With her shocking red hair, unquenchable energy, and rock-solid athlete's physique, all Hannah Eden needs is a cape to become a bona fide superhero. She didn't exactly come from a distant planet, but her move from the U.K. to the U.S. while still a teenager constituted a major culture clash. But, in the decade she's been living in Florida, she has worked hard to forge a career out of her passion for fitness.
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These days, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, resident is so damn busy with her various business projects, including her very successful studio, PumpFit Club, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to grab a few moments to chat. Here's what this RSP Nutrition athlete, one of the three stars of RSP's Triple Threat 4-Week Fitness Plan, had to say about life, training, and where she's headed next.
In 2006, you moved from England to the U.S. What prompted that move?
I was 16 years old when my father was transferred from England to the tiny Massachusetts town of Longmeadow. I remember at the time the move was earth-shattering. I didn't have much of a choice but to leave my home, my friends, my family, my familiar life. I found it extremely difficult to leave, but even harder to start again.
Let's face it, 16-year-old girls aren't always the nicest human beings. When a stranger comes into their school with this weird accent, weird style—just a total overall weirdo—well, let's just say I wasn't welcomed with open arms.
You've said that fitness became your escape. Had you been athletic previously?
I was an extremely rebellious kid. I'm not sure why, but I was so angry at the world. Luckily, I was able to find an escape from all that anger through sports.
I excelled on the track team and crushed some school records. I also became part of the ski team, mostly because it seemed pretty challenging. No matter how bad my grades were, I always stayed on top of sports. I'm not sure if this was because I had the freedom to literally run wild, the competitive instinct to go for the win, or had finally found a place where I fit in.
In England, I had grown up dancing. I was serious with ballet, tap, and jazz. At one point I even auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Once I moved, I quit dancing because it was no longer "cool," and put all of my energy into track and field. I was a well-rounded athlete excelling in random areas, such as the long jump, high jump, shot put, 400m, and 100m relay.
As I was finishing high school I began to dabble in the non-competitive fitness world. I had a membership at Gold's Gym and I would run on the treadmill for hours. I wasn't sure what I was running for, but I liked the feeling I was getting from it. But, I never went down to the weight room.
What changed after graduation?
After I graduated high school, I moved to Florida and forgot all about fitness. I just let everything go for a few years, until partying and bad decisions took a toll on my genetically athletic body.
I was wasting away. I had no clue about nutrition. I was a workhorse, so I worked ridiculous hours and often forgot to eat. I was down to a scary 105 pounds and looked underweight and in poor health.
The craziest thing was I had no idea there was a problem. I knew I was "skinny" but I didn't realize just how skinny until years later. Then, out of the blue, a great friend of mine invited me to try this thing called CrossFit.
And that hooked you?
I had zero experience with lifting, and hadn't been physically active for over three years, but I accepted the CrossFit challenge. I fell in love with CrossFit, in no small part because it gave me a reason to want more in every aspect of my life.
It instilled discipline. It made me feel accomplished, worthy, skilled, and badass. I was setting goals and crushing them, and it dawned on me that I had become an athlete again. I still had those genetic gifts, but now I had stumbled upon a reason and motivation to be the best I could be.
At what point did you decide that fitness was your calling?
I grew up with incredible parents who always encouraged me to chase my dreams, to follow my passion and my heart. I remember asking myself over and over again, "What is your passion?" I could never find the answer—until I found fitness.
Now that I was committed to CrossFit, I quickly became a CrossFit coach. Every time I coached a class, I felt this insane emotion that kept me coming back time and time again. One day I realized that I'd been coaching for free for more than a year—and still loved it. That crazy, euphoric emotion was still there!
In 2013, a totally amazing project at Nikki Beach Club in Miami came my way, an opportunity to design a fitness program and host it at one of the hottest spots in South Beach. This was my opportunity to really shine, and to show the world my passion for fitness.
Once I noticed the different demographic I was attracting to these beach workouts, I quickly realized that by eliminating the barbell and all the "scary" things about CrossFit, I could lower the barriers of entry into CrossFit. Out of this realization came PumpFit.
Can you explain how PumpFit Club got started?
I had been coaching PumpFit classes inside of a CrossFit gym for a while. Classes were getting huge and people seemed to really like what I was doing. But I had been working so hard for someone else all those years, and was starting to feel really unappreciated. So in 2015, I took a leap of faith, legally trademarked PumpFit, and was on the path to becoming an entrepreneur.
I was just so sick of working for someone else, and of building someone else's business. I felt very strongly about this new venture and told my husband that we would succeed or fail together. When I told him we'd have to open before the end of the year to capitalize on the New Year's Resolution gym goers, he was sure I was insane.
We opened our doors on December 1, 2015. It had seemed like an impossible goal to reach, but we made it and we've never looked back.
Today, PumpFit Club offers high-intensity, full-body workouts in a structured interval-training setting. Our facility hosts group sessions that combine intense cardio with resistance training to create the ideal metabolic demand for effective long-term fat loss and overall conditioning.
What does a typical day in Hannah Eden's life look like?
I'm not sure anyone even half sane would enjoy a day in my life, but I love it. I guess you could say I thrive in a fast-paced, nonstop lifestyle.
I am up at 4:45 a.m. to get PumpFit ready for our first class at 6 a.m. I will either coach or dive straight into my office and get on my laptop. I am on my computer usually till around 9 a.m.
I eat a hefty breakfast, jot down everything I aspire to get done that day, and start chipping away at the list. My tasks range from filming content to posting on Instagram to designing new apparel.
I coach three classes a day, eat a lot of food, drink a lot of coffee, and fit the rest into the middle somewhere. This all wraps up around 9-10 p.m. Then I sleep and start all over again the next day.
How many days a week do you train? What is your basic training rundown?
I typically train six days a week, and usually participate in at least one PumpFit class coached by someone on my team. These are one-hour classes focused on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that combine intense bursts of cardio with resistance training.
If I have an upcoming event or competition, I'll get back on the barbell and supplement the PumpFit classes with some traditional barbell squats, and touch on my Olympic weightlifting skills.
By now, I have more than four years of strength training under my belt and have managed to maintain my intensity of focus. I like to think of myself as a hybrid athlete. I don't specialize in anything, and I truly believe fitness has no boundaries and that if we stay inside a box, we'll plateau. Our muscles get just as bored as our minds do.
I'm not a huge fan of equipment or machinery. On any given day, I might focus on anything from kettlebell training to gymnastics.
You joined another of Bodybuilding.com's most popular athletes Ashley Horner for her charity run in Haiti this past April. Why did you decide to take part in that?
When Ashley asked me three weeks prior to setting off on a 230-mile run through Haiti, I was speechless—which is a rarity. I thought to myself, this chick is so crazy. Then I realized, wait, so am I! That's why she asked me to join her.
Let me be clear: I'm not a runner. I had run a half marathon a few weeks earlier to see how I was at long distance running, but prior to that, I hadn't run more than three miles straight in my life, except on a treadmill.
I also understood what this mission was for and I knew how much of a challenge this would be for Ashley, so I was honored that she trusted me and believed in me enough to ask me to join her. When I went home that night and told my family, they all stared at me with a look I've seen many times before, one that says, "You're crazy, but we support you."
What did you get out of doing the Haiti run?
My experience in Haiti was life-changing. In running that far and that long, I found a side of myself I didn't know existed. We set off with a goal to run 230 miles and raise $28,000 for the children of the Maison Fortune Orphanage, enough for them to be educated through school for one year. Three days later, we crossed the finish line and raised more than twice our goal.
We slept on the side of the roads, ran up and down the mountains of Haiti, and were tested many times. I experienced pain in ways I had never had before. But we never lost our determination to finish.
As we reached our last stretch, more than 75 kids came out of nowhere and finished the last mile with us. Tears instantly streamed down my cheeks. The rush of emotion made all the exhaustion, hunger, and unforgivable pain disappear.
I also gained a valuable friendship. Ashley Horner will be a lifelong friend after we bonded in ways I didn't think were possible.
So many people questioned our decision back then. They thought we were crazy, but I think Ashley and I were motivated by a similar perspective on life. If we decide to do something, we are going to do it regardless of the risks and challenges. We understand the importance of our health, but also thrive on testing our limits. And I'm very proud of what we accomplished in Haiti.
What is your message for people who are struggling to make changes in their life and get fit?
The advice I give to others is the advice I give to myself: You are responsible for the life you live. Don't let the fear of failure limit your potential. Broaden your imagination and visualize what you want, fitness related or not. If you can clearly see what it is you want, then you can start putting a plan together to work toward it.
If you want to improve your lifestyle and eating habits but aren't excited about the way most people go about it, explore! Experiment with different types of exercise. Look hard enough and you'll find something you love. Understand that everyone is different, and there's no point in doing a workout program just because it works for someone else. If it doesn't work for you, if you don't enjoy it, you're less likely to stay committed.
Don't be an extremist when it comes to your diet. If you deprive yourself of all your favorite foods, you'll crash and burn. Instead, take smaller steps to a cleaner diet and eliminate one bad food choice at a time. If you feel you need to, seek nutritional advice and set realistic goals instead of setting yourself up for failure.
Nothing comes easy. You must be dedicated, hardworking, and patient. Challenge yourself daily, try something new, and find ways to unleash your potential.