How It All Started -- The Origin of Modern Fitness Training
Modern fitness training for improving health and physical appearance originated
in ancient Greece (2500 - 200 B.C.) where the beauty of the body and the importance
of health and fitness were appreciated to an extent unparalleled in history.
[INDEED, THE OLYMPICS SPORTS COMPETION AS WE KNOW IT TODAY ORIGINATED IN ANCIENT
With this background it shouldn't come as a surprise that an ancient Greek
athlete is regarded as the forefather of modern fitness training. Milo of Crotona
lived in the sixth century B.C. and was an accomplished wrestler well known
for his extraordinary feats of strength. Preparing for his participation in
the Olympic Games, he inadvertently discovered one of the most important principles
of modern fitness training, the so called "Overload Principle ".
The legend tells us that Milo of Crotona used to build strength and endurance
by lifting a young bull calf on his shoulders. Every day he went out in the
field and picked up the calf, placed it across the back of his shoulders and
walked around the field. As the calf grew over a period of time Milo would
gradually grow in strength. By the time the Olympics began, Milo made a big
entrance into the arena with a full-grown bull around his neck. Milo
was applying the "Overload Principle" which states that a person will function
better and grow in strength beyond their normal level of
strength as they progressively apply higher levels of resistance. In Milo
's case the increasing weight of the growing calf was providing the added
resistance . Milo 's discovery and application of the Overload Principle
made him so fit and strong that he won the Olympics for 6 consecutive times
over a 24-year period and also won numerous victories in other athletic events.