of just beginning to raise the weight overhead at which point the triceps take up and perform most of the work. This clearly shows that the more balanced the development of these two muscular groups are, the more perfect will be the completion of the lift overhead.

The triceps form the bulk of the back of the upper arm as the word triceps implies it is in a three-fold muscle finally inserted into one common tendon. This muscle originates from beneath the deltoid of shoulder cap muscles. They are divided into an inner head, an outer head and a long head. The first two heads are attached onto the extremity of the bone of the upper arm. The long head is attached to the end of the clavicle, or collar bone, and onto the tip of the shoulder blade. The bulk of these three muscles quickly merge into a broad tendon at a point easily visible to the eye when this muscle is contrated forcibly by straightening the arm. The tendon forms the flat part of the upper arm down to the elbow and is flanked on each side by the muscles as they flow down to insertion about the elbow joint. The triceps have powerful control over the forearm. Their chief function is in straightening the forearm with the upper arm.

bodybuilding exercise for triceps
Take a dumbell to full stretch overhead, the arm should ho straight and vertical and the upper arms should accordingly be against the side of your head. Without moving the upper arm and body, bend the elbow fully and bring the arm down to the position shown, resting dumbell against shoulder, behind the neck. Then straighten the arm back to its original position overhead. A light dumbell should be used in this exercise.

In former articles of this series when explaining the muscles of the forearm and of the upper arm. I have shown how strongly certain forearm muscles aid the triceps in operation. Chief among these are the supinator longus and the anconeous. Particularly the later though partly visible on an anatomical chart, the major part of it hidden under the supinator longus and under the triceps as this muscle travels from the forearm up onto the upper arm. These two accessory muscles act as the arm just begins to straighten and when the arm is completely straightened, making the arm lock more definite. The start aids the triceps to get under way and again comes into action at the point just before the arm straightens, known to lifters as the weak point. This point is only weak because the muscles arc not as fully developed as should be in order to fully co-operate. Perhaps this fact will also make clear to my readers why I have advocated to lifters raising upward a dumbell from the shoulders only about six Inches from the shoulders also, while holding a weight overhead, merely lowering the weight a few Inches and then slowly straightening the arm These two exercises movements develop and strengthen these muscles at the point that is most important to a weight lifting enthusiast.

The triceps are very powerful muscles, in fact, much more powerful in proportion to size than are the biceps. This is because the biceps are more shorter ranged in operation. Judging arm strength by results, it would pay every body-builder and weight-lifter to pay greater attention to the development of the triceps than is usually done for the biceps.

Most body-builders when taking their upper arm measurement do so with the biceps flexed, for this reason we are more familiar with arm size when measured from this position, but. if all would make a point to give the measurement of the upper arm when held relaxed and straight by the sides, one could readily judge by comparison whether the biceps were more developed than the triceps. In other words, there would not be so great a difference between the flexed upper arm girth and the relaxed measurement. Incidentally, many do not take the measurement of the upper arm correctly. If they did, some upper arms would measure more than is ordinary shown. Many flex the bleeps, bending the forearm as much as possible upon the upper arm When this Is done, the triceps become completely stretched, and where there should be a full curve on the under side of the upper arm there is a flat line. The forearm should be held almost at right angles with the upper arm which permits biceps and triceps alike to supply their bulk to measurement. Of course if the arm lacks triceps development, holding the forearm at any angle when the biceps are flexed will mean nothing additional.

bodybuilding workout for arms
With arms at the sides, raise dumbell hack-wards as shown, following dotted lines. When you reach the limit of the backward raise as shown, raise the knuckles upwards bending it towards the forearm. It is very important that the body does not move forward from the waist, when performing the exercise. Use the strength of the triceps only to perform this movement.

Men who have reached the summit of arm development always are blest with a pair of powerful triceps. Among heavyweights, the stronger and larger the triceps become the less definitation will be shown. They bulk very heavily. In such cases the only proof of powerful triceps development is the crest of the horseshoe formation of muscle that rises from the fascia midway on the back of the upper arm. In a few cases this condition is exceptional, such as with Hackenschmidt, whose triceps formation was as clear and as clean cut as that of a lightweight Of course Sandow showed finely molded triceps, but he was not a heavy weight in the sense of the word as we nowadays accept the term. At his best he weighed about 186 lbs., and around this body-weight I can mention many who display triceps even more perfectly molded than most biceps. Nevertheless, the real heavyweights have real triceps power, otherwise their arm power, particularly in the slow overhead lifts and jerks, would never have achieved the records credited to these men of might. One can always tell powerful triceps the moment they see a bare arm. The width across the arm just below the deltoid gives the story. Of course, we know that big strong men always run to massivenesa. Their muscles become so densified with muscular fibre hardly any separation is visible, but do not let this deceive you as to the existence of muscle and power. Of course it all depends on what one is after. If the purpose is purely body building with a desire to develop the muscles so that they display separation, this can be done by omitting the practice of heavyweight lifting Heavyweight lifting brings out the fullest in muscular size, but also densifies the structure in the process. One could not become extraordinarily strong without this happening, and to many, this development is a desirable conquest. Now do not get me wrong by thinking weight lifting does not produce men with a clear muscular separation it certainly does in numerous cases, but what I mean is you will find more real strong men with smooth, silky muscles and less separation than you will among those who strive purely for development for the purpose of muscular display.

exercise for arms
The press behind the neck. With the barbell resting on the shoulders behind the neck, slowly and steadily press it overhead us shown. Be sure to keep the barbell behind the head throughout the exercise. If is important that you press it back away from the head and finish of the exercise with the barbell behind your head instead of in front. You may not be able to handle as much weight but results is what you want, so try the right way and see the results for yourself.

After reading this you may be a little confused and wonder what is the difference in the exercise process to ac quire one or the other. It is very simple. The practice of heavyweight lifting involves a less number of exercises in one period and over a shorter length of time per exercise period, and less practice nights per week. Weight lifting exercises Involve whole groups of muscles in each exercise, whereas, for the purpose of separation, less weight is involved, but more repetitions per exercise, and more exercises to be practiced at each period, and these I every night Repeated repetitions of an I exercise directly imposed upon one single muscle group will cause greater fibre construction. Constant contraction causes separation and shapeliness more than it does increase size. While size will culminate, yet it does not show its gains as much as it shows separation and shaping of the muscles, and the more exercises that can be performed to stimulate a muscle, or the least muscle group from all points of operating angle, the greater contraction of the muscle and allied muscles, which is the reason why more repetitions and more exercises per period, and every night weekly, will create finer muscular separation. While this explains a point that perhaps is important to you, and which is important in explaining the difference to those who are not aware of the facts and wish to know them — what I has it got to do with the development of the triceps in size, shape, separation and strength. It has a great deal to do with it for no other reason than because barbell or dumbell exercise alone will not give one the fullest in triceps development. Barbell and dumbbells give a very limited form of exercise for the triceps. Therefore, other factors must be considered that will function the triceps from all they varied angles they are capable of functioning

bodybuidling exercise for triceps
Raise the left arm backwards resisting with the right as shown. See that you move the arm backward from the shoulder only and keep the body erect. Practice with both arms.

Many body builders get a set notion that weights are the only thing even to the exclusion of all other methods and other apparatus. It is a wrong attitude. While I agree on the greater efficiency of progressive weights, yet I never met a man who had reached the peak of success in development and strength, who had not recognized the fact that his training periods must be mixed exercise in order to get the best out of ail the muscles.

There is a saying that a good workman always is plentifully supplied with the best tools. It is the same with the good body builder. He will recognize the necessity of employing other tools and methods for obvious reasons, other than weights, and will use than in the right place. I have used all forms of apparatus while not yielding first place to them in preference to progressive weights. I have used cable pulls for certain muscles I have used spring grips, dumbbells-grips, chest weights and what have you. and enjoyed them one of the forms of exercise I ever indulged in was that of swinging heavy weighted clubs, something one never hear tell of these days. I used to have a pair knocking around up to a short time ago. and have often been quite amused watching the helpless antics of many who stand high in strength fame today, trying to swing them They are the equal of kettle-bell juggling for the arms and shoulders, and provide a far more strenuous training routine. Then we had the single club, one that weighed from eighty pounds as to whatever you desire, which was swung in all directions while gripped with both hands. They made you realize you had a pair of triceps and if they were below par in strength and development they quickly improved. Breaking iron shoes afforded fine triceps works, and many years ago I used the iron shoe exercise purely for triceps and arm purposes, a-long with my other weight training exercises Cable pulls of strong elastic can be used to give fine triceps exercise, as also can the gymnastic exercise, dipping between the parallel bars.

bodybuilding for arms
Stretching cables across the hack or in front of the chest is an excellent exercise for the tricep muscles. Many good arm exercises could be done with a chest expander. It is one of the finest piece of apparatus in developing the triceps.

Just try standing between pair of parallel bars, pressing with the hands on the bars as you raise the legs up backward while held straight, until you are m a pianche. You nail soon find out If your triceps are strong or not as this ss purely a triceps feat that cannot be equalled with weights. Hold the chest cable expander at arms’ length behind the back, and with straight arms raise the arms out and up, until they are in a line level with the shoulders. This is a pure triceps exercise, providing you do not bend the body while performing the movement. Raising a dumbell backwards, and twisting the arm when the full back arm raise has been made will give the triceps a fine work out, but the trouble it is so easy to swing the body with the arm raise, that the best value in the exercise for the triceps becomes lost. Yes, you can lift a barbell from the position where it hangs at aims’ length across the back of the thighs, and then with straight arms, lift up backwards as high as possible. This is line if — you do it right, but too many bend too far forward as they raise the arms, with the result, that they hardly raise the aims at all. They only bend forward, and think they are doing it right, but this kind of mental telepathy will not help a little bit The exercises I have mentioned with either apparatus give you less chance to mislead yourself, with the results, better triceps action is gained, and muscular action is what origins results

bodybuilding workout for arms
The side press is another good exercise. In this exercise a heavier dumbell could be used but be sure to do the exercise correctly. Bring a dumbell to the shoulder and take the position us shown, feet no more then fifteen inches apart, bend slowly to the left side and straighten the right arm overhead. When this is done bring the body back to its original position and then lower the dumbell lo the shoulder and repeat. Be sure to use both arms in this exercise.

Be broad-minded with your training. Study the things that will give you the development benefits you desire, and use those methods. It is no travesty from a principle to use a chest cable pull for one exercise in your weight-lifting exercise training. Chest cable pulls. as well as other things mentioned herein, are tools of the trade so to speak. I never came across a truly successful body builder who could say that in all his life he had never used any but one type apparatus to secure his strength, size and development. Thomas Inch, the great English strength athlete was very fond of chest cable exercise mingled with his barbell and dumbbell routine. If you think it is only weaklings or sissies that use this type of apparatus, you ought to try stretching the cables Inch could stretch few strong men could budge them let alone completely stretch hem. It helped to make their muscles more versatile and supple it allowed the weight training program to secure better results. On the whole, weights cannot be surpassed, but for some muscles where weights are restricted in their adaptability to function the muscles completely, use other means and apparatus if they will do the work.

Results are what you are after so do not turn down a point that will help you secure the results, particularly does this advice hold good In the consideration of triceps development. The point to remember is that all movements that straighten the arms, and permit the arms to be turned while the arms are held In the straight arm position, and also permit a turn or twist while the arm is evolving into the straight arm position, provide triceps stimulation and development. Therefore, bearing this in mind, you will not find it difficult to form a triceps exercise routine, adding to the exercises illustrated within this article.

bodybuilding lying exercise for armsTake the above position grasp the barbell as shown by dotted lines and straighten the arms. Don’t swing the barbell but use the strength of the triceps to bring it to arms length overhead. Other good exercises that can be done from this position is the prone press, shoulder press and belly tows. All are good triceps exercises, and plenty of weight can be used.

Your Physique, Volume 3 № 1, Mar 1943

Strengthen Your Grip And Forearms

Here is a simple course of exercises you can follow. GUARANTEED to add inches of muscle to your forearms, and to strengthen your hands.


exercise for muscle training pictureEXERCISE A. The good old dead lift is great for the grip. Suppose you can make a two hands dead lift of 400 pounds. Take one hundred pounds less 300 pounds . . . and lift it to finish position. Simply hold it until the grip gives out, replacing it on the floor in time to prevent damage to same and the arousing of parental wrath. You can also use a one hand ‘dead lift version. Loading up a heavy dumbbell and walking around the room with it is good for the grip An astonishing feat of strength was the performance by John Davis. He carried two 100 pound dumbbells for one block, then up three flights of stairs to Sig Klein’s gym without once putting them down.

EXERCISE B. The rotation movements can be best performed on a Lat Machine. As you can see from the illustration, the upper arm rests along a bench while the forearm is held straight up and down. Replace the bar of the lat machine by a loop of rope or canvas. Have a training partner pull it down to your grasp, then simply rotate the hand or twist it backwards and forwards as depicted.

muscle training exercises drawing

EXERCISE C. Here’s another wonderful exercise for the forearms. Grasp a barbell in one hand and hold it at the shoulder as if you were going to press it overhead. Hold it SLIGHTLY off center so there is either a back hang or a forward hang to the weight. In fact it is best to do sets with both a back hang, and a hang to the front. With a back hang, simply pull the inside edge of the hand DOWN. With a front hang pull the thumb side of the hand BACK. Don’t have too much of an “off center” grip or else .the leverage will be too greatf.

forearms and grip muscle training drawingsEXERCISE D. A great exercise for the muscles along the back of the forearm is the following. Kneel down before a lengthwise placed exercise bench. Place the forearms across it with the backs of the hands up. A barbell is held in the hands with a shoulder width grip. From this position lower the hands by bending at the wrist then raising them as high as you can. USE A THUMB AROUND THE BAR GRIP! Don’t forget to lower and raise the barbell as high as you can.

EXERCISE E. The reverse position of the above movement is also very effective. Care must be taken to use a thumb around the bar grip, else the weight might fall out of the hands. But in this second exercise, don’t raise the hands until they are upright. First lower the bar as much as possible, then raise the hand until it is LEVEL WITH THE FLOOR! Hold it in this position for a SLOW count of three, then lower and repeat. Actually the same procedure can be followed in Exercise D, but it is wise not to try the same style with BOTH movements since it is very strenuous. This makes use of the STATIC contraction principle … use of the muscles to hold or maintain a position.

Follow these movements as well as the ones given in the first chapter of this Forearm article. Don’t be afraid to work hard on the forearm muscles since they’ll stand plenty of work. In addition, a wrist roller will come in very handy for use AFTER the barbell movements. This will help pump the muscles up and keep them flushed with blood.

American Apollo Volume 1 № 2.
Publisher: Calvin T. Beck

Your Complete Weight Gaining Course

Every step of the way

By BARTON HORVATH World’s Foremost Weight Training Authority

If all the bodybuilders in the world met in one giant auditorium and by mutual consent e-elected to discuss only one phase of bodybuilding, “How to gain weight”, would be that topic.

There is more interest in gaining muscular bodyweight than all other subjects combined. It is fitting, therefore, that in its debut, Muscle Man Magazine reveals everything you need to know about gaining in the following text.

WHO CAN GAIN WEIGHT: Based on my 30 years in the bodybuilding game, during which time I have personally supervised the training of thousands, I say that EVERYONE who is underweight with the exception of Medical cases, can, and will, gain weight as a result of scientific weight training.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU GAIN: The amount you can gain is directly controlled by your degree of underweight, your height and your bone structure. A short man standing 5′ tall will weigh between 125 and 140 pounds when fully developed. At 5’4″, muscular body-weight will vary between 150 and 170 pounds. At 5’8″, 175 to 200pounds. Above 5’8′, limitations on bodyweight depend solely on how much more than 200 pounds the individual can carry without showing signs of soft bulk.

HOW FAST WILL YOU GAIN: It is not possible to accurately predict the speed with which all beginners will gain. Some gain weight quickly right from the start and keep gaining until they have reached a husky bodyweight. Others gain less slowly. Still others lose a few pounds the first week or so before they start gaining. Initial reaction to weight gaining methods are extremely variable. They are also no indication of future potential. A slow gainer may eventually catch up to, and go beyond, another bodybuilder who gained quickly at the start and then slowed down. As long as each month shows some bodyweight increase the methods you are following are correct for you and in time will produce all the results you want.

WHAT ABOUT FOOD SUPPLEMENTS: There can be no question about the benefits of food supplements. Protein, weight gaining preparations and wheat germ oil have all been proved valuable in thousands and thousands of authenticated cases. The underweight bodybuilder who supplements his diet increases his chances of gaining weight faster.

WHICH FOODS ARE BEST: The average American diet is high in calories. There are some 60 million citizens who are overweight based on good health standards. These overweight people shop in the usual stores, prepare food in much the manner as you and when they eat out, they patronize the same type resturarants. Impartially analyzed, it becomes a matter of ‘quantity’ more so than ‘choice’. They either eat more at regular meals or they eat more frequently. In this way they obtain more calories daily and they gain weight.

It is not necessary, therefore, for you to make any major changes in your diet. Eat as you always have, but try to eat a bit more. If you lack appetite, take HEFT daily. You can also enjoy a few light ‘between meals’ snacks. A glass of milk and a few crackers mid-afternoon and shortly before retiring will not overburden the digestive system and will supply important extra weight gaining calories.

ABOUT REST AND RELAXATION: 24 hours a day, during waking hours and sleep, the body is burning fuel in the form of calories. Consumption is greatest during periods of physical activity; least during sleep. It is imperative that the underweight bodybuilder obtain 8 hours sleep nightly.

WON’T I LOSE MORE WEIGHT IF I EXERCISE: A work out with weights actually consumes less calories than a leisurely walk. It is broken into short periods of exercise during which a proportionately large number of calories are utilized and periods of rest, when a comparatively small number of calories are used. The overall consumption is less than an uninterrupted walk. In addition, bodybuilding soon tones the muscles and the organs, creating a condition of increased efficiency. The bodybuilder sleeps more soundly, benefits more fully from food eaten and learns how to work and exercise with greatest physical economy. His workouts, therefore, actually result in a consevation and building of energy. The untrained individual wastes his storehouse of energy and for that reason he remains thin.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WEIGHT GAINING EXERCISE: Every scientific weight gaining program is centered around ‘basic’ exercises. These are movements which stimulate large muscle areas and which produce growth receptiveness. The exercises explained here are typical ‘basic’ or weight gaining movements.

LAY OFFS: If you feel tired and if usual weights feel heavy, miss the next work out. As long as lay offs are not taken more than once a month, they are refreshing and helpful to weight gaining.

THE EXERCISES: Follow the exercises in the sequence listed. Do not perform any others. Do not train between regular work out days. Try to get as much rest as practical when not training. Make a sincere effort to gradually step up your caloric intake. If appetite is lazy, take HEFT daily.

getting weight for bodybuilders

HOW ARE THE EXERCISES TO BE PERFORMED: Three times a week training is best for the underweight bodybuilder. Work outs should be thorough, but not exhausting. Moderately heavy poundages should be used and they should be regularly increased in keeping with added strength and bodyweight. Repetitions should be on the low side — about 8 each exercise. From one to three sets of each exercise are to be performed dependent on the experience of the bodybuilder. Slight muscular soreness should follow each exercise period. Soreness should leave before next training session.

course for bodybuilders

1 – Bench Press. Lie on a flat exercise bench with a barbell held at arm’s length above the chest as shown in illustration #1. Take a deep breath and lower barbell to the chest. Press barbell to arm’s length, exhaling while doingso and repeat.

2 – Bent Arm Pullover. Hold barbell at chest as shown in illustration #2. Raise barbell a few inches to clear face and while taking a deep breath lower to behind the head. Draw barbell to starting position, exhaling while doing so and repeat.

3 – Lying Laterals. Hold a pair of dumbbells above the chest. Take a deep breath and lower them to the sides as shown in illustration #3. Exhale and draw weights to arm’s length above the chest.

4 – Shrugs. Hold a barbell in the hands as shown in illustration #4. Pull shoulders up to ears. Lower and repeat.

5 – Bent Forward Rowing. Hold a barbell at arm’s stretch toward the floor. Take a deep breath and pull barbell up toward chest as shown in illustration #5. Lower weight to arm stretch, exhaling while doing so and repeat.

6 – Barbell Curl. Hold a barbell in the hands, palms front bar at the thigh. Take a deep breath and curl the barbell to the shoulders as shown in illustration #6. Exhale and lower barbell to the starting position. Repeat.

7 – Triceps Press. Hold a barbell behind the head, elbows raised as shown in illustration#7. Straighten the arms and raise the barbell to arm’s length above the face. Lower to the starting position. Repeat.

8 – Squats. Hold a barbell across the rear shoulders while standing erect. Take a deep breath and sink into a low squat position as shown in illustration #8. Return to an erect position, exhaling while doing so and repeat.

9 – Side Bends. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bend over directly to one side as shown in illustration #9. Draw the body to an erect position and repeat. Exercise one side and after a short rest exercise the other.

MENTAL APPROACH: A defeatist attitude should not be tolerated. This is true whether your aim is to gain weight, get ahead in your job or to win the girl of your choice. Confidence is infectious—build up an inner drive and a power of determination. Vow that nothing can hold you back. If you do, you will succeed. If you do not, you are doomed to failure. Always remember these truths!

Muscle Man, v.1 № 1.

Waisting Away

Waisting Away

how to train your waistlineA soft, flabby, unmuscular waistline ruins the appearance of many a guy who otherwise might be admired for his physique. Perhaps more than any other feature of the body, the waist is the barometer of physical condition. The average man who loves his coffee with cream, his pie, and his beer, sooner or later finds himself spreading in the mid-section. Exercise alone probably won’t keep that trim youthful waist for you. Eating is important, too. But assuming one goes easy on foods which tend to build up fatty tissue (often first deposited in the form of an unsightly paunch), exercise can help maintain or achieve a trim, muscular waist.

get perfect waistline exercisesWhether you use weights or not, ‘along with your push-ups you can easily do sit-ups and leg raises. They’re doubtless the most effective exercise for keeping down the waistline. And you don’t need a gym for this kind of work-out. Sit-ups can easily be performed on a chair placed sideways next to a bed or some heavy piece of furniture under which you can anchor your feet. (See Fig. 1 & 2). Then, with your hands behind your head, you can go to it! If you have a tendency to spread, at least three sets of not less than fifteen repetitions should be performed every other day.

Leg raises can just as easily be done at home. Place your hands behind your head and grasp the bed springs .or table top) for support. (See Fig. 3 & 4). And then raise away! Use the same number of reps and sets as with sit-ups.

Better watch your waist! Once it has spread, it’s no easy job to trim it down.

American Apollo Volume 1 № 1, May 1958.
Publisher: New World Enterprises Syndicate

The Deep Knee – Bend

The Deep Knee – Bend

body training exercise: deep knee bend

This is one of the most beneficial of all exercises and should be a part of every bodybuilder’s exercise program. Begin the deep knee-bend by standing erect, hands on hips and feet a comfortable distance apart (Position #1). For better balance, place your heels on a book or block of wood an inch or two thick. Inhale. Then, keeping your back perfectly straight, lower your body-to a squatting position until your buttocks touch your heels (Position #2). Pause and exhale. Then return to the starting position. Do at least twelve repetitions.

Variations on the basic exercise can be undertaken as you progress. Try it, for instance, with your feet flat on the floor and close together. Or use a weight either placed across your shoulders or held in each hand.

One of the most beneficial variations of the deep knee-bend is to perform it squatting on one leg at a time, with the other leg held straight out in front of you. At first you will probably need to hold onto some stationary object like a chair, bed or dresser. In time you will learn to keep your balance without holding on to anything. Try it with your arms stretched out straight in front as you go into Position #2, returning your hands to your hips as you regain Position #1. After you’re good at this, you can hold a weight in each hand for more muscle-building strain.

The deep knee-bend is especially good for the upper leg region. It develops the Vastus Externus (the long muscle that runs along the outside of the upper leg) and the Vastus Internus (the muscle situated at the front and inside of the leg just above the knee). It also aids in the development of the Gluteus Maximus (the buttocks muscles) and broadens the chest as a result of the deep breathing it requires.

Learn the basic exercise thoroughly first, then try the variations. You’re only as good as your legs — and the deep knee-bend will give you strong, well-proportioned ones.

Future Man Volume 1 № 1, Winter 1962

Publisher: Physique Press

Muscular Size And Shape

by David Martin

The Author gives first-rate training instruction invaluable to the bodybuilder experiencing difficulty in developing both large and shapely muscles. The exercises for calves are of special value.

I wonder if any of my more discerning readers note a subtle difference in the title of this article, in contrast to my previous treatise?

There is a difference. It is the conjunction “and” instead of “or”. For shape and size are not antithetical to the same extent as quantity and quality.

Before I really get down to work, however, I wish to correct two minor errata in my previous article — they were the result of bad proof-reading on my part and not the usual typographical errors so prevalent in other P.C. mags.

beautiful bodybuilder model Josh Joshua
This excellent photo of world-famous weight-trainer and artists' model Josh Joshua is from an album of Josh's photos by Vince.

It is a matter of some concern to your uncle that many American magazines display horrid howlers by type-setters and these many mistakes give the impression that either the American Linotypers are largely illiterate or that Speed has been the altar on which accuracy as been constantly sacrificed. It is a matter of pride, therefore, for me to help BODY CULTURE to maintain its high standard of presentation and it is for this reason I make these corrections (which I should have made in my original submission but for pressure of time).

In the last paragraph and first column of page 24, I refer to tea and lemonade as “a stringent form” of water. The correct term is, of course, “astringent “.

In the last paragraph of the second column on the same page, I appear to say — “an excess of QUALITY and muscle brought a deterioration in quality The passage should read” an excess of QUANTITY in muscle brought a deterioration in Quality

While on the subject of my last article, two more points arise — the first is . . . Why do I suggest grouping the exercises into two sets for opposed muscle groups on alternate nights?

Readers of the July issue of “Vigour” will recall that I said that muscular growth was caused by breaking down muscular cells by exercise into twice the number of cells, some of which die in the process and some of which grow and feed until they in turn are broken down. The usual rest day between periods is to allow the bisected cells to feed and grow and the dead cells to be washed away.

By working groups alternate nights we increase the functional demand — (Functional Demand — nice term coined by the “Iron Man” as a synonym for Metabolism — Thanks, “Iron Man” I) and yet at the same time allow the broken down cells to be nourished and cleansed in the resting muscle. As I said, these were “high pressure” tactics to give you a jolt. You may wonder why I said “water” instead of milk as a weight increaser. To tell you the truth I did not realise that by the time the article was out, milk would again be plentiful. Water is, however, very good and has the advantage of being cheap. Milk is really the best, of course.

I now hear that our old friend, Johnny Grimek, is going to disprove me by lifting more weight at his top bodyweight than he has ever done before. By the time this appears in print, he will have done it. (I never say “probably” when talking of Johnny’s intentions—he never lets us down . . .)

This will not invalidate my theory that muscle cultivated for its Maximum bulk is less efficient than muscle cultivated for maximum strength—it merely means that contrary to appearances, Grimek’s 18.5/8 in. arm is really all solid muscle and not of the ” coarse ” variety (that is, of course, if Grimek’s records are obtained with the 18.5/8 in. arm).

If this is so, what sort of measure would he have if he “souped up” ? (to use a Paschallism).

Now to the shape business.

Muscles arc complex structures, and when we refer to the biceps muscle we at once divide it into two heads with its own name. The triceps obviously has three.

But that is not all. Each of these heads is composed of many fibres — each with its own nerve connection—and through this arrangement it is possible to mould the shape of your physique as docs a sculptor. You will, of course, be limited to a certain extent by bone lengths and leverage lengths, by the points of attachments of the various muscles, and joints. The “Iron Man” refutes this, it says in fact that what governs the size of a muscle is not its leverage but the intensity of contraction. This is similar to the politician’s statement that the coming slumplet is a recession and not a depression. ”Soft roes by any other name . . . Incidentally, the latter rocs arc of the ” red-herring ” variety.

Of course, the intensity of contraction is governed by the leverages, and although the person with poor leverages can annul his deficiencies by working harder at certain exercises, that fact (that he has to work harder) proves the existence of a difficulty and the difficulty is obviously skeletal as a nervous inability to contract intensely enough would not be cured by heavier weights and more repetitions but by mere mental exercise. Of course, mental concentration helps in contraction, but it is auxiliary rather than fundamental.

Another bright “expert” told a friend of mine that a muscle cannot be partially contracted. I am prepared to show him my pectoral “ripple” any time in which separate fibres are contracted, group after group, until the whole muscle is hard.

So we can mould and sculpture our physiques by altering the shape of individual muscles, as well as enlarging those muscles in relation to others???? Of course, and that is why trainers are inundated with requests to alter shapes and size by guys who figure nature gave them a raw deal . . . Henry Atkin is giving personal tuition in this but your Uncle has his own theories about this matter, some of them orthodox, others a little less so. General instruction is perhaps less useful to the individual than personal instruction, but magazines exist for those that want general instruction and postal courses or gymnasium training for those who want the “personal touch”. There is good and bad instruction in both fields. Some magazines are too general and not instructive enough. Some postal courses have more “touch” than personality. After all it is a free country, and our editor is smart enough to know that old adage about — “fooling all the people, some of the time”. We advocate making body culture fun, but we are not “fooling “, we are in earnest. So now to work!

That biceps muscle . . . Does it lack a head? There is no cure for the body-that lacks a head!—but several cures for the biceps with this deficiency. Here are three of the best: —

(1) The bent-over curl (best, perhaps, one-handed with Dumbells. This curl can also be done lying along a bench with the arm over the end. In this position it is impossible to “cheat “.

(2) The chin behind neck (a contradiction in terms, but the best description I know). To get the best out of this exercise, keep the hands fairly close together and grip the chinning bar as if you were going to curl a barbell in the normal manner. It is possible that your bodyweight may be too heavy to do this enough times to get a workout. If so, an overhead pulley bar could be rigged up in which you pull the bar down behind your neck instead of the back of your neck up to the bar. Steve Reeves uses one of these— Alan Stephan docs the orthodox chin.

(3) The Military Press (!) Yes, the old Military’ Press helped the biceps just as the new Olympic press helps the upper fibres of the pectorals. Do your press both with the hands in the normal position and in the curl position.

Quite a few cases of headless biceps arc actually bodiless biceps, so military pressing in the normal manner will build the under body of the muscle throwing the head into relief. If you suspect that this is the case, the following instructions should also be tried.

BODILESS BICEPS  (Three more cures coming up!): —

(1) Military Press, as stated above, with hands exactly shoulder width apart. The maximum effect is over once the bar is above eye-level but carry on right through —after all, you do want deltoid muscles, don’t you?

(2) Reverse curl, i.e., Curling with knuckles uppermost.

(3) Dumbell curl with the dumbell rod lying at right angles to the line of the shoulders and not turning from this line so that at the finish of the movement the end of the rod is pointing backward over your shoulder. To follow through and press overhead as Reuben Martin does (see June BODY CULTURE) is to make sure that every fibre of the main belly of the biceps has had exercise.

Calves are a problem in which leverage has more than its fair say, and the unfortunate result of this is that the old standard of measurements which stipulated that neck, biceps and calves should have more or less identical girths has gone by the board. I rather fancied that old ideal myself. Melvyn Wells and Clancy Ross both looked kind of spindly below the knees and, as 1 say, although leverages make it difficult to build shapely calves on certain people, they do not make it IMPOSSIBLE.

Here’s how to develop calves at the ankle end!

(1) Stand with the toes on a block of wood two inches high, and the heels on terra firma. Hold a dumbell in front as a counterbalance and raise your heels from the ground until the feet arc level with the block and then lower slowly. When this becomes easy-hold a heavy barbell across the front of the deltoids and carry on as before.

(2) Rotate the toes in a wide circle while seated on a box (if you have an Iron Boot, all the better).

(3) Practise rolling into the outer edge of the feet an’i back while holding a barbell on the shoulders.

The calves’ belly is easier to blow up, and orthodox heel raises almost to the absolute tips of the toes, both with the toes on the wood block, and the heels on it, will do most good.

Exercise 2 consists of standing with the heels on the block and raising the toes off the ground. This gets the tibial muscle and gives you a nice shin pad.

For the calf in its upper extremity at the back of the knee the femoral biceps curl, standing and lying down, and with an Iron Boot if possible, is a wonder worker.

The second exercise for this part of the calf is all the Squats in their 57 varieties (Heels up, heels down, feet apart, feet together}. When using squats for calf purposes, use a slightly lighter weight than usual and rock gently in and out of balance.

Many thighs are ruined by the neglect of the Femoral Biceps and although the squats do give this muscle some work, the following routine should help: —

(1) Leg Presses. Bring the knees right over to the shoulders while lowering the weight, and use a really heavy weight.

If you do not have a legpress machine, have a couple of lads standing around to steady the bar—but do try and control it yourself if possible. That will give the biceps femoris a shock !

(2) Prone leg curls with Iron Boot or similar device.

(3) In the upside down cycling position do straightleg scissor kick both laterally and fore and aft. This will stretch the hamstrings and although Iron Boots would be difficult to manage owing to the rods catching the stripped boot itself would add little extra work to the movement. This muscle business is like the old Chinese laundry motto—” No tickie, No washee “… or the Communists’ brutal alternative—” No work, no Eats Well, in weight training, if you don’t work you don’t get muscles! . . .

The Quadriceps of thigh and the Sartorius muscles will always prosper on squats, but it would be perhaps a little helpful if I elucidated the various types of squats for each of the four heads.

The inner lower head (just above inside of the patella) is affected at both ends of a squat, but the best work for it is the full deep squat with the heels raised. If you contract the thigh muscle hard and quickly at the finish of the upward movement or do a little jump, this lower head will benefit a lot. Kicking with an Iron Boot heavily loaded and the thigh raised a quarter of its way to hip-level will give you that inner head so prominent on footballers.

The outer lower head is affected by half squats with the feet wide astride and the knees pulled in. Side leg raising with the Iron Boot also helps this division of the muscle.

The frontal inner head is worked by squats with the knees and feet together and heels on the ground.

Leg raising, both standing up and lying down, also builds this muscle, but best of all is the abdominal raise on the incline board, which literally ties it in knots!

The outer upper head is mainly worked by side leg raising with an iron boot and side bending with the legs astride and a heavy dumbell in one hand.

I am omitting from this discourse the abdominal and spinal and gluteus muscles, as few people suffer from deficiency in these long after taking up weight training.

Some people are worried about prominent clavicles, and the orthodox crucifixes are usually insufficient to affect this condition. Continental pressing will help, but neck-rolling in the wrestlers’ bridge position will build up the sterno-mastoid muscles and the platysma myodes.

If you have a headstrap, lying on the back along a bench, with the head over the end and lifting the weight by the neck alone will also help to cover these bones a little BUT in nine cases out of ten prominent clavicles are the sign of general lack of assimilation and you would be better to concentrate on heavy group exercises for a while first.

Reg. Cooper of High Wycombe writes me on latissimus trouble — he claims to have done 10 million pullovers! . . .

I think his main trouble is the inability to shrug them forward in the approved pouter pigeon manner. This inability is caused by the lack of mobility in the scapula and I am sorry to say weight-pulling docs not help this as it is a matter of relaxation.

Link the hands over the head and pulling very hard, gradually bring them down until they are resting on the top of the cranium. Now keep pulling down and outwards, keeping the elbows back. If you look in a mirror, you will see your shoulder blades trying to sprout like embryo wings—that’s the first stage in the building of that much desired wedge. Now, how do we shrug them forward to fill out the armpits like a flying buttress in reverse?

Ah. this is where Uncle gets his pet exercise in. The Press-on-Back with the half-bridge. . . . Oh, yes, it’s my pet, alright. Here’s how, Reg. and other would-be Eifermcn. (Did you know that Eifer is a German word for ”zeal” ?)

George Eiferman is zealous enough — hence his physique.

Lie on the back with the heels up underneath the buttocks and the feet slightly apart. Pullover with a run a heavy barbell so that the fore-arms are at right angles to the ground with the elbows close into the sides . . . Now raising the buttocks you press the bar over head pushing hard under the triceps with the lattissimus muscles and arching the back as high as you can. The elbows should leave the ground slightly ahead of the lumbar vertebrae and if you do this exercise properly you will gradually “feel your lats. pushing you under the armpits.

It is an unfortunate thing that apart from pulling over bent arm on an incline board, and the rowing boat with the elbows to the sides, few weight exercises hit the lats. at their fullest contractions, i.e., as the arms pass behind the body.

Reuben Martin is fond of the Roman rings, and you only have to see his lats. spread to know why (Phew !). Dips between parallel bars and straight arm pressing to hand balances are good also. Pulley weights used with straight arms and working from shoulder level in front until the arms are behind the body are good, but your Uncle plugs for parallel bars, Roman rings and that Press with Half-bridge. Try them anyway!

No weight lifter handling heavy weights worries about deficient trapezius or deltoid muscles, so if a body-builder is marred this way he must do plenty of Cleans and plenty of presses with heavy weights. (Then, of course, when asked to demonstrate that body-builders are strong, he will not be at a loss.)

Gee, it’s hot to-night ! . . . I feel as if 1 have mentally done all this work myself . . . but I hope YOU haven’t . . . WHY ?

Because these are for special deficiencies and if you have ALL these faults then you need general body-building and not specialisation. Even if you have one of them, do not specialise until you have done at least six months on group exercises. I usually advocate a rest period of one month in four and then is a good opportunity to utilise the increased assimilation caused by the Supra-functional (thanks again, ” Iron Man “) Demand for patching up the hollows among the bulges—Flattening out the pockets in the major drive, as the military experts arc wont to describe the enemy’s minor successes.

The military experts are making tidy lines on a map—so that political experts can make them untidy again, and then send for the military experts to straighten out the kinks once more … (if I judge history aright). Yes, they are making nice lines on a map, about their only contribution to art. You are working on the finest work of art I know. Do you know that this old human body is such a work of art that the galleries of the world are full of artists’ imitations of it ? And although some of those paintings “seem to live ” (the highest praise !), the sad fact is that they do not live. Your muscularly moulded body does live and if you have been exercising it will be living more vitally than any Van Gogh cornfield (and that’s saying something).

More than that, if you have been moulding it well it will have the grace and strength of a Rodin sculpture—plus Movement—Glorious Movement.

The cultured mind works more smoothly and more gracefully than the clumsy probings of the ape. I have in front of me a quotation of which I am very fond, but I do not know its origin —can any reader help me ? Whoever said this sounds like a pal of your Uncle. Here it is . . .

” Men of culture are the true apostles of equality.”

I will send a buckshee copy of Henry Atkins’ book, ” Progressive Body Culture”, to the first reader who gives me the author and source of that pearl of wisdom.

Of course, many so-called cultured men have been snobs and high-hats. But no matter how learned they may be, if they have not discovered that a wider appreciation of beauty means more creation of beauty, then they have not learned the fundamental principle that beauty shared is beauty doubled. How often has your Uncle watched the sunset from a mountain peak and longed for a tender companion to share the view. How often has he risked the curses of a friend by waking him in his mountain eyrie to watch the dawn. That is why we are plugging body-building and trying to help you find your goal. We want to be surrounded by beautiful healthy women and graceful strong men.

Now, I wonder if we have any readers who would like to help Reg. Cooper, of 12, Kitchener Road, High Wycombe?

He writes and tells me he has an amateur club pining away for lack of members. I don’t know him personally, but he sounds a regular guy. How’s about it, Bodybuilders of High Wycombe ?

You will note I have also neglected the Triceps muscle this time, but I will include it in the next article, for already I am hogging too much space.

I believe, however, this is the first time so much ground has been covered in one article on this subject.

That’s the lot for now. Next issue I will be lecturing on Suppleness and Strength.

From BODY CULTURE Volume 1 Number 2, September 1949.

Exercises for perpetual daily practice

by Charles Atlas

Dear Friend:

beautiful muscle male model
Matt Carroll

To get the maximum benefits and most satisfactory results from my Course some of the exercises should be carried out faithfully all through life. You have developed the habit of exercising regularly and have noticed its splendid value. But now for Life-Long Health and Strength do the following exercises daily. They are what I believe you need most to keep you fit for LIFE.


For Chest, Shoulders and Back. Excellent for preventing Lung and Chest troubles. Do

For Chest, Shoulders and Back. Excellent for the “dipping” exercise as described in the first Lesson at least 100 times every day. Aim to do it 200 times daily if you are keen on getting a very big and powerful chest development. Do this by dipping 25 or more times, rest and relax a few moments and do them again. Rest and do them again. If you prefer, do 50 to 75 at night. I do 200 or more “dips” daily.


For the Abdomen. Ideal for preventing or reducing a large stomach, perfecting the digestive system, relieving constipation, preventing rupture and for the general toning up of the body. While lying on the bed clasp the hands back of the head and raise the upper body so that your chin touches your knees, keeping your feet flat on the bed. This is to be done 20 times. Rest awhile and repeat. Rest and relax and do them as many times as you possibly can.


A similar exercise except that you should bend your knees to touch the upper chest area. This should be done until you are thoroughly tired, then rest, and repeat several times. While doing this exercise open and cross the legs for variation.


For Thighs, Bow Legs, Knock Knees. Do the squatting exercise spreading apart the knees. Repeat at least 35 times or until tired. Rest awhile and go at them again. Do this exercise energetically. Rest and repeat as before, but this time keep the ankles close together. This will develop the muscles of the back of the thighs. Rest one of you hands on something for support if you find it difficult to balance. These exercises can be performed in the morning as soon as you get up.


Strengthening Internal Organs and Preventing Rupture. Clasp hands behind head while standing erect. Bend far to the right, come up and bend over to the left, keeping the legs straight and bending the upper trunk only. Repeat until you are tired but do not overdo. Rest and relax, then repeat, this time making a complete circular motion.


Developing Biceps, Triceps, Arms and Forearms. Grasp the right wrist with the left hand in front and bring the right hand towards the right shoulder, resisting powerfully with the left hand. Continue till the muscles really begin to ache. Then repeat with the other arm. Rest and do them again.


Strengthening your neck. Bend the neck far downwards, then far backwards. Now side to side, now in a complete circular motion. Rest and relax. Do the same exercises more powerfully by resisting strongly with the hands. These are very effective if done persistently.


Calves, Flat Feet, Fallen Arches and Strengthening weak ankles. Raise up and down on the toes 50 to 100 times. Do this preferable while standing on your toes on the edge of a block about three inches high with your heels overhanging. Another good exercise is to stand on the heels and rock back and forth first on the heels and then on the toes. Do this till really tired. Rest a few minutes and repeat as before.

These exercises can be performed at night, just before getting into bed. Some of them, however, can be done at odd moments during the day. When out walking make a practice of stretching the entire legs and calves to the full limit. Be sure and raise up your toes as you walk along. By keeping this up for a distance equal to about ten blocks you will soon have a fine pair of well-shaped legs. These exercises may seem to you quite a long routine to practice daily for the balance of your life. But thousands upon thousands of men are doing them daily, and very busy men, too, so do not say you haven’t time. You will find when you divide the exercise, doing half in the morning and the other half at night it takes only a few minutes.

In closing, I want to say to you that I have enjoyed sending you these Lessons for I know you must be Stronger, Healthier, more Muscular and full of Pep and Energy. It has been a pleasure to help you. Men and women like you will live longer and enjoy life more.

I hope you will induce your friends to enroll with me, so that I can help them, too. Just send me their names and addresses.

Although this Lesson completes my Course, I want you to feel at liberty to write me at any time if ever you have questions or comments.

With my very best wishes and warm hand clasp, I remain,

Your Sincere Friend and Instructor,

Charles Atlas

Hand Balancing

by Charles Atlas

beautiful vintage photo of muscular bodybuilder Steve
Steve Reeves, World's Greatest Body Builder and Physical Culturist. Photo by Warner from Fizeek magazine.

When one is learning a hand-stand it is necessary to have some sort of support in order to give the beginner confidence in himself. It is therefore advisable to begin by doing the handstand against the wall. Stay about two feet away from the wall. Put your hands flat on the floor, fingers spread apart, put all your weight forward and be sure to keep your elbows firm, and head up. Kick up with your feet resting them against the wall and arch your back. When you have held this position for a few seconds bring your feet away from the wall. The secret of the hand-stand is to keep your arms straight, your back arched and head up. Also keep the toes pointed legs together.

Follow the above instructions carefully and practice this everyday, I am confident you will be able to do a perfect hand-stand within a month. When practicing if you lose your balance fall to the side or to where you started from. Do NOT fall backwards as there may be a danger of hurting yourself.

When you are able to hold a perfect hand-stand for about ten seconds, try to dip down and up again. This is a marvelous exercise for both arms, shoulders and chest, also for the internal organs such as kidneys, stomach, etc. It relieves the strain on the muscles that hold the internal organs such as the stomach, bowels and liver. It is also very good for poor circulation.

When you become very sure of the two arm hand-stand so that you can stand on your hands as well as your feet you can try the one arm hand-stand. This is done by putting all your weight on one side holding the hand that is free out sidewards. The legs in the one arm hand-stand are spread apart so as to make balancing easier.

Do not be discouraged if you not successful the first few times you try these, but remember that perseverance is the key to success.

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