People who know me know that I’m of Italian origin. Others see my last name and recognize that I’m Italian not Greek. So when they see that my webpage is Greek god Fit they always ask why did I not use the Roman god theme? There are a couple of reasons why I chose to use Greek as the theme, one of which I talked about here.
After my first competition I started doing some research on the reason people said the body of a Greek god and not the body of a Roman god. Think about it, when is the last time someone said they wanted the body of a Roman god? People always say they want the body of a Greek god. Ever think of why?
We can see modern depictions of this Greek ideal in movies such as “300”. The actors in that movie, which portrayed the warriors of Sparta, were all athletic with and muscular. Their abdominal muscles were very defined as well as the musculature of their arms and shoulders.
Another modern example can be found in the movie, Troy, starring Brad Pitt. Pitt depicts the Greek hero, Achilles of the Trojan War. Pitt was extremely athletic in that movie and muscular. These ideal body proportions were not the body builders we see today but were athletic and proportionate.
These are the modern interpretations of the Greek body and the saying, “Body of a Greek god” but where does it all come from? The answer is quite simple really. All we need to do is look at the examples available to us from Greek society and the historian accounts of Greek culture.
The Greeks put a lot of emphasis on what the human body looked like. They even competed and exercised in the nude. The male body was depicted in nude Greek statues early on. All of these created an atmosphere where the ideal proportions were demonstrated and worked towards.
In addition gymnasiums aren’t a new thing, Greece had them in ancient times. In fact the very word gymnasium comes from the Greek word gymnos. They used these to train for the Olympics and other public games as well as for military service. Working out in the nude was done to encourage and accentuate the aesthetic appearance of the human body. It was also done as a tribute to the gods.
Greek sculptures of their gods also embodied the perfect male body proportions. The Greeks decided that the human form was an important artistic subject. The nude male statue could just as easily be a Greek god as it could be last year’s Olympic athlete.
The very famous statue of the Discus Thrower by Myron the Sculptor is a fine example of an athlete which exemplified the ideal proportions. He is muscular and defined while not being too large in any area. Myron dealt exclusively in bronze. However we normally see pictures of the Discus Thrower in marble. The copy by Myron is lost. The Romans greatly admired this sculpture and so this copy and many other variations are Roman.
We can also see examples of this ideal male body in other sculptures of demi gods and heroes of Greek writings and stories. Hercules is a prime example of one. Several sculptures exist by various artists which depict a muscular physique athletic physique.
Greek god sculptures are athletic and muscular, they show large and defined leg, arm and chest musculature as well as the abdominals. These traits would have exemplified the ideal Greek body. We see this in many of the classical Greek sculptures on display in museums around the world today. Zeus, the most important of the gods, is portrayed here.
Other Greek god sculptures also have muscular physiques. There are several examples of Poseidon in a strong muscular male physique. Perhaps it was because Poseidon was also portrayed as a very strong god.
Because of the Greek aesthetic ideal in the human form which was personified in their statues of their gods and heroes, we continue to say today “I want the body of a Greek god”.
Happy Lifting and Strive to Arrive!