• Big Lou On: Nicknames

    babyhuey If you worked out at Gold's Gym Venice back in the day, you had a nickname. Joe Gold had nicknames for almost everyone that walked through his gym. Some were predictable. Some were a mystery. Some were downright mean, but so was Joe. No one messed with Joe though because they wanted to keep training at the Mecca of Bodybuilding.
    LOU FERRIGNO babylouieJoe liked to call me "Baby Louie." Although I was the tallest of the bunch, I was known as the little guy... and for good reason: I was the newest addition to the group; I was young; and I was still very attached to my family and to my home in Brooklyn.        
    ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER arnoldballoonArnold was called "Balloon Belly" when he first moved out to Venice, CA. Arnold never got over it - as you can imagine. When he started making movies, Joe then started calling him "The Stick." He had lost so much weight to do movies that he didn't look like a bodybuilder in clothes! He didn't like either of those.            
    ED GUILIANI EdgyEd was one of the lucky ones. He worked very closely with Joe who called him "Edgy."                
    FRANK ZANE frankchemistFrank was known as "The Chemist." He was a teacher in Venice for many years, and he loved the science behind bodybuilding - and it showed.            
    FRANCO COLUMBU francomonkeyRumor has it that Franco wanted to play King Kong in the 1976 film version and even auditioned for it. He loved the part so much, he was constantly pretending to play the part - often seen swinging through trees. At 5 foot 5 inches, it's easy to see why he was teased for wanting to play such an enormous character. It wasn't long before the nickname "Little Monkey" stuck.      
    SHAWN RAY Both a crowd favorite as well as a competition giant, Shawn Ray soon became known as "Sugar Shawn Ray." His name was not a Joe Gold special. He claims his name came from the fact that he's "sweet as sugar."              
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