Author Archive

Dr. Conor Heffernan

Dr. Conor Heffernan was an assistant professor of sport studies and physical culture at the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Heffernan now resides in Belfast, providing sociology of sport lectures at Ulster University, which specializes in European and American health. Dr. Heffernan's work examines the transitioning nature of diets in the twentieth century.

The History of the Gomad Diet
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The GOMAD, or ‘Gallon of Milk a Day’ diet, is often the go-to option for hardgainers struggling to gain weight in an easy and relatively straightforward way. Advocated by strength coaches, the dark recesses of the internet, and the occasional big guy at the gym, there is no denying the impact the approach has had on […]

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Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Workout (1984)
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Source: Ronald Reagan, ‘How to Stay Fit’, Parade Magazine, December 4 (1983), 4-6. Not long ago, the editors of Parade asked whether I would write an article on how I try to keep in shape. I said I would be delighted because I am a great believer in exercise, not only for reasons of fitness but also for […]

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The History of the Jumping Jack
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Most of us would agree that jumping jacks are not the most glamorous exercise, but one that nearly everyone has done at some point in their lives. Jumping jacks, depending on your experience, will either bring back fond memories of PE in school or result in you picturing tired members from your last circuit class.  […]

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The ‘Great Competition’: Bodybuilding’s First Ever Show
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Given the number of bodybuilding shows held every month, let alone every year, in places like the UK and USA, it’s difficult to imagine a time when their bodybuilding shows were relatively unheard of. Yes, vaudeville shows where performers would show off their muscles had been established in the 1800s, but it took some time […]

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The History of Gold’s Gym
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In 1965, former bodybuilder and US Marine Joe Gold opened up a gym in Venice, California, as a place for himself and his friends to train. Charging $60 a year, Joe kept costs down by making his own gym equipment, skimping on the heating, and recruiting every bodybuilder worth his salt as a member. Unbeknownst […]

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