How To Get Strong And How To Stay So – Blaikie

How To Get Strong And How To Stay So – Blaikie


I have come across a fantastic book that was published in 1899 which could be described as a precursor to the widely spread health and fitness magazines that emerged in the 1970’s and which developed in to the websites of today.

The author is William Blaikie and the publisher is Sampson Low & Co., of Fetter Lane, London.

I’m going to add some abstracts as it’s a brilliant book which highlights the need for the population to take care of their body even then…those that think that people’s obsession with the perfect body is a recent trend clearly hasn’t read this book.



Millions of our people pass their lives in cities and towns; and at work which keeps them nearly all day in-doors.  Many hours for days and years, under careful teachers; and many millions of dollars are spent annually, in educating the mind and moral nature.  But the body grows up all uneducated; indeed, often such as a weak, shaky affair that it gets out of order, especially in middle and later life, and its owner is not equal to tasks which would have been easy had it had a tithe of the care given to the rest of the man.  Not a few, to be sure, have in youth years of active out-door life on a farm; and so lay up a store of vigor which stands them in good stead throughout a lifetime.  But many, and especially those born and reared in towns and cities, have had no such training, or any equivalent; and so never have the developed lungs and muscles; the strong heart and vigorous digestion, in short, the improved tone and strength in all their vital organs-which any sensible plan of body-culture, followed up daily, would have secured.  It matters little whether we get vigor on the farm, the deck, the river, the athletic field, or in the gymnasium; if we only get it.  Fortunately, if not gotten in youth, when we are plastic and easily shaped, it may still be had, even far on in middle life; by judicious and systematic exercise, aimed first to bring up the weak and unused parts, and then by general work daily, which shall maintain the equal development of the whole.

The aim here has been, not to write a profound treatise on gymnastics, and point out how eventually reach great performance in this art; but rather in a way, so plain and untechnical that even any intelligent boy or girl can readily understand it, to first give the reader a nudge to take better care of his body, and so of his health; and then to point out one way to do it.  That there are a hundred other ways cheerfully conceded.  If anything said here should stir up some vigorously take hold of, and faithfully follow up, either the plan here indicated or any one of these others; it cannot fail to bring them marked benefit; and so to gratify.



If that stirring abstract doesn’t whet your appetite for lifting, nothing will.


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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.
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