Monday, June 15, 2015

My favorite new work out...and why it's awesome

Greetings!  Great news.  I have finally found a work out program/routine that I LOVE.  And I have done many!  Thanks to my friend Lindsay, and her awesome blog (, I found the perfect work out for me right now.  Just for some background, as far as my exercise experience...  I have been a Division 1 athlete, a Division 2 athlete, had personal training, worked out at gyms, done weight lifting at home, done DVD workouts at home, have tried to get back in shape in between 4 different pregnancies, etc.  I have been extremely fit in college, extremely unfit after having a baby and not having much time to work out, and everywhere in between.  I can say with this work out program I feel the most all-around fit that I've ever felt, aside from the few years of college soccer, of course.  My goal was to gain my muscle back, feel strong, and not worry about being in pain or hurting myself when I'm running around with my crazy kids, carrying 2 at a time up the stairs, or playing a game of soccer.  When I am nursing a baby I have found that really any amount of exercise affects my milk supply.  I don't want to jeopardize any nutrition for the little ones!  Not everyone will have that problem, but thought it was worth mentioning.  I have to wait patiently until I'm done with that to start working out.  I started this guide the day after I weaned baby #4 ;-)  I have to say, I'm not a fan of the name of the program.  At all, ha!  But if you can get passed the name, it rocks.  Drum roll please...Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines

Why I love it...
  1. You can do it at home, at a gym, or on the road.  Personally, I love working out at a gym.  Some people don't, but I do.  In this stage of my life, it's just not a season where I can easily and consistently get to the gym.  My husband travels so even if I wanted to go super early, I can't count on him being home.  I have 4 kids, so inevitably someone would be sick and couldn't go.  I homeschool our kids, which means every spare minute of my day seems to be used up between school and food and household duties.  It's just a season where the only way I can count on getting a work out, is if I'm home!
  2. It takes 30 minutes.  Period.  The time requirements don't increase with the work out intensity.  It just takes 30 minutes.  I've always wanted to try some of the P90X type work outs, Crossfit, Insanity, etc., but I don't have 90 minutes to exercise!  Relating back to the first point...I don't have much spare time in my day.  With 4 little kids it would take me 30 minutes just to get everything packed and ready and in the car to go to the gym, lol!  I would have plenty of excuses not to fit a 90 minute work out in to my days.  There is really no excuse not to find 30 minutes to work out ;-)
  3. It is designed specifically for women.  Sorry guys, but this one is just for the ladies.  Kayla understands how a woman's body response to various exercises differently than a guy's.  I am not looking to be a super ripped body builder.  I want to look lean and strong, but still feminine. 
  4. It is cardio and strength training simultaneously.  I used to spend 30-45 minutes lifting weights and THEN somehow try to find a way and find time to fit in cardio.  Not anymore!  30 minutes a day and I've covered both.  I've also always hated leg workouts.  When I was designing my own weight lifting routines at home, I always slacked on leg exercises, doing the minimum.  This program covers upper body, lower body, abs, cardio,, etc, without letting me leave out things I don't like!  Like I said, all-around fit.
  5. Minimal equipment required.  You don't have to spend a ton of money.  The program itself is cheaper than 1 month at most gyms!  I already owned a set of free weights and a bench (thank you, Craigs List!).  I only use a couple of dumbbells, a medicine ball, and my only purchases specifically for this program were a yoga mat and a Bosu Ball (not required, she shows you alternatives if you can't buy one, but I found one on mega-sale at Big 5).  You can certainly do the program without a bench, but I have definitely enjoyed having one on hand already to use.  I don't have a fancy set up.  I had hoped to clear out a space in our unfinished basement and set up to work out down there, but it hasn't happened yet, so for now I just work out in our bedroom!
  6. I am dead tired exhausted after every work out.  If I'm going to dedicate a small amount of time to working out, I want it to kick my butt.  I want those minutes to be worth every second!  I've found that the level of difficulty increases perfectly from week to week.  Each work out is HARD, but do-able, and the next week never feels any easier, ha!
One personal opinion to note: you have to be able to push yourself.  This is not a personal trainer, it's not a group class, and it's not even a DVD where you have an instructor you have to keep up with.  This is an eBook and you follow it as hard as you can, working against your timer, pushing yourself as hard as you can.  If you don't think you can be your own cheerleader and not let yourself quit, then it might not be for you.  With this workout you definitely get out of it however much you put in!  I love the challenge of racing the clock, jamming out to Pandora, and kicking my own butt in a work out!  But not everyone will want to do that.

There is an optional dietary guide to purchase as well.  I am happy with my diet and very much believe in organic/non-GMO, Whole foods, full fat, real sugar, etc.  I can't vouch for her dietary guide because I haven't personally seen it.  If you need help in that area, it would be worth checking out, I just can't speak to it since I didn't feel the need to change my diet.  Just wanted to get my work outs figured out! 

Kayla does a cool thing in that she includes 4 weeks of "pre-training" for ladies who have recently had a baby, or just haven't worked out in a while or at this level.  Me and my ego thought I should just skip the pre-training weeks.  My husband brought me back down to earth when he reminded me that A) I recently had a baby, and B) I hadn't worked out at an intense level for a over a year and a half.  My prideful self decided to start at week 2 of the pre-training...why am I an idot!?  LOL!  I should have just started with the beginning of pre-training since it was my first time working out post baby #4.  Anyway...the pre-training weeks are not a waste.  I was just too used to being in shape and didn't want to admit that I was completely NOT at that point ;-) 

Just so you can see what the work out pages look like, here are some screen shots:

Pre-training week 2

BBG week 10
Big difference between pre-training and the end of the guide!  I had to humble myself to do modified push-ups (first time in my life!!!) at the beginning, but now a whole work out of regular push-ups is no problem.  I love feeling fit!  And I love that it only takes 30 minutes!  Here it s a picture of my little work out corner of our bedroom.  Not much space or equipment required, I promise!  I follow the work outs on my lap top, iPad, or phone.  Whichever eReader I prefer. 

  The eBook lays out your work outs 3 days a week.  She also includes options for doing 30-45 minutes of low intensity cardio.  I go for a 30 minute jog once a week, and I play indoor soccer once a week.  That's it, folks.  I don't have time to go on long runs.  I have 4 kids so I can't exactly strap them all in a stroller and take off!  And I hardly sit down all day because I'm so busy with "littles" so I figure that counts for exercise too, right!? ;-)  Anyway, that might have been way more info than you cared to read about, but I am excited about it, love how I feel (I'm on week 10!), am actually able to see my abs again after 4 kids, and wanted to share now that I can say it's tried and true.  Check Kayla out and get going towards feeling and looking your best!