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John Peterson 06-05-2019 07:38 PM

The Charles Atlas Program
Hello Everyone,

I have received an e-mail from a man that has purchased a copy of every book that I have written and he states: "Mr.Peterson, My Grandfather who is 73 years old was looking through the books you have written and says, "This is just like the Charles Atlas Course that I took when I was in high school and getting in shape for joining The Marines. I wish I would have stayed with it because I was in the best shape of my life back then." I told him that if he read your books he would immediately see that every bit of what you write was inspired by the Charles Atlas Exercise System that you followed since you were very young. I am curious to know what differences if any, there really are between Atlas's Method and the methods you teach."

My response: Grant, first off, Thank You. I appreciate the kind words and you are spot on about the impact Charles Atlas's methods had on me as I was going through adolescence and into young manhood. My Grandfather and uncles had all been Charles Atlas aficionados and my grandfather practiced it daily right up to his death at age 97 in 1990. As far as differences? Well, Atlas featured 95 exercises in total and you will find every one of them in PYTP plus some additional exercises. Philosophically speaking there is no difference at all. What your Grandfather said about wishing that he had stayed with it is a comment that I have heard many, many times over the years. As a general rule, most men get to the point that they realize that there is something really wonderful about not having to rely on anyone or anything to be in great shape 24/7 for their entire lives and that is what you have with the methods that we teach.

---John Peterson

Michael Beasley 06-07-2019 05:32 PM

Great info John. My daily routine is basically the Atlas perpetual lesson, with chinups/pullups added a few days a week.
God Bless, Mike

John Peterson 06-10-2019 03:12 PM

Hello Michael,

I am going to state something that I hope you will view positively.

When I was in high school I had several friends following the Charles Atlas Program. ALL of them developed nicely sculpted muscular physiques and ALL of them were very pleased UNTIL they heard they could develop a lot more muscle mass by switching to weights. My friend Bryant, who was 5'5" and 147 of the most perfectly sculpted muscular pounds you could imagine fell for the lie that 'BIGGER' looks 'BETTER'. Granted, with heavy iron and steroids he beefed up to 217 pounds. BUT he developed a big gut and a huge butt from the heavy squats. He truly became massive and the heavy squats cost him a full inch of his vertical height. At that point, he could squat more than 400 pounds 23 reps in a row (I know because I counted). He could bench well over 400 and do curls with more than 200. BUT he couldn't run with me for more than 100 yards and he couldn't chin more than 8 reps (when following Atlas at 147 pounds he did sets of 25 or more with no problem) At a weight of 147 he could run the 3.1 miles of Lake Calhoun with me in less than 18 minutes and the ab work on the incline board that he could do with great ease then became an impossibility for him at 217. Bottom Line: he could squat and he could bench but he gave up perfect aesthetics to look like a bridge troll. Now, 50 years later...I have heard from Bryant and others that say they wished they had listened and stayed with the Atlas methods and maintained that ultra slim muscular look they had back then. They realize that it is not just a matter of aesthetics but also of joint health which as you age becomes more and more inportant.

---John Peterson

ware 06-20-2019 03:47 PM

Weights for sure can give more size, but one has to be careful not to grow out of proportion or bigger than mother nature intended.

Bodyweight is THE way to stay "in bounds" with what you body can support in a healthy way. Weights are "out of bounds". Blow the whistle, play over.

I consider Isometrics much more like bodyweight since they won't build you out of proportion either.

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