Britain’s Most Iconic Gyms: Temple Gym, Birmingham

When considering locations for Britain’s most famous gyms, a basement in the heart of Birmingham would not necessarily spring instantly to mind. However, in 1962, Temple Gym opened its doors for the first time and, twenty years later, became home to an aspiring young bodybuilder named Dorian Yates.

During an era of punk and wayward youth, Yates found himself in trouble with the authorities. He was presented with two paths: a life behind bars or a life lifting bars. Thankfully, he chose the latter. As a result, Britain’s first ever Mr. Olympia emerged (for six years running, ’92-’97, in a period dubbed the ‘Dorian Decade’) and Temple Gym became known as a hub for those committed to serious weight training. Today, the “British Bulldog” (as Yates soon became known) owns the chain and has every intention of upholding its excellent reputation.

Dorian Yates' Famous Gym

Temple Gym is the perfect example of an environment where people from all walks of life who are committed to improving their health, fitness and physique, are welcome. Be it personal, professional or competitive development, anyone is able to train without prejudice and, of course, in the knowledge that a living legend has succeeded within those very walls.

As Yates proclaims himself:

“We will forge a new path for old ideals, bringing to life old school training philosophies, and our true strength will lie in our numbers under the banner of Temple Gyms.”

What do they offer? Well, as you can see, it boasts simplicity:

– Large selection of dumbbells, ranging from 2.5kg to 100kg
– Hammer Strength equipment
– Original Nautilus equipment
– Life Fitness cardio machines
– Affordable 1-on-1 training sessions (£25 per hour, or £100 with Yates)
– Sports therapy with Yates’ son, Lewis
– Nutritional advice for weight management, fat loss and muscle gain
– Pre-contest advice
– Extensive selection of sports supplements, drinks and Temple Gym merchandise
– A range of affordable and flexible membership options

By affordable, we mean wonderfully cheap. Membership for a year costs only £250 and, amongst numerous other options, you can purchase a non-member day pass for £5. That’s right! A road trip to where Dorian Yates sculpted his legendary physique will cost you a mere fiver.

Yates' Gym

Temple Gym offers so much more than just affordable prices; you become a member of the family. While the underground walls reverberate around the misted humidity of a gritty, almost-eerie atmosphere, everyone is screaming, grunting and gasping for success. The desire to better oneself is a common, shared goal amongst every member and, consequently, everyone is rooting for you.

These blue-collared gyms are a dying breed, and it’s this ‘no frills’ approach that has allowed Temple Gym to be considered one of the most successful ‘simple’ gyms in the world. Also, at only 3000 square feet, Temple Gym has proven that size really doesn’t matter and it still provides the personal touches. There are a number of very exclusive and experienced trainers who expect their members to take training seriously. With this in mind, we should warn you that Temple Gym is not the place for socialising, jacuzzis or saunas!

When committing to physical development, sometimes all we need is a significant, yet very simple, lifestyle change. For some, this will come in the form of a new, hardcore gym. Others will find that the addition of diet proteins or muscle-building supplements may permit advances they have been longing for in training. However your change comes, we wish you the very best of luck.

Visit the Temple Gym website here and get inspired to push forward into your ‘Dorian Decade.’

Follow Temple Gym on Twitter: @templegym1

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