How the fuck did people train in antiquity? I've seen documentaries and read the sources and those guys were fucking strong, almost hilariously so. Hoplites, Roman soldiers, knights were on a level that boggled the mind of their enemies pretty much and since we actually have some records of the old times, we can say they were pretty top tier.
However, we don't have any routines. I know people trained until they started to sweat or breath heavy, then they stopped (anything more was seen as unhealthy). They ate huge loads of meat/fish and bread, much fruit and almost no vegetables. They also drank a lot of alcohol (several liters a day).
I'm not talking about peasants, but about the warrior/soldier classes, mind you. Sadly, the only real exercise book from back then I know about (De Arte Gymnastica) is written in kitchen Latin and I'm not good enough to trandlate it (a Vivian Nutton transalted it but I can't find the translation anywhere).
Any idea where to look stuff like this up?
Pic related, it's apparently a Scottish knight.
There's a nice chunk of information on the italian wiki page of de arte gymnastica, mainly because we're forced to study latin in school
Here's a google translate to english
I don't think they were impressive muscke wise, but the amount of shit they did means they had pretty strong tendons and joints.
Mass weren't a thing back then, but endurance and strength was.
>I know people trained until they started to sweat or breath heavy, then they stopped (anything more was seen as unhealthy)
That sounds silly and untrue. Source?
Also in ancient Egypt the diet was almost all vegetables, beans and fish, with only added meat for the rich, so I don't know where you got that idea. And alcohol in antiquity was much lower % then it is now. Beer was more like water.
The same way we train now: progressive overload. Granted they took a less systemic approach to it that we do, but that's all there was to it.
I don't know where you got that idea of a diet from, though. Depending on the region, foods were highly seasonal, so a diet high in fruits wouldn't have been common for about 1/3rd of the year, and plenty of vegetables were consumed.
In the modern world you have literally zero comparison to the people of antiquity. Today we have machines, computers, cars, and fast food restaurants. You grew up living in luxury compared to the people of ancient times. They had to wake up everyday and basically fight for survival or do everyday tasks with their bare hands since they were children. Your body has grown up soft and weak compared to them. Just bc you lift weights doesn't mean you are as hard as they were, tide motherfuckers fought with swords and shields and shit for hours everyday, hunted animals and ran them down in the woods. You wake up and check the weather on your laptop before you ride in your car to the grocery store.
Classics Major here. I'm kind of iffy on history, better at language and literature, but I'll try and give it a shot.
Re: Romans, most young men went into military service at some point in their lives. It was a way to gain honor and prestige and to climb the cursus honorum. A lot of their training was literally learning to fight, carrying around heavy shit, and building bases.
You're pretty on target about the diet, except for alcohol. The alcohol they drank was very watered down. They knew that if they put water into wine, the water would be safe to drink, but they didn't know why (the alcohol would kill bacteria), in fact they had a word for unmixed wine, and hardly anyone drank it.
If you're looking for something on the ancients, De Arte Gymnastica is not the place to look, because it was written in the 16th century, nowhere close to the time of the Romans. For an actual Roman source (although late), look up Vegetius' De Re Militari.
Avicenna, Hippocrates and everyone else, really.
>Granted they took a less systemic approach to it that we do, but that's all there was to it.
I dunno, man. The books I read make it clear it was pretty fucking systematic because you needed specialised teachers for doing it.
>I don't know where you got that idea of a diet from, though
Too many book to recount, desu. Also, medieval Germans already had the habit of keeping lists about everything.
I already read that. There is no routine described, however, except very roughly.
This is just my opinion and conjecture but I bet it came from having to do physical labor all day. Also only the upper classes had the luxury of as much food as they wanted and they were the cream of the crop for fighting, made warriors from youth, so it's like pro athletes nowadays. Also genetics probably selected for the biggest knights. (in b4 Pepin the Manlet)
>Avicenna, Hippocrates and everyone else, really.
How would they explain military experitions then? I have a hard time believing that is what they meant. If so, Romans and Greeks be dumb as shit.
Egypt and Mesopotamia confirmed for not being retarded about health.
>How would they explain military experitions then
Warfare wasn't training. It was what you were training for. As in: You don't run a Marathon every day to train for a Marathon.
>Romans and Greeks be dumb as shit.
>Egypt and Mesopotamia confirmed for not being retarded about health.
At least Mesopotamians were regularly made fun of by Greeks because of their pale, flaccid bodies.
But soldiers didn't exactly labor physically all day (however, Galen writes about physical labor as training if you have no other choice).
You niggaz seriously don't know about halteres? In some languages the word for dumbbells even derives from that.
My question is why do people consider stuff like squats, benches, or even presses from the rack "functional" if they require weird equipment and positions for you to get into? To me a squat with heavy weight on your back is pretty unnatural.
Part of it has to do with being trained in very specific skills every day from early childhood onward, as if the survival of their community depended on it (because it did). Medieval archers routinely went into combat with bows that almost no living archer is capable of handling effectively.
>I dunno, man. The books I read make it clear it was pretty fucking systematic because you needed specialised teachers for doing it.
Maybe I worded that wrong. I meant they didn't have a more universal system for obtaining their strength like we do (adjustable free weight systems with a large range of increments)
test was higher in men then. things were harder in general so only stronger people survived especially in military settings. fit loves to make fun of lmao practical strength but the body is all about adaptation. if you throw a spear everyday, you may not look like brad pitt but you'll be pretty fucking good at throwing a spear. likewise for moving in armor and swinging swords.
as someone else, tendon and joint strength is woefully weak in your modern average sedentary westerner. if you practiced climbing or swinging around a shovel or axe your whole life then you could probably crush another guys throat with one hand.
of course all this stuff comes with a lower quality of life in later years but no one cared about that then.
>My question is why do people consider stuff like squats, benches, or even presses from the rack "functional" if they require weird equipment and positions for you to get into? To me a squat with heavy weight on your back is pretty unnatural.
OP here, I can answer that. Depending on who you may ask, either Karl Durlacher (aka Professor Attila, the teacher of Eugen Sandow) invented these exercises in Germany or Joe Weider invented them in the 50s/60s in the US.
BWE as we know it today was also invented by a German: Turnvater (Gymnastics father) Jahn, in the 19th century.
Afaik, most of our exercises didn't even exist before that, even though halteres were used for curls in ancient Greece (most of them were really light, though).
It's a nice way of learning history, as long as the sources are there, but some stuff is kinda unappetizing (most of the Jahn/Durlacher/Weider connection ultimately ends up in occultist and kiddie fucker circles the further you go back, not joking).
>That sounds silly and untrue. Source?
not at all, training till levels of extreme discomfort such as what modern bodybuilding propogates is a very modern concept. physical culture strongmen (these guys were extremely strong) never trained to failure, or even close to failure, ever. gymnasts generally don't train to failure, either.
The answer is simple: if you ate, you performed better. Nowadays everyone eats enough so things like genetics, willpower and training becomes more of a substantial factor, but in the days when food was valuable and people starved to death all the time, the people who could afford to eat enough to sustain themselves properly would have had the edge, regardless of factors which matter today (although the wealthy still often trained, even though it wasn't using optimized methods like athletes of today. pitch a modern athlete against a knight in some kind of physical competition and the knight will lose).
Where did artists of the Renaissance and antiquity get inspiration for all those jacked statues? I mean they're not Coleman but they're not exactly dyels either. Obviously such people must have existed for them to depict them so realistically.
Probably anatomy study and then just their imagination, like how many artists today work. Sure it's nice having bodybuilder photos as an easy reference these days, but not necessary.
These statues represent the ideal male physique and are amped up versions of what were probably atlethic youths. It's normative ('as it should be') art instead of positive ( 'as it is'). No men in the past ever looked like this. It is heightend reality, like the depiction of people in advertising nowadays.
This is correct. We know this because a lot of these statues were anatomically incorrect in some way, shape or form. We can conclude from that that they weren't based on real people.
For comparison, look at how Michelangelo sculpted women's breasts and you'll be convinced that he had never seen a naked woman in his life.
>No men in the past ever looked like this.
Some must have, for them to use as a reference. Just how bodybuilders provide the body type of comic book heroes nowadays. The question is how did those people train.
>look at how Michelangelo sculpted women's breasts and you'll be convinced that he had never seen a naked woman in his life
He was just into traps, brah
>doing starting spartan in the laconian barracks
>mfw pleb hottie says I look buff like Zeus
They did manual labor all day long just to get by in life. Not like today where you go to work and do a little something and then head back go home and watch TV.
Basically this. It develops strong tendons and joints.
Yeah, but Michelangelo's tits look unrealistic. The musculature on those guys looks way too realistic to just be made up, barring minor inconsistencies like back muscles where there are none. Everything looks natural and proportionate.
I find it humorous that even with all our technology and gyms these people were way more badass than we are. They drank alcohol and didn't obsess over their diet. The average warrior of that era would snap any one of us in half.
Legionaries would fight with equipment made from lead rather than iron/steel. They believed that if the men trained with heavier equipment they would have more stamina when fighting the real fight with their regular gear. This practise was partially copied by European knights.
It seems effective in theory.
>We know this because a lot of these statues were anatomically incorrect in some way, shape or form
Show me an example. If you post Renaissance art as an argument for wrong ancient anatomy again, I'll slap you over TCP/IP.
Michelangelo wasn't an ancient Greek guy, btw.
Occam's razor says they existed. It's much easier to copy something that exists than to make something up without fucking it up, see >>35944113. Artistic depictions of elephants from Europeans who never saw them sucked, but muscular men were almost spot on. Gee, wonder why?
>Where did artists of the Atomic Age and Pre-Atomic get inspiration for all those jacked images? I mean they're not space-Coleman but they're not exactly space-dyels either. Obviously such people must have existed for them to depict them so realistically.
Retard it's called fiction
>inb4 5% shoop
They're not human so fuck you
Those models were exaggerations of ideals of the time. Note the tiny dicks. A large penis was considered animal like and unmanly. Masculine men were supposed to have tiny dicks. Try to find me a statue of a buff guy with a huge penis from that era; you can't.
Wow you guys are talking about art with no knowledge of art history.
During the classical periods (roman and greek rule) and the Renaissance there was great interest in human anatomy. Dissecting bodies and all that.
The greeks and roman's gods were in the form of men and women. If you depict a goddess like hera just like old wanda down the way then people are gonna say you are being disrespectful because the gods are more than human, they are perfect. So with knowledge of anatomy and proportion they were able to create sculpture with perfect physiques.
Occam's razer is good and all, but it's a blanket statement and is useless when you actually have facts and studies and texts, etc.
Your "ancient statue" is in fact Renaissance work. From another culture. Ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy isn't the same, you dumb asshole.
Consider yourself slapped, pleb.
Dicks were depicted small because it would draw attention away from the other parts of the statue.
Also, those big dicks and wooden fallus and shit like that were parts of satire and comedy a lot of times. When you want to make a serious statue, you wouldn't want to put something like that on it, would you?
the basic level of strength from those eras compared to the disease ridden primitives they came in contact with would be like a us coming across a god
the average person in those days would of been weak hungry and diseased
the romans or greeks of the time who took good physical care of them selfs would of been far far above the normies
plus the greeks developed the first pulleys (lat pull downs and rows for days)
the romans made the first nautilis fitness equipment
fucking big blocky wooden gyms
picking up stones
in todays world everythings easy back then nothing was
No, bro. They were given lentil rations. They of course took any meat from the land around their camps. This is well-known, so why are you lying?
Only modern-day USA comes close to the meat consumption of the European Middle Ages. During fasting times, people ate fish instead.
>Like you know more just because you live somewhere fucking puffed up yurop faggot
Not him but we get this history through education while you guys get to learn about your 2-300 years of murican storyline
Ask any farmer of non urbanized areas (rural sometimes have access to farm modern tech)
Grandpa's that spent all their life doing hard labor are still alive doing them at 80 with better condition and strenght than a 20 year old
Without checking, that seems to be because lead was cheaper and they didnt know it was poisonous. You don't give expensive equipment to a trainee just to blunt the blade while trying to act cool with his peers
I dont remember where, but I heard michael angelo used male bodybuilders as models. For both men and women. Also he was a literal autist and maybe thats why he was such a great artist
>Also in ancient Egypt the diet was almost all vegetables, beans and fish
The warriors/soldiers in antiquity WERE by and large peasants; you might be thinking of the knightly class in the medieval period but that's obviously 1000 years later. The exception was the Roman army, where you had to be a landowner (so not peasants but basically a farmer) to serve (until the Marian reforms).
But OP, your view of ancient training is obviously massively skewed by movies and TV. Gladiator, 300, and Spartacus (the TV series) are not reliable indicators of training or muscle mass. I imagine the most muscular ancient man got was like pic related (the statues and paintings you see especially from Greece are highly stylised).
For instance, to be a Roman legionary, you had to be able to march 25 miles in a DAY. These were men with superb cardio and endurance. Marching for miles and miles and swinging a sword all day if anything leads to skelly/ottermode. And even if they trained like we do today, there's no way most ate 2500+ day after day and it is unthinkable that most of they ate wasn't basically carbs.
>inb4 swords and shields
Even a two-handed greatsword wouldn't weight more than a few kilos. Your typical longsword was maybe 2-3kg and a gladius shortsword even less.
Holy maccaroni, when will this idea about people from the past with superpowers that would even outcompete today's pro athletes die?
Yeah, people were generally much more fit than today on average, but they weren't superhumans. Take any blue collar worker from our times and he's probably not far behind average peasants from the medieval times in terms of work capability minus occasional food shortages. Does he come across as some ultimate athlete to you?
>believing thousands/hundreds years old bullshit stories about knights and warriors
Sparta is perhaps the only exception (along with pre-Marian Rome).
Though they were highly revered as warriors, the rest of the Greek city states basically thought they were the autists of their time.
There are studies about this, you know? Ancient athletes were as good or better (mostly better) than modern ones. That's just a fact. Not trolling, it's just the fucking truth that some people (you) somehow cannot grasp.
The nomral people wonder how they did it back then.
>The warriors/soldiers in antiquity WERE by and large peasants;
What. Go back to school.
>your view of ancient training is obviously massively skewed by movies and TV.
I don't watch either. I have these "ideas" from science books and studies.
>the statues and paintings you see especially from Greece are highly stylised
The statues aren't. That's just an American invention because you guys for some reason cannot imagine being slim. You either go for fat or bodybuilder.
>And even if they trained like we do today, there's no way most ate 2500+ day after day and it is unthinkable that most of they ate wasn't basically carbs.
You know, it's pretty clear you never read anything on the subject. Why are you inventing stuff and lying? Are you a teenager or something? Lol.
>There are studies about this, you know? Ancient athletes were as good or better (mostly better) than modern ones. That's just a fact. Not trolling, it's just the fucking truth that some people (you) somehow cannot grasp.
all these "studies" were faulty as shit and they just make an useless commotion by posing as reliable sources of information
I like how you said nothing of substance other than
>I read books; trust me bro
>You know, it's pretty clear you never read anything on the subject. Why are you inventing stuff and lying? Are you a teenager or something? Lol.
Please enlighten me how an army - especially one on the march - in antiquity fed thousands of men enough to give each a caloric surplus or even maintenance each day. And please explain to me how 90% of that wasn't rice/bread and oils/dairy. The few animals that they would've had with them were far more valuable alive (continuous source of dairy/eggs/wool) than being butchered.
>science books and studies
>on a historical topic that cannot be directly observed with only anecdotal evidence from a few documents and pieces of artwork
Ancient people like the romans dominated the ancient world because of their use of brains not brawn. The swords they crafted were perfect for shanking the life out of someone and the shield for protection. The barbarian tribes they fought had large and unwieldly weapons that served no purpose other then getting themselves killed.
Italians today look like disneys alladin and are all short manlets. It definitely wasn't your muscles.
jesus christ, fit is full of idiots
these were secondary weapons, battles weren't about flashy shield+sword combos like in your fucking movies
>barbarian tribes they fought had large and unwieldly weapons that served no purpose other then getting themselves killed
no, Romans were successful mostly due to the right planning and keeping smart lines of supply
>Italians today look like disneys alladin and are all short manlets.
italians aren't direct descendants of romans
They train big and eat big from child
Eat lot's of fish and bread and meat and grains and you will get big eventually if you train. Train for enough years and you will get big if you eat big and train hard.
1. They didn't train to look good
2. They trained far more then 1.5 hours a day 5 days a week
No, they ate tons of food, and trained their lives away. Like Prime Tyson, they lived to train.
modern soldier's combat load is heavier than a medieval knights, this is a total meme response. Old armour in general was also better distributed because of the fact that it was worn all over the body, rather than soldiers these days whose weight is taken up by ammunition, food water etc. stored in a backpack
War training, familia.
They trained by fighting, constantly. All day. They ate massive meals and their entire life was dedicated to fighting otherwise.
Imagine if you didn't have any modern distractions and your entire life was regimented into a training routine. Your choices were to follow this routine or be exiled from society and never breed. You would also be jacked out of your mind.
>have some records of the old times, we can say they were pretty top tier.
most of the records are just bullshit. for example, the atlas stone strongman event is inspired by lifting/manhood stones that existed all over the world.
some of these stones still can not be picked up even by modern strongmen, and those have top genetics, are specifically trained and are on high dose of roids.
>muh ancient warriors with super strength
is all crap.
if you could lift a 50kg stone to a hip-height ledge, you could work in a fishing boat in iceland.
most of the manhood stones (stones young men lifted to be passed as adults, to a ledge at hip height, seem to be around 100-120 kilos.
thats a 120 kilo deadlift 1rep max with a stone. also, you have to see that this was the only important lift (no bench or squats or ohp). the only thing they had to reach to be called strong is a 120kg deadlift with an awkward weight at the max.
does this sound impressive to you? rippetoe would not be proud.
>Obviously such people must have existed for them to depict them so realistically.
the painter rubens (the guy that painted fat women) had to fight with the morals of his time, and mainly used male models. he just painted them as females.
do you not think a top artist could take a male model and sculpt him a little bigger?
I always love to imagine being transported back to ancient times, where I would be considered a very large, strong and healthy man, and also considered to be nobility because of my white skin. Would probably be bigger than pretty much everyone except for a few freak cases of actual giants.
I would quickly join the military and rise in the ranks because I have far more knowledge. Then I would strike a deal with the emperor, where I basically get to live like a king for the rest of my life, while I provide him with the knowledge to create guns.
Let's take Russian dancing as an example. You did this every day as evening entertainment, your legs would develop such lean muscle and power that you would be jacked by all means for strength and combat.
People in the past weren't massive, they had truly functional strength.
I'm not a dance expert, but lets think about things like Capoeria: descends from African tribal dance, and is a warrior/workout dance.
Also, look at Oriental traditions, they passed on well. Kong-fu, Sumo wrestling, etc. all have very clear exercises and diets associated with them. They'll give you clues.
If we extrapolate testosterone levels were 33 x times what they are today at 0bc.
That is, linearly. If testosterone levels half every 60 years, in Ancient Rome they were 2^33 higher.
I must say though I'll never stop being impressed by statues like this. The idea that someone just went up a huge ass block of rock and chiseled into that 3D Model with huge attention to detail (seriously mirin dat veing on the left bicep) is absolutely mind-blowing
You would be killed or sold as a slave inmediately. You don't know the language and even if you decided to study your accent would.be foreign so no specisl treatment for you
Only in movies and tv everyone speaks murican english
Yes, the dance is technically Hopak and is Ukrainian, with significant popularity in Russia and forms of it in Eastern Europe and even the Caucaus, but is that the point of the post? I'm not trying to bore people with infinite detail, I'm tryin to give them the general idea, and most people are familier with what Russian dancing is generally like.
>with significant popularity in Russia and forms of it in Eastern Europe and even the Caucaus
This is bullshit. It's not popular anywhere outside of Ukraine. And I'm telling you that as a guy who was born in USSR and lived most of my life in an ex-USSR country. But whatever
>It's not popular anywhere outside of Ukraine.
I did Ukra/Russian folk dancing in London, and I don't know if you are referring to the strict Ukrainian-cossack Hopak, or to it's overall family, but we had experts from all over the USSR.
Also, look at Georgian dancing, it overlaps in many of Hopak's features.
>People there dance Lezginka and it has NOTHING to do with Hopak
So you are arguing semantics, I'm talking about the family of dancing across East Slavic countries and you are complaining that I'm not going into proper terminology. Off-topic.
I can not for the life of me imagine some 400-500lb beast like that doing flying or clapping pushups. Like, I can maybe buy hindu squats, but I'd legit have thought they might train heavy fucking squats or something to get some more pushing power or some such.
>muh modern training methods
Ancient training methods were superior. Modern disk throwers usually can't even lift the disks the ancient Greeks used and stone age men were about as fast as Usain Bolt - in uneven terrain and barefoot. lrn2archaeology
>There are studies about this, you know? Ancient athletes were as good or better (mostly better) than modern ones. That's just a fact. Not trolling, it's just the fucking truth that some people (you) somehow cannot grasp.
Ancient athletes pretty much e-stated. Dumb nigger.
so you're going to call him an idiot without posting anything of substance yourself?
if you were so god damn learned on this subject, surely you could point to some reliable sources
you're just an arrogant anonymous user on the internet to everyone else here, why the fuck would anyone believe you over that other anonymous guy on the internet when none of you post sources?
Well, if you follow the Tarentine Method, you just need to load it heavier on Volume Day.
If you absolutely positively have to deload, I suppose you could cut off part of the legs you're not holding it by - It's not like it has to walk anywhere, on account of you carrying it to and fro.
>They ate huge loads of meat/fish and bread, much fruit and almost no vegetables.
not if you're referring to the ancient greeks
they ate mostly veggies and grains, only meat when they were sacrificing