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Bodybuilding Pre Steroid Era
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What was it like before the steroid era of bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding started naturally with men like John Grimek and Reg Park or Eugen Sandow who is known today as the father of modern day bodybuilding. These men did not know anything about steroids and how to use them because steroids were not yet used to gain muscle in sport in their time.
It was a time when men who sought to gain muscle were motivated by the evidence that a big muscular physique demonstrates what optimal health can achieve and it was not related to any money or fame. There was absolutely no money or fame to be had in the weight game in those early days.
The motivation as mentioned above was health and the possibility of actually showing off your state of health by showing the amount of muscle that you have was something completely foreign to the average consumer. Muscles were considered to be something limited to the poor laborer and not sought after by the rich and famous people.
In order to understand what it was like to train before the steroid era we need to understand the motivation of why men would want to go to the gym or lift weights in the first place. It was all about the search for optimal health, to get your body in a better state of health than it was now was the main motivation.
Training in those days was usually done by training the whole body and this would result in the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Men would feel sore the next day and thought it would be best rest a day before trying to lift a heavier weight.
Although anabolic steroids were invented in the 1930's they only started appearing in sports in the 1960's and it was first seen in many other uses that included getting Nazi soldiers to be more aggressive. But it was the rise of the "mass monsters" that started with Arnold Schwarzenegger and went on to be seen in bodybuilders like Sergio Oliva and Lou Ferrigno.
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