“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future!”
Yes, it’s not possible to better your future without the background study and the same is with- bodybuilding. The progressive and phase wise study will definitely help you in understanding the evolution of this phenomena. In other words, you’ll be able to know the direction of this genre and figure out the loopholes of each decade.
Above that, it’ll be really weird that you are a bodybuilding passionate and have no knowledge of its background. After going through this article, hopefully, you’ll get enough knowledge of different bodybuilding practices in the different era.
In this post, we will be revealing phase wise changes in exercising at the gymnasium along with some accounts of phenomenal personalities who have intimidated this industry. So without wasting more time, let’s jump right into it:
From where did it get started?
Though in ancient civilizations of Greek & Roman, there have been several accounts of workouts and gymnasium for wars but bodybuilding as the showcase of masculinity was first originated in the late 19th century in Europe and has coincided with the advent of photography.
- Pre-Golden Era of Bodybuilding
Long before the Golden era, bodybuilding was going strong but it was still in its primitive form where public termed bodybuilders as self-obsessed guys and the genre was not a full-time phenomenon.
However, in later years, the history of bodybuilding becomes nothing but the past score of famous bodybuilders who play an important role in promoting this industry. Starting with Eugen Sandow (born Friederich Muller in 1867):
He was probably the first famous bodybuilder who under the guidance of his godfather, Oscard Attila, 1844, invented some of the popular gym equipment like-spring-grip dumbbells. Oscard, not only taught him how to transform his gymnast’s body into a bodybuilder’s physique but helped him to achieve the term “good genetics”-a physiology ideal for building muscles.
Bernarr MacFadden and Charles Atlas:
Bernarr Macfadden, an American, who moved to England in the year 1898 was known for his two important contributions; chest expander, a metal or rubber string strand with side grips and the physique contest sponsorship at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
And then Charles Atlas came in the picture who won the same prestigious McFadden’s 1921 physique contest for “The Most Perfectly Developed Man in America”. He was known for fantasizing his gym training course by advertising bully at the beach if you’re not going to attend his tutorial.
- Muscle Beach Era
As the time passes, bodybuilding also gets a bit modified and down in the 1940s, muscle beach came into the scene.
It was pretty popular among bodybuilders back then and was characterized by its outdoor nature. Unlike traditional bodybuilding, it was not confined to pumping only, rather lifting, gymnastics, hand balancing, and strength events like bending rods of steel with bare hands, driving spikes into the wood, and ripping phonebooks in half were also included in this type of bodybuilding.
Now let’s check what the formal layout of bodybuilding was back then:
Starting with the number of days, it was mostly three days in a week (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) for men and Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays for women as opposed to 6 days a week of our times.
Coming to diet; it was as basic as the day-to-day meal that includes meat, eggs, cheese, and milk. Training was more about powerlifting. Last but not the least, there was nothing like “Supplements or Drugs” known back then. So the exercising at that time was actual bodybuilding in its true sense.
- Gold’s gym and the golden era of bodybuilding
In the early 60s, there were some complaints of bad elements happening in the beach vicinity due to the muscle beach expo and then many of these muscle beach moves to the dungeon with all its equipment.
In the year 1965, the proper gym came into being which was founded by Joe Gold and from there the golden era of bodybuilding starts. This era was called golden because it brings lavishness, fame, money, and recognition in the bodybuilding industry.
The competitions like Mr. America, Mr. Olympia, and Mr. Universe dominate the world and generate the great amount of money & a full-time profession. These contests coupled with epic personalities like Arnold Schwarzenegger who managed to win 7 Olympia titles helped the industry to witness its golden era.
- Recent past 1980-Present Time:
As the 80s were passing, bodybuilding had become a popular sport with the involvement of top notch celebrities and athletes; Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Ben Johnson, and Carl Lewis are few names to count.
In this era, though weight lifting and dieting were taken from mainstream society to increase the profile and enhance performance but with a change of increased usage of steroids. The reason behind excessive use of drugs was the growing popularity of this industry.
An important trend of aesthetics and balance paved the way for bodybuilding to become the mass phenomenon. As the 90s approached, the quality of physique improved due to advanced equipment, dietary strategies, and yes drugs.
That’s not all…
The Internet most obviously intimidated the world with thousand of bodybuilding sites and tabloids followed by people all across the planet; bodybuilding.com is the best and biggest platform to provide all sorts of related information.
Well, after going through the article we can easily see how bodybuilding comes into existence in late 19th century with photography and how different personalities like Atlas contributed the industry to make it a global sensation. The post not only hints the ability of bodybuilding to become a full-time profession but essentially signals the necessity of this paradox in current times. But the main point that needs to be observed is the natural or organic bodybuilding that is getting corrupted by the passage of time due to overuse of supplements. From this point, only time can tell the future of this global phenomenon.