So, I normally write more about food and nutrition… but I want to give a major shout out to my favorite fitness website: Tone It Up. (Note: I might start to gush but this is 100% my own personal opinion, not sponsored in ANY way!)
Short list of why I love Tone It Up and its creators Karena & Katrina:
- focus on healthy lifestyle and fitness/strength, not on weight loss or certain numbers on a scale
- their nutrition advice is highly accurate, responsible, and rooted in real science
- they actually encourage you to enjoy eating and cooking and indulge in chocolate, wine, etc.
- their workouts can be modified for almost any fitness level
- both of them are well educated. certified personal trainers and lifestyle coaches as well as fitness models!
- they are totally silly & fun & positive. nobody is yelling at you during your workouts.
The owners/creators/trainers, Karena & Katrina, are self-made successes. They’re huge role models, not because they are gorgeous and in amazing shape (although obviously they are), but they’re crazy entrepreneurs. They built their empire starting with YouTube workout videos and encouraging users to check in on social media. As an internet/social media early adopter (read: secret nerd) I think that’s so cool. And it just snowballed from there… now they have a popular nutrition plan, two great workout DVDs, a line of Tone It Up apparel & workout gear, and a collection of nutrition products including my favorite protein powder, Perfect Fit.
Oh, and you might have seen them on a little network called Bravo, where they had a reality show called Toned Up last winter. Pairing my favorite fitness models with a reality mini-series?! Be still my heart.
I first stumbled upon Tone It Up via YouTube about one year ago, when I was looking for new workouts to mix into my usual routine. This was before they started gaining major media recognition – I thought I had discovered something fun and low profile, until I visited their website and saw all their blog posts, user testimonials, etc. I guess today is my TIU anniversary, because the first TIU challenge I joined was their Frisky Fall challenge series in fall 2013!
The term “challenge” might sound intimidating, but it’s really not. They post a new workout schedule every Sunday (the schedules go day by day, Monday-Sunday, and each day usually includes some sort of cardio & weights/toning component). They also encourage you to incorporate/substitute local classes and activities into your regime. For example I’m running the Fit Foodie 5K here in Austin next weekend and that can totally be my cardio goal completion for that weekend. You’re challenged to complete the workout routines and check in online using their hashtags. You can Tweet/Instagram your workout, or they also have an insular social community on their site. (I use Instagram!)
Besides Frisky Fall, they do a couple other challenges per year: Love Your Body (winter challenge which runs roughly between New Years – Valentine’s Day) and Bikini Series (their biggest and most famous challenge which is a ramp-up for summertime). By this point I’ve completed all three. The challenge series provide a sense of purpose and community, plus clear-cut fitness goals to achieve (like #100byHalloween – run/walk/jog 100 miles by Halloween etc.) and if you check in on their social channels with your goals completed, you can win major prizes from legit brands they’ve partnered with – Oakley, Victoria’s Secret, Asics, and more.
I can obviously run and do cardio on my own, and I still like doing TAM dance cardio DVDs from time to time, but I love the combination of variety and structure that TIU provides. A free weekly workout schedule with virtually endless combinations of routines and challenges keeps me on my toes and I’m never bored. And their workout routines are GOOD. They combine lots of multi-faceted toning moves for quick, effective full-body workouts. I actually look forward to checking the new weekly schedule on Sundays, as cheesy as that may be.
AND… #FriskyFall starts TODAY! If you’re looking to jumpstart your pre-holiday fitness routine or maybe get back on track after a boozy summer, this is an awesome way to go. Like I said… it’s FREE. If you decide to commit, let me know! I know a lot of people don’t consider exercise to be fun, but this is fun. I promise.