The exercise visionary Sim D. Kehoe believed that the swinging of Indian clubs could lead to utmost fitness. To his great credit, he recommended such workouts for properly attired ladies as well as men who dreamed of becoming the next Eugen Sandow. In fact, Kehoe had high hopes that Indian club training would help cultivate a certain sense of spirituality in previously idle women of the upper classes—hopes he made explicit in his classic tome The Indian Club Exercise with Explanatory Figures and Positions:
Half an hour with the Clubs daily, divided morning and evening, will soon do away with much that is artificial about womankind, and promote the natural development of a graceful form and movement.
A pity that Kehoe’s vision didn’t stick, especially since the United States might have racked up a few more Olympic medals had things turned out otherwise.