Ironclad Performance was a dream for years before we made it real. I fell in love with lifting weights as a kid and nothing has been quite as gratifying to me as sharing my passion with others.

I began lifting when I was 14. My Dad got a weight set for the basement and from day 1 I was hooked. After the first workout I did–my legs felt like jelly and for days I had trouble walking down stairs. It sparked something in me and I haven’t looked back since! My love of lifting drew me to strength sports. I began competing in strongman (and even a little powerlifting) where I still compete to this day. The more I learned about how to improve my performance the more I wanted to learn, I’m fascinated with how the body adapts. I decided to follow this love by pursuing a degree in sport science.

Ben World Strongman 2010 048
Ben Tipton, Head Strength Coach, at NAS Strongman National Championships 2010

I studied sport science at Purdue University and dove deeper with a masters degree at Texas A&M University. In grad school I truly developed as a coach, thanks in large part to the mentorship of Coach Raychelle Ellsworth who taught me what it means to be a great coach. As a grad student I was able to coach a lot of different sports, as well as the honor of coaching Texas A&M’s Powerlifting team. I finished grad school with an internship at Northwestern University where I had the opportunity to learn from and work closely with more elite coaches who broadened my skillset and knowledge. My love of coaching has only grown more over the years. As I write this I have to take a moment and reflect on the coaches who mentored and influenced me. I am humbled and grateful for all I’ve been taught.

I walk in the footprints of giants.

Ben Tipton, Head Coach, Deadlifting a Car at Strongman 2010
Ben Tipton, Head Coach, Deadlifting a Car during a Strongman competition

Although much of my life has been influenced by lifting, my background in construction has had a huge impact on me. After high school and throughout college I worked in construction as an Ironworker. Construction work is a tremendous educator! I’ve learned a lot about what hard work means, how to problem solve, work effectively as a team, because it’s what it takes to put a building together. Although construction work may not seem relevant to the story of a coach, my ironworking background is a vital part of who I am and it influences how my wife and I built our company.

Ben & Alycia Tipton, Founders, Ironclad Performance
Ben & Alycia Tipton, Founders, Ironclad Performance

The most valuable lesson I learned from construction is that every movement needs to be purposeful. Everything should be done as efficiently as possible with the end goal in mind. I’ve taken this lesson to heart and applied it to what we do at Ironclad Performance, which is provide the coaching that allows our athletes’ physical performance to grow as efficiently possible. Every movement has a purpose.

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved showing people how to lift. I love sharing something I’m passionate about with everyone. I think movement is one of the greatest blessings we have been given; there is something innately joyful about running full speed or straining successfully against a heavy weight. It’s an honor to help athletes develop to their greatest potential and what inspired me to start Ironclad Performance.


Ben Tipton, Founder