Exercises For Building Virility
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
I HAVE in the past devoted a great deal of attention to what I consider the great importance of exercise in the building of virility. Whenever you add to your vitality you in-crease your nervous energy and in consequence add to the virile powers of the body. The more perfect you make yourself as a man, the more complete you will become in every way and the more you will have to perpetuate. If you are so fragile and defective that you are not worth perpetuating, then as a natural consequence you lose, or never develop, the virile powers of perfect man-hood.
Physical activity means exercise for the internal organs as well as for the muscles, and therefore every cell in the body partakes of the benefit. Through the influence on the circulation, exercise has the effect of flushing all parts of, the body with fresh, pure, oxygenated blood and thus has an internal cleansing effect. Dead cells and waste matter are carried away, new building material is supplied, oxygen is brought to every tissue and cell in the most remote extremities, and accordingly every tissue and every cell is filled with life and energy.
Muscular stagnation means a wasting away of the muscles themselves, but it also means much more than this. It means sluggish circulation and a poorer quality of blood. It means inactivity and imperfect functioning of the various vital organs. It means also a lessening of. virility. No man can be sexually normal unless he is physically vigorous and fully alive in every respect. The physical weakling either is or shortly becomes a sexual weakling, for impotence tends to follow directly upon long-continued muscular inactivity. The man who so degenerates in respect to his all-round physical vigor that he is only a mockery of a man is no longer fit and worthy to perpetuate his kind, and the functional channel through which propagation is accomplished deteriorates accordingly.
Therefore, in order to regain your lost manhood, if you have been weakened in this respect, make up your mind to adopt a suitable course of physical training with a view to making a real man of yourself from a muscular or athletic standpoint. You may rest assured that by the time you have reached the general physical condition and vigor of an athlete you will have little to complain of in respect to your sexual condition.
Carrying this idea of exercise as a body and vitality builder to its logical conclusion with reference to this subject, I have recently carried out some studies and experiments which have resulted in some remarkable discoveries in connection with the development of unusual virility. As I have often explained, virility depends to a large extent . upon nervous energy, the harmonious working of the nervous powers of the body. The sexual system and the general physical organism act and react upon each other in accordance with the condition of each. For instance, if you are suffering from spermatorrhea, or from any losses due to the weakness of the muscles of the glands that are intended to retain the life-giving fluids of the body, such losses will naturally affect the general physical organism quite materially. Every drop of these vital fluids is weighted with a tremendous amount of energy, and their loss represents so much wasted force.
The problem is to restore the vigorous muscular tone of this organ and increase the strength of the entire generative system, including the ejaculatory ducts, the seminal vesicles and the posterior urethra. Remember also that seminal losses, particularly in spermatorrhea, and prostatorrhea as well, result from a weakened condition of these parts. The loss of prostate fluid is due entirely to a relaxed and dilated condition of the prostatic ducts. It is essential that these should be contracted, and that all the tissues, muscles and nerves involved should be toned up. Local cold-water treatment, exercises that promote the circulation, and all helpful influences generally, will tend to restore these tissues to a normal condition. But exercise of these parts themselves will directly strengthen them, and that is the purpose of the new method of which I am speaking.
The idea occurred to me that if means could be found actually to exercise the muscular tissue of the prostate gland, great advantages would be se-cured thereby. The location of the prostate gland itself indicates what to my mind is a wise provision on the part of the Creator for the purpose of maintaining the functional vigor of this very important organ. It is well known that if a muscle lies inactive for an indefinite time it becomes soft and flaccid or, even, in some cases, entirely loses its power. Now, the peculiar location of the prostate gland—surrounding the urethra at the neck of the bladder—insures that it is exercised every day, to a certain extent in connection with the passage of the urine. That this remarkable provision of nature is designed to maintain virility in spite of continence continued over a very prolonged period seems very clear. The means of further exercising this gland was easily learned.
You have probably noticed that you have some degree of control over these parts, for probably every one immediately at the end of the act of urinating tries to force out of the urethral canal the few remaining drops by means of a muscular contraction at the neck of the bladder and in the region of the perineum generally. The muscles concerned you can learn to contract voluntarily, and as you practice the exercise you will find that you do it better and better.
There is little need for going into details about the value of exercises of this sort. They have been found in practice to be unusually helpful, and their value will be self-evident to any one who cares to give the idea a brief trial. I am therefore offering a series of what might be termed internal tensing movements, or "Prostate Gland Tensing Movements," the object of which is the acceleration of the circulation and the improvement of the tissues directly affecting sexuality.
Also, while searching for more definite knowledge on this most important subject, I noted the location of the nerves of the spine that radiate to the sexual organs. It seemed conclusive to me that by exercising this particular part of the spine in a vigorous manner, these nerves would be stimulated to function more vigorously and perfectly, thus increasing virility and general stamina. In what is known as the upper lumbar region of the spine, at about "the small" of the back, are located the vertebrae from which issue the spinal nerves that control and supply the energy for the entire sexual system. I am, accordingly, including in this list of exercises some very effective movements for strengthening and stimulating this particular part of the back. They have been named "Lower Spinal Tensing Movements."
Phrenologists have maintained that the seat of the affections, or the emotions influenced by the sexual system, is located at the lower back part of the brain. Now, there is no method of directly exercising the brain in the manner that we exercise a muscle, but the idea occurred to me that by strengthening the muscles at the base of the skull, that is, those located at the back of the neck, one would, to a certain extent, influence the sexual function. I am therefore presenting a method of exercising these muscles under the head of "Upper Spinal Tensing Movements." In addition I am suggesting some entirely new ideas for exercising the muscular tissue adjacent to the sexual system which will undoubtedly have a very decided effect if done regularly. Please note, however, that if there is any doubt as to the condition of the heart, kidneys and blood pressure an examination by a dependable physician in sympathy with these theories is suggested.
PROSTATE GLAND TENSING MOVEMENTS
The best way to acquire the ability to tense the muscles of the prostate gland is to stop the passage of the urine frequently when evacuating the bladder. The muscles concerned are those used to check or control the flow of the urine, and after you have acquired the ability to tense these muscles at will, it will be advisable each time immediately after passing water to tense them from five to ten times, according to your inclination. Don't overdo the exercise. An error of this sort might result in an enlarged prostate, and this is far from pleasant. There are other internal muscles in this region which should also be included in these contractions, particularly those about the rectum and anus. I do not refer here to those voluntary muscles in the abdomen with which one sometimes assists in the movement of the bowels, but rather to those with which one resists the impulse to move the bowels. Get control of these and learn to contract or tense them vigorously along with the muscles of the prostate gland and surrounding parts.
A few contractions of these tissues will not count for much, but if you make the movements frequently it will mean a great improvement in the course of a little time. You can practice them when sitting at a desk, and you will perhaps find that you can contract the muscles more vigorously if you press the knees together at the same time, or cross the legs. You might make it a rule to do this not only after urinating, but also ten or twenty times morning, noon and night, and perhaps at other times during the day.
It is a good plan also, at frequent intervals when urinating, to use considerable effort with a view to forcing out the urine as fast as possible. This of course to a certain extent exercises all these muscles, in addition to the muscular tissues of the bladder and abdomen generally. I consider this plan invaluable in the treatment of stricture, since forcing the stream in this manner is naturally inclined to enlarge the opening and assist in remedying any obstruction of the passage.
LOWER SPINAL TENSING MOVEMENTS
To acquire the ability to tense the muscles of the lower spine place the end of one finger upon the spinous process or bony structure of the spine in the small of the back, and the other fingers on the muscles on each side. Then, through the mere effort of your will, tense the muscles in this region vigorously. You may find this difficult at first, but if you are fairly muscular, you will soon secure full control of these muscles. You should practice these tensing movements or contractions of the muscles until tired two or three times a day, or whenever you find it convenient. The exercise can be taken when slightly bent forward, while standing erect, or while lying down. If you practice them with sufficient regularity you will actually be amazed at the change in the character of the muscular tissue in the small of the back. Furthermore, you will notice a tendency to stand erect, and an absence of that weakness of the spine which is such a tremendous handicap to those suffering from sexual weakness of any sort. Later in this chapter I shall refer to some supplementary exercises for the spine, for those who have time, but I would particularly urge careful attention to these spinal tensing movements in all cases. Practice them faithfully and persistently if you wish good results.
UPPER SPINAL TENSING MOVEMENTS
Control of the upper spinal muscles may be acquired in the same manner as in the case of the lower ones. Place the fingers on the back of the neck just below the base of the skull, and endeavor, through an effort of the will, to tense the muscles, avoiding as far as possible any contraction of the muscles in the front of the neck. Give your entire attention to the muscles on the back of the neck. "Concentrate" your thoughts there. If the muscles are well developed, little effort will be required to obtain full control of them; other-wise it may take some time. When you are able to tense them at will, you will not need to depend upon placing your hand thereon. You can tell by the feeling of the muscles themselves that they are being properly tensed.
The exercise can be taken while sitting, standing or reclining, though as a rule control is more easily obtained in the beginning in a standing position. It may be repeated two or three times a day, or whenever convenient, provided that your efforts are not continued beyond ordinary, fatigue at any time.
The exercising of the spinal muscles has a tendency to strengthen and stimulate the spine generally, and this also must react favorably upon the sexual system. At the same time the use of these muscles will tend to make you sit and stand more erect, giving you a better and more manly appearance, and all this has a mental effect outside of its physiological influence.
In addition to these special exercises, I would particularly suggest the following movements which are entirely new and which can be strongly recommended for the building of virility. Each one of these movements may be taken at almost any time of the day when convenient, and may be continued until a feeling of fatigue is induced.
This movement has a peculiarly beneficial effect upon the internal organs located in the lower part of the abdominal region. It consists in bearing down slightly just as one would when endeavoring to move the bowels. Care should of course be taken when beginning this exercise to avoid strain of any kind, especially in the case of one suffering from spermatorrhea or from rupture. In fact, when these two complaints are present it might be well to avoid the exercise altogether, or at least to do it very lightly and infrequently. What is termed "straining at stool" is supposed to be injurious when there is the slightest tendency toward spermatorrhea, but in the exercise as above described there need be no strain, merely pressure that can be regulated in such a manner as to avoid strain of any sort. Continue the movement each time until a slight feeling of fatigue is noticed.
DRAWING IN THE ABDOMEN
This exercise is of special value in increasing abdominal strength, and consists simply in the drawing in of the lower abdominal region to the fullest extent of your capacity. If one is not fairly well developed in this region the exercise may be difficult at first, but by practice you will soon be able to obtain full control over these muscles. Draw the abdomen in as far as you possibly can, relax, and then repeat the exercise, continuing until a sense of fatigue is noticed.
HIP TENSING EXERCISE
The easiest way to learn this exercise is to attempt it when standing erect. Tense the muscles of the extreme upper legs and of the buttocks, placing the hands on the muscles so that you may be able to determine whether or not you are properly performing the exercise. When correctly executed, you will feel the muscles harden under your touch each time you tense them. The circulation of the blood through the hips and upper legs is very greatly accelerated by this movement, and the improvement in the quality of the tissues adjacent to the sexual parts undoubtedly has an influence of special value.
SPINE STRETCHING EXERCISE
The object of this exercise is to stretch and tense the spine throughout its entire length, thus arousing to greater activity practically every organ of the body, and one of its ad-vantages is that it can be taken anywhere, whether sitting, standing or walking. Simply endeavor to bring the head upward and backward as far as you can, stretching the spine and flexing its muscles throughout its every part as vigorously as you possibly can. Re-lax and repeat the exercise until a feeling of fatigue is induced.
I regard the above exercise as being of unusual importance in virility building, and have there-fore called special attention to them, but, of course, additional exercises will help. The movements referred to in the few pages following may be regarded as supplementary. If you have time enough, you can map out an exclusive course of training. But if your strength is limited in the beginning, or if you have very little time, you will get most benefit from the special exercises outlined above.
Now taking up ordinary exercises for the external muscles, I may say that there are two or even three types which should receive careful attention: first, special movements which affect the sexual region in a stimulating manner; second, general exercises for all around bodily vigor; and third, additional spinal exercises for stimulating the nervous system and thus reacting upon the generative system.
The first type of exercises, consisting of special movements of a stimulating nature, are particularly valuable in the treatment of varicocele, and are useful also in the case of impotence or "lost manhood." In the ease of those suffering from masturbation, night losses, spermatorrhea or prematurity, in whom there is already over stimulation of the sex organs they are of value but not so desirable as in the former conditions. These cases especially require the general exercises for all-round vigor. The exercises for the spine are valuable in every instance.
The special stimulating exercises of most value for local strengthening of the sex organs, are those which bring into action the muscles of the adjacent parts of the body, notably the abdomen, the hips and the upper thighs, especially the adductor muscles of the thighs. Such exercises not only strengthen the particular muscles concerned, but they also strengthen, and increase the circulation in all the adjacent organs and tissues.
These special exercises will naturally consist of such movements as the following: Lying on. the back, raise the hips off the floor as high as posible. Lying on the stomach, raise legs and shoulders high from the floor, with hands behind the back. Lying on the back, flex the knees tightly against the abdomen, either one at a time, or both together. Lying on the back, raise the legs to perpendicular position. Lying on the back, raise one leg at a time to the perpendicular, then endeavor to swing it inward across the body. Lying on the right side, place the weight of the lower body on the left or upper foot, and try to raise the hips slightly. Similar movement on left side. Lying on the back, with feet held firm, rise to sitting position. Lying on the side, swing the upper, leg upward as high as possible. Lying face downward, raise one leg at a time up-ward and backward as high as possible. Lying on the back, swing the right leg over the left and stretch it as far across to the left as you can. Same with left leg to the right side. Lying on the back, with knees doubled against chest, kick upward alternately with each leg. Better yet if a heavy pillow is placed under the hips to elevate them.
Any other exercise that you may devise that affects the same general region of the body may be used. Any movements of the legs that involve the "scissors" action, or which approach the acrobatic feat known as the "split," will more or less affect this region. Swimming is a capital exercise because the action of the legs, whether it be in the scissors or frog kick, is exactly suited to the requirements under consideration, and in fact swimming is of unusual value in building general vitality as well as virility. Fast running is also effective in the same way, but it is such a violent exercise for a debilitated man that he must be very careful in the beginning not to exhaust himself. High kicking is another exercise which may be commended, like running, after one has gained a material degree of strength. High kicking would be suggested in a case of varicocele, if there is not too much tenderness and pain.
In a case of varicocele or much congestion of the prostate gland, it might be advantageous to relieve the blood pressure in this region, at least so far as the veins are concerned, by assuming an upside-down position for two or three minutes at a time, and by executing some special exercises in that position. An elevated position of the hips, secured through the use of pillows, or lying on an inclined plane, head downward, would be satisfactory; or, what would be a little more strenuous .but also more effective, you could assume a position balanced on the shoulders and back of the head. Lying first on the back, raise the legs, extending them upward and raising the hips and back until you can rest the elbows on the floor and support the small of the back at each side with your hands, practically standing on the back of your shoulders. In this position you can spread the legs apart and bring them together again, execute a scissors movement, double the legs and then kick them up, and perform other movements which you may be able to work out for yourself. This position and these exercises will tend to get the stagnant blood out of the congested parts. Remember that in the upright position of the body peculiar to the human race there is a considerable column of blood in the large veins which must be forced upward to the heart. The large abdominal veins are sometimes greatly distended, with much pressure. The above position will relieve this and favor the movement of the blood in the smaller congested veins. I would particularly recommend this treatment when a case of varicocele is accompanied by much pain.
Usually if the heart and other organs are healthy and in tone it will be desirable to combine the special exercises which I have described with general body-building movements. For in all cases one must build all-round bodily vigor. It would be best to use the general and spinal exercises first each morning, then after the general circulation has been aroused, to take the special exercises for the purpose of concentrating the circulation, to some extent, in the region of the genital organs. Finally take a friction rub and a cold sitz-bath. Altogether, this might take up thirty or forty minutes, perhaps less. Don't be too strenuous at first, for all these exercises are very effective. Don't continue to the point of exhaustion. Feel your way carefully in the matter of exercise, and gradually become more energetic. As I have said, when the sex organs are already over-stimulated, as in masturbation, seminal losses and prematurity, it will be just as well to avoid the special exercises, and confine yourself to the spinal movements and those for general body building.
A form of exercise or massage which will be found stimulating in cases of complete impotence, is percussion of the abdomen. This is particularly effective in relieving constipation, and will also help a weak bladder and influence the prostate gland. It consists in a rapid tapping or pounding of the abdomen with the tips of the fingers, the sides of the hands, or the fists, according to how strong you may be and how vigorous you desire to make the treatment. But it should not be attempted when there is inflammation or congestion of any of the parts, or if one suffers from seminal losses.
We now come to the subject of general exercises for building all-round bodily vigor which are necessary in every case, of whatsoever kind. It is not my purpose to insist upon any particular kind of movements for this purpose, because you may choose to vary your exercise for the sake of interest. The kind of general exercise does not matter so much as the fact that you actually get it, and thus build general strength. Build up every part of the body as thoroughly as possible.
In order that you may not overlook the importance of this, let me emphasize again with all possible force, the intimate relation between general physical weakness and sexual debility. The muscular weakling positively cannot expect to become sexually vigorous until he builds up a robust condition of body.
I am convinced, in fact, that it is practically impossible for one to continue to suffer from a disorder like varicocele, prostatic congestion, or congestion of any other part of the body, if he daily engages in a sufficient amount of athletic exercise to keep the blood circulating vigorously for any length of time. Without any special treatment the improvement in the general circulation would inevitably restore a normal circulation and a healthy condition in the diseased parts. In other words, the athletic man may not only endure more abuse, but he can the more readily overcome the results of any abuse which he may have suffered. I can promise that long-continued and active exercise like distance running, tennis, handball, clog dancing, rope skip-ping, or very fast walking, by bringing about and maintaining for two or three hours at a time an unusually active circulation throughout every minute tissue of the body, would very quickly dispose of any case of varicocele, or congestion of the urethra, prostate or other parts. If you can take daily exercise of this kind, almost athletic in character, in connection with any special or development exercise needed, and thereby influence the general circulation in this way for two or three hours at a time, you will find that it will exert a powerful curative influence.
I realize that the sexually weak man is usually too debilitated at first to follow out any such vigorous program. He should not attempt it in the beginning. But it represents the ideal toward which he should work. He should gradually build himself up until he has attained this athletic quality and his body is a picture of normal muscular development. This is possible at any age. Don't think that you have to be under twenty or any other age to develop yourself.
Above everything I recommend walking as a constitutional tonic and general exercise for building endurance and vital stamina. If you are not strong, start in with moderate walks, continuing only until slightly fatigued. Don't half-kill yourself. Each day slightly increase the distance until you are able to cover ten or fifteen miles without special inconvenience. You should reach that condition in three months in most cases, perhaps sooner, and when you can walk ten miles without being tired, you will be making fine progress. Don't poke along in a lazy manner. Step out briskly, so as to induce deep breathing and even perspiration. That's the kind of walk that will build vitality.
Do not forget what I have said about the tonic effect of outdoor life of any kind. Try to live in the open for a time, and as you get stronger indulge in as many open-air pastimes as you can. Splitting wood I consider an ideal strength-building exercise, but don't exhaust yourself in the beginning. Pitching hay is another superb exercise, and farm work in general can be recommended. Climbing trees, if you are in the country, is one of the most pleasant and most satisfactory exercises that I can suggest. Swimming I have already mentioned. But as you become sufficiently vigorous I would by all means recommend such energetic games as handball, tennis, baseball, football, hockey, boxing, and wrestling. Horseback riding is of doubtful value in cases in which there is congestion or irritability of the prostate gland, or possibly aggravated varicocele. Remember that open air life builds nerve strength, as well as muscular vigor, and that you particularly need to build up the nervous forces of the body.
The spinal exercises are of exceptional importance as a means of invigorating the central nervous system. To the spinal tensing movements which I have specially advised, you may add other exercises which affect the muscles and ligaments of the back, and especially those which tend to stretch the back bone. In fact, all body stretching and trunk-bending exercises may be considered as suitable for the spine, but for the present purpose one should give particular attention to movements that affect the small of the back. While hanging by the hands from some support, preferably against the side of a high fence, wall or door, bend or raise the legs far backward from the hips. This affects the lower spine. Also, for the same purpose, lying face downward, and holding the shoulders down by taking hold of something, raise the legs as high as you can from the hips. Lying face down, with legs held down, raise head, shoulders and chest as high as you can. Standing with hands on hips, feet apart, bend far backward and for-ward; also twist, from the waist, far to each side. Then circle the body around, rotating from the hips, first in one direction, then in the other. While stretching the back, with arms high above the head, bend far to each side. All of these movements will directly affect the part of the spine that you desire to influence for this purpose, though of course other exercises for the upper spine, including neck bending and stretching, will naturally help, through their general stimulating effect upon the entire nervous system. I may say that I have given considerable attention to spinal exercises in my book, "Vitality Supreme," but those I have mentioned here will cover your needs for the purpose under consideration. Perform each movement only a few times, for they are extremely energizing and effective, but don't be lazy in their execution.
The time to take your exercise will depend somewhat upon your work. It may sometimes be necessary to take it in the evening. I would lay down no rules, except that it is not best to exercise just before going to bed when you find it too stimulating. A good plan in most cases is to do the formal exercises in the morning, first general development movements, then spinal exercises, then the special movements, following them by a quick friction rub and a cold sitz-bath. If the cold sitz is not suited to your case, take a cold sponge bath instead. Take your walk or other outdoor exercise later in the day, preferably late in the afternoon, but in the evening if your work makes this necessary.