Vintage Fitness: 1950s Exercise Expert Johnnie Lee Macfadden

J. L. Macfadden, 88, An Expert on Fitness

Johnnie Lee Macfadden, an author and physical-fitness advocate, died April 6 at her home in Manhattan. She was 88 years old. She died after a lengthy illness, her family said.


A native of Fort Worth, Mrs. Macfadden had a first career as an interior designer. In 1948, she became the third wife of Bernarr Macfadden, the physical culturist and publisher who died in 1955 at the age of 87. She was a regular monthly contributor to her husband’s publications, “Physical Culture” and “Health Review,” lectured on fitness, appeared on television talk shows, developed her own line of creams and lotions, and maintained a counseling service on mental and physical health in her apartment until the time of her death.


She was the author of “Barefoot in Eden: The Macfadden Plan for Health, Charm and Long-Lasting Youth,” published by Prentice Hall in 1962. Mrs. Macfadden is survived by a son, Jack of Brooklyn; a daughter, Carol Tumbridge of Denver; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Source: The New York Times – 4/29/1992

Fitness History Video: Home Exercise Circa 1900s

Vintage Exercise 1900s

Incorrect Exercise Technique Isn’t A New Thing

I hope this woman wasn’t moving as fast as shown in this video. She might have suffered a head injury swinging those dumbbells around. Poor exercise technique isn’t a new thing.
If you look around the gym, or a public park and notice how people are using the equipment, you will see similar mistakes, such as moving too fast, poor posture, not breathing properly, and incorrect alignment. Even when slowing this video down, the mistakes are still apparent.