Popular Muscle Beach in Venice

Muscle Beach in Venice, CA – Carrying On Tradition

Muscle Beach was originally located near the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. The city of Santa Monica provided equipment for gymnasts, acrobatic exhibitions, and bodybuilding. In 1959, the city temporarily shut down Muscle Beach after bodybuilders were found partying at the beach with underage girls. It reopened in 1960, but without certain platforms and other equipment the city and some local businesses felt encouraged unwanted behaviors at the beach. In the time between closing the original Muscle Beach and reopening, local bodybuilders and weight lifters moved southward to Muscle Beach in Venice, CA.

The present-day Muscle Beach in Venice, CA is known simply as Muscle Beach Venice. The original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica is still open to the public, but Muscle Beach Venice is better known for having seen the likes of Larry Scott and Arnold Schwarzenegger in their training days. Other well-known athletes and actors who have trained on the beach or been filmed at the beach include Dave Draper, Franco Columbo, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tookie Williams, and Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan did not train at Muscle Beach, but he was filmed there for an episode of hit TV show, Baywatch.

The Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation operates Muscle Beach in Venice, CA. The original Weight Pen at the beach was built in 1952. In 1990, the beach was redeveloped to include bleachers for watching training and competitions. In 2008, the Weight Pen was again redeveloped and a Grand Reopening conducted. Since 2003, various athletes, bodybuilders, and contributors to the health and fitness industry have been inducted into the Muscle Beach Venice Hall of Fame. The Walk of Fame outside the Hall of Fame building includes brass plaques dedicated to each Hall of Fame inductee.

In 2009, Iron Man Magazine sponsored a time capsule, which was interred at Muscle Beach in Venice, CA in honor of the beach’s 75th anniversary. The time capsule is scheduled to be opened in 2059. In 2010, the beach’s promoter, Joe Wheatley received a resolution from the City of Los Angeles honoring his lifetime commitment to health and fitness. While today’s health food fads may seem new to some, many in the bodybuilding community are happy to finally see Joe Wheatley’s principles and philosophies about health, nutrition, and overall fitness finally finding their place in mainstream society. Muscle Beach Venice continues to see renewed interest in training, bodybuilding, and healthy living with each new generation of bodybuilders at the beach.

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