Tracing Fussell's transformation from a scrawny graduate of Oxford University to a West Coast bodybuilder, Muscle marks a fascinating insight into the bodybuilding culture of 1980s America. Aware that his desire for change is fuelled by his own insecurities and at times self hatred, Fussell tracks his change from meekly using the machines in the … Continue reading BBB: Sam Wilson Fussell, Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder (Poseidon Press, 1991)
One of the most popular physical culturists of the entire twentieth-century, there is no denying the impact Charles Atlashad on the muscle making industry. Full of vigour, advice and the occasional insult, Atlas challenged his ‘students’ to improve their physique as much as possible. The yardstick for their success? None other than Atlas’s own body. … Continue reading DO YOU MEASURE UP?
With the recent announcement regarding the “termination” of Flex magazine, let’s look at a very short history of the magazine. Joe Weider’s first bodybuilding magazine was called Your Physique and was written and published from his kitchen in Montreal, QC, in 1940. With Muscle Builder as an additional Weider publication (which resembled Your Physique) … Continue reading The end of Flex Magazine?
Looking for something to break the monotony of dumbbell and barbell training? Admit it, every once and a while you like to try something new. Exercises or machines that truly test you. Well today, we’re going to look at the Swingbell, an old school piece of bodybuilding equipment promoted by York during the heyday of … Continue reading THE LOST ART OF SWINGBELL TRAINING
If you pay attention to bodybuilding media at all, when you opened your eyes on the morning of March 1st, you know the Arnold Sport Festival was kicking off in Columbus, Ohio, which will give way to the long-awaited (for some) Arnold Classic! Also, if you've been following Engraved in Iron, you must have had … Continue reading The Arnold Sport Festival
In a previous post we discussed Arnold’s controversial win in 1980 – here’s a quick recap. The Austrian Oak came out of retirement without telling anyone and appeared at the Mr. Olympia competition as a competitor rather than a promoter, stood on stage, and won. The reaction from the fans has already been discussed – … Continue reading Reaction to the 1980 Mr. Olympia
As an aspiring physical culture scholar, David Webster was, is, and continues to be, a source of inspiration. One of the most prolific researchers of the past fifty years, Webster has combined dogged research with incredible fieldwork. Aside from publishing a series of highly readable accounts on the origins of bodybuilding and weightlifting, Webster was … Continue reading BBB: David Webster’s Sons of Samson (1990)