Steve Harvey’s Funderdome: PoundPoms Creator Sherry Leetham

On Episode 4 of Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, Sherry Leetham pitched her product, PoundPoms—weighted cheerleading pom poms for working out. Leetham is a former cheerleader.

Hosted by Steve Harvey, entrepreneurs pitch in a head-to-head competition to “The Funderdome” (a live studio audience) for the chance to win up to $100K in capital. The pitch that gets the most votes wins the money. Before the winner is announced, both competitors get the chance to “cash out” for a lower sum of money.

Brandon Andrews of Values Partnerships sat down with Sherry for an exclusive interview after the show.

(PoundPoms creator Sherry Leetham and Steve Harvey. Image: ABC/Lisa Rose)


Why are you so passionate about fitness, and how did that passion lead you to create PoundPoms? 


Wow…I’m not sure there’s enough space to explain my passion. When I first became a professional in the fitness industry, a mentoring colleague said, “If your body breaks down…where ya gonna live?” That struck home for me because prior to becoming a professional in the fitness industry, I was a social worker and although I didn’t have a weight problem, I did have a stress problem.

As an LCSW (Licensed Certified Social Worker) who specialized in child sexual abuse, I saw the wicked of the wicked. Stress led me to scratch my hair out in my sleep and most horribly, dislocate my shoulder in my sleep. I would awaken to a nightmare of me screaming and then immediately having to calm myself so I could relax and put my shoulder back in. Even talking about it now gives me the heebie-jeebies!

Stress can lead to a variety of health disorders and exercising helped me to become healthy both inside and out. I strongly believe that health starts from ones’ mindset. It’s important to keep positive and motivational thoughts. My passion for fitness starts with my personal mantra “Internal Health, External Beauty.” What I learned as a counselor benefited me greatly when I became a fitness pro.

How did this lead to PoundPoms?


Nothing says motivation like cheerleading! On Funderdome, I explain how I recognized that cheer motions are weight training movements. This light bulb-moment inspired the creation of my CheerKamp dance fitness class! However, people hate working out and I needed a FUN super-duper razzle-dazzle element to offer the true cheerleader experience, combined with an element of fitness. That was the birth of PoundPoms! The name of my company is FIT 2 CHEER, and it doesn’t mean being physically fit to look like a cheerleader but being mentally fit to cheer yourself on—especially when sometimes there is no one but you.

How can someone use PoundPoms to get into shape?  


Keep in mind, PoundPoms are weights. Using them in conjunction with the CheerKamp dance fitness class will be like weight training to music. (BTW the “K” in Kamp represents the kinetic movements of the workout based on the Exercise Science of Kinesiology!) Secondly, according to ACE Fitness (American Council on Exercise) moving at 120 bpm (Beats Per Minute) with 1 lbs-3 lbs in your hands will increase your heart rate by 5 – 10 beats per minute and oxygen consumption (as well as caloric expenditure) by about 5% – 15%. At best, the use of PoundPoms can increase muscle tone and muscular endurance. Basically, they assist in helping you tone your muscles and lose your fat.




(PoundPoms creator Sherry Leetham and Steve Harvey. Image: ABC/Lisa Rose)


Congrats! You won $10,000 on the show. Were you tempted to cash out?


Leetham: Oh my…what a moment! People were yelling and I couldn’t distinguish NO!!! From, GO!!! The temptation existed because “some money is better than no money.” When it got up to $3500, I was tempted and right before I considered hitting, a lady behind me screams: “SHERRY! You betta NOT hit that button!” Whoever she was, I know she was a mom because she stopped me dead in my tracks as if my own mother were scolding me! Thank God for her because when I turned to look at her, as if I had snuck a cookie from the cookie jar, that’s when Kirston hit the button.

Give us a post-show update. How do you plan to grow your business in 2017?    


Leetham: This opportunity has not only been the perfect validation for my business but it’s the perfect launch pad for my business. The show afforded me the opportunity to produce my CheerKamp workout video, and increase production of PoundPoms.

Plus, I’ve partnered with the Cancer Exercise Training Institute and we have created PoundPoms 4 Recovery, a motivational exercise program in support of our cancer survivors. My goal is to help take them out of the medical mindset of their cancer and move them toward a motivational mindset of recovery.