Fitness trainer Keoni Hudoba is on the move.
The Hawaii-born, New York City-based athlete credits a movement call on stage in his early career as an opera singer for inspiring his personal and professional journey as a world-renowned athlete.
“My first passion was always performing. I started working professionally singing out of college and during that process, I was super overweight. During a movement call I thought I was going to have a full-blown heart attack. It was the biggest ‘a-ha’ moment,” Hudoba says.
Hudoba, 39, acknowledged his extra weight felt like a security blanket at a time when he was coming to terms with his sexuality and feeling comfortable in his own skin.
“I was gaining weight at a rapid pace, and I thought, ‘This is not what I want to do. This is not who I want to be.’ I finally acknowledged who I was and came out to my family,” Hudoba says.
It was a moment of clarity, propelling him forward to chase a career in fitness.
Hudoba became a certified personal trainer, starting his career at Equinox. He launched a method of his own and went on to work for some of the most recognized fitness studios, such as high-intensity interval workout studio Barry’s and cycling workout SoulCycle, and eventually signed on with Under Armour to train its professional athletes before starting his own fitness company, Cyc Fitness, an indoor cycling studio he sold in 2016. After becoming an investing partner at Barry’s, the pandemic hit, forcing Hudoba to rethink traditional workouts.
“I had never done an Instagram Live in my life,” Hudoba says, about pivoting to social media platforms to maintain and build a remote fitness audience.
He started teaching a free class online at 9 a.m. every day and created a GoFundMe page to raise money for small businesses hurt as a result of the pandemic, donating more than $80,000 in relief, he says.
Then he started building his businesses virtually, establishing a Zoom platform for his fans to join the high-intensity classes composed of AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) and EMOM (every minute on the minute) workouts, where a certain number of exercises are done in repetition targeting specific muscles. The exercises could be done with household items. The hype garnered the attention of partners like Lululemon whom he teamed up with to start teaching safe, in-studio workouts in downtown Manhattan. His workout, COREntine+, is a 50-minute total body HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training) that features weights, bands, and body weight.