A Brief History of Bodybuilding

A Brief History of Bodybuilding

Many young adults go through the “body building” stage, some even before they hit puberty. Young boys want the big rippling muscles they see in the magazines and on TV. Perhaps the “body building” phase is to attract girls or because of an unseen social construct. Yet, few understand the true meaning of body building.

Body building is not just working out to build muscle. It is a lifestyle and a process used to build muscle through weight training and to keep a healthy body and mind. Body building can be traced back all the way to India during the 12th century, when the first gyms were built. In those times, barbells consisted of sand and wood. However, modern day body building was established in the 19th century; Eugene Sandow was the pioneer and most famous body builder of that time. He was considered a pioneer because he invented and sold some of the first exercise equipment used for the public.

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In 1904, New York City held the first body building contest on a large-scale basis. During this time, body building began to erupt, becoming ever more popular. Charles Atlas and Bernard McFadden received wide popularity. Only 15 years later, barbells and other exercise equipment are sold world wide. During 1940 to 1970, also known as the “Golden Age” of body building, there were many advances in exercise equipment technology and weight lifting exercises were being improved and refined. Convenience stores began to carry more body building and exercise magazines. And movies like Tarzan, Hercules and Superman starred body builders turned actors. Also, food and vitamin supplements began to hit the stores.

As the sport was growing so was the need for organization and institutions. Organizations such as the International Federation of Body Builders and National Amateur Body Building Association were created to host competitions. Although body building was very popular in the mid to late 90′s, it is even more popular today. The number of entries for competitions today has more than doubled in size. Men and women from all over the globe train for years just to be recognized as a “work of art”.

However, because of steroids and its abuse, many body builders have difficulty claiming that their size and strength gain is all natural and hard-work. And although steroid use is illegal during competition, many body builders are experts on keeping their use untraceable. When steroids first hit the scene, no scientific or laboratory testings were conducted. Steroids were used and frequently abused. Today, steroids are known to cause testicular cancer and virtually destroy and degrade the body. Some side-effects of steroids include liver damage, impotence and loss of testosterone.

Body building done naturally is a healthy way to keep your body and mind healthy and in balance. Anyone can use steroids and supplements to quickly gain strength and muscle mass. True body building teaches hard-work, dedication and consistency.