The Barbell: What's in the Books
The earliest people that used resistance training with weighted dumbells, barbells, and sand bags were the Greeks. It is agreed that they trained for athletic purpose and aesthetic appearance. Hippocrates explained the principle behind weight lifting when he wrote “that which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away.” The old adage has taken the form, nowadays as, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Resistance training has been used to increase physical performance for the ancient Greek athletes, Roman soldiers, 19thcentury strongman, and is now taught in schools and used by the general public. The earliest weighted gym equipment were dumbells, sand bags, wands, and indian clubs. Legend has it that in the 6th century B.C., wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day as he ran around a barn until the calf was fully grown. Imagine if cattle were a part of your training routine!
It has been said that strength athletes owe more to the 19th century German strongman, Professor Attila than to any other. He is credited with with the idea of using sand or lead shot inside hollow spheres to vary the weight of barbells, dumbells and kettlebells. Although Attila’s stage performances undoubtedly helped to popularize this type of implement, Boston strongman George Barker Windship is a much more deserving
candidate for the honor of having “invented” shot-loading weights. In 1859, well in advance of Attila, Windship decided to train to see if he could “put up” the greatest weight on record. He procured two sixty-eight pound “shells” and screwed them on a wrought-iron handle, creating an empty dumbell of 141 pounds, which was “capable of being increased to 180 pounds by the simple process of pouring shot into the cavities of the shells, after having first separated them from the handle. Windship also appears to have the best claim of being the “inventor” of plate-loading equipment. In his quest for size and strength, Windship used his considerable creativity to develop and patent several exercise devices. One of these was a plate-loading dumbell which he began marketing in 1865. Windship’s dumbell could be adjusted from eight to 101 pounds in half pound increments; it sold for $16.00.
|Let's Put It Into Practice
With just a bar, and perhaps some plates you can go from zero to hero real fast. Olympic lifters, Bodybuilders, Power Lifters, and other elite athletes know that the barbell is the weapon of choice to destroy any workout and achieve glory outside of the gym. You may have used the barbell for the famed barbell bench press, deadlifts, squats, and rows…but here’s 8 moves that you probably haven’t thought of doing with the barbell:
Remember to properly warm up and gradually increase the weight on the barbell. It is better to start these moves using only the barbell and then progressively go heavier once you master the move.
1. Barbell Front Raises
2. Barbell Ab Roll-Out
4. Barbell Calf Raises
5. Wrist Curles
6. High Pulls
7. Single- Arm Linear Jammer
8. T-Bar Row