i first found out about kayla itsines – fitness guru and instagram goddess – when i was in grad school and getting larger than life. no, not in a Backstreet Boys kind of way, but in the sense that when i told my sister i felt “large and in charge” – she said, “well, at least you’re in charge.” awesome.
anyway, i was desperate for a cure. and my friend kim told me about her new obsession, the bikini body guide by some australian chick. now, this was back in 2014, so the “sweat with kayla” app was still just a fragment of the BBG empire’s imagination. so you had to download and print the BBG PDFs, that’s right – paper documents (!!!!!). you also had to pay to download those packets and i was too poor – so i found the free 1 week trial workout plan and just did it on repeat. looking back and now understanding that the workouts build in complexity, i realize this cheapskate hack may be why i didn’t see the earthshattering results – a six pack chiseled from stone – that i was hoping for. you get what you pay for, I guess, and in that case that was a lot of before pictures… not so many “after”s.
flash forward to present day. i’m not in grad school, but i am in a stressful job. although i maintain the fact that my stomach fat is separated into six small pudges somewhat resembling a six pack of flubber, for some reason this does not have the same visual appeal as when those segments are muscle. hmm. i’ve been doing ClassPass for over a year, but turns out you have to take the classes that actually make you break a sweat to get any fitter. my favorite classes were the yoga with 30 mins of savassanna and the barre ones where you lay on your mat squeezing a squishy ball between your thighs. needless to say – i wasn’t having the Khloe Kardashian transformation of my dreams. #RevengeBody
so, i decided to revisit kayla. sure, I hadn’t become one of her insta-testimonials last time, but that was before the app. i mean, all things are better with an app, right? DoorDash > take-out, Snapchat > human interaction, WebMD > a real doctor. you get it.
the app is called “Sweat” instead of bikini body guide because supposedly some people took offense to the implication that you need to be fit to wear a bikini. thanks to the new high-wasited and one piece swimwear trends – oh, and like, feminism and the #BodyPositivity movement – we all know that’s so not true anymore.
so I’m on my third week, and although i have developed a concerningly large fupa, i cant blame Kayla. they say diet is 90% of your body makeup and working out is only 10%, so maybe my eat-all-the-things meal plan is to blame here, not the Aussie princess who’s more ripped than my 2006 abercrombie jeans.
but I like the app, I do! i wake up at 6:15 (ok, 6:30. well, 6:45), enjoy the sunrise, then sweat my face off in the apartment complex gym alongside this really attractive couple that is literally swolemate goals. but this isn’t about them. here’s the breakdown of the app:
pro: the app is awesome, period. it counts everything down for you, has video demos of all the moves, pretty colors, well-designed, and very inspiring.
con: seeing Kayla do lunges and burpees in the example videos in her tiny sports bra and even tiner shorts can be a little depressing when you personally cant get off the mat after burbee number 2 (okay, 1).
pro: the total workout takes like 30 minutes. so I can sleep in, stumble down to the gym, and be back up in my shower before i even fully open my eyes.
con: one one day there is a jump roping segment. now I don’t know about you, but hopping up and down repeatedly is not ideal for those of us with A) larger breasts and B) the classic workout-indiced flatulence. note- turn your music down so you can hear yourself farting, if necessary. there’s nothing worse than thinking everyone is staring at you for your Ronda Rousey like workout when really youre unknowingly gassin’ out the ABCs.
pro: you can listen to your own music on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Napster (lol) whatever while having the app open. “Today’s Top Hits” on Spotify – here I come.
con: some of the moves are not ideal for keeping your earbuds securely in place. again with the burpees. wireless earbuds are a must. let me tell you, nothing kills the vibe more than the earbuds flailing around. i am obsessed with YURbuds – no, they’re not beats by Dre so they won’t up your street cred slash they also don’t make you look like a huge douche. sorry, Dre.
pro: the Kayla family is a bit of a cult. in a good way, like the cults where they don’t hurt you and you make daisy chains and drink kombucha. whenever I’m feeling down i just look at the girl across from me in the gym and see that she is ALSO a FOK (Follower of Kayla) and all is well. and there’s no better inspo than the #SweatWithKayla before and after pics on Instagram. except maybe rewarding yourself with some HalpTop at the end of a resistance session.
Sweat it out, baby.