July 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Muscle Beach Spectacular in Venice

By SAM CATANZARO| Muscle Beach, with world-class bodybuilders lifting weights and flexing muscles right on the Boardwalk in full public view, is a spectacle any day of the week; over Memorial Day Weekend it was truly a bodybuilder’s paradise.

With three days of competition, the 2018 Muscle Beach Weekend Spectacular featured both pros and amateur bodybuilders facing off in feats of strength and displays of physique.

“We had standing room only,” said event producer Joe Wheatley of Muscle Beach Venice. “The bleachers that face the stage seat about 2,700 people and it was filled to capacity.”

On May 26 the Muscle Beach Raw Power Lift Off took place with lifters competing in bench press, squat and deadlift. With over 350 competitors on hand for the event, Wheatley said that he has not completed compiling the results yet. When this article is published online, it will include the results. 

On May 27 the CT Fletcher ISCA Muscle Beach World Strict Curl Championship took place. This, according to the event producer Joe Wheatley, was the most exciting event of the weekend; a true test of strength with competitors performing one bicep curl at maximum weight with their backs flat against a platform.

“It is a sign of shear strength and it is super exciting,” said Joe Freni who won the event last year and was on hand this year to present the winner with the trophy. “This incredible organization has increased the awareness the strict curl power lift which I think is the most exciting powerlifting event out of all of them.”

The final day of competition was Memorial Day, May 28, with the Muscle Beach International Classic, in which feats of strength were replaced with showcases of physique and fashion. With bodybuilders flexing their muscles in sync with music alongside a bikini competition and a vintage swimwear competition, this third and final day of competition was the most crowded event and also the most visually appealing.

The highlight of the event according to Wheatley, however, took place before the first muscle had been flexed or bikini showcased when a Boeing C-17 Globemaster gave the Muscle Beach spectators a Memorial Day flyover. 

“As the national anthem reached its crescendo we actually got a C-17 Globemaster flyover. It was something I had to arrange through the Pentagon,” Wheatley said. “That was a special day for me. My mother who is 86 years old came to the event and when the planes came over she broke down and cried.”

For those who missed the event, bodybuilders showcasing their strength can still be viewed any day of the week, barring rain, on the Boardwalk at Muscle Beach. While there may not be a flyover or bikini competition, there will certainly be enough muscles for your viewing pleasure.

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