Niki Winston: For those of us who don’t know you, may you please introduce yourself.

Liv McIlkenny: Hi and hello! My name is Liv McIlkenny. I am born and raised in the city of Toronto. I am now a full time content creator and fitness entrepreneur. I am the founder of LIV SWEATY, formerly Liverbeans, and I love to meet new people, move, and get sweaty!

NW: How did you get into the fitness space? 

LM: Fitness and I go way back. Growing up I did competitive dance, and team sports, so movement every day has always been a part of my daily routine! I first fell in love with SoulCycle and cycling as a rider. I loved the way I felt in that dark room. The music, the lights, every one moving together as one to the beat gave me such a high and I knew right away teaching was something I wanted to do. There wasn’t a SoulCycle in Canada at the time so I rode whenever I was in the U.S. and at a few different studios in Toronto until finally Soul came to Canada. I got scouted to be an instructor and then headed to training in NYC and then back home to teach and grow the Canadian market! 

I worked hard at building my community; I became one of the top performing instructors, and my riders soon became my family. I loved everything about that dark room so much and that job really set the foundation for the success I have in the fitness industry today. Getting sweaty has always been a big part of my life because of the way it makes me feel good. Whether I have a long day, hard day, good day, or bad day, sweating it out is what gets me through. I am so happy that I have been able to use my love for exactly that feeling to inspire and motivate others to use fitness as their outlet as well! 

NW: It’s so clear that you’re both passionate and talented. What excites you the most about your job?

LM: I wake up every day ready to spread positive energy to those around me. The thought of having the opportunity to educate and motivate people to work hard, find the connection of a mind, body and soul workout, and love the skin they’re in excites me. I believe I create a space to do exactly that!

NW: You do create a space to do more than just that! I’ve known you for about five years now and you’ve grown a lot. Why did you start your company Liv Sweaty? 

LM: Back in March 2020, when we first went into lockdown, I started doing a 7 minute arm series (very similar to the small circuit we would do at SoulCycle) on my Instagram live every day at 1 pm to keep my community connected. Of course, we all thought we were just going to be locked down for 2 weeks so it was a fun, quick way to move together. That quickly grew into full workouts on Instagram, then full classes on zoom, then full park workouts in the summers! I started doing corporate classes and events for large brands and eventually quit SoulCycle to fully focus on my own building company. What was ‘Liverbeans’ during the pandemic grew into LIV SWEATY! I have since been doing zoom classes and working on growing my online and offline community. My main teaching style is a high-energy, rhythm-based workout party from start to finish! 

NW: I remember when you were doing Liverbeans. Your short series were the best breakup to a busy day and I always thought the name was hilarious and absolutely genius. For those of you who don’t know, Liv was using canned food as her weights. Hence Liverbeans! Can you talk to us a bit about your morning routine? 

LM: It’s something that took me some time to perfect but I love love love my morning routine and really do believe it sets my day up for success. I am an early riser; I wake up at 7 am every day. From there I order a coffee online, brush my teeth, have a big glass of water, which is so important, and then head out the door for a little walk to pick up my coffee. I like to get my body moving first thing in the morning to wake me up and start the day feeling good. When I get back from my walk I do my five-minute journal and then organize my tasks for the day. I typically work out after my day is organized and I know how it's mapped out. I’ll either go for a run or do a workout on my own! I also find it very helpful to set the tone in my apartment: blinds are all open so the sun can shine through, I have a lit candle beside my desk and I put on the fireplace app on my TV so the mood and vibe are just right!

NW: You talk a lot about balance. Can you explain why it’s so important? 

LM: I think balance is so important especially being in the fitness space. People tend to fixate a lot on working out and the diet that goes along with it and ignore the real joys in life that include taking rest days and eating food that makes you happy. You can have a margarita and dance with your friends and still wake up early in the morning and crush a workout. You can eat pasta and still be healthy. Balance is one of the most important things to practice in life. It can be challenging for some people but it's important to remind yourself that life is short and working hard and working out is important but so is enjoying all the other aspects of life.

NW: I fully agree and I think that balance is definitely unspoken of in the fitness industry. What advice do you have for people starting out on their fitness journey?

LM: I think the best advice I have is to find movement that feels good for you! There are so many different types of movement: group classes, running, sports, dance, to list a few. The options are endless but do what resonates with you and actually enjoy your workouts. Second big reminder is that every one started somewhere. It can be intimidating to walk into a class or gym but everyone shares the goal to sweat and feel good in their bodies and everyone has had a first day there. A quote I love is “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”

NW: Before we wrap up, what are your thoughts on manifestation and mindsets?

LM: I think both are essential. Having a positive mindset and saying things out loud is how you speak them into existence. Of course, you need to put in work behind things, but having a positive headspace and believing you are worthy of your goals and dreams is half the battle. It is part of my morning routine to write out the things I’m grateful for and what would make the day ahead amazing. I think writing those things down or saying them out loud gets me one step closer to making them happen!

NW: Thank you so much for your time Liv. I started taking your classes when I lived in Toronto and when you started teaching. There is truly no one in this industry with more love, compassion, and energy than you. You’re such an inspiration to everyone up and coming in the fitness industry and to all the young women out there! So excited to watch you continue to grow and take your talent even further. If you haven’t taken a LIV SWEATY class and do not follow her on Instagram, I urge you to do so! Where can we find you on socials and how can we sign up for your classes? 

LM: Come hang with me online @livmcilkenny on Instagram and TikTok and check out my online workouts and updates for IRL sweats at