Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/546

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of Mr. Fletcher's competitors. Mr. Fletcher informs me that he has done no training nor has he taken any strenuous exercise since February, 1907. On two occasions only during the past year he reports to have done hard work in emergencies; once while following Major General Wood in the Philippines in climbing a volcanic mountain through a tropical jungle on an island near Mindanao for nine hours; and once wading through deep snow in the Himalayan Mountains, some three miles one day and seven miles the next day, in about as many hours. This last emergency experience came through being caught in a blizzard near Murree, in northern India, at 8,500 feet elevation, on the way to the Vale of Kashmir. These two trials represented climatic extremes and Mr. Fletcher states that neither the heat nor the cold gave him discomfort, a significant fact in estimating physical condition.

Before the trial on the Fisher ergograph, the subject's pulse was normal (about 75); afterwards it ran 120 beats to the minute. Five minutes later it had fallen to 112. No later reading was taken that day. The hands did not tremble more than usual under resting conditions, as Mr. Fletcher was able to hold in either hand immediately after the test a glass brimming over with water without spilling a drop. The face was flushed, perspiration moderate, heart action regular and control of the right foot and leg vised in the test normal immediately following the feat. I consider this a remarkable showing for a man in his fifty-ninth year, 5 feet 612 inches in height, weighing 17712 pounds and not in training.

In order to make a more thorough test of Mr. Fletcher's powers of endurance under varying degrees of physical strain he underwent on the 17th, 18th, 19th, 21st and 22d of June, 1907. the following:

1. Going up 32 steps of a spiral stairway at natural speed.
2. While in the lying position, raising the trunk to a vertical position a prescribed number of times and continuing as many more times, at will, as agreeable.
3. While standing with arms upraised to the full bending forward and downward, touching the floor with the fingers without bending the knees.
4. While holding two 25-pound iron dumb-bells, first flexing the elbows and then raising the weights to arm's length above the head.
5. A daily test on the Fisher dynamometer, not for endurance, but for measuring pulse acceleration.
It became necessary to make a change in the character of the movements on the final day of the test on account of the chafed condition of the subject's skin, and we added:
6. "Running in place," with knee lifting forward and upwards to the extreme possible height.
7. Rapid extension of the arms upward, outward and downward.
8. Same as 7, but holding one-pound wooden bells in each hand.

Pulse readings were taken before and after each test, and in the following report the average pulse for each exercise is given:

After quickly climbing 32 spiral steps, five trials, the average pulse was 115.2 beats to the minute.

After trunk raising, five trials, 50, 60, 70, 100 and 100 times; the latter two trials in one day, five hours apart; average pulse, 115.2 beats.

After trunk bending, five trials, 60, 100, 150, 200 and 300 times; the latter two trials in one day, five hours apart; average pulse, 150 beats.

After lifting the 25-pound bells, five trials, 5, 5, 10, 10 and 10 times; average pulse, 138 beats.

After tests on the Fisher dynamometer, four trials, 50, 60, 60 and 60 times; average pulse, 120 beats.

After rapid arm work for three minutes, average pulse, 156 beats.

After similar work holding wooden bells (two minutes), average pulse, 156 beats.

After running in place as rapidly and as strenuously as possible for one minute, average pulse, 144 beats.

After each test the respiration and heart action, while active, were healthy, and, under such conditions, normal.

There was not the slightest evidence of soreness. stiffness or muscular fatigue either during or after the six days of the trials. The chafing of the skin was due to the rubbing of the "tights" worn while lying down and raising the trunk. Mr. Fletcher made no apparent effort to conceal any evidences of strain or overwork and did not show any. He informs me that he felt no distress whatever at any time.