The practice of body building goes all the way back to ancient Greece, where athletes would train in gymnasia. This was not considered resistance training, to modify the body to gain muscle bulk, but rather, their training was ostensibly meant to improve the body for the sports in which they participated.
One wrestling champion, however, reportedly carried a calf on his shoulders every day until it became a bull! This progressive resistance developed, increasing strength and muscle.
In the 11th century, body building commenced in India; the competitors used primitive dumb-bell weights carved from stone.
By the mid 19th century weight training had become increasingly popular and showmanship came to the fore, with strongmen entertaining crowds with feats of strength such as lifting and pulling massive weights.
An exceptional man worth mentioning is Eugene Sandow, who became known as the " father of modern body building". He was a superstar of his age and went on to develop the first body building equipment as well as the first body related magazine. His legacy lives on in the form of the "Sandow Statuette" given to the winner of the most prestigious competition, " Mr Olympia".
Today's body builders will no doubt be inspired by the likes of Reg Park and "big Ron Coleman", who won Mr Olympia four times in the 2000's! Arnold Schwarzenegger is also well worth a mention, although he later followed a different course, pursuing a political carrier and ultimately becoming governor of California.
There will always be pros and cons when various physical activities are undertaken.
The basic strategies with body building incorporate the development of maximum muscle strength and the intake of specialised nutrition with extra proteins added. Self-discipline is a prime benefit, encouraging a spirit of routine. No room for those envious "couch potatoes" here!
Looking good gives a huge boost to one's self-confidence, and in a world where perfection dominates, this is such an advantage. By spending time in a gym, the youth of today would be less inclined to be drawn into a sub-culture of drug taking and criminology, and because good bodies are enviable, others could be encouraged and inspired by their example.
One obvious disadvantage is a growing dedication to ongoing regular training, which is time consuming. Maintaining a strict diet is not for everyone, neither is the expense of specialized nutrients and gym fees.
Should the correct intake of protein not be adhered to, excessive amounts can ultimately lead to kidney malfunction.
The worst nightmare is the novice who tackles the routines with such vigour, that dehydration, exhaustion and muscle damage occur.
The older "addicts" must realize that with age comes muscle shrinkage. Many will resort to steroids, available on prescription only, but this does not deter many from obtaining supplies from a thriving black market where unhygienic conditions could exist.
If all the above has just too much of a masculine ring to it, rest assured that the ladies have not been sidelined. Today's gyms abound with magnificent female bodies, but first timers could find training to be an intimidating endeavour. Even the small "mom-and-pop" gyms have weird looking machines, and making one's way through muscle bound hulks can be soul destroying. Very sensible advice would be to commence with a personal trainer, who could banish all your fears ! Although, some women fear that they could end up as "hulk-ettes". The truth is that female levels of the hormone, testosterone, are way below those of men.
Lifting weights is of great benefit, as lean muscle will increase, giving the body good overall form.
Good time management will allow for a visit to a health spa between training, and there's nothing better than a good massage to ease those aching muscles. MatsiMela Home Spa's range of massage oils will make your training efforts feel all the more rewarding.