Katie Dunlop Fixes Your Fitness Fails
Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor Katie Dunlop turned her favorite hobby into a positive platform. The entrepreneur founded Love Sweat Fitness, a health and fitness community that motivates women to work towards becoming the best versions of themselves both inside and out. Over the years, the LSF YouTube channel has garnered over 9.5 million views and 317k subscribers, while its Instagram page contains over 277k followers. In 2017, Katie also launched an 8 Week Hot Body Sweat Guide, a workout plan designed to promote the start of a new, healthy lifestyle. The series of workouts--which stay true to Katie’s motto of #SweatAnywhere--can be done at any fitness level, no matter where you are or what equipment you have with you. The fitness guide goes hand in hand with Katie’s 4 Week Hot Body Meal Plan, providing others with daily nutritious meal ideas that are equal parts healthy and enjoyable. After a serious sweat sesh with The Carrie Diaries’ AnnaSophia Robb, Katie answered some of my questions about her journey toward becoming a worldwide fitness phenomenon. (Note: Before beginning any exercise program, be sure to consult with your physician.)
Why did you decide to become a fitness influencer?
I struggled with my weight and body image for most of my life. But right after college, I lost 45 pounds and it completely changed my life. I started teaching barre classes in Orange County and really fell in love with fitness. Becoming a fitness influencer started by accident, pretty much. I began @lovesweatfitness on Instagram as a way to share workouts with my class on the days I didn't teach. I honestly never thought it would turn into anything more than that. I ended up sharing my weight transformation photo and quickly realized that I could help a lot more people than just my class.
How did you grow your YouTube following to such a large number?
YouTube is seriously one of my favorite platforms because I can share so much more in video than in a single photo. I started my YT channel a year and a half after my Instagram, but it's grown really quickly. My goal for YT has always been to give girls tons of free workouts to do that actually get results. I share a new video every Monday--it's a great place to come get your sweat on. I've been trying to do more VLOGs, routines, and behind the scenes at LSF videos, which has been super fun too!
Do you find that Instagram or YouTube is a better platform to promote Love Sweat Fitness?
They are both great for different reasons. Instagram is the perfect place for girls to connect with other girls on the LSF team and make new friends. On Instagram, I really want people to get motivated by my page and feel confident that they can make the changes they want in their life. I struggled so much and I want to show others that changes can be made. So many people have the same story as me, and I want to show them that we can do this together. When you feel alone in your fitness journey, it’s so easy to give up, so I want my account to really be a place for women to connect with each other. YouTube, on the other hand, is best for finding actual workouts you can do and more information on nutrition. I also use YouTube to help my subscribers get to know me better.
So many people struggle to find the motivation to work out these days. What advice do you have for them?
Find a community of people that can support you! My favorite part of Love Sweat Fitness is that there are tons of girls who feel the same way you do. All of us are looking to lift each other up and change our lives. Being a part of the LSF team is so motivational. When you have others checking in on you and holding you accountable, it changes everything.
What is one thing about fitness that people often fail to recognize?
It doesn't have to be hard--it can actually be a lot of fun. You don't need a gym membership or equipment, just your beautiful self. I used to look at working out as a chore, but now I know it's the #1 thing that makes me feel my best day-to-day.
What’s an easy at-home workout you can recommend?
There are so many! Every workout on my YouTube channel is meant to be done at home without any equipment. One of my new favorites is a Barre Bootcamp video from the Summer Shape Up Series.
You also promote healthy eating on Love Sweat Fitness. Why are your meal plans a healthy alternative?
Eating healthy is so key! The saying "You can't out-train a bad diet" is 100% true. I created the Hot Body Meal Plans to give girls an eating plan that could fit easily into their lives that’s still delicious and fuels their bodies. Trust me, I’m not about boiled chicken...blah! Also, it’s not just about eating fewer calories, it's about eating more of the right foods for your body and knowing when to eat them.
What is it like doing fitness sessions with Anna Sophia Robb?
She just started doing some of the workouts for the 2018 Summer Shape Up Series we just launched. It’s a fun eight-week challenge that has amazing workouts you can do each day, summer-inspired recipes, and major contests like a trip to Mexico! Anyone can sign up for free here.
What are your plans for the future?
There are so many exciting things coming to LSF this year and the next! Some super cute new gear is coming to the shop any day now. We also just started the Summer Shape Up Series, which is my favorite week of the entire year, and I came up with some major ways for people to get their sweat on at the start of next year. I can’t reveal too many details yet, but I’m bursting with excitement!
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YouTube: Love Sweat Fitness