Beefcake on the menu with these vintage bodybuilding ads

6 August 2009

Round these parts, we’re a bunch of tough consumer-focussed dudes, with muscles that ripple like erm, raspberry ripples? You literally can’t move for dumb bells and discarded tins of ultra-protein supplement shake drinks. Or something.

We’re also indebted to a Ukrainian bloke called Demetri who hangs around the back of the gym and sells us special injections that make our guns look like Pat Butcher’s thighs.

But it wasn’t always this way. Back in the past, men would get big and strong by sending off for bodybuilding tips from Charles Atlas and men of his ilk. Atlas regularly advertised in the back pages of magazines, boasting about how he could turn you from a puny pipsqueak into a raging strongman in just seven days.

Now Bizcovering have collected some of those glorious ads together in one place – it’s almost like a museum exhibition that could possibly be called ‘The Tragedy Of Puberty.’ Illustrations regularly show how weaklings get barged off the dancefloor or have sand kicked in their faces by the beach bully.

Put it this way, if anyone ever kicks sand in our faces it’s because we’re feeling a bit hot and weird and we’ve paid them to do it.

[via Presurfer]

TOPICS:   Advertising


  • Mike e.
    Ahh, when adverts were able to condone violence...
  • Nobby
    So they were advertising planned violent revenge attacks. I'm sure the Daily Mail would have something to say about it if they were advertising to today's youth.
  • William
    I am suprised at everyone saying they would be suprised at advertising today as Charles Atlas has been in business for over 80 years! They have been one of the tried and true companies that are from the fitness industry that are still in business today! As such their advertisements didn't condone violence, in fact they helped prevent violence. The skinny kid that built himself up was able to fight back against a bully that likely hit them numerous times if not worse. Charles Atlas inspired me to get fit and stay that way. He is the best and I hope his company goes on forever!
  • Sam
    Charles Atlas is the man!
  • Davida T.
    Very sweet! I always feel nerdy when I find this kind of stuff interesting.

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