Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

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pm24
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Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by pm24 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:54 am

Greetings,
I am new to the forum but have been reading books and articles on old time physical culture on the website for a year.
I have a question, but it is a bit long and involved! I am particularly keen on Maxalding and Sandow.
I suffer from Chronic Fatigue/M. E. and am very interested in the claims Maxalding makes about the system preserving and increasing energy. Sandow in his final book has a chapter on 'Neurasthenia' which describes my illness perfectly and he says he also suffered from it for a time. He claims that his light dumbbell system can be used to treat it because it causes income of energy to exceed expenditure and will build up reserves of energy in the body.
So my question - how does doing Maxalding or Sandow's system build up and increase energy reserves in the body? And how would someone with extremely low energy perform the exercises/techniques specifically to increase energy?
I am most interested in this subject but don't quite see how it all fits together, especially as I find exercise tiring.
Many thanks
PM

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Internalfitness
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Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by Internalfitness » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:50 am

Hello PM and welcome to the forum.

As you will have read, many of the systems at the time catered for people who considered themselves weak and feeble, but also they were fighting the prevalent attitude of the time that exercising would cause undue strain on the nervous system, athletes heart, you'd become muscle-bound, impotent and probably communist.

While others with more expertise can comment on the merits of Maxalding and Sandow (I have done both in the past and my concern for yourself might be that to get a lot out you need to put an awful lot in), can I just ask if you have ever looked at the 'My System' book by J.P. Muller? I can go into it in more detail if you have not, but I am suggesting it as Mullers plan had several stages to it; i.e. the complete beginner starts at stage one and completes the easiest variations of the exercises. He too was concerned with the use of what was termed nervous energy.

As to what is in the library I would personally recommend any work by Thomas Inch. I had a little pamphlet by him some years ago called 'Inch on Neurasthenia' which I will see if I can find and copy for you - but from what I recall there was nothing in there that was not in his other major works.

I'm sure we can all help you out somehow!

Regards,

Richie.

peter yates
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Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by peter yates » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:56 am

Hi pm24,
Welcome to the forum,i am glad to hear you have been taking advantage of the wealth of information on this site.Sorry to hear about your condition but applaud your desire to improve it,which can be done. I believe Maxalding can be of benefit to you but given your situation and energy levels must be started slowly and used judiciously.Understanding your condition, i know you will have developed patience.If you are patient and take things slowly you will make changes for the better. The important thing to remember about Maxalding is it is about coaxing not forcing, a little can go a long way.It would be impossible to know all of the different process involved while undergoing Maxalding training, but there is at a minimum improved blood circulation to and removal of waste products from the muscles,plus stimulation of the vital organs.Improved blood flow and waste product removal means activating the bodies healing potential. It is like massaging the body from the inside. It is also the foundation of East Asian health practices such as acupuncture, qi gong and tai chi. There are others on this site more experienced in Maxalding and i am sure they will offer good advise. Just remember take it slow and easy,and i would also implement, apart from Maxalding, a regimen of abdominal breathing, that is on the in breath the abdomen will expand,and on the out breath contract. You can do this laying on your back or sitting up straight at first, then later standing. Let the breath be natural and start with about 10 full breaths, morning and evening, gradually increasing to around 60 full breaths. Not sure what your diet is like but as you know, energy is made from food, so only the most nourishing foods should be eaten,plus do some research on foods that might aggrevate your condition and avoid them. I have to look up the name, but think it is Gallacher,of a British strongman [David knows him] who went on a world tour and contracted M.E. but regained his health and was able to continue with his profession.I hope this helps, we are here to help in any way we can on your journey back to health.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

peter yates
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Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by peter yates » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:43 pm

One more thing.As you are well aware modern bio medicine offers little help for those who suffer with chronic fatigue/M.S.However therapies such as Naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine have a good track record in treating such chronic type conditions.I have myself treated many patients with such issues over the years with very good results. If you have any questions about these therapies, you can PM me.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Talbot

Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by Talbot » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:38 pm

@pm24: Let me get right to your question: Do Maxalding and Sandow's 5lb. dumbbell routines work? Yes they do! You've been reading the fine information on this excellent website, for at least one year, so you said. Did you try doing it? I suspect No, you did not. Had you done the work , then you would know that those systems, do indeed work! I could provide a profile of the "patients" who have your conditions, however, I think you would be offended by that truth. If you are only looking for sympathy, then, at least in my case, you are looking at the wrong place. Only you can change what is wrong with you, and no one else can do it for you.

Paul Shaw
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Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by Paul Shaw » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:06 am

The systems you are interested in can certainly help you as the intensity of the exercises is determined by your own efforts-how hard and fully you contract the muscles being exercised.

So to begin with you are just getting to know how to properly contract the muscles by improving the mind to muscle link. By using light dumbbells, only the selected muscles are needed and thus the rest of the muscles are not fatigued by supporting say a heavy weight on the shoulders.

Once you have achieved a full contraction and infused the selected muscles with blood you are done for the day. This is better achieved in my opinion with higher reps up to 20, to get the "time under tension"

Your body will rebuild what you have taken out and add a bit extra hence the building up of strength and energy.

Tommy Inch stated in an early Health and Strength magazine that he was in bed for two weeks with scarlet fever and quickly rebuilt his strength using the light dumbbell system.

So if it was good enough for Tommy why not give it a go.

Start with something simple like the Sandow curl until you master that then add some more.

But it will take a long time to fully master just that one exercise. When you start to understand a bit more then look at the maxalding bicep exercises.

The maxalding lessons started with just a few basic exercises and were only advanced when the pupil reported success with those exercises



Happy exercising

Paul

pm24
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Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by pm24 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:43 am

Hi Richie,

Thank you very much for the welcome and for the pointers.

I have not heard of JP Muller, I will go and check him out in the online library.

I am very interested in the brochure about Neurasthenia by Thomas Inch the you mentioned. I enjoyed his book called Inch on Strength. If you were able to find that information and let me know what he says I would be very grateful.

Warmest regards

Paul

pm24
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:44 am

Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by pm24 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:46 am

Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for all that helpful information. I will PM as you you suggested to get some more detailed advice.

I found an article about Gallagher on a Scottish newspaper website after googling his name, as of the time of its writing he was still weightlifting at 80. The article mentioned he suffered from Chronic Fatigue/ME for 10 years in his 50s and recovered.

Thanks again

Paul

pm24
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:44 am

Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by pm24 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:10 am

Hi Talbot,

Thank you very much for your strong commendation of the Maxalding and Sandow systems, that is much appreciated.

I would be very interested to hear your profile of patients with my condition, I wouldn't be offended at all by the truth.

I have indeed tried Sandow's routine on and off over the last 3 years since reading David Bolton's book. I have found that short bursts of quite high intensity bodyweight exercise had been very helpful in my recovery from the chronic fatigue, trying to stay in the sub-aerobic system of cellular respiration as test results have shown a problem with the kerb's cycle in my mitochondria so I am not generating as much ATP from normal aerobic respiration and get kicked into anaerobic respiration with reduced ATP and lactic acid very quickly. I found that by starting sub aerobic by short bursts of intense exercise this didn't happen and I was able to rebuild muscle and strength.

I came across Bolton's book and used that and a bit of Maxalding on my 'light' days primarily to build my mind to muscle connection and thus get more from my pull ups and handstand push ups, etc. But as the bodyweight exercise had been what had helped my recovery most, during times when my energy was low after work and family, it would be the Sandow exercises I would skip. To be honest I found the Maxalding info a bit vague and confusing and wasn't sure if I was doing it right, so I didn't keep that going as much as the Sandow system.

I had recovered to about 80% of my former health, but then 2 years ago plateaued and then started worsening again. The last 2 years have been a cycle of energy crashes, followed by a slight recovery then another crash, but my health is nowhere near where I had reached 2 years ago. I have also found that over this last year the bodyweight exercise has not helped my energy levels as it had done previously, rather it has seemed rather to drain me.

It was my knowledge of Sandow that brought me here to read more in the library, but I have never tried using Sandow or Maxalding as my sole/primary exercise, nor as a treatment for my Chronic Fatigue. But with the claims that both systems make about energy conservation and energy production, and with my former exercise now seeming to work against my recovery, I thought they could be the best approach to try.

With the experience of the conributors on here I just wanted to ask some practical questions about how one would implement Sandow or Maxalding when conventional exercise makes my fatigue worse, how one would do it safely, etc. I find it a fascinating subject as these approaches are so contrary to modern exercise physiology, so was looking for some insights into how they worked on the energy systems.

I posted and I say I all of this, not because I am looking for sympathy but because I quite agree with you that only I can change what is wrong with me, no one else, and I believe correct exercise plays a huge part in recovery from this condition, hence why I was asking some practical question so that I can put this information into practice.

Thank you again for your reply

Warmest regards

Paul

pm24
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:44 am

Re: Energy and Maxalding/Sandow

Post by pm24 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:24 am

Hello Paul,

Thank you very much for your reply. I didn't know that about Thomas Inch and the light dumbbells, I would like to read more about that - where would I find it?

Do you mind if I ask a couple of questions of clarification so that I can understand more fully (my background if medical and I used to teach anatomy and physiology so I like to try to understand the principles of what I am doing when exercising)?

Am I wrong in thinking that Sandow and Maxalding were largely similar in their beliefs behind their systems? Both seem to emphasise the mind to muscle connection, the alternating of contraction and relaxation to promote blood flow to the muscle, thus bringing fresh nutrients and removing toxins. They both seem to say that this mind connection and circulation nourishment is how muscles grow rather than through damaging the muscle and regrowth as modern authors teach.

Is the main difference that Sandow believed in using the light dumbbell as a prop to aid the mind to muscle connection, while Maxalding advocated doing so directly by the mind without apparatus and using only positions or pushing against another body part to facilitate that mind connection?

When it comes to the bicep curl that you recommended, to do a Sandow bicep curl properly, would my approach be:
1. use mind muscle connection to contract the bicep in its lengthened position
2. maintain that contraction as the bicep is contracted through it's full range of movement
3. bring the bicep to its point of peak contraction (as described by Saldo and Inch in their books as 'full contraction')
4. maintain the squeeze at the point of full contraction for a few seconds - is this correct?
5. relax the biceps and contract the triceps using muscle control to antagonistically cause further relaxation of the biceps and to return the arm to its original position thus stretching the biceps
6. repeat until the muscle aches

Is it right that I seem to find that if I make good mind to muscle connection the ache can come on much sooner than the large number of reps Sandow recommends? Or is that just me?

How would a Maxalding bicep contraction differ from the Sandow one above (apart from obviously not using a dumbbell!)?
Again the key seems to be the mind to muscle connection.
a. In Maxalding do I also take the bicep through its full ROM with muscle control or do I just contract the bicep using the mind in the position indicated in the photos
b. In Maxalding are you also seeking to hold a squeeze/contraction for several seconds in the position of peak/full contraction? How many seconds?
c. Maxick and Saldo both say each muscle should be 'contracted, relaxed, stretched and controlled' in turn
- by 'contracted' do they mean starting in the lengthened position, using mind to muscle to contract through the whole ROM, then maintaining the squeeze in the peak contraction position?
- I understand 'relaxed' and 'stretched' and the use of contracting the antagonist muscle to produce a better relaxation
- But what do they mean by 'controlled' at the end? What do you do there?

The Maxalding courses suggest starting with 12 reps and decreasing to 6 as mind to muscle control increases, but how long do you take to complete a full repetition, how long squeeze for and how long relax and stretch for before doing the next rep?

I appreciate that this quite a long and involved question seeking very detailed answers to specific practical questions, but any guidance on how to do the Maxalding at this level of detail would be a great help, as my understanding of these specifics is quite vague even after reading quite a bit of the Maxalding literature on the website.

Thank you very much for giving me your time and sharing your knowledge

Warmest regards

Paul

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