Kayla Itsines is arguably the most influential trainer in the world right now. And now the online superstar from Down Under is expanding her Bikini Body Guide empire—which has inspired legions of loyal #BBG girls (4.3 million Instagram followers and counting) to get strong and fit—with her first-ever app, Sweat With Kayla.
Her fans swarm her Instagram page for inspiration, quick workouts, and seriously impressive before-and-after pics from the BBG community—and the Sweat With Kayla app aims to be their new home base, where you can access workouts, tools, meal plans, and advice.
Want a closer look at the app? We took Sweat With Kayla for a test spin to see what it’s all about.
“The vision for my Sweat With Kayla app is for it to be the ‘go-to’ training platform for women to become healthier, happier, and stronger—and also to be the home of health and fitness education,” Itsines tells us.
To that end, the app lays out everything for you day-by-day—meals and training routines. You choose your workout from resistance (the toughest), to LISS—that’s Kayla-speak for low-intensity steady state cardio, as well as rest, and active recovery like foam rolling and stretching. “I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty fun to see a confetti shower when you get through 28 minutes of brutal intervals,” says fitness buff and Birchbox editorial director, Mollie Chen, who’s no stranger to HIIT.
The workouts are as substantial as her Bikini Body Guide, a downloadable PDF that’s been Itsines’ main training product until now. Each 28-minute resistance workout includes two seven-minute circuits repeated twice. The moves aren’t complicated—straight-forward for beginners but challenging enough to get even advanced BBGers’ hearts pumping and muscles working. Think burpees, ab bicycles, mountain climbers, and squats with a medicine ball. Your goal? Complete the circuit as many times as possible in seven minutes before moving on to the next circuit. And seven minutes is totally manageable (we promise!) even if you do make your living room windows fog up.
“I downloaded it because I love having an all-in-one workout option I can do while I’m traveling, or on days when I’m not doing a class,” adds Chen. “I find the workouts thoughtfully designed, and both tough and efficient—great if you’re low on time.”
With workout equipment lists, detailed exercise instructions, not to mention a timer to keep you on task, Itsines great achievement here (that her PDF couldn’t quite address) it that it takes all the guesswork out of your gym time. It’s like having a personal coach to guide you and keep you accountable. It’ll even track how much water you drink each day and give you weekly grocery shopping lists.
And if you like to track your progress visually (guns out, abs out), the app does that too. Snap a photo and compare it side-by-side with your “before” photo, which if you use Instagram you know you can’t open it without seeing one from the the BBG community. So while these photos are for your eyes only, it goes without saying that you’re all set to share them with #kaylasarmy.
“I can see why there’s such a strong following and community,” says Chen. “The app makes it easy to track your workouts and share them with your friends or the Interwebs.”
And unlike the original Bikini Body Guide, the app has no end date. “Rather than only being a 12- or 24-week workout guide, it offers a lifetime of training,” Itsines says.
At $19.99 a month, it might be too big a fitness-budget line item for those already paying for boutique fitness classes and a high-end gym membership. “The app really is smart, but expensive if you’re doing other expensive things,” notes Chen.
But those who don’t have those expenses can amortize the cost of the app nicely using the latte equation: at $5 a week, the app’s so much cheaper than your daily $4 latte. (And maybe it’s time to switch that up anyway?) —Christine Yu
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