Feeling the pain and the pride at Ironworks | TheUnion.com

Feeling the pain and the pride at Ironworks

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Pain is temporary, pride is forever.

That’s the motto at Ironworks Athletic Club in Grass Valley.

“It’s a metaphor that I live by,” Ironworks owner and operator Steve Matthews said. “You’ve heard of no pain, no gain. That’s too cliche-ish.

“You come in. You work out. You push yourself or at least try your hardest to do what you can. There’s your pain … The pride is afterwards when you look at the results.”

After several training sessions with Matthews, a national champion power lifter, I was definitely feeling the “pain.”

Matthews, a 2007 national dead-lifting champion, took me through a series of exercises and routines that worked me out, wore me out and had me out the door in 45 minutes.

Ironworks opened in 2004, with a tanning room and exercise classes being offered in the multi-purpose room at the back of the facility, but with a lack of interest in either, Mathews made some changes.

“We tried (classes), but nobody came. It was like everybody mentioned it, but nobody came,” Matthews said. “After six months, we realized that people were coming here for one thing. They wanted to come do their workouts or train and leave.”

So Matthews sold the tanning bed, scrapped the classes, turned the back room into a cross-training area and poured $20,000 worth of new equipment into main part of the gym.

“That back room was the key to this whole thing,” Matthews said. “I needed to have a place where people could come and do more than just lift weights. Now it’s a multi-purpose cross-training room. That cemented what we are really about. Old school meets the new millennium.”

Ironworks is a clean and versatile place to get a workout, and one of the best things about the club is that it’s open 24 hours a day, everyday.

This is great for a guy like myself who often works late hours. Many a night I walk out The Union doors past midnight, so it’s nice to know if I need to run off the evening’s stress, I have a place to go.

Ironworks was never too crowded to work out at, and I never had to wait for a machine. Granted, my workout hours weren’t traditional, but it was nice to know I always had a quiet place to break a sweat at the drop of a hat.

The cost is fairly cheap as well with one-, three-, six- and nine-month packages ranging in price from $35 to $49.

Matthews has a background in many aspects of fitness, as he has been a competitive power lifter and once owned a GNC store. So Ironworks is stocked with a variety of protein powders and shakes, including one of Matthews’ own design.

As for me, the time I spent at Ironworks was informative and beneficial. Matthews taught me workout routines I will use on a weekly basis.

Although I didn’t lose any weight this month, I still feel like my body has benefited from my time at Ironworks. There is more definition to my body, and my cardio has improved.

And despite being around accomplished power lifters, such as Matthews and his wife, Karen Matthews, who was a world bench press champion in 2009, I never felt intimidated or uncomfortable.

I highly recommend Ironworks Athletic Club for anyone who works crazy hours or is simply looking for a place to get a quick workout in a clean and accommodating environment.

To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User