As a game, bodybuilding goes all of the way back to the 12th century in India where we locate the first training methods and bodybuilding specific nourishment. From the 1500s in India, bodybuilding had become a national pastime and individuals from all around the world had taken up the practice and used wood and stone to produce the initial dumbbells, thus giving birth to the vital part of bodybuilding that’s lifting weights.
One of the general public, bodybuilding became known as a popular sport for industrial purposes in the late 1800’s with the introduction of strongmen such as Eugene Sandow. National and global competitions started taking place from the early 1900’s. Sandow was one of the primary characters in the early bodybuilding movement and was called the Father of Modern Bodybuilding.
He consistently pushed his thoughts and theories on fitness and bodybuilding into the world through exhibitions, personal appearances and his breakthrough magazine, Physical Culture.
It was the persistent attempts of Sandow which led to the incorporation of weightlifting to the Olympics in the Olympic Games at Athens in 1896. In 1904, Sandow was chosen as an honored judge in a significant bodybuilding event held in the Royal Albert Hall in London that brought over 2,000 people to watch.
The game became more popular and profitable as a company in the 1920s with novices like Charles Atlas coming to the scene. Who doesn’t recall his advertisements that appeared in magazines, comic books, and papers all around the world? Bear in mind, the bully kicking sand in his face? That was the very first bodybuilding course I purchased back in the mid seventies. The production of dumbbells and barbells started gaining momentum throughout the world and new innovations in training, dieting, and exercise equipment were coming out more annually.
Bodybuilding developed a cult following from the forties to the seventies with films like Hercules featuring the unbelievable Steve Reeves, in addition to the popular Tarzan collection of films that was played by several bodybuilding actors. Some of the notables of the time period were Joe Gold, the founder of Gold’s Gym and World Gym franchises, Harold Zinkin, two-time Mr.
America John Grimek, and Great Britain’s Reg Park. Bodybuilding was now starting to set itself apart from weightlifting and became even more popular. The early seventies saw the debut of a young bodybuilder who would become a pop star and a household name all around the world, Arnold Schwarzenegger who used his excellent talent and charm together with a never before seen body to become the best developed guy in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records.