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This illustration, like the image on page 36, demonstrate how crucial the cult of physical fitness was for the Soviets. Here we see two naked male bodies standing in positions that suggest stretching, straining and pushing away obstacles.


This book emphasizes a strict fitness regime for workers, in line with Lenin’s well-known practice of daily calisthenics, and inspired by the fictional revolutionary hero Rakhmetov from Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s 1863 novel What is to be Done?, who eats a special diet and maintains a regime of strengthening exercises. On page 46 a speech from the 5th Party Congress by Nikolai Bukharin is excerpted, underlining the importance of physical training for young citizens. The dietary guide excerpted from the journal Samostroi (Self-Built) on page 54, suggests 10 fresh apples a day plus two pounds of nuts and “not a drop of water.”