MightyMeals is the Official Meal Prep Company of RVA Iron Gym
By: Christine Bean
RVA Iron Gym, a veteran-owned, membership-based gym with 24-hour key fob access, located in Richmond, Virginia. We recently sat down with co-owners, Brandon Garner and Bobby George (see pic above), to learn more about what motivated them to change the gym culture in Richmond and why MightyMeals’ menu variety keeps their powerlifting, bodybuilding, & weightlifting clients coming back for more.
How did RVA Iron Gym get its start?
Brandon: I grew up in a small town in Halifax County, Virginia. When I got out of the Marines in 2017, I moved to Richmond, VA, which is the closest big city to my hometown. I attended Virginia Commonwealth University and started a dietary supplement company called Phantom Nutrition. It took off and I ended up leaving VCU and running that business full-time for 5 years. I really enjoyed working in the supplement industry, but the cost of overhead and the amount of inventory I had to keep on-hand made it tough. When COVID-19 hit, people stopped buying supplements and our sales took a hit. Because of my own personal journey with my mental health and how I felt about all of the gyms being closed, I pivoted in April 2020 and decided to open my own gym; one that would never close! I thought about how difficult it was for me to not be able to go to the gym during this time and realized just how many people needed a space where they could put their head down, train, and work on their goals. I began purchasing machines and equipment on Facebook Marketplace; machines that gyms would never have let go of if they hadn’t been forced to close. A lot of people thought Bobby and I were crazy to open a gym during a pandemic, but we saw this as an amazing opportunity. It took us 8 months to find the perfect spot for our gym; no one really wanted to give us a chance. Our landlord saw himself in us; young, hungry entrepreneurs, and we really lucked-out. We officially opened in May of 2021.
Why did you and Bobby decide to go into business together?
Brandon: Bobby is an incredible photographer and owner of Bobby Bandz Productions. He also used to compete in men’s physique competitions, so he is familiar with the fitness industry. He and I had known each other from his work with other supplement companies; we actually met at a supplement/bodybuilder expo. Bobby and I had talked about someday purchasing real estate together in the Richmond area. When I voiced my idea about opening a gym in Richmond, he immediately said he wanted to be a part of it. Bringing Bobby on-board as a partner for the gym was a great decision because the marketing aspect of what we do is massive and really sets us apart from any other gym. Bobby handles all of our photography and videography and ensures that we have top-notch content.
What sets you apart from other gyms in RVA?
Brandon: The way we have inspired the gym culture here in Richmond and changed the way people think about gyms has been remarkable. What started out as a bit of a selfish idea completely flipped when we realized that this is the city’s gym. Our biggest challenge was getting people in the door to experience something different. Once we get them in the door to experience the culture that we built here and the machines we have here, they never want to leave! For some people, it’s more than just coming to the gym to work on your goals. It’s coming here to improve your mental health and work through battling your demons. Our goal is to help people build the best versions of themselves. I have had people come up to me and say, “This gym has changed my life.” There’s nothing more rewarding. A huge part of culture is the community we have built here. Everyone here knows each other, is cordial, respectful, and pushes each other to achieve their goals. We have done some big things in the past year, like sponsoring our first bodybuilding show, The IFBB Pro League Warrior Classic, in April 2022. We had top professionals attend and compete who would have never come to Richmond otherwise.
What do you love about MightyMeals?
Bobby: I love the variety of options and just how delicious the food is. I even had my toddler try them, and he loved them all! MightyMeals offers perfectly portioned meal prep for competitors and it’s great for people who are always on-the-go and don’t have the time to cook. Our clients are always commenting on the wide variety of dishes and they love that the meals are delivered fresh, ready-to-eat, right to their door. For me, MightyMeals is going to help me get back to the way I want to look. I had surgeries that kept me out for a couple of years, and MightyMeals will help me with consistency. The organization and the process is on-point; I get a text in the morning that tells me when my meals will arrive, I walk out my door and my meals are there waiting for me! Boom! It’s awesome.
What’s your favorite MightyMeal?
Bobby: I absolutely love the Steak & Gains. My first thought when I took a bite was, “Oh my gosh, how can this be so good?!” We eat out a ton and I love going to steakhouses. MightyMeals’ steak is cooked perfectly and even more delicious than most steaks I’ve eaten at restaurants!