Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980's, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.In actuality, the sport of body building has been around for quite some time. In the late 19th century, the man known as the "father of bodybuilding", Eugen Sandow was credited with inventing the sport by inviting people to view his body in muscle display performances.Sandow built a stage performance around displays of strength and agility as well as showing off a "Grecian" physique which was considered the ultimate body. He became so successful, he created several businesses around his fame and was among the first people to market body building products bearing his name. As he became more popular, he was credited with the invention of the first exercise equipment marketed to the masses.Sandow was also credited with beginning the first body building contest called "The Great Competition" held in London. This competition was the basis for many others to follow including the Mr. Olympia competition that remains the most popular body building contest to date.When World War II broke out, men in the country were inspired to become bigger in their physique, stronger, and more aggressive in their behavior. Training techniques were improved, nutrition was focused on more than ever, and body building equipment evolved into effective means for working muscles in ways never thought of before.It was also around this time that many body building organizations came into being including the Amateur Athletic Union and the International Federation of Body Building. In 1970, body building was taken to a new level when the film "Pumping Iron" was released starring Austrian newcomer Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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