Welcome back to the Downtown Fit Camp blog! In our last blog post, we began talking about hydration and how important it is for athletes to stay hydrated. To learn more about the body’s relationship with water, read our latest blog posts or stay tuned to learn about fitness in the ancient world.

If you are interested in bootcamp classes in San Bernardino, visit the Downtown Fit Camp website! Our gym offers bootcamp and fitness classes that can help you increase muscle mass, tone up, and slim down. To learn more, visit our website.

Fitness and the Ancient World

Thankfully, today’s healthcare and fitness practices are based on concrete scientific evidence versus cultural norms, religious convictions, and backwards philosophy. As we look at some of the cultural norms for fitness in ancient cultures, we can be thankful that we live in our modern world.

We Are Sparta!

When thinking about fitness and the ancient world, it isn’t too far removed to think about Sparta and the training that their respected soldiers went through. Even today the Spartans’ reputation is remembered; we have the Spartan race — one of the most prestigious fitness events in the world. Even before Spartan men could walk, a lot was expected of them. Each child born was brought before a council and determined if they possessed the physical characteristics of a warrior. According to myth, those that did not pass the test were thrown into a chasm and left to die.

If the child passed the test, they were subjected to being bathed in wine and were often left alone to cry. These practices were applied to begin the process of toughening that produced Sparta’s warriors. Every male was to become a Spartan warrior and women were expected to produce the next generation of warriors. However, just because women were to bear children, didn’t mean that they didn’t participate in physical activity. Women often did gymnastics and javelin and discus throwing.

Caldron Lifting

Next time you are lifting and wishing you were done with your workout, remember, you could be lifting boiling-hot caldrons. In ancient China, as a competition of human will and strength, participants would lift boiling hot caldrons over their heads and hold them there. As you would expect, the sport was quite risky and often resulted in burns, broken bones, strained muscles, other injuries, and sometimes death.

Don’t Over Do It!

According to the Caraka Samhita, an ancient text and one of the oldest medical documents in the world, exercise must be done in moderation. According to one article, the side effects of too much physical activity according to this document include “exhaustion, consumption, thirst, bleeding from different body parts, fever” and others.

Oil Up

We all have our pre-workout routine and apparently part of the ancient Greeks routine was to oil up before working out. As they would work out naked, oiling their body would not only make them shine as they worked out, but it was believed that the oil kept them from getting cold and toughened the skin.

There are many more interesting and odd fitness practices of the ancient world. Stay tuned to learn more about them and be sure to visit our website to learn more about our bootcamp classes we offer to San Bernardino!