Grateful to his family and friends for their support, and his strong educational foundation, Keiser University alumnus James Huggins is pleased that his Fitness Xpress Mobile Gym vision has come to life.
Sparked during the Covid19 pandemic while working toward his Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology (SMFT) degree and going through a job transition, Huggins shared that the idea seemed to be opportune and that his daughter’s Symia and Symone were a leading motivational factor in the endeavor. “I decided it was the right time to start working on the business and was fortunate to have a good team by my side who helped bring the idea to fruition,” he said of opening the gym in 2019 along with friend and co-owner Shayla Brabham.
“I have always been into fitness and wanted to own a gym but didn’t want it to be a traditional storefront facility. Instead, I wanted to bring convenience to the community by creating a training center on wheels with customized sessions to fit each individual’s needs,” said Huggins, who ended up winning second place for his presentation of the proposal at Keiser University’s campus-wide 2021 Seahawk Tank Pitch Contest. “I was overjoyed by the fact that others thought the idea was fantastic and would benefit the community,” said Huggins a former Seahawk football player.
In addition to sharing his appreciation of long-time friend Shayla Brabham, Huggins also thanks her father Angus Brabham who’d first owned the truck. “Shayla was there from the start and helped with everything, and her dad was a father figure to me growing up,” he said, while also sharing appreciation to professors John Crimmins for his guidance and George Stamas for his leadership of Keiser’s pitch contest.
Keiser University Senior Academic Advisor Heather Bishara admires the perseverance and self-discipline that help Huggins continue to push forward as a US Army Veteran and the first in his family to graduate college. “James has the heart of a leader, as he is respectful and charismatic,” she said. “On graduation day, I got to take a tour of his new training bus. He has done a wonderful job creating the business and is able to train people wherever they are. As an academic advisor we don’t always get to see what’s next for our students but watching James at graduation and knowing that he has used his education, innovation, and passion for entrepreneurship to start his business while still as a student is amazing,” she said.
When asked about his vision for his business and what he’d recommend to others who are nurturing their ideas, Huggins said “In the next three years we plan on expanding by adding more trucks that can further serve Palm Beach County. My advice is that people start journaling their ideas and create a vision board, set goal dates, and then get started. The idea is to stop procrastinating, put in countless hours, invest money, and lastly remember that if we aren’t willing to invest in ourselves, who will?”
Keiser University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Science focuses on advanced health and fitness assessment, prescription, and lifestyle modification. The program provides information on health risk factors, exercise leadership, biomechanics of movement, physiological adaptations to exercise, injury prevention, corrective exercise, business management, and ethics in sport.
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News And World Report in 2022.