Before Iron Athlete, big franchise gyms were located in the area but none of them focused on weight lifting. This provided a perfect opportunity for Jim and Sara to help the community and utilize their training expertise by creating a gym by lifters - for lifters. Iron Athlete was founded by Jim Ward and Sara Zollars in 2013 to serve the community as a premier weight lifting gym and sports performance training facility. Comprised of NCAA-level equipment, unlike other fitness facilities, at Iron Athlete weight room is a priority, not an afterthought.
Jim has spent most of his life training. From the early days in the North Penn Valley Boys Club to the University of Notre Dame’s sports training facility and now at Iron Athlete. Along the way he has earned a B.S. in Exercise Science from Temple University and a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine. His combination of formal education and hands on “in the weight room” experience have helped Jim to establish himself as the “go to” sports performance coach in the area.
Coach Ward is the head strength and conditioning coach for North Penn football, men’s lacrosse and men’s basketball as well and North Penn field hockey.
Sara is a former collegiate Division I volleyball player who earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Purdue University. Her passion for health and fitness inspired her to become certified as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and a Level 1 Sports Performance Coach through USA Weightlifting.
Sara started weight training in junior high as part of the strength and conditioning component for a nationally ranked volleyball team. It was there she learned about building a winning culture with dedication, hard work, and commitment every day to achieve a long-term goal. This is something she uses daily as a coach and enjoys passing on to the members & athletes she works with.
Iron Athlete combines her passion for training and nutrition, sports, teaching, coaching, and helping people become better – mentally and physically.