What were the progenitors of modern sports simulators?Pictolic
Society's obsession with fitness may seem like a phenomenon of the present, but these photos prove the opposite — it all started in the Victorian era.
Swedish therapist Dr. Gustav Zander can be credited with inventing prototypes of modern exercise machines. It was he who came up with the idea of the connection between physical activity and a healthy body. The therapist believed that muscles should be built up by physical activity gradually, over a long period of time, and began working on creating a machine that would help people do this. The institute he founded in Stockholm was the first gym.
In the black-and-white photos of 1892, you can see some prototypes of modern simulators.
The simulators created by Zander were very expensive and were designed rather for use by representatives of high society.
At the beginning of the XX century, Zander's gyms were very popular throughout America, and some aristocrats bought gyms specifically for their homes.
This machine is very similar to a modern triceps trainer, which today can be seen in any gym.
There were practically no special sportswear at that time, so women had to train in voluminous dresses, and men — in suits.
Children from rich families also worked out on the simulators.
By 1906, Gustav Zander's gyms had opened in 146 countries.
In 1970, the American Arthur Jones invented the Nautilus simulator for high-intensity training.
Historical photos with prototypes of modern simulators are now stored in the Stockholm National Museum of Science and Technology.
Dr. Gustav Zander.