Everyone knows the love and dedication we have for all things Bachelor Nation here at FLARE, we definitely don’t keep it a secret. So you can probably guess what our response was when we were invited to Kaitlyn Bristowe and her fiancé Shawn B.’s CitySTRONG workout: a not-so-casual “HELL YES!”
For those of you who *don’t* know what CitySTRONG is (shame on you); it’s a group workout led by The Bachelorette’s mega-hottie Shawn Booth—whom I have a major crush on—and his fitness trainer pal Erin Oprea—who just happens to be Carrie Underwood’s personal trainer, NBD or anything. The workout also features Kaitlyn Bristowe as the wine-drinking hype girl, and I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen anything like that at any other fitness class I’ve tried.
The idea for CitySTRONG came about last year when Shawn and Erin decided to team up and create a group workout they could take to cities across the country and show people fitness actually *can* be fun—who knew? And while tickets for the high-energy workout might be a bit pricier than your average Tuesday night spin class—General Admission is $51 and VIP Meet & Greet tickets are $97—a portion of proceeds go to CreatiVets, an organization that helps veterans coping with PTSD find some peace through writing music.
K, so a workout that’s actually fun, for a good cause AND includes Shawn B. in Spandex? Sign me up!
I was lucky enough to chat with the CitySTRONG team before the class (no way I could be looking all sweaty for Shawn), and the first thing I asked was, “How hard is this workout going to be?” TBH, I was nervous it was going to be really intense.
A few weeks ago, I had heard Evan Bass on Kaitlyn’s podcast talking about doing one of Shawn’s boot camps and he said he legit threw up THREE times during the class because it was so hard. So I straight-up asked Shawn, “Am I going to throw up?” He laughed and assured me that no, the CitySTRONG workout is *not* that intense, but it’s still a hell of a workout. “The workout can be hard, or it can be easy,” Erin added. “It’s for everybody.”
Shawn was right, I didn’t throw up (thank god), but it *was*—just like he said—one hell of a workout.
It was a full hour, and minus the few times I stopped to take a Snapchat or Instagram story (I promise I wasn’t the only one doing it), I was fully engaged the entire time. And let me tell you; four days later, I’m still sore.
It was obvious from watching Shawn B. work out on stage *insert heart eye emoji* that he knows what he’s doing—and I would expect nothing less from a newly-crowned Ironman. From the jumping lunges, push-ups and curtsy squats, I was definitely feeling the burn, and as I looked around the Fort York Garrison Common in Toronto—where the event was held—so were the 200-something other girls (and a few dragged-along boyfriends) in attendance. Phew, at least I wasn’t alone.
The Tabata-style workout was my fave. And if you don’t know what a Tabata workout is, don’t worry I didn’t either. It’s four minutes of high-intensity training, alternating between 20 seconds of max training followed by a 10-second rest for a total for eight rounds. The exercises that Shawn and Erin had us do during this portion of the workout were a mix of jumping lunges and sumo squats, and if you think it sounds like hell, it is! But I also kind of loved it because it’s basically the fitness version of ripping off the Band-Aid—over before you know it. Plus, according to Erin, it’s a fan-fave among her clients. So if Carrie Underwood can do it, we can too!
While I truly did enjoy the exercises woven into the workout—minus the push-ups because honestly who actually likes those?—it was the overall vibe that really made it worthwhile (and worth the uppity price tag).
Shawn was awesome. He was full of energy and would even run into the crowd to work out beside groups of screaming fangirls. (If I’m being honest I was a little jealous of the girls lucky enough to get a close up of his v. tight behind). Plus, having hottie Shawn B. lead your workout is motivation enough, amiright?
But believe it or not, it was actually Erin who I found myself watching most of the time. She was big on the pep talk—you know the “keep going you’re almost there” and “your legs are supposed to be burning right now”—and she would dance around on stage in between reps and constantly joke around with Kaitlyn and Shawn. I literally didn’t know it was even possible for one person to have that much energy. She made the workout fun just from being so passionate about it, and if I had Carrie Underwood’s salary, I’d defs hire her as my personal trainer.
And then, as if things weren’t already fun enough, add Kaitlyn to the mix—the person whose sole job is to drink wine and pump up the crowd—and it went from feeling like a workout to feeling like a party. “I’m up there on the microphone drinking my wine trying to make people laugh while they don’t realize they’re burning calories,” she tells me.
There were times I was having so much fun I legitimately forgot I was actually doing something good for my body. And considering that’s the overall goal of the workout, they’ve one hundo p succeeded. “We [wanted] this workout to be fun, we [didn’t] want it to be just like a million others,” Erin said. “We wanted it to have more of a party aspect and who else would we bring in than Kaitlyn… to let the party go on in the morning instead of the evening.”
And while I honestly thought I’d be jealous of Kaitlyn chilling on stage, drinking her wine while we busted our butts in the hot sun, I was totally content on my sweaty mat, burning calories and having fun at the same time. And for someone who dreads working out as much as I do, I honestly never thought that was possible.
Oh, and it ends with Bristowe doing a wine-chugging contest so there’s that to look forward to, too.
The overall consensus:
UH-MAZ-ING. I would definitely recommend this workout to any of my friends—Bachelor-obsessed or not. Unfortunately, they were only in Toronto for one day, but if they ever happen to come back our way, it’s a must-try.
And while I can now officially say I’ve met, talked to and worked out out with Shawn B., my biggest takeaway from the workout—something I feel people tend to forget—is that fun *can* be associated with fitness and more importantly, it should be.
Lightning Round with the CitySTRONG team!
What are some of your tips to get the most of your workout?
Erin: It’s all about fuelling your body beforehand. So make sure you’re well hydrated, eat right… because your body is like a car; if you put bad gasoline in your car, it’s not going to run. Same thing with your body if you fill it with junk food and alcohol, it doesn’t run as well as it should. If you fill your body the right way, it will make a huge difference in your workout. That’s hands-down the best thing you can do.
What are your favourite workout songs?
Erin: Nelly Radio on Pandora. It will change your world.
Shawn: I think that’s always one of our big disagreements: music [laughs]. We can never figure out what we want to walk out to, or what we want to put on stage.
So Kaitlyn, how much wine do you actually drink up there?
Kaitlyn: Well one time… [laughs]. One time I didn’t eat breakfast and drank a whole bottle in one hour.
Erin: But now my husband takes some of her wine.
Kaitlyn: Yeah between Erin’s husband and myself we get close to polishing a bottle.
Shawn, how often do you and Kaitlyn actually workout together?
Kaitlyn: Sometimes… I don’t particularly love it.
Shawn: Yeah, she doesn’t because she talks back to me when I tell her what to do, and I’m a personal trainer [laughs].
Kaitlyn: I like if he gives me a workout [plan], but I don’t like working out with him because we are into different things at the gym. I’m lost in a gym, and I need someone to tell me what to do, but I don’t necessarily love it when that person is my fiancé. So, sometimes [laughs]. Not very often.
What’s the biggest CitySTRONG crowd you’ve ever had?
Erin: Just over 600 in Chicago.
What’s your favourite part of the workout?
Erin: Tabatas! Lunges, squats. I love legs.
Shawn: My favourite part is meeting all the different people in different cities.
Kaitlyn: The chugging contest.
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