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It's hard to imagine since the fitness industry is booming today, but just a few decades ago there weren't that many gyms available to the public. When the first Gold's Gym opened in 1965, there were only three gyms in the LA area. Joe Gold, a Merchant Marine veteran and bodybuilder, opened the first Gold's Gym on Muscle Beach (near the Santa Monica Pier).

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Who would have thought then that Gold's Gym would transform so many lives? The Gold's Gym community believed in transformation then—and we still do today.

What People Get Wrong about the Gold's Gym Story

Part of the story of Gold's becoming an international gym with 700+ locations in 28 countries is bodybuilding. To a lot of people, Gold's Gym's image is seen as a gym for the big, built, and burly. But what's missing from that picture is the community that allowed Gold's Gym to make history. While a lot has changed over time, the friendly, supportive focus of Gold's Gym hasn't!

Gold's Community-Centered History

From the very beginning, Gold's Gym was built by a community. Joe Gold built his own equipment—and it was top tier for the time. Serious bodybuilders gathered at the gym, where they rubbed elbows (okay, biceps) and built relationships along with their muscles. Original members included Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends.

Schwarzenegger, along with many other members of the Gold's Gym community, participated in things like making the movie Pumping Iron and wild fundraising event firsts, like a living art show. Celebrities like Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood started flocking together at the growing gym in order to chisel their bodies for starring roles. They loved the Gold's Gym community so much they helped grow it.

Gold's gym logoHow the Gold's Gym Iconic Logo Started

Even the history of Gold's Gym's logo is based in its community. As the story goes, some guys who loved Gold's Gym and trained there were getting lunch together. Among them were Schwarzenegger, Ken Waller, and Ric Drasin. They started talking about a Gold's Gym logo. As it turned out, bodybuilder and celebrity Drasin liked to doodle.

He drew the Gold's Gym logo on a napkin.

In no time, the logo was printed on t-shirts. They sold in a hurry. Soon, they were making history with sales and the logo of a shaved-headed bodybuilder became an international icon - one that's still legendary today!

A Story of Transformation—Together

The fitness industry has changed. Exercise isn't exclusive for celebrities and bodybuilders- it's part of living your best life. Gold's Gym knows that fitness is for everyone.

Just like Gold's Gym's history was built by a strong community, Gold's Gym's future is, too. Small group training today helps members reap the benefits of social support, fun, and expert leadership. Personal training, classes...our Kid's Clubs...it all comes down to people being there so transformation can happen together.

Start your transformation! Download our FREE 30 minute HIIT guide and then discover the difference that community makes by joining one of our amazing HIIT classes.

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Gold’s Gym SoCal is an association of separate clubs—click here for info.