Here we are, 90 days after the challenge began. No, I don’t look exactly like Charles Atlas from the comic book ad (that’s him on the left, not me). BUT YES, I made tremendous progress and feel 100% stronger and healthier than when I started. I’ll spare my family by not posting a photo for public consumption, but trust me when I say it… I look hot.
OK… hot for my age. Let’s qualify that even more. I have a chest, shoulders, lats and quads that are visibly defined, and arms that are getting larger every day.
What’s that you say? Every day? That’s right, I have not stopped the routine. You see… this is really the secret to long-term good health. You forge a positive habit that becomes part of your life. Set a goal. Then set another. I put almost 3 inches on my chest so far, and now I’ve set a goal of 2 more.
I strengthened my core – abs and back – to the point that the initially difficult exercises are now easy. I did not achieve visible washboard abs, and I think it may take a carbless, sugarless diet to achieve the zero body fat required at my age (not sustainable by my choice.)
I made some other personal choices along the way. I combined some of the exercises and dropped some others that put a strain on old injuries. I exercise when I watch favorite TV shows at night on the Tivo. I still have not used weights, so this routine will work even when I travel.
And since we’re being totally honest, there were a few things in the Atlas handbook that I could not bring myself to do – like rubbing olive oil into my hair to give it a lustrous sheen; or taking a cold bath every morning. But I must say I enjoyed the spirit of Atlas’s motivational writing mixed in with the exercise instructions.
How’s this for poetic: “The subtle quality you wish to acquire is like that of an Arabian steed, which is powerful, healthy, virile and MAGNETIC.” I’ll leave it to the eye of the beholder whether or not I’ve reached steed level. All I know is that I feel great.
So my friends, the point of the story is this – it does not matter which program you choose. Charles Atlas, Wii Fit, P90X, Hip Hop Abs or Sweatin’ to the Oldies. Just pick one, make it your own and do it consistently.
80% of what I accomplished was built on mental, not physical effort. And it all started with a decision and a challenge to myself to do it. Are you waiting to get started? I double dog dare ya.
Photo copyright Charles Atlas, Inc. Visit www.charlesatlas.com for the program.
Well done, my friend! Keep your eye on the prize, DG!!!
And I could swear that’s you in the photo! ( but I won’t!)
Great job David. You are an inspiration. You are right it is about setting goals, making it part of your routine, a positive habit and it is soooooo much mental. Thanks for the encouragement to all of us. Ally
Thanks Allyson! I’m not too old to learn new tricks 🙂
well done David, you make me want to get up and do this as well. how much was this program?
Jan, you can find it at http://www.charlesatlas.com
I see a world championship quality speech coming from this, David.
Thanks Rich. Though I shouldn’t be the hero of my own story right?
It sounds like your tailor will be happy with the tweaking he will need to do to your wardrobe. Perhaps you will reward yourself with a whole new wardrobe!
Now there is a stimulus plan!
Please credit the photo to Charles Atlas, Ltd. and their website at http://www.charlesatlas.com
You should also send this link to them! They would love this!
Added the photo credit thanks. And thanks for the inspiration!
A student of ours emailed this link to us. What an amazing Atlas Student you are! Keep up the great work! Mr. Atlas would be proud of you. Keep us posted on your progress. Also please put underneath the photo of Mr. Atlas Copyright 2010 Charles Atlas, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Sincerely yours, Everyone at Charles Atlas, Ltd.
Wow, what a hook sell. This was the most ridiculous, shameless, plug I’ve ever seen. Act like you hate it, then say, “Well, I guess I’ll try it…” Then, “Wow, this stuff really works… No photo, though…” This is, seriously, some silly stuff. Just do some good cardio, eat right and lift, and leave goofy Mr. Atlas back in the 20s where he belongs. I really can’t believe these people are still hocking this crap.
Trust me, I have no commercial interest in promoting Atlas.
You’re right about following the basics but some people (like me) need a little guidance on where to start. I bought the book as kind of a joke and then got some benefit from it. What was most interesting is that so many exercise programs follow the same advice (including nutrition) today. Yeah it was a little goofy, but it helped me get in a routine that works. Still doing it.
(RE: no photo – my wife swore she would disown me if I published before/after photos.)
Man that was great! I’m a 21 year old from scotland, who has just recently found the motivation to excercise and work out! I’d never heard of Charles Atlas, and i don’t think i’ll try his programme, but i enjoyed your blog sir! Very entertaining and the lessons learned at the end were worth the read! Great positive attitude…a belated well done
so, are you still on the CA program? love to hear an update!
I still do a modified mix of the Atlas exercises, especially when I am travelling or at work. I started P90X which is way more intense and trying to keep up with those guys now 🙂 Atals program is based on sound principles and worth a try!
You have got to do olive oil in hair. It really does work. You don’t have to use a cup. I have a ton of hair and I only use like a quarter cup. Short hair, maybe a teaspoon. It does work. Coconut oil works, but it doesn’t give shine, but willkie your hair healthy. Also until I read your story I did not know Mr. Atlas advocated this. I found this out from natural hair sights, and grandparents.
Well done David I just finished the course myself at 50 and I feel great!
Dear Mr. Goad,
Kindly, forgive my delay in personally writing to you, regarding your piece on Charles Atlas® and his Dynamic-Tension® Course.
Your integrity as a journalist is most refreshing!
In my experience, we all have a tendency to form opinions which later we may need to reconsidered as we grow older!
I greatly appreciate your openness, honesty and candor in taking the Charles Atlas Dynamic-Tension® Course!
I applaud you for becoming a true ATLAS MAN!
I can say without reservation that the Dynamic-Tension® Course and the values Mr. Atlas includes in each of the 13 lessons, have helped me personally in numerous ways, over almost four decades.
I first took the ATLAS COURSE when I was quite literally an 87lb. 5 foot 3in. young lad in a Tennessee Military School at 16. I grew and became stronger!
I found comfort in the advice, wisdom, and moral encouragement, Mr. Atlas offered me in the course, which as you well know, is about becoming Mentally,Physically, Morally Strong, which leads to a Healthy and Confident person!
We teach our students that,
“ONE IS NEVER TRULY STRONG, UNTIL HE CAN LIFT THE SPIRITS OF ANOTHER N NEED!”
That principle has helped guide millions of ATLAS STUDENTS, in overcoming difficult life situations and challenges for over 80 years!
Again I commend you and encourage you to continue embracing the Charles Atlas Philosophy in health and happiness for years to come! Like a classic book, you may find more the next time you revisit it!
Yours in Strength & Health,
Jeffrey C. Hogue, JD., LL.M.
Charles Atlas Ltd.
It’s always great to see people following a true leader-who takes it upon him or herself, in the face of adversity, to change human behaviors and motivate others to take back control of their health. There are numerous paths to wellness and many end up with the same results. As a Board Certified Health Educator I’ve found that individuals can be healthy at any age, but the earliest path is usually the best.
What is important to remember is there is no force stronger than the human spirit. We motivate others best by example. Good work!
David our members at our board would really like to about your atlas experience .
Health and strenght JB.
Well done! Finally a person who actually TRIED the Atlas course and posted honest results! So many people TALK about exercise but very FEW people actually do it. The Atlas course can be found for FREE in pdf format here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:UP2pvdcQGfcJ:cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/body_and_health/Charles%2520Atlas%2520%28Body%2520Building%2520System%29.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjSIuY2d3kiAehDdMf07T2b32MbrXBzAv3tyu7Do73vg9FrQKZNyOAgggCJYHCZTyuqT9fy8MQuKAWXKXLEK2bi3x1DacTfmJWl0WaQvinjU9KqpiUWchnKS3SOZt0b1rvwPs14&sig=AHIEtbRKeCo-oojU77poaxgMv87L_ff77w
I have BOTH the Atlas course AND Mike Marvels Dyaflex. I chose to do the Mike Marvel Dynaflex course and achieved pretty much the same results as you did with the Atlas course.
The key is to find an exercise program and to stick with it.
well i actually purchased my copy which came in a very nice binder and i own and original version from London and i achieved
Great results over three months as you say sticking to it step by step and the job is done!
Amazing to hear that the Charles Atlas workout is still helping people to this day!
The Charles Atlas story is still one of the most compelling stories in existence today, despite all else.
He didn’t come up with it himself, though. Another Charles- Charles Roman- helped him put the copywriting and marketing machinery in place.
Here’s some of that amazing story: http://blog.referralcandy.com/2013/07/18/marketing-charles-atlas/
Thank you for the great Charles Atlas story, David.
I used to see his ad in the comic books I had as a kid (looong back!) and used to wonder, what if it really worked? Since I was in India and there was no way of ordering the course, it remained just wistful thinking.
But you have now inspired me to get the course and give it a try.
Best wishes to you and yours.
I enjoyed reading your results from using the Charles Atlas course! I practice dynamic tension with a twist… I practice a variety endorsed by another fitness guru, Leonard Schwartz, the inventor of “HeavyHands” who went on to create a system of dynamic tension like movements that involved moving all four limbs simultaneously to add a “cardio” dimension. I have blogged about the topic of Charles Atlas in relation to Schwartz’ work here: http://strengthendurance.wordpress.com/tag/charles-atlas/ Thank you again for your humility and sharing your results!