Bravo’s “Toned Up” Premieres!

January 3, 2014 · 22 comments

I know many of my Tone It Up readers watched and loved it, but I’m curious what non-TIU members thought of the premiere of Bravo’s new show Toned Up featuring my girls Katrina and Karena. You guys have asked what my relationship is with the gals in the past so here it is…

As most of you know, Katrina and I used to shoot videos for Diet.com starting in 2006. She was a trainer at the gym across the street from NESN (New England Sports Network), where I was working as production assistant. When I got the job at Diet.com, I still worked out there despite the location because my friend Josh got me a great a deal. Josh told Katrina what I was doing for Diet.com and asked if she would be interested in starring in a video. Kat and I met and started shooting videos together. This is literally the first video we shot together.

I am hungover and wearing a hideous/unflattering outfit. Shows you how many people I thought would see this. I produced all the videos and would tell Katrina what I wanted, cardio with bodyweight, playground, whatever and she would come up with the workouts. It was fun and we were having a blast. Then one day, Kat’s bf (now husband) suggested moving to California for his job. I was sad to lose my buddy but knew I’d get to see her plenty with my brother living out west too.

When I visited LA a few months later to shoot a video with Valerie Waters, I asked Katrina to help demo the exercises since I didn’t have a videographer and I’d man the camera.

On the drive home, she told me she met a girl that she was going to start shooting videos with. I knew she had researched branding extensively, bought a few URL’s and was filing paperwork with the city to officiate their company. I was surprised she was putting so much good faith in this girl she just met but quickly after meeting Karena, I knew why. On my next visit, all three of us shot a video. I, of course, am the frumpy one.

The rest is history and what you saw last night on television is what the girls really are like in person. I think they played up the ditzy card for the cameras but they are equally as positive, happy and quirky as Bravo portrayed them. I was working a little bit with the girls in helping promote the diet plan the past few years but am no longer affiliated, just still friends! We even shot a collab video with Cassey from Blogilates last February.

What I loved about the show was how at the end they actually were giving workout tips!!!! How many times do you watch the biggest loser and want to know what the interval workout they are doing on the treadmill is like!? The skinny dipper and dolphin were fun additions to the show I thought and original.

Katrina once told me to surround myself with positive, successful people who are driven. I’ve always remembered that quote as I found it to be grounding. Women often see themselves as competition towards one another. As my friend Bex of BexLife tweeted…

Instead of showing women bullying each other, Bravo was looking to showcase positive female relationships and how they don’t all have to be toxic.

I hope the show is a success because it not only is motivating women to get in shape, but it also demonstrates a side of friendship rarely seen in reality TV. It’s also hilarious. I flat out LOL’ed at the dark armpit fiasco. Today at Barry’s, after teaching in black sweatshirt, I had the same thing when I went to take class afterwards!

Next episode in on Thursday at 10:30 PM. What did you guys think of the show?

PS. I officially left Diet.com in March of 2013. During my reign as the sole producer and host, we earned over 110 million views! That number in addition to the views from SarahsFabChannel is included in my book press release – one amazon reviewer questioned where they came from. Another name you might know that used to shoot videos with me on Diet.com is Bethenny Frankel!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren January 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

The site was silly and entertaining, add it’s a bravo show. I wish the girls were less ditzy because it makes them seem dumb when really they make a lot of money and know how to do it. It’s cute to see their friendship. I’ll keep watching though!

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2 Sarah January 3, 2014 at 2:08 pm

I think it’s similar to the Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton ditzy stuff – the producers egg it on because it makes for good TV. As a fellow ditzy person, it’s easy to play it up and it seems to work on cam. I’m sure the rest will be a little more serious and dive into their biz smarts.

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3 Kate @ Coffee with Kate January 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I think they’re seriously hilarious together. Obviously it’s probably played up a little bit, but I don’t doubt they’re smart, dedicated young women. I’ve got to check out some of their workouts and videos because they look fabulous!

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4 Danielle @ LabelsAreForTinCans January 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for your honest review! Loved hearing the back story of your relationship with the girls. I live in Canada so have yet to watch the show! i’ll have to find it somewhere online.

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5 Eliza Shirazi January 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I really enjoyed the show and I LOVE that tweet by Bex! As a young entrepreneur, I find it so inspiring that digging deep into your passion and fearlessly going for it will get you far. Their spirit is great and they definitely play down the fact that they are geniuses with their branding, although their success says it all. Just like you, Sarah, I think it’s fun to watch, Katrina, a fellow Massachusetts girl pursuing her fitness/wellness dream! Their show encompasses empowerment, fun, strength, and togetherness, and that is something I cannot wait to watch every week. Thanks for this post, loved learning about your connection.

P.S. I need to come to one of your Barry’s classes in the city!

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6 Kim January 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I love the girls. Even if they do play up their ditziness, it comes off as being real and I love that about them. They make the workouts fun and challenging. They sure do make the workouts look easy. I’ve always struggled to do all the moves from last years challenges. They make it look so easy. What I love about them is that they are incredibly fit and toned without being bulky. I just want to be toned, so I know I can trust that their workouts really do work. I just have to clean up my eating a bit

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7 Janice January 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Love the idea of showcasing a healthy lifestyle (not sure that was actually what the pilot was though).
I have never heard of the girls before the show. Will probably not watch it again. Just thought it was too silly.

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8 Jess @ Blonde Ponytail January 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I had not followed TIU prior to the show, but was all about watching a fitness related show (and yes, I watch BL hoping they will show more of the workouts!). I have to say, I LOVED it! I am a new fan–Kat and Karena seem genuine and I would love to hang out with them in person. I never knew you were all connected like that!! So cool!!

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9 Melissa Gaines-Mow January 4, 2014 at 1:08 am

Yeah the ditzy part was a little much but everything on Bravo is, least it was positive. I will continue to watch to support women who are successful in the area I am in fitness/health/blogging. I love to see women make a business from the ground up!

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10 Candice January 16, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Where is your blog ?

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11 Bex January 4, 2014 at 11:30 am

Hey, there I am!! I JUST wrote something about you and women supporting women supporting women on my facebook page. Great minds… ! xoxo

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12 Lauren @ golaurengo January 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

Because I was already watching their videos, I felt like I was in with the cool kids…me and millions of other women, ha. Love the show!

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13 Stephanie January 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I missed the first episode because I forgot to set my DVR. Luckily, Bravo is replaying the episode tomorrow at 11:30am. I also made sure to set up a series recording so I do not miss any more! I love all things Tone It Up and can’t wait to watch the show!

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14 Chloe Baker January 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

Love the videos! First time on your site! Love it so far!

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15 Martha January 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Loved it!! Fun to watch. something fun, positive, with good friends on Bravo!! Loved the Dolphin and the surfer move? I will watch again and again!!

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16 Patty January 6, 2014 at 9:46 am

I have the first episode my DVR. Can’t wait to watch it!

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17 Ashley January 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I finally watched the first episode and I really liked it. I like that they talked about some of the moves and loved just hearing some of the business stuff – such as the even mess up and how they fixed it. Yes they are a little overboard but honestly it didn’t bother me. It had me laughing instead of being annoyed. I really liked it and after watching it was inspired to get up right then (10:30pm – I’m norm asleep by 9:30) and write a blog post. I can’t wait to see the rest of the series. Hope they do show more exercise moves though!
BTW, It’s very refreshing to see a tv show that doesn’t involve a ton of drama. We (the cowgirl community) just had a tv series released call Rodeo Girls on A&E and it is such a disappointment. The way the girls act is not how all rodeo girls act. The drama is over the top and ridiculous. It is awful that our lifestyle is being portrayed so negative. With that said, I think these girls are fantastic and are definitely great role models! :)

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18 Olena@iFOODreal January 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm

Holy smokes, it’s amazing where the girls took it. I always followed their website, they are a pleasure to look at.:) In addition, they are smart. Great niche – fitness show for women. Thank you for the behind-the-scenes story, Sarah! Look where Bethenny is today, and you! You are a group of amazing young women!

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19 Jay January 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

This is b far the worst Bravo program ever. The girls are so unnatural and pretentious acting its differ cult to watch, never again ,

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20 Mary January 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I have been following TIU for about a year now. I love their workouts and they really now how to brand and motivate. I did feel that Bravo made them both look too ditzy. I was actually turned off by Karena for two reasons: her behavior with Brian was so childish ( at bedtime – stop texting and let the man have alone time with his wife! ) and for peeing in the sand instead for walking all the way to the porta potties ( they didn’t have personal ones?). It’s one thing to be fun and goofy but I would think that being “beach babes”, they would not have even considered that… or at least turn off the camera before squatting! It was such a low class thing to do. I was very disappointed because I was a TIU believer. With all the young girls following them, that just is not role model behavior. I did not tune in for the next episode and have pulled back from the community because I can’t get past it. My loss not theirs… I am sure the show will be a big hit though with all their followers tuning in.

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21 Angie January 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Mary, i totally agree with you. I have been following them for years and loved them. I was so excited to watch the show, only to be somewhat urned off. It kind of felt like meeting your favorite celebrity and being disappointed. I think they really should have someone doing their PR because the show makes them look incredibly ditzy, when I’m sure they are a lot smarter. I was so surprised by Karena for the exact reasons you stated. My jaw dropped at the whole peeing in the sand thing. I also don’t get why she would even think that they would continue to live together after Kat and Brian got married. I’m hoping that is just create drama for the show because otherwise it really brings down my impression of her.

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22 Cleveland girl January 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

This show is horrible. I WAS so excited to watch because I am a personal trainer myself. These girls come across as complete morons. I think their only fans will be people who were familiar with the brand before the show premiered.

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