Back in August, I posted on Instagram that I was starting Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. If you are into the health/wellness world and are on social media, there is a pretty good chance you’ve heard of Kayla and her BBG. She is pretty much a trainer-superstar, and she has almost 4 million followers on Instagram where she shares photos of the transformations that people experience using her 12 week program, the Bikini Body Guide.
The 12 week program leads you through 3 25 minute HIIT workouts per week. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, so you’re doing short bursts of high impact interval style exercises (think burpees, pushups, jump lunges, sit ups, etc).
So I’d heard about Kayla and her program at least over a year ago, and I didn’t have much interest in it because I’m more of a yoga girl than a HIIT girl, but I started following her on Instagram and I got more and more curious.
Finally in August, I decided to give it a try. I had two reasons for wanting to try it: first, I wanted to get stronger, and second I wanted to look like the girls in the “after” shots (to be honest). I’ve always been on the small side and am decently fit, but I wanted to see if I could take it up a notch.
Before I go further, I’ll get right to it: I’m no longer doing the BBG. Going into it, I knew this wasn’t really a style of working out that I enjoyed, but I wanted to try it anyway, so I did.
For the first 3 weeks or so, I followed the guide deligiently (note: Kayla also has a nutrition guide, but I didn’t get that because I was happy with how I was eating). The workouts are hard!! They really are. They’re definitely do able, and for sure a big part of it is mental (we are all stronger than we think we are), but yeah they are intense, and after some of the workouts (particularly the arm workouts- damn you pushups!), I felt kind of nauseous and had to lie down haha.
I will say though, that while they are challenging, they got easier quite quickly. I noticed that I gained strength in just a few weeks (I continued to practice yoga and noticed that some postures that had been impossible for me before were now possible!).
Then I went to New York, and while I continued to do yoga, pilates, stretching, and some strength training, I started to slack on the Bikini Body Guide.
The thing is, I was never looking forward to doing them, and while I would feel kind of satisfied after I completed a work out, I even started to dread them. I’d tell myself things like, “it’s just a little over an hour total per week! Just do it, it’ll be worth it,” or “it’s just a mental thing- push through and you’ll eventually enjoy it.”
When I got back from New York a couple of weeks ago, I decided I’d start it up again. I think I got through 1/2 of one workout when I stopped and was like “Nope, we’re done here!”
I decided that I wasn’t willing to force myself through a workout program that I wasn’t enjoying just for aesthetic reasons. I reminded myself that exercise is meant to be a fun and enjoyable way of moving your body, not something you force yourself to do to get a six pack.
So, am I saying that I think there’s something wrong with Kayla Itsines or her Bikini Body Guide? Not at all! I love the message she shares (loving your body, being strong and empowered, not over do-ing it), and I think if you are the kind of person who likes pushing themselves physically and who enjoys HIIT type workouts, then this could be an awesome route for you!
It doesn’t really matter what you do, it matters how it makes you feel. And I don’t just mean that from a purely internal perspective. Yes doing the exercise that is enjoyable for you will make you feel good, but I also truly believe that doing the right work out for your body will get you the body you want.
If you’re considering doing the BBG, maybe just ask yourself why you’re doing it? If it’s soley to change your body but you’re not excited about the actual exercise, maybe reconsider. A workout that you hate will put negative stress on your body, and negative stress will make it harder for you to lose weight. Just sayin.
Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide is no doubt a great and effective workout, and it has helped many women regain health and confidence. But it is not the only way, so just consider what is truly right for you.
Now I’m back to the way I used to work out, but I’m just doing more of it because I’m really enjoying exercise lately. In addition to walking everyday, almost every morning I wake up at 7 and then go do whatever kind of exercise I’m in the mood for that day. Favourites include,
- A yoga class from Bananablondie108
- Tone It Up videos on YouTube
- Blogilates videos on YouTube.
- Yoga and Pilates on Gaiam TV
(I have been using Gaiam TV for years and am an affiliate because I love what they offer. You can Try Gaiam TV for 99¢ for your first month, and it’s just $10/month after that).
That’s what works for me 😊 Will I ever do the Bikini Body Guide again? If I feel like it in the future, then yes I will for sure, but for now I just don’t want to, so I’m not. Simple as that.
Have you done the Bikini Body Guide? What are your thoughts?