Flexibility and Atlas

Talk about your course experiences, ask questions of fellow Atlas Students and have fun!
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Flexibility and Atlas

Post by curdog » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:41 am

A question was raised recently about whether or not the Atlas system is flexible.

At first glance, one might not think so. There is a fixed number of exercises for the perpetual lesson, a prescribed three mile walk (more exactly, a free-style lunge), nutrition, breathing exercises, mental habits, sleeping habits, etc. There are three important factors, however, that indicate a greater flexibility than might be expected.

First, Atlas gives a MULTITUDE of exercises for each body part. Atlas picks the best, but the knowledge of those other exercises are intended to remain. We know that the body adapts. Any routine that is stagnant for too long makes us prone to injury and boredom. There is a lifetime of wisdom imbedded in the Atlas system. This is true even after we arrive at the Perpetual Lesson. Substitution, addition, but never elimination is my motto here.

Second, any Atlas student will eventually realize that the pictures and the text do not always agree. Atlas sometimes provides additional insight into the text by showing us a variation in the picture. The lesson is obvious. Know correct form, but make the exercise your own.

One of the least used portions of the Atlas course is the self-defense materials. How many of us use this portion of the course? There is a lifetime of study here. You can go to the gym and learn wrestling, boxing, ju-jitsu, handstands, gymnastics. If this is not variety I fail to understand what variety actually is.

Third, the life of Atlas is a model for us. If you view the A&E video on the life of Atlas you will see that he intended for it to be a model for his students. Atlas, with great discipline, kept himself in great shape with Dynamic Tension, but did use variety to achieve his goal. He prescribed a walk, but Atlas ran ten miles. Certainly his students could do that if they desire. He bowled, did handstands, did muscle control, did the "stunts" like bending railroad spikes and tearing phone books. Certainly an Atlas student might do the same.

When one considers these things you begin to appreciate the wealth of the Atlas system. There is actually more in it than a person can do in one life-time. The only way to EVEN BEGIN to accomplish even some of these things is through being flexible with your training, while being disciplined with the program.

Henry Marczak
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Re: Flexibility and Atlas

Post by Henry Marczak » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:40 pm

I'm no Charles Atlas but use his teaching in many ways in my daily life, at 56 I'm energetic, lean, muscular and in great health.

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