On June 24, Iron Culture, New Jersey’s first and only high-end hardcore gym, held a grand opening event to celebrate its new 7,500-square-foot fitness center in Cedar Knolls, N.J. The grand opening event featured officials from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Iron Culture’s management team and top bodybuilder Shaun Clarida, an award-winning IFBB professional who regularly frequents the gym.
“After over a year in the making, we couldn’t be more excited to mark the grand opening of Iron Culture. We’re striving to recruit and build an entire community of like-minded fitness enthusiasts, and our exquisite facility reflects our commitment to grow in New Jersey,” said Managing Partner Arthur Imperatore. “We call ourselves a ‘hardcore’ gym, but it’s not a measure of skill level, it’s an attitude – a mindset.”
Imperatore, vice chairman of NY Waterway and president of Romulus Development Corp., and a bodybuilder himself, is the visionary behind Iron Culture, along with partners Sergio Granados and Charles Addessi. Imperatore and his team pumped $250,000 into the facility’s “makeover,” while an additional $250,000 went into leading equipment from brands like Arsenal Strength, Life Fitness, Matrix and Rogue.
Located at 8 E Frederick Place in Cedar Knolls, Iron Culture’s new facility has attracted members and guests from across the tri-state area – from as far away as Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore, Rockland County, N.Y. and beyond. According to Imperatore, the gym has 200-plus check-ins per day, or roughly 50 percent of its member base.
Outside of Clarida, Iron Culture has also attracted visits from the wider fitness community, including 2018 Mr. Olympia Shaun Rhoden and other top bodybuilders like Guy Cisternino and Steve Laureus.
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Since its soft opening earlier this spring, the gym has attracted over 400 members and over 7,200 Instagram followers, where staffers frequently post images of its results-oriented members and first-class equipment and setup. The goal, according to Imperatore and Granados, is to make Iron Culture “more than just a gym.” The strong social media following is a testament to that pursuit.
According to Granados, the gym’s partners are always present at the gym – ready to help their members and answer questions. The partners have also credited the swift growth to their dedicated members/followers. Granados said, “Our members are friendly, willing to help. We learn something new every day as partners.”
From concept to renovation and a spring 2019 launch, the project took less than one year to complete. Iron Culture was born out of Imperatore’s personal mission to foster hope and healing through fitness.
“After tragically losing my son Justin, a former college lacrosse goalie, in the fall of 2018, I was motivated to create a new fitness community that emphasizes personal transformation through weight training and strength conditioning. Iron Culture is the realization of that goal,” said Imperatore.
The gym’s managing partner now aims to assist those who struggle with addiction and mental illness by creating a total wellness community that emphasizes strength and weight training. Imperatore dedicated a plaque to his late son at the gym during the public grand opening event.
Commenting on the touching dedication, Imperatore said that upon losing his son, he could have “went on or gave in,” and decided he “wouldn’t blink,” as a way to honor his son and the gym’s “first biggest supporter.” (Justin had visited the site with his father in the project’s early stages.)
“We began working (on the site) on Jan. 1, and nine weeks later we were open,” Imperatore added. “(I believe) that’s my son’s spirit at work.”
To learn more about Iron Culture, head to: https://ironculturenj.com/.