Seven years of medical school usually results in some form of success in that field. In the case of Brett Hoebel, his early life dreams of becoming a physician were interrupted by a career in the fitness industry, albeit one that really didn’t benefit from all those days and nights hitting the books.
Creating programs such as Urban Motion, reVamp and RevAbs, the “Biggest Loser” Season 11 trainer has carved his niche into the fitness class setting, and that was born as a result of him working at a New York Sports Club location to put himself through school.
“When I was a lab tech in Manhattan in 1995, I couldn’t even afford a gym membership,” recalls Hoebel. “So I did it for a need, not a want.”
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Hoebel was able to work out for free and make a few dollars, as well. He began teaching classes at NYSC and eventually invented his own, which began to blossom with the clientele.
“That was Urban Motion and I then began to realize that I can make a career out of it. I got accepted into medical school but realized that medicine was not my true calling. I asked my dad about it and he told me to find something that I love to do. Well, I loved teaching these classes and had my father’s support.”
Within a few years, made the switch to Equinox Gym and he then also eventually earned his PT certification. The latter was benefited from his earlier schooling, as Hoebel puts it, “Personal training is a science, but my background didn’t help me in group sessions.” But Hoebel kept attending classes, switching his studies into science, finance and then pre med.
He realized that to become a true success in the fitness industry, one has to become an entrepreneur. Hoebel began trademarking and selling his PT programs and started to create a marketing sense for himself.
“Now I see the career…,” he commented on how it hit him at the time.
By 1999, Hoebel incorporated the company – Urban Motion, Inc. – and hired others to help teach some of the classes. The turning point came when he let go of the potential of a medical career and went all in on the fitness side. “It became an obsession and lit a fire under me,” he recalls. His classes included elements of mixed martial arts and capoeira to form more programs such as Body Brazil, Booty Brazil and Abs Brazil.
Hoebel’s businesses prospered and he began training some celebrities. He split his time from New York to Los Angeles the last week of every month and through a friend’s recommendation, filmed an infomercial for Beach Body for his Short Rev Abs program in 2009. “That was my first big break.”
Looking for another a year later, Hoebel had his agent stay on top of the casting calls for NBC’s “Biggest Loser” and after what he describes as “jumping through a ton of hoops,” Hoebel’s resume was seen by the right people after Jillian Michaels herself spoke to Hoebel and pushed it. He was casted as an instructor on the popular television show’s 11th season.
“Changing those people’s lives changes mine,” Hoebel says about the experience. “It gave me unparalleled appreciation for what I do. Being adopted and overweight as a kid, this was a special experience.”
Following that, Hoebel was chosen as a health expert on the Food Network’s “Fat Chef.” As if he wasn’t busy enough, he also gives anti-bullying talks to youngsters and is writing a book.
Maybe once he has a free minute or two, Hoebel will enroll back in medical school.
Photos courtesy of Brett Hoebel/Dunn Pellier Media.