Santiago Ramón y Cajal, one of the first Spanish bodybuilders

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Petilla de Aragón, 1852 – Madrid, 1934). One of the most portentous brains that the modern world has given was, as a child, a very bad student. He was very fond of drawing, painting, reading and sports; but he did not want to study, and his father, bored, put him as an apprentice in a barbershop and later in a shoe store.

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Santiago Ramón y Cajal, one year old, by Miguel de los Santos Oliver

His fondness for weights

At 18 he was a totally different type of how you can imagine: Delivered to the gym and great bodybuilding fan. He came to describe himself with these words:

Wide back, with monstrous pecs, my thoracic circumference exceeded 112 centimeters, and when walking I showed that inelegance and rhythmic contour characteristic of the forced or Hercules Fair.

ramon and cajal bodybuilding medicine
The young Ramón (Heraldodeoregon)

Military doctor in the war in Cuba

After this stage, it seems, he wanted to study, and at 23 he graduated as a military doctor. And as captain he was destined to Cuba in the year 1874. He himself fell ill with these fevers, so he returned to Spain.

He won, by opposition, the Chair of Anatomy of the University of Valencia, and from that moment, with the future secured, he gave himself entirely to the study of the organic tissues of man, and animals. The science that studies these tissues is called histology.

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Santiago Ramón y Cajal, medical student in Zaragoza (circa 1876) (Wikimedia)

Sitting chair and international recognition

Ramón y Cajal was the best histologist of his time, and as such won the chairs of the Universities of Barcelona and Madrid.

In 1888 he went to a Congress of Histology in Berlin. The wise men who were there met him badly; We could almost say that with contempt. But when he began to explain his discoveries and to show the histological preparations he was carrying, they understood that there he was the only one who knew about Histology, and thereby they extolled and glorified him, consecrated as well as a genius.

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Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Wikimedia)

The Nobel Prize in Medicine

His books were translated into all languages; the wise consulted him; the beginners asked for advice; the editors disputed their new works. The universities of England, France, Germany and North America called him to explain in his classrooms.

Finally, in 1906, he was awarded the highest scientific distinction in the world: the Nobel. He died on October 17, 1934, after the aggravation of an intestinal ailment that weakened his heart.

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Bust of Ramón y Cajal in Burgos (Wikimedia)


Pedro Laín Entralgo (1952). Cajal and the problem of knowing

Santiago Ramón and Cajal Junquera (2006). Ramón y Cajal, the will of a wise man

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