Sunshine Squats X FTM.

February 4, 2016

Liz4Liz8liz5liz3Liz7Liz9Liz10Liz11It was POURING rain, if you couldn’t tell!!Liz12Liz13Liz14Liz15 copyPhotography by Corinne Waters

On Sam: Leggings and Jacket: Lululemon / Shirt: Albion / Boots: Sorel

On myself: Leggings: Nike / T-shirt and Jacket: Athleta / Sneakers: Adidas

Meet a friend of mine and member of the BBG (Bikini Body Guides) community, Sam Purnell. We met in college my sophomore year (Sam’s senior year). After graduation, Sam left cold and snowy Vermont and moved to warm and sunny Florida. Hence the “sunshine” in her Instagram name, “Sunshine.Squats.” Sam is a fitness fanatic! At age 23, she has found what she loves.

Now, I’m sure we would all love to know about Sam’s awesome fitness adventure! I was lucky enough to sit down with her over coffee/tea on a horribly rainy day for a mini interview! Here’s what I found out…

Where did the name “Sunshine Squats” come from?

S: It started as “Healthy Happy Sam” but that was too generic. I started brainstorming words based on location and exercise terms and it just stuck.

Who exactly is Kayla Itsines and what are her guides?

S: Kayla is a 24 year old Australian. She is a personal trainer for women. Her career started in Australia but now she’s changing lives around the world – including mine. She and her boyfriend, Tobi, started the Bikini Body Guide and recently, the Sweat with Kayla app. Together [Kayla & Tobi] are an amazing team. I had the pleasure of meeting both in NYC recently and they are two of the most genuine and real human beings I have ever met. It was one of the best days of my life and something I’ll cherish forever; being able to thank Kayla in person was a dream come true.

Her Bikini Body Guides and Sweat with Kayla app are 12 week programs (3 total workout guides, 1 nutritional guide, 1 foam rolling guide, and 1 recipe guide- all sold separately or inclusive in her app). They will change the way you look and feel. For every woman that’s going to be different. Some will lose fat, some will gain muscle, or both and it will all happen in different time. The workouts are laid out in a 4 week pattern. Every 4 weeks the intensity of the workouts goes up. It’s resistance and ply training 3 days a week, LISS (Low Intensity Steady State: i.e. walking, jog, biking, yoga) and eventually HIIT (Hit Intensity Interval Training: i.e. sprints, short bursts with small rests for a total of 20 minutes or less). They are doable from anywhere, gym or your home, even outside. Very little equipment is needed and it’s all modifiable if you don’t have any. If you stick with it – it will change your life in ways you never thought possible.

How did you get started with Kayla’s workouts?

S: Friends on Facebook started liking her page. I saw other people’s results and knew I wanted it!

What motivates you?

S: Myself. I see that I can accomplish so much and even though I get stronger, there are always way to change myself. Also, seeing the [BBG] community; there are so many badass women kicking butt every day – why can’t I?

When did you start to see results?

S: Week 8. In the first week I could tell it was going to be something good. The first 4 weeks went by slow but then I realized, one month just went by!

Where do you buy your workout clothes?

S: Lululemon, Nike, Albion, Aim’n, AdanolaUnder Armour.

When eating healthy, do you ever indulge in sweets?

S: ALL the time. I’m a firm believer in balance. Going cold turkey is setting up for failure. Everything in moderation!

What does a typical day look like for you?

S: I workout between 5 and 6AM, post to my Instagram account, work from 8:30 to 4:30, meal prep, babysit or meet with clients, then I’m usually in bed by 9PM! Occasionally my boyfriend and I go out for dinner or head to a movie. It’s nice to have some fun and indulge once in a while!

Do you workout 7 days a week?

S: No. Usually 6 days a week. Although I am not hard on myself when I miss a workout. Everyone’s lives can get busy and things don’t go as planned. It’s important to listen to your body and get your rest when needed. I’d also like to point out, not all my workouts are intense or lengthy. Sometimes I’m just walking at a high incline on the treadmill or partaking in a yoga class. I enjoy a mix of everything!

So you just got your personal training certification, right? Where do you see yourself going with that?

S: Yes! I am certified through NASM. I want to do private training and teach classes. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want women and men to know that someone believes in them even when they might not. I want them to believe in themselves. When you start to change your lifestyle in a physical way, it translates into many other aspects of your life – I want to help people make that change.

Any tips for those wanting to start Kayla’s workouts?

S: Just do it! Don’t be hard on yourself. Be proud of all accomplishments. And document progress!!! But it’s important to remember not to compare. It doesn’t matter what week you are on or how out of shape you may be when you start, no person is the same. No body is the same. The results will be life changing, but different for everyone.

What are the meet-ups like?

S: Amazing!!! Unreal! There are always new people, companies sponsor them, and there is just a great group of girls coming from many different backgrounds. It’s taken the BBG Community to a whole new level. Going from a social network platform to real life! That’s big! That’s exactly what makes this community so special.

SO with that being said… There is a meet-up THIS Sunday (February 7th) at PHIT gym in Stowe, Vermont.

ALL levels are welcome, whether you do BBG or not. Men are always welcome as well!!

512 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672

 Thank you Sam for all of the inspiring words! Be sure to check out Sam’s Instagram account (@sunshine.squats) and follow along on her fitness journey!


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About Me
Fashion blogger, Elizabeth has created First Thing Modern to show you, a great outfit can make you feel a whole lot better! Whether that be a casual day or fancy night out, FTM is here to provide women's fashion inspiration in your everyday life.