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The Roots Of Modern Bodybuilding

Aug 17, 2007
As a sport, bodybuilding goes all the way back to the 12th century in India where we find the first training techniques and bodybuilding specific nutrition. By the 1500s in India, bodybuilding had become a national pastime and people from all over the world had also taken up the practice and used stone and wood to create the first dumbbells, thus giving birth to the crucial component of bodybuilding which is lifting weights.

Among the general public, bodybuilding first became recognized as a widely popular sport for commercial purposes in the late 1800's with the introduction of strongmen like Eugene Sandow. National and International competitions began taking place by the early 1900's. Sandow was one of the main figures in the early bodybuilding movement and was known as The Father of Modern Bodybuilding. He consistently pushed his ideas and theories on bodybuilding and fitness to the world through exhibitions, personal appearances and his breakthrough magazine, Physical Culture.

It was the persistent efforts of Sandow that led to the incorporation of weightlifting into the Olympics at the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In 1904, Sandow was chosen as an honored judge at a major bodybuilding event held at the Royal Albert Hall in London that attracted over 2,000 people to watch.

The sport became even more popular and profitable as a business in the 1920s with newcomers like Charles Atlas coming on the scene. Who doesn't remember his ads that appeared in magazines, comic books, and newspapers all over the world? Remember, the bully kicking sand in his face? That was the first bodybuilding course I bought back in the mid seventies. The manufacture of dumbbells and barbells started gaining momentum all over the world and new innovations in training, dieting, and exercise equipment were coming out more every year.

Bodybuilding developed a cult following from the forties to the seventies with movies like Hercules featuring the incredible Steve Reeves, as well as the popular Tarzan series of movies that was played by many different bodybuilding actors. Some of the notables of this time period were Joe Gold, the founder of Gold's Gym and World Gym franchises, Harold Zinkin, Two time Mr. America John Grimek, and Great Britain's Reg Park. Bodybuilding was now beginning to set itself apart from weightlifting and became even more popular. The early seventies saw the introduction of a young bodybuilder who would become a pop icon and a household name all over the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger who used his superb talent and charisma along with a never before seen physique to become the best developed man in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about trophies and Sports Trophies at http://www.shop4trophies.com
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