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Friday, September 14, 2012


It isn’t really about the question “what came first the chicken or the egg”. It is a question that can be answered looking at history and seeing how the physical activity of today, exercise, sports, coaching and training of athletes came to be.

If we look at history, exercise has come a long way. It started out as physical activities for survival skills. Today these skills developed into exercise, which can be done in facilities such as gyms, martial arts studios, group or individual sports and then games for recreational play, or even at home. Humans, especially males have always been physically active, and looking to improve performance for everyday life, whether it was just hunting to catch prey for food in a short time to feed the family, or competing with others to protect their tribe, to obtaining land or anything that had to be conquered. With that training was simply gaining experience through repeated motions of everyday activities. The male with genetic favourability and the most experience would present to be more successful.

When humans stopped being nomads and settled down, armies were formed for protection of the land which can date back to the Greek, Egyptian, and later the Roman civilization. It was so embedded in society at the time for protection and needed to gain more power, that it was a great honour to be killed in battle so that you would be remembered as a great warrior. Boys started being educated and prepared to be men of war, and it became a meaning of status of an individual, where besides the group practices, rocks and other objects were used as weights in training for better physical performance. But when there was no war, there were military practices and competitions between men to determine the strongest, the quickest, the most agile, the best of all. Finally physical combat was substituted by manmade machines, and the need to be physically fit became more for the purpose of appearance instead of survival or formal recognition.
In the beginning of the 1900’s bodybuilding became popular in search of the perfect body, which made training to gain muscle popular in the 1950’s when movies such as Hercules and Samson were released. And then weight bearing equipment was created to make training for physical appearance easier, and supplements were released by Joe Weider to complement the promotion of competitions.

In the 1970’s many films about bodybuilding received publicity, making Pumping Iron, one of the most famous and probably the most admired bodybuilding films, which showed the differences in the weight training methods of Arnold Schwarzennegar and Lou Ferrigno in the preparation for competitions.

With the rise of gyms and group exercise in the 1980’s, and the growth of the Sports Industry to a million dollar market of its own, there was a need for athletes to stay on top from there on. Successful athletes, techniques and methods of training started to be analized and studied to try to reproduce results in other people who weren’t athletes. Today what studies are still encountering in their results are that resistance training, endurance resistance training, with periods of strength and other type of athletic skill training is the best method behind the improvement of athletic performance. So besides the normal specific sports modality training, coaches are teaming up with professionals with weight training education, knowledge and training background to maximize training for the best performance. And gyms are promoting it for people who just want to lead a healthy life.

Today it has exploded in a way, that even other areas such as the music and film industry are resorting to resistance training to get the results for certain roles. This is where the position of Personal Trainer appeared, to teach and guide in resistance training for better and faster results.

So when you are looking at a man with big guns with veins poking out or with a six pack, and at a woman with large thighs with deep definition, doing the legpress with more weights then you, and you think they are on steroids, just remember that it is research on dedicated individuals, professional or amateur, that information is available for you to achieve your goals.

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