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History of Bodybuilding

History of Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is the practice and use of progressive resistance exercises to develop and control the musculature. Progressive resistance exercises are a means of developing strength, thus bodybuilding is the sport that promotes the physical culture. Besides the physical culture, bodybuilding also promotes the "quality muscle" appearance by complex training programs and dietary strategies. When referring to the history of bodybuilding we refer to particular bodybuilders that brought something new to the existing practice of bodybuilding. In order to trace the history of bodybuilding we will present its evolution in time.

·        By the mid 19th century weight training represented a means of increasing strength and improving health. This practice became popular very quick so that people began to expose their physical strength in front of crowds. The performances were formed from lifting and pulling massive weights. Therefore, we can definitely state that this period can be characterized as the stage when the audience was interested in the strength of participants and not their aesthetic appearance.

·        Early 1900’s. In this period, appear influential figures in bodybuilding such as Bernarr Macfadden, who promoted the "physical culture". It was him who organized and promoted bodybuilding competitions for men and women. Therefore, we can definitely refer to early 1900’s as the period of first competitions in bodybuilding.

·        During 1930’s the physique competitions were very popular and these did not comprised of only bodybuilders or weightlifters, but also swimmers, boxers and gymnasts. Just because bodybuilding lost initial meaning in time, during 30’s it was still considered a sport.

·        In 1940’s was created the International Federation of Bodybuilders that controlled the bodybuilding scene and ensured bodybuilders with a stable platform for performing.

·        By the mid 20th century, Steve Reeves brought bodybuilding on a different stage. He dominated bodybuilding by winning several competitions and having the perfectly proportioned physique. He won the Mr. America and Mr. Universe competitions by having the movie star look and perfect musculature shapes.

·        1960’s are characterized by the appearance of "mass monsters". During this period of time bodybuilders worked hard to get big muscles and perfect shapes. The concept behind the new approach to bodybuilding laid in nutrition and conditioning.

·        1970’s marked the history of bodybuilding through the presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, also called the "Austrian Oak". He won the Mr. Universe competition and won the Mr. Olympia trophy every year up to 1975.  He became an idol very quick and became the new star in bodybuilding.

·        By 1980’s the bodybuilding became very popular. The muscular body was more desirable and promoted by bodybuilders in movies and advertising campaigns. The gym industry gained importance very quick and became very profitable. This period is marked by the muscular appearance of actors like Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris.

·        During 1990’s were promoted the aesthetic appearance and the quality of physique. The new trend was characterized by the improvement and advance of training techniques, dietary strategies and steroids. 1990’s can be definitely considered as the period that brought a new sight on construction of muscle mass and constitutes the period of tight competitions among athletes.

History of Bodybuilding