Bodybuilding is one of the few competitive activities that require men to wear scanty underwear. The purpose of wearing male thongs a.k.a. posing trunks is to allow the judges to evaluate the muscular development and conditioning of your glutes.
In this article, we are going to explore the evolution of the bodybuilding thong.
Eugen Sandow, born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, put muscle construction on the mainstream map, and to this day, he remains known as the father of modern bodybuilding.
Sandow was born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) on April 2, 1867, to a German father and a Russian mother. He left Prussia in 1885 to avoid military service and traveled throughout Europe. He became a circus athlete and adopted Eugen Sandow as his stage name.
Sandow quickly became known for his feats of strength, which the crowd adored. Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr an American Broadway impresario, wanted Sandow to participate in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. During the performance of Sandow, Ziegfeld noticed that the physical development of the strongman was often dragging the spectators into a persistent stupor. Eventually, Sandow added posing routines between his feats of strength and acrobatics. This is how bodybuilding was born, at least the official version. Today, the award given to the winner of Olympia represents a small statue of Eugen Sandow.
This retro imagery of Sandow provides us with an opportunity to explore the journey of the bodybuilding thong since the very beginning of the sport.
The images below reveal that the initial bodybuilding thong (posing trunks) was divided into two categories – underwear and leaves.
Even in the primitive era, bodybuilders wanted their musculature to stand out. Wearing leopard underwear seemed like a logical step in that direction.
Make Room For The King – Arnold Is In The House
Bodybuilding may have started a long time ago, but it was only a small cult until Arnold Schwarzenegger and his promoter Joe Weider popularized muscle construction all over the world with the movie – Pumping Iron.
Those years are considered the Golden Era of the sport and many fans feel nostalgic and cry whenever they see a bodybuilding magazine with Arnold on the cover.
During the early stages of the Golden Era, most bodybuilders relied on Speedo–like bodybuilding thongs/posing trunks. The thongs resembled male swimsuits and were quite tight on the body.
As you can see in the photo above, leaves lost their charm and quickly went out of fashion. As they say, you can’t stop progress.
Rich Gaspari and His Shredded Glutes Created the Modern Bodybuilding Thong
The bodybuilding thong preferred during the Golden Era had a long reign, but eventually, it had to give the throne to the modern version. In 1986, at a contest under the name of IFBB Pro World, Rich Gaspari changed bodybuilding history forever. He was the first man with shredded glutes on stage.
The photo above reveals the moment of that show when Rich Gaspari pointed towards his shredded muscular glutes in order to draw the attention of the judges. Since that day the judges started to require way more from the glutes of the competitors. Having a nice rear was no longer enough. Shredded glutes were in order.
Soon after, the posing trunks went on a diet designed to enhance the judging experience. This series of events gave birth to the modern bodybuilding thong which continues to frequent the biggest bodybuilding stages on the planet.
As you can see for yourself, the modern bodybuilding thong allows the judges to examine every muscle group of the competitors’ body. Thanks to Rich Gaspari and his successors, bodybuilders who have worked hard for their glute conditioning are finally receiving the rewards that they deserve.
Happy Glute Training!