Fifty (50) Years of Building Muscle

Posted on August 1st, 2017 at 4:33 pm by


How Bodies Have Changed Over The Years

For decades, people who are serious about their body’s appearance and overall health have made it a point to eat well and do exercises to keep in shape.  Men have taken fitness to another level as they discovered ways to build bigger and stronger muscles as evidenced by bodybuilding legends Charles Atlas, Steve Reeves, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Since then, bodybuilding competitions and the fitness industry have flourished, and fitness enthusiasts all around the world have been building muscle ever since for its aesthetic and health benefits.

 photo cristian-baron-27345_zpsjk4wp3va.jpgPhoto by Cristian Baron on Unsplash

While the average men and women’s bodies have changed through the years, the ideal body type has also evolved over the past few decades.  Those who are keen on keeping fit have taken inspiration from these body types, which resulted in changes in the way people eat and exercise to achieve their goal.  Here’s how 50 years of building muscle transformed bodies over the years.

Slim and lean

In the 60s, the ideal male body type was influenced by rock stars such as Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Robert Plant, so most young men aspired to be as lean as they could be during those times.  Meanwhile, women wanted to look like Twiggy, whose waifish looks inspired young girls to go on fad diets.

It wasn’t until the 70’s when people started going for a healthier and more active look.  While being slim was still the ideal for most women, those who wanted to have a better-looking body started to exercise to achieve the ideal muscle tone.

Big and bulked up

The 80s is when most fitness enthusiasts started to bulk up as health clubs and working out became more popular.  Bodybuilding became a popular sport and men worked hard to get the chiseled muscles and noticeable veins that were much in vogue at the time.  Some champion bodybuilders also used anabolic steroids, which resulted in a bigger upper body as steroids pack muscle onto the lats, traps, deltoids, pecs, and upper arms.

Meanwhile, women focused on having a slim waist and a toned body without being too muscular, and they achieved this through aerobic exercise and lifting light weights.

Strong and toned

From the 90s to the present day, more people were into looking strong as well as slim, thereby getting a toned rather than a massively bulked up body. Women aspired to have Linda Hamilton’s strong and toned physique in “Terminator 2,” and today, most ladies are inspired by Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz, and Jessica Alba who have toned arms and abs but have still retained their curves.  These celebrities do a mix of cardio, weight training, and yoga to keep their body strong and toned.  Look at how Britney Spears keeps her body in fantastic shape:

Meanwhile, many men aspire to either have Brad Pitt’s body in “Fight Club” or Dwayne Johnson’s physique. While some aim to have a lean body with a six pack and well-defined muscles, others wanted bigger muscles and a bulked up look.  Pitt prepared for his role by doing a standard body building style split routine, while Johnson, who has had large muscles since his WWE days, does circuit training, compound movements such as clean and jerk, and high-intensity interval training.

In the future, it is expected that we’ll see a return to bigger muscles as today’s young gym enthusiasts are influenced by MMA, Crossfit, and the physique of actors in superhero movies.  Though people’s bodies and the way they build muscle have changed over the years, it looks like bodybuilding is here to stay.

Photo by Cristian Baron on Unsplash

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