Body building witnessed the emergence of an important
voice during the early part of the Twentieth Century. Like
all human voices, it had begun as the voice of a child.
When the residents of York County in Pennsylvania saw Bob
Hoffman playing on the area’s many fields, they did
not know that they were watching a boy who would later
become the “Father of World Weightlifting.”
Bob Hoffman did not know, as the sun bronzed his back
and the exercise toned his muscles, that he was learning
a great deal about body building. Only in his wildest dreams
could that young Bob Hoffman think about becoming a coach
for the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team. Yet Bob Hoffman
did serve as the U.S. Olympic weightlifting coach. That
long tenure as coach offered proof of Bob Hoffman’s
knowledge of body building.
Body building is a sport that highlights the benefits
of physical fitness. The physically fit body can respond
well to routine physical demands. Such routine demands
do not tax the body’s energy. If someone has trouble
going up the stairs, then that person is not physically
Body building calls on participants to demonstrate multiple
aspects of physical fitness. Body building requires the
formation of muscle strength and endurance. That is why
body building has been linked to weightlifting. Yet body
building also develops something more in the well-built,
the physically fit body.
Body building develops flexibility. Body building develops
the range of motion around specific joints. When a body
builder stretches, then he or she is concentrating on the
development of flexibility.
Bob Hoffman preferred supplements that aided the use
of the muscles. He knew that the use of muscles led to
the toning of muscles. He knew that when supplements eased
the use of the muscles, then those muscles would develop
Fortunately for Bob, he had grown-up in an agricultural
area, an area with easy access to fruits and vegetables.
Therefore, when Bob got hungry he did not turn to high
fat snack food. He did not rationalize that his high metabolic
rate would allow him to eat a less well-balanced
diet. Bob believed strongly in the value of eating
a well-rounded meal.
Bob saw food supplements as a way to replace any nutrients
left out of the daily diet. Yet he did not rely upon supplements
to make-up for laziness on his part. He put constant effort
into planning his meals, so that he would give his muscles
the necessary nutrients.
Bob saw body building as a commitment to the improvement
of the body. He felt that such improvements were best obtained
by using the body’s natural tendencies. The body
naturally tones the muscles, when they enjoy regular and
Some might question whether the bulky muscles created
by steroid use represent an improvement of the body. Would
the bulky muscles that the hardcore
supplements or steroids create qualify as an example
of body building? For Bob Hoffman, they probably would
Perhaps that is why Bob Hoffman played such an important
part in the history of supplement use. He showed how supplement
use could work with the natural body processes. He did
not advocate use of supplements to alter the nature of
man’s God-given body processes. That difference in
approach is central to the present-day debate.
It is a debate that involves any sport where muscles
are of great importance. It is most certainly a debate
that involves the participants in the body building competitions.
It is a debate that lacks all of the necessary scientific
evidence. Investigators such as Brownell and Rodin are
working to supply the world with that missing information.
Why do people with more muscle tissue have a higher
metabolic rate? Does that hold true only for those
who relied on natural processes to build up their body
muscles? If someone gets bulky muscles by using anabolic
testosterone boosters, will such an individual then
have a higher metabolic rate?
Those are the sorts of questions that remain unanswered.
Those are the sorts of questions which relate directly
to the sport of body building. Those are the sorts of questions
that the research scientists hope to answer.
Until scientists come forth with those answers, it seems
logical to adopt the practices used by Bob Hoffman. After
all, Bob helped his athletes to achieve victories, even
without the use of steroids. Bob and the members of his
weightlifting team showed the world why steroid use does
not belong in the Olympics.
Some argue that the rampant use of steroids by professional
athletes has forced acceptance of steroids by the owners
of professional teams. Others favor a stronger emphasis
on body building, as developed and pursued by Bob Hoffman.
On one thing everyone agrees—the use of body building
helps to make a person more physically fit; it helps a
person to feel
healthier; it may help people to live longer lives.
Bob Hoffman well-known promoter of American weightlifting
owner of an oil burner manufacturing company in York, Pennsylvania,
became interested in the athletics about 1930. And his
company began producing barbells after
two years. Bob cooperating with editor and friend Jowett
also began publishing famous weightlifting magazine "Strength