Go Tribal Post Parades

Fitness groups and gyms experience their second spike for the year in membership following New Year’s, as the city of New Orleans reemerges from the haze of Mardi Gras. Haunted by weeks of King Cake and smoky barbeque consumption, the Bourbon Street stagger, and an overzealous enthusiasm for all things bead, plush and flashy – they look for healthier ways to combat the post-parade blues.

Relatively new to the block, Iron Tribe Fitness – a group fitness workout that rivals CrossFit – opened its gym in New Orleans in February 2014, in the Warehouse District.

Iron Tribe has an allure of exclusivity with their capped membership of 300 – enforced to ensure they maintain a small coach to athlete ratio.

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So what is Iron Tribe? It is functional fitness – everything that they do in a 45-minute class is functional to everyday life, and is easily adjusted to suit all fitness levels.

A franchise that grew out of a garage in Birmingham, Ala., Iron Tribe has rapidly spread across 60 cities in 15 states since 2010. Ninety percent of these were opened by former Iron Tribe athletes, whose lives were transformed by the program, including Kerry Jenkins, a former offensive linesman for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Louisiana State University.

Since opening the 733 Saint Joseph Street location, Jenkins and his wife, Kate, have bought the rights to two more locations in the Greater New Orleans area – one is set to open late 2015, the other in 2016.

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The add-ons that come with the membership are a key factor to their appeal; the nutrition component that gives members the option of purchasing ready-made paleo meals, plus the flexibility for members who travel regularly for work and pleasure, to drop-in to any Iron Tribe location and continue their program while on the road.

The programming team, based out of corporate headquarters, creates the overarching program, which includes the “workout of the day.” This is rolled out to all franchised locations, ensuring the company delivers a consistent, high level group fitness program that allows for drop ins.

To learn more, check out my feature on Iron Tribe Fitness in the March issue of Biz New Orleans Magazine, out on news stand March 1.

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