Tag: History

Guest Post: Weight Loss Diets of The Twentieth Century

People often think of diet as a relatively modern trend that became popular in the 1980s. However, the humanity has been struggling to lose weight for centuries. The idea of dieting as an effective method for achieving this has been around at least since the twentieth century, when the first literature that gave weight-loss advice appeared.

In this article, we are going to review the history of diets in the twentieth century that revolutionized the way people looked at nutrition.

Steve Michalik’s Training Diary from 1968

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How bodybuilding champions train is an area of intense interest for muscle fanatics the world over. How many sets, how many reps and how intensely? What makes them great?

Seeking to satisfy demands, muscle magazines often publish polished workout routines written by the Champions. Yet nothing compares to the first article, making today’s post on Steve Michalik’s 1968 training diary just so fascinating. In it we see Steve’s hopes for the future regarding the stage and also his thoughts on training poundages an intensity. A gem of a find that I stumbled across on Dave Draper’s excellent bodybuilding website and forum.

You can check out the training diary below.

Judging a Physique Contest

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This article first appeared in Bob Hoffman’s Strength and Health Magazine in 1957. It details the point scoring for the precusors for today’s modern bodybuilding shows. Of particular interest are the categories dealing with muscularity and athleticism.

Many of us forget that physique competitions used to include some form of strength component dealing with the 3 big lifts (the two hand press, the two hands snatch, the two hands clean and jerk).

How would bodybuilding be today if Kai Greene and Phil Heath had to compete in the clean and jerk for the Olympia crown?

Since judging a Mister Competition has become one of the touchiest subjects in the Iron World, a great deal of time was devoted to clarifying this issue at the official AAU Convention last Fall in Los Angeles. I am going to try to briefly sum up these points for the benefit of officials who handle such contests.

The History of the Zercher Squat

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Mentioned at various points on this particular site, the Zercher Squat has been described by many as one of the most effective but painful methods of building big quads. Uncomfortable to the nth degree, this lift isn’t exactly the most popular amongst gym goers. A point which leads us into today’s post. Why invent such a painful method of lifting? When did it come about and why has it remained with us today?

The History of the Preacher Curl

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A piece of equipment ubiquitous across the gym floor, the Preacher Curl is a go to exercise for gym bros and dedicated trainees alike seeking to build their biceps. Combined with the EZ Bar, whose history is covered here, the Preacher Curl is likely an exercise we’ve all turned to in need of arm development.

When did this piece of equipment enter the gym zeitgeist, what was its original purpose and how did it become so popular? Furthermore, how does one perform the exercise correctly? Well strap in folks as we take another trip down memory lane…

Joe Weider’s Power and Bulk Routine

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Controversies aside, it’s far to say Joe Weider’s was one of the most influential men bodybuilding has ever encountered. In the course of his long career as a trainer, promoter and media mogul, Weider came across everyone from Arnie to Ronnie.

Who better to learn from then the man known as ‘The Trainer of Champions’. Today’s post look’s at Weider’s classic Power and Bulk Routine, first published in 1954. It’s simple but without doubt effective.

Guest Post: What “dieting” meant to people in the 1900s

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Dieting in the 1900s

The concept of “dieting” has been around for a very, very long time. If historical data is to be believed, people have been convinced about the power of dieting for as long as 500 years now. Can people control their body weight and composition by controlling what they eat, when they eat and how they eat it? Most certainly!

Today, we have a number of facilities and fitness equipment like roman chairs, treadmills, and dedicated trainers to help us with our fitness goals. Back in the day? Diets were more sought-after. A lot of diets have been introduced and experimented with over the years. Some of them have been failures, some have been quite weird, and others have been recycled, given fancier names, and exist in the current scenario. Let’s take a look at a few of these:

Friends to Enemies: Steroids and the United States

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Note: This article is about the legal history of Anabolic Steroids in the United States and not an endorsement or discussion about steroids and performance.

There is perhaps no other topic in sports that garners as emotional a reaction than the use of steroids or performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes. For some the ends justify the means, whilst for others, the use of any ergogenic (something that aids performance) goes against fair play.

I suspect that much of this debate is fuelled by the fact that anabolic steroids are an illegal substance in the United States, which is oftentimes the mecca of sports. With that in mind, today’s post looks at the history of steroids in the United States, specifically their first uses and when they became a banned substance.