Our Origin Story

A Legacy of Strength

In the early 1960’s, one man set out on a mission to change the world by improving people’s lives through fitness- and that he did. What started out as a small, single location in Los Angeles, California, has exploded to become an iconic, globally recognized gym brand that has fueled the modern fitness industry for decades. During this time, World Gym has produced some of the most legendary and iconic bodybuilders; has shaped and sculpted the Hollywood elite; has inspired millions of workout enthusiasts to lead an active lifestyle and transform their bodies; and it has welcomed all who were serious about improving their health and fitness.

Today, World Gym is an iconic, globally recognized gym brand with over four decades of experience helping people get fit, feel good, and live better. A serious gym for serious workouts, our sprawling gym floor offers the best in free weights, cardio equipment and strength training machines. We also offer indoor turf training areas, amazing group fitness classes, personal training, wellness and recovery options and more. Please check your local World Gym for a complete list of amenities. 

Our story is more than 46 years in the making and we’re continuing to set the bar high when it comes to fitness innovation.  Even if you’re just starting the first chapter of your personal fitness journey, our legendary path to greatness can be an inspiration to you, like it has to so many others. Join us! 

1960s | Before World Gym

In the “golden days”, there weren’t many options for working out. But Joe Gold, our founder, had a passion for bodybuilding. He found success as a professional “muscleman” and toured with celebrities. Out of necessity, he built much of his own training equipment. He would go on to launch an international fitness brand while becoming known as the father of bodybuilding. 

1970s | Muscle Beach

World Gym and the modern fitness revolution can be traced back to the glory days of Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, California. In 1976, Joe Gold opened a small gym filled with custom-made equipment. Before long, World Gym was the fitness destination for celebrity bodybuilding greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and Dave Draper.

1980s | The Fitness Revolution

By the early 1980s, World Gym was firmly established as a global fitness icon. The brand expanded with franchise locations across the United States and abroad. The personal fitness revolution was now in full swing, fueled in large part by convenient, World Gym locations. 

1990s | Rapid Change

The 1990s saw a rapid change in the fitness industry. World Gym was at the forefront of this change by providing cutting-edge equipment, 1-on-1 coaching, and the best workout environments possible. While Joe Gold recovered from health issues, Arnold Schwarzenegger spent three years as World Gym’s CEO, guiding the brand through this time of change.

2000s | A Rich Legacy

World Gym continued to grow, with a culture formed by the Muscle Beach lifestyle. Joe Gold passed away in 2004, leaving behind a rich legacy of fitness excellence. His innovations and his values continue to drive the brand today.

2010s | Seriously Fun Fitness

The Cammilleri family acquired the World Gym brand and set their sights on bringing seriously fun fitness to all corners of the globe. World Gym has grown to more than 200 locations across six continents and continues to expand. With over 40 years of knowledge and experience, we’re poised to remain a powerful leader in the fitness world!

2022 | The Future is Now

After emerging from a global pandemic stronger than ever, World Gym holds their first Annual Convention in over 3 years, outlining its plans for the future.  Focused on setting new trends, with the launch of two new gym models, the innovative Studio X and a lifestyle apparel line, World Gym has positioned itself to build the next generation of legends for the next 46 years and beyond. While our journey continues, your pathway to achieve legendary greatness begins right here, right now. Just click the button above to get started.

Your Fitness Journey Begins Here