Sandow the Magnificent: Eugen Sandow and the Beginnings of Bodybuilding
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Reeves, or Charles Atlas, there was Eugen Sandow, a muscular vaudeville strongman who used his good looks, intelligence, and business savvy to forge a fitness empire. The German-born Sandow (1867-1925) established a worldwide string of gyms, published a popular magazine, sold exercise equipment, and pioneered the use of food supplements. He even marketed a patented health corset for his female followers.
Among the colorful figures who played a part in Sandow's life are Bernarr Macfadden, Florenz Ziegfeld, Lillian Russell, and others in sports and the theater.
Sandow the Magnificent is the story of this first showman to emphasize physique display rather than lifting prowess. Sandow's is also the story of the earliest days of the fitness movement, and Chapman explains the popularity of physical culture in terms of its wider social implications. Sandow was a proponent of exercise to alleviate physical ailments, anticipating the field of physical therapy. By making exercise fashionable, he encouraged the fitness craze that still endures.
As the first superstar in his field, Sandow also pried open some surprising cracks in the Victorian wall of prudery. His nude photographs, a kind of soft-core pornography, were anxiously sought by both male and female admirers, and after many of his major public events he gave private "receptions" wearing little more than a G-string.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The First Triumph 1889
A Growing Reputation 189093
New York and Chicago 189394
The Tour of America 189496
A Growing Business 18971901
Triumphs and Travels 19017
The Final Years 190825
Glossary of Weightlifting Terms
Adam American appeared arrived Arthur Arthur Saxon artist athlete attempt Attila audience author's collection barbell beautiful became began bell bent press Bernarr Macfadden Blanche body bodybuilding British career cast century chest Chicago claimed competition contest Cyclops Despite dumbbell early Edmond Desbonnet England Eugen Sandow eventually exercise famous feats finally Gaudreau German gymnasium hand Health & Strength Hercules Ibid Koster & Bial's ladies later Launceston Elliot Liederman lift lifter London Macfadden muscles Muscular Christianity music hall never newspaper perfect performance Perhaps photographs physical culture physical education Physical Training popular posing pounds Quoted reported Sampson Sandow found Sandow wrote Sandow's Institute Sandow's Magazine Sandow's System Sandwina Saxon seemed Siegmund Klein Sieveking soon sport stage story Strength & Health strong strongman System of Physical theater theatrical things took tour Trocadero turned vaudeville Victorian wanted weight weightlifting wrestler wrestling young Ziegfeld