Lowcountry fitness enthusiast to help fight obesity, hunger in weekend events

Lowcountry fitness enthusiast to help fight obesity, hunger in weekend events

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston-area fitness enthusiast who just competed in a reality show focused on new, innovative fitness programs is joining forces with others this weekend to get people fit and gather food donations in the Lowcountry.

Erin Mansour, who appeared on the Spike network competition show "Sweat Inc." will appear with fellow contestant Kershel Anthony at events Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The program, hosted by health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels, has fitness entrepreneurs from across the country compete against each other to determine which fitness program will win a $100,000 top prize.

Friday night, Mansour will present her Stryke Fitness routine and Anthony will present his kerBOOMka program at "Stryke the Hunger," an event scheduled at All That Jazz at 108 Greenland Drive in Goose Creek. Canned goods are being collected for the Lowcountry Food Bank. Admission is $20.

On Saturday, the two will appear the 2015 Oblique Health and Fitness Expo, which is being hosted by the City of North Charleston at North Charleston Riverfront Park on Everglades Avenue.

Participants can engage in a four-hour group Fit-A-Thon featuring classes taught by Lowcountry fitness professionals. Day-of registration is $15. Get more information on this event at its website: obliquefitnessexpo.com. Canned goods are not being collected at Saturday's event.

Then on Sunday, Stryke and kerBOOMka will be part of MUSC's "Fitness Feast," a three-course fitness class hosted by James Johnson at the MUSC Wellness Center on Courtenay Drive in Charleston. Registration is $20 and canned goods will be collected to fight hunger.

The birth of a new fitness program

Mansour developed Stryke Fitness with her husband, Chris, and said she was inspired by their own passions: Erin danced for years and Chris enjoyed mixed martial arts fighting.

"We've both always been very fitness-oriented," she said.

With four children, they found that when they could manage to spend time together one on one, it was often during workouts because they both have been fitness-oriented, she said.

But neither felt fully happy with the other's preferred workout routines, leading them to combine the two passions to create a fitness program with his "ground and pound" and MMA moves with her dance moves.

She applied to be on the show when she saw an ad looking for contestants with innovative new fitness programs that needed backing. She went through nearly a year of interviews before being selected by the show's producers.

"We knew we were green, but we knew we had a damn good program," she said. "In 15 minutes, people burned 500 calories."

The judges, including Michaels, praised the program's innovation on Tuesday night's episode. Even though she fell short of the top prize, Mansour said she had no regrets about appearing on the program because it gave her the chance to  demonstrate their regimen and tell her personal story of battling and overcoming obesity.

"If I can help people with that, when people see that I struggled with obesity and that I can help them, too, that's a win," she said.

After returning from the show, Mansour officially launched Stryke Fitness publicly in August, and she says interest has been growing.

She also says one of the best parts about appearing on the show was connecting with Michaels, and other recognized fitness experts and athletes like Randy Hetrick and MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, who also praised the program.

The couple is hoping the reality show exposure and weekend events will encourage more interest in their program and long-term success in their war against obesity.

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