Friday 18 May 2012

Origins of Weightlifting

Since my interest in lifting started, I have always been intrigued as to how the sport began. This video below paints a wonderful picture of how weightlifting evolved as a sport:

I then happened across this marvellous quote from George Hackenschmidt (the inventor of the "Hack" Squat - this weeks odd lift.):

"It may be suggested that there is no reason
why a man should go to the trouble and exertion
of struggling with heavy weights, since there
is no crying necessity for that particular man
to acquire any phenomenal degree of strength.

To that I would reply by asking why a man
should desire to be Weak?

He was endowed by his creator with muscles and
sinews which would enable him to cope successfully
with such physical feats as he might be faced with
during his earthy career.

Modern social conditions have deprived him of that
open air life and hard physical exertion which would
have kept these muscles and sinews in good conditiong
and sound working order.

But since he has separated from the natural physical
advantages, which were freely offered to him in bygone
centuries, he should surely avail himself of the
efficient substitutes which are offered to him by trained
and practised physical culturists and the method of which
I have endeavored to set forth.

For it is ONLY by exercising with heavy weights that any
man can hope to develop really great strength. He should of course
combine these exercises with skipping, running, jumping,
and gymnastics of every description in order to similarly
develop his activity and agility, but, unless he sedulously
carries out the bar-bell and dumb-bell exercises as well,
he can never acquire really great physical powers."

This was written in about 1900. About 100 years before Crossfit started. In fact, if you look at any of the strength and conditioning stuff that is so popular today - it has all been done before. Greg Glassman didn't reinvent the wheel, he just added the leather apolstery and the walnut dash.

We 21st century people have a great advantage in that we can use the internet to research the wisdom of others. The Eugen Sandow site is such a place to do this.

Mine it wisely, take what you need and discard the rest. Just remember, the information you need is out there, its been there for hundreds of years and Zumba won't kill Zombies.
Train Smart, Charlie.

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