I have mentioned before, Cassey Ho is my favourite fitness instructor. That’s sort of not much of an accolade – there were no contenders – but sort of a pretty big one – I never expected to ever say, “my favourite fitness instructor”. Fitness? Square! It’s nice to be cooler than I ever was when I thought that fitness was the ultimate bummer of the universe.
As I said – Cassey Ho. Her endless pep really does motivate me somehow. Being able to yell at a smiling face that just keeps on believing in your bodily power is pretty cool! Also, she’s really weird. This is said with happiness and joy! I’m so glad! Her sense of humour is bananas.
What is she doing? I don’t know. Shiny tights and dogs. When she does recipes she uses sound effects of screaming children when she uses the blender. Everything I ever learnt about preppy peppy cali pilates instructors who love nail polish and booty shorts makes this surprising, which is irritating: I shouldn’t be surprised that women are funny and cool. Neither should you, so if you were… you should exercise with Cassey. Or try her recipes. Or as you like.
But I also find it really interesting to watch her walk the line between fitspo trad body idealism and apparently genuine you’re beautiful from the inside and exercise is for you and your physicality-type body positivity. Sometimes she’ll go on about blasting your love handles, ‘needing’ to show some skin for formal occassions, or make a video called “Sculpted Legs in Skinny Leggings Workout” (I just did it, I feel great) and I’m like ‘whatever, Cassey. Feminism‘. “Exercise or you won’t be hot” isn’t a fear I have, that message never reached me, so I can watch these and remain blasé. Obviously she’s way more intimate with the ~look fit or you aren’t fit~ scene than I am, being a professional instructor in a world where exercise and fitness and beauty are so intertwined/pathologised vs a crabby bum who hates magazines. But call me a rube – I think she does care about her viewers as people; I think she means it when she says that it’s about feeling good and then reaping the visual rewards, rather than trying to swap the body you have for an anonymous sanctioned version. She had a post about worrying for the health of [reality star] and family, having seen their televised diet, and yeah: it was invasive and unsolicited but from my position of thin privilege I perceived a distinction within the shouldn’t-have-posted between ragging on someone’s diet out of fat hatred and being moved to comment when someone you like, and feel celebrity-fond of, is – according to your acquired learning – endangering themselves. I don’t think she was right, I think she is interesting. She’s in an interesting position.
Do this workout, or just let the video play while you do something else, and listen to her talk about competing in – being judged during – a Bikini Fitness competition. Honestly, it’s really interesting. Watch someone who is kind, balance conflicting messages, professionally. Her job, at most basic, is to instruct you in physical motions; the social demands of femininity and her profession demand a certain attitude towards effort, success & reward; her personal integrity and good intentions complicate this and she still comes out looking like a person I’d try gross health juice with somewhere hip. I like her.
This is my favourite routine. These days I can do it with 5lb weights. Nice.