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Rising Stars: Meet Elena Huffman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elena Huffman.

Hi Elena, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was adopted from Russia when I was almost seven years old. My parents Brent and Dawn came to Russia with a friend to get me in August of 2002. I was brought to so many siblings. The oldest to youngest: Eric, Kara, Ryan (myself), Liam, and Katy was three months from being born! They also had a dog named Polka.

My parents told me I was very strong and the orphanage had the kids doing calisthenics. I have been fit for all of my life from playing soccer, doing gymnastics, a little bit of dance, theater in high school, softball, basketball, and cross country while I was in my parent’s house. People always told me I should do personal training because I had a good personality and I truly enjoyed working out and staying fit, even after I played college soccer. I did think about if I ever did have a gym or a company I would name it “Huffman Fitness”- and how I got that idea was because my Mom, Dawn Huffman always took my brothers Ryan and Liam to train at “Doran Fitness”, and I thought Huffman Fitness sounded good!

I always told people “no”…I tried several different business ventures with having a dance company, teaching and selling products online, and doing socials in the community of STL hosting artists from out of town. I went from job to job of work history with a year or less at each employer. I always excelled at everything I did and was the top! I did door to door canvassing, selling cars, selling security systems cold call in Nashville, selling phones and tv subscriptions, selling supplements, recruiting in the mortgage industry, marketing, construction, and side hustles. I always wondered why I always wanted to leave after six months at a workspace. Covid came about and I was still doing recruiting in the mortgage industry. During that time, I finally accepted that I could not work for another person. I was listening to David Goggins, and then it hit me during February. I needed to change my life in a more disciplined way to get to where I wanted. I was still recruiting, but I was making changes instantly starting with waking up at 7am and working out every day to get in the habit of waking up early. I was terrible at waking up and being disciplined, so I wanted to make that change. I could tell it was changing me little by little because I thought more and more about my life and what I wanted to do. In February, I created a fitness profile on Instagram (I was not too familiar with Instagram, and I actually don’t like the app itself, but I heard it works and everyone was on it). I started posting every day something inspiring for the public. When I started working out every day, I initially wanted to do 21 days to see what that would do. Guess what, I am still doing it-working out every day. I don’t wake up at 7am every day and work out because my schedule has changed so much and I am a new person I feel.

Since I started working out every day, posting on Instagram in Feb. 2020 when Covid started while I was recruiting in the Mortgage Industry, I have evolved and transformed as an individual. I texted my buddy “I don’t want to ever go back to the life I was living before I started getting up every day. Since then, I quit recruiting and became officially full-time self-employed in Aug 2020…I would say I was tinkering a little here and there but decided to jump into the role full-time in August. Since then, I launched a fitness online store huffmanftiness.com, and I am astounded how successful it has been. I never thought people would actually buy my fitness gear I have created because I tried doing something similar with dancing.

I did a bootcamp out of the blue in Oct of 2020 to see what that was like, and I had 13 people show up during covid-and it was perfect. It went the way I envisioned it. At that moment, I could actually see my future. Before, I was not ever to see more than one year ahead of me. I knew what I wanted to do and knew it could evolve into something amazing. I did not know what exactly I would want to do with Huffman Fitness expanding, but I knew it felt right.

In January, I got my traction with clients and training, but I was still growing into my role as an OWNER/CEO personal trainer. I was still learning and I was ok with that. I continued to get sales on my website, but mostly we’re local just from clients, and people would see what I was wearing and would want get the same thing. That made me very happy. Only the last month or so, I noticed Huffman Fitness was being noticed and more and more people started to really buy into my brand and what I had to offer. A few months ago, I was still hustling trying to make money on the side and Huffman Fitness was not bringing as much income, but now my schedule keeps getting booked with giving me hardly any free time. I love this so much! I am so blessed, and I am in shock that I did it! I grew from nothing to a real brand Huffman Fitness LLC with good products. People from all over the nation are also noticing me and buying my fitness clothing. My clients have blessed me by putting their trust in me, and I am grateful to be able to go on their journey with them.

Product: The fitness gear I sell is not just to look cool, but I want people to feel motivated, feel positive, feel unstoppable, feel powerful, feel free, feel invisible, feel strong, and more wearing my gear. I want someone to support me because they truly believe in my brand Huffman Fitness, and motto “Consistency Is Key”- At the end of the day, I would not be here if I never listened to David Goggins “Can’t Hurt Me”, recommended by my Former Boss Dan Greiner, that inspired me to change my life by waking up every day and working out. I am on day 423 as of May 28th, 2021! Wow! Can you believe it? Because I was consistent with that and it brought me Huffman Fitness LLC, that is why I use that as my motto! Let’s go! Don’t f*cking let anyone get in your way! Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. I think about that too with working for someone helping someone else make them more powerful. That never made any sense to me at all.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
NOOOOO it has not been a smooth road. I have struggled more during these last 423 days than EVER! I have cried, I have been penniless, I have climbed up the ladder, lost everything, and got back up several times!

It is so scary, but IF IT WERE EASY, THEN EVERYONE WOULD DO IT, right?

Financially, it has been a struggle since day one. I still struggle financially. I don’t know how during the hardest time, I got a house, became financially free, and created the best relationships with people.

I have had 6-8 flat tires in the same time. I was stranded several times due to a flat tire not having any money to fix the problem.

I have had to borrow money from friends just to get through. Trust me when I understand living day to day financially, I really do. I had to come up with a make $50 minimum a day mentality just to survive and keep going.

I started training every single week going to Chicago for intensive dance training Nov. 15 every week until present day. The end goal is to open up a franchise here in stl.

Fitness is everything you do active from dancing, walking, running, sports, yoga, stretching, gymnastics, etc.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I train people with no equipment. When I tell people I have not used weights in the last four years, they are so surprised. When I tell them gained 18 lbs of muscle in the last not using weights, they drop their jaw.

I am well known for describing a movement and fixing form when most are completely unaware of their body. I also teach dance. I can look at someone dancing, and pick out exactly what it is they are doing technically wrong, and be able to explain to them where they understand to where they can do it technically right.

For fitness personal training, I can connect with anyone in a matter of 5 minutes of meeting you. I am a chameleon. Stretching is extremely important and I talk about it constantly!

My workouts are done to music- the beat of the music. I can put a song on and choreograph a workout to it without prep that is fun, challenging, and safe for my client. I am able to work with clients from ages 18- 70 and can relate and connect with all on different levels and my clients are growing so much and are looking and feeling so good.

I refuse to use Gym Equipment. I will not put a client on a machine. I can work out with anything around. I just need floor space.

I am proud for being so unique in this field and creating my own niche! I am proud that I have been able to do this all by myself!

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Giving me an opportunity to sponsor a soccer team (I will be sponsoring my own team I am forming for a vetta tournament from June 24-27) The team name is Huffman Fitness. Co-Ed. I am providing shirts for all of my players.

Give me a chance to be an assistant coach, or allow me to educate you! People can support me by just believing in me.

My biggest struggle is not having cash flow and having sponsors to sponsor me so I can do the things I would like (such as creating a multi-feature fitness app). I already have the outline for it, but I don’t have 10k to create it for IOS and Android or 7600 for a hybrid version.

I would love to get a studio with all wood floors and mirrors so I can do personal training and private and group lessons for dance.

I tried doing boot camps outside because I don’t have a studio. No one would show up!

I would love to collaborate with Drip Drop ( I use their product every day!) I would love to collaborate with muslcetech and juice plus. I use their product daily too!

Health before wealth!

I want to be able to have the funds to get 1000 shirts made to give out to everyone! I want Huffman Fitness to go Nationwide like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor.

I want to feature my clothing in Target! I reached out to them but never heard back.

Pricing:

  • Today I charge $40 an hour for a personal training session. Once I complete my NASAM in the next few months (currently studying), I will bump it up to $60. Current clients will be grandfathered in.
  • $10 drop in for bootcamps when I have them.
  • 2-4 clients at a time personal training session is $30 a person instead of $40
  • $50 an hour for private dance lessons.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photographers Prabandha Pavan-“dreamerstag” Kara Marie Huffman “Karekeepsakephotography”-sister Floyd Vaughn

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1 Comment

  1. Dan Lovekamp

    June 23, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Elena, an inspiration to all. I’ve enjoyed watching your journey from the moment we met and so glad to see it continue on this path. Best wishes to all the accomplishments and accolades you have justly earned. Keep on keeping on…

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