Photo by Matthew Wiebe
I was never really much of an an athlete when I was younger and it was only after I graduated university that I started to embrace fitness. I started with running, then moved on weights, amongst many, many other activities. I’ve never really been one for team sports though – I’m a bit too competitive and tend to embarrass myself with my overenthusiastic cheering and geeing up of my team.
I still workout regularly, but I need variety in my workouts. Doing the same type of workout for too long bores me and I find it difficult to motivate myself to carry on.
I’ve been following Kayla Itsines on Instagram ever since reading a profile of her in the Sunday Times Style magazine. I’ve been fascinated by not only the transformations she posts, but also the devotion of the ladies that use her guides. The hashtags are numerous (#deathbykayla, #thekaylamovement, #bbgsisters, #bbgover30, etc) and when you scroll through them, it’s amazing to read the effect her workouts have had on her followers and how supportive everyone is of each other. It’s really motivating.
After hitting a plateau with my kettlebell practice, I finally took the plunge and downloaded Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide 1.0 when I got back from Jakarta in August. Cheesy name; amazing & gruelling workout. When I started the guide, I fancied myself in fairly good shape, as I had been doing lots of walking, carrying my 29 pound toddler for extended periods (#momarms), running and doing the Blogilates workouts when I had the chance.
Honestly, Kayla’s workouts are in another league. She splits her BBG 1.0 guide into 4 weeks of pre-training and 12 weeks of training. After doing the pre-training Week 1 Legs and Cardio workout, I was walking like a cowboy at work the next day!
I’ve now progressed to week 6 and I love it. The workouts are getting progressively harder, but I’m getting progressively stronger. J’s naptime is my time to workout and I’ve become quite jealous with this time. Call me obsessed, but it’s one of the few times I have to myself and it’s nice to know that I’m doing something positive with this time. And there’s enough variation in the workouts that I’m not getting bored.
My only bug bear with the guides is the number of adaptations and equipment that are required if you need to do them at home. I cancelled my gym membership in January as I was finding that it was easier for me to grab a quick 30 minutes to exercise during little J’s nap, rather than trying to find time to schlep to the gym a few times a week. I already have a medicine ball and kettlebells, but I’ve had to get creative and use my stairs for the knee-ups and weighted steps and a little bench for the decline push-ups. Here’s a nice guide to how you can use furniture, stairs and other items at home to work out with.
Have you done Kayla’s guides? What has your experience been?