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Eduard Korniyenko

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PUMPING IRON IN RUSSIA

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.