Meet Michelle Bertran, recent University of Miami graduate and founder of Fierce Fit Miami, a brand new bootcamp gym in Doral, Florida (fiercefitmiami.com). Looking for motivation for your 2017 fitness resolution? Read on and get inspired. If you’re in South Florida, be sure to check out Fierce Fit, and if you aren’t, don’t despair. There’s plenty in our interview with Michelle and on Fierce Fit’s Instagram (@fiercefitmiami) to get you inspired to hightail it to your local gym.
What was your inspiration for founding Fierce Fit Miami?
I have always been an athlete, dancer and fitness enthusiast. I always dreamed of having my own gym and inspiring others to change their health/lives for the better. When I graduated college from the University of Miami in 2015, I realized there was nothing else that I saw myself doing. I enjoy it so much that doesn’t feel like “work.” It is my passion to help others form healthy eating habits and incorporate fitness into their new and improved lifestyle so I thought to myself, “What better way to do this than to open up your own gym?”
What are your classes like? How are they different from other workouts?
FierceFit’s classes are all completely different from one another. Every day is a full-body workout, but every day is a totally different workout with a wide variety of movements. We like to incorporate all aspects of HIIT (high intensity interval training), metabolic-conditioning, boot camp and plyometric training. Some workouts will be timed, some will be with partners, some will have plenty of running, and some will have plenty of weights. It is a surprise every day! This way, bodies don’t get accustomed to a specific routine/movement and we are constantly seeing results. I think this is one of the main attributes that differentiate us from other boot camps.
What was your major in college, and do you think your major prepared you well for being a business founder?
In college, I majored in communications and minored in Spanish. My major and minor definitely prepared me to be a business founder because I have been able to practice those communication, journalistic and marketing skills that I learned in college. Not to mention, my Spanish classes definitely helped perfect my Spanish, which has paid off now since my gym happens to be in what they call, “DoralZuela” (Doral aka Venezuela)!
How do you get the word out about Fierce Fit?
I get the word out about FierceFit through social media for the most part. Social media is such a powerful and free tool these days. I figured that would be the quickest and most effective way to get the word out about the grand opening and now, getting more members! I also do some flyering in the Doral area and of course, referrals/word of mouth are huge too!
Do you hope to expand in the future?
Absolutely! The Doral location for FierceFit is the first of many.
What’s your advice for the busy collegiate about keeping fit?
Lay off of the junk food in the middle of the night after a night out with your friends! Also, make better meal choices in the dining hall. Go for the greens as a side from time to time rather than the mac and cheese. Your body will thank you for it. You can also walk to class if it’s not terribly far, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. These little things make a difference.
What was the biggest surprise for you about being a business founder?
The biggest surprise for me was the extent of how hectic things are. I knew it would be hectic, especially when I first got the ball rolling because plenty of people warned me about it, but there’s nothing like actually experiencing it. But, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade entrepreneurship for anything in the world.
What is your advice for someone looking to found a business?
One thing that I know today that I wish I would have known when I first got started is that you cannot make EVERYONE happy. It is impossible. In the beginning, I was busting my butt to please every single individual and would even get discouraged when I would learn that someone wasn’t 100% pleased, but then I soon realized that that is just business. Not every single individual that walks in through the door will be head over heels over your product. That is just the reality of things and something you, as a business owner, have to come at peace with. You just have to learn from it, move on, focus on the positive and figure out what you can improve!
Do you think being fit helps build confidence?
Absolutely. In most cases, people’s confidence gets boosted when they lose weight, start looking better and feeling better. However, no one should rely on their level of fitness to determine how confident they should be in life. Regardless of where they are on their fitness journey, whether they just signed up for their membership and haven’t gone yet or whether they have been working out for years, everything is a stepping stone. We all get better each day, little by little, so don’t feel insecure because you don’t have a six-pack and the person working out next to you does. You are being proactive and doing what you need to do to reach your goal, so chin up & shoulders back!
What is your favorite quote, song or other inspiration that you can share with us?
My favorite quote is one by Michael Phelps. “You dream. You Plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” Another one of my forms of inspiration is listening to any one of Young Jeezy’s songs while I’m working out. I instantly go 100 times harder when I hear him rapping.