Ancient Fitness (06:05)
Women and men have been pursuing muscle since the time of Ancient Greece. The Ancient Grecian Olympian known as Milo was the most powerful symbol of physical fitness during his time; women were banned from watching and participating in the Olympics, so they created their own Heraean Games.
Ideal Grecian Physique (02:02)
People in Western society began perfecting and sculpting their bodies based on ideal measurements taken from Greek Statuary. These new standards sparked societal changes, including the demise of the corset.
The Circus Strongman (07:36)
Strong men and women were popular attractions at the circus, which was the prominent form of entertainment before television and radio. Louis Cyr was one of the most famous strong men; other famous strong men and women, mostly hailing from Eastern Europe, were Otto Arco, Simon Breitbard, Katie Sandwina, H.E. Man, and Eugen Sandow.
Perfect Man Contest (03:13)
Many Americans were inspired by the strong women and men of the traveling circuses, leading to a flourishing weight training phenomenon in the early 1900s. Bernar McFadden was the creator of a popular physical fitness magazine and contest that glorified the Grecian version of physical perfection.
Muscle Binding (06:52)
Author William Blaikie incorrectly thought heavy weight lifting would lead to inflexibility and sluggishness later on in life, but the opposite has been proven to be true. Blaikie's inaccuracies lead to famous weightlifters profiting off of ineffective muscle building techniques called Dynamic Tension.
The Original Muscle Beach (06:44)
Muscle Beach in Venice, California is home to the newest generation of strong men and women, training on high-tech weightlifting machines and equipment. Jack LaLanne discusses what the old Muscle Beach culture in Santa Monica was like; famous weightlifters Les and Abbye Stockton were among the regulars at the beach.
Dispelling a Myth (03:02)
Bob Hoffman, the publisher of "Strength and Health Magazine," denounced muscle binding publicly with bodybuilder John Grimek and weightlifter John Davis. Leading exercise physiologist Dr. Peter Karpovich, a firm believer in muscle binding, was dumbfounded by the body builder's presentation.
Body Building Competitions (04:29)
Joe Weider learned about weightlifting and bodybuilding through a fitness magazine and made his first barbell from disposed of train parts. The International Federation of Body Builders and the Mr. Olympia Competition were created by the Weider brothers. With the establishment of Miss Olympia, bodybuilding is the only sport that was as open to women as to men from almost the beginning.
Steroids are a synthetic form of the male hormone testosterone, which is meant to enhance muscle growth and tone; scientists have seen resistance training increases the effect significantly. These chemicals are also linked to cancer, stroke, liver and kidney dysfunction, testicular shrinkage, hair loss, and psychotic behavior.
Credits: Quest for Muscle (01:07)
Credits: Quest for Muscle
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