Denver. Chicago. Cincinnati. Columbus. Four cities located in four states outside of Indiana, and all of which were represented at Iron Valley Barbell when I went to check out the vibe. Why? Iron Valley Barbell (IVB) is the destination gym that is right in our city that you probably haven’t heard of. That’s the way they like it.
Zach Homol opened IVB a little over a year ago after being transplanted here from West Virginia, and has built a gritty, tough, and exclusive atmosphere. If you are at Iron Valley, you are there for one reason only and that is to wage war against the laws of gravity. As soon as you walk in you’ll hear weights clanking, music blasting, and someone roaring through a new PR.
“Growing up in rural West Virginia we had 1 gym in our small town.” Says Homol.
“The gym was roughly 3,000 square foot with a garage door at the end that would stay open all summer. The gym never closed, 24/7 availability so that those who work swing shift would still be able to get a workout in before or after work. There was nothing fancy about the gym. No hot tube, sauna, pool, or towel services. Everyone that came to the gym was there for just 1 reason, to better themselves."
“At the time, I didn’t realize how rare these gyms where, till I moved to Indiana. I quickly realized that there were no gyms in metro Indianapolis that was like the gym I was accustomed to. The first 9 months I lived in Indianapolis I jumped from gym to gym trying to find that “Real Gym” atmosphere. I was never able to, that’s when I decided to open IRON VALLEY BARBELL.”
Zach doesn’t just own and operate the gym. A world record holder in both Squat and Bench Press, he leads the workouts too and makes sure each and every person in his job goes as hard as they can, and then some. You won’t see extensive marketing campaigns from IVB, because they know and understand that this gym is not for everyone. It’s an exclusive tribe not because others aren’t welcome (they absolutely are) but because if you can’t match the intensity in the building you will feel it.
When I spoke with Zach about visiting Iron Valley, he was absolutely welcoming and simply said, “Come Saturday. We squat at 10.” I was not about to not bring my best into this gym, so I came well rested, well fed, and completely focused. I worked out hard….and I was sore for a week. This is strength training on a completely new level, and I LOVED IT….and I went back the next week. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “Is that SEVEN PLATES ON THE SQUAT RACK?” My second Saturday was 1-rep max day and there were some incredible weights being thrown up by guys and girls all around. With one small mirror in front of the squat rack, I watched Zach hit his head against the bar, let out a mighty roar and with 3 spotters and 10 screaming onlookers squat 700 pounds. I don’t have the mastery of the English language to describe to you the intense, adrenaline pumping energy that was pulsating through the small warehouse garage. He was under the bar, but every man, woman, and dog in the gym was a part of the lift. I am hooked.
This is an incredibly powerful team atmosphere where PR’s are broken almost every day, and everyone is held accountable for their hard work. How can you not reach new heights with a tribe of 15 people willing you through your workout? IVB has almost reached their cap amount of members, and will soon have a waiting list to be a part of the tribe. If you are into breaking your own records and pushing past what you thought was possible for you, then you need to check out the Iron Valley Barbell. Be sure to fill out your info below to receive an invite for a day pass, which is worth every single bit of the $10 fee. I can’t wait until this Saturday.