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Thomas Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture

Thomas Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture was created as a very large poster that you could put on your wall and refer to as needed. And of course, you would WANT to refer to it often, because to give it its full title it is:

Prof. Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture for the Improvement of Health, Increase of Strength, and Development of Muscle

Of course, when you’re one of the 20th Century’s premier Physical Culturists, you can get away with calling your system the “Perfect System of Physical Culture.”

One of the best ‘headers’ from any course that I own!

As I said, this information was all laid out on one very large poster, so there is no text for each individual exercise, just a good illustration and a block of general instruction:

Exercise stripped to the waist in front of a mirror. Concentrate the mind on each muscle as it is brought into play. Inhale the breath as expander is pressed out, exhale as it returns to usual length. General Exercises not to be repeated more than 10 times each hand. Limit for Dumb-bell and other movements 15 times each hand. Add strands to expander as you increase in strength, and increase weight of dumb-bells to 7 lbs. or 8 lbs. each hand (limit). Alternate contraction and relaxation of the muscles is necessary to rapid development. The bodily strength being lowest in the morning on rising, perform General Exercises only (about 7 minutes). At night these should be repeated with the dumb-bell exercises and such of the others as appear necessary to bring up deficient parts (15 minutes).

I don’t think there is a single exercise that doesn’t make sense if you just look at the picture then have a go.

Thomas Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture is a combination of strands (chest expanders), dumb-bells, and bodyweight exercises, which goes a long way TO making the perfect system! There is a hint of the old Sandow dumb-bell course about some of the dumb-bell moves, but why wouldn’t there be – they work! As to the stand work, the exercises are a little different to what you might have seen elsewhere.

Two examples of exercises from Thomas Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture

Is it a perfect system? Well, I don’t really want to comment on that. On the original poster I own, Inch annotated it for the pupil to suggest they avoid some of the deltoid exercises, but this could have been as the result of the pupil informing Inch they had a deltoid heavy occupation or he had already done a lot of deltoid work! I think it is a GOOD system, and well worth having a go at. If nothing else, it is an interesting idea to team strands and light dumbbells.

Our growing Thomas Inch section is a wealth of Physical Culture information from one of the all-time greats.

Thomas Inch’s Perfect System of Physical Culture is a fully formatted and tidied-up PDF for ease of reading and USE! Also included, however, is a large PNG of the original poster that can be used to have a poster printed.

Richie Neville | Director

Internal Force Fitness


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