Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton became famous for popularizing physical culture and exercising for women.
Pudgy was 5’2” weighing around 115 lbs. and possessed a rare combination of beauty, strength, and muscularity. She spent time in the 1940’s working on acrobatics and gymnastics at Muscle Beach.
Stockton was featured on numerous magazine covers and posed with many of the top bodybuilders of the era including John Grimek and Steve Reeves (yes, the actor).
Pudgy started writing in the mid 40’s a regular column for women’s training in Strength & Health magazine. She organized the first weight lifting contest for women and ran the first all women’s gym in in the United States. The most important thing was she showed that weight training could make women better athletes and do physical work without losing their femininity.
Stockton was inducted into the IFBB Hall of fame in 2000 and is a 1991 Honoree of the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen.