“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. (…) What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
– Socrates, as quoted in Memorabilia(1)
Whether or not Socrates had this conversation with Epigenes is besides the point, what’s important about its subsequent record was the focus on personal health. The modern interest in sets-and-reps fitness has, quite rightly, been connected to the nineteenth century but this does not mean that those in the ancient world were not equally concerned with health, strength and fitness.