Brandon’s NeuroCore Review




Bodybuilding did not really exist prior to the late 19th century, when it was promoted by German born Eugen Sandow, later of England who is now generally referred to as “The Father of Modern Bodybuilding”. He is credited as being a pioneer of the activity because he allowed audiences to enjoy viewing his physique in “muscle display performances”. Although audiences were thrilled to see a well-developed physique, those men simply displayed their bodies as part of strength demonstrations or wrestling matches. Sandow had a stage show built around these displays through his manager, Florenz Ziegfeld. The Oscar winning 1936 musical film The Great Ziegfeld, depicts this beginning of modern bodybuilding, when Sandow began to display his body for carnivals. The role of Sandow was played by actor Nat Pendleton.

Sandow became so successful at flexing and posing his physique, he later created several businesses around his fame and was among the first to market products branded with his name alone. He was credited with inventing and selling the first exercise equipment for the masses (machined dumbbells, spring pulleys and tension bands) and even his image was sold by the thousands in “cabinet cards” and other prints.

Sandow was a perfect “gracilian” (this was a standard where a mathematical “ideal” was set up and the “perfect physique” was close to the proportions of Greek and Roman statues from ancient times – see Golden Mean). This is how Sandow built his own physique and in the early years, men were judged by how closely they matched these “ideal” proportions.

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