When it comes to gyms in the Quad Cities, the first options that always comes to mind are YMCA, planet fitness, and many other commercial gyms. These gyms are great places for individuals who are new to working out or simply want a “normal” gym environment. I personally love using the YMCA’s for a wide range of exercises for myself. I also love that the atmosphere of the YMCA is very inclusive and not particularly intimidating. Although these traits are usually desirable for most individuals, there is also something to be said about gyms designed for maximizing strength and performance. These gyms are not as common to find in the Quad Cities, and usually take some digging. Today, I wanted to highlight one of the top performance, strength, and conditioning gyms in the Quad Cities. If you haven’t hear of Richmond Elite Performance, then stay tuned!
What Makes a Good Strength and Conditioning Gym?
What makes a good strength and conditioning gym? A lot of different things can go into this, many being preference for the specific individual. Although there are things that might be particularly interesting for a certain athlete, most strength and conditioning gyms strive to have a certain “caliber” of equipment options, that are typically high quality. The aspects of Richmond Elite Performance that we will be going over today are:
- Strength Equipment
- Platform / Squat Rack Areas
- Conditioning Equipment
- Gym Amenities
Richmond Elite Performance Review
Perhaps the most important aspect of any gym is the amount and quality of the equipment available to use. Richmond Elite Performance is no exception, as it offers a wide variety of barbells, machines, dumbbells, and other strength equipment. The barbells in the gym are extremely high quality, sporting fitness brands such as Rogue, Eleiko, and many more. Most of the bars are designed for high-level weightlifting, providing a solid base for anyone to perform olympic weightlifting lifting movements with much more ease than a “standard” barbell. If you are someone who is a casual lifter and doesn’t care about the top of the line additions, there are plenty of other barbells there that are perfect for getting in your basic squats and deadlifts as well. Not to mention, Richmond Elite Performance also has a football bench press bar, safety squat bar, and other “speciality” bars for way to spice up your workouts. Moving from the barbells, Richmond Elite Performance has a dumbbell rack outfitted with light to heavy weights for all lifters. Right next to the dumbbell rack is a cross trainer and a lat pulldown machine, offering you a variety of options to perform assistance and cable exercises for extra work. Lastly, there are a few “machines” including a leg extension, leg curl, and calf raise machine. If you are native to commercial gyms, then you will recognize these pieces of equipment right away. The thing that sets Richmond Elite Performance from other gyms I have been to is a couple pieces of specialty machines that aren’t at normal gyms. These pieces of equipment include a Glute Ham Raise (GHR), a reverse hyperextension, and a belt squat machine. These machines are an excellent addition to any strength and conditioning gym, as they offer a stimulus that is hard to be mimicked by typical pieces of equipment. As you can see, Richmond Elite Performance is equipped to the bone with some of the highest caliber equipment. Not to mention, the owner, Jared, is always buying updated equipment to keep the place in top condition.
Platform / Squat Rack Areas
As I mentioned above, when addressing barbells, many of the bars in the gym are designed for olympic weightlifting. It would make sense that there is ample space and opportunity to practice weightlifting movements, to make the best use of these bars. That is one of the primary highlights of Richmond Elite Performance. At the gym, there is 5 separate platforms that can be used to practice weightlifting movements, all outfitted with rogue weightlifting style bumper plates. If you are someone who goes to a commercial gym and is scared of dropping the weights on the ground because it will damage the structure, or you might get kicked out, Richmond Elite Performance offers a perfect solution around that. I used to be a lifter like this, when lifting at local commercial gyms in the Quad Cities. Now, Richmond Elite Performance is where I go at least once a week to practice movements where I need to drop weights and practice these types of exercises. If you aren’t a weightlifting, and just need a basic squat rack, Richmond Elite Performance has you covered. On the platforms themselves, there are three squat stands that accompany three of the platforms. In addition to this, there is three power racks, and a large “rig” setup which offers numerous attachment points to “create” a squat rack for yourself. Ultimately, there is no shortage of areas to squat and practice your movements. I also forgot to mention that there is a couple sets of jerk blocks on two of the platforms, allowing overhead movements like push press and push jerks to be practiced in a controlled and safe manner. (Not to mention you can use them as a modified squat rack as well.
The highlight of Richmond Elite Performance is definitely the strength equipment. Despite this being the case, there is still a few options for cardio and conditioning equipment to get your sweat on. Richmond Elite Performance has four rogue echo bikes, (which are a better version of the assault air bikes.) These are extremely durable, and one of my favorite pieces of cardio equipment that the gym has. Most gyms have the cheaper version of this bike, which feel like they are going to break in half anytime you do a hard sprint workout. The rogue echo bikes are built tough, and give you a sense of security when you are hammering away at the bike. In addition, there are two concept 2 rowers for any rowing fans, a treadmill, numerous kettlebell sizes, medicine balls for tosses and slams, and a long turf setup for sled pushes, farmers carries, and even space to use a Yoke in the gym! All of these different apparatus’ can be used together to create a high intensity circuit training workout. Although the strength equipment is the main highlight of the gym, you will not be disappointed in the offerings that can help get your heart rate up.
The last point of emphasis for Richmond Elite Performance is the different gym amenities. One of the coolest things about Richmond Elite Performance is that the owner, Jared, actually owns a separate company that has a large amount of lifting and gym equipment. Richmond Weightlifting is a website catered towards individuals looking for high quality equipment, that will withstand the toughest of workouts. Some of the equipment is available at Richmond Elite Performance itself, but can also be purchased on the website here. On top of this, one of the best aspects of the gym is that it is open 24/7. If you are unfamiliar with strength and conditioning gyms, usually they aren’t open all day for members to use the equipment. Jared offers the members complete access to the gym, every day and every hour of the year. This is perfect for me, and many other gym rats, as we enjoy lifting during odd hours, holidays, and times that staff might not normally be at the gym. If you are someone who is pressed for time, and running to work after your workout, Richmond Elite Performance has a shower that you can use to cut down on your commute time in the morning. If you forgot to pack food or a pre-workout drink, the gym itself is stocked with numerous hydration and energy drinks, protein supplements, and other recovery tools to help fuel you throughout the day. The best amenity about the gym, in my opinion, is a large speaker system that outfits the gym. This speaker system is hooked up by bluetooth, allowing any member to hook up their favorite tunes when they are lifting. This is perfect if you get into the gym when no one else is there, really making the atmosphere cater to you.
Overall, Richmond Elite Performance lead the Quad Cities as a strength and conditioning gym. The high quality equipment, variety of items to use, and in depth atmosphere, make this one of the top gyms for seasoned athletes, and recreational warriors to improve their fitness, strength, and body composition. For more information on their prices and what the gym offers, visit their website here.
#inclusivefitness #weareallstrong #dontjustsurvivethrive #allstrongfitnessllc #individualswithdisabilities #specialneedsfitness #seniorfitness #allstrong #healtheducation #lowimpactworkout