The History of the Cambered Bar

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Cambered bars, that is bars with a slight or pronounced bend, are one of the more niche elements of the gym floor. While many of us will be familiar with the EZ Bar, undoubtedly the most popular form of cambered bars, far fewer will have used Safety Squat, Buffalo or straight Cambered Bars as part of our routines. Somewhat unluckily for me, a recent shoulder problem has forced me to use safety bar squats as part of my routine.

Normally the preserve, at least in my mind, of the powerlifting community, the Safety Bar squat has allowed me to continue training my legs at a time when the traditional squat set up of pining the shoulders back is nothing short of agony. Aside from facilitating my obsessive need to squat, the Safety Bar provides the subject for today’s post. Who invented these bars? What advantages do they provide and how can we effectively use them? These are just some of the questions dealt with in today’s post.

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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.

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.

D. Haddleton, ‘It takes guts to chisel out the Abdominals’, Health and Strength (1964)

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Written by D. Haddleton, of Sydney, Australia in Health and Strength Magazine, in November 1964, the following article presents an ‘old school’ method of training the abs. It features several exercises long forgotten by the modern weightlifter, making it both an invaluable piece of Iron Game history and valuable training aid. Really want to kick-start some ab development? Combine the exercises found here with some old school weight loss techniques!

Every bodybuilder wants, and trains for, proportionate development. But what part of the anatomy is often neglected? And the lack of which spoils many above average Physiques? And at the same time, if this muscular group is worked and developed to its fullest extent, can impart to the owner the mark of a tough, well-trained athlete and also give him glowing health?

In your mind’s eye you are probably thinking of chest, arms, legs ; all these, of course do go to make a tremendous physique, but the true hallmark of a champion is the abdominals. Without a chiselled mid-section many promising physiques are relegated to the ranks of “Mr. Might Have Beens.”

You may think this exaggerated but cast your mind back to the ‘Mr. Universe’ contestants you have seen, or in the many photos of top men you have studied in the H. and S. Notice how fit and hard the men with well defined abdominals look, how some builds would have looked all the better for a clean-cut mid-section.

Well, if you have come this far, you probably agree with what has been written. O.K., but how to get these sometimes elusive blocks of muscle?

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.

Peary Rader, ‘Training for the Older Man’, The Rader Master Bodybuilding and Weightgaining System (1946)

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After a man reaches the age of 50, and sometimes even 40, he sometimes feels that he is an old man, and tho he realizes the need for exercise for health’s sake, he thinks that he might be getting for heavy work.

This all depends on how he has trained in years past. If he has taken the best care of his health he can feel assured that he can stand rather heavy training until he is 50. Furthermore he will have enough experience and “know how” to arrange his own workout program from then on. We do not feel that man over 50 should try to excel the younger fellows in lifting meets regardless of how good he thinks he feels. However we do feel that fairly heavy bodybuilding training or even lifting training will be beneficial if he has always kept in good shape.

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: How Has Fitness Evolved Over The Years?

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Ever since the creation of the earth man and woman have both relied on athletic prowess. In fact, it used to be necessary to trap, capture, and kill for food. And, this is not to even mention the gathering and foraging that took place. You have probably heard the saying “survival of the fittest.” Well, this statement could not have been truer back in prehistoric times. It is true that men and women no longer have to go to a physical extreme to sustain life, but fitness without a doubt has an impact on health and well being. That being said, it is hard to deny that fitness and fitness routines have changed over the years, but how have they changed?

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.