A Veteran of Sweat: Erica of Dub Fitness
By Meredith Simmons
Now the owner of Dub Fitness in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Erica Webster started her journey as a fitness instructor during her time in the Army. During her eight years of active duty, Erica began training other soldiers to keep them in shape.
“I would take my soldiers to the gym,” Erica explained. “When you're in the military, there's a standard you need to meet for height and weight requirements, so I took overweight soldiers under my wing and gave them programs to keep them healthy and on track.”
After returning home to Philadelphia, Erica found that she missed the military—and training. “When I got out, I missed the military aspect of being part of something bigger and missed training, so I started in-home training.”
Over time, Erica's client base expanded, presenting her with her first challenge: time. Erica now-husband encouraged her to look into teaching group fitness. Her clients agreed—and the group started meeting in parks to train together. After a few months, Erica ran into a new challenge: winter.
“It started getting cold outside,” Erica said. “I had no business concept in mind, and I didn't know what I was going to do.”
After a friend offered an oddly-shaped room in his building for Erica to use, Dub Fitness had its first physical home. Since then, Erica's business has grown from five women she directly trained to several classes a day with additional teachers on staff. Despite the growth, Erica is determined to keep a community that feels similar to when she started training soldiers in the Army, including having her students take a fitness test every 60 to 90 days.
“It's two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups, and two minutes of air squats,” Erica explained. “A lot of times they call me Drill Sergeant Erica, and it's fun.”
Erica recognizes how much her time in the Army has given her—and tries to give some of it back by offering free services to Veterans at Dub Fitness. “I offer Dub as a therapy for Veterans,” Erica said. “Being a Veteran, I hope Vets will come to me and know that I understand what they're going through.”
In addition to her work with Veterans locally, Erica ran for Ms. Veteran America. While she didn't win, her members helped her raised $14,000 for Final Solute, Inc., a non-profit that provides housing to homeless female veterans. Ultimately for Erica, running a business and giving back to the community all comes back to caring for others.
“Just like in the military, you take care of your brothers and sisters. I like to keep that mentality of brotherhood and sisterhood.”