What do Jay Cutler, Dorian Yates, Victor Martinez, Phil Heath and long list of other professional bodybuilders have in common?
They are more familiar with the Max Muscle store in Venice than Britney Spears is with the Betty Ford Clinic.
The Venice hangout on 259 Hampton Drive has long been a tourist attraction for bodybuilders and their disciples, not just because of the top line pattern of Max Muscle garments, supplements and DVD's that catch the eye, it's the comforting atmosphere that provided by its décor and welcomed its owner - Dave Bourlet.
Dave has long had a passion for bodybuilding which is expressed perfectly through the exhibited art throughout his immaculate store. Framed artifacts of Jay Cutler, Flex Wheeler (the stores original owner) are just a few that take their place in the stores distinguished design that replicates Max Muscle in Venice as the real bodybuilding hall of fame.
"I have long been a passionate fan of bodybuilding but have only had the store for three years but in that time I have probably had more professional bodybuilders walk through those doors than I have met my entire life," smiled the heavily muscled Bourlet.
Sure, its location within the bodybuilding Mecca has helped the Max Muscle store become the number one resort for the muscle hungry but within its compound you get the feeling that you are sat in the comfort of your own living room making you want to stop over longer than a minor at a Neverland guestroom.
"I wanted to make my store look and feel like a place where I would want to hangout if I were a customer and bodybuilding fan visiting Venice, so I fitted a makeshift front room complete with T.V., DVD recorder, Play Station and two large leather couches for people to chill out and enjoy the Mecca experience. Now I have guys like Bob Chick and Chris Cormier coming in to pass the time on a daily basis, it's great," Bourlet told Bodybuilding.com.
Situated within a five minute walk to Venice beach, directly behind the firehouse restaurant and a stones throw from the legendary Gold's gym, Max Muscle is a main feature on the star studded walk of the famous and it isn't unusual to see a celebrity step out of the store donning the latest sports fashion and sipping on a protein shake.
Darryl McDaniel's from the hip hop group - Run DMC, The Rock and Hulk Hogan are all regulars to "Dave's home" and it isn't a surprise that most of the high profile pro's have their DVD launch there taking advantage of the popularity and coverage they receive.
"We have had guys like Mark Dugdale and Jay Cutler choose our store as the place they would like to launch their DVD's which turns into a party atmosphere. Most of the time the other pro's will show up to say hi and the bodybuilding magazine writers and photographers will take up the opportunity to get a scoop. At Jay's DVD launch I think most of the FLEX magazine staff arrived, including Peter Mcgough (FLEX Editor-in-Chief) himself."
Just when you thought the Max Muscle, Venice couldn't get any more accomplished; Jay Cutler has recognized the stores significance such to the degree that on the 28th of April the store will be renamed "Jay Cutler's Max Muscle".
"Cuts has long been a friend of mine," says Dave. "Once he became Mr. Olympia last year he expressed his gratitude of our friendship and extended that acknowledgment by offering to associate himself with the store.
"It is surreal to say the least but with his name atop of the door it will bring even more importance to the fact that we care for bodybuilding and are here to help everyone who walks through that door.
"My beautiful employee Colleen holds the fort when I am not here and she does a great job educating everyone who needs advice on their goals. She is highly experienced and is happy to write up exercise and/or nutrition programs for the beginner to the elite. We uphold a close relationship with our clientele and consider that the main reason why people always return after their first visit."
The Max Muscle renaming event will take place on Saturday, April 28th from 11am to 3pm, and not only will Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler be there but also Ms. Figure Olympia, Jenny Lynn and "Marvelous" Melvin Anthony. Both will be having their DVD launches that day and many other Pro's have shown interest in coming to the event so there should be at least half a dozen celebrity bodybuilders to rub shoulders with. Be there or don't be anywhere.