Getbig Bodybuilding Boards > History - Stories - and Memories

Muscle Beach History - by Stuntmovie

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This will be a great thread. Stuntmovie has a wealth of information regarding the golden age of bodybuilding.

Looking forward to the pictures and write-ups!


Thanks to you GetBiggers who have already responded, but I gotta admit that I wasn't in to taking photos way back then .... mainly because I really couldn't afford a camera nor pay for the Kodak processing fee.

But I'll be naming lots of names of individuals you may have never heard of who were the true 'foundation' of this present bodybuilding-world and will do my best to grab some photos off the net to liven up this ancient day expose, even though I won't have much to say that is derogatory.

Just the facts as I personally witnessed them with my own two eye-balls.

JOE, I am glad you will be reading this because I am a complete shit-head when it comes to dates, so please feel free to correct me when I screw up. I am not the type of person who is easily offended .... unless you come at me with a baseball bat.

Believe me.... I've faced worse than any piece of sporting equipment.

WARNING for short attention span GetBiggers ...... I write very long paragraphs, but each word is easily understood.

JWB.. To the best of my knowledge .... I never met Marvin Elder.


  Stunt is a legend and a great poster   I salute him

Semper Fi, Arce!

To continue ...... First Trip to LA and First Muscle Beach Visit and the Biggest Bodybuilder I Ever Met! So Far. But that was only the beginning,

Once upon a time – a long time ago – I lived in Northern California in the City by the Bay called San Fancisco.

There was another kid, but older than myself, who lived across the Bay who never had a cold nor a cavity. His name was Steve Reeves.

As a kid I climbed  trees  and since we lived within walking distance to the Golden Gate Park, I had an unlimited number of trees to assult.

We had a summer cabin 72 miles north of the city in an area that was inundated  by some of the world’s tallest Redwood trees , but I was too damn short to reach the lowest branch and by the time I was tall enough and strong enough to make a successful attempt, one of the local, full blooded, America Indians of the region told me that only the eagles went up that high and young kids never should for that would be disrespectful

So I was polite and never did climb a Redwood tree!

But a lot of those trees in Golden Gate Park got to know me well.

Climbing trees on a daily basis creates a lot of strength and functional muscle and allowed me to be the strongest kid in class throughout my grammar school years.

Oh yea! ….. I also ran the San Francisco beach from the zoo to the Clif House at least three times a week and have been told that I have ‘occupied’ that beach more than any other living San Francisco city dweller.

Then high school came along and Steve Reeves, who lived across the Bay, advised me, “Get big, kid!” …. so I joined a neighborhood gym and learned how to lift heavy things by gym members who were bigger and stronger than myself but five to ten years older.

Yada, yada, yada …. Short version … I was a strong kid throughout my grammar and high school years as a result of climbing trees and lifting heavy things.

Then some family members got into the Hollywood film production business and invited me to visit LA-LA Land anytime I wanted.

So one day I stolde my dad’s car and drove south only to discover that it was much further from the Bay Area than I had anticipated.

Van Nuys was mainly ranches back then and places where horses were trained for the movies. But it was way too far from any beach and there were no climbing trees in sight.

And the only ‘gym’ was Muscle Beach in Santa Monica.

“Wow! A beach for running and a gym for lifting  …. All in one location! That’s ideal!”

So I drove over the hill to the small beach town of Santa Monica (very small back then), and parked  my car up the hill from the pier and walked down to find myself directly in front of  a small fenced in area that contained rusty dumbbells and rusty barbells and one big muscle-bound-dude who introduced himself as DOUG STROHL who invited me to join in a workout since there was no one else around to spot him.

I said, “Thanks, but I have to run this beach first!”

So I ran to the water’s edge, turned south and began my three mile run into the unknown  toward what I was to discover as the Venice Beach area which was entirely different back then than it is today. (Anyone recall Lawrence Welk?)

And that’s where this story begins.

Actually it’s where my future life began.

Doug Strohl....


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