Category: Nutrition

The History of Herbal Supplements

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Gone are the days when bodybuilders and athletes relied heavily on physical exercising to keep fit. According to records, Greeks were the first people to embrace physical fitness around 776 B.C. By then, it was taken to be a way of living. There were no machines, gyms or spas to enable proper fitness exercises. In addition, the dietary supplements for fitness were not there either. However, people in those days had better shapes than today.

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Old School Supplements: Choline and Inositol

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The early forerunners of bodybuilding were adventurous in every sense of the word. From 20 rep squats to raw meat, these men and women stopped at nothing in the pursuit of pure, unadulterated muscle. For muscle anoraks like me, this pursuit resulted in a series of supplements being used, which of course, had varying levels of success.

Though we’ve previously covered old school supplements such as Bob Hoffman’s fish protein powder (excuse me while I gag…), it seemed about time to study a supplement that may actually benefit the current bodybuilding populace.

These ‘vitamins’, combined together, were thought to increase one’s energy and strength levels, lower their body fat and even protect one’s heart and liver. The last benefit being one of major importance at a time when steroids were beginning to hit the scene and few knew what side effects if any they may have.

We are of course, referring to choline and inositol, a power couple used by iron heads for decades with varying results.

Guest Post: The Fit Five: Today’s Most Popular Diets

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Ever since the digital bloom enabled us access to unlimited sources of information, nutritionists from all over the globe have began sharing their ideas and research online. Add to that the health revolution that has reshaped our mindset several times over, and you now have what can aptly be called a conundrum, caused by so much conflicting information that it’s impossible to keep track of it all.

Still, several of the most prominent scientific minds and consequently nutrition movements have managed to rise to the top and remain steadily there for all to hear and learn about. Of course, before you jump into any one of the following five favorites, it’s best to consult your doctor and see if some of them would suit your health and fitness needs. Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into the five diets that will outlive any fad diets to come.

Leroy Colbert’s Health Store

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A health shop is admittedly, an odd thing to write about. In today’s world of GNC’s and stores with fanciful names like ‘Vitality’ or ‘Mr. Pump’, modern gym goers are blessed with a wealth of pill peddlers to call upon. This, shockingly, was not always the case. While health stores did exist in some guise in the early and mid-twentieth century, they were even more obscure and alternative than they are today. While some weightlifters such as Jack Lalanne embraced the health store culture as early as the 1930s, it took decades for the mainstream fitness industry to catch on.

What’s my point here? Well that bodybuilding stores in the 1960s were a rare thing. So without further adieu, we’re going to spend some time examining Leroy Colbert’s New York health food store. Colbert, incidentally was noted for his amazing bicep development, which measured over 21 inches. Today’s post seeks to examine the man himself and spend some time highlighting the importance of his store for the general weight lifting community.

Guest Post: 10 Weirdest Diets in History

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Diets have been around far longer than you can imagine. It’s safe to say that people from a long time ago were also pretty concerned about their weight, fitness, figure and health – concerned enough to try out different techniques on how to effectively carry out an diet. Eventually, these diets developed, became popular, and were named. Some of them are rational, some of them are just downright weird.

The History of Protein Shakers

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Before beginning, I have to thank a series of individuals for their help in devising this article. The good folks at DavidGentle.com and Ironhistory.com helped point me in the right direction for the earlier history of the shaker. Likewise Ron Campbell’s Bodybuilding Books and Magazines group on Facebook which provided several leads which helped sharpen out the later history of today’s post. Finally Dr. Ben Pollack and Paul Becker from the Rheo H. Blair website were incredibly giving in their time and knowledge.

With that in mind, I’m now going to undoubtedly bastardise and misinterpret all the information garnered from the above individuals but hey, such is life! Today’s post is possibly the most innocuous but to my mind fascinating one yet. It is the history of the protein shaker, that plastic bottle currently fermenting your last whey protein shake in the bottom of your gym bag. Now the reasons for this are simple. Protein shakers have become increasingly popular over the last decade in particular. When I began working out drinking from a protein shaker was a universal announcement that you were a dumb meathead. Nowadays on my morning commute I see office workers, mothers, children and everyone else in between sipping water and a cacophony of drinks from their shakers. So shakers have become cool, and as is our nature on the site, we want to know more about the pre-history.

So with that in mind we’re going to trace the history of the protein shaker, from the early iterations to the modern day bottle. In doing so, it’ll become clear that the shaker is a fascinating symbol of the fitness industry’s acceptance within mainstream culture over the past several decades. It is the Trojan Horse for meatheads seeking acceptability.

Guest Post: Hydration through Time

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One would think that hydration is as simple a thing as drinking water when you’re thirsty, but when it comes to athletes, not even that is simple. Furthermore, there’s a whole interesting history behind drinking while performing endurance exercise, one that started over a century ago. So, before going on your next running or cycling practice, maybe you should get informed about it.

Vince Gironda and Ron Kosloff, ‘Processed Food and Physical Deterioration’, NSP Research (2004)

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If there is one thing that we could speculate as being highly probable concerning the life style of primitive man, it is that he obtained his food primarily from animal sources and ate it raw. Historically, it appears that complexi- ties in food preparation and processing have come with the more complex and technical societies. Corresponding the rise in production and consumption of refined and processed food has been the rise in physical deterioration, and the birth of heretofore unknown degenerative diseases.

Reg Park – How I Trained for the 1958 Mr. Universe

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An ideal for Arnie and countless others, Reg Park was one of the biggest bodybuilding names of the mid-century. Known for his powerful physique and raw strength, it’s no surprise that even though the great man has passed away, many still follow his old workout routines to a tee.

Today’s post was generously given by a reader of the blog who stumbled across an article written by Park following the 1958 Mr. Universe. It details his training, supplementation and general state of mind leading up to the competition. I’m sure you’ll find it as interesting and informative as I did.

Now in the interests of accuracy, and my own laziness, the article will appear below just as it did in 1958…Enjoy!

Irvin Johnson’s Scientific Body Building and Nutrition Course (1951)

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Better known as Rheo H. Blair, Irvin Johnson was one of the foremost bodybuilding nutritionists of the 1950s and 60s. Producing one of the most sought after protein powders in the Iron Game, Blair was lauded for his nutritional knowhow and ability to achieve seemingly unbelievable weight gain amongst his clients.

Bearing that in mind, today’s short post details a sample eating plan from Johnson’s ‘Scientific Bodybuilding and Nutrition Course’, a mail order course produced in 1951 which promised to increase reader’s weight and muscle mass if followed correctly.

Similar to the ‘Get Big Drink‘ previously covered, the diet acts as a timely reminder that calories are needed for muscle gain. And that a systemised eating plan is often the easiest method of going about this. Enjoy!