Manual Maxalding

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Monte Saldo was less well known then his major partner, Maxick, in the system they created called Maxalding. Maxick became more well known from his books and weight lifting exploits, though Monte was no slouch in that department either. In its simplest form, Maxalding is based on.
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Hold it in this position and gradually increase the contraction until it has been brought to its hardest condition and fully suffused with blood. Then return it to its position of relaxation. If blood suffusion has been thorough, the temperature of the muscle will increase and the tissues will have been nourished without any notable breaking down, as would be the case if mechanical repetition exercise were employed.

This is the true way to build tissue, as the breaking down is so slight and the nourishment so easily provided. The contraction should not be held long; and light self-massage of the muscle can follow. The contraction should be repeated until it is felt that the muscle has been thoroughly exercised but not actually fatigued. But, MC does not reduce to this sort of contraction.

This is only one preliminary form of SMC, called peak contraction. The misuse of this technique was the cause of the misunderstandings and critiques from several strongmen of the past to MC, like Alan Calvert, who was sceptic about the possibility of true development by means of MC. Some people experience dizziness a few hours after trying to do MC. The cause is a bad distribution of energy over the muscles and the saturation of the nervous system due to strain. Successful MC has two different and equally important aspects.

Unfortunately, the control of the tension has been ignored and poorly under stood. The control of the isolated muscle tension is the very key of MC and a cornerstone of the whole Maxalding system. We can read continuously this advice in the Maxalding works, don't force your muscles, coax them. But, what is exactly the meaning of these words? Muscle vibration is the worst enemy of MC, believe me. Almost every Maxald-ing student makes this mistake at the beginning of his or her learning yes, Maxalding is an ideal training method for women, too.

This bad practice wastes a lot of precious energy and it is very dangerous. Sometimes it is more difficult to learn to control your internal tension than the actual isolation of a muscle. How can we know that we are performing correctly a control? Adopt the position for mastering an isolation. Increase your tension slowly, when you feel that your muscles are hard, but not rigid just the step below vibration , sustain the tension about 5 breathings, no more no less.

Do not eliminate the tension too suddenly, take about 1 slow breathing to do it. Another good clue to know if your tension is correct is to feel that you can move the controlled muscle in spite of the tension. If you cannot move a contracted muscle, you have not mastered MC. Remember always this very important point: Maxick is very clear in this respect, the principal aim of MC is its application to health and the performance of real feats of strength.

MC alone represents only one term of the global equation, related to energy conservation. But for a perfect body you must also practice the second term, involved with the energy distribution. A body replete with energy is useless, if you do not know how to employ this energy in a real situation. I do not, and never have, claimed that by muscle-control alone, unaided by mechanical exercises, each muscle may be brought to its highest state of development: Besides, Maxick explained in his book how to control each muscle in all its positions.

And he recommended several exercises for the same parts in order to achieve this goal. Muscle toning by resistance [ Resistance however, becomes necessary to establish muscular coordination. Resistance can be provided in a number of ways. The weight of the body supplies resistance to the legs in the deep knee bend or the weight of the legs supplies resistance to the abdominal muscles in the usual supine leg-raising movements. There is also the more definite method of using the two arms in resistance to one another, or the neck against the arms and so on.

When resistance exercises are used for developmental purposes, even fewer repetitions should be used than in the case of voluntary contractions. Exceptional toning by resistance might be provided by the lifting of heavy weights. Thus, a man who has gained a good physique by natural methods and strengthened his internal organs against risk of strain, might find it necessary to occasionally lift heavy weights to maintain the muscle tone necessary for his best lifts to be accomplished.

In so doing he would, of course, reduce his speed for lighter efforts, but the example is given to indicate my meaning of muscle-toning in its broadest sense. This is a very important paragraph in the Maxalding literature, because it focuses the discussion about MC. Is MC able to proportionate great strength and development? Yes, but in a non specific and abstract form, not immediately suitable for real feats of strength. If you want to train for attaining some specific goal, you must sporadically adapt your controlled muscles to the desired task.

For example, if you want to perform a perfect one armed one legged push up, you must acquire the sense of equilibrium necessary to balance the body. MC can give you enough strength and control for success, but it cannot develop the feeling and gravitational balance of this concrete exercise. In spite of this, it is true that a master in MC will need only very few repetitions to successfully perform this feat of strength, because the only thing here is to adapt the muscles for working adequately in groups.


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This is that we want to mean by "distribution of energy". Note the mention to the convenience of training with slow movements and lighter weights for maximal strength. I will return to the controversy about the use of weights in Maxalding in next paragraphs. The periodization of training is another interesting question. Many of the training methods of today recommend to work the most important muscles only three times a week or less.

However, the Maxalding practice is daily because the exercises are performed with very few repetitions. Modern research sustains this theory. Athletes whose main aim is the development of a large strength to bodyweight ratio, as Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters and gymnasts, train several times a day with very few repetitions in order to avoid fatigue and to adapt the neural system to high loads. Following the suggestions of Maxick and Monte Saldo, we can design different exercise strategies. A very complete and productive training schedule is this.

One session of SMC in the way described before, followed by self resistance exercises 1 set, repetitions.

Book Review: Maxalding by Monte Saldo

One session of 5 BMC of one breathing each over the same isolated muscle for all important muscles in the body in descending order. You must relax the muscle during inhalation and contract it powerfully during exhalation. Do not force exhalation, if you cannot regulate your exhalation you are forcing the muscles too much. After this perform a series of virtual lifting movements DMC over full range of motion of muscles repetitions. Although the use of weights is not necessary at all, some people can find very useful to do the exercises with light dumbbells kg each for feeling some resistance over the correct muscles.

Actually, it is very difficult to learn to relax the antagonistic muscles without any feeling of real resistance. This was a very frequent practice among old strongmen, including Maxick. One session of muscle controlled bodyweight leverage exercises repetitions per exercise. We can define the energy distribution of Maxalding as the ability to use optimally the energy generated by means of MC.

Suppose you were to take a fairly heavy weight, one heavy enough at any rate to necessitate the calling into work the greater energies of the body. Well, there are several sets of muscles as they are required for use, and thus send the essential amount of energy into each, just at the important moment. It means, moreover, that you are using the will-power and strengthening thereby the source of all power and energy. When Maxalding is applied to the performance of a particular sport for example, martial arts, gymnastics, weight-lifting, bodybuilding, MC teaches you to voluntarily isolate, contract and relax your muscles in a progressive way without the need of mechanical actions over the desired muscle groups.

In order to achieve this, the student must learn some basic skeletal positions that make easier the feeling of each isolated muscle. The principal goal of Maxalding is the overall control of the body and the mind knowing the logical limitations of the human being. The control that the will performs over the muscles produces a feedback process over the mind, re-inforcing it as much as the muscles. By these means the concentration and will power increase. Maxalding can be used alone or as a complementary training system.

Although the basic controls are few, the huge richness of the human body makes the mastery of MC practically limitless. The spiritual benefits of Maxalding are very important too and can be compared favourably with other training philosophies like Yoga or Tai-Chi.

But Maxalding is not a mystical approach to Physical Culture, it is an art and a science in which the student devotes to the study of the language of the muscles. The scientific basis of Maxalding is solid and well founded. In advanced stages of Maxald- ing you would be able to regulate your digestive system, your breathing rate and your heartbeats by means of extreme relaxation techniques.

Although Maxalding does not require large amounts of energy, it is not an easy system. The student must have personal determination, a lot of patience and will power. But Maxalding is a very progressive program and can be learned by everyone. Maxalding is a personalized system that focuses on health over all. The benefits are countless and everlasting. Physical principles of Maxalding Maxalding is based mainly in two physical principles: Maxick explains his point of view about the energy conservation in the body in the following terms: By giving nothing out, I was slowly conserving energy, [ Energy would be quite unnecessary were it not for the idea of action and its subsequent use.

This fact has been apparently overlooked by most teachers, whose summary advice is "to work until the muscles are incapable of doing anything further for the time being", or words to that effect. They also give to their unfortunate pupils to understand that, "the more work done, the more benefit gained", etc. We aim, first and foremost, at the improvement of circulation, it being through that channel alone that every function of the body can gain vigour, and acquire increased activity and endurance. And it occurred to me that it is not work, but nourishment, which makes muscles strong.

The biophysical explanation of this fact is surely very complex and not well understood yet, but basically consists in the ability of the muscles for increasing and storing elastic potential energy. The muscle fibres acts like flexible springs and MC increases the amount of tension that the muscle is capable of. The fibres adapt to this new situation and reacts upon the neurological system in a feedback process which produces larger outputs of neural energy to the muscles.

The final result of MC is a more contractile capability of the fibres and a stronger neural signal to them. This key idea is clearly developed in later works. A muscle that has been brought into prominence and condition by means of Muscle control is full of energy and resistance, ready to work, and well fortified; whereas the muscle that has been tired by heavy work is usually lacking in resistance, and jaded. Such a method of exercise Maxalding builds up tissue, revitalizes the whole body and creates reserve energy; the abstract commodity which establishes endurance and resistance to disease.

This is the reverse of the old fashioned method which often defeated their objects by exhausting the user. The endless repetitions and the counting prevent intelligent concentration, and monotony is the deadly enemy of all living creatures. The muscular growth processes are not well understood yet, but it is evident that a method which does not implies such muscle breakdowns would consume less energy. We shall detail this point in following sections. As Court Saldo said: Maxalding's aim in every case is to work for complete functional efficiency, because a sufficiency of natural exercise will them stimulate muscle growth.

If it did, the hardest workers, particularly those who start in childhood, would be the biggest and strongest people. We know that there are the rare cases of men who are able to train strenuously and show good physical development. But such persons are possessed of extraordinary powers of recuperation and they would get better results from more scientific methods of training. Some men are vitally strong enough to withstand several years of hard wear and tear on the organs, and it is these rare cases that are held up by advocates of strenuous training as proof of the efficacy of such training.

However, few people have the time or inclination for such unnatural methods, and it has been proven that by reasonable methods everyone is able to gain and maintain their full potentialities in health, strength and muscular development. With Maxalding a correct amount of exercise can always be taken, because the power employed is controlled by the strength and vitality of the performer. Thus as the strength and vitality increase, the effort correspondingly increases without any addi-tional increase in the number of repetitions required.

Additionally a specially muscle-building diet should be adopted, and plenty of sleep taken. All expenditure of energy creates tissue consumption and eventual fatigue. But if no energy were expended, movement would cease and physical decay set in. Therefore, conservation of energy must not be confused with inertia or sloth [ Personally I have found this theory correct. One of the most remark-able effects of MC is the increasing of muscular and cardio endurance in a short time of training. In the same brochure we can read an explanation to this fact. Endurance is controlled by the power of any individual to Conserve and Distribute Energy.

This fact can be proved by the great matches disputed by Maxick, in which there were a lot of maximal effort lifts. Such continuous lifting is exhausting and can only be performed by people with an exceptional endurance. Tromp van Diggelen was witness of some of these amazing endurance feats. Max has often run down a long flight of stairs holding me aloft with one hand.

Maxalding produces the direct exercise of vital organs, which is very much related with energy conservation of the body. This is the direct reverse of the old-fashioned methods which often exhausted the muscles in an attempt to exercise the organs. Another vicious circle, defeating its original object! Another amazing fallacy is that exercising the muscles until they ache, will increase their power.

The truth is that the organs should be exercised so that they will energize and nourish the muscles and prevent them for becoming too easily fatigued. Exercise must be directly applied to the parts of the body that require it, and such exercise should be of a nature that will correctly adjust anatomically, and stimulates the functions without defeating the object by exhausting the user. What form does the exercising take? In organized sequence, every muscle or muscle group is contracted, relaxed, stretched and controlled.

The important exercises aim Energy and Vitality are conserved to such an extent that the overplus not required is immediately shown in the development of healthy, pure muscular tissue. This conservation of energy also very speedily creates an exceptional condition of will-power, resistance to cold catching and fatigue. One does not find oneself used up after the ten to fourteen minutes of Maxalding, but extraordinarily refreshed and buoy-ant. This paragraph contains the answer to the "key question" of MC, what should the optimum duration of contractions be?

First of all, MC exercises involve a se-quence of actions in this order: The complete control of a muscle implies these four steps: This permits to increase the circulation into the exercised muscles. A very prolonged contraction generates so much pressure that it prevents correct blood flow. By means of stretching the blood flows all over the muscle, the fibres adapt to real movement and remain supple. We can see how modern are these ideas.


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  • In fact, many of the most scientific training and therapeutic systems of today, like PNF stretching, share analogous concepts. In many respects, Maxalding can be considered a system much more advanced than PNF, because it permits the performance of exercises by the unassisted individual. From the information extracted from the Maxalding book and courses, we can calculate a very approximate time for each contraction. Each session is composed from a number of exercises that vary but is about ten in most cases.

    We can deduce from this that each exercise takes about one minute. But, does this imply that we must sustain the contractions for a such large period? Such unnatural practice is the basis of "isotension", a degeneration of the original Maxalding system. In the Maxalding courses the recommended number of repetitions is about 6. Considering that the time of each contraction is similar, we can conclude that the real duration of the contractions is approximately 10 seconds.

    The three first phases are clear, but what is the exact meaning of control? This is a very difficult question and the answer is not unique. We can consider three basic types of MC: Depending on your goals you can concentrate more in one type or another. SMC is the most basic of the three. In this case, the control phase would conclude with another contraction of about 10 seconds in the stretched position a very difficult task if you try it, indeed. This control must be always practised, because it is the basis of the other two and permits a very good strengthening exercise in itself.

    BMC consists in the quick performance about seconds of successive and alternating contractions and relaxations of the same isolated muscle. This MC method is called quick reflex in the original Maxalding writings. BCM is more difficult than the SMC, because during an explosive contraction, the surrounding muscles tend to be contracted too. The mind-muscle link reinforces by means of BMC providing the ability of generating extremely powerful contractions in critical situations.

    DMC is the application of MC to real movements. If you can move a group of muscles in an isolated manner, relaxing the others along the overall range of the articulation, you have DMC. All the three types of MC are necessary and they must be mastered in order to be a perfect Maxaldist. The structure of the courses can be summarized in this form: These exercises can be of dynamic and postural nature. Increasing of isolated contraction by means of will concentration.

    Progressive ability for relaxing statically and dynamically all muscle groups, including stretching positions. Performance of real sports with controlled muscles. Maxalding uses non apparatus exercises, but it is also best applied to martial arts, gymnastics and weightlifting. The Maxalding courses recommended only one set per exercise, but in the first courses the number of repetitions is not fixed.

    Monte Saldo justified this saying: Perform the exercises of this lesson ad lib. The amount of exercise that would seem but light work to you on one day, might the next leave you in a state of exhaustion and this must never be allowed to happen. Perform each exercise slowly and carefully, as soon as you feel that the muscles you are employing have been thoroughly exercised, but not fatigued, completely relax them. But many people are not satisfied with this explanation and are worried about the possibility of under-training or over-training. As a general rule, Court Saldo establishes the convenience of 6 repetitions with full concentration.

    Personally I have found that repetitions of DMC exercises is enough. If you perform the four phases of MC in order in one session and you train daily a very much recommended Maxaldist practice for a healthy development , one of the best combinations is this: Relax the muscle during one or two complete breathings in its stretched position.

    Repeat the same exercise. Move to the next muscle group in the same fashion. Relax all muscles during 5 - 10 breathings. This method should be applied without interruption to all important muscles of the body in a descending, from head to toes, fashion. The last phase of real MC not just the performance of contractions is the key to the other great principle, the distribution of energy. Hold it in this position and gradually increase the contraction until it has been brought to its hardest condition and fully suffused with blood. Then return it to its position of relaxation.

    If blood suffusion has been thorough, the temperature of the muscle will increase and the tissues will have been nourished without any notable breaking down, as would be the case if mechanical repetition exercise were employed. The contraction should be repeated until it is felt that the muscle has been thoroughly exercised but not actually fatigued. But, MC does not reduce to this sort of contraction. The misuse of this technique was the cause of the misunderstandings and critiques from several strongmen of the past to MC, like Alan Calvert, who was sceptic about the possibility of true development by means of MC.

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    Some people experience dizziness a few hours after trying to do MC. The cause is a bad distribution of energy over the muscles and the saturation of the nervous system due to strain. The control of the isolated muscle tension is the very key of MC and a cornerstone of the whole Maxalding system.

    But, what is exactly the meaning of these words? Do not allow your muscles vibrate! Muscle vibration is the worst enemy of MC, believe me. Almost every Maxald- ing student makes this mistake at the beginning of his or her learning yes, Maxalding is an ideal training method for women, too. This bad practice wastes a lot of precious energy and it is very dangerous. Sometimes it is more difficult to learn to control your internal tension than the actual isolation of a muscle.

    How can we know that we are performing correctly a control? Adopt the position for mastering an isolation. Another good clue to know if your tension is correct is to feel that you can move the controlled muscle in spite of the tension. If you cannot move a contracted muscle, you have not mastered MC. Remember always this very important point: Maxick is very clear in this respect, the principal aim of MC is its application to health and the performance of real feats of strength. MC alone represents only one term of the global equation, related to energy conservation.

    But for a perfect body you must also practice the second term, involved with the energy distribution. A body replete with energy is useless, if you do not know how to employ this energy in a real situation. And he recommended several exercises for the same parts in order to achieve this goal. Monte Saldo shared this point of view and showed us it in more detail.

    Muscle toning by resistance [ Resistance however, becomes necessary to establish muscular coordination. There is also the more definite method of using the two arms in resistance to one another, or the neck against the arms and so on. Exceptional toning by resistance might be provided by the lifting of heavy weights. In so doing he would, of course, reduce his speed for lighter efforts, but the example is given to indicate my meaning of muscle-toning in its broadest sense.

    Is MC able to proportionate great strength and development? Yes, but in a non specific and abstract form, not immediately suitable for real feats of strength. This is that we want to mean by "distribution of energy". I will return to the controversy about the use of weights in Maxalding in next paragraphs. The periodization of training is another interesting question.

    Many of the training methods of today recommend to work the most important muscles only three times a week or less. However, the Maxalding practice is daily because the exercises are performed with very few repetitions. A very complete and productive training schedule is this: One session of 5 BMC of one breathing each over the same isolated muscle for all important muscles in the body in descending order.

    Do not force exhalation, if you cannot regulate your exhalation you are forcing the muscles too much. After this perform a series of virtual lifting movements DMC over full range of motion of muscles repetitions. Although the use of weights is not necessary at all, some people can find very useful to do the exercises with light dumbbells kg each for feeling some resistance over the correct muscles. Actually, it is very difficult to learn to relax the antagonistic muscles without any feeling of real resistance. One session of muscle controlled bodyweight leverage exercises repetitions per exercise.

    Suppose you were to take a fairly heavy weight, one heavy enough at any rate to necessitate the calling into work the greater energies of the body. It means, moreover, that you are using the will-power and strengthening thereby the source of all power and energy. The perfect development and conditioning of the physique for a particular sport. Intelligent handling of the contestant on the day of the contest. Particular applications of the principle of energy distribution are given by Monte Saldo.

    Thus in the performance of feats of strength, when the lifting of the heaviest possible weight is the object, as few lifts as possible should be used, with the greatest amount of energy put into a single effort. However, Maxick was, without doubt, which gave to MC its most scientific form. The origin of the MC system developed by Maxick was curious. At the age of seven I went to school for the first time,and then I realized how weak I was by comparing myself with the other boys, who were no more than ordinary healthy, boisterous fellows.

    Being far too feeble to join in their sports, I naturally had the desire to be be strong, but my parents were opposed to my exerting myself in any way, maintaining that one as weak as I could only injure himself by indulging in any form of exercise. But, in spite of the atmosphere of error with which I was surrounded, the desire to become strong obsessed me to such a degree, that the idea of using the mind as apparatus gradually evolved itself, and thus, in opposing my desires to exercise, my parents had sown the seeds that were to fructify to so great an extent.

    In subsequent sections we are going to analyse all this points. I only became a weight-lifter in order to prove that the control of the muscles was the greatest consideration in the performance of feats of strength; and I reason, with obvious logic, that if I am able to perform feats of strength far beyond anything ever accomplished by the most scientific lifter at my weight, by controlling the muscles, I can put that power to a much greater use; in fact to the greatest use of which this world is need - to the curing of disease.

    All daily activities can be benefited by muscle control. For example, the relaxation and concentration techniques implied by muscle control can improve intellectual work a lot. On the other side, the use of muscle control in order to relief injuries and for rehabilitation is beyond any doubt. One of the most successful and famous cases was the training of Alan Mead by Monte Saldo.

    Many people think that he was probably one of the best after Maxick. They sustained that the only true method for acquiring strength is weightlifting. Maxick never rejected a rational use of weights for maximum strength gains. I should only like to correct several errors regarding my own person for the last 40 years. It is unknown to me that I should ever have made the statement that only muscle poses were the cause of my abilities in weightlifting. In the contrary, I have achieved strength and muscles as far as they are remarkable through weightlifting [ We can study this paragraph more closely and we shall discover a lot of in- teresting things.

    First of all, note that Maxick carefully avoids the use of the words "muscle control", he literally speaks about "muscle poses", a very limited form of MC for exhibition purposes. We must consider that Maxick was a very clever person and he chose his words very carefully. In the Maxalding literature we appreciate that the concept of MC is much wider and it applies to every possible exercise. This can be proved by the following words of Maxick. You shall probably ask me now what kind of exercises I practised and how often repeated them. I must confess that I can't recall this early details.

    But I shall tell you "how" I practised. There was for me only one thought and one desire - to become strong - and everything else had to bow before this unconditional goal. The first key is the use of visualization techniques during exercise, we shall dedicate the next section to this very important point. When I was young there were hardly any sport periodicals available to provide me with practical advice. In this limited era no direct theoretical could be secured.

    Thus I was compelled to be completely on my own. I had to place the main stress of my efforts on the execution of the exercises and not their quality. I very soon learned that the important factor was the inspiration and motivation in performing an exercise and not merely the number of its repetitions. With this I want to say that I did not put any special value on a high number of mechanical repetitions but that I combined every individual movement with the conscious sensing of a strengthening of a certain group of muscles.

    This is true MC!

    Physical principles of Maxalding - Muscle Control - Fitness VIP

    The concentration of all mental and body resources over the exercised muscles. When you perform an exercise think that your life depends on it in this very moment, but relaxing all other muscles and thoughts, trying to redistribute all energy to the stressed body parts. With this theory in mind, is it really so important the use of weights? In fact, force is force, because in the macroscopic world we can only experience gravity and electromagnetism and they are measured in the same unities.

    Otto Arco , Magician of Muscle

    An experienced muscle controller can increase the intramuscular tension of almost any body part to levels so high that the generated resistance is equivalent to maximal loads for the individual. A simple calculation based in the concentration abilities of Maxick can prove this note that I shall not use the evident lifting records. You mathematicians can work out with what force the feet of a pound man would strike Max's rectus abdominis when falling from a height of 7 feet.

    If we suppose that the impact has taken a time of about 0. Actually, Maxick was criticized by his lack of technical skill in weightlifting. He was never a devoted weightlifter. What is really the role of weights in Maxalding? Are they the real mean of muscle development? Is Maxalding a fraud, another free-movement course with impossible claims?

    No, Maxalding is a solid piece of science. The exclusive use of bodyweight exercises has nothing to do with the foundations and the spirit of Maxalding. Another thing, that we shall discuss further, is the possibility of developing an extraordinary muscularity without weights.

    This paragraph from Maxick's article is very clear. Let's read it carefully. The power of the mind is the origin and real instrument of strength development. There are countless facts that prove it. The same thing occurs in almost every branch of fair sport. MC is not a bulging exercise in itself, as many can believe, it is the mean by which you can perform the strongest possible mind - body connection. There are a lot of quicker methods to achieve muscularity than MC, because MC does not produce large damages in the muscle fibres.

    MC is a long time and patient investment the best one for health, indeed. But if you are not interested in breaking numbers, weights are not necessary. The strengthening of tendons can be done by other means different from weights with the same or better efficiency , for example, self-resistance. The misconceptions about MC and its applications had two consequences. The second is evident, nobody has been able to emulate Maxick in all round strength, weight by weight, in the last years.

    Mind you, although Max admits that Terlazzo would have defeated him owing to the latter's great strength helped by modern Bob Hoffman scientific lifting I am still of opinion that my man Maxick was the stronger of the two where sheer nerve power and muscular quality are concerned. This is truly phenomenal lifting.

    It would appear to surpass by at least 20 pounds the best jerking ability of any present-day lightweight lifter. Let's read some of this opinions. Nature's way to Mental and Physical Fitness. This, of course, was nonsense, but the course sold well anyway.

    What is the idea of a superb physique for this author? A body like Sergio Oliva's one? Sig Klein, who was a Maxick's pupil, said train for shape, and the strength will come. Note, shape, not bulk. Apparently this opinion is very reliable because Otto Arco was one of the greatest in the art of MC. Here is the opinion of Tromp van Diggelen about the Otto's claims.

    It was in the year that I made up my mind that England should learn what muscle control really meant. I was good at it and still am, I don't think even Arco could beat my own control but I knew that Max had attained the absolute mastery of all vol-untary muscles and could even control to some extent an involuntary muscle the heart. However, Arco was one of the best muscle controllers of all times, he respected Maxick's ideas and used them. What is really meant by "Muscle Control" is mind - control over muscle.

    Simply, the ability to flex a muscle by an effort of the will, without the motion of limb or body which usually accompanies such flexion. Unquestionably they do help to promote a better circulation of the blood. The trouble is that muscles so developed, while they may stand out distinctly, rarely have power in proportion to their size.

    And, almost invariably, the development is confined to these few muscles which are involved in the most spectacular display stunts. The objection to "muscle-control" as a means of development,is much the same as the objection to the once-popular "resistance exercises"; those in which a muscle is developed thru working it against the resistance of its opposing muscle. Un-questionably resistance exercises helped some men to get showily-developed upper arms.

    But both methods are limited in their application to comparatively few muscles; and both involve a nervous drain. The first point is highly paradoxical, because the purpose of real MC is the complete and healthy development of all muscles in the body, including, directly or indirectly, the internal organs. The second point is absurd.

    Does not the lifting of a very heavy barbell drain the nervous system? Why do Olympic weightlifters perform so a low number of repetitions? Liederman and Paschall express their thoughts about MC in similar terms. But, there is a contradiction. For example, many experts do not negate the value of MC for developing strength, but its value as affective mean to cause muscle growth hypertrophy.

    This is the idea, for example, of Jubinville. Who has the truth? All this information conducts us to the real secrets of Maxick's training. The most attractive thing about Maxick is the fact that he was not genetically favoured by Nature, he was a very ill child indeed. What were the exercises that Maxick used? Can we emulate him? We can deduce them from the testimonials of those who saw him training. On the stage he never lifted barbells, his chief act was a gymnastic exhibition on two long silver chains no rings ; on these chains he performed remarkable stunts such as crucifixes, etc.

    While the spotlights showed up his unparalleled development; when Max then gave his muscle control act I can assure you from very vast experience that the world has never seen the like. This human dynamo would even take a pound man, apply his open palm to man's lower spine, get the man to grip his Max's wrist with both hands,then he would hoist the cumbersome human dumbbell to his shoulder using his left hand to help and then without any fuss push him to arm's length using the one arm only and walk off the stage with him.

    The rings hit very powerfully all the muscles in a stressing combination of controlled isometrics and explosive movements. Maxick lifted very infrequently in order to prove his strength. A famous anatomist once said to me: Max Sick has since the word muscle control was first used, been the "greatest ever" at this form of muscular adaptability. I personally claim to be the first man who introduced muscle-control on an scientific basis for in I was taken to Vienna to show my exhibition not half as good as saw later from Max Sick to world famous nerve specialist Krafft-Ebing.

    Remember that Aston won Maxick at their weightlifting matches note the extreme admiration and friendship that Aston shows to Maxick. But Maxick was unlucky with the weights here against me - I don't believe he even trained seriously for me. He wanted to beat a heavyweight, not a middle-weight. However his reputation did not suffer.

    For a smallish man he was a superman, and he proved it. Much has been written about his relying purely on control exercise for his weightlifting matches, but there is no truth in this theory. But this happens in every branch of sport, is a consequence of the specific training principle and follows from muscular adaptability to a specific work. And if you want to run a marathon, you must run a lot. Maxick was not a professional weightlifter; he was a Gymnast, a Music Hall Artiste, and sculptor's model. He was also bearer in Hand Balancing acts with partners - all heavier men. I believe he could wrestle too, but cared little for it.

    What was the role of MC in the beginnings of Maxick's training? Was he born favoured with the promise of a good physique? He was sickly as a child, and when he was old enough to be tired of being mediocre, he determined to do something about it. Not being able to afford appliances he invented his own - Muscle Control - and it served his purpose until he needed fresh interests and the apparatus to further them. As a man he was and still is fine example of Strength with Modesty, and, serious in matters of physical health, he was also very human.

    I find there is quite a wide interest taken in "free exercises", in physical development through the mutual opposition or antagonism of muscle groups. As one develops and intensifies "free" or "self-resistance" exercises,one inevitably commences to develop "muscle-control".


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    • One learns ever more about one's own body and its possibilities, its peculiar weaknesses and strengths, and equally inevitably one is encouraged to make fresh experiments. One finds that while certain muscle groups are being strengthened others are benefiting, perhaps without one's having been fully conscious that they would so benefit. Muscle which is cultivated, by mental direction, will be ever supple, resilient and of the finest quality, readily adaptable for any purpose to which it may be applied.

      Besides, this type of muscles, worked by MC, are of top quality and very adaptable to any other sport. This is a key idea, if your core training is not based in MC, you must perform always MC as a preliminary training in any branch of sport, never as a "final retouch" for bodybuilding poses. Can MC substitute your specific training for gymnastics or weightlifting? No, not at all, you must feel the resistance that you want to move. But, can MC be a complete training system for developing great strength and a beautiful body without appliances? Aston insists in the importance of mental concentration for success.

      Aston embraced firmly the principles that founded Maxalding in his articles. The important thing in Physical Culture is not the use of weights or apparatus, is the mental attitude and its application to real MC. Attempt to pick up a weight from the floor - one just within your compass - and you will find that unless you bring your full powers to bear on the job in hand, you will not succeed in raising it an inch. You have to give your full and undivided attention to the task of raising the weight; otherwise you will fail.

      I recommend vividly the reading of these works, because are plenty of good sense and shows some very practical training ideas. The Aston's opinions are very important because he lost some fingers in World War I and surely he could not train with very heavy weights. Here are his words for a Maxalding brochure. Second only to Maxick himself, your father considered me as the exponent of the cult, and as you no doubt remember, I was the chief model in the lectures and demonstrations given to medical profession and in a film taken of the exercises. George Jowett did not like pure MC exercises without mechanical resistance , but agreed completely with Maxick's ideas.

      Max Sick, the marvellous Bavarian athlete, practised most for back development what hand balancers call "press outs". I happen to know this exercise was one of his pet exercises. So much he believed in it that it finally became his only exercise after he had gotten his development. It always seems to me to be too much of a drain on the nervous system. I am all for building up and would rather not do an exercise, no matter how good it is rated, if I see it causes an organic, nervous or other muscular reaction. There are people who will mention Max Sick as a marvellous example of one who employed will power only.

      But this is not wholly true, and I think those people speak more from hearsay than from actual observation of this great athlete. I knew him and saw him train day in and day out. Most of his exercises he did practise without the use of apparatus, but in all of them he supplied a resistance on much the same manner as employed in the last explained exercise [self-resistance]. He employed one group of muscles against the other. In other exercises he used light dumbbells. To some this may seem strange since his records and achievements as a strong man make the best living middleweight strong man look like a baby.

      His statement in his book is "I do not have to use heavy weight in order to accomplish great physical feats. Positions are the most important to learn but they cannot be learned struggling with heavy objects, which takes almost all of your strength. Neither can strong muscles be built struggling with heavy weights. Struggling with heavy weights keeps the mind from concentrating wholly upon the exercises and so robs the muscles of the benefit of the exercise". It is common sense.

      He further states "Take care of the organs and they will take care of the muscles".

      I could repeat and produce proof upon proof of testimony believed and practised by other giants of strength and the substance of their training is all in the same vein, namely, exercise with heavy weights is not necessary for muscular development. Both Max Sick and Saxon stand without equal. The Maxalding principles are based mainly on exercises and techniques which appeared in his book 'Muscle Control', written in Saldo was apprenticed to the great Eugen Sandow in He took his stage name at the turn of the 20th century while touring Europe demonstrating strength and gymnastics.

      He was also an artist's model and in he published a book called 'How to Pose'. He provided the financial means of promoting Maxick's methods and starting the Maxalding postal course. Woollaston took over, using the professional name of Courtlandt Saldo. He carried on the business until sometime in the late 70s. Courtlandt Saldo died in at the age of