Choosing the Right Gym: Victor Martinez’s Perspective

When it comes to finding the right gym, there are a lot of options. But not all gyms are created equal – especially if you are trying to find one that caters to serious lifting. That’s why Victor Martinez sat down with the Generation Iron crew to discuss his favorite gyms and how he decides which gyms are best for training as a bodybuilder.

In many ways, we live in the best time ever for gym-goers. There are more gyms than ever before – and more variety. However, there is also a massive proliferation of corporate gyms and chain gyms. While Planet Fitness or 24 Hour Fitness may be perfect for the general gym-going public, it may not suit the needs for more serious lifters.

Victor Martinez has spent his life in New York City finding the right gyms throughout his pro bodybuilding career. In this special extra Generation Iron Podcast clip, Victor shares his discerning preferences when it comes to selecting the perfect gym.

His disdain for corporate gyms is palpable, as he champions the atmosphere of local gyms with personable owners. Victor highlights the importance of understanding the gym’s vibe and rules, expressing a distaste for overly casual environments and disruptive recording practices.

Victor Martinez’s rule of thumb: if he can connect with the gym owner, he knows it will be a good gym. He believes that the kind of attitude a gym owner has will be the energy throughout the entire facility. This is part of why Victor does not like corporate gyms. You never see the owner. The gym itself has no real personality. And all you get is generic equipment with overcrowded patrons all trying to film themselves doing a workout.

Speaking of equipment, Victor Martinez says that a red flag for him is when a gym only has two or three brands of equipment. This says to him that the gym is simply sticking with a specific set of brands without considering what is best for variety and alternate lifts.

When he sees a gym that has a wide assortment of brands and equipment – Victor knows that thought was put into each purchase to provide the best options for lifters.

RELATED: 6 Best Gyms in The World You Need To Train In Before You Die

How Much Is Too Much To Pay For A Gym Membership?

Victor Maritinez also explores the ideal gym membership price, with Victor suggesting that many corporate gyms overcharge for unnecessary add-ons, presenting a consumer advocacy perspective.

In a somewhat shocking statement, Victor Martinez says that he would happily pay up to $500/month for a gym membership. But that’s only if the gym has the atmosphere and equipment to meet his standards. Most of the time, local gyms that fit his standards will charge much less.

As for chain gyms, they can run various prices – but in Victor’s opinion none of the prices are worth it. On the cheap end, you’re getting places like Planet Fitness with limits on how heavy the weight will go and how hardcore you can train. On the more expensive end, you’re not really getting the best experience – but instead paying extra for saunas, juice bars, and other add-ones.

Victor believes if you are paying $150/month for a corporate gym, then you’re pay $100 too much. However, he would easily pay that same price for a local gym. Both because he knows that the money is going to a local businessman and because those sorts of gyms often provide better facilities for serious lifters.

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, what kind of gym is best for you will vary depending on your personal tastes. But if you are a serious lifter or bodybuilder like Victor Martinez, you’ll likely find that his tips are helpful in quickly determining if a new gym you’ve stepped into will make the cut for a membership.

You can watch the special Generation Iron Podcast short clip above. And make sure to check back every week for full episodes of the podcast only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.