David Gentle, Historian & Author (England)

David Gentle, Author & HistorianDavid is an internationally acclaimed Historian and Author of Physical Culture.  For several decades, he was a regular contributor of over 25 of the world's top muscle magazines.  David's prolific writings include over 2,000 articles published in the World Muscle Press on all subjects relating to physical culture or strength.

 He has written more on the topic of strength and muscle development than anyone in the history of the Iron Game. For almost seven decades he has had his articles published in every major Bodybuilding and Strength related journals, under his own name, pen names and also as ghost writer for many champions.  For more information, we invite you to read the Life and Times of David Gentle.

List of Publications

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Place, Date of Birth and Marital Status

  • Southampton, Hants, England: 1933
  • Married to wife Rosemary for over 40 years

Academic and Military Background

  • Educated Eastleigh County High Barton Pevril
  • Diplomas in Mike Dayton’s School of Chi.
  • Certificates for Health Education and Nutrition
  • Served in REME in U.K., Egypt and Cyprus

Professional Experience

  • Joined Health and Strength League in 1949 member 228291
  • Became member and life member of NABBA. No. 32733 and then no. 236
  • Trained on Charles Atlas, Earle Liederman, Jowett, International School of Physical Culture. Maxalding Danks,’ chest expanders. York and Weider schedules and Don Doran’s courses.
  • Ran several private gyms, and later trained by mail, many hundreds of bodybuilder (under the Doran’s type of schedules and systems)
  • Worked as Muscle coach and consultant for Bodypower and Bodypower Plus, trained readers by mail.
  • Bench pressed double bodyweight (300 lbs) and curl bodyweight n strict t fashion (150 lbs) and pull over at arms length, with straight arms 120 lbs
  • Bent and broke six-inch nails
  • Wrestled and practiced Jui Jltsu for many years.

Additional Professional Activities

  • Have seen almost all NABBA Universe shows, apart from when in the services
  • Seen literally every top muscle star over the last 50 years and have written to or about every major bodybuilder or strength athlete since the 1950”s friends with many of them, having a World wide web of contacts of the best of bodybuilders and strength athletes, fellow authors and fans.


In April, 2016 David Gentle compiled an exhaustive list of his published work.  He admitted that for a period of his life he discontinued documenting the articles he wrote, growing weary of seeing his name in print.  Despite this brief interlude the list captures the extraordinary contributions David Gentle made to Physical Culture throughout his lifetime.  Today David continues his prolific writing career as Sub-Editor of Britain's Health and Strength magazine. David Gentle Publications

  • A physical culturist and consistent columnist.
  • Author of Massive Muscles in Three Months and co-author of Develop Grip Strength along with friend David Webster OBE.
  • A prolific writer, with over 2,000 articles (last tallied in 1999) published in the World muscle press on all subjects relating to physical culture or strength, including articles on show reports, lifting news, strength and lifting stunts, technical lifting, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, bodybuilding training articles, body parts, schedules, routines, sports injuries, nutrition, Medicare for bodybuilders, health and fitness facts, ergogenics, aphrodisiacs, old timers, historical profiles and facts home gyms, muscle clinics, Q & A, columns, gossip columns (Power Gen, Rambling, etc) illustrations, serious and comic, photographs, muscle quizzes, crosswords, muscle mart, reviews of books and apparatus, etc.
  • Articles published under own name or pen names, i.e. Jon Hall, Scorpio, Bodypower Answers, or often simply Dave. Also ghost written for many stars, i.e. Angela Lesta, Laura Creaveall, Tony Pearson, etc.
  • Reporter for local newspapers on bodybuilding/lifting events. (Echo, Advertiser and News) Book and supplement reviewer, in many magazines, e.g. Muscle Mag International. Bodypower. Muscle Mob. Hardgainer, etc
  • Answered over 2000 questions in Scoropio and Bodypower answers columns and near 10,000 personally (free). (Peter McGough, top Weider man said his contributions were, "A sustained journalist feat unsurpassed in British bodybuilding publishing”).
  • As well as ‘normal articles’ wrote many supplements, including “Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding” and “An Anatomy of Strength in Bodypower” mag, a detailed four part historical series “Sandow to Schwarzenegger in Bodypower”, a “Century of Muscle in Strength and Health USA” and a four part series in Health and Strength entitled., “The Ever-changing Face of Health and Strength,” plus many histories of Muscle Magazines, famous strong men, etc.
  • Was foreign correspondent for Strength and Health and Muscular Development mag when Grimek was editor, along with Oscar Heidenstam, reporting on Universe shows, and articles, etc.
  • Was senior writer for Bodypower, and Bodybuilding Monthly, and wrote at times up to five articles an issue in magazines, like Strength Athlete or Bodybuilding Monthly (often under pen names) plus writing the Scorpio, Ask Angie, and Bodypower Answers, etc.
Regular contributor for literally decades for the following magazines:
  • Health and Strength under five owners;
  • Sport and Fitness;
  • Sport and Fitness Inc. H & S;
  • Muscle and Co.;
  • Bodybuilding Monthly under three owners;
  • Natural Bodybuilder;
  • Bodypower under several owners;
  • Bodypower Plus (D. Bennett);
  • Strength Athlete under three owners, Kirkley, Pullum and Williams;
  • Milo USA;
  • Hardgainer. (international mag);
  • The Strandpuller;
  • Backhang Gazette;
  • Muscle Mob both as publisher and owner and later contributor;
  • Muscle Training Illustrated, U.S.A. (Dan Lurie);
  • Strength and Health.York;
  • Muscular Development U.S.A.;
  • Ironman both U.K. and U.S.A.;
  • Muscle Magazine International (Canada);
  • Muscle Mag International U.K.;
  • Muscle News;
  • The Iron Master, U.S.A.;
  • Vic Boff’s Association of Oldtime Barbell and Strongmen newsletter;
  • Natural Development Magazine, U.K. and International;
  • The Forum and Mick Harts NO BULL magazine.

Extra Curricular Activities

  • An avid collector of bodybuilding/strength books, magazines, photos, and memorabilia, since 1947 and have one of the best collections in U.K. of these rare items, and archives. With magazines from 1898 to date, including Health and Strength, Iron Man Superman and most USA mags.
  • Apart from writing and collecting muscle and strength also interested in guitar playing, reading, traveling, genealogy (family trees) card and close up magic and grandchildren. Bless ‘em.

Awards Received

  • Won medals for muscle control in Maxalding, NABBA Man of the Month. Silver medalist,
  • Won SAWLA medals and diplomas, including heavy weight record diploma;
  • Awarded Oscar Heidenstam Foundation award for services to bodybuilding.
  • John Grimek Life Time Achievement Award as a writer and historian of physical culture


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