Rich starts his hunt for hardcore on the other side of the country, in the state famous for bodybuilding gyms. His first stop is Long Beach, California, at the MetroFlex gym owned by Eddie Avakoff. Eddie is the personality behind the grit that makes Metroflex Long Beach so special.
With an eye full of some pretty unique equipment, Rich was quick to get in a workout session showcasing the kind of equipment you can expect to find when visiting Metroflex Long Beach. Rich also got the chance to connect with a few gym members to talk with them about why they choose Metroflex above all other gyms in the area.
What makes this gym fit the hardcore search criteria?
RG: “The first thing when you walk in you know you’re in a hardcore gym. It’s just a little tiny area with counter and refrigerator in the corner, just like back in the day.”
Kind’a like the spartan office/ front desk Brian Dobson had at the original MetroFlex outside Arlington, Texas…
RG: “Exactly, small, nothing fancy. The gym space was huge though; the equipment was great, there were a few odd pieces for bodybuilding I’d never seen before, and there were areas for functional training, strong man, Olympic/ powerlifting, MMA – even an outside training area to enjoy that southern California sunshine. No stone was left unturned as far as creating a great gym. But, the element that sealed the deal for me were the murals.”
Yeah, you can see in the video that every single wall is covered with them. They’re giant!
RG: “They were really well done too. There was something very motivating about them. They really added an even more hardcore element to something already hardcore. It just made it that much cooler.”
What about the members? Does MetroFlex foster that same kind of community as the original?
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RG: “The members I spoke with were cool. We interviewed a few of them, but only a couple made it to the video. But, they all made me feel like they were all in it together. It’s the kind of gym where you can get a spot, or ask how to use something. There’s definitely a community there.”
So do we find the true hardcore your scouring the country to find here, at MetroFlex, Long Beach?
RG: “Most definitely. MetroFlex can only be a hardcore gym. The original one in Arlington is where Ronnie Coleman built 8, Mr. Olympias. The other MetroFlex gyms in the chain keep that hardcore element intact. Long Beach is no different. It’s MetroFlex, it’s hardcore.”