Today we’d like to introduce you to Irv “Zeus” Hyppolite.
Irv, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m 33 years old. Born and raises in BROOKLYN NYC. I started my career as a fitness coach when I was getting ready to for arena football tryouts back in 2011. I was signed to an arena football contract but was released after an injury. During this time, I tried to go back to school but knew my calling was bigger. I quit school and started training clients full time as a trainer at ballys gym in queens I was determined to be the best trainer there and through nights of sleeping outside the gym in my car so I wouldn’t be late to training ten people a day I was ranked as the number one trainer across the nation for that company. After being promoted to a fitness director position in 2013 I was then fired for calling out unfair practice.
I decided to take my talents to the independent route and began to build my own business. I’ve been able to service thousands of people via training and started working within the music business from record executives, artist, managers. To even the head of streaming platforms. I’ve created a notable program in NYC dubbed “The House Of Zeus”. then I expanded to creating the inner U bootcamp which has become a staple in NYC. The class holds anywhere between 25-30 people and for the first two years had a sold-out attendance. We’ve be sponsored by New Balance, Nike, And even Adidas.
The class has become a culture movement which allowed me to bridge the gap between fitness and hip hop. Due to its success I was able to take the class to ATL, DC, and even LA.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth? No! First part was deciding to quit school and put all my eggs into this basket without a plan B. Single father of two kids and a job that is performance base will always be tough.
I struggled with depression, anxiety, and my own hubris all at the same time while finding my place in this craft and making sure that I always deliver. All the while, creating something for people of color has its resistance corporately and I’ve seen a hand full. We (inner U bootcamp) weren’t understood when we first came around. I’ve been told its “too black”. Its “going to scare people off” and that we couldn’t cut in on 5th ave amongst the hundreds of white owned gyms in the area. I had to fight to make sure I was giving the best show in NYC every week just to be noticed.
As far as training, the industry is very cookie cutter now and anyone with abs can claim to be a trainer so competitively you have to manage that along with one of the few black trainers in a white dominated gym in SOHO NEW YORK. Understanding your value and your impact to the world is important in times like this.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Well quantum leap fitness started in 2014. The goal was always to never specialize in any one thing and to learn how to do everything at the highest level. I want to say I’ve been really fortunate to be able to effectively program design for weigh loss/gain, nutrition, and even athletic training. The Bootcamp has made its mark in person and even virtually now and is considered a “Club” in NYC where we take music and fitness and combine it in a way that hasn’t been seen here before.
What am I most proud of? I would say the retention ability to have people trust me with their life’s day in and day out. With so many platforms present and spaces in this industry- the ability to have something this special for this long is amazing and it’s all due to the clients/ bootcamp goers who believe.
I would like to think what sets me apart is my willingness to go the extra mile. If its checking food logs at midnight for over 20 clients, to making sure that class is a family, or even teaching them that this isn’t about working out and fitness any more than it’s about creating a better version of “You”. The ability to spread a message that lives with people forever has been a gift, I think.
What were you like growing up?
Born in a Haitian household as a middle child was tough growing up. My parents worked two jobs each at one point, we had no food on the table at other points. Me personally, I think I was always willing to go against the grain as a kid. I always wanted to be different. The typical idea was “go to school, become a doctor, make the family proud” but I don’t think was fair- if I wasn’t happy doing it. I always sought out what felt like happiness to me and I let that dictate my life for 33 years.
- Website: Quantumleapfitness.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram.com/zeusofqlf
- Twitter: Twitter.com/zeusofqlf