Updated August 28, 2022.
Well, the unthinkable finally happened… Our gym across the street closed! My husband and I were bummed, but honestly, we did it ourselves during quarantine, and we can do it again–home workouts are possible. We have a very small gym at our condo, but it’s very basic, and let’s be real, I get bored. So I need to be able to change it up.
COVID gave us a lot of no good, but one of the great things it did was force people to think outside the box, especially in the fitness industry. New apps are available, and existing apps have upped their game. I gave the Katie Austin app a try with a FREE 7-day trial, so if you’re considering trying it out yourself, read this first!
This post is not sponsored, and I did not receive payment or freebies in exchange for this post. I did take advantage of the 7-day free trial, but that is available to everyone!
Why Katie Austin?
Katie is a fitness personality in her own right, but you also may have heard of her famous mom, Denise Austin! Because Katie literally grew up alongside her mom’s fitness business, she’s no newbie to this game. Like her mom, she focuses on toning, rather than bulking up, so you only need light weights (2-10 lbs.), and maybe an exercise band or light kettlebell. Many of the exercises she includes in her workouts depend only on your own bodyweight!
Another reason I started following Katie on Instagram @katieaustin is that she posts snippets of her workouts there. I liked that I could try out her style of workouts to see if they worked for me. Because I already knew what I was getting into, I was interested to see how the app would add to my own workout and overall health regime. Note: She sometimes swears in her videos and a few of the titles also have swear words in them. If that bothers you, this may sway your choice of whether or not to sign up for the app on a regular basis.
Find out more on the KatieAustin.tv website.
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How the App Works
Every fitness apps has different features, different pros, and different cons! It’s helpful to have a sneak peek first.
Follow Along Workouts
Katie has a great weekly system going. She puts together a plan for every day of the week, including rest and cardio days. Most daily plans contain two follow-along videos that take about 30 mintes combined (usually a little less). You don’t even have to make any decisions, just press play! (Perfect for jet lagged travelers or those who need to workout before coffee.) You can also choose from over 150 videos if you want something else, which is great for those of us who like to go rogue!
One thing I appreciate about Katie’s workouts is how easy they are to modify to your needs. Her exercises can be done with lighter or heavier weights, or as lower-impact or higher-impact moves. You can even start by doing the workouts without weights if you’re not sure what weight you need.
I usually like to do my own thing when it comes to food, not because I’m picky, but because I like to be adventurous! But since the recipes are included, I figured I’d give some a shot. Her recipes are easy to follow, but I found that some of them had a lot of ingredients (I prefer easy-peasy and semi-homemade). She uses a lot of veggies, which I’m sure we could all probably benefit from a little encouragement to use more often!
I did appreciate, however, that she gives plenty of ideas to change up the recipes and use what you have on-hand. If you don’t have the veggies she suggests, you can easily substitute almost any others. Also, each recipe makes enough for two to six reasonable servings, so you can share or save some for later. The only challenge I found is that some of her recipes don’t include as much protein as I like, but I found plenty of ways to add some in when needed. Everything I tried was delicious and pretty easy to make. Here are some of the recipes tried and modifications I made for my own nutritional needs and preferences:
- Perfect Oatmeal: Switched out her almond milk for my 1% milk.
- Egg Salad: Switched her mayo for my yogurt to put in more protein; Also used diced veggie hash in place of celery stalks and dill.
- Chicken Pesto Spaghetti Squash: Replaced heavy cream, which I didn’t have, with milk, which I had in my fridge; Also used pasta instead of spaghetti squash.
- Southwest Fall Salad: Used pan-fried salmon instead of breaded chicken; Also used avocado instead of cheddar cheese because that’s what I had on-hand.
- Tomato, Mozzarella, and Avocado Salad: Added chicken for extra protein.
- Best Breakfast Scramble: Replaced her veggie suggestions with what I had in my fridge, and used leftover chicken instead of sausage.
- Pesto Eggs and Avocado Toast: Replaced the feta with Havarti cheese.
It really is easy to use her principles for nutrient-dense eating with what you have on hand, or your personal preferences!
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Why Travelers Will Love the App
Her workouts are based around being able to workout anywhere, for any fitness level. Her target audience started out with college girls, but it’s grown to include career women, busy entrepreneurs, and travelers like you and me! I like that all her workouts can be done in a small space, like a dorm room, apartment, condo, or even outside on my patio.
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If you do choose to sign up for the Katie Austin app, you may want to have a few things on-hand. These are all relatively inexpensive, easy to find, and even if you don’t decide to keep using the app, you’ll be glad you have them for whatever workout plan you try next. I’ve linked some below!
*The links below are affiliate links with Amazon. When you click the links to shop with me, you’re supporting my small business at no additional cost to you!
These are, by far, my favorite type of travel equipment! They’re incredibly light, take up practically no space, and you can do any number of exercises with them, for every part of your body. This set comes with five different levels of resistance so you can move up as needed. Click the link to get yours!
I know you think three pound weights are like nothing, but just wait until you do a fine tuning workout! I have a set of three, five, eight, and ten pound dumbbells, and I switch as needed for each exercise. The set below is a great option to get your started. Do not underestimate those three-pound weights. Click the link to get yours!
You can use a single dumbbell for most kettlebell exercises, but not all. It’s handy to have one or two in a couple of different weights. The nice thing is that you only need one per weight, as opposed to dumbbells, which usually need to be purchased in twos. The pink one below can be adjusted to 5, 8, 9, or 12 pounds. Or, the orange handle can make any dumbbell function like a kettlebell, and it’s made in the USA! Click below to get yours!
Only a few of Katie’s follow along videos use a yoga ball, so this is entirely optional. You can use it many different ways in a variety of workouts on your own as well. I recommend the 55cm size. Click the link to get yours!
This is the one thing I recommend that you should absolutely get if you don’t already have one, especially if you have hard floors. You’ll use it pretty often, especially for ab exercises or anything that requires you to be on all fours, like “bird dogs” or “fire hydrants.” Click the link to get this one made in the USA!
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Workouts I Love
Katie has 160 follow along workouts for both intermediate and beginner fitness-seekers. There is plenty of variety, so you won’t get bored any time soon. Here are some of the ones I like best!
I love HIIT workouts! HIIT stands for High-intensity Interval Training. That means you’ll be active for 30-40 seconds, then rest for 15-20 seconds, and there will be a timer on the video so you know how much longer you’ll have to be doing each exercise. They’re quick, very effective, and because you’re always doing something different, the time absolutely flies by! Sometimes she uses weights or a band in her HIIT workouts, but most of the moves only use your bodyweight, so you can do them anywhere.
This is a fun way to get in some cardio and build up your confidence, too. I got into boxing at my gym a couple of years ago, so this is a great way for me to keep up with that. It’s also very different from running, cycling, or other typical types of cardio. It’s good to change things up!
I really like heavy lifting, and I won’t be giving it up any time soon, but in the past I have underestimated how helpful toning with lighter weights really is. Those smaller muscles support the big muscles, y’all! But don’t expect to come out of a toning workout completely dry–you will be working up more of a sweat than you think!
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Features I Wish the App Had
This app is great for a lot of reasons, but there are a few features I wish were available to make it even more user-friendly:
Ability to Save and Search Recipes
There were several recipes I wanted to try, but when I wanted to find them, I had to search through all the recipes in a given category (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks and Sweets). It would have been nice to save recipes to a list, and to be able to search by keyword. There were a few times when I wanted to search by an ingredient I had, or I knew there was a smoothie recipe I wanted to make, but I couldn’t remember which category it was in. It would have been nice to search for it by key word.
Note of Equipment Needed Each Day
I would have liked to know what equipment I needed for each day’s videos, if any, before I started watching them. This would be an easy thing to add on each day’s entry, where the total workout time is noted at the top.
More Advanced Workouts
While Katie’s workouts are fairly easy to modify as needed, it would have been nice to have more workouts to choose from in the “Advanced” category. There are almost twice as many “Beginner” workouts as there are “Advanced,” so I would have appreciated at least an equal number. App users will hopefully be gaining the strength and ability to do more challenging workouts the more they use it, so I think the app should encourage users to level up.
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Whichever plan you choose, you’ll have access to everything within the app, including recipes, follow-along workouts, and daily calendar so you don’t even have to make a decision about what to do!
7-Day FREE Trial
This is exactly what it sounds like! You can try out the app for seven days, and if you like it, you can choose a plan to keep it on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. You have access to absolutely everything the app has to offer its subscribers during your free trial.
If you want to give it a try just a little longer before you commit, you can go to a monthly plan. At $9.99 per month, it’s one of the more affordable fitness apps out there.
This is a nice option that not ever fitness app offers. You can re-evaluate every three months. Many require you to choose between a monthly or annual plan, but Katie’s offers a bit of a discount over the monthly option if you choose the quarterly plan.
The yearly plan offers the best bargain. If you can commit to a full year, you’ll save up to $19.89, and you don’t have to worry about keeping up with payments, as you’ll be billed just once per year.
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*Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means that when you click the links to shop with me, you’re supporting my small business at no additional cost to you!
Want more? check out my Health and Wellness Page for more about working out and staying healthy on your travels!
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