Charles Atlas and Dynamic Tension
I have been busy the last couple of weeks on SEO, link building and revamping the unseen portions of my blog site. It is much less exciting than it sounds but today during my internet searches I came across this ad you see above and it got me to reminiscing. I along with thousands perhaps millions of other young boys were introduced to bodybuilding in the comic books during our youth. This advertisement was the one most boys my age remember. Charles Atlas, who was born Angelo Siciliano on October 30, 1892, though he legally changed his name to Charles Atlas in 1922 died at the age of 80 after a morning jog on the beach near his home. Atlas claimed he had watched tigers stretching in cages at the zoo and developed a training program around what he had seen watching these magnificence animals, a program he dubbed Dynamic Tension. I actually purchased this Charles Atlas course when I was twelve. I wish I still had the courses.
A Bodybuilder is Born
Shortly after receiving these twelve courses in 1968 my love affair with bodybuilding and physical culture began. I remember my PawPaw building me a wooden bench and my parents purchasing me plastic clad cement weights when I was 13. Always the motivation for my training was that 97 pound skinny weakling that got bullied in the Charles Atlas ads in the backs of my Superman comics. Like so many other youngsters I could so relate to the poor guy. I trained alone in my parents garage away from the eyes of those that I knew would ridicule my efforts. During those days bodybuilding was a fringe sport at best, usually with competitions being held after a weightlifting contest as an afterthought.
Today at 54 years of age I still train with weights everyday. Not much has changed. Some days are harder to be motivated than others. We all need to find something that motivates us each and every day. There are no do-overs for this day. I hope like Mr. Atlas to go out at 80 doing what has served me so well during my lifetime. I sometimes question whether I should lighten the weight or slow the tempo down due to my advancing years. That will not be the case today when I train. I have rediscovered the motivating spark I found so many years ago in the backs of my comics. Today I will be a boy again in the gym and will train with reckless abandon. Thanks again to Charles Atlas!
til next time,