Fifties Muscle

I’ve always loved the look of a Fifties “greaser,” the tight white T-shirt, black sunglasses and maybe a black leather jacket.  Though pompadours were common and have, I do admit, a stylistic appeal, I prefer what’s referred to as the DA – Duck’s Ass – hair slicked straight back.  A well placed tattoo or two round out the image.  But all is for naught without the pièce de résistance: muscle.

I grew up looking at my dad’s old Muscle Builder/Power magazines from the early Fifties.  Men like Clancy Ross and John Grimek codified the look for me.  Rare as lifting and muscle was in the Fifties, for me, it was the most important component of manhood no matter what era.  Images like those below were indelibly marked on my psyche:


Reg Park had the look:regparktriceps

As did Freddy Oritz:

And don’t let them tell you it turns to fat. Here’s Oritz in his late 60s with his son.

Oritz around 70 years of age doing preacher curls. We should all look this incredible!Bodybuilding in the Fifties and earlier valued strength not just appearance.  Here’s Reg Park doing dumbbell presses.And Steve Reeves doing dumbell inclines.

Because of my pre-teen exposure to 1949-52 muscle magazines the “greaser” will always be one with muscle.

2 thoughts on “Fifties Muscle

  1. I’m with you! Love the DA greaser look–and muscle is a must! As much as I truly appreciate a muscular upper body, for me it’s nothing without the legs to match. Love a chunky VMO, sweeping quads, and hams that flow into nicely rounded gluts. Whew. Got myself all heated up! Thanks for sharing the classic pics. I wasn’t as fortunate as you, growing up with the early muscle mags but I have a decent collection from the 80’s that can still be fun to peruse.

    1. In early junior high/high school days I collected piles of bodybuilding magazines but by late high school I shifted to powerlifting and gave them all to an appreciative collector. I just yesterday saw a great old photo of the professional wrestler, Buddy Rogers, with swept back DA hair, the muscular body, and square jaw. Wish I could looks so rugged! Thanks for your comment.

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