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OCT. !2 1901 



Copyright, 1901 
By Adrian Peter Schmidt 

Redficld Brothers, New York 


The subject of this book has been treated con- 
cisely to save the reader's time. 

Anticipating the difficulty of following, success- 
fully, instructions generally given in books, the author 
has spent considerable time and care upon the pen and 
ink drawings illustrating his instructions. 

The exercises described herein have been care- 
fully tested from a strictly physiological point of view. 
They can safely be practiced by persons of middle 
age or beyond, contrary to an existing popular impres- 
sion that active physical exercise should be avoided at 
that stage of life. 

The author's aim has been, not to write upon an 
interesting subject for mere casual reading, but to 
present a practical manual for continuous use. 


The manual should be of very great value to 
all persons who are in search of a short road to 
sound health and thorough physical development, em- 
bodying as it does, an intelligible and concise pre- 
sentation of the excellent methods of rational physical 
culture, taught by the author in his institute, and 
by which all who have studied under him have 

We, who have enjoyed the opportunity of test- 
ing the methods and theories of Professor Adrian 
Peter Schmidt, take great pleasure in sincerely and 
heartily recommending this manual to all who are 
interested in this subject. 

Clarence H. Mackay 

New York 

G. Baumann 

Holland House, New York — Chicago 

(Rev. Dr.) Chas. H. Babcock 

New York 

James D. W. Cutting 

Knickerbocker Club, N. Y. 

Carl Berger 

New York — Newport, R. 1. 

James H. Beekman 

Union Club, N. Y. 

Danial a. Davis 

New York 

E. W. Coggeshall 

New York 

David B. Ogden 

New York 

Frank S. Thomas 

New York Athletic Club 

Geo. Herrmann 

New York 

J. O. Lowson Johnston 

New York — London 

Chas. J. McBurney 

New York 

Count Alexander Hadeck 



The Author - - Cover and Frontispiece 

To Stimulate Energy 


For a Powerful Grip - II 

For Supple, Strong Shoulders - { IV ii 

For Strong, Shapely Ankles - V 13 

To Produce Good Circulation - VI 15 

For Strong Lungs and Chest - VII 17 

Abdominal Exercises - - _ 

For Back Muscles and Spine - X 25 

(VIII 19 

I IX 21 

Natural Massage Exercise For 

Exhilaration - - - - XI 29 

The Bath - - - - - XII 31 


E are living in times that demand more 
and more of our brains and muscles, of 
our nerves and physical energy. Only 
those who are strong, and know how 
to keep so, can stand the wear and tear. 

It pays to stop once in a while to look over 
our machinery and oil the parts that need it. Fail- 
ing to do this we will find our capacity for work 
growing less, until at last we will be compelled to 
stop, giving to others the place that we might have 
filled for many years longer with benefit to ourselves 
and others. 

A due proportion of exercise is essential to the 
perfect working of the functions of the physical and 
mental man. Good judgment, quick thought, self 
control and will power — so necessary in these busy 
days — cannot be retained for any length of time by 
anyone who does not pay proper attention to his 
physical condition ; deplorable results will follow, 
either because of erroneous notions or sheer careless- 





Proper exercise causes the blood to circulate 
throughout the entire body nourishing all its parts ; 
from the lack of exercise the body is unable to main- 
tain its vigor, and the mind, whose health is de- 
pendent upon that of the body, is soon reduced to 
a condition of languor. 

So many have written on the importance of phy- 
sical exercise, that it would be unprofitable to reit- 
erate statements that everybody has read over and 
over again and the truth of which all are willing 
to concede. 

My purpose is a very practical one — to suggest 
a simple plan for exercise in the morning, which will 
take only ten or fifteen minutes, but whose prac- 
tical and beneficial results have been demonstrated 
in my experience as an advisor and instructor in phy- 
sical culture. 

The exercises do not require any apparatus and 
can be taken in a room large enough for you to turn 
around in with outstretched arms. Of course good 
ventilation is essential. 

If you practice these exercises intelligently and 
persistently they will put you in a condition to go 
through your daily work with ease and pleasure. 


Violent exercise (by this I do not mean vigorous 
exercise) should be avoided early in the morning, as 
the condition of the body is rather languid just after 
awakening from a night's sleep, and would produce 
too sudden a change in the circulation of the blood. 
A cold bath without previous exercise should be 
avoided for the same reason, the stimulation being 
too severe and the reaction, though sometimes pleasant, 
is anything but invigorating, as depression soon follows. 

Be moderate in the beginning. 



^latc I 

Here is a simple and rather ingenious plan to 
stimulate energy in a mild way on mornings when you 
do not feel inclined to exert your strength. 

Take in each hand a corner of an ordinary sheet 
of newspaper ( any kind of soft paper will do ) and 
crumple it up until the four corners are brought into 
the palms of your hands, forming paper balls. Avoid 
assisting in the process by pressing the hands 
against the body. The result is surprising. Every 
muscle will be brought into sympathy with the muscles 
of the forearm in the effort to secure the last corner 
( to completely hide the sheets in your hands). Your 
nervous force and blood circulation are thus pleasantly 

Practice this from one to two minutes, beginning 
slowly and gradually increasing in speed. 


Pate I 


Pate II 

Remark : Using these paper balls in the same 
manner as a grip-machine, by grasping them as tightly 
as you can and then releasing the grip without open- 
ing the fingers entirely, repeating this about seventy-five 
times a minute, will insure a powerful grip. Simple 
as this paper grip-machine seems, it is superior in 
many ways to any manufactured device. 

The writer has carried one in his coat pocket in 
cold weather to keep his hands warm by exercise and 
has repeatedly illustrated the strength of his fingers 
by tearing a corner off a full deck of cards, lifting 
with one finger a good-sized man by the belt, etc., 
feats that anyone can perform after persistent exercise. 

This exercise does not make the hands callous nor 
enlarge or deform the joints. It massages the flesh 
covering the inside of the hands, including the thumb, 
and gives them beautiful outlines. 


Pate II 


Pate III 

Very effective exercise for the muscles of the neck, 
the upper trapezius muscles that cover most of the 
upper part of the back and deltoids or shoulder 

Stand erect in a comfortable, natural position, bring- 
ing the outstretched arms sideways, with fists clinched, 
knuckles upward, elbows straight on a horizontal line 
with the shoulders. Compare your position in a mirror 
with illustration. (You can use paper balls for the con- 
venience of having something to steady your fingers.) 

Rotate arms, making fists travel in circles of about 
seven to ten inches in diameter, spending most of the 
energy on half circle marked with X on the dotted Hne. 


^late IV 

Arms the same as in Plate III, trunk inclined 
forward, knuckles downward. For convenience bring 
one leg forward, bending the knee as much as is 
comfortable. Reverse the rotation of your arms. 

This exercise developes that part of the shoulder 
muscles, the absence of which your tailor supplies by 
padding your coat. 

Begin the rotations slowly, laying stress on reaching 
as far sideways as possible, then gradually increase the 
speed. Continue the rotations for one minute in each 
position (III and IV) from forty to one hundred times, 
according to your strength. After this exercise the 
shoulders will require a rest. 



^late V 

To stimulate the circulation in the lower extrem- 
ities and develop the strength of their muscles. 

Standing erect and without bending at the hips, 
raise heels and toes alternately from thirty to sixty 
times according to your strength and the time at your 
disposal. One minute will be sufficient. 

Illustrations A, B, C and D show the various feet 
positions in which this exercise may be taken so as 
to bring into play the different calf muscles. It is 
advisable to take from eight to fifteen exercises in 
each position. 

This exercise should be taken barefooted or in 
stockings on a soft rug. Raise as high as you can, 
avoiding dropping the heels suddenly. 

If you have difficulty in keeping your balance, 
steady yourself by holding on to the back of a chair 
or to a door-knob. 

Remark : Avoid going to extremes at first, 
as the calf muscles are liable to become painfully 
sore the next day. 



Pate VI 

After previous exercise with the weight of your 
body alternately on the heels and toes, the accumulation 
of venous blood gives rise to a tired sensation in 
the leg muscles. To remove this temporary con- 
gestion immediately, lift the right foot off the floor, 
bending the knee, supporting the weight of the limb 
as shown in illustration IV. Move feet from ankles 
a few tvirns to the right and a few to the left ; 
then up and down. Do the same with the left foot. 
If your time is limited operate both feet at the same 
time, sitting on a chair, bed or lounge. 

An elaborate explanation of the physiological 
eff'ects of this exercise would take too much space 
and be of little service to the busy reader. 

I can earnestly recommend it for cold feet, stiff 
ankles and toe joints, headaches resulting from various 
causes, catarrhal inflammation of the mucous membrane 
of the nostrils, etc. Provided you don't wear tight 
shoes this exercise V and VI can be practiced at 
any time with good results. 


llate VI 



Pate VII 

To cleanse the lungs of all impurities that may 
have accumulated during the night and increase the 
blood circulation : 

Take two or three deep breaths, entirely empty- 
ing lungs, and then filling them to their fullest 
capacity. Standing erect, reach upward keeping 
elbows and knees straight, fists clinched or fingers out- 
stretched as you please, and feet comfortably apart, 
say about the width of your shoulders. Bring the 
body from position A to position B repeatedly in a 
rather slow rhythm. 

Lift chin up when in erect position A ( avoid 
leaning backward ), inhale slowly through the nose 
until the lungs are completely filled, elevate the shoul- 
ders as high as you can and draw the abdominal 
walls inward : then release abdominal walls and bring 
the body into position B exhaling through the nose 
or mouth as you please, bending the knees, bringing 
the armpits close to the knees or touching them if 
you are able to do so, attempting to touch the floor 
with the hands about sixteen or eighteen inches from 
the feet. 



Pate VII 


Pate vni 

To stimulate circulation in the abdominal cavity 
and invigorate the muscles surrounding and enfolding 
the assimilative and vital organs, which by reflex action 
of the muscles are themselves invigorated. 

This exercise is practiced lying on the floor on 
some soft yielding but firm surface. A rug folded 
lengthwise or a bed-comfortable will do. An excellent 
exercise-mat may be made from inch or two inch 
pipe-felting, covered with canvas in size three by 
six or eight feet. 

Bring the body from position A to B (or IX-C 
as you are able) by throwing your outstretched arms 
with an energetic semi-circular forward motion towards 
your feet or knees, following with the head and 

Avoid holding your breath while going from 
position A to B but expel the air from your lungs 
by exclaiming " whoo"; this assists, as it brings the 
abdominal muscles into play. 

Avoid relaxing the muscles suddenly when going 
back into position A as the jar resulting is un- 
. pleasant and not beneficial. 



llate IX 

It may be found difficult to follow these in- 
structions strictly at first because of a certain amount 
of stiifness in the knees, hips, spine and shoulder 
joints, or weakness in the abdominal muscles, which 
are to be looked for in people of sedentary habits. 

But no matter how little progress you make at 
first, steadily persist in your efforts to overcome these 
conditions and you will be amply rewarded. 

Stout men will lose a great deal of superfluous 
fat around the waist line in attempting this exercise, 
as the increase of strength of the abdominal muscles 
destroys all fatty tissues which hamper their action. 

If you are not able to reach to your knees with- 
out lifting the feet from the ground, lift them or 
reach only to the thighs, but try to do better next 

The gradual development of the abdominal muscles 
insures a safeguard against ruptures. 




Dumb bells, of from one to five pounds in 
weight, will assist you on account of the increased 
momentum they will give. 

The number of consecutive exercises of this kind 
must depend upon the condition and good judg- 
ment of the reader. Should your limit be five, then 
rest a few seconds and take five more and so on 
until you have taken twenty-five or exercised in this 
way for at least two or three minutes. 

I would impress upon my reader the great im- 
portance of this kind of exercise to health. 




The alternate practice of exercise (Plate VIII or 
IX) and the following exercise (Plate X) has proven 
to be of great assistance for the elimination of gases 
produced by fermentation of food. \ 

This imperfect digestion is generally produced by : 
large quantities of fluids taken with meals, especially 
ice water ; food taken while in a state of nervous- 
ness ; prolonged mental overwork; hasty eating; 
deficient mastication ; late suppers, followed by in- 
sufficient sleep ; insomnia and numerous complications. 

The digestive functions and the nervous system 
act and react reciprocally. 



^late X 

As the reverse of exercise VIII or IX in which 
the abdominal muscles are chiefly involved and the 
spine strongly and repeatedly brought into a convex 
curve, take the following exercise for the back muscles 
and spine. 

Lie on your abdomen with the legs in a com- 
fortable position, chin ( or forehead ) resting on the 
folded arms. 

Consecutively raise elbows, head and chest to- 
gether ( the chin or forehead not leaving the arms 
during the exercise ) from two to nine inches, according 
to your ability, from A to B as shown in illustration, 
with a spring-like motion, not stopping at A. Avoid 
striking the floor with the elbows — put the energy in 
the rising motion. The lumbar region is thus vig- 
orously brought into action. 

Remark : Practice this exercise with forehead 
resting on arms, if not able to occupy illustrated 
position, until joints in neck gain suppleness. 


Persons past middle age will probably have some 
difficulty in raising higher than an inch or two at 
first and will feel exhausted after five or six con- 
secutive attempts. They should rest a few seconds 
after four or five exercises, but increase the height of 
the rise and the number of times in proportion with 
their gain of muscular strength and suppleness of 
spine. One minute will be sufficient. 

Few minutes spent daily in this exercise will 
soon result in correcting the round backs which are 
caused by sitting with in-sunken chest, by exagger- 
ated bicycle riding, etc. 

I have given this exercise with surprising results, 
even to men of sixty years of age. 


Persons troubled with constipation, which is often 
produced by sedentary habits, will find the practice of 
exercises VIII or IX, X and XI, alternately, an 
effective remedy. 

Quite a number of other exercises, combined with 
rational diet, will be found beneficial in such cases, 
varying as they do as to the causes and the con- 
stitution, but it would be outside of the writer's 
present purpose to treat of them exhaustively here. 



Pate XI 

This exercise is rather difficult to illustrate, but 
simple in execution. 

It is like a rocking chair in motion, the spine 
being the rocker. The body is doubled up as shown 
in illustration and this attitude is kept throughout 
the massage exercise. 

Start this exercise by sitting down, clasping the 
hands below the knees, roll into position B and, with- 
out stopping there, roll back into the sitting position 
without unclasping your hands or changing the con- 
vex curve of your spine — in other words, throw your 
body from the sitting position A into shoulder posi- 
tion B and back into A with an uninterrupted roll- 
ing motion, occupying about three seconds. Repeat 
two or three minutes, taking an occasional rest so 
that your breathing may become normal. 

Don't hold your breath, but breathe as naturally 
as possible. 



Pate XII 

That the tonic effect of a cold bath upon the 
nervous system may be fully obtained, it should always 
be preceded by sufficient exercise to put the body in 
a glow — but do not take your bath until you breathe 
naturally and the heart has resumed its normal action. 

It should be taken in such a manner as to wet 
the body all over, beginning with the head, then 
shoulders, chest, back and limbs, requiring in all 
only from two to six seconds. 

Before rubbing yourself, cover every part of your 
body with a bath robe or bath sheet made of Turkish 
towelling, which is preferable to any other material 
because it will absorb the water rapidly. ( If you 
have no such robe or sheet get into bed. ) 

Do not fail to cover your feet also, that they 
may feel the general reaction which follows immedi- 
ately upon covering yourself with the bath robe. 
Rub your hair well with a towel until dry ( it 
strengthens the roots of the hair) and then after 
the reaction has fully taken place rub any part 
of the body that feels wet and follow this by a 
general friction with your hands or a towel, beginning 
with the limbs and following with the trunk, shoulders 
and arms. 


Pate XII 


I wish to emphasize the benefit derived from 
thoroughly wrapping up the body after the cold water 
application. It hastens the reaction and makes it uni- 
form, as it checks the loss of heat all over the body 
at the same time. This is of special importance to 
people who are not in vigorous health. 

Those who think that cold water baths do not 
agree with them will probably change their opinion 
after a trial of this method. 

The writer hopes that he has redeemed his 
promise of a few simple suggestions and that their 
value will be appreciated by all who make use of them. 

Adrian Peter Schmidt 
167 West 57th Street, New York 
Opposite Carnegie Music Hall 

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