Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby colinkbell » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:01 pm

This is fascinating as I always admired that photo of Vince.
" Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees" Isaiah 35 v3
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby peter yates » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:47 pm

Hi Guys,
here is an interesting story about Charles Atlas.One of my patients grew up on Point Lookout,Long Island, just down the road from were Charlie boy lived. His Gate had a big A on it,but that is not the story. There was a big strong local lifeguard who was a friend of my patients mother. He would relate that as a young man in the 1950s he would go over to the Atlas house and train, and yes that meant lifting weights not Dynamic Tension. So not only did Charlie boy build his physique with weights but actually carried on using them.Apparently he would challenge the local young bucks to keep up with him in a workout but only the lifeguard ever did.My Patient was also warned to call him Mr. Siciliano if he met him in the neighborhood.This is not to say that his system had no value,only to underscore what we all know,and that is it usually takes a variety of training including weights to get the best results.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby David Gentle » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:25 pm

I cant give up on the Vince one arm chin with dumbbell topic, whether in hand or up his ass.( Bob said the dumbell was simply handed to him on the way down, taken with a flash and then Vince got back to insulting his customers) I got the story from Bob Kennedy who of course can no longer agree or deny it. but heck, its no big deal, as its easy to chin with both hands then lower with one, so holding a dumbbell as well would not be beyond the average bear. for info on the great VG read Karl Koynes latest tomes. back to the departed Kennedy, we often had long informal chats, another not so known fact is that Vince had a liking for the hard stuff, ,not not HIT but a dram of whiskey, fact is sometimes he got pissed and that may be why he at times had a few tetchy moments. nothing wrong with that, what a miserable world it would be if we were all the same without any human failings. If it really was true, i can imagine David Willoughby translating that feat into vince being able to do" ten times his weight in the single arm dumbbell raise whilst playing the mouth organ and drums at the same time". David Gentle, in a grumpy mood as i have just got off a five hour train journey standing all the way and dying for a cup of java and some chocolate biscuits. What does Sticks think?
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby sticksb » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:25 pm

Vince was remarkable in a lot of ways . He liked getting juiced (pissed) too . Members knew
when he was . For all his training knowledge he had some outrageous BS too . Benching heavy
to the neck and something he termed "overtonis" . It was his way or the highway (like Jones).
When asked if he had friends his reply was "I don't really care" as long as I have a lot of students.
The sourpuss thing was his "shtick" and he cultivated it to the hilt . Weider printed a lot of his
training matter "el chepo" and embellished his legend in his mags . Was he a guru ? Well 10-8-6-15
8 sets of 8 , sissy squat marathons were around and written about since Berry and Grimek .Vinny
did live in his gym , did train the stars and was in superb shape even in his cups . I was not a big
fan as I learned early most muscle mag content was motivational rather then informational .
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby charles atlas » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:54 pm

I remember when I was 6 10 o 12 I used to see CA adds at magazines. I wanted to know what was it about and where CA was. As I was born in 1968 and CA died in 1972 he was already dead in 1977 1978 .
I could follow CA history when internet came to Argentina by 1988 1990 and knew more details. I purchased CA course by 1994 by post mail.
Then, after digging by other similar stronmen of last century I realised CA was not alone.
His trial with Bob Hoffman ended that he did not fraud anyone.
We know CA relations with Erle and Mcfadden
I believe, he was(is) an inspirational physial Culture guru.
I know that weights-free training is beaten by weight training. I trained 10 years with weights until I was 25 and from then I trained with CA and other strongmen courses, weighs-free.
I think, CA dynamic tension works for anyone who is eager to gain muscle and strentgh. it dos not work to compete in a BB contest.
I can mention other CA recommendations about health, stretching and daily habits to do and avoid.
I wanted to write my personal opinion about
warm regards
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby peter yates » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:49 pm

Hi Charles,
nice to hear from you again, i missed your posts. I think it is fair to say that Atlas was a genuine person and really believed in his system.Of the many people that knew him and wrote about him i have only heard good things. You quite rightly state that his course while not making a BB champion still can help anyone to build a better looking physique, health and vitality.It may also be useful in maintaining a physique built by weight training. I am sure he was responsible for more young boys and some girls taking up PC than anyone else in history.I know many on this site had their first introduction to training via his adverts and courses. I am glad to know you have had such a good response from the course and it that is the only proof that counts.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby David Gentle » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:01 pm

Re Atlas. Doc Tilney a health nut who wrote for many mags including Yorks, actually penned the Atlas course, or at least he told me so in a personal letter now with Ricky Perkins. Charles Roman was the advertising genius who came up with the iconic ads, before Roman, see old adverts circa late 20s with just Atlas pix. Siciliano posed for all the exercises including a second later set. The first photos of him are really superb. I have a giant size poster of our Charlie in my den which I bought from a theatre which was doing some play ever found out why they used Atlas. Even when i took up the course pre the 50s, it was claimed over 7million men had taken the course. lord knows what it would be today. Main thing and i think Chris/Sticks mentioned it, the course led thousands of young guys onwards and upwards into training with weights. I loved old Charlie to bits and think of him with great nostalgia. There is a great booik out covering our Chas, called "The life and Times of Charles Atlas" by Geo Butler and Charles Gaines, the same blokes responsible for the Pumping Iron epidemic with Arnold. David Gentle. p.s. Atlas came over to uk circa early 50ds/late 40s as a guest at theH&S Mr Britain show. years later Doc (self titled) Tilney tried to get me to persuade Oscar Heidenstam to get him a guest ticket to the Universe...Oscar declined (although he did give me one) David Gentle
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby charles atlas » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:15 pm

""called "The life and Times of Charles Atlas" by Geo Butler and Charles Gaines""

Yes, and another called "every man, every day must do this" or a similar title.
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby peter yates » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:52 pm

Hi David and Charles,
thanks for pointing me to the books.I want to add that when i was over in the UK this year a very dear friend of mine very generously gave me his complete Charles Atlas course circa 1920s, and what a beautifully laid out course it is. Much attention to detail and small touches making it all the more precious to own.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Charles Atlas... Real or hype?

Postby Tom K » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:39 pm

Regarding the comments about Vince and his personal failings, life is about the hand we were dealt and the story of our lives is our attempt to overcome the shortcomings in our personalities.

Vince overcame them by playing up to his by the sounds of it.

The comment about much of the early training advice being "motivational" more than educational.. Well I fell for the "20 rep squats and gallon of milk" motivational course.. Managed 6 weeks of hell until I got a hamstring cramp so bad one day that it lasted 3 weeks and I could barely sit down let alone Squat :D

Not all bad news though, I gained like a novice after reading Randall J. Strossens book. I only found out years later that he was a psychologist and it's why his books are "motivational".

I also did the wrong gallon of milk.. A British gallon of milk is far more than a USA gallon which I didn't realise at the time.. Surprised I didn't shit cheese!

It is great to see that Mr Atlas did far more good than many give him credit for. So what if his physique was more weights built than "dynamic tension"? How many caught the iron bug due to him and became physical culturalists?
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