Elliott Hulse is a social media celebrity, strongman competitor, and personal trainer from New York City, U.S.A. He’s made a name for himself through his motivational videos on YouTube, becoming the ‘go-to‘ figure for strength training, fitness, and spiritual advice.
While Elliot has built a successful gym, online business, and social media following, he only began powerlifting after college. He was interested in workingout as a youngster, but dedicated these workout sessions to football, as opposed to any aesthetic goals.
When he graduated from college where he played high-level football, he decided to build a gym. This gym was hit by hard times in the economy but Elliott wasn’t fazed. He set to work creating the YouTube channel which he’s famous for today.
In more recent times, Elliott has focused on helping clients through his ‘Strength Camp’ workout class. His popularity online has sky-rocketed, and he’s become a well-respected figure, posting videos with Kali Muscle and other athletes online. This is his story:
“Do the things you fear the most and fear will move out of the way.”
|Full Name: Elliott Hulse|
|205 – 215lbs (88.5 – 93.0kg)||5’8″ (172.5cm)||American||Social media celebrity, strongman competitor and personal trainer|
|Weight||205 – 215lbs (88.5 – 93.0kg)|
|Profession||Social media celebrity, strongman competitor and personal trainer|
“Its not about what you get, it’s about who you’re becoming.”
- Became an internationally famous YouTuber
- Competed in Strongman Competitions
- Started a successful personal training business and gym
“Within this liminal space I have chosen to put my personal health, vitality and long-term well-being above practically everything else in my life.”
Elliott grew up in a suburb of New York City. His family is from Belize, and his uncle, who was a martial arts expert, helped to spark Elliott’s passion for strength training. He taught Elliott and his younger brothers how to start working out. They learned push ups, sit ups, chin ups, along with a variety of calisthenic options.
He says that due to this early intervention from his uncle, he became one of the best athletes in his elementary and middle school. His uncle went on to be a professional personal trainer and sponsored athlete.
Mental Benefits And Football
Through Elliott’s new workout routine, he realized the training helped his body, as well as his mind. The self-esteem which Elliott gained from lifting weights, impacted every area of his life. He became interested in any sports which would allow him to utilize raw strength, and build a bigger body in the process.
One of these sports was american football. He played football throughout his high school years, and loved the combination of weightlifting and physical aggression that it offered. He was such a good player, that he was awarded a scholarship to play in the 1st division at St. John’s University in New York.
College And Starting A Business
Elliott loved playing football at university, as it gave him a lot of time to develop his body in the gym. When Elliott had graduated from University, he opened a warehouse gym which, he says, was “way over” his budget. He bought it anyway, and says he was “doing quite well” until the economic collapse of 2008 hit.
When the economy collapsed, no one could afford to use his gym, so he had to look elsewhere for clients. It was this need for an income source that inspired Elliott to set up his YouTube account.
He bought an old laptop from the pawn shop for “$700,” and got to work chasing this new dream. As he began to reach out to new clients, he realized the internet would allow him to go beyond his local economy and find a new income stream.
Elliott competing in a Strongman competition
Competing In Strongman
Elliott was starting his career positively, but he also felt the need to challenge himself in a new sport. He decided to take up the sport of Strongman with the intent of turning professional. As he pushed himself as hard as he could, he says that he was on track to become “one of the strongest”, if not the strongest man in his weight category nationwide.
At this stage, he says that everything was going extremely well, and his gym was picking up clients who loved his workout classes. Unfortunately this was to be short lived. Elliott suffered with a torn bicep while training which put him out of action for a while.
Finding His Spirituality
While Elliott was out of action, he began to think deeply about what he wanted to do with his fitness career. He read books and watched the talks of Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell and Rollo May, as well as various pieces of eastern philosophical literature.
His conclusions from this studying was; he would dedicate his fitness business to the development of the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being of his clients. To Elliott, “the physical benefits seem to just be a by-product of the overwhelming mental and emotional benefits that come with truly taking care of our physical bodies.”
With this new outlook on his fitness journey, he decided to name his gym ‘Strength Camp’. He used YouTube and a website to promote the gym as a place where each individual can “become the strongest versions of themselves.”
The YouTube channel which accompanied this new enterprise gradually gathered a huge online fan base. Elliott likes to think of himself as a “video poet,” and over the space of just a few years, he managed to attract over 2.5 million subscribers and over 360 million views. He was awarded the accolade of “YouTube Fan’s Favorite” in 2015.
“Just like yourself, I am on the journey of Becoming The Strongest Version Of Myself. I am not free from the challenges, struggles and growing pains of this journey.”
From College To Strength Camp
Elliott has always loved to train hard. His powerlifting background has given him a lot of knowledge about compound lifts, and ways to avoid injury. At college however, his main focus was to build the biggest body he could – so he lifted heavy and ate a lot.
Elliott’s college football training plan is below. The numbers are in pounds. It shows him squatting 225lbs (102kg) at 20 years old.
Elliot’s Training Plan from high school
Benefits Of Bodyweight Workouts
As Elliott’s training routine developed after college, he began to focus on alternative approaches to (try) and avoid further injury. He became focused on the incorporation of bodyweight workouts – seeing the benefits of simply using your own body as opposed to metal weights.
He believes that exercises such as pullups and pushups will always be useful, and he insists that all his clients do as many as possible in each session. The idea surrounding this, is, that if the client cannot complete perfect pull ups, this is where they should start before hitting the weights.
The Importance Of Functional Patterns
Elliott also places a lot of value on “functional patterns” in these basic foundational exercises. By this, he means that you should be very mindful of how your muscular system responds to your workouts.
He believes that a lot of his clients have muscular imbalances and dysfunctions, due to faulty lifting patterns and bad training. Bodyweight training and kettlebell training, in his opinion, allows the client to return to the basics, becoming a stronger and more informed weightlifter as a result.
“All of our challenges are also challenges for other people.”
The 5×5 Intense Training Program
One routine which Elliott likes to follow and teach his clients, is the 5X5 program. The basic idea of this program is that you should complete 5 reps and 5 sets of each exercise, with a 90 second rest between sets and 3 minutes between each exercise.
Eliott believes this is an ideal program for those looking to put on size and build strength. It is used heavily in the powerlifting community, (which is where Elliott picked it up,) but he believes it can be incorporated in anyone’s routine.
Advice For Beginners
As Elliott knows how hard it is to reach fitness goals, along with suffering from setbacks himself, he loves to help beginners.
He says the first thing any beginner should do, is learn to take it slow. Elliotts opinion is that if they go too hard, they will definitely injure themselves. He states, “I know this sounds crazy coming from a professional Strongman who lifts 400-pound stones, but if a beginner keeps pushing too hard, something will break.”
Elliott also goes further than this, saying that all newbies should “be honest” with themselves and commit to a weight that they can actually lift comfortably. He advises all people struggling with their fitness journey, to stop and listen to their body, and separate themselves from the gym now and then. He sees a sense of calm and personal reflection as important.
“I haven’t been practicing what I preach (or practicing what I know to be true) for the last five years when it comes to diet.”
Elliott is completely dedicated to eating organic food. He doesn’t eat any kind of convenience options at all, saying that he’s always been interested in growing his own food.
His friend John started him out on this path, telling him that food grown in healthy soil away from pesticides is always better for your body. Similarly, he learned from John that he should eat foods that are right for his metabolic type.
When Elliott was involved in Strongman, he says that he basically “ate any food under the sun.” He said he would eat anything which took his fancy, but would always focus on increasing his calories and building size and strength.
He would put on so much weight during Strongman, that when he retired from the sport he quickly lost 60 pounds, through normal bodybuilding dieting alone.
Trying Different Options
Following this ‘all you can eat’ style diet, Elliott transitioned into his bodybuilding dieting quite poorly by his current standards. He spent 5 years “bouncing from one short dieting experiment to the other,” and was not happy with how his body looked.
While his diet allowed him to put some good muscle, he says his performance levels were not “optimal”. In fact, he believes he was overworked, undernourished and his focus wasn’t as intense as it could have been.
“Eating a diet that is correct for your metabolic type, based on your biochemical individuality is a good idea no matter what.”
Finding His Ideal Diet
For a long time, Elliott didn’t find the diet that was right for him. Eventually though, this all changed when he found the diet that was perfect for his goals. His current diet consists of mostly “grass fed steaks, organic eggs, dark meat chicken, fatty fish and lots of veggies”.
He believes these options, along with a variety of healthy carbohydrate choices, allow him to hit his daily macronutrient needs.
Idols and Influences
Elliott has been influenced by a wide array of people from philosophers, to powerlifters, and nutritionists. He sees his fitness journey as a series of periods change. While he has been guided by others, he also believes he has been pushed forward by his own instincts.
He also sees all his fans as a truly inspirational force. Without them, he wouldn’t have the profile that he does now.
What we can learn from Elliott Hulse
Elliott Hulse has achieved everything he has today through his own hard work and dedication. He suffered serious setbacks through injury and business failure, but overcame these dark periods with positive thoughts and inner strength.
His ‘Strength Camp’ and YouTube businesses are a product of his own determination to succeed. If you are looking to make a name for yourself in the fitness world, value your fans highly just like Elliot, and who knows where it could lead.