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Muscle Building

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About the author:
"Few athletes have had lives as filled with variety as Earle E. Liederman. He began as a vaudeville strongman and in the mid-1920s became the undisputed king of the mail-order musclemen. After that he turned to radio broadcasting and then to journalism. Finally, in the 1940s Liederman came to California and, because of his seductive descriptions of sun, sand and sea, helped draw hundreds of bodybuilders to the West Coast.
Despite his many accomplishments, the details of Liederman's biography are difficult to pin down because he was so reluctant to recount his personal life. Not even his birthdate is known for certain. Apparently, he was born around 1886 in Brooklyn, New York, to poor Swedish immigrant parents, graduated from high school in Jamaica, New York, and pursued a degree in physical education at the state normal school. Soon after earning his diploma, he was hired by the New York Board of Education as a physical culture specialist. ...

While Liederman was working for the Board of Education, he was also trying his hand as a boxer. It took him only a short time to determine that he had little talent for the ring, however, so he switched to wrestling, which also proved not to be his strong suit. He was saved from further embarrassment in this effort by a talent scout from a vaudeville chain, who convinced the young man to try his hand at a strongman act. This was more to Earle's taste, and in 1910 he quit his job and embarked on a career as a professional athlete.

Liederman was a savv marketer, and he knew how to tap into the public's worries and insecurities. The copy in one typical ad from 1924 compared a tiny body to a wart on the nose--but with one difference. "If you had a wart on your nose, you would worry yourself sick--you would pay most any price to get rid of it. . . . Wake up! Come to your senses! Everyone despises the weakling." Worrisome thoughts like these kept more and more customers clamoring for the course, and before long his ads were appearing in several magazines at once, often in lavish six-page spreads.

Earle raked in a great deal of money with the mail-order business. One visitor to his posh New York headquarters reported that there were 60 secretaries ... pounding out advice and encouragement to the many correspondents. ... He kept a fleet of fancy cars and lived the high life. At some point he married a former Miss Alaska beauty queen, and the two cut a glamorous swath through New York society".
- David Chapman

Muscle Building

(Original Version, Restored)

Authored by Earle Liederman

"I have often watched crowds pass on the streets and noticed most of the individuals shuffle along more dead than alive. Seventy-five per cent, of them are round- shouldered and fiat-chested; many are carrying twenty- five to fifty pounds extra weight around their waists and hips. Once in a while you will see someone in the passing throng with a springy step, deep, full chest and straight, broad shoulders. You can tell at once that he is a physical culturist who has devoted some time to the care and welfare of his body. Your attention is attracted to him because of his personality, which is emphasized by his athletic appearance. His complexion is clear, his eyes sparkle, he radiates vitality. Lines of dissipation are absent. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone looked and felt like this? Medical doctors would soon become rare and drug stores would sell fewer drugs, and even less toilet articles than they now sell. There is really no excuse for anyone who fails to enjoy all the thrills resulting from robust health. Anyone who is too lazy to devote a little time to his physical welfare deserves absolutely no sympathy when sickness or disease gets him. It is my pleasure and great privilege to tell you in this series of little informal talks just how you can enjoy the delights of robust health and the feeling of security and satisfaction that comes to a man who knows that he can give a good account of himself in any emergency that may arise, and who has the courage and the red-blooded love of life to want to increase not only his own happiness, but also the happiness and the comfort of those who love and respect him and wish him well". - Earle Liederman

This is a 6" by 9" original version, restored and re-formatted edition of Liederman's 1924 classic. Visit our website and see our many books at

Publication Date:
1466442751 / 9781466442757
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Health & Fitness / Exercise

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