When Does Body Building History Begin?

Way back in the eleventh Century in India is when body building history started. These early body builders made crude dumbbells and other weight lifting equipment carved out of stone.

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Here's another history fact: the unique dumbbells made by these individuals actually looked a lot like the type of equipment used by most body builders today.

They called their "not-so-strange-looking" creations "Nals".

When you look back at the earliest history of body building you'll find these body builders in India had facilities that resembled an early fitness center where numerous men would meet to lift.

Another body building history fact: A few hundred years later, around the sixteenth century, it can be noted that it had become one of the most favorite past times in India.

In the ancient Greek and then later in the Roman empires body building became an accepted practice and was almost a requirement for Greek & Roman athletes.

Modern Day Body Building History

The history of body building in North American did not officially start until the circus strongman became a mainstay of the traveling circus. These sideshows and carnivals with the "strongman" really took hold in the early nineteenth Century.

The first official competition in modern day bodybuilding history was held at the Olympics in 1896. It wasn't actually a body building competition it consisted of 2 weightlifting events but this is where body building basically got introduced to most of the world.

The modern day body building accelerated when a German man by the name of Eugene Sandow came up with a lot of the body building techniques still in use today.

history of body buildingEugene Sandow

This new era of body building history began when Sandow performed amazing feats of strength and began flexing his muscles on stage.

His many poses in front of an audience are considered the beginning of the modern day stage presentations in body building events.

In 1899 Sandow opened his first gym in London, at the time it was known as a "Physical Culture Studio." In addition to being a popular on-stage presence, he was a good businessman.

In fact, he started selling fitness and body building related products through the mail and even published his own body building magazine with some of the Body Building Programs in use today. Over the years he took his first club and turned it into a chain of 20 studios all over Britain.

The next era of the history of body building was also because of Sandow. He is credited with organizing the world's first body building competition.

He called it the "Great Competition," and it was held on September 14, 1901 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

This competition proved to be a big hit with all who heard about it. The Royal Albert Hall was sold out and there were traffic jams in the streets caused as a result of so many wanting to see these body builders.

Even the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the judges.

The next era of body building history began to take root in North America.

Bernarr Macfadden, born in 1868 in the United States was very skinny and weak in his younger years. As he entered his teen years he discovered that he could improve his strength and even his health by working hard outdoors.

In his twenties he started producing and selling different types of weight lifting equipment and then went on to become very famous in the publishing industry by building an empire with his health, fitness, nutrition and Natural Bodybuilding Supplements magazines and books.

As with many people involved in fitness and a healthy lifestyle he was very active right up until his death in 1955.

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