Classic exercise routines are not (all) obsolete just because they’re old! There DOES need to be some common sense applied when performing an exercise routine written eighty-odd years ago, but I will tell you when there are things you need to watch out for.
What’s so good about classic exercise routines?
For me, it’s a mixture of a couple of things: the copy (the way the routines are written down) and the exercises themselves; they are just so SIMPLE.
When they were written, these routines had to appeal to the average Joe (or average Jane). This meant the language needed to be simple and the instructions nice and clear (you couldn’t email the instructor or go on YouTube to see how an exercise should be performed).
Because money was tight for a lot of people back in the day, a lot of these classic exercise routines came as ‘Lessons’. So, for a few dollars, you would get LESSON 1 to follow for a month, then you’d send off a couple more dollars for LESSON 2. If the language was not INSPIRING (they used capitals a lot) and if the exercises were not SIMPLE and above all if the exercises did not WORK, then you’d only ever make money from LESSON 1!
I’m not saying that ALL the promises the instructors of these classic exercise routines made were actually true (in spite of his millions of followers, how many people have you ever seen walking around looking EXACTLY like Charles Atlas?) but they were figureheads to INSPIRE young people and weedy adults who just wanted to feel better about themselves. EVERYONE who devotes themselves to a daily regimen of exercising, who has not previously exercised, WILL see results.
Despite what modern infomercials and websites bombard us with, the body we have today is the same body our grandparents and GREAT grandparents had. We have made supposed advancements in almost every area of our lives, yet when you see pictures from the 30s, 40s, 50’s, when you see pictures of the young men and women who fought in WW2, what you see are people who were FITTER!
A large part of that fitness, of course, may have just come from life itself, but some of it will have come from basic training, from calisthenics in schools, from a basic diet, and from classic exercise courses such as those I promote at Internal Force Fitness.
Classic for a reason
The more you delve into the world of classic exercise routines, the more you can see similarities in the exercises. This is because an awful lot of these exercises are PERFECT. They do exactly what they are supposed to do, quickly and easily. Once the world of physical culture turned into the fitness ‘industry’ however, there needed to be NEW exercises and BETTER exercises. Exercises that will get you RIPPED and JACKED or make you SKINNY. That’s not what Internal Force Fitness is all about.
The routines I promote will generally just have you BENDING and TWISTING and SQUATTING and STRETCHING. If on any given day you can do all of these things with ease, then you my friend have a perfectly good level of fitness! Stop beating yourself up about not having arms like the guy that has to train FAR harder than you, and just go about your day.