The History of Weight Sports: How They Evolved Since 1900

The History of Weight Sports: How They Evolved Since 1900

In the past, human beings were not able to lift heavy objects with their bare hands. For thousands of years they used tools or other means to accomplish this task. The first known use of a barbell was recorded in China around 2200 BC (the Chinese call it “wu” which literally translates into “bar”). It was called a “chun t’ao”, meaning “heavy bar”.

Later, the Greeks used a similar device to train their gladiators. During the Middle Ages, weights became popular among athletes and bodybuilders. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that they started becoming widely accepted as exercise equipment.

During this time period there were two main types of weight training devices: machines and free weights. Machines are designed to mimic natural movements. Free weights consist of materials such as metal bars, wooden blocks, and even leather straps.

Free weights have been used since the beginning of time. Ancient Egyptians had a system where they would place stones on top of each other and then press them together to create a lever-like movement. These levers were very effective at developing the muscles involved in pulling heavy objects like logs or rocks up hillsides without using ropes or pulleys.

Machines, on the other hand, became popular in the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution took place. It was during this time that inventors started creating devices to help accomplish specific tasks more efficiently. These machines involved cables, pulleys, and even electricity to power the device. Although these machines can’t match the intensity of free weight exercises, they’re still common nowadays since many people prefer to be seated while they work out.

Both free weights and machines were used together by athletes, strongmen, and bodybuilders to train their bodies during the early 1900’s. They would perform exercises like the squat and deadlift to build up strength and increase their muscle mass. At this time, weight training wasn’t recognized as a sport. The goal was to become bigger, faster, and stronger so you could excel in your field of work or battle!

In the latter half of the 20th century, weight training started becoming popular among amateur athletes and the public in general. Bodybuilders such as Reg Park, John Grimek, and Steve Reeves influenced this rise in popularity due to their good looks and massive physiques. In addition, Olympic Weightlifting competitions started gaining more attention during this time period as well. The American public was starting to become fascinated by strongmen like Bryan J.

Sources & references used in this article:

Morphological evolution of athletes over the 20th century by K Norton, T Olds – Sports Medicine, 2001 – Springer

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution by T Dobzhansky – The american biology teacher, 1973 – online.ucpress.edu

The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature by G Miller – 2011 – books.google.com

City games: The evolution of American urban society and the rise of sports by SA Riess – 1991 – books.google.com

The evolution of women’s participation in the Summer Olympic Games, 1900-1948 by MH Leigh – 1974 – etd.ohiolink.edu

The technological revolution and the rise of sport, 1850-1900 by JR Betts – The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 1953 – JSTOR

The human career: Human biological and cultural origins by RG Klein – 2009 – books.google.com

A generation of materialism, 1871-1900 by CJH Hayes – 1941 – autodidactproject.org