As Jan Todd noted in her article on classical fitness systems, physical culture historians have tended to devote their attention to the latter half of the nineteenth-century and beyond. This has, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to […]
Delighted to have featured once more on Doing History in Public, an initiative run by the students at the University of Cambridge.
In recent years, the amount of people taking supplements for fitness purposes has risen tenfold. They can increase strength, energy and focus during your workouts. Some can even support muscle growth, enhance the immune system and improve joints. So it’s not hard to see why they have become so popular. But when all supplements claim to help us reach our fitness goals, how do we know we are buying the best?
Like most things, some supplements work more effectively than others. So the more knowledge you have before you buy, the more informed your decision will be. If you’re interested in buying a supplement to aid your workouts, here are some things you need to do first.
Though the fitness industry of the early 1900s pales in comparison to the present, there is little denying that the twin evils of advertising and marketing were as important back then as they are today. This was […]
The vast majority of us want to be as fit as possible. Yet, that can be difficult to achieve. This is partly due to the nature of our lifestyles. It can often be difficult to find ways of incorporating fitness into our daily routines. However, there are a number of ways that you can make sure that you are getting the kind of exercise you need. In this post, we will go through some of the best activities for all-round fitness. While certain things are great for calorie-burning or toning, all of these are excellent all-round options. Let’s take a look, now, at what they are.
Having previously discussed the history of the squat exercise, today’s post examines the creation of the Rader Chest Pull, an exercise that Peary Rader, one of the Irongame’s biggest names in the twentieth-century, often used […]
As Joan Tumblety noted in her work on early twentieth-century physical culture, the French have long displayed an interest and an affinity for exercise. Indeed, on all sides of the political spectrum, French athletes, politicians and schoolteachers […]
Today’s fitness market is heavily saturated with amazing before and after photos taken to promote the latest diet, exercise system or piece of equipment. This style of marketing has become so synonymous with the fitness industry that it is difficult to imagine a time when fitness instructors relied solely on their word to promote their wares.
In today’s post we’ll briefly examine two of the earliest before/after photos from the fitness industry. The first, published in the 1860s by a British army instructor was widely circulated in the United Kingdom and Europe while the second, published in the 1880s by an American physical culturist, arguably kickstarted the United State’s obsession with transformation photographs.
Well known as one of the greatest trainers of his age, Vince Gironda’s name has become synomous with bodybuilding champions from Larry Scott to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though Gironda made his name producing some of the greatest bodybuilding champions the sport has ever seen, he sent countless hours with beginners and intermediates seeking to sculpt their bodies or build muscle.
Today’s post discusses Vince’s general bodybuilding approach for beginners with the caveat being that Vince was known for changing exercises based on each trainer’s physique. Nevertheless, there is much to learn from his more generic approaches.
Though more synomous with bodybuilding than wrestling, the late 1890s saw Eugen Sandow, the man many credited with possessing the perfect physique, wrestle a caged lion in front of a US audience.
The bout was undertaken during Sandow’s extensive tour of the United States under the tutelage of promoter Florenz Ziegfeld. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many viewed the event as an exercise in futility during which a half dazed lion lazily swiped at the Prussian showman.
Today’s post focuses on the circumstances leading to this bizarre encounter, the fight itself and it’s aftermath, to explore just how far Sandow was willing to go to promote his body and his business.