When I moved to New York to start my first real job, I realized how much efficiency mattered in a workout. I was always on the move and days were jam packed. I went from work to happy hour to dinner to you name it. Exercising was really important to me, so I had to squeeze it in before anything else. I usually chose to run because I could get my heart rate up quickly, work up a sweat, and get a great workout in 45 minutes. Running was super efficient, but nowhere near sustainable.

Samantha Friedman coaching Fuse45 class

After months, maybe even years, of making running my go-to workout routine, I realized some serious flaws. First, my knees were killing me. So now, I was taking too much time out of my already busy week for physical therapy. I would even get routine cortisone shots just to fix my knees up enough so that I could run again. It was like an addiction! Even with therapy, the more I ran, the more damage I caused. It was a vicious cycle. My physical therapist actually told me that I needed to do more strength training to build up the supporting muscles around my knees. I was shocked and offended. I couldn’t believe someone was telling me I needed to build muscle. I thought I was so strong. However, as my knees continued to suffer, I realized a workout routine that is 100% cardio and 0% strength training is NOT sustainable. I started to look for other options.

I went to the gym to try different strength training classes, but everything I tried was either really high impact or really boring. The high impact classes were really fun, but classes that have so much jumping and pounding aren’t sustainable for people with knee injuries. The slower paced classes like pilates, yoga and barre were great for toning, but couldn’t hold my attention long enough. I didn’t know what to do. I needed something that had everything. Can’t a girl find a workout that has everything?! It needed to balance strength and cardio, it needed to be fast-paced, it needed to be high-intensity, but it had to be without impact. I couldn’t find it.

Naturally, I called my mom. Moms know everything and my mom, in particular, happens to be a fitness expert who hates to run, has washboard flat abs and can keep up with people a quarter of her age. She would know what to do.

Fuse45 Co-Owner Lunging with New Baby

While hundreds of miles apart, we started to design, what we thought was the perfect workout – one that was high intensity, but low impact. It went through many iterations, as it still does today, but the philosophy is the same – sustainable HIIT. Since I moved back to Michigan to turn this workout into a business with my mom, I never stopped Fusing. It’s been over three years of consistent Fusing, even throughout my pregnancy and postpartum recovery, and I am stronger and happier than ever. I even got my husband addicted – a guy who would never step foot in a group exercise class because he had to focus on “bis and tris” (biceps and triceps, for those who don’t know the gym lingo).

Once you’ve tried it, realized the benefits, and experienced that “feel good” energy in your body, there’s no stopping you when it comes to Fuse. Unlike running, Fuse is a healthy addiction! It’s an ever-evolving, one-of-a-kind workout that you can really do forever. How many people can say that they are stronger after just having had a baby? I can! Looking at my mom as inspiration, I can vow with confidence that I will be Fusing throughout my entire life, for both my physical and mental health.