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 others 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 by Marla Matzer Rose 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.