Escape to Eden
Fire up your fat-burning machine with this Metabolic Monster workout, designed by athletic beast and cover-girl-crush Hannah Eden.
Sassy, brassy and badass-y, Hannah Eden is the next hottest thing in fitness. Try her barn-burning Metabolic Monster workout and you’ll see how she gets her rep.
HANNAH EDEN IS A FORCE. WHEN SHE ENTERS A ROOM,
heads turn, in part because of her surge of red hair, exotic looks and unfiltered speech delivered with a cheeky British accent. But there is also something less tangible, an air of grounded self-awareness that pulls people into her orbit. Though she would likely deny this trait as inherent, Eden is a doer, a motivator, an influencer. It took her years to arrive at this place, at times dodging land mines — both external and self-inflicted — yet she persists and has succeeded where many have failed, branding herself and making a name with absolutely no help from anyone but herself. And Google.
OK Google …
Eden and her husband Paulo Barreto co-own PumpFit Club, a group fitness training facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The concept came to Eden in 2015 when, as a competitive CrossFit athlete, she saw people balk at the sport because they were essentially afraid of the barbell. “I wanted to create something with fewer barriers of entry, so I kept everything to do with CrossFit and replaced the barbell with kettlebells and other equipment,” she explains. “I eliminated reps and prescribed weights because not hitting those numbers made people feel discouraged, and I made the classes time-based instead.” PumpFit evolved and changed and morphed until finally settling into its current format that embraces 10 specific pillars of fitness, including things like speed, stamina, coordination, agility, flexibility and balance.
Their gym is a little over a year old and thriving, having cleaved from its nascent location after Eden had a falling out with the gym owner. Undaunted, she Googled “How to run a business,” and Eden set out to do just that. “I was sick of working for someone else, and my husband looked at me like I was bat-s--t crazy when I told him I wanted to open our own place, but we are still here,” she says. “I still have no f-----g clue what I am doing and am still figuring it out, but I won’t quit.”
That tenacious personality trait has piloted Eden into most of her athletic advents, and she grew up as both a ballerina at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and a track star at the Thames Valley Track and Field Club. When her family relocated to the U.S., Eden was 16, and not atypical of that tumltuous age group, she rebelled. She refused to go to school and was a “brat” to her parents, so she says, but soon she realized that this was an opportunity to reinvent herself. So she pulled it together, joined the track and ski teams, and slowly eveltated her GPA from 1-point-nothing to a 3.4 upon graduation.
Eden then chased her dreams to Florida where she became a star photography student at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale — as well as a star partier. “I was a workhorse and had two or three jobs and would go nonstop,” she says. “The night scene there, you get consumed with it, and I worked as a bartender and stayed up for days at a time. I had a great time and I have zero regrets, but I am thankful I got out when I did because I didn’t realize how out of control things had gotten.”
Driven by perfectionism, Eden would pop pills to stay awake and study, then again to stay awake for work, and again the next morning to stay awake and go to school. She dropped a ton of weight and bottomed out around 105 pounds; at 5 feet 9 inches tall, she was nearly skeletal.
“Then my business class final was a huge marketing plan, and I stayed up for four days to get it done between work, partying and school,” she remembers. “I wanted to get a good grade, but when I went to turn it in, I fainted. Right there in the classroom.”
This wake-up call was pretty rude, and Eden vowed to get healthy and return to her former athletic self. “A good friend who had invested in a CrossFit gym asked me to try it out,” Eden says. “I fell in love with it. I totally replaced every bad substance you can think of with fitness, and it was the first time I had ever been really good at something. I was so strong, and when I set a goal, nine times out of ten I would reach it.”
She dove into the sport full bore and rebounded so successfully that she earned several top finishes in the CrossFit southeast regionals as well as in national events. “I had built so much ability physically that I thought, Hey, I can also do this when it comes to
business,” she says. Hence, the resultant Google search and PumpFit concept.
Life as a business owner is not all rainbows and unicorns, and for a sizable chunk of 2017, Eden and her hubby collectively coached eight PumpFit classes per day. But as membership grew, Eden was able to expand her team and the duo were able to trim their workload down to one or two classes per day. That opened up some time for Eden to create an online PumpFit program as well as an apparel line called FYR (Find Your Reason). But now she is focusing on a larger picture.
“The gym was doing well, and I had built my Instagram following and decided I wanted to start doing more to give back to the community and to the world,” she says. Somehow the universe connected her to Ashley Horner, a fellow fitness icon, who asked Eden to team up with her to raise money for an orphanage in Haiti. Though she had never been a distance runner, Eden agreed and the pair ran 230 miles around Haiti in five days and raised more than $79,000. In June 2018, they will again join forces to cycle the Ring Road around Iceland — 828.6 miles to be completed in eight days — with the money going to a close friend of Eden’s stricken with stage IV cancer.
“My big thing is that if you wait for someone to tell you how to do something, you’re never going to make it,” says Eden about her journey thus far. “There is no one to give you the approval that you are good enough — you just have to do it. And even if you aren’t good enough, if you want it bad enough, you will be good enough by the end.”