When Suzy Constantine’s work offered a company-wide weight loss challenge in January 2018, she imagined it being the kickstart she would need to drop the 50 pounds she’d put on over the last few years. She was the heaviest she’d ever been and was ready to see the weight come off. But four months into her company’s challenge, Suzy was only down 10 pounds. Her plan wasn’t working.
“At my age, I was having a little more difficulty losing weight than I’d ever had in my life,” says Suzy, 54. “I really seemed to hit a wall and couldn’t do anything else.” A former athlete with a hip replacement and two knee replacements behind her, finding a workout that could accommodate her physical concerns while helping her lose weight was a top priority.
When Suzy saw a post on Facebook about Iron Tribe’s 6-Week Challenge, she decided to sign up. A self-proclaimed “all or nothing” individual, she followed Iron Tribe’s suggested food and exercise templates exactly. While in the gym at least three days a week, Suzy credits the food plan for really igniting her weight loss. Not only did she become more aware of what she was eating—and not eating—she could begin to see how the food she ate was improving her workouts.
In just 6 weeks at Iron Tribe, Suzy shed 16 pounds and 5.99% of her body fat. “I was certainly satisfied with 16 pounds in 6 weeks considering I had gone 4 months and only lost 10 pounds,” she says, laughing. She continued to lose between two to four pounds each week after that. She’s replaced her XXL clothing with mediums and even a few smalls. Her pant size has dropped eight sizes.
And that goal to lose 50 pounds in a year? Suzy met it just as 2018 ended.
“Weight loss was my number one goal originally. Then as time passed and the weight really started to finally fall off, my next goal became getting stronger and faster and healthier,” says Suzy. “I’m looking at myself differently, which is a great confidence booster. It’s been nice to feel so much stronger.”
Suzy is not alone in her success. Iron Tribe, founded in 2008 in Birmingham, Ala., now has 35 locations in 12 states. Their approach is simple: effective, accessible, fun workouts. Three types of classes are offered at each of their five Nashville and Williamson County locations.
Push classes emphasize high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts using cardio equipment and weights. For members looking for more strength training, Power classes aim to improve lifts and metabolic conditioning. Iron Tribe is also home to many current athletes looking to continue to up their game. For these members, Perform classes provide an intense focus on weightlifting, strength development, and increased conditioning.
Rounding out at exactly 45 minutes (except for Perform classes, which are 60 minutes), each class features a workout of the day designed to get the maximum amount of fitness in during a short amount of time.
Class size is limited to 20 participants so that each member is ensured attention from one of the several coaches present during every class. And modifications for injuries or other physical limitations are always available.
Iron Tribe is not just another gym. For Suzy, who was no stranger to gyms having even worked in one for a period of time, it is a community. “I walked in not knowing a thing about Iron Tribe, not knowing anybody there, because I was at a place where I just knew that I needed some help and I needed some guidance,” she says. “There’s something really special about a group dynamic. Once you walk in you can feel it’s more about your success than anything else.”
Amber Wilson, also an Iron Tribe member, echoes Suzy’s experience. “Iron Tribe is a very accurate name. It’s the people that really make it. It really is like a tribe,” she says. “You come back because it’s fun, and then you love it because you see results. You stay because it’s like a family.”
Since turning 40, Amber felt like her body had turned on her. Dieting, jogging, fitness videos, Nutrisystem — they’d all left her feeling frustrated and defeated. But before totally giving up, Amber, now 43, signed up for Iron Tribe’s 6-Week Challenge, hoping to lose 10 to 15 pounds.
Nine months later she was down 42 pounds (actually, 49 pounds, but she gained 7 pounds of muscle) and had gone from a size 12 to a size 2.
“Being at Iron Tribe for over nine months has totally changed the whole physical makeup of my body,” says Amber, a mother of three. “Dropping 20 pounds and getting back to a 6 or 8 would have been fine with me, but now all the sudden, I’m doing these workouts that are really difficult and challenging and have high skill level and feeling amazing after them. [I’m doing] things that I never even knew I wanted to do.”
Amber, like Suzy, is clear, too what an important role Iron Tribe’s food templates have played in her weight loss. “Just doing the workout wouldn’t have been enough,” she says. While the food plan was difficult for Amber initially, when she quickly started seeing results, it was worth it to keep going.
Today, Amber can do a pull up, push ups, double unders, jump rope — victories that aren’t measured on the scale but feel just as great to achieve. She says she feels a sense of wellbeing, inside and out, that she hasn’t ever experienced before. She’s an inspiration to her children. Most importantly, she says, “I’m in better shape now at 43 than I’ve ever been before.”
Iron Tribe Fitness has locations in Belle Meade, Belmont, Brentwood, Cool Springs, and Franklin. Learn more about Iron Tribe’s 6-Week Challenge at 6week-challenge.com.
This article is sponsored by Iron Tribe Fitness.