To Top

Muscle Beach Breakfast Club

7311-pubI have been a part of Muscle Beach Venice since competing there in the mid ’60s. Much has changed in the bodybuilding scene, just as Venice has evolved from a beat generation and hippy backwater to the funky tourist attraction it is today. In the ’60s, 15 contestants at a muscle competition would have been considered a healthy turnout, with maybe a hundred people watching the event. The contests back then were a lot of fun to be part of. They were what the “dream of bodybuilding” was meant to be.

Working out in the perpetual sunshine of California, literally on the beach and surrounded by people who shared your joy—what could be better for anyone enraptured by the barbell? Venice Beach was a part of my dream and I think the dream of every barbell enthusiast who ever worked out in an unheated garage “back East.”

Muscle Beach Venice has experienced a resurgence, and it is the result of several factors. Nobody has been more central to its growth and what makes it special than Joe Wheatley, the promoter of bodybuilding at Muscle Beach Venice, who has brought his vision and energy to the shows. There are now three contests each summer—on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day—each one attracting 150-plus contestants. And the mood is the mood of Venice—free-wheeling fun! The crowd bubbles with the energy of a sunny day and good times.

It is bodybuilding as I remember it: The contestants enjoying the simple act of competing, the standing-room-only crowd applauding all for their efforts, and the camaraderie, especially among the contestants. As Lou Ferrigno said to me when he was about to receive his Hall of Fame award, “This is the bodybuilding we all loved; the sport was fun to be a part of!”

Amateur sport is all about the personal feeling of accomplishment. Win or lose, Muscle Beach delivers the experience. Everyone who steps on the Muscle Beach stage gets to become a part of history, a history that stretches back into the ’30s and the legendary Jack LaLanne. The history is celebrated at each event with special awards for inductees into the Muscle Beach Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement. No other series of events has this history or its appreciation for the roots of bodybuilding and fitness and the people who were a part of it. IRON MAN magazine has been a sponsor and supporter of these awards, which we see as our part in creating and supporting bodybuilding history and those who made it.

Separate from the contests, I host a breakfast in Venice before the events to honor the award recipient. I call it the Muscle Beach Breakfast Club, and while the group varies in size from 15 to 25, its purpose is to enjoy that camaraderie of a shared history and experience. I cherish every moment.  IM


Anabolic Stack - Gains In Bulk

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Blog Post

  • Boost Performance with Ancient Adaptogen Superfoods

    Staying up to date on the latest in sports nutrition is important because what one puts into their body will have...

    IronManApril 28, 2020
  • Only Constant in Life is Change

    In all areas of life, it is important to have a backup plan which I like to refer to as Plan...

    IronManApril 7, 2020
  • At Home Workouts

    Intensity does not reside in a location, but from within. This is something to remember the next time you are unable...

    IronManMarch 17, 2020
  • Get A Good Workout with Mike Rashid

    Muscle sensation Mike Rashid, whose motto is “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” explains his shoulder massifier step...

    Cindy MamJuly 16, 2018
  • Why Your Big Toe Is Your Key To Great Calves!

    If you’re looking to really build your calves, this one little piece of advice will help tremendously. Yet you rarely, if...

    Nick NilssonApril 6, 2016
  • Create Big-Ass Shoulders With Mike Rashid

    His motto “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” may test your muscles and your mind.

    Iron Man MagazineMarch 21, 2016
  • The Workout and Happiness

    Happy New Year—a perennial cliché!  Can anything or anybody make you happy? To paraphrase a well-known line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,...

    John BalikFebruary 11, 2015
  • New Year Resolutions

    January first, the birth of a new year.  Time to reflect on the old and plan for the new! Historically, January...

    John BalikJanuary 15, 2015
  • Do You Know Squat ?

    Have you heard any of the following recommendations? “Don’t let your knees go over your toes when you squat, because it’s...

    Doug BrignoleDecember 30, 2014