While in Los Angeles for VidSummit, I ended up with some free time after the event finished earlier than I was expecting on the Friday. As such I had a free afternoon, so decided to explore LA. I realised that my hotel was only a short Uber trip away from Venice Beach, home to the famous Muscle Beach gym made popular by bodybuilders from the 70’s such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Columbo.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to workout in such an iconic location and tick an item from my bucket list. It was easy to find once I got to Venice, and I was surprised at how small and how old everything was. But this just added character to the gym, and just being in the same environment where I had seen Arnold working out as a kid meant I didn’t care that everything was rusty, covered in plastic, and none of the weight plates really matched!

Training outside in the heat was a first, but is so much better than training indoors in an air conditioned gym. You have to wear sunglasses, especially for equipment such as the bench press! The actual gym is surrounded by spectators watching, filming and taking photos of the bodybuilders in the gym. You can see them eagerly waiting for you to start your next set so they can snap a shot, and as soon as you lift the weight you can see all the lenses pointing at you. In some ways this is quite good even if you don’t like attention; it encourages you to train harder, lift heavier weights, and do more sets than you normally would!

While there I met some great guys, all of which encouraged me to join them in their workout. Of course I got footage of this and from the boardwalk in Venice, which was a very strange but interesting place! I had hoped to walk as far as Santa Monica, but I was short on time. I got close to the pier, but had to turn around to start finding may way back. You can see the video below!