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Found 6 results

  1. This beast was HUGE having competed at a ripped +270 lbs, Craig even made Sergio Oliva look small (see photo below). Check out Craig's website for more info. More photos of Craig including Interviews and classic training footage from the Pit at Muscle Beach can be seen here.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  2. 17 year old, High school student, Barbara Thomason wins the crown of the 1954 Miss Muscle Beach Beauty Contest. Listed at 5 foot 3 inches and 110 pounds, she celebrates her hard fought win by pumping a bit of iron while photographers click away and a crowd watches. Fate would not be kind to Barbara in the coming years...You can read about it here.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  3. The Murder of 1954 Miss Muscle Beach Beauty Contest Winner Barbara Thomason RIP: Born: 25 Jan. 1937 / Died: 31 Jan. 1966 Barbara Thomason winning the 1954 Miss Muscle Beach Beauty contest at 17 years old. (Photo above): Officials Carrying the body of Mickey Rooney's Estranged Wife Barbara Thomason on 31 Jan. 1966. (Photo below): Married couple Mickey Rooney and Barbara Thomason. Footage of Barbara can be seen within this classic silent movie of the 1954 Miss Muscle Beach Beauty Contest. This incredible 16mm silent film shows images of 1954 Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California (near today's Santa Monica Pier) including the Miss Muscle Beach Beauty Contest. The original Muscle Beach was just south of the SM Pier, and is credited as being the source of the fitness craze in the US. Muscle Beach dates back to the 1930's when the Works Progress Administration (WPA) installed exercise equipment immediately south of the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California. Popular gymnastic and acrobatic exhibitions were routinely held there on city-provided equipment. A platform on the beach with weight lifting equipment provided a workout area for such famous bodybuilders as Vic Tanny, Jack LaLanne, and Joe Gold. Muscle House was a "crashpad" just off the beach where many bodybuilders would live for cheap rent and convenient access to the beach. It was a common waypoint for bodybuilders such as Chet Yorton, Steve Reeves, Vince Edwards, Jack Delinger, George Eiferman, and Dave Draper. This is the 1954 contest won by ravishing beauty Barbara Thomason (pictured above) whose victory was headlined in the papers as: “Blonde, 17, Chosen Muscle Beach Queen.” She was described as “a bouncy, blue-eyed blonde in a white bathing suit,” with hourglass measurements recorded down to the half-inch. In 1955, she made her screen debut (as Carolyn Mitchell) in an episode of “Crossroads,” an ABC morality-play series. Three years later Thomason married actor Mickey Rooney but their marriage was an unhappy one. Thomason was murdered by her lover, actor Milos Milosevic, after she and Rooney announced they planned to reconcile. It was quite a terrible end for such a promising and attractive young woman. (Photo below): Milos Milosevic Born 1 July, 1941 - Died 30 January, 1966. Milos was a Serbian-born American actor, stunt double and bodyguard for actor Alain Delon. Milos was married to Cynthia Bouron (who would later be killed in 1973 - see news report below) from 1964 to 1966; they had one child. Reported as being a very tough character who wasn't afraid to fight. * Article above also mentions Cynthia Bouron filing a paternity suit in 1970 against Hollywood actor Cary Grant. Newspaper article from 1 Feb, 1966... Mickey Rooney's Wife Murder-Suicide Victim Hollywood (AP) - The planned reconciliation of Mickey Rooney and his fifth wife has resulted in her murder and the suicide of the young Yogoslav actor accused by Rooney of being her lover. The bodies of Barbara Thomason Rooney, 29, and Milos Milosevic, 25, an actor known professionally as Milos Milos, were found Monday in the bathroom of the $150,000 Brentwood home Rooney once shared with his wife and four young children. Police theorized that Milosevic shot Mrs. Rooney, then turned the 38-caliber pistol on himself because she was planning to resume her marriage with the diminutive actor. Rooney himself was under sedation at St. John's Hospital in nearby Santa Monica, being treated for an intestinal infection acquired during filming in the Philippines. Said Rooney's manager, Red Doff: "Mickey told me they'd (he and Barbara) had a very good talk and they were very close to reconciliation. I think Milos may have resented it." Apparently this triggered the acts of violence by Milosevic, whose divorced wife had asked for police protection from his fits of temper. West Los Angeles police, fitting together the sequence of events that led in the double tragedy, said this picture emerged: Rooney returned from the Philippine location in December to discover he had been replaced in his wife's affections by the handsome Milosevic, who had been a friend of the family for a year. A week ago, Rooney filed suit for divorce, charging that his wife "was allowing, permitting, encouraging or harboring" the Yugoslav actor at the Rooney home. Mrs. Rooney countered with a suit for separate maintenance. Last Sunday night, Rooney and his wife met in his hospital room, unknown to him, she had hired a private detective to tape record their conversation. The 45-year old actor-comedian, once famed as Andy Hardy, was persuasive in his arguments for a reconciliation. His wife shut off the recorder when she began to succumb to his reasoning. She and the detective, Herm Schlieske, returned to her home, a rambling cedarshaded house in a stylish neighborhood where Pat O'Brien, Gregory Peck, Phyllis Diller and other Hollywood personalities live. There she met Milosevic, two of her woman friends and her attorney, Harold Abeles. The attorney said later: "She agreed not to see him (Milosevic) anymore if it bothered Mr Rooney." Milosevic appeared to agree without rancor to break off his friendship with Mrs. Rooney. He then invited her into the master bedroom. They disappeared inside at 8:30 pm and the door was locked. It was the last time they were seen alive. A house guest, Wilma Catania, 35, decided to depart for dinner an hour later. She knocked on the bedroom door. Hearing no answer, she took Mrs. Rooney's car. She returned at 2:30 am and found the house lights ablaze. POLICE BELIEVE that Milosevic may have fired the pistol shortly after entering the bedroom. No gun shots were heard, even though a maid was in the house and three of the Rooney children - Kelly, 5; Kerry, 4; and Kyle, 3, were in a bedroom 30 ft away. A fourth child, Kimmie, 1, was at the home of Mrs. Rooney's parents. Two closed doors may have muffled the sounds of shots. Miss Catania awoke at noon Monday. Finding that the maid had not seen Mrs. Rooney, the house guest unlocked the bedroom door. She found the bed still made. Then she opened the bathroom door. Mrs. Rooney lay face up on the floor, clad in tan capris and a flowered blouse. A bullet had entered her jaw. Milosevic, in black pants and white shirt, was sprawled over her, a bullet hole in his temple. The pistol was next to the bodies. Under sedation, Rooney was unable to disclose his plans. * Above text taken from the published news article below. Mickey Rooney (1926 - 2014) and Barbara's children were raised by Barbara’s mother. Rooney married three more times before he died at 93. Found this news article online... Actress attempts suicide at home of movie star, August 1958 More on the above story can be read here. Some more info and history on Muscle Beach...
  4. My Favourite Routine for Building Massive Arms By Gene Mozee [Gene Mozee] In 1951, when I first began bodybuilding, I used to go to Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, every day during summer vacation and on weekends during the rest of the year. The superstars of that era – Steve Reeves, Armand Tanny, John Farbotnik, Marvin Eder, George Eiferman, Malcomb Brenner, Joe Sanceri, Clark Coffee, Ed Fury, Joe Gold and Zabo Koszewski, among others – were always there, and you could watch them train at the beach or at Vic Tanny’s famous gym, which was just a couple of blocks away. Today’s stars are practically unapproachable, but the atmosphere was totally different in those days. The champs and Muscle Beach regulars were accessible and easy to get to know. Once they understood that you were sincere and that you weren’t a flake who was wasting their time, they would freely give helpful training advice. My brother George and I got a lot of workout ideas and routines that way. There will never be another era like that in bodybuilding. From 1950 to 1980 I met almost every great bodybuilder in the world. I had the opportunity to interview them and discuss their training and nutrition secrets, and I even had the opportunity to train with several of those great superstars. It helped me to build 20 inch arms at a bodyweight of 220 pounds and bench press 455 lbs in strict form. In 1956, I bought the Pasadena Gym from John Farbotnik (photo above), who held the titles of Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe. That’s when I began to use all of the great training techniques and exercise routines that I learned from Reeves, Eiferman, Jack Delinger, Clancy Ross, Vince Gironda, Bill Pearl, Farbotnik, Sanceri and many others on my clients. We produced dozens of pro football players, track and field record holders, baseball and basketball stars and weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding champions. One of the greatest physique athletes of the pre-steroid era was John McWilliams (Photo below). It’s believed that McWilliams and Bud Counts (Photo above) were the first bodybuilders to have arms that measured more than 20 inches cold. John was also one of the first men in the world to bench press 500 pounds. I met McWilliams at a powerlifting meet in San Diego. At that moment he was working as the training director of George and Beverly Crowie’s gym in the San Diego area. He had most of the top stars of the Chargers football team under his guidance, including All-Pros Jack Kemp, Keith Lincoln and Ron Mix. McWilliams (Photo above) was more than 40 years old at the time, and he trimmed down to a bodyweight of 186 pounds. Bill Pearl’s mentor, the immortal Leo Stern, measured John’s arm at 19 ¼ inches cold, his chest at 52 ½ inches and his waist at 31 inches. These are phenomenal numbers for someone who weighs 186 pounds, and he got them without steroids or the benefit of today’s nutritional supplements. John and I became friends, and he described one of his favorite routines for building more massive upper arms. Not only did I use this workout myself, but I put 37 members of my gym on it. The average gain was 1 ¼ inches in six weeks. The following program is designed for those who’ve been training steadily for at least six months. Beginners should stay with a much simpler routine consisting of basic exercises. Here’s how McWilliams described his arm training... Muscular arms are growing larger every year. They’re stretching the tape to dimensions thought impossible a few years ago, and the drive behind this extra size has been the development of more triceps specialization. The triceps forms the greatest bulk of the arm and gives that rich and massive look to the backs of the upper arms, especially when they’re relaxed. When they’re flexed, the triceps give them that dramatic horseshoe-shaped look of power. It’s no surprise that the best bench pressers all have huge triceps. I know that a few years ago the average bodybuilder concentrated too much on his biceps and assumed that if this muscle was big and bulging, that was all that mattered. Today’s outstanding bodybuilders have discovered, however, that you must work to build longer and larger triceps to give your upper arms that desired extra size and shape. I advise you to follow this procedure if you want to add extra inches of muscle to your arms. I’ve also found that if you want to get the ultimate arm development, you must learn to relax your arms. The special relaxing movement I use is to close my fists tightly, then suddenly let go completely. Practice this a few times before and while exercising, and don’t hesitate to stretch and yawn whenever you have the chance. These movements take only a few seconds, and they’ll help move stagnant blood and bring a fresh supply to tiring muscles, breathing new life to them. So relax those tense muscles. I’ve spent many years reading all the articles I could find on arm development, studying how champions exercise theirs. I’ve devised my own system that I’m passing on to you. A great many people have used it successfully, and I’ll be very happy if this system does as much for you as it has done for me. May your progress be speedy. John McWilliam's Arm Training Program McWilliam's arm routine uses a number of double-compound movements, which gives your muscles a unique blast. Use the following program three times a week with at least a day of rest between arm workouts. 1/ Pullovers and Presses: This is not only a good exercise for the chest and shoulders, but it’s terrific for the arms. I attribute 75% of my own arm development to this double-compound exercise. There are many variations of this that you can perform. In this routine it’s used as a warm-up and the first exercise, as follows. Lie on your back on a flat bench that’s at least 18 inches high. Grasp the barbell with your hands approximately 10 inches apart. Begin with the bar resting on your chest and then press the weight up about 12 inches. With your arms bent, continue by guiding the bar back, over your head and down as far as you can. When you reach the lowest point, pull hard and bring the weight back to the original position on your chest. Repeat for 12 reps, inhaling as you lower the weight and exhaling as you pull back to the starting position. Do this part of the movement slowly so you can feel the muscle pulling both ways. When you finish the 12 pullovers, without taking any rest, do 12 narrow-grip bench presses, exhaling as you press the weight to arm’s length and inhaling as you lower it back to your chest. Still taking no rest, perform six more pullovers and six more bench presses. This last round of the double-compound exercise really brings the blood to the target region, which gives you a massive pump that sticks around for the rest of the arm routine. Do two sets of this super movement, resting about 90 seconds between sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Giant set (All exercises performed one after the other = 1 set - Repeat 1 more time to complete 2 sets total) Barbell Pullovers - 2 sets of 12 reps Close-Grip Bench Presses - 2 sets of 12 reps Barbell pullovers - 2 sets of 6 reps Close-grip bench presses - 2 sets of 6 reps 2/ Two-Arm Curls and Triceps Presses: This double movement is one of the best exercises for the biceps. While standing erect, with your feet about 18 inches apart, hold a barbell with a medium, palms-up grip and slowly curl the weight from your thighs to your shoulders, tensing the biceps at the top. Lower the weight slowly to your thighs and repeat for 12 reps. Remember to stand stiff and let your biceps do all the work. When you finish the curls, go right into the triceps presses. Switch to an over-grip and press the barbell overhead, which positions your palms facing forward. Holding your elbows stationary throughout the movement, bend your arms, letting the weight travel down to the backs of your shoulders, and then push the weight back to arm’s length with triceps power alone. Inhale as you let the weight down, and exhale as you press it up. Perform 12 reps and then without taking any rest, grab two fairly light dumbbells and do 10 fast curls using good form, which means going all the way down without swinging the dumbbells. When you finish that, again without taking any rest, do 10 fast triceps presses with the dumbbells. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat this double-compound exercise for a total of three sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Giant set (All exercises performed one after the other = 1 set - Repeat 2 more times to complete 3 sets total) Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps Triceps Presses - 3 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets of 10 reps Dumbbell Triceps Presses - 3 sets of 10 reps 3/ Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions: This is one of my favorite exercises for building triceps size. Lie on your back on a flat bench and start with the bar at arm’s length above your chest and keep your hands 10 inches apart. Keeping your elbows pointed toward the ceiling, lower the weight slowly behind your head. Inhale as you lower the barbell and exhale as you press back to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 12 reps, resting for 45 to 60 seconds between sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Lying Barbell Triceps Extension - 3 sets of 12 reps 4/ Close-Grip Benches and Triceps Pumper (Kick-Backs): This is another superior size builder. Lie on a flat bench, and use a weight that you can sustain for three sets of at least 10 reps. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up, and rest about 60 seconds between sets. When you finish the third set, taking no rest, pick up a dumbbell with your right hand and bend forward at the waist, with your left hand holding onto a support. Do 20 kickbacks, then switch the weight to the other hand for 20 reps. Rest for 30 seconds and perform a second set for each arm. Well, there you have one of the best size-building programs for getting big arms fast. One modification that some of us at the Pasadena Gym used was to start with dumbbell concentration curls, performing four sets of 10, eight, six and 15 reps, while increasing the weight on the second and third sets and dropping it on the last: for example, using 40 pounds for 10 reps, 45 pounds for eight reps, 50 pounds for six reps and 30 pounds for 15 reps. We did this while taking no rest at all between sets. Only the more advanced guys who have been training for quite some time used this program, however. The above training breaks down as follows... Close-Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 10 reps Dumbbell Tricep Kick-Backs - 2 sets of 20 reps John McWilliams put a strong emphasis on the big-three fundamentals of bodybuilding: Consistent hard training Proper nutrition, including supplements Sufficient rest, relaxation and growth promoting sleep The workout techniques that enabled McWilliams to become one of the pioneers of super-massive arm development are still valid today. His training secrets can help all those who use them build massive arms rapidly, enabling them to reach their goal of physical perfection much sooner. Why not try it – and watch your arms grow!
  5. 1968 Muscle Beach California Bodybuilding Advert with Dave Draper on the cover. This ad produced by Joe Weider, promoted a unique training device called the "007 Twister". MUSCLES - ARE FOR REAL MEN! Add Inches of Muscles to your Arms, Chest and Shoulders with just One Twist of the "007" TWISTER! ha ha! Did anyone ever buy this device from Joe Weider? Was it any good?

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  6. This photo is from around 1971 I think, between 1971 - 1973, no later. Photo taken at Muscle Beach, California. Arnold looks huge standing next to ordinary average men. The woman in the photo is Canadian Olympic Athlete, Irene Piotrowski. Her ex-partner, Robert Sanders, a Vancouver Jeweller, was gunned down in an underground parking lot back in 1982! Irene would later move to Los Angeles where she spent the rest of her life. She retired from competition in 1973. Irene was born in 1941 in Lithuania. Her maiden name was Macijauskas. Later in life, she battled several health problems, including skin cancer. The treatments supposedly drained her finances and she was sleeping on a friend’s couch after being evicted from her apartment. She unfortunately passed away this year back in August at the age of 79.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

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