About Us

Eugen Sandow

Our founding inspiration is Eugen Sandow, born in Prussia 1867 and is the best known and most recognised of the early exponents of Physical Culture


First making his fame and fortune as a Strongman in Circus and Music Hall, later becoming Personal Trainer to most of Europe's crowned heads and Aristocracy initiating training programmes for King George V's Armed Forces, Police and Fire Services, becoming a prolific author of books advocating the philosophies of 'Healthy Mind-Healthy Body' with perhaps his most acclaimed work 'Life Is Movement'


The Pioneers of Physical Culture was founded in 1992 to celebrate Bob and Vina Woolger's joint 80th birthdays, hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, to honour and commemorate Physical Culturists from the past in achieving lifelong health and strength through healthy exercise and nutrition


Bob Woolger established his first weightlifting gym in 1931 in Portsmouth, United Kingdom and spearheaded the fitness movement of the 20th Century.


In 1939-45 served as a PTI in the RAF and later in 1946 initiated the 'Health Club' 'Health Farm' 'Health Spa' concepts. In 1947 he introduced 'HEALTH and STRENGTH' holidays incorporating multi-sports coaching at the Sunshine Holiday Camp, Hayling Island, an early forerunner to the Activity Holidays of the 1990's


In 1948, Bob Woolger represented the United Kingdom as Weightlifting Referee in the Olympics after World War II. His reputation as an experienced weightlifting and bodybuilding coach grew after co-founding the National Amatuer Bodybuilding Association (NABBA) in 1950 with others.


In 1992 was awarded the Presidents Council on Sports and Fitness Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of President George Bush Sr. Also the IFBB's (International Federation of Bodybuilding) highest accolade


Bodybuilding and Physical Culture builds upon sound principles of developing a healthy body and living a wholesome lifestyle by utilising muscular development to protect the body from deterioation and to maximise performance


These ideals are perpetuated in our unique gathering of the Pioneers of Physical Culture Awards Ceremony each year where we celebrate and recognise the history of physical form and exercise associated with health and total fitness and recognise that care of physique through sound nutrition and regular weight training excersise as this is the key to healthy longevity


In 2009 Dr John Strong, 92, Eugen Sandow's only grandson honoured the Pioneers of Physical Culture by accepting an award in person with the title Honourary Lifetime President 


Pioneers of Physical Culture continue to celebrate and encourage the application of exercise with balanced nutrition in modern daily life and our not for profit organisation is currently working closely with Government and other administrations to develop Policy in this area, improving our understanding and appreciation of the fundamental, sound and tangible benefits of a fit body for life


The Pioneers of Physical Culture inspire us to recognise that civilisation's greatest achievements are accomplished by:


                                 'MENS SANA CORPORE SANO'


                 'A healthy mind in a healthy body' (Juvenal 550AD)




Contact Us

Pioneers of Physical Culture

Montague House

37 Clarendon Road

Southsea PO5 2ED

United Kingdom

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