Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Some Facts About Reg Park -- Reuben Martin (1950)


Reg Park has zoomed into the foreground as a star in the realm of supermen since his winning of the Mr. Britain title last October. He came to America shortly after this success and remained for several months. His first exhibition in this country at John Terlazzo's show in January was met with enthusiastic acclaim. Photo by H. W. Jelly. 

Editor's Note: Ghost writing has during the course of recent years become more extensively employed. At the same time there has been greater approval accorded manuscripts prepared in this manner by professional writers. It is taken for granted that any ghost written article does express the views of the person listed as the author or at least meets with his approval. This assumption cannot be made in connection with the ghost written articles in Weider's magazines, of which there are a liberal number. 

There is evidence that some of these propaganda articles are released without the supposed author having the opportunity to examine the text prior to publication. Last year, Eric Pederson [given name Charles E. Putnam], America's Most Muscular Man of 1947, took legal action against Joe Weider because of the publication of articles bearing his name. Pederson in his charges revealed that he did not prepare these articles, but also had found portions of them were detrimental to his own welfare.

Evidence has recently been provided that the current series in Your Physique attributed to Reg Park, Mr. Britain, were not prepared by him or even inspected by him before publication. 

[Note: They start with an intro article titled "Meet Reg Park, Mr. Britain" in the March 1950 issue. The first training article "written" by Park is in the June 1950 issue, and they carry on with "bodypart" articles beyond the date of this Reub Martin piece.] 

This news was expected in view of the fact that these propaganda articles are polluted with distortions and falsehood. It is most unfortunate that Reg Park should be the victim of the indiscretions of the ghost writer. To expose the latest display of Weider's unscrupulous tactics, we are releasing a letter Reuben Martin, the prominent British strongman athlete, sent to Ray Van Cleef on June 7th. His letter follows the photo below . . . 

Reub Martin

Dear Ray: 

A few lines to you in defense of British lifters and weight-trainers who have been much incensed by the ridiculous and slanderous article in the June, 1950 issue of "Your Physique" magazine [page 12], entitled "How I Developed My 19 Inch Arms" by Reg Park, Mr. Britain. 

First, Ray, I want you to know that I know, and like, the young man in question, and believe him to be one of the finest built men in the world, but Reg Park has given his word that he never wrote the article referred to or any of the series to be published, and indeed anyone conversant with the Editor of the Magazine will at once recognize the "guffing" style of Joseph Weider, who is becoming a current menace to physical culturists all over the world. 

Before airing our grievances, I would like to state that I have met Ben Weider and thought him a nice fellow, and I certainly agreed with his brother's policy which professed to publicize keen bodybuilders all over the world and organize them so that it would be possible for the men to earn money with their muscles and give all a chance instead of merely the chosen few. So, when I read of Rene Leger and others, and the way in which they have been treated, I merely put it down to jealousy, but after reading many articles by the gentleman (?) in question concluding with the above mentioned article, I really think it is time to lodge a firm protest on behalf of my thousands of weight training and strength athlete friends -- and myself! 

When you read the article in question, one begins to wonder how Britain has managed to produce such men as W. A. Pullum, Ron Walker, Edward Aston, the Slade Brothers [who in many ways introduced Pullum to the game early in his life], Tom Inch, Arthur Verge, Wheeler, Clarke, Coster, Heidenstam, Halliday, Creus, Phil Caira, Cotter, Sam Perkins and the thousands of other men famous for their muscles and strength in the past 50 years -- all without Joe Weider to discover the methods by which they trained! 

He has quoted that Reg Park under his guidance trained for the first time upon a "latissimus" machine, "pulleys," "incline" and "yoga" benches. This is untrue. 

I first saw Reg Park training in Henry Atkin's gymnasium prior to winning the Mr. Britain title, upon the apparatus in question. In fact, here are photographs taken in the gymnasium prior to his winning the title to prove it! 

For Reg to have improved so much in his limited stay in the U.S.A. would not have been merely surprising, but bloomin' amazin', for according to his own letters he spend a lot of time traveling. In fact, when he went away he weighed 225 pounds and went down to 210. 

Weider also quotes Mervyne Cotter and myself as examples of British bodybuilders. Well, Cotter is first of all a lifter (and a strong one) and I prefer the title of strength acrobat for like most British bodybuilders I believe in building for maximum ability and not just for display. 

Weider claims knowledge of "secrets" to promote quick growth of muscle. If he is referring to the "Set" system were were using it 12 years ago in our Tottenham club, and I am positive we weren't the first. If he thinks flushing the muscles is a new idea, he should consult Sam Perkins who years ago at 145 pounds bodyweight, could pump his arm to nearly 17 inches -- not  that Sam placed great value on this for when his arm was at its normal 15.5 inches he could continental 303 pounds. 

This outburst is on account of the fact that I am bursting with indignation at such unjust and incorrect statements, for the magazine in question is written in such a way as to fool youngsters and beginners and in certain cases, giving physical culture via weights a bad name.

An example of tricky wording in the caption under the picture of Reg Park which states, "That massive arm has to power to curl 200 pounds and bench press 370 pounds." I know for a fact that Reg has bench pressed 330 to date, and believe him capable of a correct curl of 185. Such rash statements certainly never came from Reg who is a very modest person. 

Another claim is rep pressing (Olympic) with 250 pounds, for whilst I believe Reg could exceed this poundage if he seriously trained upon the Olympics, I do not believe that he improved so much on the "Weider System" that he can now perform reps with this poundage.

All this boosting and exaggeration of poundages is fast becoming a Frankenstein to weight trainers for it encourages the boys to claim fantastic measurements and poundages in sheer self defense in case they are thought "sissies" beside the supposed crop of 18 and 19 inch upper arms and presses of incredible poundages. They appear to read so much about strength -- John Davis, Schemansky, Bradford, etc., that they appear to believe that presses of 250 and under are something to be ashamed of.

I have traveled around a few countries now and met some very powerful men of all bodyweights but have met few who could press 50 pounds over their own bodyweight, and a bare handful who could military press 200 pounds for 10 reps.

I wish to state that I train like hundreds of thousands of others -- for the sheer love of physical power and well being, for the ability it has given me at other sports and games and that, like those others, I deplore the use certain people are making of our chief sport and enjoyment. I am an athlete who earns his living on the stage and have sufficient ego to wish to be only myself, so i do not think that the charge of jealousy can be leveled at me. 

So here's best wishes to the York boys and of course to yourself. 

Sincerely your friend,
Reuben Martin. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!     


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