Firstly how did bodybuilding start? A small history lesson.
Bodybuilding has been around for quite sometime now. It began in the early 1890’s with the arrival of Mr. Eugene Sandow to which the current Olympia statue is modeled from.
The first bodybuilding contest ever held was called “The Great Show” and it was staged in 1891. The promoter and developer of the show was Eugene Sandow. This contest was advertised three years in advance and the first place winner of the contest would receive $2,500 with a gold Sandow statue.
Now let’s get to the evolution of bodybuilding it’s self and breakdown how these amazing Olympia physiques have grown in mass and proportion.
Evolution of Bodybuilding Broken Down
This picture demonstrates how the muscle belly’s and overall mass of the muscles has increased over the years. This is due to a couple different factors, they are broken down for you below.
#1 Drug Use
The drug use in bodybuilding has always allowed athletes to take their physiques to the next level. But the drugs available back in the 1960s compared the ones available today were a lot different. Most of the drugs used in present bodybuilding were not readily available back than which could only let genetically blessed bodybuilders take their physiques so far. An example of two drugs that weren’t available until the late 1990s in bodybuilding was insulin and growth hormone. According to an analysis done on the evolution of body mass index’s of pro IFBB bodybuilders. In the first half of the 1990’s the body mass index increased by almost 15% of its average value taken in previous years from the combination of these two drugs. For more on the analysis of BMI Evolution of Pro IFBB Bodybuilders click here
#2 Training Routines and Gym Equipment
Bodybuilders tend to follow a basic training regime of split muscle groups where each muscle group is broken into days of the week. For example, Monday the beginning of the week a bodybuilder might train chest and triceps. Than the following day, back and biceps and so on…. For the most part the training routine’s of professional bodybuilders back in previous years compared to now are similar in structure – minus addition of new exercises. As gym equipment changed and was revised to better target muscles, so did certain exercises. Lots of bodybuilders today have made certain exercises out of machines and dumbbells that were tweaked from older ones or completely remade. Every athlete has their own personal preferences when it comes to their training – and what would have worked back than for older bodybuilders can still work for present day bodybuilders.
#3 Foods and Diet’s
Protein is an important tool in building muscle and every single bodybuilder knows that. Bodybuilders have used a variation of different protein sources from chicken, ground beef to bison meat. As new foods where produced in super markets and new food studies came into the picture on top muscle building foods -bodybuilders needed to adjust their diets according. Again every bodybuilder has their own preference when it comes to the foods they eat during their contest prep and in their off season. An example is “Food Timing” being a popular breakthrough in bodybuilding that didn’t come to realization until bodybuilding had been around for sometime. The separation of your meals through a day and eating certain food before and after your workout to maximize the benefits of your body’s natural muscle building functions. For more on meal timing see “Meal Timing Is Everything“.
Supplementation in bodybuilding has been around since the 1930s where people started processing whey from milk. As supplements grew more popular in the fitness industry new and different variations of supplements popped up for different muscle building attributes. Certain plant based extracts known to provide muscle building traits became popular and a must have addition to diets and workout programs – for example “tribulus terrestris” a natural testosterone increasing herb was created into a supplement with other extracts to enhance the body’s natural testosterone production. For a more detailed break down on the evolution of supplements see “History of Bodybuilding Supplements”
In conclusion of all of the factors involved in the evolution of bodybuilding there will always be more advancements being introduced and the sport continues to grow. But as every bodybuilder has their own method to building muscle the fastest and being the biggest monster they can, bodybuilding will continue to be a unique and individualized sport.