Eugen Sandow invented Bodybuilding

Joe and Ben Weider didn’t invented bodybuilding. Bodybuilding was in fact invented way before the Weider Brothers and way before steroids ever existed. 

Eugen Sandow did it. Eugen Sandow was a rich and famous European circus strongman/entertainer obsessed with attaining physical perfection. He incorporated “muscle display performances” to his rigged strength acts. Billed as the “World’s Strongest Man” Eugen Sandow ducked any serious challenger in order to keep his legacy intact. 

Eugen Sandow was an entrepreneur and a smart businessman. An physical icon adored by women and men alike. His crotch-covered by a leaf pictures were best selling items at the time. 

Eugen Sandow (April 2, 1867 – October 14, 1925) 

Why was Eugen Sandow the inventor of Bodybuilding?

  • The Grecian Ideal. Sandow measured classical Greek and Roman sculpture in museum (no joke) and helped to develop “The Grecian Ideal” as a formula for the “perfect physique.” Sandow built his physique to the exact proportions of his Grecian Ideal, and is considered the father of modern bodybuilding, as one of the first athletes to intentionally develop his musculature to predetermined dimensions. Before him, no-one believed that a human could achieve the sculpted perfection
    of classical art.
  • He was the gold standard for the perfect male body and singlehandedly made fitness popular.
  • In 1897, he created the Institute of Physical Culture, an early gymnasium where he taught methods of exercise, dietary habits and successful weight training.
  • In 1898 he also founded a monthly periodical, originally named Physical Culture and subsequently named Sandow’s Magazine of Physical Culture that was dedicated to all aspects of physical culture. This was accompanied by a series of books published between 1897 and 1904 – the last of which coined the term ‘bodybuilding’ in the title (as “body-building”).
  • In 1901, September 14, he organized the world’s first major bodybuilding competition in London’s Royal Albert Hall. The event was a success.
  • IFBB Mr. Olympia winners are presented with a bronze statue of Eugen Sandow simply known as “The Sandow”.

Enough said. Eugen Sandow was truly the inventor of Bodybuilding.

Eugen Sandow: The man with the perfect body


Eugen Sandow vs Arnold Schwarzenegger

Eugen Sandow was the gold standard for bodybuilding

before steroids were discovered


Height: 67.7 inches (5’7 1/2″)
Weight: 180 pounds
Right wrist: 7.3

Left wrist: 7.1
Right forearm: 13.4
Left forearm: 13.0
Right biceps: 16.9
Left biceps: 16.1
Neck: 15.5
Shoulders: 20.3
Chest, normal: 44.1
Chest, expanded: 46.9
Waist: 32.7
Hips: 38.0
Right thigh: 23.2
Left thigh: 22.8
Right calf: 15.4
Left calf: 15.6

SANDOW’S (inflated) MEASUREMENTS At age 35 (1902)

height: 5’9 1/4″
weight: 202 lbs.
neck: 18″
chest: 48″
biceps: 18 1/2″
forearm: 16 1/2″
wrist: 7 1/2″
waist: 30″
hips: 42″
thigh: 26″
knee: 14″
calf: 18″
ankle: 8 1/2″

The worst bullshit inflatated stats ever written on Sandow…

  • Height 5ft 9in – same as Sylvester Stallone
  • Waist 29in
  • Chest 48in (62in when flexed) Are you kidding me?
  • Neck 18in
  • Biceps 19.5in
  • Forearms 16.25in
  • Thighs 27in – same as Chris Hoy
  • Calves 18in

I can’t believe that the above lies were published in a so-called serious post in BBC News Magazine. (Eugen Sandow: The man with the perfect body 


  • Like all the old time strongmen, Sandow never trained to failure. He perceived his workouts as “practice”.
  • The bulk of his training was done with dumbbells and supplemented with weightlifting (barbells).  
  • Sandow was known to lift light dumbbells as part of his training to concentrate on contraction.
  • He also used periodization into his training.

He is not called The Father of Modern Bodybuilding.


  • Sandow was a proponent of raw eggs and meat.
  • Nothing fancy, three meals a day. He took his breakfast after a cold bath and a light-weight dumbbell routine. His dinner at 7 p.m. before attending his evening performance. Then another cold bath following by a late night supper.
  • Was a firm believer that mastication is a key to good health.


  • He slept at least 9 hours a day. 

Muscle icon, marketing genius, entrepreneur, artist… 

Eugen Sandow was also a prolific author advocating the benefits of exercises over medicine.


Eugen Sandow never really was the strongest man in the world. 
But he was truly the Father of Modern Bodybuilding.

Arnold Schwarzenegger then and now photos
Ideal Physique Series: Eugen Sandow Proportions

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