Forrest Walden, Founder & CEO

ForrestWalden_HeadshotForrest has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and he is famous for saying that he “can’t imagine doing anything else.”

His fitness story begins when he began working out regularly in college because of being the smallest guy on the cheerleading squad at Auburn University, needing to put on about 30 pounds to hang with the other guys and have the strength to press his partner above his head!

Putting on that 30 pounds of muscle changed Forrest’s life in a new trajectory that made him aware of just how powerful exercise and physique development could be on the entire human psyche. From there, he started pursing natural bodybuilding contests as a way to express his passion for fitness and placed very well in several local contests. Others starting asking him how to get into shape and before he knew what had happened, Forrest was in the personal training industry!

In 2001, he opened his first Fitness Together personal training studio. He eventually grew that into six studios that he owned and operated right in Birmingham. After success with those six, he decide to sell them for the chance to purchase the franchise rights to develop the Fitness Together franchise brand in Alabama, Florida and North Carolina.

Despite a great deal of success in this endeavor developing Fitness Together in these three states, in late 2007, Forrest had been unable to shake the feeling that I just had to get more directly back in the fitness industry and help people transform their lives.

And that, is the spark that lead to the creation of the Iron Tribe brand.

In 2013, Forrest published a book about the Iron Tribe story, documenting this very story of deciding to get his friends together in his garage to workout throughout 2008 and 2009, which lead to the opening of the first Iron Tribe gym in 2010.

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At the heart of this story is a community of people who are all aligned around the same purpose of creating communities where lives are changed. It is that purpose that lead to the establishment of this brand and is the true passion that lead Forrest to move away from his previous ventures in fitness to this one with Iron Tribe.

This book is a testament to that purpose and the stories of the athletes and people who have aligned to make it come to life!
Forrest’s wife Mendy is not only an avid Iron Tribe athlete, but as he says, “she keeps the house running like a swiss watch!” Forrest and Mendy have four children; two older girls in Caroline (12) and Brooke (10), and two younger boys in David (7) and Benjamin (4), who they adopted from Ethiopia in 2011.