Cassey Ho of Blogilates is not only a blogging and YouTube sensation, she is also an entrepreneur and influencer in her own right. With over 3 million YouTube subscribers, Ho has helped many people improve their fitness and is an advocate for body positivity. Inspiring messages like “I’m too busy watering my grass to notice if yours is greener,” are sprinkled throughout her Instagram, as she offers candid messages about body image.
We caught up with Cassey in New York recently to discuss her exercise regime, love for Poké bowls and favorite restaurants. We also asked her about her powerful video, The “Perfect” Body (which has over 9 million views), and found out why she felt so compelled to show such vulnerability online.
From start to finish what is your ideal food day?
For breakfast, an omelet:
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 chicken sausage
1/2 cup pico de Gallo.
For lunch, a Poké bowl:
1 scoop raw salmon (about ice cream scoop size)
1 scoop raw albacore
1 cup brown rice
1 TBS edamame
2 TBS seaweed salad
1 TBS mango
1 TBS onion
2 TBS spicy shoyu
2 TBS sriracha
For dinner, tilapia:
6 oz Miso flavored tilapia
1 c quinoa
1 c sautéed spinach
1 c roasted butternut squash
2 TBS sriracha
Snacks and desserts:
5 strawberries + 1 cup plain coconut yogurt from So Delicious, and a Matcha latte with coconut milk.
How to do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I like to eat a diet that consists of mainly whole, unprocessed foods. Lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. Healthy fats like nuts and fish are also important for healthy looking skin. I also drink a lot of water to stay hydrated; it keeps my skin looking fresh and bright. Regular physical activity also helps with my complexion. Blood circulation through exercise helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant. Just another reason to stay active!
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
It comes back to proper nutrition and hydration. I always drink a glass of water when I wake up and before I go to bed to help with digestion and aid in natural, glowing skin. I also make sure to wash my face to remove any makeup I may be wearing before I go to bed. I use Simple Skincare makeup wipes. Then I moisturize with Belif Aqua Bomb. I also wear Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1 contact lenses, which are great because I don’t feel the need to take out my contacts as the day goes on. I can leave them in all day, throw them out before I go to sleep, then pop in a fresh pair the next morning!
What made you want to start a YouTube channel?
It all started back in 2009 when I uploaded a POP Pilates video for my students. I was moving across country and still wanted us to feel like we were working out together. The video was only intended to reach about forty people, but it got thousands of views and comments from people all over the world! So I listened, and kept making more videos. Now Blogilates has over 3.1 million subscribers!
What are some of your favorite workouts? Have you always been into fitness?
While I was in high school I played on the varsity tennis team for four years and was team captain for three years, but I really didn’t like the competitive aspect of the sport. I truly got into fitness when I discovered Pilates through Mari Winsor DVDs when I was sixteen. I loved how I wasn’t competing against anyone but myself. By the time I was in college, I was a Pilates enthusiast! It became my rock and I even encouraged my friends to do small sessions with me in the dorm lounge. Then I saw a local ad for a Pilates instructor and took a chance applying for it. They liked my style and paid for my certification! My favorite workouts now are HIIT and Pilates. I actually combined them both and made my own program, PIIT28, Pilates Intense Interval Training. I love using my own bodyweight to build muscle and burn fat. PIIT28 allows me to do that and I’ve never been as strong as I am now following my PIIT28 routines.
What workouts do you think are overrated?
Workouts that encourage you to do long amounts of steady rate cardio. These don’t have as many benefits compared to high intensity workouts combined with strengthening moves. You don’t need to spend endless hours on the treadmill to get fit. You can burn fat and build more muscle with a thirty-minute HIIT routine than a long hour session of just cardio.
What three pilates workouts are best for abs? Which three are best for arms? which three are best for the butt?
1. Double Leg Lift
Begin on backside, extend legs 45 degrees.
Lift legs up, hips, knees, ankles aligned.
Lower legs back to 45 degrees
2. Eagle Crunch
Laying on back, lift knees over hips, crossing legs at the knee and wrapping top foot around the bottom calf
Lift arms and wrap top arm underneath bottom arm at elbow
Crunch elbows to knees
Begin lying on backside, legs long and extended, arms extended overhead
Roll up to stack shoulders over hips
1. Oil Riggers
Begin on all fours in tabletop with shoulders, elbows and wrists in line, arms extended, lift one leg hip height with pointed toe.
Keep elbows close to body as you perform a triceps push-up, bringing your chin down toward the mat and kicking your extended leg up.
2. Half Cobra Pushups
Lower down to chest and belly, bring elbows under shoulders, wrists in line with elbows, feet hip width apart.
Press upper body up and resists on the way down.
3. Golf Balls
Begin in seated position.
Bring arms out to the side shoulder height with a slight bend at the elbows and palms facing up as if you are holding a golf ball.
Circle arms forward in mini circles, keep the shoulders away from ears.
1. Single Leg Bridge Pulses
Begin in bridge with ankles, knees and hips aligned
Bring one leg up, opposite leg bent knee with foot flat on the ground
Heel goes straight up and down on hip lift
2. Plié Squats
Bring knees out wider than hips, toes pointed on an angle, knees in line with toes
Bring arms out long and wide
Sit low into a squat and squeeze inner thighs towards one another on the way up
3. Rainbow Butt
From down dog, extend leg to the outside of the mat, toe pointed.
Lift food high and draw a rainbow shape, tapping the toe on the opposite side of the mat without swiveling hips
Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?
I love to travel anywhere in the world! I was recently in Singapore, which was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. My dream would be to travel to Bora Bora, rent one of those huts over the ocean, and go snorkeling all day long! I never travel without my running shoes, water bottle, my phone or my DAILIES TOTAL1 contact lenses.
What ingredients go into your favorite smoothie? Your favorite salad?
I love adding bananas, fresh berries, and coconut yogurt into smoothies. My salads are full of leafy green veggies, lots of spinach, avocado, and veggies with high water content like tomatoes and cucumbers – so refreshing and delicious!
You’re a big advocate for positive body image. What advice do you have for women getting up and looking in the mirror in the morning?
You need to accept and love yourself no matter what you look like or what stage of your fitness journey you’re in. Self-love comes from the inside, not your physical appearance. Don’t focus so much on looking the mirror or stepping on the scale. Instead, focus on your abilities and getting stronger. Focus on who you are as a person and what you have to offer the world – that is when your true beauty will shine.
Your video The “Perfect” Body sends a very powerful message and has over 9M views. Was it a difficult decision to show such vulnerability online?
Initially, it was a little scary showing such a vulnerable side online, but I knew I had to stand up for myself and anyone else affected by online bullying. No one should be attacked because of their appearance. The response was amazing and I am so happy the video helped millions of people all over the world.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?
Best: Give yourself the 100% chance to succeed. Don’t risk halfway.
Worst: Stop teaching Pilates and go focus on studying.
What are your favorite food cities? What restaurants do you go to in each?
In the same vein as what is the new black in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
The new potato is being fearlessly yourself.
For more pilates workouts, see these ways to stretch at your desk from Heather Andersen. Also check out these ab workouts.