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The History of Muscle Beach

VENICE MUSCLE BEACH HISTORY: Venice Muscle Beach has a long history, dating back to around the 1930's. There was never an official start, but began by some regular beach visitors who met at the beach and worked out and did gymnastics.
Original Muscle Beach Santa Monica ...more

Muscle Beach was originally in Santa Monica, California
The original location of Muscle Beach was in the City of Santa Monica., California just south of the Santa Monica Pier, approximately 2 miles North of the current facility. The activities and people that started creating the image of Muscle Beach helped Southern California become known as one the prominent locations for bodybuilding in the world. From 1934-1959, Muscle Beach was home to several well known and famous names including Jack LaLanne (See Jack LaLanne Video) and Steve "Hercules" Reeves who helped create the sport we know today.

Thousands used to gather at the beach to watch the gymnastics performed by Muscle Beach regulars, stuntmen, circus performers and athletes. The spot got so much attention that it became internationally known before it got too big for the City of Santa Monica to handle. The original Muscle Beach closed in the 1950's.

"The Pen"
Today’s location is 1800 Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach, California (North of the Venice Pier and just South of the Pavilion). The facility is formerly called Muscle Beach Venice California, but was originally known as "The Pen" and has witness such names as Arnold Schwarzenegger (See Arnold Video) and Franco Columbu (See Franco Columbo Video) and many others.
Now run by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Muscle Beach is one part of the Venice Beach Recreation Center with many attractions including paddle tennis courts, basketball courts, handball courts, children’s play area, outdoor gymnasium and other activities.

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HEALTHandFITNESS.com article on Arnold Schwarzenegger visit to Muscle Beach.


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