10 Most Famous Bodybuilding Gyms

We always talk about the most influential bodybuilders in history. Those who brought the sport into the mainstream and influenced the way we train and diet. Whilst the impact of key bodybuilders has been massive, it’s important to discuss the influence of particular gyms on shaping the sport. 

Here’s our ranking of the 10 most influential bodybuilding gyms in the world (both past & present):

Gold’s Gym (California, USA)

Often referred to as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding,” Gold’s Gym Venice is where many bodybuilding legends, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, and Frank Zane, trained during the golden era of bodybuilding. The gym’s influence is due to its long history, iconic members, and role in movies like “Pumping Iron.” You can get the full story behind Gold’s Gym here

Muscle Beach (California, USA)

Not exactly a gym, but Muscle Beach is an outdoor workout area where bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts have been training since the 1930s. It is famous for being the original training ground for legends like Jack LaLanne and Steve Reeves, and it played a crucial role in popularizing bodybuilding and fitness culture.

Joe Weider’s Original Dungeon Gym (Montreal, Canada)

This gym, founded by Joe Weider, the father of modern bodybuilding, was the starting point for many influential bodybuilders. Weider was instrumental in developing bodybuilding as a sport and founded the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB). His gym was crucial for the early development of bodybuilding training methodologies and nutrition.

Dorian Yates’ Temple Gym (Birmingham, UK)

Founded by six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, Temple Gym is known for its hardcore atmosphere and intense training environment. Dorian Yates popularized the high-intensity training (HIT) method, which focuses on heavy weights and low volume, making the gym influential in the bodybuilding community for its unique approach to training.

Metroflex Gym (Texas, USA)

Metroflex Gym is famous for its raw, no-frills atmosphere and has been the training ground for many notable bodybuilders, including 8-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman and Branch Warren. The gym is known for its hardcore environment, where athletes push themselves to the limit with intense workouts and heavy weights.

Westside Barbell (Ohio, USA)

Founded by Louie Simmons, Westside Barbell is primarily known for its influence on powerlifting, but its training methods have also been adopted by many bodybuilders. The gym is renowned for its conjugate system, which involves training multiple strength qualities simultaneously and has produced numerous world record holders in powerlifting.

Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym (New York, USA)

Owned by Australian bodybuilder Bev Francis and her husband Steve Weinberger, this gym is known for its top-notch equipment, knowledgeable staff, and for hosting the annual New York Pro competition. The gym has attracted many top bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts over the years, including Kai Greene, Phil Heath, and Dexter Jackson.

Iron Addicts Gym (California, USA)

Founded by Mike Rashid and C.T. Fletcher, Iron Addicts Gym is known for its hardcore, no-nonsense atmosphere and the motivational coaching style of C.T. Fletcher. The gym has a strong focus on mental strength and overcoming limitations, making it influential for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts who seek intense and inspiring workouts.

Oxygen Gym (Kuwait)

Oxygen Gym has gained international attention in recent years for producing some of the world’s top bodybuilders, such as Big Ramy and Ahmad Ashkanani. The gym is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and a highly focused training environment, which has attracted many international athletes to train there in preparation for major bodybuilding competitions.

Diamond Gym, The East Coast Mecca (New Jersey, USA)

Diamond Gym is known for its hardcore atmosphere, fostering a tough and dedicated training environment. The gym has produced several top-level bodybuilders and has hosted numerous bodybuilding competitions, such as the NPC Steve Stone Metropolitan Championships, earning its reputation as the East Coast Mecca for bodybuilding.

These famous bodybuilding gyms have not only produced iconic athletes but have also played a significant role in shaping the sport’s training methodologies, popularizing various techniques, and fostering a culture of bodybuilding excellence.

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