Bodybuilding is a way to achieve fitness and strength through diet and fitness training at a personal exercise center. Some people join bodybuilding workout clubs for health and fitness reasons, while others use this type of resistance exercise for personal, even competitive reasons. What most people may not be aware of is that bodybuilding has been around for a long time.

Strongmen – Bodybuilding Predecessors of Ancient Times

Before personal exercise centers existed, men challenged each other regarding their strength and skill with the strongman and stone lifting contests held in ancient Greece and Egypt. The physical form was not the emphasis in these contests; many of these men actually had quite a bit of fat and flab. As more was learned about the physical body and its development, physique and appearance came to be admired as well, as was often depicted in the art of such times that displayed perfectly sculpted bodies. Strongman contests have continued through the ages and still exist today. While there has always been some correlation between strength and muscle formation, these contests were solely about strength, not body aesthetics.

Bodybuilding As An Art Form

True bodybuilding for aesthetic reasons began in the late 19th century, an extension of the strongman competitions where men would show off their physiques; however, the main interest was still in strength. Eugen Sandow, a German weightlifting enthusiast, put on a different type of show in England that focused on his actual physique and form. It became more of a stage show than a competition of strength, with Sandow entertaining audiences by lifting weights and flexing his well-defined muscles while music played.

The event was more of an art show than an athletic competition and people enjoyed this new take on the strongman shows and began to see the human body in a new light. Sandow continued his shows and became the first of what would essentially become today’s bodybuilder workout coaches, helping others achieve his same level of physical form. He was also the first person to sell fitness gear to help others obtain a Grecian-like body, which was the focus of his art form.

Bodybuilding Competitions

As more people began to take interest, Sandow organized the first bodybuilding organization and hosted the first competition in 1901. Contestants were judged on how well they matched the Grecian form. The competition was a huge success to a full-capacity audience. Spurred by this initial contest, bodybuilding became a worldwide interest. By 1904, it was a well-developed activity that had grown to include contests offering prize money and trophies, bodybuilding magazines, and the proliferation of an entire culture. Current bodybuilding and fitness training continues, although there are many people who build their muscles at workout clubs for health and personal reasons as opposed to being competitive.

Body and muscle building involves different exercise plans than other types of physical fitness to safely achieve desired goals. Training with personal exercise coaches is the best way to prevent injuries and obtain the best results. Anyone interested in this type of fitness should consider joining people with similar goals at a local workout center, the best place to get a great workout and improved bodybuilding results!

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