By BARTON HORVATH,
The World’s Foremost Physical Consultant
“Why should I train with weights?”
That question is uppermost in the mind of all new readers of a magazine such as Muscle Man, who, for some reason or another have obtained a copy.
Unless the question is answered intelligently, scientifically and adequately, the chances of the new reader being motivated to action are slight.
Both sides of the question should be fairly evaluated. To claim that weight training is a magic “cure all” capable of transforming a grotesque freak into a beach Adonis, or an incurable invalid into a robust individual, is ridiculous. Likewise, to minimize the many benefits of weight training due to an ill treated presentation, is an error. Only the truth, based on actual statistical fact can be wholely convincing. Such truth is now presented.
WHO CAN TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS? Members of both sexes and of any age group who are in normal good health can benefit from scientific weight training. To be wholey beneficial, there must be a desire on the part of the individual for physical improvement, plus an understanding of what that improvement can mean to him, or her, in success and happiness in life.
This means that the very young, under 10 years of age, are unlikely prospects as are the old, over 70. The first group has not matured sufficiently to comprehend the benefits of physical fitness and physical attractiveness. The second, has lived it’s life to a large extent and is unlikely to alter habits at an advanced age.
The 60 years between, however, can be, and usually are, used for constructive weight training. And—physical improvement can be realized during any of these 60 golden years.
WHO SHOULD NOT TRAIN WITH WEIGHTS? Anyone of any age who is suffering from heart disease, or who is under doctor’s care for a specific illness in which a part of the cure is complete rest, should not train with weights. Any one who is suffering from any physical weakness, such as hernia, varicose veins, spinal maladjustment, etc. .. should not train with weights. And anyone who is suffering from ANY chronic or acute medical condition, should not train with weights without first consulting a physician. Otherwise, those who are thin and weak, fat and flabby, husky and strong—male and female, can ALL train with weights and make definite improvement.
WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL BENEFITS? The physical benefits of weight training are many and varied. In fact, they can be likened to a chain reaction, which once started spreads rapidly and encompasses the entire human structure. These benefits include organic, muscular, emotional and moral. Inside and out, scientific weight training remolds the individual and better equips him for a full, wholesome, satisfying life.
One of the first reactions noticed by the Novice in weight training is a lessening of tension and mental unrest, so common today. Training with weights is a basic physical action in which basic physical equipment is utilized. The hands, the muscles, the limbs and the joints of the body are permitted freedom of expression which is gratifying and satisfying; a release from this machine age. Weight training is additionally a throwback to the primative, when the survival of the fittest prevailed. It is as natural as the dawn of civilization; a reestablishment of original concepts of life. Even one work out makes a m ale feel more manly and a woman more confident of her charms. A basic expression to satisfy the basic requirements of the body: – that sums up weight training well and explains why the sport will continue to grow in popularity with each passing day.
With continued weight training, and as the physique strengthens and develops, this process of mental rest and peace of mind becomes accelerated. A lack of confidence, one of the major reasons for failure in life, is replaced by a feeling of true confidence. This true confidence is one which is accompanied by the knowledge that success requires work, study and application. The muscular structures of the body have demonstrated this truth by their improved appearance and capabilities. This knowledge is then translated into a similar formula by the individual and used to assure success in other interests.
While the mind is undergoing this reconstruction period, the organs are strengthening. The organs of our body are tied in directly the mind and the physical. Less tension means they can function more efficiently without being geared for emotional attack. Emotional unrest can interfere with the functioning of the digestive organs, the kidney, liver, heart, lungs, circulatory system. All this is dispensed with when a feeling of well being is cultivated. Sleep is sounder, there is less wasted energy and less fatigue; faster recuperation after physical exertion. The reflexes are sharpened— physical coordination is improved. These are but a few of the myriad of benefits the mere act of weight training initially induce.
Coincident, the muscles of the body are developing and strengthening. With a more capable muscular structure, the chain reaction continues. Muscles which have been lying dormant and little used for years, are now developed and cultivated. Many of these muscles work in assistive capacities and ease the burden of similar muscles in adjacent areas. This leads not only to a well developed physical appearance, but to a type of muscular economy heretofore unknown. Hard physical work now becomes easy. The physical impossibility, possible!
In weight training, poundages which were heavy a short time before, become light to handle. And as they become light to handle they are increased gradually. In a short time the heavier poundages feel light and the pattern continues indefinitely With each step up in physical capability there is an accompanying improvement in muscular size, appearance and condition until eventually the previously underdeveloped individual emerges as a man of muscles.
The benefits extend beyond the confines of lifting weights. These same, well coditioned muscles, are wholely adaptable to any type of physical expression. Given the required training, they rapidly adjust to baseball, football, swimming, tennis or any sport. And – because they are well trained and wholely efficient, the physical economy possible which permitted these muscles to lift heavier and heavier weights, makes them outstanding in sports.
As the muscles become larger, more shapely and efficient, additional physical benefits are noticed. With the removal of physical weakness, the circulatory and digestive systems are benefitted. Efficient muscles produce less waste residue as a result of physical exercise. This eases the burden on the blood stream, the liver, kidneys and skin, which must remove waste material from the body. The blood, with less waste material to contend with, is purer, filled more fully with nutrients and life giving oxygen with which to nourish, rebuild and strengthen the muscles and the organs of the body. The processes of digestion and assimilation are most efficient. Food eaten is digested more fully and greater benefit is derived as a result. A condition of greater organic and muscular health results. This in turn is reflected by a dramatic drop in susceptibility to disease up to the point of complete imunity to certain illnesses such as the common cold which the majority of well trained bodybuilders evidence over a period of years.
Morally, weight training often succeeds where lectures, punishment and even serious complications as a result of immoral act, fail. Those who train with weights and who have given freely of their sweat, energies and time to improve their physical selves, are unlikely to abuse what they have worked so hard to build. While weight training draws followers from all segments of citizens, and some due to a combination of circumstances may not represent everything we call ideal, on the overall picture, those who do train and who train seriously take a pride in themselves, their bodies, their morals and wholesome ambitions in life. It is unlikely that any other group of athletes, or devotees of any ‘ism’ can point to as slight an incidence of ‘failures’ among their active followers.
Not everyone who trains with weights will become a Mr. America or if a female, a Miss U.S.A. No one though, can predetermine who will fare second best when the novice takes that first work out.
To be an honored champion is a worthwhile goal. Hope should persist. Yet if fate decrees otherwise, nothing is lost. The mere fact that you have trained, that you have improved, that you have re-established a basic and necessary intimacy with yourself as a child of Nature, and have benefitted from the therapeutic activity of feeing physically A LIVE, will make you, You and YOU a better rounded, more successful individual than you would have been otherwise.
So forget the tinsel and the glamor of being a beach Adonis, a superman, a giant of power, a Mr. America. This can in all probability be yours. But the real reason why you, the novice who is reading a magazine on weight training for the first time should train, is because you benefit in every living cell of your body, in every mental and emotional impulse, in every interest in life.
If these reasons aren’t sufficient, then do not be mi sled. You DO NOT possess either the true desire nor the mental maturity to benefit from weights. You are not ready for the greatest journey of your life-—the one which will lead to strength, health, happiness and success. Better wait awhile longer until you do feel the TRUE urge. Then, and only then do we recommend that you send for, and use, that set of Muscle Sculpture weights.