Long before man developed an iron bar and circular weights that fit on those bars, ancient civilizations were partaking in strength sports.
Egyptian tombs depict drawings of men lifting sandbags for sport.
Greeks had a form of weightlifting as a sport.
The Basques dominated stone lifting, and still do to this day. One stone lifter hoisted a 300kg stone… yes, kilograms. You think a 1000 pound squat is legit, move a 300kg stone and see what is harder.
Scots had the Highland Games.
The infamous Husafell stone is from Iceland and weighs 418 pounds.
With the dawn of men forging shit from metal… the barbell was born, then the dumbbell… then gyms…. and so on and so on…
Bodybuilding, Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting, Strongman; all have their roots in some Neanderthal bastard deciding to move that big rock in his path and creating a sport out of it… or a test of some tribal manhood ritual, which sure as hell will beat getting poison dumped in your eyes.
We learned to fine tune this machine made out of skin and muscle, we learned what foods are best to eat to gain that muscularity, we learned sets, reps, intensity, rest, tempo (which I loathe), all sorts of craziness involved with picking up shit and putting it down.
We went from grunting with a log wearing loin cloths to having entire clothing lines designed for lifters and by lifters. We went from stones that cut scars into your arms to forged bars that cost three large.
We went from obscurity, a sub culture, freaks, meatheads and “he must be on those roids” to being generally accepted by the mainstream (give or take a few dopes along the way).
Now, we have the internet, where everyone who touches a weight can log workouts, have followers, be a part of something bigger than just a single bar, plates and the gym. They can join groups, follow their favorite lifters like they are some sort of quasi demi-god, discuss programming with coaches in public and pick their brains, argue with internet trolls who are generally a massive waste of time and live their entire lifting lives from this very keyboard I type this blog from.
Take everything away. Remove technology, remove the hype, remove the “idols”, remove it all except for a single bar, some plates and a mirror….
Create your own primitive culture. Go back to the mental roots and remember that we are part of a vast history of men (and women) whose innovations, intelligence, brute strength and hard work have made it possible for you to learn how to do a glute bridge correctly.
There are thousands of programs, thousands of lifters, thousands of strength coaches, thousands of gyms all over this world… Hell thousands is understating it. You can have an entire wardrobe from a single company online that screams “I support this company with my paycheck”. You can have a shiny bar with smooth bearings loaded with calibrated plates that cost more than some people’s cars.
At the heart of every bit of technology, inside of your body, these is a little piece of a primitive man that says “I wonder if I can throw this thing”.
Think on that next time you take this too seriously…
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