Why Celeb Fitness Trainer Megan Roup Is All About The "Mini-Workout"
“I’m constantly talking about ‘committing to less so you can show up more’ when it comes to fitness.”
In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their favorite skin care products to their hacks for getting a good night’s sleep. Here, Megan Roup shares her morning routine, favorite sunscreens, and the coffee she can’t live without.
A few years ago, Megan Roup was working as a professional dancer and fitness trainer in NYC. Now, the busy new mom spends her time in Hollywood hosting live workouts on her very own at-home fitness app, The Sculpt Society. Oh, and she also bops around town to train supermodels, like Jasmine Tookes and Karlie Kloss. NBD.
Roup founded The Sculpt Society in 2017, and later The Sculpt Society app in 2019, as a way to make fitness more fun and approachable. “Whether you're into all low-impact sculpt, or you want to sprinkle in some dance cardio, there really is something for everyone,” she tells Bustle. “My goal is to help support women throughout any stage of life, but really with the focus of having fun and enjoying movement in their exercise fitness journey.”
The best part? You don’t need a background in dance to join in. Roup’s classes feature simplified, repetitive moves that are easy to pick up, as well as other elements you might recognize from Pilates. “I really love a reformer Pilates class, but I thought, ‘We can do this at home with sliders and bands and ankle weights,’” she says. “Small pieces of equipment that give you that feeling, combined with a little bit of dance cardio and full-body sculpting.”
Here, Roup tells Bustle her favorite workout trend, how she copes with stressful moments, and the importance of taking coffee breaks.
What does your morning routine look like?
Every morning's a little bit different, depending on if I have to go live on the Sculpt Society app. On the days I go live, I’ll get up around 6:15 a.m. and quickly do my morning routine, which consists of drinking lemon water and having a coffee. I'll try to do a five-minute guided meditation on the Sculpt Society app. And if I can’t do that, I’ll journal.
Then I’ll get my daughter, Harlow, up at 7. My husband and I really like to have that time with her in the morning. Then I'll run upstairs and go live around 8 or 9. After the workout, I’ll stay on and do a “coffee chat” with The Sculpt Society community, just to build connection there. And once that’s done there are all these un-sexy things that have to happen behind the scenes, like Zoom calls and admin and content creation — all that good stuff.
You mentioned doing live coffee chats. How do you like your coffee?
I drink a lot of coffee. The first one I have of the day is a French press with some almond milk, and then I’ll get a fancier coffee mid-morning from Blue Bottle or somewhere I can walk to in Hollywood. Usually an iced cappuccino with oat milk or sometimes an almond milk latte.
I bet that’s a nice break after a busy morning! What about water? Are you a big water drinker?
You know, I go through phases with it. I need to be better. If I don't have one of those massive water bottles with me all day, I won't end up drinking water. So I’m either really great at it or really terrible.
Do you have any go-to skin care or beauty products?
Oh gosh, yes! Right now I really love Vintner's Daughter, and then I'll always put sunscreen over that. Ilia has a great one that mixes vitamin C and sunscreen with a little bit of a tint. I love an all-in-one like that, where it makes it easy.
I’ll also switch things up and use the Supergoop! Glow Screen, and Summer Fridays actually just came out with a nice sunscreen, too. Sometimes if I need a little refresher I’ll use Caudalie's spray to kind of wake myself up.
You often share #FoodsThatFuelMe on TikTok, which are so different from the traditional #WhatIEatInADay videos. Can you talk about that?
I really hate the idea of a “what I eat in a day.” I'm a big believer in intuitive eating and anti-diet culture, so I’m trying to highlight and show everyone that you can’t be perfect every day, and that it’s more important to focus on the foods that give you energy. I think that's a hard concept for people to understand because we've grown up in a culture that idolizes “diet food."
I hear that! What are some of your favorite snacks?
I'm obsessed with simple snacks, like Good Culture cottage cheese with blueberries or an apple with almond butter. I also love chips. One of my favorite brands is Beanfields. They have a really great bean chip. And I’m a big fan of smoothies. My husband will make both of us a smoothie as a snack. Those are my go-to's.
You also post lots of mini-workouts on TikTok. Is it really possible to get a good workout in 10 minutes?
Everyone at Sculpt Society rolls their eyes because I’m constantly talking about “committing to less so you can show up more” when it comes to fitness. This idea that we need to work out for hours a day and do massive amounts of cardio is BS. Also, it's just not sustainable in a busy lifestyle.
I would so much rather my community get in 10-minute workouts five to six days a week than one, long workout. It helps you create a habit and build a practice. I think that habit and that consistency are so, so important.
Are there any workout trends that have caught your eye?
I think a lot of people are leaning more into the low-impact sculpt workouts. You’re still going to move, it's still going to be athletic and get your heart rate up, but you don't need to be dying the whole time. I know so many people crave and love bootcamp-style classes, but there’s a large cohort that doesn’t resonate with that.
Are there any exercises you struggle with, but try to do anyway?
I've learned to love a plank. I used to not enjoy them, but now I find so much satisfaction in planks because I can feel myself getting stronger. It's such an amazing full-body exercise, and the variations you can do with a plank, just using your body weight, are so efficient.
What are your post-workout recovery tips?
Ideally, you need to take time to cool down and stretch after a workout. We have an amazing section on The Sculpt Society app that has quick stretches and quick yoga classes. I could be better at stretching myself. [Laughs.] But I always tell my clients to do it.
I also listen to my body. Nine times out of 10 I'm hungry after a workout, so I'll make myself a second snack or breakfast. Usually, it’ll be eggs and avocado on Ezekiel toast. I'm the type of person who doesn't get bored with food groups or meals, so I could eat the same thing over and over again and still find it delicious.
How do you cope with stress throughout the day?
I tend to hold my breath, especially if I'm on a lot of meetings or Zoom calls. I'm just not breathing! So I have to remember to take a couple deep breaths. I also recommend stepping outside for mini coffee breaks or to get some sun. We hunch over our computers all day, so it’s good to get up and move. You're shaking out some of that stress.
What would you say is your overall approach to wellness?
All of the above, and also that your wellness practice doesn't have to be long or overwhelming! For me, sometimes it’s taking five minutes for a hot shower and a quick skin care routine. That, to me, is a wellness routine.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.