One on One with Evan Childs - Alpha Females Don’t Run in Packs
Evan Childs: Alpha Females Don’t Run in Packs
“A man should choose with a careful eye the things to be remembered by.”
I had the privilege of interviewing Evan Childs via FaceTime after meeting her for the first time at the Arnold Classic in 2017. Years ago, I bought into the hype of this incredible game changer, and I've been following ever since on all her social media platforms. What I saw in her was more than just this jacked, ambitious, personal trainer. Instead, I noticed a unique, self-made, young, popular, wildly successful entrepreneur. She has the life, the car, and the gym, and I've always wanted to know what makes her tick. What gets her up in the morning? What drives and motivates her to keep taking on Alphas, class after class? How does she keep up with her social media and obligations the way she does? I admire any female with Evan's drive. This woman deserves the utmost respect for the life she's built for herself. Hopefully I did her story justice. Without any further ado, I present to you the original Alpha female.
Jaime Filer: Back in 2007–2008, Layne Norton was one of the only individuals who was a big name on the online training circuit. It wasn’t as popular then as it is now. You’re now 105-thousand followers strong on Instagram, and you have girls beating down your door to get into your Alpha Training program. Why did you pursue online training instead of in-person training?
Evan Childs: Honestly, I think it was just the demographic. I didn’t know it was going to work as well as it did. I just kind of offered it out there because I had people who weren’t close to me geographically asking for my advice. It wasn’t a business opportunity at first; it was just a way to help people. I believe that when you’re good at something, you should start charging for it; you have to make money somehow. I used to work out of a gym training clients, but I was sending out training and diet plans online on the side. And more people wanted me online. So I figured if I was already sending them small plans, what would stop me from growing it, and sending out much more comprehensive plans?
How do you choose your Alphas, and what made you decide that they were going to be your niche?
I don’t really go for a certain type of girl. People assume that an Alpha girl is someone who’s already fit, or someone who’s in the military, or someone who just looks like a badass. But to me, there is a physical component to the Alpha, but the mental component is more important. That’s what I teach in the program. When I get all these applications, I don’t go for a certain type of girl; I just have to let the application speak to me. A lot of these girls are super broken; they’re looking to be an Alpha female. There are girls who are going through eating disorders or have experienced sexual abuse, and they’re looking to build a certain mentality. I want the ones who can be comfortable being an Alpha female.
I just realized though my online coaching and personal training that I wanted to train girls who wanted more than just the aesthetics. I felt like I had a purpose to show and teach people who have a strong mentality. I just knew pretty early on even before the program that I wasn’t being fulfilled because I wasn’t fulfilling others; I wanted to train them mentally, emotionally, and physically, and I wasn’t doing that at the time. I had to switch over in order to enjoy my life as well. That’s when I felt like I was fulfilling my purpose. I wanted 12 weeks to teach these girls how to be their own coach, so they don’t have to hire anybody after me.
How do you define an “Alpha female”?
Strong in every way possible—mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. Very self confident and self-aware. Insane work ethic. A strong mentality. Somebody ready to take on life, and to help others take on life. I’m big on leadership qualities too. A lot of girls believe that if you weren’t born a leader, then you don’t have that capacity, but that’s not true. I have girls in their mid-20s who are now coming out from behind the curtain and just owning their confidence.
You played D1 softball for South Carolina. What did playing at that level teach you about discipline, and how do you apply it to your work ethic and training?
D1 softball is competitive, so normally when you’re recruited, you’re not recruited as the only position player. Nine out of 10 times, you’re battling for a position. You want to stay on top of your game, always. You know if you fall below par, you’re going to get replaced. So I feel like you can take that to life as well, in the fact that if you fail, they’re going to find someone else. I talk a lot about how college softball helped me with time management because it’s a full-time job. I’ve had real jobs that are easier than playing ball. You’d wake up, have workouts at 6 a.m., go to class from 9 to 3 p.m., then rehab if you needed it, then practice from 5:30 to 8, then more training and rehab, plus the schoolwork on top of that.
You claim that you don’t believe in the whole “Instafame” or “famous” title around you, and yet your following has grown exponentially. Why don’t you put yourself on the same pedestal that other people do?
Followers aren’t fame to me. I can have a million followers, but that doesn’t make me famous. I would rather have 1000 lives impacted than 1,000,000 followers. I would rather have five lives impacted than 100,000 followers. The only reason I enjoy my following is because I know that when I get 15 new followers, maybe one or two will go through my program. To me, it’s not about the money; it’s about impacting the lives of those one or two people. They get to talk to me and connect—I see followers as connections rather than people who just want to look at my pictures and think I’m cool. When people tell me they’re fans, I just think, “I don’t sing, dance, or act. I’m just a person who’s trying to help other people.” I would rather people call me a friend than a fan.
How do you combat the negativity that comes with the accolades and the huge growth on social media?
I think when you have haters or trolls, I know it’s not a direct representation of myself or what I’m doing, but rather, them. There’s a lot of stuff on the internet, and there are a lot of ignorant people on the internet. But like I said before, I’m just a person, so you have to kill them with kindness. I try to ignore it and let it go. Again, it’s how they feel about themselves, not directly about how they feel about me. I would only take it personally if it was one of my girls who told me I was a bad coach, or went through my program and had bad things to say about me.
It’s said that “when you find your why, you find a way to make it happen.” You’re up until all hours of the morning, you answer all emails and snaps that come through. You’re always on top of programming; what’s your why?
I have a few. The most important one is the blessing of health. I feel that anyone who doesn’t take care of his or her body is doing a disservice to the blessing of health. I’ve seen people who have family in the hospital, and want to still be in the gym and be active but can’t. And other people take advantage of their health. A turning point for me was seeing my dad in a hospital bed, and his workout was just lifting up his leg with a physical therapist. And here was a guy who used to push 315. So if you don’t participate and get active, it’s a slap in the face to people who want to, but for whatever reason, cannot.
Another reason is because I have a platform to inspire people or show people. If I have to take my shirt off and take a flexing, posing pic in order to get people to go to the gym, then I’ll do that. I could take a picture and have three people Snap me and say, “Your selfie inspired me to go to the gym.” Then I’ll do it. I realize that other perspectives are different, so even though pictures do not inspire me, some people are. So I want to inspire them that way. I want to meet the need and be that little spark that gets people off the couch to go to the gym
Another big why is because I feel like it’s my purpose. I prayed for purpose for the longest time in college, because you know, you’re in college, then you’re out, and you wonder, “What the fuck am I going to do with my life?” So it was something I prayed for a lot. I didn’t even see it coming; that’s how I knew it was my purpose. That’s how I knew. I didn’t have to force the drive to do it. It blindsided me, and now that I’m doing it, I realized I was being prepared to do it the whole time. I always want to stay in the fitness industry, but helping people will always be my purpose.
You and I have similar backgrounds. My dad was a judge, yours was a pastor, and we both lost them in our formative years. I feel like their professions governed their lives to an extent. What did your dad leave you in terms of legacy? How do you carry him with you?
One of the biggest life lessons my dad ever taught me was that, “It’s not about you.” It’s not about me; it’s about helping other people, serving other people, and showing people Jesus through you. So in everything I do, whether it’s my job or daily life, I know it’s not about me. Yes, selfishly, I’m human and there are times I want things for me, but for the most part, it’s not about me. Legacy is huge to me.
You have your own gym, your own website and training program, your own brand, and a ton of sponsors. Where do you go from here?
I think it’s just growing my brand and my connections. Every single class, I try to tweak the Alpha program to make it just a little bit better somehow. I want to perfect the program I have right now. I’m not scared of change, but I like my little niche and what I’m doing. Eventually, I want to open up my own branded, bigger gym. I want to be around like-minded people, spend more time with them. Expand things.
What’s your definition of a life well lived? How do you want to be remembered?
Impact. Money is awesome and great, and I truly believe that money can buy you happiness. But at the end of the day, what fills me up is impacting others. A life well lived to me is if I died today, people would say, “She changed my life. She is the reason I did… “ Living a full life entails me impacting people in a positive way, for sure.
I’ll never be done. There will always be people who need help. People are always lost, and even role models are lost. So I will always be in this industry, whether I’m making a paycheque or not. I will just be helping people forever.