So this is the 4th week, for me, on Kayla Itsines’ BBG (Bikini Body Guide). This is probably the most exercise I’ve ever done post-quitting-the-county-swim-team 6 years ago and for sure is the longest programme I’ve ever managed to stick with. Well… I say that. But there has been a few hiccups. We’ll get to that.
So, what am I doing and why?
If you know me, you’ll know body issues are a big thing of my past and thoughts that still plague me now and it’s something I’m particularly interested in. My entire instagram is covered with body positive goddesses and some of my favourite fitness warriors. But at one time, my feed was awash with Kayla Itsines and all the BBG transformations made through her programme. My feed was #TransformationTuesday and “#fitspo” orientated.
I did become a little bit obsessed with seeing the BBG body transformations at the start of this year but totally lacked the motivation to get out of the house and do weights at the gym because my motto for a long time was:
‘If it hurts, STOP’, not ‘squat ’til you drop’.
I was training for a half marathon and prioritised mileage built up over 5 days than any resistance based training.
But, I got injured. And after nearly 2 months of limping about and worrying whether I would ever be able to run like I did before, I decided that when I got better, I would be better. I decided that my muscles needed strengthening. It wasn’t weight that needed to be lost, but something needed to be built. My body needed to be supported.
But that thought filled me with dread.
I didn’t wanna. Nonononononono!
It was only when I was laying in bed with my best friend finishing a 4 pack of Sainsbury’s fruit and granola squares myself that I realised I needed some other motivation to get out and work on my body. That night, my friend and I pledged to change. We decided that we would both do the BBG workout in the summer and see the difference.
And here I am. 4 weeks later.
And…how has it been?
There was a lot that I’ve absolutely loved about this programme and some things that I wasn’t so keen on. Firstly, I was quite skeptical about starting it and having my soul and mind associated with something called:
a ‘bikini body guide’.
Getting over my own insecurities, I came to realise not only the value of my own body but of everyone else’s in every shape and size, width and height. I wasn’t too keen on getting a bikini body. This term did not exist in my new vocabulary and mindset. Every body was worthy of being a bikini body.
So I resisted for a while but after I decided that I could just called this a ‘structured fitness plan’, that I would use to compliment my running, I decided I could handle it.
I’ll give you some context:
Basically, BBG is a guide of 12 weeks. Each week to start you do 3 cardio-based activities (called; LISS, which is Low Intensity Steady State exercise) of 40 mintues and then 3 resistance activities per week. 1 day a week is dedicated to stretching. As you progress through the programme, you will add up to 2 HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions per week.
The Resistance Sessions
2 circuits with 4 exercises in each. Each circuit is repeated for 7 minutes. You can then have a 30-90 second rest before going onto the next circuit. Each circuit is completed twice.
That means you do 4 sets for 7 minutes each = 28 minutes of active time.
Now, after you’ve done this, the LISS sessions seem like a welcome break. However, I’ve decided to run a 10k in September, so I do training for that 3x a week on the cardio days.
THE GOOD BITS …
- I love the structure of the programme. It gets me up every day and, even though I’m tired, I can get myself motivated because each workout is less than 1 hour. ALWAYS.
- I have the flexibility to add my running in and still see the results
- The activities don’t need a gym. Yet. (I’m living with my Nan so I can do it in the garden or in the lounge)
- Increased exercise makes me focus more on what I eat
- I can already see the difference and am motivated by the changes that others have experienced
SO, WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD?
- I find it hard to make this portable but tbf, that’s my fault. It requires a bit of space and specific ‘equipment’ like a good step for your knee-ups and step-ups
- As you go on in the weeks, you need to invest in more gym-based gear which means that the garden may not be adequate as I get better
But generally, what I’ve seen so far I could recommend. I suppose the best thing for me is that it’s flexible, you have the variety, it increases in difficulty at a steady and manageable way and it seems to actually work.
Alongside this, I try to eat well. It’s very hard to eat properly at my Nan’s in the way I would like – I haven’t been able to fast and not everything I eat is vegan and also there are faaaaaaaar too many sweet treats to tempt me. But I’m excited to see how the programme works when I move out. I hope to have a gym pass, I’ll be cooking my own meals and I’ll be able to do IF again.
So that’s where I’m at. I have progress photos, but I’m a bit too embarrassed to share right now haha! Stay tuned and I’ll fill you in more. I’ll also link another post to how I’m training for my 10k. And if you fancy a challenge or have been inspired by this post, why not try it for yourself?