You May Also Like

6 moves Shakira does whenever, wherever she needs a good butt workout

6 moves Shakira does whenever, wherever she wants a good butt workout

Serena Williams' training includes "quiet eye"

How Serena Williams uses her “quiet eye” to keep cool under pressure and crush goals

For Lena Dunham, health matter more than weight

Why Lena Dunham chooses her healthiest, happiest weight over her lowest

asics running guide chicago

This is the scenic Chicago running route that will make your long runs breeze by

Try the Julianne Hough workout with dance breaks

Take your workout to the next level like Julianne Hough with a (dance) cardio break

Jonathan Van Ness, yoga pro? Yes, who knew?

Who knew? Jonathan Van Ness is as good at yoga as he is at hair

#SquadGoals: How Tone It Up created a massive online fitness family (accidentally)


tone_it_up_foundersIf the world has learned anything from Taylor Swift, it’s that everything is more fun with a gang of gals at your side—including fitness. (When’s the last time you saw the pop star leaving a ModelFIT session without BFF Karlie Kloss?)

Yet Swift’s high-profile squad is positively inconsequential compared to one power crew that’s currently percolating in the fitness world: the community of women that’s formed around Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn’s Tone It Up online fitness and nutrition program.

The pseudo-sorority originated on social media when the Los Angeles duo’s fans started seeking each other out by using the hashtag #TIUTeam. It now consists of thousands of women who follow Scott and Dawn’s weekly beachside workout videos and healthy eating plans—and check in daily to encourage each other. (Also landing a Bravo show certainly didn’t hurt their success, and they recently debuted a collaboration with Bandier.)

Remarkably, the community wasn’t started by a marketing exec, but like many Instagram yogis have experienced, it grew organically via the fans themselves. “When I first saw #TIUTeam on Twitter, I was like, ‘T, I, U … That stands for Tone It Up! And then I was like, ‘What’s a hashtag?’” laughs Scott.

To help their far-flung squad bond over burpees in real life, Scott and Dawn created an annual four-day, no-dudes-allowed retreat complete with active outings (think surfing and beach volleyball); shopping for fitness gear, including Tone It Up’s new sunglasses designed in partnership with Oakley; and social events like the Rosé 5K, which ended with a celebratory glass (or several).

I chatted with Scott and Dawn about the benefits of working out with a squad and how to create one of your own—even if you’re a wallflower. —Erin Magner

tone_it_up_heartsRumor has it you two met through fitness…

Katrina Scott: I moved from Boston to California about seven years ago and I was a personal trainer at Equinox. I had the Friday night shift. And I kept seeing this girl come in with her book and she would read on the bike. And I was like, “Oh my god, I think she needs a friend, too!”

Karena Dawn: I had just moved to Manhattan Beach [in Los Angeles] because I had broken up with a boyfriend, so my Friday nights were a little open.

KS: One night she was stretching, and I couldn’t think of anything to say except, “Wow, you’re so flexible, do you do yoga?” She said yeah, and I said, “When’s the next time you’re going to class? Maybe I’ll go with you.” And I went to yoga with her. I think part of fitness—and friendship—is just putting yourself out there. So many women go to fitness classes and they’re afraid to talk to the other women in class. But I think it’s great if you can say, ‘Hey, I’m going to this smoothie place after, you have to try it…”

tone_it_up_leg_liftWhat if you’re too intimidated to strike up a conversation in that setting?

KS: When I was teaching group fitness classes, I’d really appreciate it when someone would come up to me before class and say, “This is my first class and I don’t know anyone.” Instructors really want to hear from you. If you say you’d love to meet some of the regulars, they can make it happen. Why not form a fitness tribe?

KD: There’s so much we’ve done fitness-wise that we wouldn’t have done if we didn’t have the other person to go with.

KS: If it weren’t for you, I would never have done yoga, trapeze…I would never have gone to a barre class. We’re always the worst ones in barre!

For more information, visit toneitup.com

More Reading
5 reasons 2015 is the year of the barre
Kayla Itsines is becoming the world’s most influential trainer
The secrets of fitness models

(Photos: Oakley/Tone It Up)

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

A hack for making cold-brew matcha in 30 seconds

Make cold-brew matcha in 30 seconds, thanks to this heat-wave-friendly hack

Jonathan Van Ness, yoga pro? Yes, who knew?

Who knew? Jonathan Van Ness is as good at yoga as he is at hair

Try the Julianne Hough workout with dance breaks

Take your workout to the next level like Julianne Hough with a (dance) cardio break

Serena Williams' training includes "quiet eye"

How Serena Williams uses her “quiet eye” to keep cool under pressure and crush goals

Well+Good - 13 of the best monthly workout streaming subscriptions that cost less than $40

13 of the best monthly workout streaming subscriptions that cost less than $40

For Lena Dunham, health matter more than weight

Why Lena Dunham chooses her healthiest, happiest weight over her lowest