BEHIND THE SCENES
Meet the Sweat trainers
SWEAT: Kayla Itsines Fitness
#1 Workout App For Women
The first thing you’ll notice upon meeting the Sweat fitness trainers – Kayla, Kelsey and Sjana – is how genuinely warm and friendly they are. The second thing? They’re infectiously passionate about what they do.
Sweat is a global platform where women help one another make positive health and fitness gains. It’s designed for everyone, no matter how fit you are (or aren’t), and it’s accessible wherever you go, through your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
We spoke to each of the trainers about how they got started, and the experiences that have tailored their fitness programmes.
Kayla Itsines, author of The Bikini Body Guide (BBG)
Based in Adelaide, Australia, Itsines became a fitness star at the age of 22, when her Bikini Body Guide ebook went viral. But she emphasises that ‘bikini body’ is less about achieving a certain physique than helping all women feel strong, healthy and confident about their bodies, whatever shape and size they may be.
“In 2009, when I got my personal-training certificate, I’d turn on the TV and see ‘shred this’, ‘diet down’, ‘lose 20 pounds’ – it was constant ads for machines that supposedly guaranteed abs but often achieved nothing,” Itsines says.
Inspired to offer an alternative, she and her fiancé, Tobi Pearce, created the BBG plan, based on the approach athletes take to train and fuel their bodies. It entails 28 minutes of high-intensity exercises three times a week – a great option for anyone looking to get fit in a hurry.
Sjana Elise Earp, Body and Mind (BAM) yoga trainer
For Sjana Elise Earp, yoga’s benefits go way beyond the physical. “It’s good for the soul!” she says. “Through connecting with your breath, you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms your mind.”
Although Earp is a bright and energetic young woman, she wasn’t always that way, she says. As a teen she suffered from severe depression, and she credits yoga with helping her overcome the illness: “Yoga helped me to feel happy again.”
Aspiring yogis shouldn’t feel intimidated by her programme, she says, but seasoned practitioners shouldn’t assume it’ll be too easy either. The classes “progress with you and become more challenging as you strengthen”.
Kelsey Wells, SELF postpregnancy workout trainer
Kelsey Wells tailor-made her sensible fitness plan for new mums. “It’s really personal because postpartum is where my own fitness journey started,” Wells explains.
After giving birth to her son three years ago, Wells found herself overcome with hormone-fuelled anxiety. Gentle exercise and physical activity were ultimately what brought back her strength and self-assurance. She created SELF to share the tools she’s learnt along the way.
Her 24-week plan starts from six weeks postpartum. The half-hour workouts target postural alignment, core strength and pelvic-floor strength, which are often compromised during pregnancy. Just be sure to get your doctor’s approval to start exercise before you begin.
“Your body goes through a lot of changes during a pregnancy and delivery,” says Wells, “so it’s really important to modify exercises and heal your body as you begin fitness training."