I’m trying out a different workout class each week and reporting back for your entertainment every Wednesday. This includes homegrown fitness concepts all the way up to the big national franchises and everything in between. Follow along here, browse our fitness archives for more, send class suggestions to email@example.com or challenge me to your favorite workout. I am here to suffer.
Name: Irontribe Dilworth
Class: 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday
Location: 215 E. Worthington Avenue
Class schedule: WEEKDAYS: 5:15 a.m., 6 a.m., 6:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:15 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m.; SATURDAYS: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m.
Class duration: I took the 45-minute weekday class. They also have 60-minute classes on Saturdays.
Drop-in rate: N/A
Monthly membership: Ranges $220 – $260 for 3x, 4x or unlimited classes/week for a 4-, 8- or 12-month contract. Includes nutritional guidance and tracking as well as quarterly fitness assessments.
Good for: people looking for a quick but challenging working (45 minutes), people with a general gym membership who lack the motivation and expertise to train themselves effectively, people who like a little friendly competition (with themselves or others), beginners or anyone returning to working out (thanks to the 30-day 101 program)
Bad for: diehard CrossFit fans looking to do Olympic lifts, people who can’t say no to the sight and smell of Dunkin’ Donuts
How to dress and what to bring
No surprises here. Just wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Most people had on shorts and t-shirts. I wore leggings and a tank. I almost always work out with my hair down, a fact that shocks and/or disgusts everyone I meet, but I put it up really quickly here because it was completely out of control while jumping rope, which happened a lot. Definitely bring water.
What to expect in class
Irontribe is a fitness franchise created back in 2008 in a two-car garage in Birmingham, AL. Today, they’ve got locations in 60 cities in 15 states, including two here in Charlotte (Dilworth and Cotswold) and one in Huntersville.
All new members start with a 30-day Irontribe 101 program that teaches the basic movements utilized in class along with some nutritional guidance and goal coaching. Once you graduate, you move on to regular programming. Since I was just here for a day, I dove straight into a regular class.
Classes are different each day and consist of a warm-up, Workout of the Day (WOD, CrossFitters will recognize this) and a cool down. Our Tuesday morning workout started with some jumping rope, stretching and push-ups. Then we moved on to the WOD, which was a 7-round 3-circuit EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 20 kettlebell swings, 8-10 ring dips and 30 seconds of double unders for a total 21-minute workout. What this means is you get 1 minute to complete your kettlebell swings, 1 minute to complete your ring dips and 30 seconds to do as many double unders as possible. Then do it all over again and again and again until you hit 7 rounds.
Where you’ll feel it the next day
This will depend on the programming for the day. Thanks to the ring dips and kettlebell swings in our WOD, my arms were jello within an hour of getting home.
Locker room situation
They’ve got men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers. Manager/Coach Zach Watson told me lunchtime classes are popular so this means access to showers is important so you can get in, out and back to work.
One thing I noticed immediately at Irontribe was that several people greeted me and introduced themselves because it was clear I was new. I also saw a lot of hugs and high fives as people arrived for class, probably catching up after holiday travel. It’s clear they’ve definitely got a “tribe” community thing going on here.
The workout was brutal but not inaccessible or intimidating. For impossible-for-me moves like a strict ring dip (nope, not happening), there were bands and coaches to assist. I don’t know if this is normal for every class but there were three coaches on the floor cheering people on and paying close attention to form, which I appreciated.
Although Irontribe might look like CrossFit with its warehouse design and WODs, it’s not. My limited experience with CrossFit in Charlotte is that it has a much heavier focus on Olympic lifts at really high weights, something I didn’t see the equipment for here at Irontribe.
Overall, this was one of my favorite workouts so far for the physical challenge, straightforward programming, extensive weekly class options and nice people. And, should it interest you, it’s also conveniently located directly behind Dunkin’ Donuts. You know, because you earned it.