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About  Muscle Beach

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The original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, became known as the birthplace of the modern physical fitness boom.

From the 1930s this famous stretch of sand attracted gymnasts, body builders and acrobats.  They had a glorious place on the beach to develop hard bodies and physical skills.  They soon attracted big crowds who came to watch the competitions, workouts, adagio, gymnastic performances and famous people.  

Eventually Muscle Beach Santa Monica closed for various reasons.  An area down the coast opened up as Muscle Beach Venice.  Today the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica has been revitalized with new fitness equipment for all to enjoy.

The photographer

Don Jim


As a young photographer in the early 1950s Don spent time at California amusement parks and beaches.  Along with some unique beach scenes he developed a distinctive series of the competitions, gymnastics and crowds at the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California.

Don went on to become a recognized Hollywood photographer specializing in a variety of commercial endeavors.


 Visit his website for a more in-depth look at his life and work and to view a Muscle Beach YouTube slide presentation. 


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