Who Created the Romanian Deadlift?

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Chances are at some point in your lifting career you’ve done a few sets of Romanian Deadlifts.  From athletes to bodybuilders, thousands of muscle fanatics have used the exercise to bring up their hamstrings and lower backs. Given the popularity of the movement, you may be surprised to learn that this exercise is a relatively recent addition to weight training. Indeed, it was only discovered by the US in 1990.

Having previously covered the history of the squat and the bench press, today we’ll turn our attention to the Romanian Deadlift.

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A Brief History of the Swiss Ball

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Whether you’ve attempted to train your ‘core’ or perform some simple rehab exercises, chances are you’ve used a Swiss Ball at some point in your training career.

So where did the Swiss Ball come from? What was it’s purpose and how did they become so popular?

The First Mr. Olympia

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It all began in April 1965 in a Joe Weider magazine…

Sick and tired of conversations about who was the greatest bodybuilder, Weider had decided to create a competition pitting champions from around the World against each other. In the same year that the iconic Gold’s Gym opened, Weider’s ‘Mr. Olympia’ would see A Mr. Universe, Mr. World and Mr. America pose, flex and tense in front of thousands of fans to determine the best that Bodybuilding had to offer.

Why create a new tournament?

Vince Gironda’s Lacto-Vegetarian Diet

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The following extract comes from Vince Gironda’s 1984 Book: Unleashing the Wild Physique (available here). This book cannot be recommended highly enough, from VInce’s no nonsense take on steroids to his innovative training techniques.

Today’s post comes from Vince’s advice on a lacto-vegetarian diet.

The Lacto-Vegetarian Diet

This is the easiest diet to follow because you can eat as much as you wish. It is composed of non-concentrated carbohydrates and protein from raw eggs, milk-and-egg protein powder, and half & half. You will also experience a sense of satisfaction that you can never get from a purely high-protein diet. I recommend this diet for obese people who have a hard time losing weight on any diet. The roughage will produce a cleansing effect in the intestines, which produces regularity and detoxification. This diet is great for breaking a rut if you’ve stopped making gains.

Old School Equipment You’re Not Using

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The Holy Trinity of the gym floor is undoubtedly: the dumbbells, the barbells and the machines. We’ve become so accustomed to this trifecta that we forget that the body can be trained in a variety of ways, with a variety of weights.

In today’s post we look at workout equipment from the yesteryear’s of muscle building. Such equipment built the physiques of Sandow, Hackenschmidt and countless others so why not try them out?

Vince Gironda Weight-Gain Diet

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The following extract comes from Vince Gironda’s 1984 Book: Unleashing the Wild Physique (available here). This book cannot be recommended highly enough, from VInce’s no nonsense take on steroids to his innovative training techniques. Today’s post comes from Vince’s advice on weight gain.

The real secret to gaining weight is food. The more you eat, the more you’ll gain. While eating three nutritionally balanced meals a day is good, it is even more beneficial to eat or more meals per day. Eat smaller meals – but more often – every three hours. If you can’t find the time to eat six meals a day, try eating three main meals with snacks between meals and before going to bed.

The cardinal rules of weight gaining are:

  • Never overeat at any one particular meal (this causes bloating and gas and may actually cause a weight loss)
  • And never allow yourself to get hungry
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Diet Advice from the 16th Century

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We may think of restricted diets as a modern invention but the reverse is actually the case. Long before Weight Watchers were telling people to count points, people had cottoned on to the idea that eating less may be healthy.

When examining the diets of yesteryear, it’s important to remember that what works for some, will not work for others. What we deem as unhealthy may be perfectly healthy for someone else.

With that caveat in mind, today we will be looking at Luigi Cornaro, a 16th century Venetian nobleman who lived to the age of 82 (or 99 depending who you believe) and ate only twelve ounces (340g) of solid food a day! What’s more he published a series of books on the secret of longevity.

So who was this mystical Venetian and why did he eat so little?