The practice, created in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate soldiers returning from war, can seem daunting with the variety of poses and extended terminology (and doesn’t always look great for our bank balance, either).
But Cassey Ho, a fitness instructor from the US, wanted to change that. The 30-year-old began posting YouTube workout videos in 2009 on a channel now called ‘Blogilates’.
To modernise it and make the practice accessible to everyone, she fused pop music with simple Pilates routines and put them online so anyone with an internet connection could watch.
Her fusion workout is now known as ‘POP Pilates’ and she has garnered more than four million subscribers, all following her YouTube workouts for free.
Ho’s passion for her online community goes far beyond her popularity on social media, as she told HuffPost UK: “What I do isn’t for the likes, views, or comments - it’s about the lasting positive impact you can have on someone’s life.”
We caught up with her to chat about her journey to success and what a week is like in her world for the latest in our ‘Fit Fix’ interview series.
My Journey 🌍
What do you credit to your success in your fitness journey?
“I’m an instructor at heart, so when I first started my YouTube channel, it wasn’t about the money, the fame, or the subscribers. It was about teaching people how to get stronger. That mission has stayed true throughout my career and that’s why the community that makes up ‘Blogilates’ is so solid.”
What’s one of the most memorable moments in your career and why?
“Recently I went on on tour in Singapore to teach some big fitness classes. It’s always exciting going somewhere international and seeing firsthand how much POP Pilates has expanded from just one YouTube video in 2009! When I was there, some of my biggest fans reached out. It was incredible to have deep conversations with these girls and get to know them on a human level. You’re reminded that what you do isn’t for the likes, views, or comments - it’s about the lasting positive impact you can have on someone’s life.”
Was there ever a low point in your career and how did you get past it?
“There are moments when online harassment can get pretty tough. There was definitely a point in my career when it got really bad and I just wanted to hide. But the thing is, if you know who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing, you can harness so much inner strength to fight past those days. I wasn’t going to let negativity stand in the way of what makes me happy and fulfilled.”
My Training 💪
Talk us through your week in fitness.
“I try to workout and move my body every day. Sometimes that’s in the morning or in the evening, it all depends on what my schedule allows for that day. If I am pressed for time, I love doing PIIT28 (Pilates Intense Interval Training). I get my cardio and my strength training done all in a session that’s under 30 minutes.”
What’s your favourite type of workout and why?
“POP Pilates fuses dance with music and Pilates so I don’t feel like I am working out. I also really love dancing, especially ballroom dancing.”
What’s your favourite way to spend your rest day?
“I think rest days are really necessary. I used to try to schedule them, but now I let them happen more organically. So if I know it’s a travel day and I’ll be sitting on a plane, that’s my rest day. On the other hand... things that relax me? A massage!”
My Food 🍳
What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?
“I love quick, healthy meals. Fish tacos made with lettuce wraps or coconut flour tortillas are my favourite - with tons of homemade guacamole.”
What are your pre- and post-workout snacks?
“Power smoothies are always a good go-to because they’re delicious and quick. There are so many different recipes and combinations you can try, AND it’s a great way to get healthy carbs, protein, and fats. Oh, and one snack I really like (I know it might sound weird) is peanut butter and carrots - try it before you judge.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?
“Everyone has different needs and that’s okay. Food is prescriptive and what works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else. There’s not one manual that everyone has to follow.”
My Motivation 🙌
Do you have a motivational mantra that keeps you going?
“It’s: ‘If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out how to make it happen’.”
Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for?
“My fitness goals are always about strength. I’m constantly pushing myself to grow stronger, both physically and mentally.”
What’s your ultimate workout track and why?
‘Right now, I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift’s single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’. It’s funny because the first time I heard it, I wasn’t a fan. But it started growing on me and now I love blasting it while I sweat.”
Follow Cassey Ho on YouTube here.
‘Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going.