Still, further, it is found that many of the present setting-up exercises made an extraordinarily wide variation of effort between heavy and light men. The light man would put in only a small amount of muscular effort, whereas the heavy man, in the same length of time and under the same exercise, would be taxed far more than he could comfortably stand.
Again, in the point of age, similar variations necessarily exist. Naturally it is out of the question to assume that the youth from eighteen to twenty-five and the man of fifty-five to sixty can take the same amount and the same kind of exercise. On the other hand, if we consider the work each is required to do in his daily routine, we can, so far as the setting-up exercises are concerned, bring the two points nearer together, especially if we regard these setting-up exercises in the proper light—a mere preparation for the more onerous tasks that are to follow.
Bearing all these points in mind, we test out the setting-up exercises so that we may obtain a set answering the following requirements:
First—Reduce them to a period of eight or ten minutes once or twice a day.
Second—Make them simple for leaders to learn.
Third—Eliminate movements that, on account of the daily work, are unnecessary.
Fourth—Render them more difficult of evasion or shirking.
Fifth—Direct them specifically in the line of increased resisting power, endurance, and suppleness.
Sixth—Make them of value in establishing co-ordination, muscular control, and more prompt response to command.
Seventh—Equalize them for use by both heavy and light men.
Eighth—Select the exercises in such a way that the set may be of nearly equal value to both enlisted men and officers, as well as to executives behind the lines.
Many of us have seen setting-up drills of various kinds. Moving pictures of such drills show in a very striking way how much of the work not only could be slacked, but is being slacked right along. In fact, high officers in our service have become so disgusted with the setting-up exercises as to consider abandoning them altogether. In some stations or cantonments a great many men were tired out with the setting-up exercises; so much so that they had neither life nor vitality for some little time for other work. For the sake of illustration, let us examine one particular movement. It consists of the men lying flat on the ground or floor; then, with straight back, lifting themselves by the arms; finally, giving a jump with the arms and clapping the hands together once, and then coming back to the original position. The non-commissioned officer who was leading this exercise weighed about 138 pounds. It is easy to imagine the contrast between his doing this stunt and a heavy man of 180 or 190 pounds attempting it.