Saturday, September 29, 2007

Charle Atlas' Most Enduring Gift to The Fitness World

I'm writing this post right now in Lima, Peru. I'm at my in-laws apartment and across the street, there is a pretty garden-variety gym. On their sign, they have a picture of a man with a massive, obviously steroid-built physique. Like I said, it's a pretty normal sight to see in any gym anywhere in the world. Since it was shut out of the bodybuilding revolution, we never saw this in the Bodyweight world, and we have none other than Charles Atlas to thank for it.

At the time when steroids and weights locked in their venomous embrace back in the late 50's, Dynamic Tension was the biggest bodyweight course (it probably still is) out there. To anyone who has it, Charles Atlas had a thoroughly holistic approach to fitness that few have been able to match to this day. He was far more interested to building an attractive and functional physique as well as a complete man. He never changed the course, so he was obviously uninterested in trends and fads. Atlas' vision of what a man should be built like was not subject to the whims of the public and the styles of the day as expressed in the media.

He preserved that in the Bodyweight-based physical culture. We weren't infected with that hype-driven urge to inject god-knows-what and how much of it into our bodies in order to satisfy some bizarre carnal pleasures. To even think of using steroids when training with bodyweight doesn't even sound plausible, does it? It sounds as alien and implausible as seeing the Pope in a pornographic movie.

There are many great things that Charles Atlas did but as far as I'm concerned, that was his greatest gift to physical culture. He kept the purity in at least one, very important facet of physical culture. He kept those of us faithful to Bodyweight on the right path to perfect physical manhood when the rest of the fitness world plunged into the abyss.

No comments: