A month ago I wrote about starting a new workout – the incredibly popular BBG (Bikini Body Guide) plan by Kayla Itsines, an instagram superstar who turned her passion for fitness and personal training into a worldwide phenomenon. She has inspired a fitness cult that now sees more than 3.7 million followers across the world.
I’m quite sceptical of the ‘next big thing’, whether it’s a new superfood, a workout plan or even a TV show. I mentally prepare myself to be disappointed, because there is a lot of hype out there with often minimal substance behind it.
It’s been refreshing to find that BBG really does work if you stick to it. Since my exercise routine already incorporated similar exercises to Kayla’s plans, it hasn’t been much of a stretch for me to commit to it. What it has done is given me real structure to my gym sessions. Before I would pick a few exercises at random and make up a circuit – now I have 8 exercises with a specific number of reps that must be completed before I’m finished.
So what has it done for me? I started this at a slightly desperate point in my life – I’d just come back from a culinary delight of a holiday that left me feeling bloated, overweight and very unhealthy. I needed something more than just a workout plan – I needed a structure which would help me develop a habit, instead of just going to the gym and figuring things out once I got there. They say a habit is made or broken within 3 weeks, so for the first 3 weeks it’s really important to have a measureable plan that you can stick to.
That’s exactly what BBG has done. I do 3 circuit sessions a week combined with 2 trail runs, which aren’t part of Kayla’s prescribed cardio, but I prefer trail runs over the short, high intensity cardio sessions in her plan. I fully believe that workouts should be adapted according to what you enjoy and feel comfortable doing – you should never dread working out.
The results are very good. I’m currently in week 6 and I feel much tighter and more toned all over. My abs are back – woohoo! Not where they were 18 months ago but they’re definitely a huge improvement when I look back at the last 6 months. I feel energised and excited about training, something that has been missing for a while. And most importantly, I feel good about working hard and achieving my goals. The feeling of satisfaction when I tick another completed week of workouts off my list is immense.
When I moved back to Cape Town, I felt like I lost my fitness mojo a little bit. With all the distractions that came with switching countries – moving house 3 times in 2 years, getting a dog, buying a house, trying to start a family – all these things take up time and energy, and I never quite reached my fitness levels that I maintained with ease in London.
So thank you Kayla, and Kayla’s very enthusiastic army who so generously encourage each other on social media, for putting the enjoyment back into my gym sessions. Seeing women supporting each other’s journeys to health and fitness makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.