Physical Culture

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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.


This is how physical exercise clears up tumours

By |September 11th, 2017|Categories: Literature, Studies and Research|

Every session of fairly intensive physical exercise works like a mini chemotherapy course, we wrote recently. Physical exertion transforms the body into a hostile environment for cancer cells. An animal study that Danish researchers published in 2016 in Cell Metabolism tells how.

Every intensive training session is a chemo lite

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Every time you do intensive exercise, your body produces substances that kill cancer cells. The effect of a single session is limited, but the effect of a lifestyle that has included intensive exercise several times a week for years on end is probably considerable. Sports scientists at the University of Copenhagen discovered this.

Today’s men are not nearly as strong as their dads were, researchers say

By |December 2nd, 2016|Categories: Literature, Studies and Research|

Researchers tested whether millennial guys are as strong as their dads. Someone’s not going to be happy with the answer.

Strength Training Makes Elderly People Mentally Stronger

By |September 30th, 2016|Categories: Literature, Studies and Research|

People over sixty who take up strength training not only gain physical strength but can improve their mental functioning too, report Brazilian sports scientists in Clinical Interventions in Aging.

History of Weightlifting Shoes

By |September 22nd, 2016|Categories: Lifestyle, Literature|

The history of weightlifting shoes is not a topic which sparks much attention, but it is not only a story about footwear. The way weightlifting shoes have evolved is aligned with the developments in the sport itself, revealing some striking details that have previously been overlooked.

Exercise Slows Muscle Wasting From Age and Heart Failure

By |May 9th, 2016|Categories: Literature, Studies and Research|

Exercise can counteract muscle breakdown, increase strength and reduce inflammation caused by aging and heart failure, according to new research in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

Resistance Training, Not Starving Yourself or “Cardio” is Key to Successful Fat Loss

By |April 2nd, 2016|Categories: Fat Loss, Literature, Studies and Research|

Metabolic stress from resistance training determines improvements in body composition and health.