Allie Bennett’s journey to becoming the “CEO of the treadmill Strut” started with an epiphany she had while working out. “I was walking on the treadmill watching TikTok, and then I realized I was stepping to the beat of the sound I was listening to,” she tells Bustle. “I was like, ‘I have to tell people about this.’”
The 23-year-old based in North Carolina has blown up on TikTok over the past year as the creator of the viral workout that’s all about saucily sashaying on the treadmill. Bennett’s original video, which has racked up over 294,000 since she posted it on TikTok in June 2021, features her strutting to “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls with a simple message on top of the footage: “pro tip: don’t put the treadmill on 3.6 speed and strut to ‘when i grow up’ by the pussycat dolls unless you wanna feel like the baddest b*tch alive.” Since then, she’s posted countless videos in the same vein — all basically warning her followers not to put on a certain song while on the tread unless they want to ... have an amazing time.
Bennett’s PSA-style posts sparked an entire wave of walking trends on FitTok — nowadays, you can find everything from the rich mom walk to the grumpy girl stomp. Of course, these have all come after the wildly popular 12-3-30 workout, which came to be in Nov. 2020, but Bennett’s walks (and her spinoffs like the hot girl walk) are less structured and more focused on having fun versus sweating. So you can basically credit Bennett for starting a movement for, well, more enjoyable ways to move.
Since her OG video, Bennett’s created 30-minute playlists for viewers to blast as they strut, ranging from the original Taylor Swift lineup to a Glee-themed one. Her tip? Set the pace for the workout using the first song on the playlist and then increase the speed incrementally after each song.
With over 405,000 followers on TikTok, Bennett’s now creating content full-time. “Right now, I'm just existing with this, seeing where it takes me. It's opened so many doors I never expected,” she tells Bustle (she’s been On Air with Ryan Seacrest, for one). “It's so cool to see all these people that are appreciating all this work that I'm putting in.”
Below, Bennett chats about Reddit rabbit holes, hamster names, and her favorite thing on the Internet.
Fast Follow With @benntheredonethat
What was the first post you made on TikTok? What do you think about it now?
The first post that I remember was on an account that I don't even use anymore. It was an outfit transition video to “Olivia” by One Direction. It was two years ago and I was blonde at the time — that was a weird thing to look back on. I'm glad we moved on from that.
What’s the best thing you’ve seen on the Internet in the past week?
What’s the best thing you’ve purchased online recently?
I got these really cute light switch plate covers that are really adding a lot to my space. I'm liking those a lot.
What's the last Internet rabbit hole you went down?
I go on a lot of Reddit rabbit holes with my friends. Most recently it was the Love Island one. There's a lot of drama going on there and we need to figure it all out.
What’s the weirdest thing you have written in your notes app right now?
The list of hamster names that my friend and I came up with. We co-own a hamster. He lives at my house and his name is Bulldozer Demolition McLovin Thee Hamster.
We have just a list of names. One of them's the name of a nightclub, one is the name of our old boss. It's just ridiculous.
What’s a post you thought would go viral but didn’t?
Right off the bat, I want to say the Renaissance treadmill strut. I think a lot of my non-treadmill content is still good content, and I feel like people don’t appreciate that as much. Sometimes they do though, and that's fantastic.
Who’s the person that followed you that you were most excited by?
Probably @TheJarr. She’s recommended my page before to her followers for fitness content. I've been watching her videos for years, and she just followed me back one day.
There was also that time when Lizzo posted a video of herself doing your Lizzo Treadmill Strut on TikTok.
That was insane. She didn’t follow me but she commented on it [Lizzo wrote “WOOOOOOOOW DOING THIS”] and then used my sound [in her repost]. That was definitely my biggest fangirl moment.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.