If there’s one way to fulfill that New Year’s resolution of losing those stubborn pounds while feeling cheerful at the same time, it’s Cassey Ho’s Blogilates YouTube channel. Cassey Ho isn’t just a fitness trainer on YouTube telling you to push, pull, stretch and flex — she keeps you pumped up by blasting feel-good top 40 hits during her workout and vlogging about her life as you feel the burn in your belly.
Ho’s internet career began by designing and selling yoga mat bags through her website oGorgeous and making YouTube videos for her students after she graduated from college in 2009 and moved to Boston. When Shape magazine featured one of her bags, she quit her corporate job, moved back to the West Coast and dedicated all of her time and energy into oGorgeous and the Blogilates channel. Leaving a full-time job to follow her passion for fitness has since paid off — Blogilates has more than 220,000 subscribers on YouTube.
NMR caught up with Ho on a bright, sunny morning in Santa Monica where she talks to us about her return to Southern California, how majoring in biology led her to making YouTube fitness videos and how her fans helped her get to where she is today.
In your Blogilates channel videos, you always add a bit of conversation into the mix. Why do you feel like your videos need to be more conversational as opposed to just telling people, “Lift this.”
Cassey Ho: Yeah well, I feel like that’s really boring, and anyone can do that. And for me, I’m a very talkative person, and I come from a group exercise background in which you basically have to perform when you train your students, so it’s not just I’m lifting weights and I’m saying, “Hey, do 10.” It’s like I have to do a heavier weight than you and motivate you at the same time, and a lot of times what motivates people is to forget the pain that they’re in. And so I’m very conversational, and then it lets people get to know me better, so it’s a lot of fun.
What do you like to talk about in your videos?
What’s going on in my day. Sometimes I feel it’s a vlog workout, and then sometimes I just talk about inspirational things, whatever’s on my mind. I sometimes really blurt out anything. [laughs]
The mix of instruction and vlog is interesting.
Yeah, and I think that is why I can connect with my popsters or my fans really well, because I’m very transparent. I just say what’s on my mind. And even when I’m having troubles in my life or whatever is going on, I just kind of say it, and it makes me feel better because nothing like that feeling you get after you workout is replaceable. It’s just like this high that you get on, and I get naturally high after my workouts, and after I work out with people at home in the videos it’s just amazing.
What makes pop music and exercise go hand in hand?
Well, I think when people really like their music, you can really jam with it, jive with it and go harder. I mean, when you work out and you have a good song on, don’t you like run faster? Or do you feel that way?
I feel motivated, yeah.
Yeah, yeah! So that’s why. For the most part, lots of people like pop music. I really like pop music, and that’s how that got started because pop music really makes me go hard.
Any artists you’re following right now?
Well, I really like Taylor Swift. [laughs]
I was watching the Victoria Secret ab workout, and you asked what viewers thought of Taylor Swift’s music.
I really like Taylor Swift. I know she’s a great writer, and I know she’s young, but I can really relate to her lyrics, so right now that is my artist at the moment. And as weird as it sounds to really work out hard to country pop music, I can do it.
You’ve got a lot of things on your plate. You’ve got your YouTube channel, your web business and the blog — how do you juggle all of those responsibilities?
I’m not sure sometimes. I think not sleeping is what gets it done, which is not healthy because I really believe a balanced life is first of all finding your happiness and really embracing that journey, but it’s all about eating well, sleeping enough and training, so that you’re really moving and feeling good all the time. I don’t have my sleep area down really well, and so that’s how I’m juggling it right now, but I need to start to I think.