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Rumble Instructor Erika Hammond Dishes on Fitness, WWE and Casting for SI Swimsuit

We caught up with fitness influencer Erika Hammond to talk about Rumble, her past WWE superstardom and her SI Swimsuit model search casting experience in an exclusive Q&A.

Meet Erika Hammond, one of the founding instructors of everyone’s favorite boxing workout Rumble! Not only is she the go-to instructor for SI Swimsuit models, but she’s also a former WWE superstar and a two-time SI Swimsuit model search contestant! She gives us the scoop on all things Rumble, staying active at home and more!

Via Erika Hammond Instagram @erikahammond

Via Erika Hammond Instagram @erikahammond

SI: You’re a founding trainer with Rumble, how did you get started with them?

EH: One of our founders reached out to me via DM to chat business while I was living in L.A. working as a personal trainer in the boxing industry. Less than three weeks later I had uprooted my life and was living in NYC helping to develop the program and foundation for Rumble. Best (and scariest, at the time) decision I ever made!

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SI: You’re a former WWE star! What was that like? How did you get started with that?

EH: Wild. Haha, It was an incredible experience though…not to mention I got to tell people I suplexed people for a living.

I was living in L.A. and my agent emailed me over an audition for WWE. I originally was hesitant, to be honest, because I wasn’t a WWE fan. I had my presumptions about the industry before I really knew it. Fast forward, I ended up in a month-long audition with WWE in which I fell in LOVE with the art of professional wrestling. After that I was signed and moved to Orlando and stayed with the company for two years. I have SO MUCH respect for the divas as well as the male wrestlers. It's a very tough industry on the mind and body.

SI: What can someone expect from a Rumble workout?

EH: Well, we now have two different in-studio concepts, Rumble Boxing and Rumble Training. So depending on the studio you choose, your workout will differ. We offer 45-50 minute group fitness classes with either boxing or treadmill work as your cardio portion and then weighted strength work as well.

You can ALWAYS expect great energy, great music (Rumble-specific remixes curated by our in-house DJs), a clubesque atmosphere with dim lights and black lights, and you’ll leave feeling empowered, strong and a little bit exhausted!

SI: What are some tips for someone who’s looking to try a Rumble class for the first time?

EH: Don’t be nervous and have fun! We have a pre-class where we teach you everything that you’ll need to know to set you up for a successful and fun workout.

SI: If you’re not boxing, what’s your go-to workout?

EH: I recently fell in love with long distance running. The freeing feeling you get from it is like no other. I also enjoy hot yoga and pilates when I need to slow it down a bit.

SI: What are some tips for those of us struggling to stay active and motivated during this time of social distancing?

EH: For one, you aren’t alone. I am right there on the struggle bus sometimes with everyone. But I do find if I have a plan for the week or even next few days of IG lives or on-demand workouts I want to do, it sets me up for success.

I’ve also found that Facetiming or group Zooms (who even knew what Zoom was before March?) with your friends are super fun and help keep you accountable.

SI: What is the ideal amount of exercise you recommend someone gets a week?

EH: Everyone is on a different fitness level so how many times I work out a week may not be the same as someone else, and that’s completely fine. I think as long as you are moving your body in some way or another throughout the week, that’s a start. I personally like to move and sweat six times a week, whether that is a boxing workout, going for a run, dancing, hot yoga or just taking a walk.

SI: What's your go-to workout playlist?

EH: Rumble has some incredible DJs that curate songs for our classes. But if I’m not listening to any of those mixes, I’m obsessed with Two Friends “Big Bootie” remixes on SoundCloud or Spotify!

SI: Who are your go-to activewear brands?

EH: Year of Ours, Beach Riot, 925, and adidas!

SI: You’re also a former SI Swimsuit model search contestant. What made you take the leap to come to casting?

EH: Two years in row, actually! I grew up flipping through the pages of SI Swim, admiring and aspiring to one day be on the cover. But what made me really take the leap was identifying the SI Swim message and the message I hope to portray everyday to my clients really aligned. I’m not the type of trainer that says “What do you weigh? What is your goal weight?” I want you to be happy with who you are in your own skin.

SI: Do you plan to make another casting video this year?

EH: I don’t believe in giving up on your dreams, also I’m very stubborn -- blame the Taurus in me. So yes, absolutely. What’s the phrase? Third year is a charm?!

Follow Erika on Instagram for unbeatable live workouts that will have you sweating in minutes.