Workout DVDs are so 20th century. Fitness today is all about Instagram — and few people understand that better than these six women.
Fitness Instagrammers Massy Arias, Rachel Brathen, Alexia Clark, Anna Victoria and the Tone It Up girls — Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott — all cover Women’s Health magazine’s March issue, about the ‘Fitness Revolution’ on social media. The six women all grew share workout videos and built communities through Instagram — they have a combined total of 8.2 million followers — while keeping it real.
Arias, 27, found a “mental release” in the gym after getting out of an abusive relationship while her brother was dealing with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I didn’t know anything; I was just looking for that thing that was going to give me the mental release I needed,” she said.
She advises others who are struggling to stick to a gym routine to keep pushing themselves.
“We quit a bit too quickly, and we don’t find out what we’re made of,” Arias said. “My goal is to have people believe in themselves a little. Because that’s how I got better, and that’s the reason why I’m here: not giving up, believing in myself, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of failure.”
Known as the Yoga Girl on Instagram, Brathen, 29, emphasizes that yoga is for everyone.
“If you think you have to be perfect to do yoga, no one’s going to do yoga,” Brathen says. “It’s about fitting yoga into your life as you are. It’s okay to drink wine in the evening and have green juice in the morning or go to yoga and then go out and dance. It’s okay to have both sides.”
For Clark, 27, being an fitness Instagrammer isn’t about showing off her body in a bikini — it’s about learning new workout moves.
“It has never been about ‘look at my body,'” said Clark. “It’s always been, ‘I want to help you, here’s exercises that you can do, here’s how to do them, here’s a way to modify them, and here’s something different.’ “
Though Victoria’s career is now all about health and fitness, she hated it when she was younger.
“I used to eat fast food three times a day,” Victoria, 29, said. “I was disillusioned with the fitness industry growing up. People who lived that lifestyle, it seemed they acted like they were better than you because they worked out and ate healthy. I really didn’t subscribe to that type of mentality.”
RELATED VIDEO: Instagram Stars Share the Truth About the Photos You See on Social Media
Now she’s dedicated to working out and eating whole foods — to an extent.
“I practice an 80/20 approach,” Victoria said. “Eighty percent of the time, I focus on fueling my body with whole foods and balanced meals. And the other 20 percent, I enjoy whatever I want.”
Dawn and Scott — who met at an Equinox in 2008 — wanted to show people that fitness didn’t have to be all about extreme results.
“That’s just not who we were,” Dawn, 36, said. “When we worked out, we laughed, we fumbled, we joked; we made it a date, we’d go grab a glass of wine after class. It was fun. It was a lifestyle.”
The pair are best friends, and they try to foster that kind of relationship with their followers.
“We speak to our community how we want to be spoken to: girlfriend to girlfriend,” Scott, 34, said.
“You’ll never see us post anything negative, because it’s all about spreading positivity,” Dawn added.
The March issue of Women’s Health hits newsstands on Feb. 8.