Quality Makers: Megan Roup of The Sculpt Society

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As a woman, it can often feel like a rite of passage to say, “Oh, yeah, in my twenties, I was addicted to over-exercising, had hormonal issues, was terrified of food, and was overdoing it in every aspect of my life!” It’s as if we can all gather round some proverbial table in our thirties to talk about how out of control all of us were as we attempted to gain control of our lives.

However, Megan Roup, CEO + Founder of The Sculpt Society, is calling bullsh*t on the whole notion that we would ever have to “see life from both sides” in this way.

Having gone through her own transformational mind shift as it relates to her body, self-care, and mental wellbeing, Megan has crafted an intricately thoughtful and robust line of programming that meets women at every stage of life—whether they’re just starting their workout journey or they’ve just had a baby and need to find quick, gentle movement that makes them feel human again. No matter where you’re at, Megan has one mantra she wants you to remember: Commit to less so you can show up more.

We sat down with the celebrity trainer (who has literally trained some of the biggest and best out there) to learn more about how TSS came to be and to see if there really is some kind of secret sauce that celebrities are getting that we should know about. 

TQE: How long have you been in the fitness game? How did you get your start?

MR: For me, it started with dance. I’ve been moving my body since I was seven years old (when I did classical ballet), and it’s been a huge aspect of my life ever since. Eventually, I went on to do the dance program at NYU, and then started teaching boutique fitness classes thereafter in NYC. 

TQE: What made you start The Sculpt Society? How did it begin?

MR: In my 20s in NYC, I fell in love with fitness. Boutique fitness was exploding, it was at the height of its popularity and I was able to experience so many different modalities. There was smooch energy around it, and I loved taking so many different classes, styles and modalities.

However, throughout all of my experiences, I noticed that the class and community I was craving just wasn’t out there. Boutique fitness felt cut-throat and intimidating. In the dance cardio space, it felt like you needed a dance cardio background to even attend the class. Even with barre, it was as if you need a Masters in fitness just to be there. I thought, “If I’m this intimidated, then what are other people feeling?”  

I just wanted to bring to life a class that was joyful, not intimidating, didn’t require hours a day, felt sustainable, and had a community element. So, I decided to start The Sculpt Society, which was the class that I was craving—not just some fad to fill a gap in the marketplace.

TQE: You have a pretty impressive roster of clients. How did you start gaining so much traction?

MR: It was really just a combination of word-of-mouth. A lot of my big clients came from clients that were taking TSS, who then connected me with their celeb clients one way or another. It all happened super organically.

In the beginning, I would DM a lot of content creators, influencers, and models in NYC (and still do it btw), and would just reach out—gorilla marketing-styleto offer private classes. One in every 100 would reply, but that helped me gain traction as time went on.

TQE: How do TSS workouts differ from other app-based or IRL workouts?

MR: TSS is a method—there is a structure to it. It’s a program specifically designed to be full-body, low-impact sculpt, with some easy-to-follow dance cardio incorporated, all done to the beat of the music.

I think what is so beautiful about TSS is that we really have so many programs for women at different levels and stages, which makes it easy for them to find a workout that meets them where they are.

I’ve been mindful in how I’ve programmed everything; I cover college dorm room workouts, a bridal program, pre-and-postnatal, cycle syncing, and a mom program that’s super quickie-focused (15-min workouts). You can really put together whatever combination you’re looking for. 

TQE: How has your perspective on working out changed from your 20s to now?

MR: I’m exhausted just thinking about how I used to view my self-care and body back in my 20s. I was the quintessential yo-yo dieter on every fad diet, over-exercising, and doing all of the self-punishing things. There are still so many women still on that roller coaster. I’ve gone in the polar opposite direction, which has given me such a sense of freedom.

In my 30s, I’m all about committing to less so I can show up more, which means listening to my body, engaging in intuitive movement, and realizing that all of the messaging about needing to work out for hours a day is such BS, and I’m sick of hearing it!

I get really fired up when I think about the time and energy I wasted overexercising in my 20s, doing a disservice to my hormones and body, when what it actually needed was far, far less. I feel so much stronger and in tune with my body now just letting go and doing less. 

TQE: What are the top things you hope people will take away from working out with TSS?

MR: One of TSS’s missions is to transform how people work out.

I want to make working out fun again for people. If you can find a way of moving your body that is joyful and fun, it can be life-changing. I hear so much from my community that it’s changed their outlook on exercise, and I’ve been able to be with them at these different stages of their lives. 

TQE: With such a busy schedule, how do you fit a daily exercise routine into your life?

MR: I struggle just like everyone else. If I don’t have a private, and I’m not teaching on the app, self-motivating can be a real challenge, which is why I’m all about committing to less to show up more (I’m going to keep saying it!).

On days I’m not motivated, I’ll do a five-minute quickie workout, and if that’s all I can do, I feel that mental shift in my body. Or if I’m super energized by the video (and if I have the time), I’ll stack on another quickie.

It’s helpful to have those quickies in your back pocket and the toolbox of freedom to know that if all you have is five minutes, and all you can do is positively impact your physical and mental wellbeing vs. “if I can’t go to the gym for 1.5 hours and kill myself, I haven’t done anything,” you will see so many more beautiful results. Having that mindset shift has been so powerful for me and my community. 

TQE: What are 3 things you have to do every morning to feel sane? 

MR: I changed something a year ago. I’m not a morning person, but I now get up an hour before my kids so I can have some alone time. I also need some form of movement—not for my physical health, but for my mental wellbeing.

I also have small rituals like making french press coffee, having a moment to myself, and getting outside, even if just for a quick walk. 

TQE: How do you find / maintain balance?

MR: It’s really just about embracing the chaos in this season of life, and knowing that balance doesn’t really exist, and maybe never will! I’m married, have two young kids, and am running a business. It’s a lot!

Rather than fighting it, and trying to find perfection, I do my best every day to fill my cup. It’ll probably always feel I think it’s also just embracing the chaos in this season of life and knowing that balance doesn’t really exist and maybe never will. 

TQE: How has being a mom changed the types of workouts you provide?

MR: Becoming a mom truly changes how you understand the different balance when you’re nine months pregnant or how your pelvis feels after you’ve given birth. I’ve built out such a robust pre-and-post-natal program that I’m so proud of, with over 100 prenatal workouts (about 40 weeks of content I filmed all the way through).

I also have a postnatal pelvic floor program for early days postpartum to help reconnect you to your pelvic floor again. I actually just relaunched a postpartum 2.0 program that has new baby-wearing classes where I’m wearing my baby Mercer in my new TSS x Solly Baby Wrap. We’re doing videos to provide that fourth trimester, “I have no time” era, three-minute standing-leg workouts for you to just “get it in.”

It’s not about the workout, it’s about taking three minutes to get back into your body vs. “Let’s sweat and burn calories!” I can do this during a crazy busy day with my baby strapped to my chest all day long.

TQE: What are some of the biggest misconceptions people have about fitness / exercise in general?

MR: For women, there’s this notion that they need to be doing so much cardio and have been brainwashed their entire lives to think results are about cardio, cardio cardio.

Switching that around, it can be a little bit of dance cardio, a walk outside—it doesn’t need to be a long and grueling workout to be effective. The classes just need to be well-programmed.  

There’s been an increase of women partaking in weight training, which—if that resonates—is fantastic. But you can build muscle and strength-train using your body weight. Find what works for you.

If something resonates for you that allows you to show up consistently, then just stick to it. That to me is where the good stuff happens. 

TQE: What are some of your favorite workouts to do when you just want to move your body?

MR: It really depends on energy levels. If I’m not live or doing a private, I stick to my Quickie Sculpt or Full-Body—20 minutes and under to get it all in before my kids are up. I love how jampacked those workouts are and how much I can fit in within such a short period. 

TQE: Is there a difference between your 1:1 celebrity workouts and the workouts for us reggies?

MR: No! There’s absolutely no difference. You’re getting the same workout, which is really exciting. There is no secret sauce for what the celebrities are getting. I worked with Dakota Johnson for her role in Madame Web and she was doing TSS workouts on the app, on set, and that is exactly the same was what everyone else is getting. 

TQE: What would you recommend for someone who is just getting started on their fitness journey but is intimidated by “the whole thing?”

MR: It’s the mentality to—yes, I’m going to say it again—commit to less to show up more, and find a beginner program to help ease you in so you don’t get intimidated.

My Beginner Program is slow and shows technique to help build confidence because if you want to jump into intermediate when you’re still a beginner, you’ll likely be unsuccessful and therefore unlikely to continue. 

Looking to get started with The Sculpt Society? Start here!

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