What is the history of bodybuilding?
Body building is said to have begun in India in the 12th century. By the 16th century, stone and wood were used to create dumbbells which added the dimension of weight lifting to body building.
Bodybuilding became a popular sport only in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. National and international body building competitions began to be held in Europe at this point of time.
Euegen Sandow, the father of modern body building, made body building into the sport it is known as today. He made body building into a global Ďsportí, complete with a body building magazine, the first magazine to be devoted exclusively to body building. This magazine was called Physical Culture.
Under his aegis, the first official weight lifting competitions were held. It was even made a part of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. Five years later, Eugene Sandow was made a judge in a body building event in the Royal Albert Hall in London which attracted 2,000 spectators.
During the 1920s, body building became a profitable show business and thus an increasingly popular sport. Charles Atlas became a celebrity and attracted people to body building and weight lifting and also adding a bit of charisma and panache to body building and weight lifting.
Dumbbells and barbells became wide selling body building equipment and other such equipment, diet plans and body building techniques started become popular and an industry grew up around them.
Bodybuilding became extremely popular in the 40s, 50,s 60s and 70s. Johnny Weissmuller, a celebrity swimmer and body builder went to Hollywood and acted in the Tarzan films. Body building and body builders became a part of Hollywood setting the trend for muscular actors with well toned muscles.
Movie franchises like Hercules also employed celebrity body builders. Harold Zinkin, Joe Gold and two time Mr. America John Grimek were celebrity body builders. It was around this time that body building and weight lifting became two different entities. Body building came to be defined as an exercise with its focus on health, fitness, strength and aesthetic muscle building as opposed to simply weight lifting.
Weight lifters became huge men and women with their primary focus being the ability to lift great weights rather than on being fit and building muscles.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became the most famous body builder turned actor. He became a popular Hollywood star and his fame has now managed to turn him into a successful politician.
Since the 1970s, steroids have also become a part of body building and though it continues to taint the profession, body building still retains its focus on health and fitness.
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