Muscle Beach: Where the Best Bodies in the World Started a Fitness Revolution

Overview

The Story Behind America's Iconic Patch of Sand—Muscle Beach, California

Almost half a century before health clubs, fitness videos and weight training became American obsessions, a pioneering enclave in Santa Monica, California, started the physical culture boom. In the 1940s, Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny, Joe Gold, Les and Pudgy Stockton and other like them drew thousands of visitors to the beach to watch their feats of strength and acrobatic displays. As more viewers became ...

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Overview

The Story Behind America's Iconic Patch of Sand—Muscle Beach, California

Almost half a century before health clubs, fitness videos and weight training became American obsessions, a pioneering enclave in Santa Monica, California, started the physical culture boom. In the 1940s, Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny, Joe Gold, Les and Pudgy Stockton and other like them drew thousands of visitors to the beach to watch their feats of strength and acrobatic displays. As more viewers became participants, body building and fitness became a part of the mainstream culture.

Muscle Beach is full of rich, new material about the original Muscle Beachers, many of whom are still alive and testaments to the benefits of a life devoted to fitness. With its fresh anecdotes and thirty-two rare and wonderful photographs, this history brings a legendary stretch of beach into focus.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If the mania for bulging muscles wasn't born in the 1930s in Santa Monica, home of the original Muscle Beach, it was certainly incubated and seen into its precocious adolescence there. Veterans like Jack LaLanne and Joe Gold were at that point maverick athletes and stunt performers who claimed the small patch of sand as their stomping ground. In Muscle Beach: Where the Best Bodies in the World Started a Fitness Revolution, Marla Matzer Rose documents the heyday of a tiny subculture that still has enormous social ramifications at the turn of the millennium. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312245399
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2001
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Marla Matzer Rose is a Los Angeles-based journalist. She currently works as an editor/reporter for Business.com. She has worked for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News and Forbes magazine. She won a Golden Quill award in 1996 from the Western Pennsylvania Press Club for an investigative feature in Pittsburgh Magazine.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2009

    OK as a used book

    At 5 1/2" by 8 1/4" this paperback is more like a phamplet than a book. It's poorly written with the author repeating herself frequently probably because of a lack of original materail. Most of the history consists of biographies of George Eifferman, Armand Tanny and Pudgy Stockton, very little is of the Muscle Beach itself. Photographs are chiefly of Pudgy Stockton. There is only 1 photo of Jack Lalanne and 1 of Vic Tanny. It's probably worth $2 if you can get it used but definitely not $16.95 for a new copy.

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