Friday, December 17, 2010

What Every Greenhorn Should Know, Part One - Joseph C. Hise

Roger Eells
bent-pressing a 200-lb. dumbbell

Waldemar Baszanowski

What Every Greenhorn Should Know, Part One
by Joseph C. Hise (1940)

A greenhorn is merely one that knows everything wrong. Some refuse to learn any better and survive to become solid citizens . . . scoffed at by all who know better, even though respected and envied by those that are their peers (def., the ones so stunted that they cannot peer over them). In many sections the overwhelming proportion of the populace is on the borderline of outright stupidity . . . and are extremely proud of it. I believe that malnutrition in their formative years stunts their will to learn. Every national fault is a virtue in most places. Americans either don’t know, or kid themselves, or glance over it . . . but close to 40% or more of the populace are born behind the eight-ball and only by the greatest exception of luck are they placed in favorable environments for the development of their brains. Schools have little to do with it. The best schools I know of are in a state that is heavily populated with the haters of intelligence. Probably 90% or more of the peacetime English are raised underfed. They make a virtue of it and boast of the British phlegm instead of hating the conditions that cause them to be torpid. The Bolsheviks, when not liquidating political entrepreneurs suffer from this same British disease. Worse, if that is possible. The government encourages in every way the mechanical abilities of the “workers” who, on the contrary grade as “shirkers.” In fact, many of them are outright saboteurs in their success at keeping stupid and avoiding responsibility. It makes no difference how well they are paid. The worst cases are in the best parts of Siberia and Russia where any man of ordinary promise would be promoted farther in two years than a very ambitious and capable man would advance in 30 years in the United States of America.

Because of no holding back of men of promise the Russian “engineers” are the equal or superior to the world’s best. Nearly all of them came from the ranks that compose the “shirkers,” alias “workers.” They get rapid experience and opportunity and are so busy they have no time to hunt diplomas. Experience is over plentiful. It is easy to come up from the ranks of these regions . . . but two American engineers I know had a total of five years directing jobs in Southern Russia and Siberia and not a “worker” did they have who was willing to become an “engineer” by showing desire to work and know anything. They and their Russian engineers had to do about 99% of all the manual labor on their jobs. The Bolshes shoot the worst ones but it doesn’t improve or scare the rest of them because you can’t scare anyone with a brain that was raised on malnutrition. The Mexican peons soldered like that also on one of these engineers and you may imagine his astonishment when he learned how they changed their ways when working in the U.S.A. Such shirking was not the style in the U.S.A. and they changed their style. Those who have returned to Mexico are encouraged by the government officials to keep their new habits they learned in the United States and they form the largest percentage of the non-military big shots.

I use these examples to point out how brains are formed and deformed through custom and environment and these examples to point the psychical similarities of the English patriots, the Russian shirkers, the hymn singing cornbread raised American and the Mexican workers. These types of brained persons are absolutely worthless for anything except “dying for their country.” There is almost no hope for them in any kind of cultural or economic progress. One has to raise a new human crop to take their place.

All of those belonging to the classes mentioned would never have read this far. There is no likelihood of any of them succeeding in physical improvement. If you are short on brains and willingness to learn you will neither attempt nor succeed in having a better body. Even if you are willing to attempt to learn you will surely fail with the wrong kind of “teaching.” The large number of successes in the U.S.A. is due to the proselytes in the local lifting clubs who spread true information widely, even though it may differ from the published stuff. Many are located far from these successes and learn only what attention to their “experience” and if on some hooey course they will exercise for months without beneficial progress; while others, on the contrary, are so “all-around” that two or three periods are the most persistence they ever use on any course of exercising.

Most beginners want to exercise to look more shapely; others wiser, want great strength, and the more experienced want to be like the “deacon’s one hoss shay’ . . . live to be a good old man and decease all at once instead of living in ruins all their life and slowly molder away. Never realizing that they were never alive, nor that they lived their entire lives as dead as a live Englishman or pellagra American. Some years ago Jowett wrote that if he died at forty he would never have any grounds for complaint. He claimed that for his entire life he had been entirely alive . . . as is true of any strong man.

Longevity, they tell us, is the blessing donated by our biological ancestors. If matter not whether they were churchmen or jailbirds, it is a physical blessing that not all men are born with. Before and after Nestor’s day longevity and wisdom have been associated . . . personally I decided that Nestor was the “biggest liar among the Greeks” instead of the “wisest” after I read of his first battle in when he bagged 50 pair of charioteers in one fight. Ever since this day all the old birds depend on tall stories to tell the youth . . . from Nestor down to Pappy Yokum of Dogpatch County, Kentucky.

The strongman of poor longevity stock will surely live (and be completely alive) longer than the average of his ancestors. One from long lived stock will never be old until like the deacon’s one-hoss shay, he passes out all at once. He lives not in ruins, nor patriotic stupidity at any time of his life. He is “the good old man.”

It is very necessary for the rich or parents of prodigals to train their sons as strong men – for strong men are NEVER PRODIGAL. In their training the husbanding of natural resources becomes engrained in their nature, never to be erased. He becomes extremely Aberdeen Scottish with his life, his property and his future. Something prayed for by the parents of the rich or the prodigal. Scotchmen are famed in song and story for success, but no PRODIGAL EVER WAS!

All this hullabaloo is to point out the absolute necessity of a man making himself more manlike through invigorating his natural resources. Pious men approve of the Japanese monkey motto, “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil,” and hold that cripples are lucky because their feet cannot carry them into wickedness and if they have no brains that they are safe from all ideological propaganda. This is all very true. The strong and wise are far more alert than the “good,” and avoid being good or evil through their physical and psychial senses being more healthy and closer to their maximum tops . . . than of the cripples who form the “good” and “bad.” The man who makes himself close to his “best” can live no other way than close to his “best.”

There is nothing that compares so favorably to proper training on weights as mountain climbing for well fed persons. Well fed mountaineers are large framed and strong. Even the doctors, and few classes are more ignorant on exercise, recommend stair climbing for heart trouble. Heart trouble is so scarce as to be unheard of among mountaineers. Very few of you have mountains . . . graded weights with proper training is far better and more convenient.

Weights were used for many years with small results in comparison to the average weight user these days. The reason? Equipment was inferior in those days. Weights were used among the Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks in ancient days. The mother of Alexander the Great procured for him the best of instructors on weights because he was small for his age and being a non-favorite with papa he would stand no chance of succeeding the throne being both runty and weak. She picked the brainiest boys and men for his associates and as a youth, though small, he was very strong. Because of his training he continued to grow long after average Macedonians ceased.

The best schedule for upper body exercises one uses 10 repetitions and increases with slight poundage. “The leg repetitions are done in 20 squats . . . increasing weight at chosen intervals. After one has registered considerable improvement his gains may stop and his hopes are in increasing the repetitions. Many advanced men use in the neighborhood of 20 to 40 type. Some of these birds such as Eells have had to change their repetitions about as often as a ship furls and unfurls the sails rounding Cape Horn when they get in the advanced class. Both Eells and I have met with absolute failure deviating from the 10 to 20 repetitions on beginners . . . and many with months of experience. More repetitions making them thinner.

Man gains with equal ease between 15 an 45 . . . although very few believe this. A man’s possible top is 42 years of age and he will show little change downhill till the middle 60’s. This sounds like Grandpa Nestor’s tale, but nevertheless there are strong men living now who that have been active supermen for 50 years or more. You will notice these horrible records show that a man is ready to be good at the ages that 99% think is “too late” for improvement. 42 is the age of ruin for men you know . . . but none of these men were ever respected for their wisdom or physical prowess. A beginner gains fastest on up to the 45 class. Those less than 23 gain much more slowly. Maybe only three or four inches of chest a year with proper graded exercise with weights. Those of 25 years and older two to four inches of chest in a month is not uncommon.

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