Windy City Gym Reviews: Quads and East Bank Club


Deep Dish Pizza. Chicago Hot Dogs. Exercise. Most people associate Chicago with these greasy, unhealthy (but delicious!) foods, but not exercise. That’s a shame because at its core Chicago is a workout paradise. With 18 miles of a beautiful lakefront path that stretches from north to south, it is used at all times of the year for walking, running, biking, and swimming. (And what's the best shoe for all of these activities you ask? Here is my pick!) I really cannot name another major city with such a large area dedicated to outdoor activity. Chicago also has a plethora of amazing gyms, but for me there are two, East Bank Club and Quads, that stand out among all of the gyms that I have been to in my hometown.  

The World Famous Quads Gym, as stated on its website, is an old school gym. There is one location in the city on the North Side that opened in 1988, but the original location was opened in Calumet City in 1976. I am pretty sure that there are still members that have been coming to Quads for over 30 years. All joking aside, Quads is hardcore. This gym is for people who are serious about weightlifting and being in great shape. (As a side note, there is a Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu branch in the back of Quads. It’s a great workout and Mack is an amazing teacher.) If you are expecting high tech equipment, be ready to be disappointed. Quads is a no frills experience, but there is a reason that it has been such a massive success over the years. It’s simple. People give a shit. Everyone is there to train and improve. If you need any help or encouragement, you can easily find someone that is happy to lend a hand. It is also a bodybuilding shrine. Quads has over 500 autographed pictures on its walls of famous bodybuilders and athletes. Michael Jordan has even made two pilgrimages to this weightlifting heaven. Priced at $13 for a day pass and $50 for one week, Quads is a steal. To summarize what Quads is about, one client is quoted on their website saying, “ If you’re looking for a real gym, not a spa with dumbbells, welcome home.”


Now, if you are looking for more of a gym that is a spa with dumbbells then East Bank Club is your place. It is located in one of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods, River North, and certainly caters well to its audience. You can easily spend a whole day here working out, eating, getting your dry cleaning done, massages, salon..the club has everything you would ever need. My favorite part of East Bank though is the indoor turf field that has everything you could ever need to stay in shape from tires to battle ropes to TRX bands. East Bank is unique and has a lot of equipment that other gyms simply don’t have the space for since East Bank is spread over two city blocks (450,000 square feet). It also has the largest cardio room in Chicago (maybe the world too!) with over 400 pieces of equipment. The only downside is that a one day guest pass costs $25, but in my opinion it is well worth the price!


If you have any other questions about Quads or East Bank Club or staying fit in Chicago, feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you and answer any questions you have about my beautiful home too!   


Quads Gym

3727 N. Broadway, Chicago, Illinois, 60613


The Rundown:

Cleanliness: 3/5

Price: 5/5

Quality of Equipment: 3/5

Space: 3/5

Overall: 3.5/5








East Bank Club

500 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago, Illinois, 60654


The Rundown:

Cleanliness: 5/5

Price: 2/5

Quality of Equipment: 5/5

Space: 5/5

Overall: 4.5/5