“The Father of Modern Bodybuilding”
Eugen Sandow (born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller; 2 April 1867 – 14 October 1925) was a German bodybuilder and showman.
Born in Königsberg, Sandow became interested in bodybuilding at the age of ten during a visit to Italy.
After a spell in the circus, Sandow studied under strongman Louis Durlacher in the late 1880s.
On Durlacher's recommendation, he began entering strongman competitions, performing in matches against leading figures in the sport such as Charles Sampson, Frank Bienkowski, and Henry McCann.
In 1901 he organized what is believed to be the world's first major body building competition. Set in London's Royal Albert Hall, Sandow judged the event alongside author Arthur Conan Doyle and athlete/sculptor Charles Lawes-Wittewronge.
The scholar Joseph Alter suggests that Sandow was the person who had the most influence on modern yoga, which absorbed a variety of exercise routines from physical culture in the early 20th century.
Sandow was a proponent of getting his protein requirements from raw eggs and meat but again within the context of moderation and he was not alone in this. George Hackenschmidt largely subsided on a diet of nuts, fruit and vegetables.
“The Most Perfectly Developed Man in the World”
Al Treloar (Jenkins) was the winner of the world's very first international bodybuilding contest. This was organized by Bernarr Macfadden and took place in Madison Square Gardens on Dec 28th 1903.
Jenkins, a Harvard-educated man, was well versed in athletics and professional strongmanism. He could tear two and three decks of playing cards with bare hands.
In 1904 he wrote 'The Science of Muscular Development' which included many photos of himself and his wife Edna Tempest.
Treloar was hired as the physical director of the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1907, a position he held for the next 42 years. He died in 1960 at the age of 87.
“The 97-Pound Weakling”
Charles Atlas (born Angelo Siciliano in Acri, Cozenza on October 30, 1892 – December 24, 1972) was an Italian-American bodybuilder best remembered as the developer of a bodybuilding method and its associated exercise program which spawned a landmark advertising campaign featuring his name and likeness.
It has been described as one of the longest-lasting and most memorable ad campaigns of all time.
Angelino moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1903, and eventually became a leather worker. He tried many forms of exercise initially, using weights, pulley-style resistance, and gymnastic-style calisthenics.
Atlas claimed that they did not build his body. He was inspired by other fitness and health advocates who preceded him, including world-renowned strongman Eugen Sandow.
He would read Physical Culture magazine for further information on health, strength, and physical development, and finally developed his own system of exercises which was later called “Dynamic Tension,” a phrase coined by Charles Roman.
“The Godfather of Fitness”
Francois Henri Jack LaLanne (September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011), born in San Francisco, California, was an American fitness, exercise, and nutrition expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes referred to as the "Godfather of Fitness" and the "First Fitness Superhero.”
He published numerous books on fitness and hosted the fitness television program The Jack LaLanne Show between 1953 and 1985.
As early as 1936, at age 21, he opened one of the nation's first fitness gyms in Oakland, California, which became a prototype for dozens of similar gyms bearing his name.
One of his 1950s television exercise programs was aimed toward women, whom he also encouraged to join his health clubs.
He invented a number of exercise machines, including the pulley and leg extension devices and the Smith machine.
LaLanne also gained recognition for his success as a bodybuilder, as well as for his prodigious feats of strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger once exclaimed "That Jack LaLanne's an animal!" after a 54-year-old LaLanne beat then 21-year-old Schwarzenegger badly in an informal contest.
“Co-founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders”
Joseph Weider (November 29, 1919 – March 23, 2013) was a Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur who co-founded the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) alongside his brother Ben Weider.
He was also the creator of the Mr. Olympia, the Ms. Olympia and the Masters Olympia bodybuilding contests.
He was the publisher of several bodybuilding and fitness-related magazines, most notably Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Men's Fitness and Shape, and the manufacturer of a line of fitness equipment and fitness supplements.
The family founded Weider Nutrition in 1936, considered the first sports nutrition company. Now called Schiff Nutrition International, they were the creators of Tiger's Milk nutrition bars and related products, one of the earliest lines of sports foods
“I Yam What I Yam” (The Man of Iron)
Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar.
The character first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929, and Popeye became the strip's title in later years. Popeye has also appeared in theatrical and television animated cartoons.
Popeye's love of spinach is born out of one of history's easiest mathematical errors.
A mathematician and scientist revealed that spinach's iron content was miscalculated by a German chemist when he misplaced a decimal point.
His mistake gave birth to Popeye's obsession with the vegetable, which the cartoon character eats in vast quantities to boost his strength.
Popeye's testimony that he is 'strong to the finish, 'cause I eats my spinach' is apparently born from a mistake 50 years before he became popular.
While there are just 3.5 milligrams of iron in a 100g serving of spinach, the accepted number became 35 milligrams thanks to his mistake.
Yet. spinach also contains several other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E.
Popeye’s Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels.