Celebuzz Exclusive: YouTube Fitness Star Cassey Ho is Bringing POP Pilates Nationwide

The 5th Annual Streamy Awards
If this event had a thumbs up button, we'd totally click it...

It’s hard not to have a smile on your face when you’re working out with Cassey Ho.

That is, until she makes you do a billion reps of her ‘candlestick dippers,’ a move designed to chisel your obliques, and all your focus turns to working through the burn. Cassey is one of the most well-known fitness stars on YouTube, and her intense, full-body workouts are what keep her subscribers coming back for more.

It’s easy to see what Cassey’s Popsters [a name she’s given her fans] love about her. Her boundless energy and uplifting attitude have gained her over 2.5 million YouTube subscribers and fans across the world, but she’s more than just a fitness instructor. She’s an author, clothing designer for BODYPOP, hosts a series of healthy eating videos on her channel called ‘Cheap Clean Eats,’ was named Fitness magazine’s Best Healthy Living Blogger of 2012 and so much more.

Now, people all across the country have the chance to take Cassey’s workout classes in their own neighborhood, as she takes her YouTube fitness format from the computer to real life. Her POP Pilates program, which includes ab-chiseling, total-body-defining moves choreographed to top 40 hits has been transformed into a class at 24 Hour Fitness. Already introduced into two dozen clubs so far, the program will become a staple at all locations over the next six months.

OMG it’s me on a poster! 😝😝😝 #poppilates

A photo posted by Cassey Ho (@blogilates) on

“It’s really important to us that the classes are inspiring, and that they instruct you to do something more than you thought you could do. We’re really excited to partner with Cassey on this program, because it does just that,” says Lashaun Dale, vice president of content and programming for 24 Hour Fitness. “She knows how to relate to the instructors, to the members, and to the world, and really inspire them so they can show up and have what they really want, whatever that goal is.”

I’ve personally followed Cassey’s YouTube channel for a few years now, so when I was given the opportunity to take her POP Pilates program at West Hollywood’s 24 Hour Fitness, I jumped at the chance. After sweating through the intense 50-minute workout with Cassey, I got to ask her a few questions in an exclusive interview with Celebuzz.

First I wanted to congratulate you on winning a Streamy Award. How did it feel to win?

Cassey Ho: Aw, thanks! It’s always weird because I don’t want to think about it, because I’m like, ‘Okay, if I don’t win, I don’t want to be unhappy,’ so I just don’t think about it. But I won it two years in a row, which is really awesome! I know this year all the other nominees were all men, so it’s really cool, as a female, to win the Health & Wellness category where so many men are really dominant. So, it was awesome.

You say on your blog you started teaching workout classes ten years ago for fun. Did you ever imagine Pop Pilates growing into what it has become? 

CH: I always had a dream of having a fashion line, or an active wear fashion line, and that sort of stuff, and I always knew I was meant for bigger things. You know how you have that drive inside you to contribute so much to the world? But it was really YouTube that helped everything actually happen. Without YouTube, putting up the videos, and teaching, I wouldn’t have an opportunity to make clothes for the fans, and to teach globally. I’ve always wanted my format to be a format like this, but honestly, I didn’t know how to do that.

“When you keep putting out your best efforts, and you keep being genuine, and keep giving, things just become magical and you just can’t really explain it.”

I’m just really grateful every single day, but I’m most grateful for my fans, because without them, none of this would be possible. That’s why I work so hard for them. That’s why I look through the comments and I do what they want me to do.

And Snapchat. I love your Snapchat. 

CH: Yeah! [laughs] It’s always the weirdest when I travel alone and I get really bored, so then I take out my Snapchat and I’m like, okay, I’m gonna sing to the camera now! 

Where did you get the idea to transform Pop Pilates into a class taught by instructors all across the country at 24 Hour Fitness?

CH: When I first did Pop Pilates as ‘myself,’ people were always saying, ‘Oh, this is cool, can I take this somewhere else?’ and I would be like ‘Um, no. I just teach it,’ and then I did it on YouTube, and people were asking ‘Can we take live classes?’ and the only time you could take a live class with me was either my weekly schedule at a regular gym, or I would do tours and it would be like 500 or 700 people doing pilates at the same time.

So, 24 and I started talking, and they wanted to do a format. So, I constructed this 13-track format. It was really interesting having to write it down and figure out what makes a really good class. I’ve taught body pop, cardio dance, sculpting classes… so I know what people like. But I know that people also like great music, so it makes you feel like you’re not working out. I think that’s why a lot of people on YouTube are really drawn to the videos, so I needed to figure out how to do that for other people and replicate that in every single class that is taken.

“Every time we release our new choreography it gets better and better.”

It seems like you’re always working on something new, whether it’s for your workout clothing line Body Pop, or your YouTube channel, or Cheap Clean Eats… how do you see Blogilates and POP Pilates continuing to grow in the years to come?

CH: My overall goal is to keep connecting more Popsters. I think that’s the coolest thing. When Popsters can actually become friends, that’s better than anything else in the world. When people can actually create a relationship that’s long-lasting for years, that’s everything. It goes beyond just your physical fitness, it goes into your well-being and your happiness.

“The more positive people you’re around, I think, the better and stronger you become.”

In the way beginning I remember I had a Facebook fan page with, I don’t know, 200 followers. Maybe 1,000– not that many people. There was this amazing community with girls from Slovenia and Canada and Australia…we all started talking and they have actually made the effort to go fly and see each other. That’s crazy!

Now that my channel is super big, I find that it’s a little bit harder to do that, to be honest, and I think a lot of other big YouTubers deal with this, too. You want to get bigger, but you kind of lose that special connection. With the classes, we’re able to do that again, so that people can actually come together in real life locally and make those friendships, so I’m really excited about it. 

 
Attend a free POP Pilates class on Sat. Oct. 17 to celebrate POP Pilates’ partnership with 24 Hour Fitness at their clubs nationwide. Contact your nearest 24 Hour Fitness to see if they’re hosting a POP party and get ready to sweat!