Now back in the late 19th early 20th century, physical culturists knew the real ways to get in shape, they used deep breathing, muscle control, gymnastics and some form of weightlifting. These guys taught and trained using methods that seemed almost new to the public when they published courses and for sports. Some of the biggest names of the era were some of the most conditioned, well developed and certainly the most powerful men on the planet. Most of these men hardly used any weights to create the perfect body yet their strength was just phenomenal.
If I had to pick the best PC of the time and possibly the best at his sport is Martin "Farmer" Burns. This man was as healthy in every aspect of the word. He trained everyday in deep breathing, muscle tension, bridging, wrestling and diet. At the age of 50 he had a fight with one of the top boxers of the time and champions as well, Jim Jefferies. The fight lasted 4 seconds, the moment Jefferies shot in, the Farmer took him down and put him in a step-over toe hold and this champion of the boxing world was in his early thirties and was in awesome shape yet an old man beat him to the punch.
The Physical Culturist's of today are no where near superior as the men of yesteryear, these men trained their bodies as a whole not like bits and pieces of different muscle groups. They never isolated their muscles like the guys that do today. They took basic principles and made them the gold standard for pure unadulterated strength, conditioning and endurance. If you don't believe me look them up.