MATHEMATICIAN. GO-GETTER. LION HEART. PHILLY-BRED.
Born, raised, and educated in the greater Philadelphia area. His youth athletic ability in baseball, football, and track gained interest of many of the private secondary institutions in the city including his destination Malvern Preparatory.
Malvern Preparatory was where Kevin found his passion for the weight room. Often dragging other students into mentor, lifting at 5AM before school, despite the forty minute commute, or laughably getting in trouble by the dean for breaking in during holidays, the weight room was and is HOME to Kevin Lilly. When his face wasn’t in a Calculus or Economics textbook studying, he was reading about his hero, Arnold, and the mystical land of fruits and nuts, Los Angeles.
It was at this young age that Kevin hired his first personal trainers (Jim Ferris and Raymond Jones – both still very close mentors and friends). These two men set Kevin’s life on a new trajectory.
Malvern’s premier education and athletic career led Kevin to a plethora of college scholarships. Kevin having chosen Siena College in Albany New York with the visions of studying finance and becoming the Wolf of Wall Street, but the universe had another plan. Siena dropped their Division-I football program after Kevin’s freshman year. With that, Kevin transferred to a top nationally accredited business university called Susquehanna University to continue his football career and more importantly focus on his education. Kevin spent a semester in London studying international business and traveling Europe. It was here that Kevin met his next mentor, Al Smith. Kevin would train with this ex-bodybuilder and now music producer every day while studying in London. Al taught Kevin tremendous amounts of exercise science but most importantly about how the gym can and will transform your mind. Becoming the lion. The journey to London quickly became less about the stock exchange and more about mindfulness and fitness.
Even though the focus was meant to be obtaining a top corporate job in the summers and post graduation, Kevin found himself in the gym at every opportunity.
His first position was during high school. He begged to take a job cleaning the gym at Summit Sports Training Center, a Parisi Speed Institute. Summit Sports Training facility was an elite training facility for athletes of Philadelphia. Kevin got his first crack at “training” when he was asked to spar with Bernard Hopkins. Bernard was
bulking up for a match in a higher weight class and Kevin was the perfect size of his next opponent. Instead of
cleaning the gym floor Kevin’s job was to now come in and let Bernard push him around. (Thankfully no punches were ever thrown).
Upon graduation from Susquehanna with a bachelors degree in business management, with a focus in finance Kevin ran away from the impending corporate world and bought a ticket back to London. In his backpack was three outfits and a NASM Exercise Science textbook. Kevin spent time traveling throughout Europe and finished his soul searching by surprising Al on the final days of the trip. It was during this meeting that Al reminded Kev to always follow his gut instinct.
With a textbook, an empty bank account, and a pending six figure job at JP Morgan Chase, Kevin arrived back in Philadelphia. To his close friends and family’s disapproval, he turned down JP Morgan and he accepted a job at Philadelphia Sport Club working with his former high school trainer Ray Jones earning minimum wage. It was his calling. Within two years , Kevin was named top trainer in the country for the company.
With his now strong network in Philadelphia, Kevin moved onto his next chapter, his first start up company, Attitude Athletics and Fitness. Within one year, Kevin had five trainers working under him, hundreds of high school athletes being trained and camps being executed.
One issue, he still hadn’t been to the land of fruits and nuts. After one visit, it was written. Kevin strategically departed Attitude leaving it to his top trainer and headed west. Having not knowing anyone but his childhood friends, he accepted a job at Crunch Gym on Sunset Blvd. Crunch quickly followed suit and fell victim to Kevin’s passion. After two national trainer of the year awards and multiple “corporate” offers to move around the work with Crunch it was time for the next chapter.
Kevin knew his vision was not to be in a suit at work. His journey in the fitness world in Los Angeles led him to cross paths with his New York equivalent, Gregg Miele. Both hustlers. Both with massive Hearts. The two men opened Heart & Hustle Inc, a premier training facility for their training family in Los Angeles where Kevin’s calling and journey continues today.
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things:
You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die.
It’s really that simple, right?
You’re not going to out-work me.
It’s such a simple, basic concept.
The guy who is willing to HUSTLE the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball.
The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on HUSTLE. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”
— Will Smith