Tag: American History

The Truth about Muscle Beach (1957 Strength and Health Article)

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Many Controversial Statements have been made about Santa Monica’s Unique Payground By the Sea. This article gives you the Last Minute Lowdown on what currently is happening on the Verge of the Pacific.

There may be bigger and more beautiful beaches than Muscle Beach, but you can bet your last chip that nowhere else in the whole wide world will you find a greater concentration of muscles to the square foot of sand area. And further, no other beach in all the world rates more publicity, regardless of size, surf, or beauty. Practically every American has seen or heard of Muscle Beach because, like Brooklyn, it is standard joke equipment for wise-cracking comedians of stage, screen, TV and gossip columns from Coast to Coast.

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The History of the Burpee

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An exercise loved and loathed across classrooms, the Burpee can be found in P.E. classes, conditioning circuits and anywhere where trainees are searching to shed pounds and increase definition.

As simple as it is difficult, the exercise is often engaged in with relative unenthusiasm. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely enjoys it! Nevertheless it is done. And for that reason alone, it’s interesting to explore its relatively recent history.

The History of the Burpee

The History of American Powerlifting

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Perhaps the most popular form of training for modern gym goers, powerlifting is nevertheless a relatively recent phenomena. Indeed, while bodybuilding and Olympic Weightlifting date to the start of the twentieth-century, it was not until the 1960s that the art of lifting incredibly heavy things was formally recognised.

Today’s article thus looks at the birth of American powerlifting, from it’s humble beginnings, past it’s first competitions and into the age of international contests. A story of strength, politics and fun.

The History of Peanut Butter

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One of the few things to unite meat-eaters, vegetarians and even vegans, peanut butter is perhaps the great leveller of the fitness industry. High in calories, fat and protein, the delicious substance has been a go to option for muscle fanatics over the past century. Some use it as a spread whereas others, myself included sadly, eat it right out of the jar until someone catches us.

In today’s post on peanut butter, we’re going to look at the origins, invention and growth of one of the gym goer’s greatest allies….Peanut Butter.

Weightlifting at the 1904 Olympics

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It was the first time that the Olympic Games were held outside of Europe and the first time they were held in an English speaking country. It was heralded as a monumental step in the internationalisation of the Olympic spirit and it was prompted as such.

Unfortunately, the reality of the 1904 St. Louis Olympics proved to be anything but. Owing both to the Russo-Japanese War and the sheer difficulty in sending athletes to the United States from Europe, the 1904 Games were largely bereft of elite athletes. Nevertheless, perhaps owing to the determined attitude of the organisers, the Games continued regardless.

Whether this was a blessing or a curse for the sport of weightlifting is up to the reader to decide.

Today’s post examines the re-emergence of weightlifting at the 1904 Olympic Games. The sport had been part of the inaugural games in Athens in 1896 but had failed to appear at the Paris showing four years later. As a sport still in its infancy, weightlifting depended on international showings to improve its popularity. While the first international weightlifting competition was held in London in 1891, the Olympic games five years later had seen significantly more media interest in the event.

Weightlifting in many ways needed genuine Olympic interest to attract more to the sport.

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1903 and the birth of American Bodybuilding

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After three years of pumping up, slimming down and posing, Britain, and the world was treated to the first ever bodybuilding competition in 1901. Hosted by the legendary Eugen Sandow, the ‘Great Competition’ as it was known claimed to have found the most perfect specimens alive. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before other nations, notably America, began to hold their own bodybuilding shows.

Within two years of Sandow’s ‘Great Competition’, the US was hosting its own bodybuilding show. Today we tell their story.