Vintage Daily Dozen for Boys and Men – 1937 Edition
What might put some people off about EIGHTY-year-old exercise programs, is exactly why I LOVE them! It’s the language they use, the visual images they paint – in professional terms, it’s the ‘copy.’ This paragraph is how this vintage Daily Dozen booklet starts, and if you don’t start nodding in agreement with what it is saying by about the second line, then unless you are REALLY fit already I think you may be kidding yourself… (P.S. I concede that we don’t travel by ‘smoke-laden’ transport anymore, and also that women and girls are given rather a short shrift, but it is of its time – and there is NOTHING about this routine that women and girls could not benefit from equally!):
In these days when so many people are town dwellers and engaged in sedentary occupations, when the machine is rapidly replacing manual labour, and when instead of walking we travel by overcrowded, smoke-laden buses and trains, most men are wont to say they are “fit” as long as they can escape illness. That “toned-up,” alert, enthusiastic, active-feeling characteristic of the man who is really well, becomes less and less familiar as schooldays grow more distant. Muscles lose their elasticity, joints their freedom, while heart and lungs are not so effective when they are not exercised regularly. The only exercise most men get is a game of football, cricket or tennis at the week-end. If you are a games player then keep yourself supple and agile by doing your “Daily Dozen” every day—it will help you to put up a better show on Saturday afternoon and you will not feel half so tired the next day. If you have not got the opportunity to play games, the “Daily Dozen ” will “tone up” your system, loosen you, straighten those shoulders that have become rounded by too much stooping over a bench or a desk. It will help you to keep your waist line in better shape and improve your digestion. That tired, distraught, restless feeling with which you return home from work will vanish like clouds before the sun when you have done your “Daily Dozen.”
What do you want from your daily exercises?
How would YOU like to be:
- Toned up
I do the exercises contained in this vintage Daily Dozen booklet (or some variation thereof) at LEAST every other day – they are the CLASSIC exercises that every MODERN DAY exercise program feeds from. I am NOT super-human, I do not have huge muscles, but I FEEL good. I SLEEP well. My POSTURE is good.
Short Daily Workouts
Short daily exercise routines are PERFECT for the working person for exactly the reason it states above: GETTING to work is more often than not a chore in the modern age. Equally, even when you get HOME the day has left you “tired, distraught [and] restless.” Maybe you don’t want to go down the whole:
- Warm-up (20 minutes)
- High-Intensity Workout (1 hour)
- Cool Down (20 minutes)
program coupled with GETTING to the gym, showering, coming home etc. etc.
Vintage Daily Dozen Guide
This spry fellow is your guide for this version of a Daily Dozen:
The instructions for this short exercise course could not be easier, and the images are self-explanatory.
A final word from the ‘How’ of the program:
Before commencing the exercises go through the directions carefully. Learn the exercises “bit by bit,” to ensure correct performance, so that the maximum benefit may be derived from them.
Older men who are beginning to get stiff, and younger men who have allowed themselves to get “flabby,” must be particularly careful not to be too active at first. They should progress slowly and not put too much work on to long disused muscles; as they get looser in the joints and more supple in the muscles, then the exercises can be performed more vigorously and for longer at a time.
If you prefer a modern spin on things, I have rewritten and illustrated this book as: Fitness to Go, and while I think there is merit in both, you could go for one or the other.
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This little set of exercises is complemented by the 1938 Daily Dozen (a totally different set of exercises) and Walter Camp’s Daily Dozen. All available by following the hyperlinks or clicking HERE to visit the store.
Richie Neville | Director
Internal Force Fitness