Sandow organised the first bodybuilding contest on September 14, 1901 called the “Great Competition” which was held in theRoyal Albert Hall, London, UK. Judged by himself, Sir Charles Lawes, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the contest was a great success and with a capacity crowd many bodybuilding enthusiasts were turned away . The trophy presented to the winner was a bronze statue of Sandow sculpted by Frederick Pomeroy. The winner was William L. Murray of Nottingham, England. The most prestigious bodybuilding contest today is the Mr. Olympia, and since 1968, the winner has been presented with the same bronze statue of Sandow that he himself presented to the winner at the first contest.
On 16 January 1904, the first large-scale bodybuilding competition in America took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The winner was Al Treloar and he was declared “The Most Perfectly Developed Man in the World”. Treloar won a $1,000 cash prize, a substantial sum at that time. Two weeks later, Thomas Edison made a film of Al Treloar’s posing routine. Edison also made two films of Sandow a few years before. Those were the first three motion pictures featuring a bodybuilder. In the early 20th century, Bernarr Macfadden and Charles Atlas, continued to promote bodybuilding across the world. Alois P. Swoboda was an early pioneer in America.