What I’ve learned from Kayla Itsines.

It is an outrageously beautiful day outside today.  Thank you, spring, for coming out in full force.  It couldn’t be more welcome.  Especially since today was my first day of the last week of my BBG workouts!  It has been 11 grueling weeks thus far and I could not possibly be more proud of the progress that I am making.  I feel like a new person and my outlook on fitness has changed ten fold.  I’ve talked about Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide a fair amount on this blog and I don’t want to seem like a broken record, but this workout routine has been exactly what I needed.  I’m going to break it down into the things that I’ve enjoyed most about this program, starting with the fact that I can do these workouts literally anywhere.  And, boy, have I.

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I travel a lot.  Well, not as much as some people, but definitely a fair amount.  I always try to pre-plan my workouts before I go away, but this can be tricky since not every place I go has a fully loaded gym with all the equipment I need.  Kayla’s guides revolve around mostly body weight exercises with some weights here and there, but most of those can be improvised when needed.  You have literally no excuse not to keep up with this plan.  I have done it in hotel rooms in Vegas (using my ice bucket as a medicine ball and water bottles as weights), I have done it in a public park in the middle of Houston, I have done it in my living room stepping up on to my sofa, I have done it on my front porch steps.  All in all, I got it done.  And that is what I am most proud of about this whole journey.  I never gave up and when I was faced with something that might derail me like a change of venue, I took it in stride.

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Kayla’s guide has also helped me improve in my speed and endurance while running.  Prior to doing the BBG, I would toil away everyday on the treadmill aiming for 2-3 miles and peppering in a couple 5 or 6 milers here or there.  Once I started the guide, it was impossible for me to run everyday in conjunction with the resistance training so I decided I would only run every other day.  This day break in between runs proved to be extremely beneficial and I re-found my love for running.  I was running 5-6 miles every time I hit the gym and my mile time was continually dwindling down.  On Saturday, I ran a 6:37 mile which is a personal best for me and I can’t complain in the slightest because I worked so hard for this and it’s awesome to see it showing.

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My other favorite part of the guide has been the freedom it allows you to still do what you love.  I love running and ellipticalling and walking and really anything that is mindless cardio, but many workout plans I had perused in the past did not allow for this sort of thing.  Most of them were all weights all the time with a cardio day that consisted of maybe 30 minutes of something.  Kayla perfectly pairs resistance and body weight moves with a face paced cardio feel, so you’re always left sweating and feeling accomplished.  On top of this, she recommends that the days that you don’t do resistance, you do either LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) or a short HIIT (high intensity interval training) session.  For my LISS, I have still been able to log my mindless cardio through jogging and ellipticalling and my mind feels at ease for it.  I also can justify taking my pooch on an extra long walk to fulfill this requirement as well and I love that.  The flexibility of it all is what makes it work for me and is why I would recommend it to any person out there.

Finally, one of the best things that I have found through following this guide is the support system of thousands of girls across the world going through the same pains and struggles as I am.  Nothing makes you want to get up and workout quite like knowing that there are thousands of girls out there holding you accountable.  They are so supportive, motivating, and captivating in their stories about their personal fitness journeys that you can’t help but feel inspired.  I encourage you, no matter what kind of workout you do, to find a community (whether it be live or virtual doesn’t matter) that will support you in what you’re doing.  It gives your fitness a purpose.  And, who knows, you just might inspire someone to push just that much harder.

-sj

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