Last time, we presented the first part of Peary Rader’s warning against tissue-building steroids, as it appeared in the November-December 1962 issue of Iron Man. Here is the rest of the article, in which Rader turned his attention to the efforts of the livestock industry to maximize muscular development in cattle. This excerpt highlights the value of good nutrition for muscle growth in humans, and makes mention of the nutritional work of Irvin Johnson, who would later be known as Rheo H. Blair.
As some of you may be aware, the livestock industry is seemingly far ahead of us humans when it comes to research in tissue building. Millions of dollars are being spent to find new methods for adding pounds of muscle to a steer almost overnight, and because of this research they can practically double the weight gain of cattle and other livestock over what it was only a very few years ago. Since I live in one of the greatest livestock areas in the world, I’m exposed to much of this work and take a great interest in what is going on and find it most enlightening to listen in on discussions of cattlemen as they talk of the methods they use to stimulate greater growth in their cattle. I have never met a group of men who know more about proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, as well as all the known drugs used for stimulating tissue growth. Stilbestrol is one of the drugs widely used for this purpose and some amazing things were accomplished with it. Recently our government has forbidden its use in many instances–especially in chickens, because of the dangers to humans who eat the meat it is used on. Still, it is being used in many areas, even on chickens, in spite of this government order, we are told. Continue reading
Currently, the abuse of large amounts of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs is commonplace in the world of competitive bodybuilding. In the mid-twentieth century, such enhancement was still relatively new and in its experimental stages, and not well-known to the public. By late 1962, Peary Rader saw fit to directly address this development in order to make weight trainees aware of the dangers of tissue-building drugs. The article below appeared in the November-December 1962 issue of Iron Man. This may be one of the earliest published warnings against steroids to the bodybuilding world. The first half of the article explains the nature of such drugs, and admonishes against their use for bodybuilding purposes. The second half of the article, which will be posted later here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, presents an interesting examination of the use of tissue-building substances in the livestock industry.
A photo of George Eiferman, included in the article and cited as example of outstanding natural physique development without steroid use. Click to enlarge (appears in new window/tab).
Yes, there are new drugs on the market that will give startlingly fast results in the building of muscle tissue. Not exactly new, for we have known about them for some years, but new to the general public. Continue reading
The late Vern Weaver (1937-1993) entered and placed in several Mr. America contests from 1958 to 1966, taking the overall winner title in 1963. He was also a frequent writer for Bob Hoffman’s Strength & Health magazine. The article below appeared in the January 1964 issue, and it focused on development of the shoulders and adjacent muscle areas. As shown in the accompanying photographs, Weaver was well qualified to write on this topic.
Further reading (opens in new window/tab): https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25374567/laverne-c.-weaver
A photo of Weaver highlighting his shoulder development. Click to enlarge (appears in new window/tab)
Magazine excerpt: Continue reading
Bruce Page was a frequent writer for Peary Rader’s Iron Man magazine. The article below originally appeared in the January-February 1963 issue. In offering a different technique for stimulating muscle growth, this article touches on several aspects of the iron game, first of all reminding bodybuilding trainees to focus on weight training despite the then-current trend of isometric exercise for weightlifters. Page also emphasizes the importance of good nutrition. Here we see the beginnings of the long-standing dietary fat and cholesterol scare, which nutrition writers in more recent years have openly challenged. Finally, the article discusses the value of the occasional layoff/de-load from training.
A photo of Bruce Page that appeared with the article. Click to enlarge (appears in new widow/tab)
Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading
This week we present some rare preserved footage of a jovial Leroy Colbert and a few training partners doing weight training and flexing their upper body muscles out on the lawn on a bright, sunny day in 1958, as posted on the “MrYorkieLover Fitness” Youtube channel. Anyone who has trained with weights outdoors knows what an exhilarating experience it can be to lift heavy things in the midst of nature.
Colbert has long been known as the first man to develop 21-inch upper arms before the steroid-dominated era, and the tremendous dumbbells that he incline-presses in this footage are undoubtedly quite impressive.