Physical Culture

Home/Physical Culture
Physical Culture2020-04-01T13:07:07+00:00
What is Physical Culture?

At the dawning of the Iron Age of the barbell, the essence of bodybuilding and physical fitness flourished as one under a broad umbrella term known as Physical Culture. But what exactly is this faded and almost forgotten concept that seemed to take on much diversity through the 20th century? The following arbitrary analysis of Physical Culture is extracted from Volume I of “Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors”

This mid-19th century phrase is defined by The Oxford Dictionary as

“The sum total of a society’s activities and attitudes connected with physical development and education.”

. . . We can assume from this that the aspects of Physical Culture would vary from culture to culture. Recognizing this tremendous potential for variance in definition due to ethnic influences, the effect of so much cultural integration, as demonstrated in North America, must be taken into consideration.

With awareness of such diversity, it would be conjectured that the development of one’s Physical Culture would come to derive more from individual persuasion over that of a single national influence. It is not our intent to examine extensively just what makes us who or what we are, but much of our very nature is often expressed through our own personal Physical Culture. Exercise, diet, hygiene, educational, and spiritual pursuits all play significant roles in shaping the impact of our individual presence. Obviously from these variables alone the philosophical permutations are tremendous in terms of governing one’s own Physical Culture.

For many, life may be as simple as a strong, banal focus on purely the physical, with little or no exploration of any other horizons. However, for some in the pursuit of a richer enlightenment, it’s a constant seeking of a symphonic balance between the conditioning of the body, the cultivation of the mind, and a continuous unfolding growth of the spirit, all the while maintaining a harmony with their natural environment. In actuality, everyone practices their own Physical Culture whether or not they’re even aware of its meaning. A number of our pioneers of bodybuilding referred to themselves as “Physical Culturists” with their own constituted framework of the term.

by Randy Roach, Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors

We follow in the footsteps of revolutionary physical culturists of the early 1900’s; exploring all horizons of fitness and health–from the “alternative” to the controversial. We will be using this website to bring back the lost wisdom of Strength & Health from our forefathers of Physical Culture, as well as exploring modern literature pertaining to such subjects.


How Strength Training Promotes Health and Longevity

By |March 5th, 2018|Categories: Featured Posts, Literature, Originals, Studies and Research|

The benefits of exercise are well-known, but little attention has been given specifically to strength training, which has an array of health benefits that no other mode of exercise can provide. This article explores the roles that strength training plays in the amelioration of health, longevity, and quality of life.

Taking a walk break at the office? Study says you should do squats and lunges instead

By |December 7th, 2017|Categories: Health and Hygiene, Literature, Studies and Research|

The next time you decide to take a walk during work, you may want to opt for a set of squats and lunges instead. Here's why.

Lose fat, preserve muscle: Weight training beats cardio for older adults

By |December 5th, 2017|Categories: Studies and Research|

A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University suggests combining weight training with a low-calorie diet preserves much needed lean muscle mass that can be lost through aerobic workouts.

Strength training helps older adults live longer

By |November 28th, 2017|Categories: Literature, Studies and Research|

Older adults who met twice-weekly strength training guidelines had lower odds of dying in a new analysis by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Columbia University. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

Why weight training is better for your waistline than running

By |November 19th, 2017|Categories: Fat Loss, Literature, Studies and Research|

A new Harvard study has found that weight training is a better way of keeping the middle-aged spread at bay than aerobic activity.

Strength training + active lifestyle more than halves chance of diabetes

By |November 16th, 2017|Categories: Health and Hygiene, Literature, Studies and Research|

Half an hour of strength training per day, or three 50-minute sessions a week. That's the amount of strength training that reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by a third. And if you do a bit of cycling, walking, swimming or running as well your chance of developing diabetes can go down by sixty percent, researchers at the University of Harvard discovered. They published their study in 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.