One of the unwritten rules of the sport is that Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym is the East Coast Mecca of bodybuilding. Today, it’s arguably more hardcore than the original Mecca, Gold’s gym, in Venice, because Bev and Steve still represent the true hardcore essence of bodybuilding and its checkered history, While Gold’s Venice has gone more “corporate.” In fact, most pro bodybuilders make it a point to visit Bev’s at least a couple times a year, particularly before big shows, for Steve’s critique. His eye is the most sought after in our sport because Steve is arguably the best judge in the sport and tells you how it is. That kind of atmosphere and clientele make for one of the most hardcore bodybuilding gyms in the country. Having pro bodybuilders training next to you is the ultimate way to get you motivated. So, Special guest IFBB Pro Juan Morel is on board to give Rich and Berry a tour – showcasing his favorite old school hardcore equipment.
There’s a lot of old school equipment at Bev’s, a lot of iron, DB’s up to 200….
RG: “This is really a no-nonsense gym. You have to remember, Bev Francis is both a powerlifting world champion and a former Ms. Olympia. She’s from that old school era, both her and Steve. They have a lot of passion for both the sport and the gym, the equipment, the important stuff. So, you’re going to get that true, old school hardcore feel here.”
How unique is that to Bev’s? Why is this place the east coast Mecca?
RG: “Initially I would guess it’s out of respect for Bev and Steve, but the environment itself has it’s allure. Every top pro has trained here, all of them. People come here from all over, like a tribe. This is the east coast Mecca and the tribe travels here. This gym is not only a gym, it’s part of our culture.”
Obviously, the east coast mecca is going to get the hardcore vote….
RG: “Well, of course. This place can’t miss. It’s been here for decades, the owner is a former Ms. Olympia and powerlifting world champion and every pro in the sport has trained here. But, what it all boils down to is what grabs you when you walk inside. A hardcore gym makes you want to train. Above anywhere else we’ve been on this tour, both Berry and I agreed that no place made us feel like training more than Bev’s.”