Grimy floors, rusted barbells, and aggressive words scrawled on the walls in a gym might scare someone more accustomed to Planet Fitness. But we’re taking you to the original Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas, the pro bodybuilder’s playground, where no self-respecting brother in iron would dare skip leg day.
IFBB pro bodybuilders Guy Cisternino, Branch Warren, and Johnnie O. Jackson met up at Metroflex to clang and bang, knowing full well that gym’s interior was exactly what they needed to feed their intensity. See, these guys take training 10 times more seriously than the most bro guy you know takes his arm day.
Two-time Arnold Classic winner Branch Warren trains at Metroflex. So does eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman. You won’t find the typical health club amenities, spotless equipment, and a smoothie bar blending up the newest quirky superfoods. It’s THE place to go if you need help with bodybuilding contest prep, but you’d better be prepared for the style of training that Metroflex inspires.
“They crank up some hardcore music in there, man,” says Cisternino, a two-time New York Pro 212 winner. “And, you know, it looks dirty, but they’ve got some pretty badass pieces of equipment and it’s definitely a place to visit if you’re a bodybuilder. This’ll definitely put a spark in your ass.”
After Cisternino took a month off from lifting while recovering from stem cell injections, Metroflex Gym was the perfect spot to crush a lower-body session and launch himself into prep mode for the remainder of the 2018 bodybuilding season.
The fellas warmed up with leg extensions before moving on to heavy squats, resting only long enough to load more plates on the bar and let each other finish their sets. Don’t assume the worst is over, as they follow up with gruesome sets of 8-10-plate hack squats. Apply Warren’s quad-training wonders and you’ll fear leg day more than ever.
Take it from these guys—chalkless gym floors, air conditioning, and swanky machines do nothing for your physique. It’s about how you train and who you train with.