Getting Fit….Via Social Media?

I will be the first to say that I do not quite fit into BC’s athletic student body. Even putting on gym shorts and taking my inhaler cannot force me to go to the Plex. In fact, I tried to go to Power Pilates last week and the planking seemed to go on for a half hour. For most of BC’s super fit community, you may have trouble understanding my chronic laziness. It looks a little something like this.

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But for those who cannot motivate themselves, I’m here to reveal one of the best-kept secrets of the Internet.

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Run by Cassey Ho, Blogilates is a website centered on POP Pilates videos with supplemental meal plans and recipes. Cassey is a cheerful and hilarious online instructor, but also manages to give you an intense workout all through the YouTube videos she posts daily to her account.

So what’s so great about Cassey and POP Pilates? How is it any different from the Power Pilates session that almost killed me?

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Being an online instructor, Cassey is everywhere on social media: her blog, FacebookYouTubeTwitterInstagramTumblr, and now even her own mobile app. Just type in Blogilates to any of those sites’ search engines and her big friendly smile will show up in an instant. Not only is her online presence extensive across many major social media platforms, but she knows how to do social RIGHT.

1. Cassey’s Blog/YouTube

The name Blogilates clearly combines the words “blog” and “Pilates,” so naturally, Cassey’s blog is a huge part of her program. She regularly shares her life, both the ups and downs, the good and bad fitness days, and even the non-fitness-related things. Why bother if she’s just an instructor? Well, Cassey uses social to connect with her “popsters,” as she fondly calls her POP Pilates fans, and her blog allows her to share with them what’s going on in her life to truly humanize herself. Social media allows you to connect with your audience and show them that you are more than just a business, just a brand. She manages to create an environment in which you feel like you’re actually friends (bear with me here, I know that sounds crazy). But watch a minute into any video of hers and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Cassey’s blog is also where she shares these videos that make up the bulk of her POP Pilates program! She posts new videos daily, some focusing on certain parts of the body and some focusing on creating a routine to a currently popular song. These fun yet challenging YouTube videos are aggregated on her site and categorized by body areas, series or when it was posted, so it’s easy for all users to find.

The biggest thing about Cassey’s blog, though, is her monthly calendar. Once you sign up for the POP Pilates subscription, you will get a password sent to your email that allows you to access her calendar. Each day, Cassey outlines a few different videos of hers for you to do as well as healthy recipes, so essentially she is every “popster’s” personal trainer without ever meeting us.

2. Twitter

On Twitter, Cassey will share various content, whether it’s her new blog post, her favorite #CheapCleanEats recipes (exactly what it sounds like) or Workout Commands. What’s a Workout Command?

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It’s essentially just at any given moment, Cassey will tweet at her followers to go do a certain workout wherever they are. I remember seeing one at 2 am on a Friday night this summer and I was so caught off guard and not busy at the time that I actually did it! They’re quick little boosts of energy that motivate you to do something small and feel good.

Cassey also frequently interacts with her followers who tag her calendar (i.e. #MayMuscles, #JuneOnFire, or #Sweatember) or mention her Twitter handle, making sure that, as their personal trainer, she can track their progress or give them the encouragement or praise that they need to keep it up.

3. Instagram/Tumblr

Cassey’s Instagram and Tumblr are largely where she shows all her #CheapCleanEats, showing that she’s following the regime that her “popsters” are following as well. She Instagrams all of these meals and talks about how easy and delicious they are to promote healthy eating. Additionally, she’ll add photos of herself in new workout clothes or in a Pilates pose to get her followers up and at ’em and ready to go at another POP Pilates video! Other times, she shares photos from the POP Pilates community of real people who have lost weight and are more fit through doing Pilates in order to keep motivating the rest of the community.

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4. Blogilates App

Recently, Cassey broadened her social horizons and had a Blogilates app developed to engage her community even more. Within the app is everything a “popster” needs to live a Blogilates-guided life! Users can search and sort all of Cassey’s videos, share their own photos with the POP Pilates communtiy, access all of Cassey’s quick and easy recipes, check off exercise videos in the Workout Calendar as they complete them and even gain access to a secret video. The app brings together the best of Blogilates content and lets Cassey’s followers get to know each other and share motivational tips with the whole community.

So there you have it. A way to ACTUALLY get fit in front of your computer and stay motivated, which, as millennials, I’m sure a lot of people were trying to find. I personally don’t know of any other solely online Pilates programs, especially ones with SUCH a huge, loyal following. Through her use of social media, Cassey Ho created a POP Pilates community that allows her to connect with “popsters” and teach them how much fun Pilates can be and how to get fit, stay motivated and be healthy.

So I suppose social media isn’t necessarily SO bad for our health.

Have you found an online fitness program that works for you? How do you think Cassey’s use of social media benefits her followers? Or do you think that it’s still not as effective? Let me know your thoughts!

14 comments

  1. After reading this post, I immediately went to find Cassey’s Twitter and Instagram accounts! I used to have a Plex-phobia for the group fitness classes, so I can totally relate. It’s proven that you’re more likely to get in shape when do you work out and eat clean with friends rather than when you try to do it on your own, so I think it’s great that Cassey is so open with her online community (posting non-fitness things, sharing thoughts, etc.). I follow lots of other fitness accounts on Twitter for recipes and tips…excited to add one more!

    1. Megan Johnson · ·

      Meagan, I totally feel your pain when it comes to Plex-phobia. My roommate and I talked about Cassey’s program all the time last year and bonded over how much we loved her and the difficult workouts. So not only was I connecting with all the POP Pilates people online, but got closer with my roommate as a result! Cassey’s a great person to follow, she really humanizes Blogilates and makes you feel good and work hard. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Wow! I had no idea that this was a thing. I’m fascinated by it. Like Meagan, I also immediately looked for her blog, twitter, and instagram. I think it’s awesome that there are programs like this out there, for people that don’t like to go to the gym. It really shows the positive ways that social media can be used, and helps take away the negative rep that social media often gets. I am someone who loves going to the plex and working out, but even so, I would really like to try one of Cassey’s classes! It’s awesome that you can just do it from wherever you are, and pretty much whenever. Thanks for sharing this, Megan. I was able to learn a lot from reading this blog post!

    1. Megan Johnson · ·

      Yeah, Caroline, it’s great if you ever find that you don’t have enough time for the Plex, so you can just do Cassey’s workouts in increments whenever you have time! She makes it easy for you to work hard wherever and stop being lazy. I can honestly say her workouts are legitimately a lot of fun AND intense, so it’s a win-win! Hope you enjoy her videos!

  3. Nice post. I’ve never heard of her, but sounds like she’s doing it right! (and I like your use of GIFs in the post). Fitness is actually one of the primary uses of social media and also often voted the most annoying.

    1. Megan Johnson · ·

      I definitely understand how fitness can be an annoying use of social media, as Meghan Fay’s post demonstrated. I think my point in sharing Cassey’s social media work was that it went beyond just bragging that you went to the gym or posting pictures of yourself on Instagram at the gym. She makes a point to actually engage and encourage her followers via all forms of social, making it feel like we’re just in one giant group fitness class together, as opposed to taking gym selfies.

  4. Can you see the potential taking this approach to the enterprise level. Employers are eager to have a productive work force,and there are companies providing platforms to engage employees around fitness. Take a look at http://www.keas.com for a San Francisco based start-up in this space.

  5. This is such a great idea! Now everyone can have a personal trainer. I think we all can agree that motivating yourself is the trickiest part, but it is definitely easier if you have someone who can constantly remind you to work out via multiple platforms. I know that there are many social media sites dedicated to fitness but this seems like a better idea to me. Cassey is using sites were all on everyday anyway. We don’t have to be thinking about fitness to see her posts. Whereas, the sites dedicated to fitness may not always be on the top of our minds and we would have to remember to log on everyday.

    1. Megan Johnson · ·

      It’s so nice to have a personal trainer and to have the feel and structure of a group fitness class but the connection with Cassey that a personal trainer gives you. I totally agree, that’s what’s great about Cassey’s posts; you may not even be thinking about working out and she will tweet or post on FB and tell you to go do 10 pushups at some random moment! It pushes you to stay on top of staying fit.

  6. Really interesting to read more about Blogilates! Social media is not often regarded as a way to get fit, but there really are so many great resources out there. I’m going to check out Cassey’s apps and blog right now, and hopefully find some motivation myself! Thanks for sharing this site with us.

    1. Megan Johnson · ·

      You definitely should, Meghan! Especially after your post about fitness being shared on social media, which I was regarding as I was writing this. Cassey’s social presence just feels different from people taking gym selfies or bragging all over Twitter/FB. She makes it more personal and less in your face. It’s a great way to get motivated too! :)

  7. Megan I love this! This is such a unique way to work out. I love following different fitness and health accounts on twitter, but blogilates is one that I have never heard of before. It seems like an oxymoron to say you can get fit using your computer, but it is such an interesting idea especially with the ability to reach such a wide audience and the flexibility of doing it on your own time rather than having to fit your schedule around a Pilates class. The benefits of social networks and the internet can really be applied to all different aspects of our life that many people don’t think about when using social media. Thanks for sharing this with us, I definitely want to check this out as well!

  8. Haha!! I laughed really hard at the first meme.
    But anyway, I’m so glad you wrote about this because I completely forgot that I actually did one of Cassey Ho’s video workouts before! I believe it was two summers ago, and I was having a lousy, lazy day and really didn’t want to go to the gym. So I searched YouTube for some workouts to do in my bedroom, and, sure enough, Blogilates came up. My first reaction to Cassey was “This girl is not real.” She was so unbelievably peppy and a bit obnoxious that I thought it was a joke. I searched a bit deeper into her YouTube channel, though, and discovered that she is actually a legitimate pilates instructor who is very successful at what she does. So I committed myself to doing one of her videos – the “Call Me Maybe” leg challenge. It was so tough! I don’t get sore easily, but I was sore for the next two days.
    Thanks for sharing all of the other platforms that she has a presence on, though! From what it sounds like, she does social media right. She offers her followers a glimpse of her personality and everyday life along with her workouts, and I think that’s a very valuable tool to keeping loyal customers. Now that I know about all of her accounts, I’ll be sure to check them out and keep updated on her Workout Commands!

  9. Awesome and thoughrough post Megan! I love how people can use social media in interesting ways, who would have thought that YouTube, Twitter and Instagram could be used to help people stay in shape. It seems as though it would do just the opposite. Have you ever heard of Amanda Russell? She has some very similar programs and a lot of her workouts are very quick, so they minimize my excuses. Also if you are looking for more healthy eating Instagrams I would recommend nadyasaber (OUT OF THIS WORLD SMOOTHIES) busygirlseatclean, and famfitfood :)

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