How did you get into fitness?
I had gone through a really bad break up and was left feeling lethargic and generally unhappy. I wanted to do something for me, something that would help me to feel mentally and physically strong again, so I decided to join a gym. That was about five years ago now!
How did this lead to where you are now?
Honestly, in the beginning I was just filming my workouts in order to check my form. I was doing glute kickbacks at the gym one day and I just knew I was doing it wrong, so I asked my friend to record me so I could figure it out. From there I figured if I posted my workouts it would keep me accountable and I could track my form and progress, but I had such a great response from it all – it was so unexpected.
My community kept growing; I had so many women reaching out for advice, so I put together my first PDF guide. I knew I could do more to help these women and my dreams were much bigger than a PDF, and that was where the idea for my Tone & Sculpt app began.
When did you fully realise the power of social media? Did you have a strategy?
I think I realised how powerful social media could be very early on my journey. My page grew quite quickly, with women across the world looking for advice, so I knew I had a certain level of responsibility. There was no real strategy, my priority was to provide useful information that would genuinely help make positive changes to women’s lives. This still remains my priority today, which I think is why my community is so strong and continues to grow.
Tell us about your new Tone & Sculpt app
It was completely inspired by my community, for every single woman who felt alone in their fitness journey, or who had been led to believe they couldn’t be a part of a fitness community unless they looked a certain way.
Everyone’s fitness journey is completely different, and not everyone has access to a gym or has an hour a day to work out, so we wanted to create a positive environment that everyone could be part of and benefit from. I wanted to bring real women together as a team.
What’s on the app?
The app is divided into phases – these are designed to help you from the very beginning of your journey. We use the progressive overload method, which basically means you increase your weights over time, allowing muscle growth, to ensure that you are always developing. We have also included a weight tracking feature so you can easily monitor your progress each week.
There is such a variety, from challenges to specific body part workouts to 15 minute full body sessions for when you’re in a hurry. The app offers different guides that can be done in the gym or at home. The app covers nutrition too, with over 1,000 meals that are filled with wholesome, nutritious foods. There’s even a water tracking feature to make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day. Everything you need to maximise results is covered.
Have you collaborated with any gyms or fitness brands?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Women’s Best – a premium supplements company – for the past two years, and it’s been quite a journey. To me they are more than just a brand, like Tone & Sculpt they are all about empowering women of all different cultures.
What do you think has been the key to your success as a fitness influencer?
Just being my true self, honest and open about my journey I think has helped me the most. I’ve never tried to cover up my imperfections, I’ve been as authentic as I can be throughout my journey. I post the good times, of course, but I also share my struggles. Everybody goes through ups and downs in fitness, and in life in general. I believe that because I am transparent with this, women can genuinely relate. My community supports and motivates me as much as I do them; we really are a family.
How important do you think influencers are in inspiring people to get fit?
I think it’s great to see so many influencers helping others to get into fitness.
Having a healthy body and healthy mind is so important! However I’m a firm believer that you should be your own biggest inspiration. As much as others can guide and support you, you are the one who has to put the work in for each of your gym sessions, or make the decision to eat healthy. Becoming the best version of yourself isn’t always easy so you should be proud of yourself for every step you take in the right direction.
Instagrammers are often accused of not showing the reality of how their images are created. What would you say to that?
There was definitely a time when it was popular to retouch images and strive for perfection on social media, but I think it has come a long way since then. I love seeing so many women unafraid to be their authentic selves. I totally understand that we all want to share the happy and positive moments in our lives, but not all moments are picture perfect and there is definitely a lot more awareness surrounding this now.
What advice would you give to gyms about how to inspire its members or build a community of followers?
My best advice would be to make everyone feel included. Fitness is for everybody, regardless of body type or abilities. It makes me so sad to think that so many people miss out on their own fitness journey because they feel too intimidated to go to the gym. We all start somewhere – in the beginning I went to the gym and didn’t return for almost three months! That first session can be scary, even going to sign up can be scary. Make your clients feel welcome, excited, supported and empowered by each workout. Let them know that although they are doing this for themselves, they are never alone in their journey. That’s how you build a real community.
What are your future plans for your brand?
At Tone & Sculpt we always strive for the best for our clients, so the app is continuously developing. We have some exciting and innovative features coming soon. Our aim is to provide long term solutions for every body type, every lifestyle and every woman that wants to feel her best. We want to be known as an inclusive brand, so meeting the community is a big part of that. In 2020, we have many exciting events planned!