Author Topic: Hebert's "The Code of Force"  (Read 3338 times)

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Hebert's "The Code of Force"
« on: March 11, 2013, 03:18:19 PM »
Le Code de la Force [2nd Ed] G Hébert 1914 Vuibert
G. Hébert - Ship Lieutenant – Former director of Physical Exercises in the Navy – Director of the College of Athletes


The purpose of this book is to develop the question of physical strength, defining in a precise manner the constituent elements and providing a practical way to measure it.
  Without a work in which the concepts relating to strength are codified, errors and prejudices of all kinds have course in this area. So many people think that big biceps are the criterion of strength, others are not regarded as strong as subjects capable of lifting heavy weights, yet others usually apply the term of strapping fellow to any corpulent and tall individual. Now it happens many times that the subject with big biceps shows an obvious inferiority when it comes to running or just to climb quickly up a bit steep rise, that the weight lifter is unable to jump any obstacle and finally the strapping fellow can not even follow a subject of very ordinary ability in marching a bit long, an excursion, a hunting party, etc.. Ignorance of the relative value of performances in the various exercises is almost universal and gives rise to the most fanciful assessments. We can not distinguish the ordinary or average athletic effort; we do not know what you can habitually ask the body without damaging it.
  On the other hand, no method specifies in a concrete way the end that it proposes of physical education or training, that is to say the material results to be achieved. As a result, both students and teachers do not know where they are coming from. Not only do we work without ardor and without gusto when working without a specific goal, but again, we must waste time repeating some exercises without profit. That's why I thought I needed to determine exactly what should be the physical "baggage" of the educated or trained subject. Under the title: "Basic development - Requirements to be considered able to cope", I listed the performances to accomplish and utility movements it is essential to know and be able to execute at any time with ease. I also said, in materializing by the measurable tests with listed performances, the minimum level of general physical level to possess, depending on age, not be a physically helpless fellow. At such age, a subject of normal constitution must walk and run such a distance in so much time, jump such obstacle, lift such weight , etc....
  I finally created a standard sheet of twelve classic tests, listed according to a given scale, called scale of aptitude, which allows measure, in numeric value, of the strength or general physical value of any subject.
  Given the complexity of the elements that characterize physical strength, it is clear that the measure of the value of the strength of a subject is a difficult problem to solve, and I do not claim to have found an exact and definitive evaluation formula.
  As well, as the Code of Force is far from being a definitive work; experimentation helps constantly to complete, correct and modify it if needed (1). (1) I note in this regard that the second edition of the Code of Force (1914) contains - and it will be the same in later editions, following new research and observations - changes in rating scale of performances and of the rules for carrying out tests. These successive changes are only for the purpose of making the elements of evaluation of strength more precise. Original research it contains, as well as all data on the relative value of performance, skill rating, etc.., are the result of long and conscientious studies and experiments made on thousands of people of all ages (children, adults and grown men), of all professions, all origins and all social conditions. This is the main merit of this work and as such it can mark, I think, a new step in the path of progress in physical education.

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Re: Hebert's "The Code of Force"
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 02:26:04 PM »


The best method is the one that will reach the goal as safely and as quickly as possible and its practical application at the same time be the easiest, most enjoyable, least expensive, etc..
  The natural method is derived from a very simple design: Humans, like every living being, should reach full physical development by the sole use of their natural means of locomotion, work and defense. They are more organized to live in the open air, with the natural coating which is the skin, and built to perform a number of exercises specifically designed to meet their needs. These utility exercises form eight distinct groups: walking, running, jumping, climbing, lifting, throwing, natural defense (boxing and wrestling) and swimming. These eight groups of exercises are all useful to varying degrees in the course of all existence.
  For humans, running is the premiere and most important educational exercise. It is the basic or fundamental exercise of the natural method.

  Now consider the human being in the course of existence. To last, nature commands him to resist. Resistance force is the first of the qualities he must possess. In a method of physical education, all should aim to develop this quality to the highest point. On the other hand, life is a constant struggle where the fastest, most agile and most energetic ensures the advantage. Speed, dexterity and action or manly qualities are also essential elements of the force. From the preceding considerations we can deduce the basic characteristics of the natural method:
1.   Daily production, in a determined time, a sufficient amount of work or effort, with the goal to acquire resistance.
2.   Methodical practice of the utility exercises, giving each of them the degree of importance it deserves.
3.   Hardening the body to cold, heat, sun and bad weather by working outdoors, naked body, and reconciliation with the rustic state by the habits of frugality, sobriety and simplicity in the way of living, to increase the value of the overall resistance.
4.   Bringing into play the active or manly qualities: energy, willpower, courage, coolness ...

  To these main features should be added the practical implementation of all means capable of increasing the variety of physical skills and knowledge of the same order: exercises other than essential utility exercises, games, sports of all kinds, dancing, ... the most common manual labor, not to mention the exercise of voice by the song or shout.. In each of the eight types of utility exercises, as in any exercise, there must be a gradation of difficulty or intensity. Some exercises can be broken down into partial or basic movements accessible to the weakest.

  Corrective exercises are also necessary to correct defects and bad posture. However, regardless of the number and variety of basic and corrective exercises, the foundation of the natural method remains composed of eight kinds of utility exercises, performed in the open air, as close to nude as possible. The natural method is thus in complete opposition of spirit  with all other education or physical culture, which specifically consider the basic and corrective exercises, as well as conventional exercises for legs, arms and trunk, as base of physical education.

  The Natural Method of Physical Education is a return to nature, rational and adapted for conditions of contemporary social life. In this method the principle of the daily work session is precisely to restore, for a specified time, the very conditions of natural life. The way of working is therefore very simple. A lesson or work session includes: the exercises of walking, running, climbing, jumping, lifting, throwing, defense, and when you can, swimming.
  It further includes an air bath with at least the torso bare, of variable length depending on the weather conditions, and care of the skin (frictions, ablutions) during or after work.
  It takes place in the open air or, alternatively, in a place as airy as possible.
  It must be sustained and continuous work, with the dose and difficulty varied according to age, constitution, the degree of strength or training of the performers.
  It is finally completed, as appropriate, with songs, games, dances, sports ... or manual work.
  Its duration is one hour on average.

  In summary, the natural method is to make the man do what he is made to do. It addresses all normal subjects, without exception, both child and adult, man and woman. It can be used for both proper physical education, for the special training of the soldier, or the improvement of the athlete. It is suitable for the rehabilitation of adults as well as health maintenance in already trained individuals.

  The way to apply or envision differs depending on the case. With the child, for example, it must maintain an educational character to prepare for growth; with the woman she should aim especially to develop flexibility and grace; with the young man, including the military, it may have an athletic character; and finally with mature man, it must be hygienic. The exercises are the same for all: only the dose and the difficulty varies according to age, sex, social status, level of training already acquired, health, etc..
  Natural processes of development shown above: working outdoors, air baths, practicing essential utility exercises, are as immutable as the nature of man. But the manner of work, grade of difficulties, of combining the exercises and adjusting the technique is essentially perfected by experience.

  The natural method is not a creation of the spirit. Faithful image of life, it reproduces the centuries-old movements that are those of our species. As old as the world, since it has always been practiced instinctively, yet it marks a renovation, almost a revolution in current ideas about physical education.
Physical Education, in its broadest sense, is not confined to the simple methodical practice of physical exercises. Educating a subject is above all seeking to make a "man". But man is not a mere articulated puppet, he has a soul and a brain.
Masculine culture and moral culture are inseparable from purely physical culture. In general, all gymnastic methods fail by this: they do not insist on this crucial point.
  Physical education should be the school of energy; it must raise morals and give rise to noble sentiments, otherwise it only forms brutes or robots. Any educator worthy of the name must not neglect to favor as much as possible the development of manly qualities or of action and exalt to the highest point the sentiments of charity, duty, dedication ... of the subjects which he is entrusted. He himself must lead by example to inspire all to love work and the cult of force.

Offline Gregg HIPK

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Re: Hebert's "The Code of Force"
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 03:06:08 PM »

Purpose of complementary tests.
Further tests are intended to:
1 Provide further evidence of the strength of a subject in addition to the twelve classic events of the type series;
2 Judge the particular skills of a subject in a specific type of exercise. The measure of the ability in a kind of exercise is more accurate and more complete when the number of tests of the same species is greater;
3 Finally determine skill levels and learn about the respective value of performance in a number of exercises or sports practices not included in the type series.

[apologies for format problems]
TEST                                   BASE (0)    ATHLETIC (5)
March - 1 hour                   7 km            8.5 km
March – 10 km                   1 hr 40 m    1 hr 16 m
March – 20 km                   4 hr            2 hr 45 m
March – 30 km                   6 hr 30 m    4 hr 20 m
March – 40 km                   9 hr            6 hr 20 m
March – 50 km                   12 hr    8 hr
Run – 400 m                   1 m 20 s    1 m 4 s
Run – 800 m                   2 m 50 s    2 m 20 s
Run – 1000 m                   3 m 30 s    3 m
Run – 3 km                   14 m            11 m 20 s
Run – 5 km                   24 m      20 m
Run – 10 km                   1 hr            43 m
Run – ½ hr                   6 km            7.25 km
Run – 1 hr                   10 km    14 km
Climb – rope                    5 meters    10 m
Pull-ups                        6            11
Resistance – hanging      2 min    7 min
Press – 2 hands           40 kg    60 kg
Snatch – 2 hands           40 kg    60 kg
Press – 1 hand                   18 kg    28 kg
Snatch – 1 hand              25 kg    46 kg
Jerk – 1 hand              30 kg    50 kg
Lift – 40 kg ballast           1           20
Cargo – sack shoulder   50 kg    75 kg
Throw – 24 tennis balls   6 hit           11
Throw – 2 kg discus           14 m            22 m
Swim - 50 m                   1 m 20 s    58 s
Swim – 500 m                   18 m            12 m 30 s
Swim – 1000 m           40 m            26 m
Dive – headfirst from   1 meter    6 m
110 meter hurdles           26 s            22 s
Throw - javelin                   16 m            26 m
Jump with a pole           1.5 m    2.25 m


Marches: Scale is for marches on flat terrain or very small hills, with a maximum load of 5 kg representing clothing, shoes, and various accessories. The time includes rests or stops the walker may require.
  For each kg of load over the base 5 kg, adjust the times on the table by (kg x (km/10)).  For example, carrying 15 kg [extra 10 kg] for 20 km = 10 x 2 = 20, so base goal is 4 hr 20 m.

Runs: On track or flat terrain, with maximum load of 5 kg.

1: Climb rope as high as possible. Climb a smooth vertical rope, marked every 50 cm. Start standing, hands at a mark 2 m above the ground. Climb without using legs, which must stay to the sides, either straight or flexed. The rope stays between the thighs. The descent may be done either with or without help from the legs. The climb is no longer valid when the climber grips the rope with his legs. The marked height is not considered attained if only one of the two hands covers the mark or is placed just above it. When the climber stops with the hands between two marks, the height attained is coded X.25 m or X.75 m.
  If the rope is not high enough for the climber: After attaining the summit , descend without using legs to 2 meters and place one hand below the mark, without touching the ground with the feet. Begin a new climb without using legs. The height attained on this second try is added to the height of the first climb. Realize the results aren’t the same as if the rope was long enough.

2: Pull-ups. Arms shoulder width, fingers forward. Pull until chin is at level of base of fingers. Descend until arms are completely extended. TIME LIMIT: 1 MNUTE

3: Hanging resistance. Hang from a bar or other object where both hands have a good grip. The legs hang in the air and can not take support anywhere. This test has direct application in dangerous circumstances where salvation depends solely on resistance to the special pain produced by joint tension.

1. Classic lifts of press, snatch, and jerk.
2 hand press: Stand with the feet slightly spread. Lift bar directly from the ground to shoulder level by flexing the legs. Mark a distinct rest time at the shoulder. Lift the bar with the ends of the arms extended keeping the bar horizontal, the legs staying extended. It is forbidden to advance the belly, jolt, or shift the body backward during the extension of the arms; to extend the arms one after the other; finally to displace the feet from their starting places.
  The rest time with the bar at the shoulder is of capital importance. If it does not occur or has too small a value, the press is incorrect and doesn’t count, because the lifter is using momentum from the brisk torso straightening and the lively flexion of the arms, at same time he profits from the elasticity of the muscles of the upper limbs to lift the weight from the shoulders. In the contest, competitors always tend to reduce the stop time as much as possible. To avoid this mistake, a rest time of one, two or more seconds may be imposed.

2 hand snatch: Spread feet slightly sideways. Then grasp the bar with both hands and raise it in one time at the end of vertically outstretched arms using the spring of the legs as much as possible, either by bending or by lunging forward and backward.
The lift is not valid if any rest occurs at any time of the lift or even if the bar is shouldered and the movement ended in a jump.

The principles of lifting with one hand are the same as those of two hands. (The principles of the jerk were indicated in Chapter 3, No. 37.)

1 hand press: During the ascent from the shoulder at the end of the arms, the body must remain vertical. Do not lean right, left or to the rear; legs must remain fully extended.
In all one hand lifting events, to establish the final figure of performance, take the average of the best right hand lift and the best of the left hand.
The records for one hand lift in the performance tables represent the best performance executed with one of the two hands and not the average of a lift with the right hand and a lift with the left hand.

2. Lift the 40 kg “pig” [ballast bar]
  The apparatus is an object of pig iron, of rectangular shape, with handles. The distance between the handles is about 40 to 45 cm.
  In the absence of a pig, run the test with a specially carved stone or a simple bar.
  The test is to raise the pig, as many times as possible, in a time limit of two minutes.
  The lift is performed with both hands, at will by press, snatch or jerk, but with the condition that the feet are constantly on the starting footprints.
  Initially the feet are apart laterally, the pig between them, but in front of the line joining the heel.
  Once the pig is lifted to the ends of the arms extended vertically, it descends directly down and touches the ground, but without releasing the grip of the hands. Begin a new lift and so on.
  A lift is not valid, but it does not stop the continuation of the test, if the feet leave their mark during the ascent or descent; if the pig touches the ground behind the line of the heels or if it is swung behind the legs (this rule is intended to prevent the execution of a two handed "fly" movement); if the arms are not fully extended vertically.
The lift takes place by press, snatch, jerk, or a combination of the three methods. The test is considered finished as soon as the lifter drops the pig, even if the time limit allowed for the test (two minutes) is not reached.
As soon as the pig hit the ground, it must be immediately lifted off the ground. The test stops if the lifter rests the pig on the ground over one second.

3. Load a bag on the shoulder.
How to load is free. Initially the bag is placed is flat on the ground, standing upright, supported  from falling by one of the thighs.
Bags used for the test shall have the following dimensions: 1 m. height and 75 cm wide. They can be loaded with sand, sawdust or other materials provided they are completely filled to a height of 80 cm.
To determine the final figure of performance, taking the average of the highest loading on the right shoulder and highest loading on the left shoulder.

The skill throw is made on a vertical target of 1 meter square located twenty meters away. The lower edge of the target is 50 cm above the ground.
Throw a tennis ball [or an ordinary ball or stone]. The number of throws is 24, twelve with the right arm and twelve with the left arm. The throw takes place on the fly, side-arm, not bottom-up, in the manner of bowlers.
  For a throw to be valid, the thrower must not cross a line exactly 20 meters distant from the target. If he loses balance, he must not touch the ground in front of this line after the release of the ball.
  Any ball that hits the target is considered a hit.
  The target may be divided into several parts for the determination of fractions of points. For example, any ball striking inside a square 50 cm side having the same center as the target accounts for half a point more; any ball striking a square 25 cm side account for 3/4 point more, etc..

The different courses must take place without appreciable current.
In the high diving event, the body must enter the water head first. The drop height is measured from the diver’s feet to the surface of the water.

Special sports tests for adults.
1. 110 m hurdles.
  The 110 meter hurdles takes place in a straight line. The hurdles are 1.06 m high.  They are ten in number and are placed at exactly 9 meters apart. The first is placed 15 meters from the starting line.
  The start is given as for the 100 meter race.
  To determine the final figure of performance, take the average of the best run jumping hurdles on the right foot and the best course jumping hurdles on the left foot, or directly take the time if five hurdles are jumped on the right foot and five on the left foot.
  The records listed in performance tables represent a course run by crossing the hurdles on the same foot.
  For subjects below 18 years the height of the hurdles is reduced according to age, due to the lower level of basic development in the running high jump. This height is as follows:
16 to 18 years   90 cm
14 to 16            80 cm
12 to 14           70 cm
10 to 12            60 cm
8 to 10      50 cm

2. Pole Vault.
The vaulting posts must be separated from each other by at least 3 meters. A stopper made of wood or a special emplacement 30 cm wide, depending on the type of pole used, is arranged between the two posts.
  The height to cross is shown by a perfectly straight, rigid wooden bar approximately 3cm thick. This bar is placed on cleats of 5cm length at most, so it can easily fall at the slightest touch from the jumper.
  Having no bar, use a rope, but tighten it as strongly as possible to avoid sagging between the points of suspension.
  The starting ground or run-up must be perfectly horizontal and hard. The landing ground may be soft.
  A height is not considered taken if any part of the body touches the rope or bar.   Height crossed is measured from ground level to the top of the rod or rope.
  The jumper must land on the ground on the feet. In case of loss of balance, it is necessary that his feet touch the ground before any other part of the body so that the jump can be considered valid.
  The run-up and crossing take place at will.
  To determine the final figure of performance, take the average of the best jump right and the best jump left of the pole.
  The records listed in performance tables represent the best jump right or left of the pole and not the average of a jump to the right and jump to the left.

3 Discus throw of 2 kg.
  The manner of the throw is free. The momentum is taken in a circle, 1.25m radius traced on a completely horizontal plane. It is forbidden to leave the circle. In case of loss of balance, for the launch to be valid, the thrower must not touch the ground outside the circle after releasing the disc.
  The disc must fall within a strip of land formed by two lines from the center of the circle and forming a 90 degree angle. The distance of the throw is measured from the center of the circle to the first imprint of the disk in the soil, then the radius of the circle, or 1.25 m is subtracted.
  To determine the final figure of performance, take the average of the best right arm throw and best left arm throw.
  The records listed in performance tables represent the throw of one arm and not the average of both arms.

4 Javelin throw.
  The javelin must be 2.50 m long and weigh 800 grams. It should be smooth wood and finished at one end by an iron point.
  The throw is done one of two ways: by holding the spear by the middle or the end opposite the tip. The run-up distance is free.
  The distance of the throw is calculated from where the tip of the spear hit the ground to the starting line and perpendicular to this line. For a throw to be valid, the thrower must not cross the starting line with his feet before the launch of the javelin.
  To determine the final figure of performance, take the average of the best right arm throw and best left arm throw.
  The records listed in performance tables are made from the best one arm throw and not the average of the two arms.