Ohio, often overlooked as a hotspot for fitness, has slowly but surely made a mark in the gym industry, owing to several factors that make it an ideal location for such ventures. First and foremost, the state boasts an affordable cost of living, which translates to lower operating costs for gyms, enabling them to offer competitive prices and attractive membership packages. This, in turn, attracts a diverse population, ranging from urbanites to rural dwellers, each with unique fitness preferences and requirements.
Old School Iron (formerly Iron Asylum), Cleveland, Ohio: The initial encounter with this establishment, then known as Iron Asylum, occurred a decade prior. Drawn in by a friend, Jack Finucan, known for his powerlifting enthusiasm, the individual entered with uncertainty. Stepping down the stairs into a dimly lit, graffiti-adorned basement revealed a treasure trove of equipment dedicated to powerlifting, strongman, and bodybuilding. It was, in essence, a sanctuary for hardcore training, devoid of unnecessary aesthetics.
Old School Gym, Pataskala, Ohio: Boasting a noteworthy ranking as one of America’s Top 10 Hardcore Gyms, this establishment readily earned its place on the list. Similar to other gyms on this journey, the focus centers on intense training rather than mere visual appeal. Upon entering Old School Gym, one immediately understands its purpose: catering to individuals fueled by a desire to push their limits, not casual gym-goers.
The Dirty Gym, Dayton, Ohio: Another facility prioritizing function over form, The Dirty Gym resonated with the individual’s training philosophy. It stands out as the only Dayton-area gym known to offer the comprehensive equipment and expertise to cater to diverse athletes, encompassing powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters, and CrossFit enthusiasts. Having trained and participated in well-organized powerlifting meets here, the individual can attest to their well-equipped space and supportive atmosphere.
Elitefts, London, Ohio: This name resonates throughout the powerlifting community, and the individual’s first visit to their renowned S4 compound did not disappoint. Attending the Powerlifting Experience 1 as a client with a total of around 1,600, they had the privilege of receiving coaching from renowned figures like Chris Duffin, David Allen, and Brandon Smitley. Witnessing their down-to-earth yet invaluable guidance solidified the individual’s commitment to powerlifting.
The Strength Lab, Wilmington, Ohio: Admittedly, this particular gym holds a special place for the individual, having co-founded it with Chad James. From humble beginnings in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse to the current 15,000-square-foot facility, they meticulously designed a space dedicated to sports performance training. The Strength Lab caters to athletes of all ages, from children as young as eight to high school, collegiate, and even professional competitors.