Iron Tribe: Business Spotlight


Iron Tribe client Kenan Ashurst, client Brett MacDonald, coach Jessica Parks, client Alexa Hymowitz train at their Inverness Heights location. Photo courtesy of Jason Wallis.

Everyday is a competition at Iron Tribe Fitness.

There are no treadmills or exercise bikes—just free weights, rowing machines, pull-up bars, and most importantly, a coach and team to drive the workouts.

“You put forth more effort in five minutes of our workouts than most people do in 45-minute workouts,” owner Forrest Walden said.

The center of each class is a high intensity Workout of the Day (WOD): running, rowing, Olympic lifting, power lifting, or some combination of those things. No two WODs are ever the same.

The regimen appeals to those who love competition. Everyone’s score from the workout is written on a marker board and is listed online. A male and a female winner are awarded each day.

“We talk about performance, not aesthetics,” Walden said. “When you focus on performance, aesthetics come.”

Those who come to Iron Tribe, especially the women, gain confidence, according to Walden. A lot of people make career changes because they start facing their fears. Others stop smoking. Everyone has newfound energy.

Although the workouts are intense, Iron Tribe does not cater to just young, in-shape athletes. They have more clients over age 45 than under age 45 and welcome businesspeople and the stay-at-home moms and their families. Clients from age 6 to 72 complete exercises scaled to their levels.

“It’s rare that someone doesn’t get a family member involved,” Walden said. “We have quite a few families where both spouses and their kids are involved.”

Iron Tribe also encourages a Paleo Diet Lifestyle to go with the exercise: meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.

With a background as a personal trainer and in the fitness business, Walden discovered the Crossfit strength and conditioning program four years ago and started doing it out of his garage with friends.

Building on his experience with Fitness Together franchises, he moved from his garage to build an innovative business model for the Crossfit experience. He started a Homewood gym in 2010 and then a 280 location in February 2011. His client base has grown rapidly, and Iron Tribe has plans to open a Cahaba Heights and downtown location in the next few months.

The 3400-square foot gym in Inverness Heights Market by T.J. Maxx was built as a model for the business in what a training gym should look like.

“It’s like a playground for adults,” Walden said. “I have never had anyone not say, ‘I feel like a kid again.’”

Those new to Iron Tribe start with a 12-session, month-long Iron Tribe 101 class that teaches fundamental Crossfit workouts and the terminology used in the classes.

“From there you can walk right into an Iron Tribe class,” Walden said. “I feel like everyone loses 20 pounds in that first month”

Iron Tribe costs $230-310 a month depending on frequency; four, eight, and 12-month packages are available. To get involved with Iron Tribe, call or go online to schedule an initial consultation.

Iron Tribe Fitness
5029 Highway 280, Suite 102


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