History

On Chest Development – Strength Magazine – March, 1915

Almost everyone interested in physical culture rightly considers that a large chest is an indication of general strength. Public opinion, in this respect, is quite correct, but the surprising thing is that very few physical culturists seem to know exactly what the chest is, or how to develop it. I have conversed with hundreds of young men who were firmly convinced that the term “chest ” applied only to that part of the trunk lying between the armpits and in the front part of the body. They confuse the terms “chest” and “breast.” The chest, properly speaking, is the whole of the trunk from the armpits to the line of the lowest floating ribs; in other words, it is that part of the trunk immediately adjacent to the ribs. The chest contains the heart and lungs inside the ribs; outside, the ribs are covered by large and very powerful muscles. While many young men seem to suppose that the chest is only the
front part of the body, nevertheless when they take their “chest measure” they pass the tape around the whole body-front and back. The resulting measurement shows the amount of muscular development a man possesses, as well as the size of the box, or compartment, formed by the ribs. The theory is, that the larger. the rib-box, the larger the lungs contained therein, and many people frequently confuse size with quality.

Stark CenterUniversity of Texas