Gym Spotlight: Jakked Hardcore
By: Andy “Thor” McCord @Strongman_Thor
We live in a world of strength sports where everyone is a “Beast” or “Disciple of Iron”. If you log onto any form of social media, you will see people standing in their air conditioned, well lit commercial gym, taking selfies and making statements that would lead any normal person to believe they intend to wage a full scale assault on the weights in the background. Their shaker cups in hand, and over the ear headphones in place, these are the would be ambassadors of “hardcore fitness”. Many do not even realize there is already a gym so hardcore that it’s namesake shows it. Jakked Hardcore Gym, nestled in the small town of Montgomery, Illinois, is what many would call the top training facility for strength sports in not only Illinois, but the entire Midwest.
A team of 15+ strongmen and strongwomen in a constant state of support and motivation, all brought to life in screams and loud smacks on one another’s backs, train hard to achieve the mutual goal of becoming the strongest of the strong. On any given Saturday you will find the Jakked Powercorps Strongman Team huddled together around the implement of choice to start their workout, while in the room next door the powerlifting team has their practice. It’s only in this kind of environment that you will see ten people, from light to heavy weight classes, all hit at least three hundred pounds on a log clean and press. They then go on to train a litany of other strongman events, ranging from loading events to throwing events. Jakked Hardcore is also one of the only gyms to readily have access to fingal fingers. The Jakked Hardcore strongman area houses two yokes, four logs, multiple axles, many circus dumbbells, kegs from low double digits to over five hundred pounds, stones from light to four hundred seventy pounds, varying weights of tires, a keg toss area, car deadlift apparatus, sandbags galore, farmers, frame, and now a viking press apparatus. Jakked has something to prepare you for any show. Jakked also hosts a number of shows around the Midwest in both strongman and powerlifting, including a doubles deadlift competition promoting support to local animal shelters and rescue efforts.
Some notable lifters that call this place home include; ASC Lightweight Pro Strongman Dave Daly, Light Weight Strongman Pawel Bosek, 2015 Illinois Strongest Man Eric Small, 2013 Middle Weight Womens Champion Kim Baum (who has gone on to earn her IFBB Physique Professional Status). Jakked has hosted some of the best strength sports athletes in the world, from Strongman Derek Poundstone to Bodybuilder Branch Warren, to Powerlifting Legend Ed Coan. There is not only a pedigree of athlete being bred here, but there is also a draw to seasoned athletes to come get their feel of this gritty and sincere environment. This is not a place to relax, but instead a place to learn. These teammates have the desire for mutual success.
At the heart of this operation are Bryon and Tami Hicks. They have dedicated their lives into developing one of the most well-rounded and welcoming facilities in the Midwest, if not the entire USA.
To have a successful powerlifting gym is an accomplishment in itself, but to also have a successful bodybuilding gym is something that seems to no longer exist. These two have achieved the unfathomable. They have not only created a place for powerlifters and bodybuilders to thrive, but they have also created a space to allow strongmen and women to grow, allowing the sport to grow in turn.
In a time when commercial gyms, with their televisions, and group fitness classes are taking over the world. Jakked Hardcore brings it back to the iron. When personal training studios eliminate the kinship that exists between lifters. Jakked Hardcore helps provide a place for bonds to be forged in iron. As crossfit gyms create groups of people truly dedicated to one another, Jakked Hardcore brings strongmen and strongwomen together in an equally powerful way. Jakked belongs in the highest regards as being one of the best strongman gyms out there, there is no doubt about that. Jakked make strongman something anyone can take part in with it’s amazing facility and team. At Jakked Hardcore, Strongman is for everyone.
**note: The owners of Jakked Hardcore are always very support of Strongman, but also for the treatment of animals. Even on their website they share a link to local animals that are in need of being rescued from a shelter. Please consider your next pet, being a rescued pet.
You can find more info on Jakked Hardcore on the Strongman Gym Map as well as find a strongman gym near you.
You can follow Andy on Instagram at @Strongman_Thor