Hyper-macho, super-busy old body-building ad


31 Responses to “Hyper-macho, super-busy old body-building ad”

  1. Stefan Jones says:

    Dang, “Mr. Before” could hire himself out to slip under doors to facilitate burglaries.

    Hmmm. “Last Chance.” I wonder how many years that advert ran?

    Does anyone collect ephemera like these booklets?  Or are they like the books in Dungeons & Dragons which disappear after you read them to increase an attribute?

  2. Nell Anvoid says:

    This ad discriminates against bag-o-bones weaklings like me…

  3. Mother Joker says:

    It’s fun to read like a comic book! Probably pretty effective for the young men they were targeting during that time.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Well, it worked on me, or at least the competition did (and it’s pretty indistinguishable).  I “gambled a stamp” on Charles Atlas back in, I dunno, 1981 or so.  He wore me down after an endless parade of inside back covers of Marvel’s Star Wars comics, and my SASE yielded a pamphlet and a pitch for something like fifty bucks for the whole program.  I ignored it for a while, until, in a fit of recession-fueled desperation he offered to sell me the program for a measly $5.  Feeling awfully pleased with myself for having kicked financial sand in the face of Mr Atlas, I sent off the dough.  And once the stuff showed up, I think I tried out “Dynamic Tension” for less than a week, then continued to be the same puny sand-faced weakling for the rest of my teens and deep into my twenties.

  4. Stan Gardeys says:

    This is funny stuff, but I gotta give them this much: at least that’s a physique achievable through regular ol’ nutrition and training. Compare that to today’s bulked up dudes. That ain’t natural. That’s ‘roids.

  5. oasisob1 says:

    I 3D-printed my muscles.

  6. gypsyspacemuffin says:

    You’ve got to love how they included a “Photo Book of Strong Men” to inspire you as you worked towards your own hunky set of muscles.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      There used to be a store here that sold old books, but had a room devoted entirely to vintage physique pictorials. He closed c. 2000, and I’ve always wondered if he’s in prison on some underage porn charges for carrying magazines from the 50s and 60s.

    • Jorpho says:

      There seem to be more than a few “exercise books” in print out there that seem to serve no other purpose.

    • James Penrose says:

       Or just “inspired” you, depending on your taste.  Life was harder for gay people back then to find entertainment I expect.  :)

  7. Wayne Dyer says:

    I like that now when I see that ALL CAPS method of DYNAMIC ADVERTISING that was SO PREVALENT back then — I think of it as Hodgmanesque.

  8. lurker_erin says:

    I’m sorry, this gentleman is a weakling compared to those who practice Llap-Goch.

  9. art donovan says:


  10. jimkirk says:

    Looks like a front for the Church of the SubGenius.

  11. pjcamp says:

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that the free Photo Book of STRONG MEN was the main attraction here.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  12. KaiBeezy says:

    … and with the money he earned from sales of his fitness system, young Emanuel Bronner put himself through “doctor” school and invented liquid soap. All One!

  13. mat says:

    Has anybody counted the number of typefaces per sentence in that ad?

  14. sockdoll says:

    In just seven days he can make you a man!

    (RIP Joe Weider)

  15. This seems to be a venture of George Jowett, who scores a passing mention on Wikipedia’s “Bodybuilding” page, and a whole article on how after he retired from the muscle business he turned into a sort of British Mormon:

  16. SomeDude says:

    He increased his he-man looks 1000%!  That’s a lot of percent!  Probably at least 10% more percent than the next leading fitness program.

    I love the buckshot marketing attempt of noting both “new friends, boys and girls”, and “new chances for business success”… Jim apparently isn’t clear on whether he’s in highschool or is a working stiff.  I’m sure he’ll figure it out though.

    “You’ll be a real athlete in all sports soon after you mail the coupon”… and I’ll bet it gets even better if you remember to mail payment with your coupon.  And better still once you actually go through the program they send you in response.  But just mailing the coupon, huge results right away.

  17. orwell says:

    love the ad!  sadly, today, the content of this ad would be half the size, dedicating the other half to “legal-ese,” in 3 point text at the bottom, noting that most of the claims in the ad could not be true…  :)   must have been fun back in the day when you could claim anything.  a designers dream…

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