generation ironBodybuilding at its highest level is not simply just a sport, but it’s a display of fine art.

Much like the sculptures of ancient Greece, bodybuilders must sculpt their bodies into shape in order to create a ripped and striated figure of the peak human form. The work put in is far simple, each athlete taking on the task of molding clay into stoney perfection.

The Greek sculptures of old made it their mission to create three dimensional art that explored the human body in it’s most defined and well muscled form. They hoped to capture the image of superhuman greatness, forms that were near impossible for any man to attain. Or at least that was the case in ancient times. Now we have bodybuilders who are essential those stone statues brought to life. Living, breathing mounds of ripped muscle with personality and flair that no stone figure could ever have.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and Ed Corney weren’t strangers to the idea of bodybuilding being treated like an art form. Behind the scenes outtakes from Pumping Iron revealed that one of the key tools used for the funding of the film was an art exhibition that had the three bodybuilders posing and being critiqued by art connoisseurs.

Gymnasium is a Greek word. Gymnasiums were established specifically for the training facility of athletes who competed in Olympic competition. Sculptures were inspired by these athletes and in turn created stone representation of these men which was and is to this day considered fine art. It’s not far fetched that bodybuilding was directly influenced by this way of thinking.

Take Kai Greene for instance. He is a perfect example of how pro bodybuilding isn’t simply just a sporting event, but an art as well. The Predator is well known for his somewhat bizarre yet artful posing routine. Greene approaches bodybuilding much the same way as those Greek sculptures: creating a dialogue to the audience, a dialogue stating that the human body at it’s greatest is the most impressive kind of art to see.

Arnold had some ideas of his own on how he views bodybuilding.

“You don’t really see a muscle as part of you, in a way. You see it as a thing. You look at it as a thing and you say, ‘Well, this thing has to be built little longer, the biceps has to be longer or the triceps has to be thicker here in the elbow area.’ And you look at it and it doesn’t even seem to belong to you. Like a sculpture. Then after looking at it a sculptor goes in and works a little bit, and you do maybe some extra forced reps to get this lower part out. You form it. Just like sculpture.”

Do you consider bodybuilding to be in the same category as fine art? Let us know what you think in the comments below and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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