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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

For many people (myself included), going to the gym can be intimidating on many levels. There is anxiety that comes with using the equipment wrong, the fear of judgment from more seasoned gym-goers, and the perception of exercise as a chore and obligation rather than something that can be truly enjoyable. 

My avoidance of the gym stemmed from all three of these factors, in addition to the fact that I’m simply not an athletic person. I knew that a trip to the gym would leave me feeling out of place and just overall inadequate compared to the other people working out around me. Besides, I hated playing sports and, by extension, exercise. Why would someone like me ever find herself going to the gym of her own volition? 

Enter influencer Allie Bennett, also known as @benntheredonethat on TikTok. Early last year, her videos began popping up on my For Your Page, sharing her treadmill strut playlists. They included a lot of songs I enjoyed, and featured music from a variety of different genres. But, more interestingly, Bennett was working out to these songs. I had never thought that some of Taylor Swift’s biggest hits or nostalgic classics from my favorite Disney Channel Original Movies would ever find their way to a workout playlist, but here they were. 

Even more intriguing, Bennett’s workouts weren’t focused on athletic stamina or prowess. Instead, they centered around just walking — or strutting — on the treadmill to the beat of the songs on her playlists. In her videos, Bennett includes suggested strutting speeds to accompany the playlists, with the speed increasing by 0.1 mph with each song until the running and subsequent cool-down songs. Rather than starting the workout at full intensity, you slowly build speed until you reach a running pace and then return to a lower walking speed after your run. It also limits the most rigorous part of your workout to one or two songs compared to workout regimens that require long periods of intense exercise. 

My friends had seen Bennett’s videos too and were equally interested in the concept of a treadmill strut. We eventually made a plan to go to the gym together before class twice a week. Having a firm plan to go to the gym and a friend to go with me helped alleviate the fear of being judged by the people working out around me and held me accountable to actually follow through with my plans. More importantly, though, it made working out both accessible and enjoyable for me. Strutting my heart out to some of my favorite songs was empowering and made me feel more confident both in myself and my place at the gym. My friends and I have even since made our own treadmill strut playlists. 

Today, Bennett has amassed a following of over 600,000 people on TikTok thanks in part to her treadmill strut content. She takes requests for playlists from commenters and makes playlists based on her favorite songs and artists as well (including a sweet personalized treadmill strut playlist she made for her girlfriend’s birthday). The popularity of the treadmill struts, though, comes from their flexibility. Bennett consistently points out that the included speeds are just suggestions based on the paces that work for her, and can be adjusted as needed. She also highlights how the workout can be done at home, with her videos typically taking place in her garage-turned-gym. 

Above all, though, Bennett emphasizes that these struts are meant to be a fun confidence boost. They certainly were for me, and based on her social media following, they were for others, too. So lace up your comfiest sneakers, put in your headphones, grab a friend (or fly solo!), and transform the treadmill into your own personal runway. You might just find yourself strutting your fears away in the process. 

Mollie Naugle

South Carolina '26

Mollie is a member of Her Campus editorial team and sophomore journalism major at the University of South Carolina. She writes for the Arts and Culture section of The Daily Gamecock, mentors Honors students as part of the Honors Peer Mentor Program, and is a member of Zeta Phi Eta communications fraternity. Outside of the classroom and her extracurriculars, Mollie can be found reading, listening to music (especially Taylor Swift), spending time outside on campus, hanging out with her friends and family, cheering for her favorite Philly sports teams, and trying new things in the Columbia area.