Not everyone who introduces a muscle gain programme to their workout wants to end up like Arnold Schwarzenegger or the newly-formed Jodie Marsh. However, it would be ignorant to deny that many people do seek out this kind of body.
For many years bodybuilding has been considered the physical peak of human perfection; with each and every possibly bodily muscle toned and defined to its absolute best.
But where did bodybuilding begin and how did it take over the world?
Eugen Sandow was one of the earliest pioneers of bodybuilding. Since considered the “Father of Modern Bodybuilding”, Sandow was one the first to display his body purely based on aesthetics rather than strength. Active between the years of 1880 and 1953, Sandow, of northern Germany, travelled extensively, promoting his own brand of exercise equipment along the way. His wares included dumb bells, spring pulleys and tension bands.
Sandow organised the first bodybuilding contest on September 14, 1901, and named it the “Great Competition”. Held in London’s Royal Albert Hall, it saw the first ever bodybuilding winner crowned for his physique, William L Murray of Nottingham, England. He would be the first to hold a Sandow-shaped trophy for his achievement; an achievement, which would later be presented to every winner of the Mr Olympia competition that we know today.
America took hold of the bodybuilding phenomenon shortly after in 1904. It’s earliest advocates included Bernarr Macfadden, Charles Atlas and Alois P Swoboda, many of whom are still credited for their efforts at spreading the competitive elements of bodybuilding across the world.
Jumping forward to the 1950s, 60s and 70s saw bodybuilding grab the attention of the masses. This was largely thanks to the introduction of well-built actors and actresses on the big screen.
Undoubtedly, the industry’s continual spread around the globe owed dividends to Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, who starred in the 1977 film Pumping Iron. Its success, and the resulting success of Schwarzenegger as a whole, truly brought bodybuilding to the fore. It opened the public’s imagination when it came to what was possible through strong, hard workouts and allowed them to see what could be achieved with determination.
Today competitions are still popular, and the rules always require clean, nutritional-based methods of lean muscle gain as opposed to doping – a practice that has dogged the industry for decades. Supplementation on the other hand, is seen as an excellent way of delivering results quicker, and is completely legal.