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John, My Grandfather Says That Charles Atlas...
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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12-28-2009, 08:38 PM
 
Hey Friends,

One of my forum friends e-mailed me saying that his 91 year old grandfather told him at Christmas, that in the original Charles Atlas Course from 1922 that Charles Atlas recommended a dumb bell exercise. Naturally, the man was wondering if I actually had a copy of the original before it was called "Dynamic Tension". The answer is YES I DO! And YES I know exactly which exercise his grandfather made reference to. It was exercise number 6 of Lesson 9 for Upper Arm development. This is what it states word for word, "Grasp a small weight like two flat irons, one in each hand, bend and stretch the forearm, thus contracting the biceps, and relaxing the triceps; then contract the triceps while relaxing the biceps. Repeat many times."

In later editions of the course that had photographs (the original did not) the instruction to "grasp a small weight like two flat irons," was removed and instead it read, "Clench your fists tightly,".

Now granted, some people may say that Atlas was recommending weights but that was the only reference of any kind in the entire course. I don't regard that as weight training at all.

---John Peterson
 
 
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Big Bear Big Bear is offline
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12-29-2009, 06:08 AM
 
Hi John,

That is very interesting! I am wondering if he had that in the initial course as people may not have had a notion of 'Dynamic Tension" then,and he figured the weight for that exercise would give folks a tangible initially until they got the feel?

Just a guess.I was just wondering?


peace,
jason
 
 
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duff duff is offline
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12-29-2009, 05:37 PM
 
Whether or not Atlas recommended weights, DVR simply works to build mind-muscle connection. Arnold recommends thinking into the muscle in his New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Personally I don't like weights and prefer Transformetrics, and find that I have fewer injuries this way, but to each his own.
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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12-29-2009, 06:05 PM
 
I have a copy of that first course and except for a few variations such as the irons it is almost identical to the one sold today. The Dynamic Tension Exercises were in the first course,but were called "resistance exercises". When Charles Roman bought out Frederick Tilney's interest in the course for $500 he did not change the basic course except for renaming the exercises "Dynamic Tension" which was a srtoke of marketing genius. It added a "mystique" and a uniqueness to the course as that form of exercise had previously been called " resistance exercises" in other courses. Roman changed the advertising to the "making of Mac" format and redirected it to Super Hero comic books with all of those adolescent readers and found a new and dynamic market. Weights will not build NERVE FORCE or internal strength as is evidenced by the lack mental develop and strength in the Wylie Coyotes who always lose and sneak off with their tails between their legs.

Last edited by Andy62; 12-29-2009 at 06:08 PM.
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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12-29-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Hey Big Bear,

You bring up a great point. And the truth is I have had many people tell me that they like to hold something very light in their hands because it helps them to focus on their level of contraction. Oddly enough that is the only exercise in the entire 1922 edition of the Charles Atlas Course where that recommendation was made.

And Duff, you're right. To each his own. The one thing that always amazes me though about this Atlas weight lifting issue is that the man himself said that he did not lift weights. In fact, in the 1921 article about him in Physical Culture magazine it showed him performing some of the same exercises that we teach and he stated that he preferred performing non-apparatus exercises. Not only that but if you look at the photos in that article his body looks perfectly sculpted like a very slim muscular gymnast but not at all like a weight lifter. Then again in a later edition of Physical Culture Magazine that was published in July of 1937 some 16 years later, he looked exactly as he did in his trademark photos that we all grew up seeing and admiring and he stated once again in that article that he built his body without apparatus.

Bottom line: there is something really great about not having to rely on anything outside of yourself to be in awesome shape.

---John Peterson
 
 
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12-29-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Hey Gordon,

Just saw that you posted. It really is the exact same course in terms of the exercises themselves. And you are so right about Charles Roman. That man was a marketing genius. Re-directing toward the teen-age market was a stroke of genius.

The only real difference that I can see in the original course before Roman was involved is that it was a little more in depth in terms of motivational and psychological development like Swoboda's course. Other than that I think they are virtually identical.


---John Peterson
 
 
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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12-29-2009, 08:45 PM
 
John, Good point. I totally agree. Gordon
 
 
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