George Eiferman, ’48 Mr. America and ’62 Mr. Universe is shown here in his natural environment: the sands of Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, California. Needless to say he was famous for his chest development.
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“Renald and Rudy” were one of the premier handbalancing acts of the vaudeville age. For almost three decades, they travelled all over the country and later appeared on several television shows performing their incredible handbalancing skills. Here they are showing off a bit at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, CA in the early 1950’s.
One of the kings at the old Muscle Beach scene was “Big Steve” Marjanian. Here’s one reason why they called him “Big Steve” … an incline press with 460 pounds (which he made look easy.) Steve’s best incline press was 495 which has to be a record.
The great lifter Dave Ashman is shown here getting in a few squats with 565 lbs. at a training session at Muscle Beach about 1960. At the time, Ashman also clean and jerked 444 pounds (and did 460 unofficially). Like many successful lifters, Ashman credited much of his full body power to a heavy squatting. When you can squat 500+ and make it look easy(in sunglasses, no less), you know you’re really doing something.
Chuck Ahrens was never interested in showing off so no one really knew what he was capable of. Feats like this had a lot of people wondering just exactly what his limits were. I count twelve 10-pound plates and 2 smaller ones, likely 7-1/2 pounders, for each dumbbell — that’s approximately 135 pounds per hand – and Chuck reportedly pressed them with ridiculous ease. Even when dressed in a baggy, flannel shirt, you can tell Chuck Ahrens was built for some serious horse power.
John Davis was among the many famous visitors to Muscle Beach during its heyday. This picture was probably taken during the period of time when Davis spent some time out on the West Coast training at Yarick’s Gym. Looks like around 300 pounds on the bar. Notice there aren’t any collars on the bar~ you can’t miss a lift if you’re a world champ. Davis is also still wearing his wrist watch, you sure won’t see THAT today.