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The Atlas Style Physique: Totally Retro
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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04-20-2017, 12:20 PM
Hello Friends,

I received an interesting email from a man that has found a copy of the Charles Atlas Course from the late 1930's that his great uncle had taken just prior to 1940 according to the letters that were from Charles Atlas and that had accompanied each of the 12 lessons of the course. The man e-mailing me received the course after his great aunt had died just a few weeks ago at the age of 91.

It turns out that his great uncle ( The Atlas student) that was married to his grandfathers older sister had died in 1945 as a Marine on Iwo Jima in March of 1945. His great aunt (his grand father's sister) who was then 19, had never remarried and had kept all of her husbands letters.

Anyway, the man that wrote me could not believe the development that his uncle had achieved from Atlas's System. He said that as he was looking at his Uncles pictures from 1939 through 1944 that he realized he had seen that kind of development before and then got out his copy of "Pushing Yourself to Power" and was looking at the photos on pages 86 through 91 and was amazed at the similarity in the development that his uncle had when compared with my photos. He stated, "I used to think that you must have been a weight lifter at some point and then I saw the photos of my great uncle when he 17 to 22 and the style of muscular development was so similar that I realized that you really did get your development from Atlas's exercises. So My question to you is, Why do you think the Atlas style physique ever lost favor with the public? I know a lot of men today that would like to have a build like yours and my great uncle's. Especially if they could have it without having to go anywhere or buy anything else to get it."

Answer: First off, Thanks for the kind compliments Eddy. Very appreciated.

The Atlas style physique is extremely athletic and proportionate and the strength and development it created was according to the natural lines of one's own natural development. No matter how you used the Atlas exercises you would never look like overly bulked up body builders that started coming on the scene in the late 1950's when steroids were first being introduced. From that point on natural development was no longer being promoted in body building magazines. By the late 60's I can even remember having guys tell me, " If you look like that from doing Charles Atlas's exercises just think how much bigger and better you'll look if you lift weights." This was often told to me by power lifters and body builders at the YMCA when I was training for Golden Gloves and they saw me doing my Atlas exercises and coming in to do my chinning in their weight room. The idea was that at 5' 10&1/2" and 165 pounds of ripped to the bone muscle that someone being bigger would automatically make me better. I told my boxing coach 'Sarge' and he just laughed. He said, "Some of those guys are so big that they can't get out of their own way let alone do anything with it."

---John Peterson
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