Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by drob357 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:36 am

I came across a quotation from George Hackenschmidt that may be helpful, while preparing a reproduction of his book entitled, "The Way to Live in Health and Physical Fitness", soon available in the HOPC Book Store.

Hackenschmidt sustained a "slight injury" while performing his duties as an engineer. The following passage mentions his diet while recovery in St. Petersburg under the care of Dr. von Krajewski.

"Dr. von Krajewski was the founder of the St. Petersburg Athletic and Cycling Club. He invited me to come and stay with him in St. Petersburg, as he wished to have me trained as a professional athlete and wrestler."
“I drank little else but milk (3 litres, or more than 11 pints daily) and ate practically what I pleased, my appetite being then, as always, an excellent one."
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by peter yates » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:23 am

Thanks Diane,
it is a while since i read the book and need to do so again as i did quote from that book in an article i wrote on diet. I am sure the milk he consumed was vastly different in quality and nutrition than what comes out of the factory farms where cattle never see light of day and are fed a totally inappropriate diet of corn and soy. Not to mention other nasty things.A point that comes up for me about the 11 pints of milk is while it may have been true [we can never really be certain] it may have been mistranslated.I have come up against this with Chinese translated into English were units of measurement have been wrongly translated.For instance the character for LI ]pro-lee] is translated often as mile,however the actual measurement is one third of a mile.Such errors are inevitable when translating from one language to another.The point which can be taken though is that the good doctor did value milk as a health tonic and bodybuilder.
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by drob357 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:10 pm

it is a while since i read the book and need to do so again as i did quote from that book in an article i wrote on diet. I am sure the milk he consumed was vastly different in quality and nutrition than what comes out of the factory farms where cattle never see light of day and are fed a totally inappropriate diet of corn and soy. Not to mention other nasty things.
Regards,Peter.
Thanks Peter. Point well taken about the mistreatment of cattle in factory farms. George Hackenschmidt also acknowledged this in his book way back then (1935).
The disadvantages of meat foods are, in my opinion in the first place that nowadays it is most difficult to obtain meat from absolutely healthy animals (I count those artificially fed in stables and pens among the unhealthy ones), and secondly, that far too much flesh food is taken.
He went on to say....
I believe I am right in asserting that our Creator has provided food and nutriment for every being for its own advantage. Man is born without a frying-pan or stew pot. The purest natural food for human beings would, therefore, be fresh, uncooked food and nuts. It is not my intention to discuss here the old problem, whether meat is necessary as food for man or whether man was created and should remain a vegetarian. My experience has taught me that foodstuffs are of secondary importance. There are very strong people who are strict vegetarians, whilst others eat a good deal of meat. A fare which consists of three-quarters of vegetable food and one-quarter meat would appear to be the most satisfactory for the people of central Europe. Everyone should and can find out which diet best suits his constitution, and he should avoid all food which disagrees with it.
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by peter yates » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:53 pm

Thanks Diane, those are the quotes i remember now.Right on George.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:09 pm

Another name to add to the list.

Kid Parker was the first vegetarian boxer. He also wrote on physical culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kid_Parker

There is an interesting article on physical culture and vegetarianism here from Parker in 1903

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn ... -1/seq-13/

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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by peter yates » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:24 am

Thanks Daryll, nice bit of history there and someone i was unaware of before.I see the milk and eggs are included in his diet making it well balanced IMO.He probably ended up in the asylum from taking one too many head punches and not as some might suggest due to his diet. ;) Only joking.
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:26 am

Thanks for the quotes on Hackenschmidt.

Florian Hemme and Jan Todd wrote a paper on George Hackenschmidt which said he ate lots of sweets
The Russian Lion in fact bragged about being able to eat copious amounts of sweets himself and encouraged others to do the same: "I can eat a pound of chocolate candy in half an hour and enjoy it. [ .. . ] Pie, cake and puddings will do you no harm."
https://www.starkcenter.org/igh/igh-v12 ... 203p03.pdf

There are also many newspaper reports and claims from eyewitnesses that Hackenschmidt was a huge steak eater.

The strange thing is that Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska a historian who authored the scholarly book Managing the Body: Beauty, Health, and Fitness in Britain 1880–1939, says that Hackenschmidt avoided junk food and confined himself to a diet of "fresh, uncooked food and nuts". She says that Hackenschmidt rarely ate meat during his prime career and that he converted to a strict raw vegetarian diet after retirement.

Based on all of what I have read it is clear for me that Hackenschmidt was a big meat eater during his wrestling career and later became a vegetarian after retiring but there are many contradictory sources about what he actually ate. It's interesting.

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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:35 am

peter yates wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:24 am
Thanks Daryll, nice bit of history there and someone i was unaware of before.I see the milk and eggs are included in his diet making it well balanced IMO.He probably ended up in the asylum from taking one too many head punches and not as some might suggest due to his diet. ;) Only joking.
Regards,Peter.
Unfortunately I can't find a death date for Kid Parker. He wrote in that newspaper article I linked to that he was going to live to be a 100 years old because of his vegetarian diet but he went insane and was confined to an asylum. I would be interested in knowing if he came out and what he did for the rest of his life but I cannot seem to find any records for this. The last newspaper coverage documents his time in the asylum in 1912. I will keep looking but sadly I cannot find out anything else after this date. Hopefully David Gentle or yourself can have a look, you might be able to find out some more info. Thanks.

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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by peter yates » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:55 pm

psychologist wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:26 am
Thanks for the quotes on Hackenschmidt.

Florian Hemme and Jan Todd wrote a paper on George Hackenschmidt which said he ate lots of sweets
The Russian Lion in fact bragged about being able to eat copious amounts of sweets himself and encouraged others to do the same: "I can eat a pound of chocolate candy in half an hour and enjoy it. [ .. . ] Pie, cake and puddings will do you no harm."
https://www.starkcenter.org/igh/igh-v12 ... 203p03.pdf

There are also many newspaper reports and claims from eyewitnesses that Hackenschmidt was a huge steak eater.

The strange thing is that Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska a historian who authored the scholarly book Managing the Body: Beauty, Health, and Fitness in Britain 1880–1939, says that Hackenschmidt avoided junk food and confined himself to a diet of "fresh, uncooked food and nuts". She says that Hackenschmidt rarely ate meat during his prime career and that he converted to a strict raw vegetarian diet after retirement.

Based on all of what I have read it is clear for me that Hackenschmidt was a big meat eater during his wrestling career and later became a vegetarian after retiring but there are many contradictory sources about what he actually ate. It's interesting.
Daryll, as mentioned elsewhere, this is the problem we face when looking back in time and trying to find the truth.All we can say is the truth is elusive. I am not sure of your age but i suspect quite young,even so you will have gone through various changes in outlook etc. I know at my age 69 i have gone through many stages in my life including in my training and diet.So someone who knew me or reading something i wrote 40 years ago may quote from that time.Same with Hack he lived a long and interesting life and maybe all of what has been claimed is true, only some of it or very little of it.We can only surmise.Still it is interesting trying to find out.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Which physical culturists were vegetarian?

Post by psychologist » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:01 pm

I managed to find two other vegetarians associated with physical culture.

Martin Dobrilla and Paul Anderson.
From 1908 until the 1930s Martin Dobrilla from Port Adelaide performed feats of strength and endurance in competitions and paid displays across Australia. He was a champion weight lifter but his prime speciality was in endurance club swinging. Swinging weighted clubs was a very popular sport at the turn of the century and was even an Olympic sport for a time. Dobrilla was a world champion in the sport and could swing clubs non-stop for days. He publicly credited his stamina to his vegetarian diet and to eating plenty of fruit.

A later publicity minded vegetarian was a man called Paul Anderson, a bodybuilder and professional strongman who also ran his own gymnasium. During the 1940s and 1950s under the stage name ‘The Young Mighty Apollo’ he made a living performing feats of strength, such as pulling trucks with his teeth or having cars driven over him. Up until the 1970s he also had a column giving bodybuilding and exercise advice in the vegetarian journal Health and Vision.
https://www.academia.edu/3632165/Vegeta ... _1788-2014_

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