(Warning: this is a long post)
Last summer, I started Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body guide (BBG). I did about 4 weeks, and then things got really crazy with moving and going back and forth, and my fitness really took a nose dive.
I promised myself that once we got moved in and (a little bit) settled, I would go back to working out. And I did. I started the Bikini Body Guide back and did 11 weeks (and one day) of it. I was really seeing results, and then I got bronchitis for 3 weeks and was unable to do anything at all (my doctor advised me at one point to not do anything that involved moving or breathing, I kid you not).
So, now that I am better, I am starting over with week 1. I am counting this as round 2, even though I didn’t finish the final week. After being out for a while and still not being quite 100%, I am worried that the insane intensity of week 12 might kill me. So I would rather be safe and stay well then sorry and either hurt myself or get sick again.
With that being said, since I did pretty much complete it (I was planning on starting over at week 1 when I finished anyway), I thought I would recap my experience, give some feedback and then set some fitness goals for the upcoming 12 weeks and beyond.
How It Works:
There is now an app, but I like the printed guide. There are 4 weeks of pre-trainings and then 12 weeks of the program. You have 3 set BBG workouts a week. The workouts are set up as 2 circuits, 4 exercises in each circuit. You do each circuit for 7 minutes, then do the second one. Then repeat. So you are exercising for 28 minutes (plus the breaks in between). You are supposed to rest for like 1 minute, mine are normally more like 3 minutes. (Confession- when I am working out, I usually have dinner going because I like to workout in the evenings, so I generally have to check on things in between circuits).
The other days are LISS – low intensity cardio sessions – for 35 – 45 minutes, 3 days a week. Then one day of rest / stretching.
One big thing about the program is that you take transformation pictures every few weeks, so you are focusing on how you look and feel, rather than the scale, which I really love. I try not to weigh myself because I can easily get obsessed with the numbers.
What to Expect:
It is hard. It is really really hard. If you aren’t doing any sort of physical activity, this isn’t the way to start. You need to start by doing something less intense. Walking is a good way to start.
When you do start, I would do the pre-training and see how it goes. If you can only do one round and you do pre-training for 8 weeks or 10 weeks or whatever, that is better than nothing. I tried really really hard not to beat myself up about either not doing as many of the exercises as I wanted, or it nearly killing me. I did the best that I could, and that is what I keep reminding myself.
It is also really awesome. When you realize you can suddenly do 10 burpees without stopping, or that you did just a little bit better than the last week, it is such a great feeling.
You will probably have to modify. I do. I still do push ups on my knees. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength. But I have high hopes that some day I will be able to do real push ups! Also, I have to substitute a few of the exercises that require jumping side to side because it tweaks my knees. And that is OK. You have to follow your body and do what is right.
Why I Love It:
First of all, I love having some structure but also some flexibility. I love having the structure of the workouts set out for me, and a general plan of what I need to do. I make sure to get my BBG workouts in but I can also add things like yoga, running, HIIT, etc. I like to switch things up or I get bored. But the workouts are different each week, so you don’t get bored with those.
I love that you don’t need a gym. I don’t belong to a gym. I work out at home. The only equipment you really need are a jump rump, some hand weights and a mat (I strongly suggest a heavy duty fitness mat and not just a yoga mat, as I have torn 2 yoga mats up during workouts). It is suggested you have a flat bench, but I use my stairs for step up stuff and the ground for laying down stuff.
I love Kayla. Her instagram is amazing. She posts incredible transformation posts of people doing the BBG program, workout pictures of herself, inspirational quotes, food pictures. She is all about doing what feels good to you and encouraging everyone to love themselves. Plus she is all about being strong and healthy not skinny.
I also love the community. Everyone posts transformation pictures (note – I am taking my pictures, but I haven’t posted them anywhere. I am not that brave yet). Everyone comments on each other’s posts and tell them how great they are doing. Everyone is so encouraging and uplifting! Yes there are mean trolls out there who say mean things (it is 2016 and for some reason people think it is OK to be mean to people on the internet… do no get me started), but for the most part everyone is really encouraging.
So for round one, I did my BBG workouts every week. I didn’t have a treadmill when I started, and it was horribly hot outside, so I was having to do other things for cardio, which was hard – I did a lot of jump roping. I have an indoor cardio routine that I plan on sharing at some point that is a good 20 – 25 minute workout that only requires a jump rope.
Then my parents gave me their treadmill, so I was able to start running, which is something I really love. I hate to run on the treadmill but it is better than running in the 105 degree heat. Running is actually more intense than the program suggests, (my heart rate is more like 170 instead of about 133 which would be about 70% max heart rate), but I like to run so I do it. So I aimed at running 2.5 miles 2 days a week.
We also have been walking our dogs for about 45 minutes Saturdays and Sundays, which my heart rate is a little lower than the 133, more like 115. However, I have decided that they average out.
Every so often I would do a little yoga, but I haven’t been practicing like I need to be. I also didn’t really do much HIIT, which is something that is suggested possibly adding the last 3 weeks of the program.
I also did a weighted arm workout once a week. Nothing too fancy, but I would do a set of 10 of several exercises, then 100 jump ropes. Repeat 3 times (I actually start with the jump rope, so it ends up being 4 sets of 100 jump ropes, and 3 sets of 10 arm weigh exercises).
This next round, I am adding more workouts. I am going to be doing the 3 days a week BBG workouts. My goals for this are to do better than I did the last time. I didn’t keep track or anything, but I just plan on doing better than last time.
I am also going to aim to run an extra day. So I want to run 3 days a week, and get up to 3 miles. Ideally, one run will be on the weekend outside and a longer run (4 – 5 miles). I am not there yet, but that is the goal.
I also want to add yoga in, preferably 2 times a week. There aren’t yoga studios where we live, and I don’t know that I can get to a studio, so this will mostly be home based yoga practice. I am thinking about sharing some yoga flows and practices here, if you are interested in that. I am going to aim for 2 30 minute practices a week.
HIIT and TRX … I want to start incorporating some HIIT into my weekly workouts, even if it is just 1 or 2 times a week. The good thing is HIIT is generally short, so it doesn’t take too long. I would also like to try adding some TRX in sometime.
Also want to bump up the arm weights to 2 x a week. Maybe add a few more exercises.
And of course continue our dog walks.
Since fitness is really important to me, I am planning on sharing more of that here. I am thinking either sharing my weekly workout recaps or maybe every other week?
Would you be interested in hearing more about my weekly fitness? And sharing some workouts, etc?