It is said that great things often come from humble beginnings, the same holds true for The Iron Chamber Gym. To truly appreciate the present, one must understand the past.

In the summer of 1996, it began. In borrowed basement space of a friend, two men set up a rustic collection of free weights and equipment pulled out of garages, basements and dumpsters. The duo set aside money over the next month while working at a metal shop and eventually gathered enough money to buy an Olympic weight set. Each day after work, they would meet in the basement, and began their quest. Armed with the Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, each day meant something new. A new exercise, a new body part, a new chapter. Eventually, the workouts became structured and as their physiques grew, so did their obsession with the iron. It wasn’t long before others began to notice not only the results, but the passion and drive each possessed.

Soon, two became nearly a half dozen, and together, the group gathered in the basement to wage their war. A bond was formed, abrotherhood. The group moved from the borrowed basement space to a small one car garage and the battle continued. Summer meant an open garage door to combat the 90 plus degree heat. Winter meant turning on the dryer for heat in the often less than 20 degree frigid cold. Oblivious to the climate, the group gathered religiously to push their limits. New equipment occasionally made its way to the makeshift gym full of self proclaimed “Ironmen” for their daily sessions in the “Torture Chamber”. And so, the name was born, The Iron Chamber Gym.

Eventually, the gym re-located to the basement of a duplex and then in 2002 moved to the place that is now known simply as “the garage”. In the smallest location yet, the group again was forced to brave the elements. The formation of the ICG training principles began to take shape and a handful of lifters began to take an interest in training for competitive power lifting. High school football players would gather for both speed and resistance training in preparation for the upcoming season. Bodybuilders gathered in preparation for upcoming contests, all in a worn out one car garage in Canton, Ohio. By 2004, the brotherhood stepped out of their comfort zone and began to enter sanctioned competition as a gym. The team laid claim to State, National, Regional and World Champion titles and never looked back.

As the gym grew, so did its reputation. A solid nucleus of men stood their ground, believing in the ICG principles. Believing in what was to come. The garage simply could not contain what remained and the gym moved to a section of a broken down warehouse to accommodate what it was becoming. Nine men cleared out over six tons of scrap steel in a three thousand square foot section of the run down building. The same nine men decided to pitch in for the lofty rent of $150.00 per month and the occasional six pack of Heineken. After nine months, the time had come to part ways with the warehouse as it was set for destruction due to being deemed unsafe by City Officials. Nine men, refusing to let go of what they had fought so hard to create, were forced again to move. After looking at nearly a dozen places, the crew was running out of options. Finally, on the last week before the warehouse was set for demolition, the crew came across an opportunity to settle in and hang their boots. A rented basement space located just off the loading dock of a local business.

Concrete stairs lead to the place where nearly 30 men gather to continue what was started. The stench of sweat and chalk dust fill the air. It is the home of warriors. It is the home of champions; it is the home of the Iron Chamber Gym. And so it was born, a foundation laid literally by blood, sweat and tears. A sanctuary for those seeking a battleground to wage their war. Week after week, warriors gather in the ICG to grow, mentally and physically. To finish what was started. To strengthen the brotherhood and commitment forged when it began. A commitment in which each and every member knows that the warrior next to him would die at their side to force that extra rep in battle. A world where bodybuilders and powerlifters co-exist not to compete, but to destroy. Destroy limits, reasoning and mediocrity. A relentless pursuit for one inch, one pound, one more day. As it began, it continues. A legacy passed to each warrior who enters. A brotherhood forged in iron.