Erika Hurst is a Strength and Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Certified Nutrition Coach, an FRC Mobility Specialist, and an FMS Level 1 Practitioner. She studied Human Performance and Exercise Science at CCSU.
Erika has made it her personal mission to change the way women approach fitness and show them how harnessing their strength can earn them the lean, radiant bodies they desire and an indestructible mental fortitude and confidence that will benefit them far beyond the gym. She’s helped countless women break free from dieting, change their relationship with food and cultivate compassion for their bodies while developing strategies for life-long success.
You can reach her at Erika@HurstStrength.com
I get asked quite often about how I got into this industry and the sport of powerlifting and how I became so passionate about strength training and human movement in general.
It’s kind of a random story actually.
Many years ago I began my college career by majoring in Automotive Technology.
At this point, I had battled with my weight since my last few years of high school, which eventually led me down a path of restrictive eating and hours on the elliptical machine 7 days/week. Like most women, I had been groomed from birth that I needed to be “skinny.” I remember dragging my textbooks to the gym every day to study while mindlessly pedaling away. Lifting a heavy barbell for fat loss never even crossed my mind, but there sure was an abundance of treadmills to choose from!
I was a total weakling…I knew nothing about lifting and was absolutely terrified to step foot into the forbidden weight room…
As I spent more time out in the shop working on cars in school and at home, I found myself always having to ask for help – breaking a bolt, lifting tires, moving heavy parts. I could never physically complete a job in its entirety by myself. I was a total weakling. I got pretty sick of filling the stereotypical role of the “helpless” female..as this was no way to be competitive in a male dominated industry. I decided I needed to start training to get stronger. I knew nothing about lifting and was absolutely terrified to step foot into the forbidden weight room at the gym knowing it was filled with creepy, sweaty dudes. I was so embarrassed to try and lift in there, being as weak as I was!
At this point I was still in a cycle of excessive cardio and restrictive eating, which had left me obviously weak, frail and in fear that if I stopped I would blow up like a balloon again. I remember blowing off social events and rearranging plans so I could get my miles in, fearing that if I missed just one day my whole world would come crumbling down.
I finally got up enough guts to find my way into the weight room…it was terrifying and intimidating for a LONG time…but I became hooked…
I slowly started to add strength training to my ritual cardio routine in hopes it would carry over to the workforce, but just by using the weight machines they had at the gym, not knowing any better. As months passed by, I needed more and finally got up enough guts to find my way into the weight room and start playing around with the free weights.
I’ll admit it was terrifying and intimidating for a LONG time…but I became hooked and always went back. I was seeing amazing changes in my body and mind.
My life was never the same after that. I had gotten a job in the automotive field and was able to hold my own. I slowly started weening myself off the cardio machines and started reading everything I could about lifting and nutrition for lifting and began to revolve my life around it. I had an insatiable drive to learn more and do more.
After sticking with it, I noticed more amazing changes in my body composition, confidence, focus and energy. I HAD to tell other people who were stuck in cardio and dieting hell that that’s NO way to live and that there was a MUCH more rewarding, healthier way of building a better body.
I switched my focus to training solely for strength, performance and FUN and can’t imagine ever going back.
I’ve been “clean” from the cardio abuse for years now, switched my focus to training solely for strength, performance and FUN and can’t imagine ever going back.
It’s taken me a lot of time, hard work and soul searching to shift my mindset from where I used to be to where I am now:
-Training for performance and ultimately..badassery.
-Eating for fuel, performance and nourishment.
I competed in my first powerlifting meet in October 2012, setting a Connecticut state deadlift record in my weight class and taking an award for best in my weight class. I made TONS of mistakes at that meet and training for it, but it was still an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do another one.
Through this whole experience, I began to realize that women (and plenty of men) have been seriously duped by the fitness industry. There’s not much support out there in the real world, for women especially, to get stronger and healthier in a sane way.
I had learned so much from constantly reading and studying about training and nutrition that I decided that this was what I was truly meant to do…save others from the gimmicks of the fitness industry.
When I first entered this field, I thought I could carve my niche out as specializing in working with other women and teaching them how powerful strength training is. After spending several years in the mainstream fitness industry, I began to wonder…shouldn’t that be all trainers’ and coaches’ objective..to help their clients reach their goals by increasing real-world strength and overall athleticism? Training women with the same methods as male clients? Why were other trainers constantly trying to entertain their clients with new “tricks” and fancy moves, instead of providing solid well-rounded programming and coaching and encouraging their clients to be strong and hit personal bests?
I welcome you to share my passion with me..I guarantee that after a few weeks of training you’ll be hooked too.
Probably because it’s a heck of a lot easier to “entertain” clients and put them through cookie-cutter routines than it is to actually educate them, change their bodies and movement and create truly individualized programs.
So I welcome you to sharing my passion with me..I guarantee that after a few weeks of training you’ll be hooked too. You also have my word that I’ll provide you with the highest quality knowledge and most effective methods to move better, feel better and look better.