The Secret to Josie Sanders’ Fitness Success

How one Instagram influencer brought together a group of women to hit the reformers at Club Pilates—strengthening their cores and their bonds of friendship.
Club Pilates - Josie's class

Josie Sanders is an Indianapolis influencer who has more than 130,000 followers on Instagram from all over the globe—with a strong base here at home. They look to her for style insight, the details on her upcoming wedding, and most of all, the creative approach she takes in engaging them through bright and sunny content.

With a passion for connecting with her loyal local fans, she wanted to find a way to bring them together in a more genuine way than what could be offered at a brand event.

Josie isn’t a fitness blogger, but in 2020, she wanted to devote some time to her own personal fitness journey. Her idea was to develop a program with Club Pilates Downtown to get local women on the reformer and keep each other accountable. The response on social media was so overwhelming that they had to whittle the list down to the 11 women that could fit into the studio. The group met twice a week and the results were amazing, both physically and mentally.

We talked to Josie about the experience, the sisterhood it created, the power of group fitness, and her tips for diving into a new goal no matter what stage of life (or fitness) you’re in.

Why did you want to open this up to your followers, rather than other local influencers?

Connecting with my audience is extremely important to me. I wanted to give back to them by offering this program—allowing them an excuse to step away from their normal lives and do something for themselves two nights out of the week.

How did you choose Pilates as the exercise of choice for this program?

I wanted a program that was centered around an exercise anyone can do. Pilates is wonderful because no matter your age, shape, or certain limitations, you can find success in this workout—plus it’s super fun! I love Pilates because it engages your entire body. It focuses on form and tones/strengthens muscles I didn’t even know I had!

How did the classes differ from the usual offerings at Club Pilates Downtown?

We had two instructors, Karly on Tuesdays and Meggan on Thursdays. Karly’s classes were always very controlled and taught us so much about correct form. Meggan’s classes tended to be much more intense and we really got to put our skills to the test and push our limits. It was  fun to observe the different workouts you can get based on the style of the instructor. We all adored them both. They care so much and it shows in everything they do. Ralph and Julie (the owners) do an exceptional job! 

Have you and the participants noticed a difference in your body’s strength and endurance?

One hundred percent. Girls came into the bootcamp with different skills, but they all had one thing in common: They had never done Pilates on a consistent basis. We had a few athletes and people who regularly exercise but everyone was a beginner. It was amazing to see everyone’s strength improve each week. I think the biggest change was improved core strength. I was amazed by the things even I could do by the time it was over compared to the beginning. I was able to finish this bootcamp being able to touch my toes. It seems so silly but I have never been able to do that in my entire life!

Were there benefits to the group fitness experience that you weren’t expecting?

Yes, friendship! It was not only amazing to watch the group’s skill level increase over the course of two months, but it was even more fun seeing us all form a close bond and even hang out outside the class. I think finding people who can encourage and push you to live a healthy lifestyle are people you should keep close in your life. I am happy to be walking away from this program with 11 new friends. 

How did you cap off the experience?

We completed our hardest workout yet and it was amazing to watch how far each girl had come. Afterward, we celebrated with some snacks at the studio then had a fun dinner together on Mass Ave. 

How will you keep your fitness goals on track now that this class set has been completed?

I want to structure my workouts at Club Pilates and attend more frequently. In the past, I would try to fit it in whenever I had the time but this bootcamp schedule really made me appreciate the commitment.

What are your five tips for starting a new fitness routine or going to your first class?
  1. Set your fear aside and give it a TRY!
  2. Devote a set amount of time each week to your routine. You deserve it.
  3. Stick it out! Allow yourself a few weeks before you make up your mind on if it’s for you. Most likely if you push through, it only gets better!
  4. Hold yourself accountable.
  5. Be patient! Results don’t happen overnight. Give yourself grace and focus more on how you feel.

Club Pilates is an Indy Maven partner.

Lenie Tsakonas is a regular contributor to Indy Maven. 

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