You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but want to be like the stars, but are the products worth it? In Elite Daily's series, I Tried, we put it all to the test. We're trying those products as well as celebrities' health and wellness tips, recipes, and life hacks. We'll do the leg work and tell you what living like your fave star is really like.
I was 19 years old when I signed up for my very first gym membership. Walking out of the fitness center with a tiny, plastic ID card looped around my key ring, I looked down at the yellow receipt in my hand and thought, “Ah, this is it, this is when I start getting healthy.” I’ll admit, I've come a long way since then, and one important lesson I've learned is that you definitely don’t need to belong to a gym to get your body moving. To prove it, I tried Khloé Kardashian’s DB Method workout from the comfort of my living room for a week.
If you couldn’t tell from her Instagram, Khloé Kardashian keeps a ton of gym equipment in her home so she can squeeze in customizable workouts whenever her schedule allows for it. Back in January of 2017, when all of those new-year-new-you resolutions were in full swing, Khloé uploaded a blog post to her (now-defunct) website that was all about creating an at-home gym to prove to her followers you don’t need clunky treadmills or a rack full of weights to get active.
“There’s a ton of small, relatively inexpensive equipment you can buy to create your own home gym,” she wrote in the post. “I keep most of mine in my garage!”
From there, Khloé went on to list a few of her sweat-sesh staples, one of them being The DB Method machine, which she described as a “booty sculptor that you can easily fold up and store out of sight.”
The DB Method appeared in the Kardashian world again in 2019, when Kim K gifted machines to her mom and each of her sisters. (It’s unclear if this means Khloé now has two machines, but considering her vast collection of workout equipment, it wouldn’t be that surprising if she did.)
The machine (which retails for $229) looks like something you’d find in a fancy gym, but knowing I could use it without leaving home — and without it taking up too much space in my closet-sized apartment — had me hype. I had to try it for myself.
What is The DB Method?
My experiment began with a quick tutorial from none other than The DB Method founder herself, Erika Rayman. I knew going into this process that The DB Method could work wonders for my booty (if it worked for Khloé K, it could work for me, right?), but where did the idea even come from for this contraption? According to Rayman, The DB Method was born after a personal trainer taught her how to isolate her glutes.
"Using the [glute] techniques he taught me, I noticed a huge difference — and it changed my body and my workouts forever," Rayman tells Elite Daily. "I switched jobs, and my schedule made it difficult for me to continue with my trainer, but I couldn’t stop thinking that someone should build a device to use at home to mimic what I did with my trainer... and so that someone became me."
Typically, when I commit to a fitness-related experiment like this, I’ll search around the web for reviews, watch video tutorials, and jump into the workout from there. This time around, though, my experience was much more hands-on, as Rayman actually drove all the way from New York City to my New Jersey apartment on a Sunday afternoon to hand-deliver the equipment herself. She arrived at my doorstep with the folded-up DB Method Machine casually strung over her shoulder like a backpack (immediately proving it is, in fact, compact). I invited her in, and we set up our little DB Method workout studio right in my living room.
You know those blow-up bouncy houses that look small, until they’re inflated to full size in a matter of seconds? That’s basically the concept behind The DB Method Machine’s build. It's designed to be easily compact, so when you’re done, all you have to do is fold the device down and store it in a closet, slip it under your bed, or otherwise keep it out of the way.
Once the machine was all set up, Rayman adjusted the seat to match my height and proportions. From there, she showed me how to straddle the seat guide bar, how to position my feet on the foot ramps, and the correct posture to hold when squatting. Her tutorial only took about 10 minutes tops, and when she was done, I was more than eager to hop on and try it out for real.
Workout 1: The Founder Fave
Once you purchase The DB Method Machine, there are two workout tutorial videos available online you can follow along with for free: The Founder Fave and The DB Cardio Sculpt. Because I was brand-new to the workout, Rayman suggested I stick to The Founder Fave to get my bearings, as Cardio Sculpt is a little more advanced.
The best way I can describe The Founder Fave is that it’s basically a five-minute workout made up of squatting intervals. The first minute is considered your warm-up, during which you perform “high zone” pulses, pushing through the heels, focusing on the glutes, and trying your best not to let the machine hit the highest point at the top for resistance. The second minute focuses on mid- to high-zone pulses, forcing you to dip a little lower into your squat. Minute three has you drop it real low to perform full-range squats, and then the fourth and fifth minutes are where you really feel a burn, because they’re comprised of subtle, yet challenging low-zone and mid-zone pulses.
The entire five minutes counts as one round, and Rayman instructed me to do a total of three rounds in a single workout session. It kind of felt like I was performing 15 minutes of Tabata squats, which consist of fast-paced, time-measured intervals that focus on strengthening your lower body. I was definitely feeling a bit of fatigue in my legs and upper thighs at the end of each workout, but TBH, I wasn’t getting that intense glute stimulation I was expecting. I tried adjusting my seat a few times, and I watched the “Tips On Form” clip over and over again to make sure my posture was correct, but despite my best efforts, my booty just wasn’t feeling the burn.
Workout 2: The DB Cardio Sculpt
Even though The DB Method machine is new to me, I'm very used to high-intensity exercise, so when I still wasn't feeling much after four days of the beginner workout, I decided I should give The DB Cardio Sculpt a shot. If it turned out to be too much for me, I thought, I could always go back to The Founder Fave for the remainder of my experiment.
From the second the instructions were given for the first interval of the workout, I knew I’d found the perfect fit for me. Unlike The Founder Fave, in which every movement was meticulous and slow so that you could really feel your muscles working, The Cardio Sculpt picked up the pace and had me working up a sweat in no time.
I definitely agree with Rayman that starting with The Founder Fave until you’re comfortable with the machine is a good idea because, even for someone like me who does a lot of intense exercise, Cardio Sculpt is a serious challenge. One of the most difficult aspects is when it requires you to let go of the handlebars and push down on the seat without any assistance beyond your own body weight. It's also more challenging in terms of your footing when, halfway through the workout, you're instructed to turn your heels outward for a full plié squat. That said, these extra challenges made me feel like I was getting the tough workout I wanted — and boy, did I feel the results.
When it comes to working out, whether you're at home, in a gym, or at a studio, the key really is to find what works best for you. For me, The DB Method was a fun challenge, and I especially found my stride with the more advanced moves in The DB Cardio Sculpt routine. I may not have a full range of exercise gear at home, but at least with one machine, I can give my butt a workout just like Koko.
Erika Rayman, founder of The DB Method
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