Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton (“The First Lady of Iron”) played a central role in popularizing physical culture and exercise for women in the central decades of the Twentieth Century.
In the late 1930s, she began working out with friends at Muscle Beach and quickly became famous for her rare combination of beauty, strength and muscularity.
In the 1940s, she organized the first women’s weight lifting contest and operated the first all-women’s gym in the United States.
She lifted, performed acrobatics on Muscle Beach and wrote extensively, encouraging women to include weight training as part of a fitness regime.
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