An Interview with Kevin Allen, Making Fitness a Priority
By: Mary Von Ahnen, Owner of Horizon Hot Yoga
“Failure is not an option. Success is the other side of fear.
If you fear being successful, you are not going to be. You can’t do the ‘what if’.
I don’t have a Plan B because my Plan A is going to work.” Kevin Allen
Dallas Yoga Magazine is honored to have Kevin Allen agree to be interviewed. He has been in the personal training business for over 18 years and has trained every level of individuals from obese to Professional Athletes and everyone in between. Kevin has a passion to help individuals achieve their fitness goals and believes mental health is just as important. You immediately feel his positive energy when you meet him. He is encouraging, inspiring and motivating all at the same time.
I sat down with Kevin Allen at an outside table of a Qdoba restaurant. There is an air of easiness about him that makes people instantly comfortable. He is dressed in a t-shirt that bears the logo of his business, GURU Fitness Training. He has multiple beaded bracelets around his arms with some awesome tattoos. He also looks like he could go run a marathon with ease. He strikes me as the epitome of humble coolness.
Kevin and I met through the studio my husband and I own and operate, Horizon Hot Yoga. I received a call one day from Kevin saying he had just fired the yoga instructor who was working with the two NFL players whom he was coaching, and he wondered if there were an instructor at my studio who could help. We hooked him up with an excellent yoga teacher who has since done dozens of private lessons with these football players. I, of course, love it that Kevin strongly believes any professional athlete can benefit from yoga, and he and I struck up a friendship. He is such an amazing person I wanted Dallas Yoga Magazine readers to benefit from getting to know him through an interview.
Mary: So, I know there is a story behind Kevin Allen. How did you get where you are in life?
Kevin: Oh, there’s a story! It’s pretty deep. I had been working with kids for a long time. I was a coach. Things weren’t going the way I wanted with my training, so I jumped into the mortgage business. My parents had been in it. I was very successful. I bought a big house. I was married at the time and bought my wife a salon. I had a fancy truck. I was doing mortgages when the market crashed, and I lost everything. I saw it coming but too late. I was neck deep into everything, and things went south fast. My ex and I divorced after being married 12 years. When you are in a marriage a long time, you can lose yourself and lose a part of you that is creative. At this time, I was also training a very special kid in the NFL who was like a son to me, and we had a falling out. I lost two loves of my life at once. I left Virginia and escaped to Washington. Another guy I was training from the NFL, CJ, was up there. I started redefining myself. I started training more, developed my relationship with God, and started meditating. I taught myself to meditate with a goal of having an out of body experience so I could visit every version of me. It was powerful. I was able to see who I was and who I had become. Once it started happening, it was awesome, and my creative juices started flowing.
Mary: What evolved from this period of self re-definition?
Kevin: I got the inspiration for my business, GURU Fitness Training. I knew I wanted to create something with fitness where people could participate in and feel like they owned too. I was given the name GURU fitness because I could train anyone…boxers, tennis players, football players, runners, ages 7 to 90 years old. People loved what I was doing and the energy I brought to it. I felt like everyone who was coming under my umbrella became a part of my family, and I still work that way.
I started creating GURU Fitness Training. A couple of ladies helped me create my foundation and get my brand out there. To honor all these people who helped me get my start, I got a tattoo that said GURU Fitness and my GURU Wall has all my original clients’ initials. They loved it. When you are going through something mentally, it’s going to show. Many of them knew I was going through stuff, and they supported me and loved me. If it weren’t for them, I would not be here today.
Mary: Tell me what GURU Fitness encompasses.
Kevin: GURU Fitness is geared towards making people feel special and creating convenience in themselves. My services encompass several options:
- Virtual training on Facetime. This is great because I can have clients everywhere, even out of the country. It’s like I’m right there with you. I get a personal relationship with all my clients by morphing to what works for them. Even though it’s through technology, it’s like I’m right there with them.
- I do onsite boot camps that are so fun. We dance, play music, and really light it up. People compare me to Billy Blanks and Richard Simmons (rich laugh here). I traveled throughout Washington with one of the Seattle Seahawks doing these bootcamps. I had a live DJ and the group energy was fantastic. I had sponsors and I wanted to do a boot camp at Cosmic Yogi Festival. I hope that will work out at some point. We changed so many lives. I look at my clients on Instagram now, and they are so fit and happy.
- I do live personal training sessions, including circuit and speed and agility training, if my clients want that.
- Finally, of course, I train my NFL players. When I have these guys under my wing, I am responsible for meeting and scheduling every need they have. They work with me, and I also arrange other services they need: yoga, chiropractor, meditation sessions, etc.
I try to be really flexible and give options. I feel like God gave me a gift to be able to switch to different needs very quickly so I can always be in service to any need. All my services have grown through referrals. When people like working with me, they tell their friends.
Mary: And now GURU Fitness Training has a new venture under the umbrella. How did this come about?
Kevin: Yes! I have launched the GURU Fit clothing line.
As I said earlier in the interview, I’m a spiritual guy. I always have ideas, but I wait for the feeling that it’s a good idea. And when if I get that intuition, I jump in. Sometimes you have to jump in before you know whether it’s going to work or not.
I just knew this clothing line was the direction I wanted to go in. Everyone is wearing leggings. Athleisure is such a big deal, and not just in the yoga room.
I started off with doing my own custom design. I found a company in Canada where I could create the design. I got the clothes made, but the material wasn’t quality I wanted, and it cost so much to make. It didn’t fit my dream of wanting to do quality clothing at an affordable price. Then I found a printing company, a husband and wife team. They wanted to come on board and help me out. Their stuff was nice, but the business end just wasn’t as smooth as I needed it to be. I work at such a rapid pace. I don’t sleep. If you sleep too long you are going to miss something. I like what Jay Z says, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” (big chuckle here) If people are trying to help me, I want to get back to them really fast. I’m big on prompt communication so people know I appreciate their help. The company I was working with just didn’t have the reaction time I needed.
At the time I was working on launching my GURU Fit clothing line, I was training two NFL guys. One of them, CJ, wanted to train in Dallas, so I up and moved to Frisco, and it was then I decided I was going to do my clothing by myself. I got my wholesale license, and opportunities just sprung up. I met you and others who wanted to support me. I just had that feeling inside me that this was it, and I started settling in.
My vision for my clothing line was for people not just to be fit but to feel special about themselves. I wanted to create a fitness line where people could feel good no matter size or shape.
Mary: I love the models you use. Thinner models, curvy models, all body types!
Kevin: I want everyone to feel comfortable, not just one group of people. I don’t just get the fittest model. I get real people. One of my models was also a client, and she lost 100 lbs. She has a lot of loose skin and she is proud of that.
Mary: It sounds like you got your inspiration for clothing because it’s another angle to make people feel great about themselves. Tell me more specifics about the line.
Kevin: For the initial launch, I’m focusing on brand awareness. That intersection between quality and reasonable price is my niche. My apparel matches Nike, Under Armour, Lulu in quality. I don’t want anything less than that. But I don’t want my clients to pay those kind of princes. I don’t want to find myself competing with either Nike or Walmart. I had to find a good vendor where I’m not spending crazy money so my clients can afford nice stuff. I want people to have clothes to work out in but also to live their lives in.
Mary: What is your long-term vision for line?
Kevin: Long-term I’ll have a men’s line. I’m opening up a pop up in Stonebriar mall. I am eventually going to open up a store front inside the mall. I also sell my stuff on my website: gurufitnesstraining.com. I’m focusing on pop-ups because they are such a great way for me to build my brand. I’d love to work with more yoga studios on these. Also, eventually I’d like to be selling branded GURU Fitness gear with my logo. Racer-back tanks, t-shirts, sweats for the winter. My logo is fun! I wanted something that looked a bit like the Superman logo.
Mary: How are you feeling about right now and the long-term?
Kevin: Once I get my clothing line to where I want it, I want to be able to tell my story and help other people become what they want to be. I have done everything without an investor. People around me told me I was thinking too big.
Mary: Those are probably fighting words to someone like you.
Kevin: Oh yeah. I say just plan and go big. I love proving people wrong. (big smile here) Failure is not an option. Success is the other side of fear. If you fear being successful, you are not going to be. You can’t do the “what if”. I don’t have a Plan B because my Plan A is going to work. I was depressed for a long time and didn’t realize it. It’s wonderful where I am now in my headspace. If I can support others to achieve their dreams through what I’ve been through, I would really love that.
It’s all about energy. How we choose to use that energy is the key. Are you going to allow it to be negative or make sure it’s positive? We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, so go for it today!.
Mary: Your energy really radiates, Kevin. You can’t fake that!
Kevin: My energy kicks in when I first wake up. I get in the shower, play my music ,and dance in the shower. It’s so wonderful to be in a positive space. I’ve got a wall up to the negative because I lived in that for too long.
Mary: Thank you so much for speaking with me today and being open for an interview article in Dallas Yoga Magazine.
Get In Touch with Kevin Allen:
Come check out GURU Fit clothing at Horizon Hot Yoga. We are excited about our partnership with Kevin, GURU Fitness Training and the GURU Fit clothing line.
You can follow Kevin at GURUFitnesstraining and GURUFitclothing on Instagram. You can also check out his website at www.gurufitnesstraining.com. You can explore the variety of trainings he offers and shop the new clothing line.