Everyone thinks there have been revolutionary leaps and bounds made in the fitness world from nearly 100 years ago…but has there? Honestly, all we have really seen is the population go from hard-working, active and healthy weights (nearly 100 years ago) to lazy, sedentary and obese. Now, what you are seeing is backlash of a new mentality the world has taken, the lazy mentality. People are trying to get fit while still being lazy. But really we just need to keep it simple and go back to the time-tested principles that were common knowledge in the 1920’s, and which seem to have been forgotten by people of today.
I recently stumbled across a book at an antique store, “Healthy Living” by Charles-Edward Amory Winslow, but I am focusing on the chapter “Sport and Health” by Walter Camp. This book is great! Best part, it was written in 1917. Let’s take a look at some of the quotes, written 95 years ago, and see if the principles of fitness have changed.
If fitness is easy?
Anyone who wishes to excel, soon finds that he has taken on a contract which involves patience, persistence, self-control, and hard work. No boy or girl ever became a leader in sports, or a leader in life, without doing a great deal of hard work, and work which sometime seemed drudgery.
I definitely could not have said it better myself! Being fit, being an athlete or even being a healthy individual is not easy. IT IS HARD WORK!!! Quit looking for the next pill to pop, secret exercise program or fad diet. If you want to succeed it will take patience, persistence, self-control and hard work.
Care of the Body
In the first place, we should remember that the care of the body is one of the most essential things, not only for future development as an athlete, but also for the preservation of general health and condition.
A lot of people seem to think fitness and care of the body is something you just squeeze into your schedule, when you can, but it really is more than that. It needs to be a priority! When it come down to it at the end of your day, or at the end of your life, you will wish that you had worked out more than the extra hours you spent at work.
Hell, even Thomas Jefferson said,
Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.
That was 200+ years ago!! I feel like they had it figured out a long time ago and people today are just rediscovering the wheel.
Rules for Healthy Living
Breakfast should not be eaten in a rush, but a proper amount of time allowed for it. An athlete must never eat when tired and exhausted, but should first rest for a certain period. He should avoid violent exercise within an hour after a hearty meal. For the athlete, tobacco and alcohol are also forbidden.
The shoes should be well fitting, for tight shoes or shoes that do not fit the feet make serious trouble. A good circulation is an essential for an athlete, and for health in general.
Every boy and girl should get nine hours’ sleep, and even ten will do no harm.
He starts off with some good solid advice that most ignore on a daily basis…either a coffee only breakfast or a powdered donut shoved down the throat on the way to work.
I thought, back in the day, everyone smoked and drank…Guess not! DON’T smoke DON’T drink…BEING SAID IN 1917!!!!! Mind you the cigarette companies didn’t start getting heat till the 50’s. If only…
Wear clothes and shoes that fit and get some sleep!! Sound like common sense? Common sense is never common and rarely adhered to.
Being an Athlete
He should be courageous and should not mind the occasional hurt. He should be able to go on, putting the pain behind him. As for energy, it is the dynamo in the human machine. It is the quality that a coach is looking for in his pupils. Finally, perseverance is an absolute essential. Some boys learn more easily than others. It often happens, however, that the boy who learns too quickly and too easily has not the patience and persistence to go on improving, whereas the boy who has to work harder to get the first start has acquired a power of perseverance which makes him keep improving. Such boys often make more successful athletes in the long run than those to whom the accomplishment comes more readily.
This one is my favorite!!! Listed above are some of the most basic principles that have missed that last few generations, and it is extremely sad. People don’t exercise because they mind the occasional hurt. People, today, quit when the going gets tough. Persistence may as well not even exist.
What he says about the guy who has to try harder couldn’t be more true. I feel I am a product of this concept. Aside from being coordinated, I had no real physical gifts of strength or speed. I had to work harder than most around me just to keep up. Now that time has gone on, that hard work and persistence has stuck with me. So much so that fitness is ingrained in my life, while those guys I was trying to keep up with are fat and lazy. I press on because that is all I know how to do, and that is what I will keep doing.
There are certain things that are simple in themselves but which gradually lead to the building up of the successful athlete. One of these is calisthenics. I do not mean the old-fashioned arm and leg work, but a more modern form, to produce quick coordination between brain and muscle, to make it possible for a boy to work in different positions instead of being dependent upon only one line, and, in general, to make every part of his body active and efficient.
Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder and CEO, can step aside. Walter Camp was on to the functional fitness in multiple domains 95 years ago. Even in 1917 we knew that you should strive to be more well-rounded as opposed to so linear. That is why when you go to globo gym today you see a bunch of people who look like they have been pumped out of their respective factory…the tall skinny endurance factory, the beefed up bodybuilding factory or the elliptical hugging tv watching factory. Time to break the mold…AGAIN!!