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Strength and How to Obtain It Paperback – March 30, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
"Eugen Sandow (April 2, 1867 – October 14, 1925), born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, was a Prussian pioneering bodybuilder in the 19th century and is often referred to as the "Father of Modern Bodybuilding". Sandow was born in Königsberg, Prussia in 1867. He left Prussia in 1885 to avoid military service and in 1889 he made his first appearance on the London stage. Florenz Ziegfeld knew that Maurice Grau had Sandow under a contract. Ziegfeld wanted to display Sandow at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Grau wanted $1,000 a week. Ziegfeld could not guarantee $1,000 a week but agreed to paying 10 per cent of the gross receipts. Ziegfeld found that the audience was more fascinated by Sandow's bulging muscles than by the amount of weight he was lifting, so Ziegfeld had Sandow perform poses which he dubbed "muscle display performances"... and the legendary strongman added these displays in addition to performing his feats of strength with barbells. He added chain-around-the-chest breaking and other colorful displays to Sandow's routine. Sandow quickly became Ziegfeld's first star. In 1894, Sandow featured in a short film by the Edison Studios. The film was of only part of the show and features him flexing his muscles rather than performing any feats of physical strength. While the content of the film reflects the audience attention being primarily focused on his appearance it made use of the unique capacities of the new medium. Film theorists have attributed the appeal being the striking image of a detailed image moving in synchrony, much like the example of the Lumière brothers' Repas de bébé where audiences were reportedly more impressed by the movement of trees swaying in the background than the events taking place in the foreground. In 1894, he appeared in a short Kinetoscope film that was part of the first commercial motion picture exhibition in history. He created the Institute of Physical Culture, an early gymnasium for body builders in 1897. In 1898 Sandow founded a monthly periodical, originally named Physical Culture and subsequently named Sandow's Magazine of Physical Culture. He held the first major bodybuilding contest at the Royal Albert Hall on September 14, 1901. It was called the "Great Competition". It was judged by Sandow, athlete and sculptor Sir Charles Lawes, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." - from Wikipedia
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His first book was written several years before. During his first trip to America he had been introduced to Alois P. Swoboda and his mind/body muscle contraction methods which were popular with US Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and leaders and people at all levels of US society. He and Swoboda carried on correspondence that lasted beyond the publication of this book and I believe influenced the expanded emphasis of mental concentration methods included in this book.
The following quotes contain the principles included in this book:
"Exercise in front of a mirror.
It is the brain that develops the muscle. Brain will do as much
as the dumbell, even more.
When you are sitting down reading practice contracting your
muscles. Do this everytime you are sittng down leisurely, and by contracting
them harder and harder each time, you will find that it will have the same
effect as the use of the dumbells or any more vigorous form of
It is very advisable for all pupils to get in the habit of
constantly practicing this muscle-contraction. It in itself is an admirable
exercise, but it is even more valuable owing to the fact that it improves the
will power and helps to establish the connection between the brain and the
muscles which is the basis of strength and condition.
For the beginner the most difficult part of my system is so
fully to concentrate his mind on his muscles as to get them absolutely under
control. It will be found,however, that this control comes by degrees. The brain
sends the message; the nerves receive it, and pass it on to them. With regard to
the Will Power that is exerted it should be remembered that whilst the effect of
weightlifting is to contract the muscles, the same effect is created by
contracting the muscles without the weight.
The question of 'Will Power',has, I am aware troubled a good
many of my pupils. The majority find it difficult to 'put all they know' into
movements with small dumbells, and consequently are apt to be disappointed with
the results of their work. Not infrequently I have received a letter stating
that the writer is doing the exercises an immense number of times, occupying
several hours a day - three or four- or even more! - and yet does not find that
there is very much improvement. The reason is obvious; he is simply 'going
through' the motions and not really working at them."
The real interesting point is the bibliography of his life at the part II. Conserning only these aspects I give the book full 5 stars. For true strenght training manuals I say that his books: " "Body Building or the man in making" and "A Study in the Perfect Type of the Human Form" are good for giving set of exercises that are interesting to see or even to try.