People that know me in real life, know that when it comes to exercise, I am hands down one of the laziest lumps ever. I hate it. I admire people who enjoy going to the gym and plan their day around how they can get their gym fix. I am most certainly not one of those people. For me the gym needs to be an in out operation with as much impact as I can get for as short a time I can possibly spend in there.
In 2014, I started my fitness “kick” by going to Crossfit 15 to help me get in shape in time for my wedding in July. Long story short, Crossfit was absolutely excellent and Coach Dara really knew what he was at, but the location was just that little bit too far from my house and I was getting caught in traffic the whole time. So in March I decided to join the gym beside my house and do my own thing.
It was my sister who introduced me to the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. A 3 day a week, half hour a day workout that promises serious results in next to no time. This was right up my street!!!! However, I was sceptical, as I didn’t think that 30 mins was long enough to get the results that I wanted/needed.
So how does the plan work? Basically each week is broken down into 3 workouts. An arm day, a leg day and a full body day. Each day is then broken down into 2 sections with 4 exercises in each section. You repeat section one twice and then move onto section two. Before you finish off with some stretches. The programme itself, is broken into 12 weeks. Week one and two are the same as three and four and then five and six, are the same as weeks seven and eight and so on, until you finish the programme. It sounds complicated, but it is actually really straight forward and easy to follow.
Is it hard? Well that all depends on your fitness levels! The first 4 weeks are very manageable. As you can see from the pictures below, there is a lot of squatting, jumping, skipping and ab work. As you’re working on your own, you can take it at your own pace and take breaks if needed. God knows there were days when I needed to go a lot slower and then there were other days when I sped through it. One thing is for sure, even though it is only 30 mins, you will 100% be sweating when you’re finished. I found weeks 5-8 a little too hard for me, so I repeated weeks 1-4 again before progressing onto weeks 5+. This is fine to do, as you’re still changing it up each day, so your body isn’t getting too use to it? There are also alternatives to some exercises if you find that you can’t do them. I have a dodgy knee and I was able to alter up some of the workouts using alternative ideas that the programme suggests. It does get progressively harder, but then you have built up fitness and strength as the programme progresses, so you are able for it. At the same hard, nothing easy is worth doing, so you need it to be that little bit challenging to get the results. I saw challenging, as everything is still doable.
Do you have to go to the gym to do this programme? Absolutely not. You don’t actually need a lot of equipment for the programme. You basically needs a few weights between 3 and 8kg, a skipping rope, a step/box to jump on and a floor mat. Thats it. The programme does show Kayla jumping and stepping up onto a big bench, but there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell my little legs would be able to do that, so I just used a regular step aerobics step and sometimes put two on top of each other. I went to the gym to do the programme and found myself a little corner in which to complete it. A few times I actually saw a few women doing the same programme and it gave me a giggle to see how much it had caught on.
Do you need to do any other exercise with the programme? It is suggested that you do light low impact exercise on two other days of the week. Something like walking or biking . Nothing major and just for a half and hour or so. Very manageable really. Personally I use to go on the treadmill for a run/walk for about 15 mins after I did the programme, or I would use the rower for about 10 minutes. I didn’t do this every day but once or twice a week . I would also add in a 4th day in the gym doing a bit of light weights works along with the cross trainer or treadmill. This was not every week though!!
How quickly do you see results? This programme without a shadow of a doubt, made a difference to my body quicker than anything else I had ever done. While yes I had a good grounding from doing crossfit, it was the difference in my legs after 4/5 weeks of Kayla that blew me away. I have always had chunky thighs, but after a few weeks of this my legs were looking great, if I do say so myself. As I only did this for 8 or 9 weeks, because I got married and then went on the never ending honeymoon, I didn’t see the full benefits of the programme, but consider how long I did it for, the results were incredible. Even my tummy changed. The results people are achieving from the full programme is unreal. My own sister is in the best shape I’ve ever seen her in and she has now moved onto programme 2. (The pictures above show my weight in September 2013, then my weightless with slimming world, followed by crossfit and finally the last two pictures are after Kayla)
Do you need to do the Kayla diet plan too? I personally don’t agree with the diet plan that Kayla as created. It is far too controlled and full of counting grapes and nuts etc. I continued to do slimming world along side the Bikini Body Guide and still achieved results.
Where can you get the plan? You can buy the plan from the Kayla website. It works out around the €46 mark. However, without saying too much, Google is a wonderful tool 😉
I honestly can’t recommend this programme enough. It is so worth doing and sticking to as the results are impressive. I am planning on starting the programme from the beginning again once I get the all clear from the Doctors. This isn’t about a new year new you thing. This is about a life change!!