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The Breaking Muscle Podcast

Oct 19, 2017

CrossFit, SoulCycle, and many other group-class fitness brands have exploded in popularity over the last decade. Part of the success these brands have enjoyed is owed to the fact that each of them fulfill the fundamental needs people have for community and exercise.

One of the greatest fitness communities ever created came about in the 1950s, based largely on systems developed in ancient Greece. This program produced unparalleled results, with the bulk of participants mastering double-digit pull ups, extension press ups, handstand push ups, and 2-mile times under 14 minutes, among a myriad of other impressive feats. Better still, they accomplished all this with zero recorded injuries.

This is the story of a high school physical education program created by Stan LeProtti, and first implemented at La Sierra High School in California. Historian Ron Jones and director Doug Orchard have created The Motivation Factor, a documentary about how this groundbreaking program inspired President John F. Kennedy to create similar programs in 4,000 schools across the United States. This amazing story sheds light on the role of physical education throughout history, why it should form the backbone of all education, and how it represents a solution to many of our most pressing societal issues.