“People call us the “Cheers” of gym. You walk in, and everyone knows your name,” said Benjamin Loehrer, owner of the gym Los Campeones.
When Loehrer’s gym on Franklin Avenue started “literally overflowing with people,” he opened a second location at the former Los Amigos restaurant at 2746 Blaisdell Ave. He gutted the building, replaced the kitchen with a locker room, and revamped the basement into a training area with artificial turf.
“Both clubs have an energy you can feel when you walk in,” he said.
Loehrer started training with weights at age 12, and entered his first power lifting competition at age 15. He said he’s won national bodybuilding championships and competed in lots of strong man competitions, winning regional meets. He’s deadlifted trucks, handled tires amounting to 1,200 pounds, pulled fire trucks, and tossed beer kegs.
“If someone wants to learn how to get strong, they come to me,” he said.
Los Campeones was founded by two brothers, and the gym has gone through a succession of 10 owners before reaching Loehrer.
“It’s unbelievable how it survived before I bought it,” he said.