Thursday, April 5, 2018

Successful Methods of Increasing Chest Size, Part Two - Joseph Curtis Hise (1946)


Thanks Again to Liam Tweed

A very important stage of growing is "rest." Much of this precious custom is in sleeping. If his bed suits him not, even a plentiful supply of walrus meat will do a Briton no good. And exercises will only make him more tired still. Those who sleep curled up can sleep safely in beds that have deep sags in the center, which ruin all who sleep stretched to full length. If you sleep straight out, never, never sleep in a bed that sags deeply in the center, because your hips, shoulders and legs must be in the same plane. This "suspension" has a prying effect on the lower spine that is extremely debilitating and wears out a vigorous person more than any amount of hard  work or dissipation. An extremely large percentage of exercisers fail because their bed is wrong; they don't need new secret exercises, they just need to kick a box under the bed to limit the bed sag to four or five inches, or less -- and presto! -- the next morning, and from then on, they are "hi-lifed," even though they have been "dead" for years.

If one sleeps on the floor to escape the saggy bed, he must use very thick padding or he will sprain his deltoids and elbow tendons from resting too much weight on them. Most people who suffer from lack of energy really have plenty, but they are worn out from sleeping in that saggy bed every night. I never learned how to bed from print, but from the vulgar lessons delivered by old salts in hammock practice. A loose hammock equals a tired all-in feeling; I had always had it, and never slept in a hammock; I kicked the locker box under my cot, and have never since tried to sleep on a saggy bed.

Dr. Heiser, well diplomaed, says that to end sleeplessness one should raise the head of the bed four inches, for some reason it causes blood to leave the brain, etc. -- Mr. Hise (no diplomas), but who has slept swamp to mountain on granite, basalt, dirt, concrete floors, iron bunks to feather beds, and as a result must know something about sleeping, says one should raise the foot of the bed about four inches; if the head is the least bit higher than the feet insomnia is to be expected. Our Hero while sleeping over various mountains in the Wild and Woolly West, with various Weary Willies, found that many of them were aware of hoisting the feet to sleep.

When sleeping on sloping ground you can't sleep sideways on the slope because of continual muscular tension to retain place. If you sleep with your head up you won't sleep well because you are in the position that Von Boeckman and I think is best for mental effort. The "sleep-head-uppers" will allege, with their diplomas,that we "head-downers" are batty. Since I am not blessed with prejudices or reasons owed to diplomas I have to sleep with my head down, although a level bed is no disadvantage. But with head up I am lucky to get four hours sleep out of eight. Those who are worried at colliding with facts and diplomas should sleep with the bed level.

It is reported that training will slow the pulse rate on many. A friend who, with his wife, trains on weights, points out in one of his letters that his pulse rate is 50-55 per minute, and his wife's 62-66. I always expected mine to slow down, but it never had, so I checked it again and found out that it was 62-66 -- first time I had ever got below the 70-72 rate; since my breathing has slowed up considerably in the past two years, it may be due to this. My reading speed of breathing is from four to seldom over eight times per minute. When my chest first hit 52 inches it still wheezed 16 to 18 times per minute. This slow breathing is a habit, and easy to acquire by a strong man; but takes a very long time for Physical Yogi students to master, since they make no progress till they do master it. My friend mentions that many strong men have pulse rates of 45 to 50. Adepts of Physical Yogi readily slow theirs to nothing,and several cases have been mentioned by doctors of patients who can stop pulse and breathing, becoming "dead" for a period of hours, later to come to "life" again.

The proletariat breathes at extreme speed, with one hand on a cigarette,and another on a radio dial, with his head longing for more alcohol and full of many dizzy excitement -- with no sign of reason except the present fashion in reasons. The Physical Yogi breathes long and slowly -- keeps everything out of his head in order to keep it purified of proletarian nonsense for reasons that I will not dwell on. He, of course, is not feeble, possesses a large chest and vigorous physique, regardless of whether he is only 30 years old, or said to be eight times older; if he should be vain enough to be still larger, he could build up without effort.

Let us take up the simple and comparatively non-exerting exercises that increase chest size and body weight through their effects on "eat" and "rest". This does not mean that they occupy the same place in the muscle builder's life as teaching the baby to say "Goo"; on the contrary, they are permanently valuable exercises -- just as useful for 55 inch chests as 35 inch chests. They will grow chests on Eskimos who enjoy 20 lbs. of walrus meat per day, and will grow chests on the non-twittering English. The Eskimo could use the most ferocious chest exercises (repetition squats), whereas the thimbleful-of-canary-seeds-per-day boys most emphatically could not. As the Canary Island boys gain in chest-size they will increase in body weight, sharpen in appetite,and be able to increase the vigor of their exercises.

To my friends Eells and Grimek is owed the value of their exercises. Their ancestry is fairly old, but seemingly not classified into their proper value and practice on youthful types. Friend Eells, who holds the world's record in T.B. scars in his lungs -- all competitors failed to live long enough to grow the scars -- survived and cured himself, using weight-exercises; the doctors had already given him a signed passport to Heaven 

Eells considers these special exercises worth at least 90 percent of the most ferocious good chest-growing exercises, and he is an authority since the men he has trained under his eye run into many thousands,and he is an able experimenter. (I used to do the theorizing and Friend Eells did all the useful work -- on his customers). His natural taste is for "ferocious" exercises, so that the English must not think that these are silly motions to give to the kids while mamma goes to get a "hair-do." You must not think that these are like the published "calisthenics" which never grow muscle on anyone; such drivel is published by the proletarians, and is the most successful propaganda against "exercise." On the contrary, the knowledge and mastery of man-making is a Living Art, one of the very few possible to us. 

Chest Exercises

The following are three good chest exercises; they all have identical effect on chest growth, which in this case is "arching the upper chest"; no other kinds of exercise will arch the upper chest. Those who do not use these, and who develop great chest size from the practice of the Growing Squat, have very large chest below the sternum and a straight line running from sternum to base of throat, although a "long necker" will have slight arch anyway. The "Pullover man" (all these exercises are in that group), will have a small arch on the short neck wide-shouldered type, and a most decided shelf at the base of his throat if he is a "long necker" like Eells and Grimek.

The first is "Deep Breathing Hanging Suspended from a Bar or Trapeze." This is the first I ever tried. I used it one month before I received my barbell, and my chest grew from 35 to 37 inches. Holding a long deep breath, one hangs suspended with bent elbows. (Slightly "bouncing" on the unlocked elbows throws maximum stretching effect on the upper chest and  sternum). Breathe very deeply, hold the breath, and "bounce," exhale and repeat as long as possible. On none of this "pullover group" is it possible to practice too often -- which is not true of "ferocious" exercises. This suspension movement feels as effective to me to-day as it did when my chest measured 35 inches; so do not think that just because it is good for baby that it is no good for a voter. You cannot cheat on this exercise unless you refuse to breath.

The second is the "Grimek Arch Exercise." Grimek is the greatest observer of exercise efficiencies that I ever met. "This movement is also the ancestor of the third -- the "Eells Bent Arm Pullover"). When Grimek was 21 years old, showing signs of his present fame, he visited a gym for the first time, and had to explore all the new things. While standing idly, he reached his hands up to the overhead ladders and rocked back and forth. Grimek at once noticed the maximum effect of sternum-stretching, superior to "locked elbow" pull over with a barbell, and proceeded to explore this discovery. He found that unlocking the elbows made it most effective. It can readily be performed in a door-way by placing the hands against the top of the door-casing, or, if the door is too high, by placing the hands against the sides of the door-casing higher than your head with feet about two feet to the rear of the perpendicular. Lean forward, breathing very deeply as you lunge, "bouncing" up and down and throwing your hips back. You will discover all the motions to suit when you explore it; anything that throws the stretch on the sternum is "It." The "unlocked elbows" are a most important secret. After hearing about this I departed to visit Eells and explained the new system. Eells then tried it in his gyms and found out that many "soldiered" on this exercise -- that is, they would make the motion, but not force a sternum stretch. The stretch is ALL and the motion is Nothing at All. Eells promptly laid them flat on their backs and made them do the Grimek motion with the barbell.

Short Radius Pullover

This is the third variation, the Eells Bent Arm Pullover. The Laws of the Yankees emphatically declared that the Pullover with Barbell must be performed with the small of the spine flat on the floor (still a fact), so as to throw more stretch on the sternum in the performance of the pullover, and further declared that without locking the elbows the exercise was worthless. It so happens if you are like most men and do lock the elbows it will be worthless. Grimek has very favorable pullover leverage, but never was fond of it. Eells and Hise have the worst Two Arm Leverage that we have ever seen. But good or bad leverage, the Short Radius Pullover with Barbell may be performed by all, and what is more important will stretch the sternum of all without torture.

Eells used this variation of the Grimek Arch because in this position of lying supine with the small of back flat on the floor, and performing the Two Arm Pullover with the elbows unlocked, it is impossible for the exerciser to go through the "motions" without stretching his chest. Those who own no weights can get a bar or broomstick and tie on bricks or iron to suit. The right weight to use is the one that gives the maximum stretch; heavy weights will not noticeably stretch the sternum, neither will those too light. Nothing is gained by worrying over weights you use; worry over the "stretch" you get. The exerciser lies flat on his back with hands on the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width (whatever width gives him the most stretch). The barbell rests on the floor behind his head, and with elbows slightly bent he breathes deeply and pulls the weight to arms' length above the shoulders. With the weight over the chest the exerciser exhales and then inhales fully, letting the weight down slowly to the floor behind the head. This lowering, not the pull up, is the important part of the stretching exercise. There is a variation with heavier weights in which the elbows are kept unlocked to almost right angles -- using the same breathing motions.    

Eells considers the most effective style as lying on a plank which is raised high enough so that the bar can rest on it without the plates hitting the floor. One lets the weight down to within an inch of the plank, suddenly drops it, and immediately pulls to overhead; 20 to 30 repetitions should be used unless there are good reasons to use less.

Exercises of this Pullover group are all equally good because they have the same result in stretching the upper sternum, forcing the chest to grow. They are not consumers of energy like nearly all other good exercises. There is never a possibility of practicing them too often, which is not true of other chest-building exercises. There are no exercises more important than these. The powerful Hip Hinge group of exercises give mass to the chest -- they do not give it shape. This "Bent Arm Pullover" Group gives both Mass and Shape -- not all of the mass, but nearly all of the shape.

These exercises develop great lung and heart room, which assists the body metabolism, so that the Hero, even though English (unless bothered by unsuitable working hours or nervous strain) will feel capable of the most ferocious effort in the brave new world into which he is entering -- provided he sleeps in a flat bed!

Physique building is an art which must be lived to be acquired. It is beyond the choice of proletarian souls who prefer "gifts" to "duties" and who scorn anything not to be bought by votes and dollars. The Strong Man is a product of the Living Present, and in Future Time before he goes out of style, the exercises in the Cult will descend to "Monkey Motions" as different from the Present Successful Era as a marathon runner is from a wrestler.         


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