Gyms in Richmond VA
“There are so many gyms in Richmond VA, I just don’t know what I’m looking for!”
We are going to provide you with the resources below to find some gyms in Richmond VA that will suit your needs.
#1 – What Services Interest You?
No matter where you look it seems as if there are trainers everywhere. Bix box gym, crossfit gyms, in home trainers, outdoor bootcamps, personal training studios, all sorts of different places to find somewhere to work out.
This is why you need to figure out what kind of options and services you’re looking for first.
- Cardio equipment
- Free weights
- Weight machines
- Tanning (yes there are now tanning beds at gyms)
- Personal training
So what are you really looking for when it comes to gyms in Richmond VA?
Most big box gyms will have a combination of all of the above.
Smaller personal training studios and Crossfit may not have as much equipment but you’re also not fighting for equipment with 200 other people. Crossfit gyms even tend to go with a bare bones style approach to filling out their spaces so that they have mainly lots of barbells, bumper plates, and pull up bars. Personal training studios normally have a good mix of the necessary equipment without overdoing the things such as tanning etc.
#2 – What Is Your Goal?
1. Weight loss
If you’re just looking to lose weight in general, then cardio equipment will help to get the job done. Nothing gives you the most bang for your buck than performing cardio. However, losing weight through only cardio alone is a disaster waiting to happen. What a lot of people don’t realize is that when you lose weight you’re automatically going to lose some bit of muscle mass (aka lean muscle). What this does to your body is reduces your metabolism, meaning that although you’ve lost numbers off of the scale your body is also burning a lot less calories than it used to. Muscle is the one thing that everyone needs more of to keep the calorie burning going and to have the lean toned look most people want.
Mostly any place you go to will have cardio equipment available whether it’s the big box gyms in Richmond VA or a small personal training studio.
Now availability of equipment is the hard part. The big box gyms tend to have hundreds if not thousands of more members than it can actually handle any one given time. So it’s likely that during the busy hours (before and after work), it will be difficult to get on the cardio equipment and you’ll probably have to wait.
If you’re looking to tone up then weight training and resistance training is the one requirement you must have. This means that some sort of free weights, or even machines must be available. Most gyms in Richmond VA will have free weights. If they don’t then you need to avoid that gym at all costs.
Toning requires that you lift weights, and lift heavy weights at that. Now for the females this doesn’t mean that you will bulk up because that just won’t happen. It takes a ton of work (and probably a bit of extra credit – i.e. testosterone/steroids) to look like those huge muscular women in the magazines. So don’t worry about that. However you need to make sure that you’re lifting heavy to increase lean muscle tissue and burn off fat. If you meet with a personal trainer and they tell you that the only thing they’re going to do is cardio then you need to find someone else.
Again the issue is availability. You need to ask around and see how busy the gym is before deciding to join with them. See when their busiest hours are (guaranteed to be around the 5-7am and pm slots). Ask some of the people working out there how busy it really gets during those time. This way you’ll have an understanding of what the gym really is like.
The Types Of Gyms in Richmond VA
Big Box Gyms
Places like AmFam and Gold’s gym.
These are the places you go to for a typical gym membership. Generally they have a lot of equipment, are well kept up, but have more people than they can handle. The pricing tends to be fairly cheap and you have unlimited access during their open hours.
What To Look For
- Services available
- What it’s like during peak hours (5am-7am and 5pm-7pm), how busy is it?
- Are there pushy sales reps all over the place?
- Secure locker rooms
- Lots of space
- Lots of equipment
- Various services available
- Lost cost to join
- Tend to have a lot more members than they can actually hold at any one given time leading to being extremely packed during the before and after work hours rush. This leads to long wait times and the equipment you need not being available.
- Lock you into long term contracts. Most big box gyms in Richmond VA tend to lock you into 2 or even 3 year contracts. The only option if you decide you don’t like it there is to pay out the rest of the contract or pay a hefty cancellation fee.
- Normally not much of a trial period. If a service is good they should let you give it a try for a few weeks to see if you really like the place.
- Service isn’t personal. You’re just a number to the big box gyms. They don’t really care about their patrons but just worry about signing as many memberships as possible.
- Pushy sales people trying to get you to buy other services and products you really don’t want.
Big box gyms are great for people who already know how to workout and have a training program they’re on. If you’re not comfortable working out and aren’t sure of what to do then you may need to hire some help by getting a personal trainer at least for a little bit. With the gyms being so busy it’s hard for people not used to working out to get comfortable and actually get into a proper workout. The lower cost of a membership appeals to many people that think they’re going to be motivated enough to work out. The main issue is that most people never even show back up after signing up for a membership or give up after a few weeks after dealing with the overly packed big gyms and not knowing what to do. It’s also hard to know what to do to reach your specific goals.
Places like CrossfitRVA, Crossfit Addict, Crossfit Full Circle and others
Crossfit has really come into the scene in recent years and is blowing up across the nation. They’ve been able to build up a following that is extremely motivated and also extremely “in to” crossfit. The people that stick with crossfit gyms tend to be former athletes who are very competitive or just people who are highly motivated in general. Crossfit gyms are not for the faint of heart. Built around tough metabolic workouts that may not be for everyone. If you have a good coach/trainer that makes all the difference. Many of the people that are trainers of crossfit gyms just think that going all out every workout is proper training. But then again there are very good trainers out there that make sure they progress their clients through workout difficulty properly.
What To Look For
- Trainers that are certified and with some exercise science background/education
- Reviews from other people working out there and reviews found on google, yelp etc.
- Trial period to see if it’s a right fit for you
- Cost – depends on what you’re looking to pay. Pricing can vary.
- Very tight community within the gym (although it may not be for everyone)
- Will get results due to the extremely high intensity of the workouts
- Very good if you’re looking to learn olympic lifts and pushing your body hard
- Pricing is in between personal training and normal gym memberships
- Not normally jam packed like big box gyms
- You are always working with a trainer
- Have a higher tendency for injuries compared to other training options
- Due to the “all out” mentality trainers can push their clients beyond their true limits
- Olympic lifts are done all out for max reps and time when they’re really meant for low repetition ranges with lots of rest
- Extremely tough workouts that shouldn’t be done by everyone (this is where the trainer should put you into the right level of workout)
- Depending on the gym you go to, it’s really not for beginners but those already with some previous weight lifting/training experience. Olympic lifts take even the best athletes years to get very good at
- Can be overly competitive for those looking for training
There is a love/hate relationship with crossfit training and other gyms. Crossfitters will tell you that the training is of the highest level and there isn’t a high risk of injury. Other places will tell you that they work people too hard and that it’s not for beginners. What can be said is that any training experience can be good or bad all depending on the coaching and trainers.
Generally outdoor bootcamps are for the people looking for a low cost option that they can do with their friends. They tend to vary up locations making the novelty of working out more fun. Pricing can vary a lot, but generally you’re going to be outside rain or shine.
What To Look For
- What locations they train at
- Do they have beginner, intermediate, or advanced level sessions?
- Available hours
- What type of clientele do they work with
- Different locations to keep it fresh
- Very good group atmosphere
- Probably cheapest training option depending on where you’re at
- Good for weight loss if you keep up with the workouts because you’ll probably be working out 5-7x/week
- Lack of equipment, there is only so much you can bring with you outside.
- No free weights to really work on increasing lean muscle tissue (i.e. metabolism)
- Working out outside during bad weather (cold, rain, freezing, dark, etc.)
- Don’t really cater to individual needs
Bootcamps are a great cheap, if not free, option for people looking to get into working out. They’re generally focused on cardio as you’ll be running around a lot of different places. This will help facilitate weight loss but not so much increasing lean muscle tissue (which requires free weights/strength training). If you’re looking to build up cardiovascular conditioning and not worried about really getting a lean body then this is a decent route minus having to be out in the weather conditions.
In Home Trainers
In home trainers are exactly what they sound like. They’ll come to your house/apartment/etc. and put you through a work out. They basically bring the gyms in Richmond VA to you. They can be a great option for moms taking care of the kids at home as they don’t have to leave them somewhere while they try to work out. The biggest issue is cost. They will probably be your most expensive option if you’re looking to work out.
What To Look For
- Cost – in home trainers can charge whatever they want and most people that have them have the extra money to do so.
- Certification – make sure they’re certified before hiring someone that is going to cost you probably close to $100/hour if not more.
- Reviews from other clients – check to see what others are saying about the trainer before you get started.
- Flexibility of scheduling
- Are there for your goals and needs
- They’ll come to you for training, you don’t have to meet them as they’ll cater to your schedule
- Lack of equipment, they won’t be able to bring a whole gym with them so they’ll be limited with what they have unless you have a full gym at your place.
- Cost is extremely high, normally being way over normal one-on-one training pricing
- You may not have everything you need at home to get the results you want
In home trainers are great for those with the money to hire one. They’ll work around your schedule and allow you to stay at home with the kids if need be. However, it comes at a price and you will be spending a lot of money having your very own in home trainer.
Personal Training Studio
They provide you with the personal attention you might want but not get from the big box gyms in Richmond VA. They tend to have a smaller overall membership that allows for you to not worry about working out around 300 other people at any given time.
What To Look For
- Style of training – are the trainers military style, motivational, educated?
- Certifications – make sure they have certifications from some of the top authorities such as NSCA, ACSM, NASM
- Reviews on Google, Yelp, and even check their social media
- Who is their typical clientele, does it match your demographic?
- Cost – studios can charge whatever they want for training depending on their clientele
- The personal attention received from one-on-one training or small group training
- They tend to go the extra mile as they say for their clients to provide a great personalized experience
- Smaller overall membership normally means not having to deal with the big gym hassles
- Community feel to the studio meaning that it’s a much more comfortable training environment and you actually get to know the people working out there
- Availability of equipment – you normally don’t have to worry about finding a piece of equipment to use
- Private gym access – it’s more of a personal gym rather than the big box gyms in Richmond VA with hundreds of members.
- Great for people who need help knowing what to do when working out
- Will cater to your needs and goals
- Not as cheap as a traditional gym membership (probably most costly than big box gyms, but less than in home trainers)
- Sometimes cater to specific demographics depending on the studio
Personal training studios are great for those that need either extra help with knowing what to do, or just the motivation of working out. You get the best of both worlds, the equipment that big box gyms have but actually having them available when you work out, in combination with not costing as much as an in home trainer. The community atmosphere can make it very comfortable to work out there and learn what you need to do to get results.