There are early records of strength training that go back to 3600 BC. Chinese emperors made the people in their area work out on a daily basis (Webster 1976). During the Chou Dynasty, certain areas were even expected to pass certain weight-lifting tests before the people were allowed to enter the military. The evidence that has been found, even shows that weight-lifting seemed to be a part of the lives of the people living in ancient Greek and also India. The Greeks, it has been found, also made many sculptures showing men lifting rocks.
There has been a lot of different systems with regards to weight training that have been proposed over the years, and it is the accumulation of all this expertise as well as all the different philosophies that has led to the training systems that is used by people today, although this kind of training has changed many times. Hard work and also dedication has served as the foundation for all of the earlier training approaches.These days, this take on things has changed, because many new ways of training have been implemented and also now make up the foundation of the majority of these athletes’ training systems.
Scientists, athletes and artist have all been his students, one of these being Hackenschmidt, who mentioned him in his book. Sandow also used the system as described by Krayevsky.
The success that his students and Krayevsky’s work had a very big impact in Russia because he was not only a well-known teacher, but had also himself been successful in barbell lifts.
The first time writing on weight training in Europe came about was in the 16th century. In 1532 Sir Thomas Elyot’s novel was published in England. A Leipzig University lecturer called Joachim Camerius wrote several novels in the 1500’s. He said that weight training was very important and had to be made available, while a novel written by John Paugh in 1728 (A Theoretical Physiological and Practical Treatise on the Utility of Muscular Exercise for Restoring the Capacity of the Limbs) pointed at the benefits which were made available by means of weight training for the purpose of rehabilitation.
The systems that are used today, are the result of what has gone before, especially from the 19th century, including showmen entertainers, circus and fairground performers, strongmen, and others.
During that period of time, many of the wealthy people took part in this kind of training, using what we now call personal trainers. Much of these personal trainers fame came from public shows etc. With the fame came fortunes that even the best Rochester, New York tax attorney had trouble hiding from the IRS. To put it into perspective, even nobility would attend these public events. These events soon became televised worldwide. No one anticipated the amount of success someone could have from testing the limitations of their body, let alone guess it would become a spectacle everyone would want to watch.
Sandow was a strongman who was quite successful, during this time, and presidents and rulers from across the world believed in what he taught. He thought that physical education as well as sport should be a part of the school system of the time, and he also toured the world and gave lectures pertaining to the encouragement of physical culture as a way to improve people’s standards of living.
There are many who think that Sandow is one of the main people in the history of fitness.
Fifty years later, Dr Kenneth Cooper came up with a proposal that states that being fit was only a matter of aerobic conditioning and about 25 years later, strength training was once again recognized by all academics.
Two of Kayevsky’s writing took place between 1896-99. He had looked at all sorts of gymnastics and the real history as pertaining to the physical culture, and was concerned with the healing benefits of it. His recommendations, seemingly, are still in use, namely that training should be medically controlled, it should be consistent yet routines need to be changed, smoking as well as alcohol should be discouraged for maximum benefit, and the athlete’s mental development should also be looked at.
Many different apparatus has been developed, e.g. kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, thick handle bars, etc. So today, there are many people who say they have developed a new system, but nothing is, really, new!
The West and the East had different growths regarding their education and scientific culture and their way of promotion with regards to physical activity was different as well.
In the west, a lot of attention was given to aerobic development as well as, by many, endurance work. The eastern Europeans and Western Russia put together much information on different sport as well as strengthening training and used them in different educational programs. This seemed to lead to Russian dominance in these areas at the time.
Most of those in the west, these days, including coaches, trainers, as well as academia, are not very well informed when it comes to both fitness and sports conditioning – just study the science and evidence that is available on this topic to see this for yourself.