The newfound interest in muscle which was sweeping the country prompted the physical culturist George Jowett to start what is considered the first bodybuilding magazine, STRENGTH. Among Jowett's students was a young man who had high aspirations, both as a strongman and a businessman. His name was Bob Hoffman.
In 1932, Hoffman founded the York Barbell Club which became the home base of many of muscledom's early practitioners, including John Grimek. He also started his own magazine; STRENGTH and HEALTH.
Hoffman was highly instrumental in bringing Olympic weightlifting to the fore of the public's consciousness throughout the 1930's. Bodybuilding, on the other hand, held little appeal to Hoffman. He felt that muscles were a pleasant side effect to weightlifting but the pursuit of muscle alone was somewhat shallow. Another ambitious young man intent on beating Hoffman at his own game had different ideas.
Joe Weider saw the appeal of muscle and he concluded correctly that it was the appearance of muscularity and its consequential sex appeal that inspired most men to work out. In 1938, with his life savings of seven dollars, Weider published a crude pamphlet with an emphasis on bodybuilding over weightlifting. He called it "Your Physique." That modest piece of literature launched an empire.
In ensuing years, Hoffman and Weider slugged it out in bitter rivalry--each vying for the bodybuilding community's business with Weider always one step ahead. It's doubtful either of them knew that the business of muscle building was about to get an unimaginable boost from the unlikeliest of places. It was around 1940 when a playground on a Santa Monica oceanfront was attracting hundreds, and eventually thousands of spectators each day. That small strip of land became known as Muscle Beach.
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