Tag: History

Guest Post: The History of the Triathlon

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Since Triathlon originates from the beginning of the 20th century and since it gained it’s popularity much later, in the mid-1970s, it is safe to say it’s a pretty modern sport. Looking at this facts, many people would say that it hasn’t got much of a history, and that is partly true. Its history is not particularly deep, but on the other hand, it is full of various interesting facts for loyal fans or future participants. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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Pumping Iron II and the Birth of Female Bodybuilding

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Who can forget Pumping Iron? The iconic bodybuilding movie which pitted an enviably charismatic Arnold Schwarzenegger against Lou Ferrigno, the man who later became the Incredible Hulk.

A tragic epic of Homeric proportions, the initial Pumping Iron has been credited with helping bodybuilding become a more mainstream sport or at least pursuit, in the eyes of many. Furthermore it became a source of inspiration for hundreds of thousands of gym goers seeking to replicate the muscularity, determination and definition of the men on screen. In short, Pumping Iron helped normalise and accelerate male bodybuilding’s popularity.

But what then of Pumping Iron’s sequel Pumping Iron II, which focused exclusively on female bodybuilding? Why was it made? What impact did it have? And just where can one watch the original?

Searching the Pathé Archives

Those interested in weightlifting and physical culture more generally are in a rather privileged position. Numerous websites, ourselves included, detail the various intricacies of the Iron Game’s History. Numerous websites offer old magazines and books free of charge and forums exist to help interested parties find every possible thing they can imagine.

Rarely though is British Pathé brought into the fold. Running from 1910 to 1970, Pathé newsreels span an incredibly diverse and interesting range of topics. Included in this, as you may have guessed, are clips of bodybuilders, weightlifters and physical culturists strutting their collective stuff. So without further adieu, I’d like to run through some of my favourite clips from Youtube.

Lee Moran And the Thousand Pound Squat

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Who was the first man to legitimately squat 1,000 lbs.? Its a simple question, with a disputed answer. As covered previously on this site, Dave Waddington was credited with a 1,013 lbs. squat in 1981. There was just one problem. No officials had seen Dave’s efforts, meaning that his squat although impressive, was relegated to hearsay.

It took until 1984 for an official 1,000 lbs. squat to hit the record books and despite what you may have guessed, it wasn’t Waddington who did it.

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 Lamb-chop and Pineapple Diet

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Hollywood transformations have long been a subject of intense public scrutiny. From Christina Bale’s incredible body transformations for what seems like most of his movies to Charlize Theron’s weight gain for Monster, we the consumer have read in amazement at the lengths actors seem to go to in order to secure a part.

This, it would seem, is not a recent phenomena. Something that became clear to me recently as I read Heather Addison’s excellent monograph entitled Hollywood and the Rise of Physical Culture. Dealing primarily with the period 1910 to 1940, Addison showcases how both male and female stars of the age faced an almost daily struggle to keep and maintain a svelte physique.

One such technique was the ‘Lamb-Chop and Pineapple’ diet, the topic of today’s post which was favoured by many females actresses during the 1920s.

Workout for a Working Man

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This article, first published in Health and Strength Magazine in 1956 is a great reminder that we don’t need to spend hours in the gym to maintain our fitness. In fact, the writers of this programme believed it could be done in half an hour or less. Ideal for those struggling to make time to workout.

So sorry folks, not having an hour to workout is no longer an excuse! Check out the routine below.

Paul Thomas, Big Biceps Bounce Recipe (1960s)

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Big Biceps Bounce is a new desert sensation for the protein-conscious bodybuilder with a “sweet tooth.” One serving of this luscious custard all not only highlight the finest meal, but will also provide you with 6 grams of protein – for only 14¢! Milkly rich and low in calories, you’ll want two or three helpings of this muscle-building custard that tastes better than the best ice cream!