historyofweightlifting - Andrew Sobler Prof Sheri Bollinger...

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Andrew Sobler Prof. Sheri Bollinger Weight Training 1 5 th March 2007 THE HISTORY OF WEIGHT LIFTING The history of weight lifting can be traced all the way back to 5,000 years ago, where ancient Chinese texts tell of prospective soldiers having to pass lifting tests. In ancient Greece it is believed that devices such as the discus, halteres, and javelin were used to build strength in the muscles. A 2 nd century physician named Galen, developed systematic strength training exercises. His workout plans included heavy lifting, man to man isometric training, and also the use of dumbbells. He also used exercises to enhance athletic power and strength with speed. The Romans also used Galen’s exercises, but only to the extent to enhance prowess in battle. To them, there was no exercise to make the body more healthy and be stronger for the pride of it, just the ability to kill more than one man in battle. As the Roman Empire fell, the philosophy of Christianity gave way. Therefore the body was no longer looked at as a thing of beauty with muscle, but rather something of contempt. To improve at war, soldiers started developing their skills rather than their overall strength, but were still doing some resistance work with weights anyway. For instance, the swords in those days were very heavy. Resistance work and weight training was then forgot about for 1500 years. In 1531, Sir Thomas Elyot liked Galen’s system for lifting weights, but also suggested such exercises should be performed in a house, also using deambulations, or walks, working with weights made of lead. Joachim Camerarious also wrote about lifting
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weights. In 1544 he published a short piece on bodily exercise, in which he suggested that boys should be encouraged to do exercises such as hanging from a bar, climbing a rope, lifting weights and matching strength with an opponent in different ways. During the late 18 th century there was a great emphasis put on physical education, the development of body exercises in schools rose in Europe. A German teacher by the name of Johann Gutsmuth wrote an encyclopedia on body exercise and is also said to have laid the foundations for continental lifting with the invention of a few new pieces of
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historyofweightlifting - Andrew Sobler Prof Sheri Bollinger...

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