In November, 2022 I paid my second visit to Iron Flag Fitness, home of CrossFit Iron Flag, located in Westmont, IL just west of Chicago. I didn’t get the opportunity to write up my first visit so, we’ll make this one a “two-fer”. I’ll give you highlights from both visits. I’ve said in the past, it’s always nice to return to a place to see how consistent they are.
On many counts, Iron Flag (we’ll call it that for short) was consistent. I’ll point out those consistencies, and maybe a couple of inconsistencies in the details below.
I wanted to make a special mention here. Both times I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to speak with one of their owners, Kelly. Not only is she gracious, she and her husband spend a lot of time and effort giving back to the youth of the community. They have a non-profit focused on getting kids resources for the classroom and getting them involved in athletics for stronger minds and bodies. So, big bonus points here. You can learn more at https://www.ironflagathletefoundation.org/.
In terms of location, Iron Flag is in Westmont, IL which is very close to Oakbrook Terrace and not far from Elmhurst and Naperville. My hotel was very close to Westmont so it was an easy trip for me.
Let’s get into the details. As always, each category is rated on a scale of 1-5 barbells.
Each time I wanted to visit, I filled out my name, number and email on their drop-in webform and they promptly responded to me. I asked about the workouts, and they were able to text me the details for the days I was interested in. They’re very responsive and helpful with answering my questions.
Their website has drop-in information in the top banner. You can easily find their schedule and location on a map. They currently have a popup promoting a sale. Not sure if it’s always there but it’s easy to get out of it and move on. There’s also a chat bot for questions. If you scroll down, you’ll find details on their coaches, including CF certifications.
The only downsides I could find was it would be nice if they posted their WODs in advance, which was mitigated by their great communication. Also, on the home page there are a lot of fast-moving images and flashing colors. I found it difficult to look at, but that’s me and it’s easy to scroll down past it. That doesn’t change the fact that just about all the information you need ahead of your visit is easy to get to.
Iron Flag is pretty clean, given that it was late in the day each time I’ve visited. There’s some chalk on the rig and the floors showed the day’s use but it’s pretty clear they clean it regularly. What I didn’t see were people wiping down bars and their workout area after they were done. They do have cleaning supplies, as I asked for them after the workouts.
I checked the restrooms and, for the time of day, they were in pretty good shape.
This is an interesting facility. There’s several distinct areas. There’s a main floor, as well as an area that appears to be used for specialty classes like barbell training and an area on the far side of the gym for what looked like an open gym-type setup/warmup area. There are several restrooms and an area to stow your workout bag/gear.
There’s a lot going on simultaneously here but there’s plenty of space. It’s by no means small.
Iron Flag is well-equipped, with plenty of barbells, plates and machines. There’s no shortage of smaller items like wall balls and dumbbells either. The barbells and were a little on the rusty side but not terrible.
The workouts here were varied and challenging. The first time I visited, the workout was DT (five rounds of twelve deadlifts, nine hang power cleans, and six push jerks). It was particularly challenging for me because I had just come off a competition a couple of days before that had a DT variant in it. There’s something to be said for timing.
On the second visit, the workout was 3 rounds of 8 strict pullups, 16 pistols, 20 med ball situps and a 600m run. With a durability workout of 4 sets of 10 barbell rows and 20 banded pulldowns for dessert. It was sufficiently challenging but all things I could do (with a slight scale or modification here and there).
I liked the variety and the thoroughness of the workouts. I don’t mind a cash out so the durability workout on my second visit was not an issue. As always with workouts though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Coach Guy ran the workout for us on my second visit, and unfortunately I can’t find my notes on who was coaching the first time. He may have been coaching then as well.
It was a little different between my two workouts. Both had thorough warmups. The second one moved a little quickly, but it was a longer workout and they had to be sure not to run over into the next class. So, he timed it well there.
I was introduced to the class on my first visit but not my second. I think Guy called me by a three different names. That’s okay. I’m not great with people’s names when I first meet them either.
On both visits, when I had questions there was no issue with getting an answer or help. Guy helped me scale the pistols so they were doable for me while still challenging. Both times the coach kept an eye on the athletes and encouraged them. However, for the durability workout on the second visit, the coach left the floor, I believe to take a call. We were well under way by then and there was not a whole lot of risk with the movements but just something I don’t typically see.
Overall, the coaching experience was positive but it’s my job to report all the details to you. I regard this as a small issue and it would not keep me from returning.
The culture is positive here. It’s a busy place and I could see athletes interacting with each other. Each time I visited, there were at least a few members that directly engaged with me. Kelly, the owner, has been very welcoming each time I’ve visited and took time to speak with me. I would say that I was well received, and people are friendly.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
The cost to drop in to at Iron Flag is $20. Standard fare and it’s even starting to be a little on the bargain side, given the current economy. Shirts are $30, which is not as much of a bargain, but they seemed to have a fair bit in stock and a decent variety (there's more than what's pictured below).
Iron Flag Fitness was definitely worth a second visit. I had a good workout each time, the facility is clean and there’s plenty of hardware to go around. The people are friendly, and the owner is particularly nice. I really like they work they’re doing to give back to the community. If you find yourself a little west of Chicago and are looking for a place to drop in, you should definitely check out Iron Flag Fitness.
Iron Flag Fitness (Home of CrossFit Iron Flag)
20 East Chicago Avenue
Westmont IL , 60559