Eugen Sandow, the man who started it all and the father of modern bodybuilding. His real name was Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, but he took his stage name for two reasons – 1) it was a custom to do so as a stage performer and 2) he left Prussia to avoid military service, so it was harder to track him. Sandow moved around with a travelling circus in his younger days when he managed to carve his body into perfection through bodyweight training, gymnastics and acrobatics.
But it wasn’t until he became a pupil of Louis Attila that he started to gain exceptional strength and technique needed for various feats of strength. After a brief period of training, this duo started going from city to city, showing their amazing feats and basically making a living out of it. Sandow’s real fame came out of a bet proposed by a professional strongman Sampson – who offered a substantial prize of five hundred British pounds for anyone who could lift perform the same feats and weightlifting exercises as him and his partner, Cyclops.
Attila saw this as a great opportunity and just after a couple of days of additional training, Sandow and Attila went to London and won a bet, beating Cyclops & Sampson at their own game. After this performance, Sandow became famous all around the world and started receiving bookings on a daily basis.
Eugen Sandow was also very much liked by the audience because of his classical physique and 19.5in biceps.
Sandow opened many Intitutes of Physical Culture throughout the years, where he teached everything from weightlifting and various methods of exercise to nutrition values & dietary habits. Furthermore, he started a monthly periodical called “Physical Culture” better known as “Sandow’s Magazine of Physical Culture” along with numerous books during a period from 1897 to 1904. Some of his most popular titles include System of Physical Training, Gospel of Strength, Strength and How To Obtain It and other titles.