Today bodybuilding cannot be called a natural sport, since all the pros are tightly focused on pharmacology. However, this was not always the case. In this article we will talk about the natural and tough athletes of the early 20th century and about modern steroid monsters with incredible shapes.
Bodybuilding from “natural” to “steroid”
Natural era 1900 – 1960s
Bodybuilding, or rather bodybuilding, began to emerge in the late 19th century. In 1901, Eugene Sandov in England held the first in the world, let’s say, a beauty contest among men. True, only physique was assessed at this competition, in other words, this year the first bodybuilding competition took place.
By the way, remember the statuette awarded to the winners of the Mr. Olympia competition. So it is made in the image of Eugene Sandov.
Despite the fact that the first bodybuilding competitions took place in 1901, this sport gained real popularity only in the 1940-1960s. It was then that Charles Atlas, through the media and comics, began to promote a healthy lifestyle and an athletic physique.
Thanks to such aggressive advertising, young people of those years stood in lines to buy Atlas books in the store, where he described ways to pump their body .
The growing popularity of bodybuilding did not go unnoticed, and in 1948 the American magazine “Health League” organized a bodybuilding competition among amateurs called “Mr. Universe.”
The competition was a resounding success, both among spectators and among athletes. Since 1950, it was decided to hold these competitions annually, and since 1952, two categories of participants have appeared: amateurs and professionals. Juan Ferrero became the first professional athlete to receive the title “Mr. Universe”.
Steroid era 1970 -1990s
Progress did not stand still, and the 1970s in the United States were remembered not only by the era of hippies and the heyday of hard rock, but also by the emergence of pharmacology in sports. Steroids burst into all sports, but they especially took root in bodybuilding, since it was they that led to a sharp increase in muscle mass in athletes.
Since the 1970s, bodybuilding has dawned the so-called“ Golden Era ”and thanks to Sergio Oliva, Franco Columbo, Louis Ferigno, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, bodybuilding gained a new round of popularity.
Athletes of the “Golden Era” were strikingly different from the bodybuilders of the past. First of all, the huge muscle mass, which became available thanks to the reception of pharmacology.
It was during this period that the “Mr. Olympia” bodybuilding competition became the most significant international event in the world of “iron sports”, and bodybuilders became movie stars and youth idols.
Era of “monsters” 2000s – our time
Modern bodybuilding with bodybuilding in the early twenties century has nothing to do. If then the aesthetics of the body, health and strength were in the first place, then today there are “monstrous” forms.
There is no question of any health, because even children understand that modern bodybuilding has nothing to do with a healthy lifestyle. Every year it becomes more and more like a freak show.
Even Olympia has been selling disgustingly for the last few years, which indicates a decline in viewers’ interest in” monsters “on stage.
Fun fact, in the early 2000s, bodybuilding tried to assign the status of an Olympic sport. However, this did not happen, as the experts of the Olympic Committee did not see the point in sports, where pharmacology plays a key role.