The Boxer of Quirinal
Many of the early physique stars aspired to emulate the classical lines of the Greek and Roman statues.
Here's a great example, The Boxer of Quirinal, a Hellenistic Greek sculpture from the first century BC. This famous work of art shows an ancient warrior seated, likely resting after a match. This fellow certainly earned his bread, with scars and bruises inlaid with copper adding to the detail. Also of note is the Cestus, which are the leather wraps covering the knuckles of each hand. These were more for increasing knockout power than protection.
|Every ancient culture has evidence of stone lifting as a method of physical preparation. |
The Ancient Greeks often portrayed stone lifting and other athletic events on their pottery.
This piece of pottery dates to about 500BC and shows a young man lifting a smaller stone in either hand.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It doesn't get any more "Old School" than De Arte Gymnastica by Hieronimus Mercurialis. Published in 1569, this is the oldest book ever written on physical training. It describes exercises as practiced by the classical Greeks and Romans: the value of walking, throwing the discus, climbing ropes, training with heavy balls (i.e. Medicine Balls) and, as seen in the wood cut above, dumbbells and heavy stone tablets called "plummets" -- history's first odd object lifting!
Milo of Crotona was one of the greatest athletes of antiquity, winning the wrestling title in the ancient Greek Olympiad six times.
It was said that he built his great strength by carrying a newborn calf on his back each day. As the calf grew larger, so did Milo's Strength. After many days of this, Milo was able to carry a full grown bull on his shoulders -- and thus progressive resistance exercise was born.
|I've mentioned before that there is evidence that stone lifting has been a part of nearly every ancient culture around the world.|
Here's a look at a piece of pottery from ancient Greece, circa 500 BC, showing a young man lifting a large stone to build his strength.
|Stonelifting in Ancient Greece|
|Milo of Crotona, who lived during the 6th century B.C., was the greatest of the ancient Greek Athletes. |
He was a six-time wrestling Champion in the ancient Olympic Games and his strength was legendary.
Milo built his strength with an unusual method: Each day he would carry a new-born calf and, as the calf grew larger, so did Milo's strength.
Eventually Milo was able to carry a full-grown bull the length of a stadium and thus progressive resistance training was born.
|Milo of Crotona|
Nearly every ancient culture has evidence of stone lifting as a form of physical training for athletes and warriors.
The large sandstone pictured above dates to the 6th century B.C., weighs 315 lbs. and the inscription on it says: "Bybon, son of Pholos, threw this over his head with one hand."
You can find out more about ancient stone lifting here: Of Stones and Strength by Steve Jeck