This week I drove to Columbia, Maryland to visit Colosseum Strongman. This group, led by Jon Ward, is located inside of Colosseum Gym. In the front, it’s your average gym, filled with machines, barbells, and anything else you could want. But when you walk through the back door and down the hall, you enter a completely different setup. You’ll find squat racks, benches, lifting platforms, and a plethora of strongman, weightlifting, and powerlifting equipment.

Jon moved over to the United States from the United Kingdom about five years ago. Having trained in the UK, when he first arrived in America, he was looking for a place to train. Slowly but surely, he and his teammates brought in equipment and helped grow the gym to what it is today. On any given day, you will have a large group of strongmen and women training alongside weightlifters and powerlifters in this large facility.

RECENT: Finding Strength: East Coast / West Coast Strength

Jon is also the Maryland State Chair for North American Strongman Corporation. He hosts a multitude of strongman competitions throughout the year, and has grown the events from small local competitions to competitions hosting more than 100 athletes every year.

While I was there, many of the local athletes came in to train. Two athletes drove for over two hours to train at Colosseum. One athlete, Greg Inocencio, a doctor of physical therapy, has been competing for several years, and makes the trip out to Colosseum often. He says it is the best strongman gym in Maryland. This particular weekend he also brought his friend Natasha, who has never trained for strongman, to try out the implements.

The first thing I noticed was how welcome all of the athletes made Natasha feel. She recently started strength training about six months ago and has competed in powerlifting, but she wants to expand her horizons. With the help and encouragement of all of the other athletes, she says that she is looking forward to a future in strongman.

Colosseum Gym embodies the vision of Finding Strength, offering the sport of strongman to anyone who may be interested, and helping those that are new to the sport learn how to become a proficient athlete. The athletes at this gym share years of experience and their eagerness to help other lifters is very apparent.

If you are ever in Maryland and you’re looking for a place to train, I definitely suggest finding Colosseum gym and taking advantage of everything it has to offer.