Bodybuilding is a process of developing muscle fibers through special muscle training exercises, increased calorie diet, and sufficient amount of rest. The sport is called Competitive Bodybuilding, where bodybuilders display their physical body to judges and receive points for their musculature appearance (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). Many people believe that in the end of 20th and 21st century bodybuilders have formed a unique subculture with their own set of values, beliefs, traditions, etc. Now, bodybuilding is regarded as a life style, an attitude towards life, people, and the human physique. As a sport, bodybuilding started back in the 11th century in India. Back then the first dumbbells was created, and the first gyms were opened. The early period of bodybuilding, however, is considered not earlier than between 1881 and 1930 (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). Eugene Sandow from Prussia, now referred to as “The Father of Modern Bodybuilding”, started promoting this type of sport in Europe. He was the first man to display his physique to live audiences in public performances. In those times, the male bodies were simply displayed during in strength demonstrations, and not for simple aesthetics. Wrestling matches were also a part of these performances (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). Eugene Sandow later built several businesses upon the bodybuilding success in his early career, and the bodybuilding sport evolved. Machined dumbbells, spring pulleys and tension bands were also invented by Eugene Sandow (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding).
Sandow was a proponent of the so-called “Grecian Ideal”, which claimed that the perfect musculature of a human was close to the standards set by the Ancient Greek and Roman statues. Many bodybuilders strove to make their bodies close in appearance with the ideal (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). Sandow also organized the first bodybuilding contest in 1901 in London, called the “Great Competition”. It was a great success, all tickets were sold out, and new names appeared on the stage of bodybuilding (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). In 1904 the first American bodybuilding competition took place in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The winner was declared “The Most Perfectly Shaped Man in the World” and won a significant cash prize (Wikipedia, Bodybuilding). Bodybuilding athletes do differentiate themselves by the athletic appearance, aggressiveness, and the demonstration of strength not only in gyms, but also in private life and in public. Bodybuilders’ values are often very different from those of average citizens, especially in USA and Canada (Berardi). One of the examples of such differences in values is the word “Freak”. In the average society, this word is considered to be rude, negative, and disturbing. When someone is called a “freak”, it is considered negative. But in the bodybuilding subculture, it is the highest praise, a very positive and favorable compliment (Berardi). The truth is, most upper-level competitive bodybuilders are fascinated by anabolic drugs and value them as a necessary part of the subculture. They literally enable physique athletes to become supra human - and that's very seductive. It further creates delineation between the "average" citizen and the bodybuilder. In great contrast, the "just say no" generation is shocked and dismayed by drugs in general. I think members of the
subculture take great pride in learning about and using drugs that shock the average person (Berardi). The use of steroids has become a very important issue in the bodybuilding subculture of the American society. Anabolic steroids are most commonly used in bodybuilding. These substances are a class of natural and synthetic steroid hormones, which facilitate cell growth and division in bone and muscle tissues of the human body (Wikipedia, Anabolic Steroid). Natural steroids, like testosterone, are not “evil” themselves, but create imbalance in the body when used excessively. Bodybuilding...
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