57 years of bodybuilding, fitness and tradition –

learn more about the legendary

history of Gold’s Gym! 


Made gold from scrap: In 1965, Joe Gold built his first fitness equipment from scrap metal and placed it in a concrete hall in Venice Beach, California. At first just a hotspot, today the Mecca of the global fitness and bodybuilding movement: Gold’s Gym.


Born in LA in 1922, Joe Gold discovered his passion for bodybuilding at the age of 12 and trained with home-made weights in his father’s junkyard – later on Muscle Beach. After the Korean War, Joe returns to Venice. When Muscle Beach closed in 1959, there were only 3 gyms in all of California. Joe Gold’s solution: He opens his own gym.

In 1965, Joe Gold opened the doors of the 1st Gold’s Gym at 1006 Pacific Ave in Venice. Joe builds the equipment for his new gym himself. As a bodybuilder, he knows exactly what is important. Gold’s Gym quickly became the meeting place for the bodybuilding scene.

A new home

Frank Zane, Serge Jacobs, Ric Drasin, Dave Draper – everyone is drawn to Gold’s Gym in Venice. With his vision and his passion, Joe pulls the subculture out of the underground and lets it shine in the Californian sun.

In 1968, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the greatest bodybuilding legend of all time, made Gold’s Gym his home. Joe becomes his friend and mentor, providing “Arnie” with the perfect training environment to become a global icon.


In 1970, Joe Gold sold his gym to Dave Saxe and Bud Danitz and joined the merchant marine. From 1972, Ken Sprague continued to expand the gym’s success, while Hollywood greats like Arnie ensured the first bodybuilding boom.


Whether on the beach, in the bars, on the boulevard or downtown – the muscle shirts with the Gold’s Gym logo, which Ric Drasin spontaneously designed on the back of a napkin, are now ubiquitous.