Despite post-pandemic recovery and economic uncertainty, 2022 was another big year for the fitness industry, with more people returning to in-person fitness. With that in mind, Iron Tribe Fitness is pumping up its national expansion plans and looking to bring its group and semi-private fitness programs to more markets across the U.S.

With 29 gyms currently scattered across eight states, more than two-thirds of which are owned and operated by franchisees, the Birmingham, Alabama-based franchise is planning to open at least five new locations by the end of 2023. Development deals have already been signed for gyms in Auburn, Alabama; Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.

“We’re committed to helping busy men and women all across our communities get the most out of every workout and have a great time in the process,” said Iron Tribe Fitness founder and CEO Forrest Walden. “With people becoming more self-aware of the importance associated with living a healthy lifestyle, and our franchise development team as strong as ever, we’re ready to take Iron Tribe Fitness to heights never seen before.”

The idea for Iron Tribe Fitness was conceptualized in 2008 when Walden converted his garage into a gym where he and his friends could hang out and workout together. There was no charge to belong, but you had to have a personal invite. Before long, and as more and more friends started begging to come and join his garage gym, Walden began wondering what it would look like to start a brand-new concept that would take his team-based, group workouts to the next level and allow more lives to be impacted.

He opened his first official Iron Tribe Fitness gym in Homewood, Alabama in 2010, and started offering franchise opportunities in 2012.

“I was hooked on the power of a tight community – a tribe that works together and pushes each other to be better in all aspects of life,” said Walden.

Recognized today by Men’s Journal as one of the top five workouts in the nation, Iron Tribe Fitness offers two exciting and effective workout options to help clients of all experience levels reach their goals with a completely personal approach. The first is a 45-minute functional training group class that is limited to 16 participants, taught by at least one highly-trained coach, and changes each day. The second is hands-on, semi-private training (5-person sessions) that customizes every aspect of one’s fitness and nutrition journey.

Both offerings are aimed at taking one’s strength, conditioning and skill to the next level.

“When you take a class at Iron Tribe, you don’t get the option to slack off. You get accountability from trainers and strangers who can become friends,” said Walden. “Classes are for anyone at any level, and the real competition is with yourself.”

To augment the growth, Iron Tribe Fitness is looking for franchisees that have a passion for all things health and wellness, and who share the company’s purpose of creating fitness communities that change lives. Including a franchise fee of $50,000, the total initial investment to open a 3,500-4,000 square-foot gym ranges from $308,000 to $441,500.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.


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