mercredi 21 novembre 2012

History of Body Building

Athletes in 11th Century India used to lift carved stone dumbbell weights. These were called “Nals.” Oddly enough, they were very

much like modern day fitness equipment.  It is purported that gymnasiums were

existent in the same time period and by the 16th Century it is said that body building was one of India‛s favourite pastimes.

Body building was a mainstay of the athletic subculture of the ancient Greek and later Roman empires.
North Americans were first introduced to body building through the “strongman” at
travelling circus sideshows and carnivals in the middle of the 19th Century. The first modern Olympics was held in 1896 where there were two weightlifting events.

A German named Eugene Sandow is credited with inventing many of the contemporary body building techniques used even today. He began his performance with feats of
strength even adapting various “poses” that demonstrated his musculature much as modern day body builders do.

Sandow travelled to London in 1899 and opened his first “Physical Culture Studio.” A good businessman, he sold products by mail and published his own magazine. He ultimately created a “chain” of 20 studios throughout England.

Sandow is also credited with the first body building competition.  Called the “Great

Competition,” it was held on September 14, 1901. Held at the Royal Albert Hall, it was a complete sell out attracting hundreds of spectators and causing an immense traffic jam. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the 3 judges.

While Sandow was busily creating his studios in England, another legend was gestating in North America.

Born in the Ozarks in 1868, Bernarr Macfadden was frail and sickly as a child. He learned as a teenager, that he could build health and strength by working outdoors.
By age 25 he was selling exercise equipment and went on to become an icon in the publishing industry building an empire based on health, fitness, nutrition and exercise publications.
Branded as eccentric, flamboyant and a “kook,” he remained fit and active up until his death in 1955. Unfortunately, his own belief in “self treatment” served to be his
undoing waiting too long for treatment of a bladder problem. Many of his principles are still practiced today and his works appear to be making a “comeback.”

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