A Brief Historic View of

BodyBuilding

October, 2016
The Master Responds

Bodybuilding originated in ancient Greece in the Before Christ period. Initially stone lifting was the norm for training. Contests were in vogue in Greece and Egypt and iconic body builders were referred to as ‘strongmen’. They challenged each other in strength and skill through wrestling combats. These men, unlike the body builders of the latter eras, carried quite an amount of fat & flab. Though there was always a correlation between muscle development and strength, the strongmen contests were more of feats of strength than of body aesthetics.

Greek sculptures however portrayed a rippling muscular physique, with fine vibrant poses. Early Greek statues, which were inspired from Egyptian and Mesopotamian images, were rigid and skinny. With the introduction of the gymnasium however, men aimed at attaining a muscular physique, keeping in mind the Grecian ideal manifested in their perfectly sculpted statues. Interestingly, the old Greek term ‘gymnós’ meant ‘naked place’ in Greek. Bodybuilders had to undress completely, in order to train in ancient Greek gymnasiums. During that era strength training was a means to improve athletic ability in a wide array of sports and to prepare for war. Both, the ancient Greeks and Romans, believed that it was important to have both, a sound body and mind. That’s why bodybuilding and physical training, which was also regarded as a philosophical pursuit, was considered necessary to complete one’s education.

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