100 years ago, fitness culture in the United States was a non-entity.
Sure, strongmen featured prominently in carnival sideshows alongside the equally awe-inspiring bearded women and conjoined twins, but that’s exactly what strongmen athletes were: sideshows.
The general public knew nothing of nutrition and fitness (though working in a factory 12 hours a day at age 12 really built those forearm muscles).
This lack of knowledge changed in the mid 1900s with the rise of three individuals: Joe Weider, Jack Lalanne, and Bob Hoffman. This article will provide a brief overview of each and point you to interesting resources to learn more.
But before we get to the goods, how well do you keep up with your fitness and nutritional needs? Check out this article for a full day’s worth of meal ideas and be sure to visit our index of crossfit workouts to put your body through the paces. If you need supplement suggestions, check out some of our favorites at the end of this article.
Joe Weider was a fitness entrepreneur and bodybuilder who founded the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB), Muscle and Fitness magazine, Weider Nutrition (a supplement company), and the Mr. Olympia contest.
Though his business career was marred by numerous trade investigations and lawsuits regarding false claims, it is impossible to ignore Weider’s influence in the fitness community. From 1936, when his family founded Weider Nutrition, he supported and promoted fitness in the United States. He was responsible for Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s rise to fame, and responsible for transforming millions of lives with his nutritional supplements and workout equipment.
His influence lives on today through the various publications he created, and through his name brand fitness equipment.
More on Joe Weirder here.
Want to get fit like Jack? Check out our sports supplement pick Beta Alanine.
Known as the “Godfather of Fitness,” Jack LaLanne left an indelible mark on the American and international fitness communities. At age 21 he founded his first fitness gym in California (the first of many) and by 1953, some 17 years later, he was hosting his own fitness television show.
The above are astounding accomplishments, but let me color his personality for you: Jack LaLanne was an unstoppable fitness icon. In 1968, shortly after coming to the United States, Arnold Schwarzenegger challenged LaLanne to a brief fitness competition: pushups and pull-ups. LaLanne recalled Arnold’s comment (after Arnold lost): “He said, ‘That Jack LaLanne’s an animal! I was sore for four days. I couldn’t lift my arms!’ “
Between his television show, nutritional supplements, and fitness equipment, Jack LaLanne built an empire and helped many people change their lives for the better.
More on Jack LaLanne here.
Want increased pumps and better lifts? Check out Citrulline Malate.
Being that Powder City is based in York, PA, it would be a sin of omission to not discuss the king himself, Bob Hoffman. Hoffman began his fitness journey in the 1920s by organizing a weightlifting team in York, PA.
By day, the team worked producing manufacturing equipment at Hoffman’s York Oil Burner company, and by night they trained in weightlifting. After a respectable showing for Hoffman’s team at the Los Angeles Olympics, Hoffman knew he had to take his team to the next level.
In 1935, he began the transformation of York Oil Burner into York Barbell, a company that still produces fitness equipment to this day, and Strength and Fitness magazine, one of the first of its kind. With York Barbell as the base, Hoffman trained many of the United States’ best Olympic lifters, namely John Grimek.
Interestingly enough, Hoffman had a public and nasty feud with Joe Weider. Their companies were in stiff competition with one another, but the fact that the International Olympic Committee used York Barbell equipment for 50+ years shows who came out on top.
More on Bob Hoffman here.
Supplements to Help You Get Fit
As you can see, all of these men understood the value of a day’s hard work, but they didn’t shirk their supplementation regimen either. Throughout this article you may have noticed some supplement suggestions to burn fat and build lean muscle. Here’s why they’ll work for you.
Yohimbine HCL: Fat Burner Extraordinaire
Yohimbine HCL is wildly popular in the fitness community for it’s excellent fat blasting abilities. Yohimbine is an Alpha 2 agonist. Alpha 2 receptors prevent fat loss, so by blocking them yohimbine promotes lipolysis (the break down of fat).
Beta Alanine to Improve Athleticism
Beta Alanine promotes carnosine synthesis within the muscles. Elevated levels of carnosine help muscles neutralize acid accumulation that occurs during high-intensity workouts, allowing you to exericse for longer periods of time.
Citrulline Malate for Muscle Energy
Your muscles need energy to work, plain and simple. Citrulline Malate enhances ATP products, which is your muscles’ primary source of fuel. This also allows your muscles to recover faster. Not only that, Citrulline Malate supports lean muscle growth as well relaxes blood vessels allowing for the much sought after increased muscle pumps.
With these three products you can increase fat loss, work harder for longer, and recover faster.