Why does a man climb a mountain? For the same reason every wannabe Iron Head goes to crazy Venice Beach to visit a small run down gym…because it’s there!
A couple of weeks ago when my son and I were in the LA region, we made a stop to Venice Beach to see the place where bodybuilding began, “Muscle Beach”.
While there, I had to send photos to the one person I know who knows more about the early days of bodybuilding than I’ll ever know, my cousin Breeze. This brother remembers the days when guys used steroids as the icing on the cake to their physiques and not steroids and “related products” as main ingredient to the dish.
First, a little background on Breeze himself. Two things Big Cuz has that most of us will never have:
a.) The coolest nickname ever
b.) More muscle per inch of height than we’ll ever see on our frames – Most of us look “average” with clothes on, while Breeze could easily say, “I’m training for the World Strongest Man competition” and people would believe him easily if he was sporting a three-piece suit.
When I first started lifting weights, Breeze was the only person I knew that did anything like “that”. He was a family legend and my first real introduction to clankin’ steel was with my other cousin Kev, in Breeze’s home gym. To this day, I still would love to have a nice cozy dedicated weight room in my home that could compare to the set up he offered. Mirrors, pulley from the ceiling, bench, DBs, all the basics you needed to go limping up the stairs when you were done.
I’m hoping Breeze will bless us with more old school iron lessons, but I wanted him to at least let us get to know a bit more about him and what he has to offer with the following interview.
When did you first get into bodybuilding/weightlifting?
I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, a era of greatest music, baddest cars to pound the pavement and one of the best era for toys, cartoons and comics. What I remember most from the comic books were the ads, from Charles Atlas training system and Joe Weider barbell sets to protein snacks, and the Bullworker. Every department store, Sears, Montgomery Wards, to Kmart sold a 110 lb. weight set and its own benches. We all had a uncle, cousin or friend who had something, pictures of Arnold or Frank Zane with bikini babes on their arms.
Wow it looked like fun, and I can’ t remember my first muscle magazine, but I was age 12 or 13 when my father gave me a choice Karate classes or barbell set. But off to sears we went and the rest is history, an all time love for weight training and the sport of Bodybuilding.
What word of advice do you have for youngsters wanting to lift?
I’ve had my up & downs in life, “but the Iron, cures all”.
Every doctor should write a prescription, “PICK TWO EXERCISES PER BODY PART, 3 SETS EACH, SEE ME IN TWO WEEKS!”
Thanks Breeze, and we look forward to hearing more from you in the near future!