Tag Archives: field manual

Fitness circa 1941


The FM 21-20 U.S. Army Basic Field Manual for Physical Training, circa 1941 (click photo to view .pdf file)

Check this out — it’s the 1941 edition of the FM 21-20, otherwise known as the U.S. Army Basic Field Manual for Physical Training.

I went searching the web for log exercises for us to use at the martial arts club, and I found this thing.  Spent the best part of an hour skimming it.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll find it fascinating how much has changed and yet how much has remained the same, when it comes to working out.  Example: they may call them “Squat Thrusts” but whether you call ’em (I refer to them as Burpees or Down-Ups) they’re still great for fitness.  And as popular now as they were then.

As for those log exercises, I think if we’re going to do the ones they have in the manual we’re going to need a smaller log!