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Athletes in 11th Century India used to lift carved stone dumbbell weights. These were called “Nals.” Oddly enough, they were very much like modern day fitness equipment. It is purported that gymnasiums were existent in the same time period and by the 16th Century it is said that body building was one of Indias’ favorite pastimes.

Body building was a mainstay of the athletic subculture of the ancient Greek and later Roman empires.

The ancient Chinese army also trained with 'stone weights' and strongmen competition were held regularly.

North Americans were first introduced to body building through the “strongman” at traveling circus sideshows and carnivals in the middle of the 19th Century. The first modern Olympics was held in 1896 where there were two weightlifting events.

A German named Eugene Sandow is credited with inventing many of the contemporary body building techniques used even today. He began his performance with feats of strength even adapting various “poses” that demonstrated his musculature much as modern day body builders do.

Sandow traveled to London in 1899 and opened his first “Physical Culture Studio.” A good businessman, he sold products by mail and published his own magazine. He ultimately created a “chain” of 20 studios throughout England.

Sandow is also credited with the first body building competition. Called the “Great Competition,” it was held on September 14, 1901. Held at the Royal Albert Hall, it was a complete sellout attracting hundreds of spectators and causing an immense traffic jam. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the 3 judges.

While Sandow was busily creating his studios in England, another legend was gestating in North America.

Born in the Ozarks in 1868, Bernarr Macfadden was frail and sickly as a child. He learned as a teenager, that he could build health and strength by working outdoors. By age 25 he was selling exercise equipment and went on to become an icon in the publishing industry building an empire based on health, fitness, nutrition and exercise publications. He was literally the grand-daddy of the hugh modern health and fitness industry complete with health supplements, gyms, exercise video, fitness devices, books and magazines.

Branded as eccentric, flamboyant and a “kook,” he remained fit and active up until his death in 1955. Unfortunately, his own belief in “self treatment” served to be his undoing waiting too long for treatment of a bladder problem. Many of his principles are still practiced today and his works appear to be making a “comeback.”

Body Building

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction to Body Building
History of Body Building
Basics of Building Muscle
Body Building Facilities
Building A Home Gym
Body Building Routine
Diet and Body Building + Recipes
Dietary Supplements
What About Steroids?
Body Builder Beware
Charting Your BMI
Body Building Tips
Resources


BASICS OF BUILDING MUSCLE

There are as many varied opinions on what “plan” one should follow to build muscle as there are people who have those opinions. On one thing they do agree, however. You must have a regimen.

You can begin by defining your objective. Why are you interested in body building? What do you hope to accomplish? What is your ultimate goal?

If this sounds like “Goal Setting 101,” guess what? It is! You need to clearly define your “why” before you can move on to “how.”

It’s all about commitment and belief. There is an abundance of information about how to begin and conduct your journey, but without a burning desire to achieve, you are doomed to inevitable failure. First things first.

-Before you even think about your exercise routine...
-Before you begin researching a nutritional program...
-Before you shop for supplements...
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I believe this is possible for me?
Am I willing to focus, commit and do whatever it takes?

If you answered “yes” to these two questions, the seed has been planted and you are ready to begin.

While the details and sequential recommendations for body building vary there are some basic questions that apply to the process no matter what program you choose to follow.
• How do I build muscle?
• How do I strengthen muscle?
• Am I healthy enough to begin a muscle building routine?
• What should I eat?
• How often should I eat?
• Should I eat at different intervals throughout the day?
• Is there a specific diet for building muscle?
• How many calories should I eat?
• Should I take supplements?

In the following chapters we will endeavor to present you with an overview that will assist in preparing you for the launch of your muscle and body building lifestyle. It is indeed a lifestyle and you must be prepared for the rigors of change, not only to your body, but mentally as well.

You should always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Lifting too much weight (especially for people with high blood pressure) or doing too many repetitions can be extremely harmful.

BODY BUILDING FACILITIES AND EQUPMENT

Where do you begin? Fortunately, there are more choices available today than in any other time in history. The fitness craze has opened many doors of opportunity and alternatives for the average person seeking a healthier lifestyle. This is a serendipity for the serious body builder. The “corner gym” is fast becoming as popular as the “corner pub.”

There was a time when the only “equipment” a serious body builder had were barbells and benches. Often a trip to the gym meant entering a dark, cave-like atmosphere in a less than desirable area of larger cities. By contrast, the gyms of today are usually bright, cheerful, open facilities boasting the latest in equipment and amenities. You can find them in the most upscale neighborhoods and double as popular meeting and greeting places.

Most offer a variety of membership packages and many will offer a brief trial period allowing you to “test” the facility to determine if it meets your needs.

When you do make a decision to join a fitness facility, there are a number of points to consider.

Choosing a quality fitness facility or health club requires caution. The following guidelines can help:

• Shop around. Ask friends, coworkers, and your physician for recommendations.
• Call several clubs to find ones that match your interests and budget.
• Visit the club at the time of day you will use it.
• Talk to members and staff.
• Are the hours and location convenient?
• Does the club have facilities and services that suit your needs?
• Are the equipment, exercise areas, and locker rooms clean and well-maintained?
• Is the facility overcrowded?
• Does the club limit new membership to prevent future crowding?
• Is the atmosphere friendly?
• What are the qualifications of the staff?
• Do they have appropriate education and training?
• Do they take an interest in and assist with individual goals and progress?
• Carefully consider the contract. Take a copy home to read thoroughly before signing.
• Stay away from clubs that pressure you to sign on the spot!
• Does the contract list all services and facilities? All oral promises should be written.
• What is the total cost and payment schedule, including enrollment fees and finance charges?
• Do some services cost extra?
• How long is a membership term? A short-term membership is usually best in case you find yourself unmotivated or the club closes.
• Does the contract allow for a try-out period? Will the trial fee be applicable to longer-term membership?
• What are your cancellation and refund rights if you move, become disabled, or the club closes?
• Does a three-day cancellation policy apply if you change your mind shortly after signing?
• Make sure the club has met state bonding and licensing requirements.

Finally, never sign up with a club that has not yet opened despite any special discounts. And beware if the club asks for your credit card number or deposit check before you have read the contract.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on this website is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

 
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