In this episode we explore exercise through the ages, from Ancient Greece to Victorian strong men - and their bar bending and book ripping antics. Exercise was often prescribed by doctors from the Renaissance to the modern day – usually in the form of horse riding, walking and gymnastics. We also explore the gendered origins of what is known as calisthenics – that is, exercise that is focused on grace and litheness, rather than visibly developed muscles.

We also uncover the history of some great publications, including the aptly titled ‘British Manly Exercises’!