PRINCETON — A new gym in Princeton is offering people a unique type of workout.

Rather than the typical chain gym atmosphere, Iron Asylum offers guests an experience similar to the ancient Vikings and Celts.

According to Goodman, the owners consist of three married couples that enjoyed the cross fit atmosphere but wanted to branch out. “We all have developed a love for cross fit over the last year or so and we have ventured into other fit formats. This includes powerlifting and strong man,” Goodman said.

The strong man fitness routines focus on strength athletics such as considerable heavy lifting. According to Goodman, the strongman concept is one that has been in various cultures throughout the ages.

“In certain cultures, you couldn’t be a man until you could lift heavy things. It may not have had the same name, but lifting heavy things has been around forever,” Goodman said.

One of the owners, Princeton Police Officer, Ptlm. S. Owens, said of strongman, “I found it just by happenstance. I’ve loved it and haven’t looked back since. People think you have to be a certain strength to do strongman and you don’t.”

Unlike other gyms in the area, Iron Asylum offers an open gym format alongside their uncommon techniques. “We want to be adaptable and give people the option to do all different programs. They will able able to come in and pick whatever they want to do for that day,” Goodman said.

Of the programs available at the gym they include strong man, powerlifting, functional fitness, Olympic weightlifting, cardio, HIT, and more.

Guests may see some equipment that they’re not familiar with such as the circus dumbells, atlas stone, and the Celtic pole, of the Celtic pole push.

“The circus dumbells are so unique nobody else in the area has one that I know of. The uniqueness of these items and the programs drove us to open the gym,” Owens said.

Of the Celtic pole push, a 4x4 wooden pole with two sets of handles on opposite ends is used by two opponents. The opponents then use their strength, and body weight, to try and push the other out of the allotted circle, similar to the circle used in sumo wrestling.

Aside from the unique offerings, the gym also lets members personally know the owners. “With franchise gyms, you don’t know who you’re supporting. When you support small homegrown gyms, whether us or small gyms across town, you can form relationships with the owners,” Goodman said.

Goodman expressed that it’s always fun to watch people grow in their fitness journey. “It’s amazing to watch people do things for the first time, things that they never thought they could do,” Goodman said.

Overall, the gym focuses on providing a comfortable atmosphere to guests, hence their slogan, “Where you can do you.”

A grand opening is planned for June 1, at the gym on Halls Ridge Road, where guests will be able to partake in several events and see the gym’s uniqueness. 

Business hours of the gym are from 8 - 10 a.m., and from 3 - 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on the gym find them on Facebook at @ironasylum19, email at, call at 304-207-0845, or visit their website at

— Contact Emily Coppola at

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