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Strongfort - Intelligence in Physical Culture

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About the author:
"At 16 years of age Lionel Strongfort... accidentally met the original Professor Attila. ... Lionel needed but little encouragement. He attended the Attila training quarters as often as possible. At 17 years of age he was able to do a double-handed lift of 250 lb. without any great exertion -- the Professor prevented his favorite and most promising pupil from premature overstrain. Strongfort's single- handed lift overhead at this time was 130 lb. ...
About this time, however, there arose a worldwide variety theatre demand for what was known in the profession as "Strong Man Turns." Even in the late 1890s and 1900s the preference was for athletes of the classical rather than the clumsily strong figure. The late Eugene Sandow was the first to rise to world preeminence in this respect, and Lionel Strongfort, a younger man, became his world-acknowledged successor. ... He turned graceful somersaults while holding a 50-lb. weight in each hand. Then he turned another lightning-like somersault while holding a 150-lb. barbell. About this time, too, he set up a world's record lift of 312 lb., over Louis Cyr's 273 lb. ... Undoubtedly, Strongfort's most sensational feat was his 'Human Bridge Act,' where he supported a fully occupied motor-car . ... in full view of the theatre audience right at a time when the motor-car was something of a novelty. But there was much more in this spectacular feat of human muscular coordination than was apparent to the great majority of the spectators. The 'motor' of those days was not the docilely smooth vehicle of today. Its progress was apt to be jerky and explosive, thereby almost doubling the effect of the colossal weight of the car and its occupants. Further, it was not a case of merely lifting or sustaining a slowly descending weight. The car approached and departed at a side-twist angle of its huge weight of 7,000 lb. Actually, the easiest split-second of the feat's time was when the car was equally balanced over Strongfort's supporting body.

Such spectacular feats as were being performed by Strongfort naturally attracted the attention of scientists, doctors, surgeons, sculptors, and artists. Strongfort was persuaded by the world's leading sculptors to become their model for statues that would serve to show the world for all time that the statuesque glories of ancient Greece came to life again in the 20th century in the person of Strongfort." - Hopton Hadley

Strongfort - Intelligence in Physical Culture

(Original Version, Restored)

Authored by Max Unger

The author, Max Unger, was more widely known by his stage name of "Strongfort" or Lionel Strongfort.

"Some ... decry the practice of systematic physical culture, and recommend good, honest work as a satisfactory and sufficient means of building muscular tissue and promoting vigor. The toll of this, however, is obvious even to those who have never given the subject any special study, for among the millions of the workers of the world there are extremely few who can claim anything like a symmetrical or athletic development. Nearly all forms of labor are such as to overwork certain parts of the body, while neglecting the muscles of other parts. But in addition to the one-sided development thus brought about, most forms of manual work are of a tedious and exhausting character: they consume but do not build strength: they drain one's vitality, bend his back, stiffen his joints and make him angular and slow. It is true that there are a few varieties of "honest toil" which might he physically beneficial to anyone, but the prevailing long hours for work more than offset the good results that might accrue in such cases, and the fact remains that most laborers are sadly lacking in any true bodily culture." - Lionel Strongfort

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Publication Date:
1475016042 / 9781475016048
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.06" x 7.81"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Health & Fitness / Exercise

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