After a year on and off at the gym last year, I decided to get back into it properly and went on the hunt for a new program.
I landed on the Sweat app and specifically the Pwr program as it included weights based training which I enjoy. Over a year ago I did a series of reviews on Madalin Giogetta’s Body By MG e-book which was very popular, so I decided to do a Sweat app Pwr program review series!
The Sweat app is by Kayla Itsines, the founder of the very popular Bikini Body Guide (BBG). I did the original BBG around 5-6 years ago, it was fine, but not really what I enjoyed. It’s full of burpees which I strongly dislike!
The BBG empire has come a long way since the first e-book, the Sweat app has a variety of programs, BBG which is the original, BBG Stronger which has weights, Pwr, Pwr at Home, Pwr Post Pregnancy, Fierce, Build and Body and Mind. As I mentioned I chose the Pwr program.
The program consists of 3 strength workouts, 3 LISS cardio workouts, 2 recovery sessions and 1 challenge. That sounds like A LOT, but compared the Body By MG program it’s actually not.
The strength workouts are gym-based workouts of around 40 minutes, they consist of, chest and triceps, legs and abs and shoulders and back. Each session has supersets and pyramid sets, with a guided cool down at the end.
For my LISS cardio, I did 30 – 40 minute walks around my neighbourhood listening to my favourite podcast about murderers. Yes, I like murder podcasts.
The recovery sessions are around 20 minutes long and involve stretching and foam rolling. I usually did these the day after a strength session to help with muscle soreness. I have a foam roller at home so I did these in front of the TV.
The challenge is a short work out that is time-based, I’m not overly sure of the purpose of it, and whilst I did it them the first two weeks I skipped them after that. They are optional.
There are some pros and cons with the app, some of the best features are:
Guided cool down sessions – I am a classic rush through my stretches person so this forced me to cool down properly.
Lots of variety – there are so many programs to choose from and they go for weeks and weeks. This app can probably provide you with at least a year’s worth of workouts.
Yoga, stretching and foam rolling guides – a lot of apps or programs don’t offer these, but they’re super handy and great to help when you’re feeling sore.
The warm-up timer – When you start the warm-up timer at the beginning of the workout, if you then leave the app it seems to stop counting down. So you have to keep the app opener with the clock showing for the entire warm up. To get around this I simply selected the no warm-up option when I began the workout after I did my own warm up.
No way of recording weights – I usually write my weights in a notebook to keep track but the app has no way of doing this. However, in the suggestions, it seems that a lot of people are requesting this so perhaps it’ll change soon!
The meal plan – I didn’t use this section of the app because the suggestions are simply so unrealistic and I am a plain, sort of fussy eater who knows what she likes (and it’s not tomato and lentil bruschetta for breakfast or avocado and cottage cheese on rye for a snack). It seems like other users also feel this way, as it’s regularly mentioned in the forums a lot as not being followed.
Despite this, I am really enjoying the app and the program. I’ve just finished the Pwr beginner’s program, which wasn’t as easy as it seems. I’m glad I didn’t go straight into the actual program!
Started off with a walk on the Monday after work, then started with the chest and triceps session on Tuesday. Thursday was legs and abs and on Saturday I did the shoulders and back work out. I was slightly sore but enjoyed the workouts. The workouts are a perfect length for the morning, I need to get out by 6:45am in order to have time to get ready for work. I start around 5:45am and finish up by 6:30am and that includes warm up and cool down. Each workout has 2 supersets to begin with, then 3 pyramids and 2 more supersets to end.
Managed this week tick off all the gym sessions during the week which was ideal, as Saturday at the gyms is very crowded. The workouts changed this week, I do like a bit of variety because it keeps things interesting. I also managed to do another challenge at home on Sunday.
Workwise this week was crazy busy, I had to travel to do some site visits which meant an overnight in a hotel. Thankfully it had a gym, usually, I use work trips as an excuse to ditch the exercise routine. However, I decided to stop the excuses and make time to keep on track.
I managed to squeeze in a workout one afternoon and an early morning walk the next day. I did end up having a weight drop on my skin which, I will admit hurt A LOT and I still have the bruise 10 days later.
I did chest and tricep on the Monday, back and shoulders (at the hotel gym) on the Wednesday and legs and abs on Saturday. I was pretty tired that week, so I had to squeeze in my walks on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. This was the first week I didn’t do the challenge.
Week three was a repeat of week one, so it looks as though the program repeats every second week. This is how BBG was structured as well.
This week I stepped back up to the bar, literally. I used to always squat and deadlift using the bar, but when I started this program I wasn’t feeling strong enough. The leg workout day was Wednesday, I’m typing this on a Sunday and I have only just stopped feeling sore! However, I’m glad I moved back to doing the squats and deadlifts in the rack as I do enjoy the challenge of lifting heavier.
As I was away for the weekend I wanted to fit in all my gym workouts before Friday. I did them back to back Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I likely wouldn’t do again as it was a bit hard on the body!
Now that I have finished the beginner program, next week I will be moving to the actual Pwr program! I am excited but a little nervous! Next week is also another busy work week, we have our Event Management conference. I’m staying at a hotel which has a gym and a pool, so hopefully, that will keep me on track.
After four weeks I am feeling stronger, however, not much else has changed as I didn’t really push myself until the fourth week. I do plan on pushing myself more every week now!
I will do ongoing Sweat App Pwr Program Reviews, to keep you updated on my progress and thoughts.
The app does cost $20 a month, but you can get a free month using my code.
Download the app here.