Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Jorge Vazquez and Albert Rodriguez always shared a a personal dream to one day own their own gym.
Aside from working together in the same fire truck, they both spent a lot of time together lifting iron at the now-defunct Porky’s gym, which was bought out by Youfit. Their dream of opening a hardcore heavy-lifting gym has just come to life.
“This is something we wanted to do for a long time, but the market was locked by Porky’s gym,” Vazquez said. “They were bought out by another company, and we saw that we needed an old-school lifting gym.”
Miami Iron Gym, 9660 Coral Way, opened July 26 at the 5,000-square foot location, serving those who are seriously interested in turning their bodies in the likes of pro wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The gym is unlike your average fitness center, where heavy metal music from Killswitch Engage blares while bodybuilders lift more than 400 pounds on the Smith Machine Bench Press. Texting isn’t allowed here, but grunting is.
“We try to create a specific atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a hardcore gym, a dungeon from the graffiti on the walls, to the music to the color of the walls. We want to make you feel that this is where you want to lift. People come here, and they don’t want to leave.”
There are 8,000 pounds of iron. There are no plastic dumbbells, which go up to 200 pounds, or plates. It is all iron.
Professional heavyweight bodybuilder and member Mike “The Animal” Gonzalez said he feels at home when he enters the gym, having had past experiences with fitness centers.
“If you are one of the gym rats that go to one of those nice fitness centers, you will know if you belong here or not because this is a place for serious people,” he said after a set of bicep curls.
Trainers are available for members at a separate rate. Cheena Nuñez, a trainer, is excited to push others to reach their goals.
“This is the place to breed sexy beast,” she said.
The gym has a few cardio machines, since their focus is into heavy lifting. Fitness Depot, a supplement store, will also open a location inside the gym.
But Vazquez said no one should feel intimidated coming in and watching a pro bodybuilding lifting because everyone has a personal goal. The gym is for everyone. He also encourages members to help each other.
“When you are here, everyone looks the same, but at different levels,” he said. “Everyone here is encouraging. Everyone here is to help each other grow. Everyone has to start somewhere.”
Monthly memberships are $35, or $300 for a yearly membership. For more information, visit miamiirongym.com.