Muscle Building: Practical Points for Practical People

Dec 17, 2013 by

muscleMuscle Building: Practical Points for Practical People by Luther Halsey Gulick was originally published in 1905.  This is a very interesting book and has some great tips on turning one’s body into a lean muscular machine.  My only challenge with the writing is that it is male-centric (ie – book written entirely for men).  So for a woman, it is a bit annoying at times, however the information he provides obviously works for both men and women.

A few sentences from the opening of the book:

“Every man would like to have a firm hand, strong, clean-cut arms, muscles that stand out, a body that is solid, held together by firm muscles, strong vigorous neck, and large chest. A man cannot very well change the shape of the bones of his body; but aside from this, much can be done in a very short time every day. A month or two of work will help much to bring about that shape of the body that one desires, and that character of muscle which is one of the marks of vigorous manhood.

It is the purpose of this book to show how business men may, by a few minutes each day, develop their muscles in the way that they desire. That which is discussed in this article is not a complete system of physical training. This work does not aim to make a man graceful; it does not aim to make him a long distance runner, a jumper, or a fencer. This plan of exercise does succeed in almost every case, in quickly making a man muscularly strong and well developed. It does tend to make a man stand straighter, to respect himself more, to have a clearer way of contracting the hand, if they are always followed by exercises by extending the fingers, which are shown in this picture, will never leave the hand in bad position.

The delicate modeling of the muscles of the forearm is admirably shown.  It does not take any apparatus — it can be done anywhere; it takes but little time. All that it demands is the willingness to do it on the part of the man. Many men have, in a single month, changed the whole appearance of their bodies from one of weakness to one of strength, from a condition of flabbiness to a condition of solidity. It is a common achievement for a man to increase the girth of his upper arm half an inch, or even an inch, in a month; to put two inches on his chest in the same length of time. If a man’s muscles are fat to begin with, he may expect in the course of a month, to make them hard and muscular. In this case he will not expect to increase the size, as much as he will if his arms are merely soft to begin with and he has simply to build up.”

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