Home Fitness Weight Training Body Building


Lee Haney

Bodybuilding is actually a relatively new activity compared to many other physical activities, originating in Konigsberg, Prussia (which is now known as Kaliningrad, Russia) around 1880. The period lasting between 1880 and 1953 is often referred to as the "Early Years" period of modern bodybuilding.

The first bodybuilding competition was held on September 14th, 1901 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Later referred to as the "Great Competition," the judges panel was composed of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Lawe and, of course, the father of modern bodybuilding himself, Eugen Sandow.

Since then, body building has significantly gained in popularity and today, is a worldwide sport in which participants from around the world compete. In addition, body building is a sport that is supported by both male and female athletes and professional competitions take place throughout the world for both men and women.

The Father of Modern Bodybuilding

Eugen Sandow was born in Konigsberg, Prussia on April 2nd, 1867. After fleeing Prussia to escape mandatory military service, he quickly found work on the stage, where he met the famous American Broadway impresario, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. Ziegfeld quickly noted that Sandow's audiences were more interested in the actor's bulging muscles as he performed "feats of strength" - more than the lifting exercises themselves. With this realization, the idea of "muscle display performances" was born.

Father of Body Building

Sandow would not only perform standard strength acts like lifting enormous barbells, but also, at the suggestion of Ziegfeld, added more colorful acts such as breaking a chain wrapped around his chest. Audiences were delighted and enthralled with the act.

In fact, a short snippet of one of Sandow's performances was featured in the first commercial motion picture exhibition in history, given in 1894. This excerpt featured Sandow merely flexing for audiences, rather than lifting massive weights or engaging in wrestling matches.

This wasn't the last time Sandow would be featured in a successful and notable film, however. In 1936, the Oscar-winning musical The Great Ziegfeld enchanted viewers with the story of the beginning of bodybuilding as we know it today.

During Sandow's time and even until now, bodybuilders were measured based on their proximity to the Golden Mean, or the idealistic proportions in classical Greek and Roman statues. Regarded as a "gracilian" Sandow was referred to by many as the closest of his time to these rigorous standards.

Sandow's legacy continues today. The Mr. Olympia contest winner each year receives a bronze statue of Sandow originally sculpted by Frederick Pomeroy. The statue is referred to simply as "The Sandow."

Greatest Bodybuilder in the World

"I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

One man now more commonly associated with action films set out to meet his goal of becoming the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which many thought meant winning the Mr. Olympia competition. He would go on to win that competition six consecutive times, also setting the record for the youngest Mr. Olympia, a record that still stands today. That man, of course, was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger's contributions to the practice of bodybuilding cannot be overstated. First, he popularized the sport in its relative infancy in the early 1970s with the documentary Pumping Iron, a film highlighting his training leading up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest.

Second, Schwarzenegger showed enormous talent and resolve by balancing a budding film career while remaining at the top of the bodybuilding world.

One of his most startling achievements was defeating Lou Ferrigno (the Incredible Hulk himself) a mere three months after filming Stay Hungry with Jeff Bridges, a film that required Schwarzenegger to lose a considerable amount of weight.

Although Schwarzenegger retired from bodybuilding in 1975, after winning Mr. Olympia six times, he returned in 1980 to win the title his seventh and final time. For this competition, he kept his entry a secret and credited the intense physical training required for his starring role in Conan to helping him get into peak shape for the 1980 competition.

During his career, Schwarzenegger was not only active in show bodybuilding, and won several weightlifting competitions in the mid-1960s. His personal records included:

  • Deadlift: 680 lbs.

  • Squat: 470 lbs.

  • Snatch: 243 lbs.

  • Bench press: 440 lbs.

Schwarzenegger is now one of the most recognizable people in the world, achieving stardom in bodybuilding, film (including multiple awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame), and finally entered politics in 2003, becoming the governor of California.

Bodybuilding Basics

Iris Kyle

Despite Arnold's success in both show bodybuilding and strength competitions, bodybuilding training primarily focuses on bulk and balance more than strength. Weight training builds muscles with prompts two distinct types of hypertrophy - myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. As sarcoplasmic hypertrophy results in larger muscles, it is most often favored by bodybuilders.

The main difference in the training between the two is in the way weight is incorporated into routines. While sarcoplasmic hypertrophy requires training with heavier weight, myofibrillar hypertrophy requires increased repetitions.

However, this is not to say that bodybuilders won't utilize myofibrillar hypertrophy as increasing repetitions can be valuable to overcoming plateaus during training. There are three main strategies used by bodybuilders to maximize muscle size and tone:

  • Strength training using weights or resistance (hydraulic or elastic)

  • Adequate rest between workouts

  • Extremely specialized nutrition including supplements and additional protein

There is a great deal of misinformation in the field of body building. Many people assume that body builders are the people that have mastered the exercises involved with strength training and look the way that they do because of peak physical strength. You may be surprised that body builders generally do not have much more strength than advanced level weight trainers. In short, sculpted muscles are not necessarily strong muscles.

Body building requires a great deal of focus and dedication over a very long period of time. Many body builders will train 6 days a week with long sessions to obtain the bodies that they possess. This does not mean that you cannot do the same, but do realize that, when you enter the field of body building, you have a long road ahead of you. The first step on this long road is to learn the basics.

  1. Aim to exercise two major muscle groups during each exercise session. You will choose exercises that work one large group (Back) and one small group (Biceps). Over the course of each week, touch on every major muscle group. dumps shop realy has many distinctive features

  2. Many exercises are difficult and injury prone. Perform each exercise with great care and focus to maintain proper form.

  3. In addition to the 24 hour rest period before returning to work on a single muscle group, be sure that you are resting enough between each set. When body building, 1 1/2 minutes of rest between each set is the norm.

  4. You need to adjust (or completely change) your exercise selection (routine) at least once every 5 weeks. When you do change your exercises, increase your work load.

  5. In order to sculpt your muscles, you will need to perform more sets of fewer repetitions than you would to work on strength or endurance. For example, you might decide to do 5 sets of 3 repetitions on the bench press with 80% intensity.

  6. At a minimum, you need to incorporate 4 sessions every week into your program.

  7. Unlike strength and endurance training, aerobic activity or cardiovascular exercises are not required and, in fact, should be avoided when you first start to body build.

  8. The number of sets and repetitions depends on the size of the muscle group that you are exercising. For example, the chest (a large group) requires 4 or 5 sets or 5-6 repetitions while the biceps require 3 or 4 sets of 9-13 repetitions.

  9. For great efficiency, try working on one upper body muscle group and one lower body muscle group during each session.

  10. If you need more rest before performing another session, take another day off. While you are starting, your muscles may need more time to adjust and repair themselves. Be sure that you sleep for at least 8 hours every night.

  11. Never skip meals. Proper nutrition and smaller, more frequent meals are an essential component of body building. In general, try to eat 5-7 times a day to avoid hunger.

  12. Consider using supplements that contain carbohydrates and proteins. You may also want to include a weight gain supplement to build muscles faster.

  13. Remember to keep your fluid intake up. When you exercise for long periods during the day, you will need more water than the recommended amount (eight 8 ounce glasses).

  14. If you are taking a supplement known to cause stress, be sure that you find some way to handle it (yoga, stress ball, etc.)

  15. Switch off between high intensity exercises (2 weeks) and low intensity exercises (3 weeks) to promote more rapid muscle gains.

  16. Consider adding another activity that promotes strength training (football, baseball, etc.) to cross train your muscles and keep their growth regular.

  17. Move your program in stages and advance slowly. Going too fast can lead to injuries or loss of interest.

  18. Be patient for results. Some people's bodies take much longer to respond to exercises than others.

Better Body Building

Lee Haney

When you embark on any body building program, realize that your primary goal should not be to lose weight. Granted, you will probably lose a great deal of body fat as you move deeper into your program, but the scale will typically not reflect this. For this reason, throw away the scale in favor of a tape measure or calipers. Your true results will be apparent in muscle growth and gains in strength. Another reason why body building is not the best program for people wanting to lose weight is the vital role that nutrition has. As a body builder, you will feel like you are constantly eating. A survey of a few top body builders found their average daily caloric intake to be around 7,250.

Although body builders are generally not as strong as they look, they are still strong. Your workouts will be composed of mostly strength oriented lifts and sessions. While some endurance will be established in smaller muscle groups, short repetition levels and multiple sets will mean one thing: Work! Body building is a very intense and tiring form of strength training and you should be prepared for this. While the workouts are (or should be) difficult, the results are rewarding. If you choose body building, you will most likely be satisfied with the long term effects that it has on your body.