Back in the “olden days,” certain fitness people used to get royally pissed whenever I wrote about doing abdominal exercises.
“You can’t spot reduce,” said Mr. Nay Sayers.
“Is that so?” I replied. “And who said I was saying that?”
“Well, you’re telling people to do these exercises that will burn fat off your waistline,” he replied.
“Nay, how do you think most excess body weight is eliminated?”
“You shit it out,” he said.
“Aaah,” I replied. “Do a little more research. You’ll find that deep breathing plays a major role in how much and how often you shit – but you’ll also find that most of the weight people lose is actually excreted through the breath in the form of carbon dioxide.”
“What? That makes no sense at all.”
“True. It makes no sense until you do the exercises and you start filling the toilet with debris. When that happens the images in your brain tend to reorganize themselves so you can see reality better. Even so, no matter how big your stools, you’re still breathing out most of the weight that you lost.”
“Look, I’m willing to give these exercises a try if they’ll improve my digestion.”
“Trying doesn’t work. You either DO the exercises or you don’t. That’s it. No trying.”
“Alright, I’ll do them then.”
“Good to hear. Let me know how much crap you spot reduce.”
Back in 1914, Farmer Burns nailed it when he wrote: “Breathing exercises alone, if done RIGHT, will make many a weak man strong and many a sick man well.”
When you DO THE EXERCISES, something extraordinary happens. You get stronger, leaner and more flexible. Your body changes inside and outside. And yes, your digestion improves dramatically – and this is verifiable when you go to the toilet.
Not only did the Farmer use his teachings on deep breathing and bodyweight calisthenics to train future world wrestling champion, Frank Gotch, but he regularly performed strength feats that are beyond the level of the Shaolin monks, most notably, the hangman’s drop (not something I recommend anyone try), regardless of neck size and/or strength.
By the way, I must mention, the Farmer had an 18″ neck at a bodyweight of 165 pounds, so I guess you can say he knew what he was doing strength-wise, can’t we?
Farmer Burns was on the physical culture scene many years before Charles Atlas. So it’s possible that Atlas’ course was inspired, in part, by the Farmer’s. During that era, people understood that you cannot become a great wrestler or boxer or fighter of any sort, without great conditioning methods – and those methods involve using your breath in a deep way.
Burns, unlike Atlas, wasn’t a bodybuilder. He focused on functional strength, speed and stamina – but he combined these teachings with the idea of creating superior health.
I continue to learn a ton about strength, health and fitness from the Farmer Burns course. I have not only studied it in earnest, I keep going back to it.
How on earth did Burns, for example, do the hangman’s drop and not get injured, much less put himself six feet under?
Well, the Farmer doesn’t reveal the secret to his hanging stunt in the course, but when it comes to flattening your stomach and giving yourself washboard abs, that six-pack look, as well as increasing overall body strength and speed, he most definitely does.
After I began practicing the exercises the ole Farmer taught for flattening your midsection and increasing speed and power in your hands, it was only a matter of days before people noticed that I looked and moved differently.
And that’s when I began to realize I must do my part to make this course available to people throughout the world. Why? Because the exercises are simple yet profound. And because you don’t need much room to move, they can be taken with you anywhere.
The exercises don’t require a gym or an investment in fitness machines, gizmos or gadgets. In fact, once you have the exercises in mind, they are with you for life. No one can ever take them away from you.
And the most important exercise in the course can be done in the shower, while sitting in a chair or while waiting at a traffic light. You can do it while lying in bed or as you stand in line in a store. You can do it while cooking or talking on the phone.
It’s truly amazing when you think of the versatility of an exercise that focuses on how you breathe and tighten specific muscle groups.
It feels almost miraculous when you consider the positive effects, not only on your waistline, but on your digestion. Years ago I referred to these breathing exercises as a type of “cosmic fiber” and I still use that term today.
You can begin doing these exercises immediately when you leaf through Farmer Burns classic Lessons in Wrestling and Physical Culture.
With your order we will also send you an autographed copy of “yours truly” on the cover of an MMA magazine.
P.S. For those of you interested in submission grappling or olde-time catch wrestling, I recommend getting the full blown Farmer Burns video course – where I take everything in the 12-lesson printed course and give it even more LIFE, which isn’t easy.