Bodybuilding. In the Soviet period, the type of athletics known as
«bodybuilding» was not welcomed by official institutions as «wrong», as
opposed to the «right» weight lifting included in the Olympic program.
But people everywhere, from small towns in the far North-East, in
Siberia, in Moscow or at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, persisted
by going to the «sweat boxes», equipped in the cellars, to «build a
body.» Jammed western magazines with images of unrealistically muscled
male and female bodies passed from hands to hands.
An additional impetus to this semi-legal sport took off even
more with the growth of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s popularity. Today, when
the ban is lifted, bodybuilding popularity has not diminished. The only
difference is that some of the clubs moved from the basements into
modern fitness centers, although the basement «iron-pumping» remains. A
couple of times a year they climb the podium during vatious amateur and
even professional tournaments.
Here you can meet anyone — tax inspectors and businessmen,
housewives and popular TV presenters. As before, no matter social
status, whether you live in a small town in the center of Siberia, or in
a big city in the south of Russia, the only important thing is — these
people want their body look perfect, and be admired by others.