November 10, 2015

The Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

I have decided I'm going to try Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) once again. Who is Kayla Itsines?  Kayla is a personal trainer from Australia who creates and sells very popular fitness and nutrition guides on her websiteI first discovered her on Instagram when I noticed many girls posting pictures of their impressive BBG results. I haven't tried Kayla's nutrition guides but own both of her BBGs. Each guide is twelve weeks long and consist of 28 minute strength routines which are performed two to three times a week (for the first guide). You also work in days of stretching, LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) and eventually HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts. 

I started the BBG workout about six months ago and made it to the middle of the second month in the first guide. I loved it at first because the workouts were shorter than my usual workouts yet they were intense and I was always pushed to my max. I could tell I was getting stronger, especially my arms from doing all the push-ups and commandos and my thighs from the killer leg workouts. My cardio was improving too and I was pleasantly surprised with my 5K race result I achieved around that time, especially since I wasn't running much at the time and on race day we arrived late and had to run around a bunch of slower people.

Very decent time for me anyway!

I originally gave up on the BBG around week six because I was getting burnt out and I missed doing my other workouts. I wasn't following the program exactly and would sometimes do two BBG strength workouts on back to back days. Not surprisingly I started feeling feeling some joint pain around week five and was completely dreading the more advanced workouts in the later weeks.

I want to start again but this time with the knowledge that I don't have to be perfect and I don't have to push myself so hard. There are some moves in the program I won't force myself to do like the double bench jumps (I don't have two benches) or the box jumps (the bench I do have isn't sturdy enough and also they just seem scary).

There are some workouts that are too hard on my hip flexors/abs, especially workouts that include both straight leg jackknives and leg raises (week 5/7). I started feeling a sharp pain in my abdomen the day after that workout.

Beginning the program a second time I will be okay with having to substitute some moves with others if necessary. I will even be okay with substituting whole work outs if I feel like it and if a normal week of BBG takes me two weeks that will be fine with me too. I am going to make the program work for me. Am I afraid that being so flexible with the program will be detrimental to my fitness goals? Not at all, simply because I know how dedicated I am to working out and regardless if I'm following a program or not, fitness will always be a big part of my life. I will do my best to stick to the program because I know from experience how effective it is but if I feel the need to stray for my mental or physical well being I will.

**Edit 12/11/15** I am no longer doing the BBG program but I still do some of the leg workouts because they are amazing. I have other more enjoyable workouts I do for working out the rest of my body, but I will continue to come back to BBG for leg day!

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