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The history of strength training started with the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates eloquently explained the principle behind weight training when he wrote "that which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away." Progressive resistance training dates back to at least the 6th century BC, when legend has it that wrestler Milo of Croton trained by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day until the calf was fully grown. Another Greek, the physician Galen, described strength training exercises using the halteres (an early form of dumbbell) in the 2nd century AD.

The dumbbell was joined by the barbell in the latter half of the 19th century. Early barbells had hollow globes that could be filled with sand or lead shot, but by the end of the century these were replaced by the plate-loading barbell we use today.

Strength training using isometric exercises was popularised by Charles Atlas from the 1930s onwards. The 1960s saw the gradual introduction of exercise machines into the still-rare strength training gyms of the time. Weight training became increasingly popular in the 1980s, following the release of the bodybuilding movie Pumping Iron and the subsequent popularity of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since the late 1990s increasing numbers of women have taken up weight training, influenced by programs like Body for Life.

es:Entrenamiento de fuerza

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