While the worlds of sports and fitness are intertwined, it had not been before 1970s that popular culture was ready to accept fitness as eagerly as it experienced accepted sports. Fitness had not yet taken on its importance for improving health, and popular opinion likened fitness to work and manual labor.
In the 1940s and 1950s, few participated in fitness willingly. Among those who do were Jack LaLanne, Victor Tanny, Joseph Gold, Joseph Weider, and Les and Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton. These fitness pioneers, amongst others, drew people to the beach in Santa Monica, California-the original Muscle Beach. Visitors came to view their feats of strength and acrobatic displays. More and more viewers became participants, and these people, originally on the fringe, became the right area of the cultural mainstream. Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny, and Joe Gold all started gym chains with bodybuilding as their main focus. Due toPage 602 the influence of Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton, women were released to the power and muscularity that came with muscle building.
No longer reserved for for “strongmen,” bodybuilding caused a change in the mindsets of most those who went to Muscle Beach. Through the seeds planted at the Santa Monica came Venice Beach, the house to bodybuilding legends Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, and many, a lot more. Venice Beach in the 1970s brought with it a fitness explosion across the globe. Not only did bodybuilding become mainstream, but the popular opinion of fitness changed dramatically. Americans in the 1970s would do anything to … Read more