The Inside Scoop on Fuse45 Co Founder and her Debut on Jillian Michaels’ Sweat Inc.

The Inside Scoop on Fuse45 Co Founder and her Debut on Jillian Michaels’ Sweat Inc.

Sweat Inc., a reality-competition show on Spike TV hosted by Jillian Michaels, aired in October 2015. In it, twenty-seven fitness entrepreneurs competed for the opportunity to spread their program nationwide, be featured in Women’s Health Magazine, and claim title of ‘the next fitness phenomenon’. Co-founder of Cycle & Row (now Fuse45) Samantha Kelman (now Friedman) was a competitor in the interval-training portion of the competition, pitching Fuse45 (a workout created by Cycle & Row). Along with Jillian Michaels, Sam worked alongside fitness gurus Randy Hetrick, the founder of TRX, and celebrity fitness expert, Obi Obadike.

What was the best piece of advice Jillian Michaels gave you?

Jillian offered so much advice throughout the show that it’s almost impossible to identify one piece.  So whether this is the most significant or not, I’m not sure, but it’s what comes to mind and stays to mind.  About half way through the show, she asked me, “Mama, (yes, she liked to call me Mama), what’s your marketing hook? How are you going to get people to keep coming back to your studio?”

It’s funny because I come from a marketing background, but I never really thought about needing a “hook” to retain customers if the service I am providing is that effective. I always thought the workout would speak for itself.  I realized, with all of the competition out there, you need more than just a great workout to be successful . Jillian is a hugely successful trainer, but she’s also a businesswoman and always thinking outside of the box to improve her and others.  I really appreciated her tough questions that really made me think and, more than anything, made me change.

What was it like to work out with Jillian Michaels?

As cliché as this may sound, working out with Jillian was like a dream come true.  Jillian is a true inspiration. She has overcome personal struggles and she has followed her passions and turned them into thriving businesses.  I absolutely loved working and working out with her.  Her tough love approach is definitely not for everyone, but I tend to have pretty thick skin when it comes to education and business. I never think I’m smarter than anyone.  I always know I have more to learn and I think she really respected that.

What was the toughest part of the competition?

The toughest part of the competition was having to make real-time changes to a program I thought was complete.  I never thought that our workout could be ever-evolving, especially since we already had a studio up and running… with paying clients!  But all successful business go through change, especially in the beginning. While it takes a lot of effort, change can be worth it. Examples of change for me during the competition included logos, class/studio name, equipment and format… which feels almost like an entire business plan!  But it was all worth it and our concept today is now a huge improvement from what it was. 

What did you learn from Matt and Maria, your “control subjects” on the show? Have they kept up with their fitness goals?

Matt and Maria were TOTAL ROCKSTARS.  I learned so much about the Fuse45 workout through working with Matt and Maria.  I learned that it was truly a workout for everyone, with infinite room for growth and improvement.  I learned that I had a winning concept, regardless of the show results.  I reaffirmed that working out together is so much more fun, motivating and effective than working out alone. I learned how to connect with clients on a more personal level. I was so proud of Matt and Maria every step of the way and of course am still impressed that they have changed their lifestyles to include healthier diets and more intense exercise (they are still following the Fuse45 workout plan on their own!).  We can’t wait to have Fuse45 studios in Los Angeles one day so they don’t need to attempt to create mini studios in their local gyms…. Which is nearly impossible.

Just 3 weeks into the competition, Matt and Maria lost significant weight, cut sizes, and energy levels were way up.  They were eating 3 healthy meals per day with light snacks and even dessert!  How did they make the change?  FUSE45 EVERYDAY!!  You can too.

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