A few years ago, I was a member of the Willow Lawn Gold’s Gym and was not pleased about it. This set into motion an exploration of sorts through other gyms in Richmond. I compared gyms in Richmond of the three options I thought I had at the time: Crunch Fitness, American Family and the VCU gym.
While Cazey is a regular gym goer (and has free membership at VCU’s gyms), I am really good at working out for about a month and then giving up for roughly the same amount of time. Just as my DietBet was beginning, Cazey and I were given the opportunity to trial Gold’s Gym Richmond, which could not have been better timing to help me beat my physical fitness goals.
Truthfully, I was hesitant. I had been to the Willow Lawn Gold’s Gym and could still feel the anger rise in me despite it being several years ago. However, I went in hoping that the West End location (near the West End Havana ‘59) would be different.
Gold’s Gym Richmond is very different.
Firstly, it’s not owned by the same group who owns the Willow Lawn location (or the Fan, Mechanicsville, and several other locations). That’s Gold’s Gym RVA.
Gold’s Gym West End is one of four gyms in the Gold’s Gym Richmond group. The other locations include the Arboretum, Midlothian (Westchester Commons), and Gayton Crossing, their newest facility.
While it shares the Gold’s Gym branding as all Gold’s gyms, the West End location has a very different feel. Immediately noticeable is that they don’t allow people to bring free guests, so it was never crowded. Cazey and I have been several times, together and on our own, and we have never felt overwhelmed or even had to wait for a piece of equipment. So while this location and others in the Gold’s Gym Richmond group may be farther away if you live in the Fan or near Willow Lawn, you’re probably making up for that lost time when you can get your workout in without waiting on other people.
Plus, the location IS ENORMOUS. While Cazey and I toured the facility, I was blown away with the square footage. Fun fact, there’s more than one kind of treadmill, and this Gold’s Gym had them all. (I didn’t even know there was more than one kind of treadmill until the tour.)
I’m not much for working out alone these days, as I tend to show up, ride an elliptical for like 15 minutes, then grow weary of boredom and leave, so classes are essential for me to get me to actually do something.
What I like best about Gold’s Gym Richmond
One of my favorite parts of Gold’s Gym Richmond is their weekly group fitness email. I signed up immediately after beginning my trial and love how personal the newsletter feels and how informative it is. It feels a lot more like you’re part of a community than other gyms despite it being a large box gym. Each week the group fitness leader cheers people on with motivational quotes, updates about people’s workout achievements and alerts people of any teacher subs.
I have been on quite a yoga kick lately, so my favorite class at Gold’s Gym Richmond is their lunchtime yoga. I don’t like getting sweaty during lunch, but love getting out of the office and moving, so lunchtime yoga is pretty clutch. The noon class I go to most often is great for all group levels and is a slow flow, making it relaxing and not sweaty.
Since I’ve been pretty lazy about working out outside of classes, Cazey is better equipped to paint a picture of all the machines and weights at Gold’s Gym Richmond.
What Cazey likes best about Gold’s Gym Richmond
In particular, Cazey’s been to the West End and Arboretum locations, but he has friends who praise the Gayton Crossing location. He still needs to make it out there, and thankfully we have a few weeks left on our membership!
At the West End location, there are mats scattered around for stretching and abs, which is great. You don’t have only one area if you want to flex your core between sets for other body parts. There’s also a cool little side room with dumbbells under 50 lbs. and 360-degree mirrors (which is freaky if you don’t want to see your profile in every directions). Also, weightlifters know how important multiple squat racks are… guess what? They have multiple. There always seemed to be one available when Cazey was there (generally Saturday mornings and Monday nights).
Besides the steel, there is a myriad of weight machines and even machines that neither Cazey nor Sara had seen before. We hopped right on them to see if we felt a new burn! Just kidding - only Cazey did that.
It was a similar story at the Arboretum location. The weights area seems slightly tucked away from the cardio arena, which cardio goers may appreciate. Ask the staff if you can’t find the weights room, but we also trust you can listen for the clink of steel and rubber.
Other considerations about Gold’s Gym Richmond
While the experience you get at Gold’s Gym Richmond has redeemed my faith in the Gold’s Gym franchise, it is more expensive than the other Gold Gym chain in the city. However, you do get what you pay for!
I don’t know how many more times I can admit I’m pretty lazy when it comes to working out in a single blogpost, but here we go. Like I mentioned, Gold’s Gym Richmond has four locations (West End, Midlothian, Gayton Crossing, and the Arboretum), but it doesn’t have any locations within the city limits. I kept finding ways to talk myself out of going because it was a 10-minute drive (which for anyone else probably isn’t a real concern). I would love to see a gym with these amenities end up within the city.
On the other hand, hitting the gym up was great when we were already outside the city limits, either for work or running errands. Instead of having to head back into Richmond, we could get a sweat in, then drive back to our places. (Cazey took particular advantage of this.)
The only way for you to know what gym is right for you is to shop around! You can get a free seven-day pass to check out Gold’s Gym West End or any of the three other locations. If you go, tell us what you think in the comments!