Fitness enthusiasts paging through the May 1938 edition of “Physical Culture” were presented with an enticing offer. Send off for a free booklet, and develop the perfect physique of champion manly man Charles Atlas.
Charles Atlas (1892-1972) was Italian-American bodybuilder famous for his body-building regimen. His secrets were sold in an iconic campaign that spanned more than four decades.
In this installment, readers were promised the “build of a HE-MAN – ALIVE with glowing health and smashing strength”. It was all made possible through the secret of Dynamic Tension. In fact, this was the very technique that had transformed Atlas from “a puny 97 pound bag of skin and bones into the winner of the title “The World’s Most Perfectly Developed Man.”
The regimen didn’t involve pills or gadgets that “strained the heart and other vital organs.” It was “Nature’s own method” for developing “lightning-action trip-hammer biceps” and a “healthy, husky body”.
And for the average reader (“No matter WHAT you look like NOW”) a “new man” was guaranteed to emerge in just 7 days – or you wouldn’t lose a nickel.
Physical Culture was an American magazine that centered on bodybuilding, health, and fitness. It was founded in 1899 by Bernarr Macfadden and ceased publication after his death in 1955. For access to more archives of Physical Culture magazine, visit this link.