Weider

Back in the day, you didn’t just read comics to read the actual comics. The adverts were just as important — and sometimes not a little more enjoyable. Some of the most oft-repeated ads were for bodybuilding courses such as this one from Joe Wieder. Probably the most famous of all was the Charles Atlas one, with the ‘hero of the beach’ strip that fed the dreams of comic geeks everywhere for decades.

To a growing lad the idea of adding 3 inches on the arms and 4 inches to the chest muscles was important — with a capital I. I even took to using a spring-loaded chest expander, and regularly did press-ups on my bedroom floor. Didn’t work of course. After months of this my biceps still looked like knots on cotton. Sob!

Mind you, if these kinds of ads were still appearing in comics it probably wouldn’t be your arms they were promising to extend by 3 inches…