Let me start off by saying I hate the term ‘bikini body’. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the Protein World scandal, it’s that the only thing you require for a bikini body is a bikini. It doesn’t even have to be a new one – you can dig out the one from last summer (or if you’re anything like me, the one from 2012).
That’s why the first time I heard about Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide I felt my feminist alarm bells going crazy and I prepared myself for all the things I would hate about it. I also don’t like any quick-fix programmes as I genuinely believe no amount of dieting or quick exercising fixes will ever help in the long run, it’s all about lifestyle changes. And whilst we’re on the subject, can we abandon the hashtag summer body bullshit altogether as well, please?
“Hear me out,” my friend said. “I wouldn’t normally go for this sort of stuff either, but it’s great.” And because I trust her opinion on most things in life, I decided to keep an open (ish) mind.
At first glance, I thought, OK, come on, it’s Barbie’s fitness e-book; but as soon as I started reading it, I realised a lot of what she was saying was making a lot of sense. See? Mind = open.
Kayla is an Australian fitness babe who looks absolutely amazing – there’s no doubt about it. Since her book was launched about a year ago, she has built herself a growing empire over in Australia with her #KaylaMovement and #KaylasArmy popping up all over the world.
Teenagers and adults alike wanting to get in shape, whether that’s from wanting to lose a lot of weight or just improving their overall fitness, are jumping on the wagon and the younger end of her fan base is treating her like some sort of goddess.
But guys, girls, haters, let me tell you this. Her exercise programme is actually pretty decent. It’s filled with a good amount of squats, burpees, lunges, press ups and all other things that will help you tone up. And for the whole two weeks I managed to stick to it, I woke up in actual pain from neck to toe similar to that of running a really, really, really long distance or when I first used to do CrossFit.
And the beauty of her programme is that it only takes 28 minutes to do – well, just over half an hour with the little breathers, so you do seven minutes of intervals four times with a minute break in between. But despite enjoying the sets and the pain it gave me afterwards, I still couldn’t quite believe that it was a good programme, so I decided to run it by my physio mum who was immediately impressed.
I can’t comment on the nutrition part of the book as I haven’t tried it, although Freelee the Banana Girl recently accused Kayla of starving herself and her followers (yes, Freelee is the girl who claims to eat 51 bananas a day, need I say more?), but the actual exercises are great. And it can be done at home, which we all know I love.
And back to this quick-fix thing. Yes, it’s a 12-week programme, but it’s also followed by a 12-24 week programme. And if you eat well and exercise rigorously over six months, I would imagine you’ve set yourself up for carrying on that exercise once the programme finishes. It’s not like a five-day cabbage soup diet that claims to help you shed three pounds an hour; it’s exercise combined with healthy eating over a fairly decent amount of time.
Surely it can’t be that bad?
Have you tried Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide? What did you think?
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