In a diary entry on November 16, 1898, Arthur Conan Doyle recorded his clothed weight as 219 pounds. As he approached his 40th birthday, his rather sedentary lifestyle was catching up with him. To get back into shape, he adopted the fitness regimen prescribed by famous strong man Eugen Sandow.
Nothing, in my opinion, is better than the use of the dumb-bell, for developing the whole system, particularly if it is used intelligently, and with a knowledge of the location and functions of the muscles. (Eugen Sandow, Sandow on Physical Training: A Study in the Perfect Type of the Human Form, 1894)
He was the fitness guru of the day, perhaps something like a Richard Simmons without television appearances.
Sources: A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes, by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”); The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, by Andrew Lycett
“Chips” notes that if you don’t have a copy of the fabulous A Curious Collection of Dates, you might want to suggest it as gift for an upcoming holiday.