A bit of History

I think we all agree that the first athletic body and the love for sport come from the ancient Greece. We know the perfect muscular body from painting and most importantly from sculpts. Sport was an important part of their life and even our gymnasium word is a Greece word for “naked place”[1].

In the middle ages the wealth was directly proportional to curves and high BMI index. If someone was wealthy, had always something to eat, was not necessary to work hard and was most likely overweight. Which also meant that they haven’t had illnesses which came from being underfed.

The first dumbbell users were the Indians and they exercised at first just to getting bulkier, stronger and bigger in the 11th century.

By the mid-19th century people began to use weights to improve health and increase strength. These days “strongmen” traveled around the world to be a part of the show. “The Father of Modern Bodybuilding” was Eugene Sandow, born in 1867 in Prussia and traveled around the Europe and later America in the 1890’s.

The audience wasn’t interested in his strength, the appearance was much more in the middle point. So he developed a basic posing routine to impress people. This was called “muscle display performances”. He also developed the basic bodybuilding equipment and a magazine with his builders.

Another big name from the early days was Bernard McFadden, he wrote many books and his magazine Physical Culture Magazine was printed for 50 years. He organized for men and women competitions in 1904.

The still today very popular Mr America competition was created in 1939, that time it was more for weight lifting, but it’s until now THE competition.

I don’t want to bore you with these facts, so just a couple of big names from the last almost 70-80 years: Steve Reeves – who won the 1947 Mr America, 1948 Mr World, and 1950 Mr Universe and also an inspiration to a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Joe Weider who created Mr Olympia. Larry Scott – The first winner of the Mr Olympia. Lou Ferrigno who with Incredible Hulk pushed bodybuilding deeper into the mainstream.

For the women Twiggy (Lesley Lawson) – the British actor, singer and the first supermodel was who sealed the life of so many not so skinny women. After she became famous in the mid-60’s the fashion world started to prefer skinny girls, which lead us to the different sort of diets and exercise plans.[2]

In the last couple of decades – started with the 80’s aerobic cult – we all try to stay fit, sculpted and sexy. Nothing is too expensive or too hard to reach our goals.

Nowadays science and technology is on our side as well and information was never easier to find. The remaining, what you will need is motivation, planning and endurance!

Eyes on your goals!


[1] http://historyofbodybuilding.org/

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twiggy

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