Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another installment of “Finding Fitness.” This week, I thought it would be fun to provide another history lesson and dive into the origins of powerlifting.
Knowing the history of any activity can result in a deeper respect and understanding for what we have today.
Imagine this: You are in ancient Greece and all around you there are large stones. Men of all different shapes and sizes are competing against one another, grunting and huffing as they try to lift these stones.
These were the earliest documented powerlifting competitions.
The person who could lift the largest stone would walk away with a prize of some sort and the title of being the strongest of that time.
A little more recently, powerlifting, where feats of strength were awarded, has been an official sport in the Olympic Games since 1896.
In the 1950s, Olympic lifting became more defined. Instead of random feats of strength, it was narrowed to the clean and press, snatch, and clean and jerk. These are the lifts you will see when tuning into the current Olympics from Tokyo and other lifting competitions.
At first, the interest in weightlifting declined when these new rules were introduced, but as time passed, lifting and strength training became more defined and regulated competitions.
In the 1960s, the lifts that were cut from other competitions — bench press, squat and dead lift — started picking up popularity in competitions. In 1965, the first U.S. National Championships were held for powerlifting and the sport started becoming more popular in the U.K.
Magazines for powerlifting and weight training started to disperse around the country, bringing more attention to the sport.
In 1972, the International Powerlifting Federation was formed with the first official World Championship held the following year. The IPF not only ensured there were formalized rules in place, but also to ensure records were properly and fairly kept. After the formation of this club, many branches were made across the globe each of them adhering to the rules and regulations brought about.
Today, we see the gym industry booming, valued at about $96.7 billion across the globe. It’s hard to believe it all started with some guys lifting stones centuries ago.
That wraps up this week’s “Finding Fitness.” I hope you enjoyed our brief look into history. Next week we will be jumping back into a nice split workout you can do from the comfort of your home.
If you are looking for extra workout motivation, please feel free to follow my Instagram (@evouzumaki) and don’t be afraid to message me. I am always willing to help.
Have a great week everyone and never give up!