Cover image for Muscle Beach
Muscle Beach
Rose, Marla Matzer.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiv, 160 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV546.5 .R65 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Marla Matzer Rose is a Los Angeles-based journalist. She currently works as an editor/reporter for 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 .

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved