Joggers, runners, walkers, swimmers and dogs all go to the beach to work out, but none exercise quite like the guys and gals at Muscle Beach. With their comic book bodies, weightlifters come to Venice to perfect their ripped abs, swollen pecs, tree trunk sized legs.
Muscle Beach is part of Venice, although the original location was a few miles north in Santa Monica. The beach side weight room has been home to many famous bodybuilders including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Gold, who founded Gold’s Gym, and a long list of world bodybuilding champions.
Weightlifting at Muscle Beach used to be restricted to the feeble equipment built in 1952 and placed right on the sand by the parks and recreation district. Now that the beach has gotten some notoriety, however, it has undergone a massive renovation and now features bleachers for spectators, a massive arch displaying a barbell over the entrance, and padded weightlifting, tumbling and jump-rope areas.
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The original muscle beach held tumbling and gymnastics performances and competitions and most have now been moved to the Venice location. Each year, a bodybuilding championship is held at Venice Beach with the winner appearing in Iron Man Magazine. The contest is open to anyone for the $75 entry fee and attracts some of the top bodybuilding talent in Los Angeles, which can stack up with most places around the world.