Bodybuilders of the Early 1900s
Although he is not a household name today, Eugen Sandow helped to transform bodybuilding into what we know it as today. Prior to his emergence in the bodybuilding world, weight lifting was about performing feats of strength, and not about the appearance and health of the body.
The transformation of the body using weights (primarily stones of different weights) to gain strength was practiced in ancient Egyptian and Greek societies; in India in the 11th century, people lifted stone dumbbell weights, called Nals, and they also had early gyms. The Indian goal in lifting the Nals was to improve their health and to help them with everyday challenges, and weight training may have been India’s national pastime by the 16th century.