Как тренировались в древней Греции

How did you train in ancient Greece?

Have you ever wondered how you trained in ancient Greece? Probably not – you are a normal person. As for me, I thought about it from time to time. Having read incredible legends about the wars of antiquity, I decided to find out how they developed such superpower in themselves. Everything turned out to be quite simple.

The wars of ancient Greece have always been distinguished by their strength and endurance. You can be born with these qualities, but it is possible to bring them to perfection only through training. Today I propose to talk about the training of warriors of ancient Greece and draw a parallel with modern methods of physical training.

How did you train in ancient Greece?

Как тренировались в древней Греции

The ancient Greek healer and scientist Hippocrates made a huge contribution to medicine. In addition, he conducted observations of Greek soldiers and athletes in order to understand the principle of the human body. Also, the ancient Greeks loved to bet on sports, which is still available on the site https://parimatch.co.tz/sw/football. Based on the observations of Hippocrates, another ancient Greek scientist Philostratus wrote a whole “scientific work” (treatise) on the training and nutrition of Greek soldiers. It is he who underlies this article.


In his scientific work, Philostratus described several exercises that were practiced by the ancient Greeks. Exercises are very exotic, for example, the Greeks raced with a horse or lion, pulled carts at speed, raised bulls and swam. They also went in for kettlebell lifting, familiar to us. (This is to the question of whether a kettlebell or a barbell appeared first, in my opinion it is clearly a kettlebell.)

If you imagine the training of an ancient Greek, then you can draw a parallel with modern CrossFit or Soviet general physical training. Judge for yourself: training is high-intensity, the types of loads are different and they are aimed at developing endurance and strength. In other words, even ancient people realized that high-intensity training (modern crossfit and general physical training) is much more beneficial for a person than ordinary weight lifting.


About the diet of ancient athletes wrote their other contemporary: physician, surgeon and philosopher – Galen. According to his works, the wars of ancient Greece ate bread, deer, bulls and goats. Poultry and milk were seldom eaten. They also smeared themselves with olive oil several times a week, as it was believed to rejuvenate the skin and promote faster wound healing. Also, in addition to wars, fighters were rubbed with oil.

Galen described an interesting observation in his works. He compared the appearance of elderly warriors to that of ordinary elderly people. After several years of observation, he revealed a certain pattern: athletes always looked younger and felt better than ordinary untrained people. Since both groups of subjects ate about the same, Hagen suggested that intense training helped keep the Greek wars healthy.

“Ancient new methods”

  • In ancient Greece, training began with a warm-up and ended with a hitch – everything is like ours. By the way, this approach is recommended by the US Heart Association. However, among the ancient Greeks, the warm-up began not with the usual stretching, but with a relaxing massage, after which the athlete began training.
  • Modern doctors recommend resting on a hard surface after training, since muscles relax better on it. The ancient Greek wars seem to have known this and slept either on straw or on the skin of an animal. Although at that time there was already “upholstered furniture”.
  • Any fitness trainer will tell you that you need to periodically change your training programs so that the muscles do not get used to the same type of load. The Greeks thought more radically: today they could run after a horse, and tomorrow they could run away from a lion, and something tells me that these trainings were very different.


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