Monday, 6 April 2009

Eugene Sandow Father of Bodybuilding

Eugene Sandow may not be known to many but he is the pioneer who is crowned as the father of modern bodybuilding.

Eugene was born Friederich Wilhelm Muller in Prussia in 1867 (for those who don't know this is Kaliningrad in Russia).

Story has it that Friederich Wilhelm Muller left Prussia to avoid conscription to the military forces and found his way to London in the United Kingdom. He soon started appearances on the London stage where he was seen by Florenz Ziegfeld.

Ziegfeld signed a contract with Maurice Grau who was the boss of Muller. The contract stipulated that Grau would get 10% of all gross receipts Ziegfeld made from using Muller in his acts.

Muller created the stage name Eugene Sandow and Ziegfeld took Sandow to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was here that Ziegfeld noticed that while the people in the audience enjoyed Sandows show of strength lifting heavy weights it was his physique that interested them most. Because of this Ziegfeld got Sandow to work on movements that accentuated his physique, much like the bodybuilding poses of today.

Sandow was in a couple of short films in the 1880 and early 1890's before he actually came out of contract and built his own bodybuilding gym in 1897 called the the Institute of Physical Culture.

In 1901 Sandow held the very first Bodybuilding contest, this was on September 14, 1901 in the Royal Albert Hall.

After much success in life and gaining the friendship of some very distinguished people such as Thomas Edison and even King George V, Eugene Sandow passed away in 1925 aged 58 after having a stroke.