Lucy Wheeler


Lucy Wheeler

This week I restarted the Kayla Beach Body Guide workouts, or as its more commonly known #bbg I first started Kayla in May 2015 and like lots of people I became fitter, stronger and more confident. In this post, part one of two, I explain what to expect in the bbg guides and workouts. In part two, I'll cover life after bbg (does it work) and the Kayla app vs. the guides.

Who is Kayla?

Kayla Itsines is an Australian fitness coach who took the fitness industry by storm about 18 months/2 years ago and has been getting bigger ever since. Kayla's USP is that she loves to help others and it is her promotion of the transformation of other people across the world that has made her workout and healthy eating guides so successful. 

What is Kayla?

The Kayla workout is contained within the Beach Body Guide, a guide which is designed with the aim of helping anyone who tries it to shape their body into one they feel confident in on the beach. There are three workout elements to the guide: resistance, HIIT and LISS.

The resistance workouts are 28 minutes and follow a straightforward format. There are two circuits in each workout and you repeat each circuit for 7 minutes twice, so ABAB. Each workout focuses on a specific body area, for example, legs. There are a range of different exercises which increase in difficulty as the weeks progress. Don't be fooled though, although the first round of 10 squats might seem relatively easy by the time you get to the final few minutes of the workout your legs will know about it. What is great about the circuits though is that because they are based on time (7 minutes) rather than reps then they suit all ability levels. If you are a beginner you will complete less of the exercises in the 7 minutes than if you train regularly which has the effect of buckets of sweat for everyone!

In addition to the resistance circuits there are two other types of workout. Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). LISS is low intensity exercise such as walking and the guide requires between 30-60 minutes of this depending on which week you're on. The HIIT section is shorter intense periods of training. The HIIT session will be approximately 10-15 minutes and may involve, for example, 30 seconds sprinting 30 second rest.

What makes Kayla great is its simplicity. The whole guide is 12 weeks and spilt into 3 x 4 week sections. You get 3 workouts a week for weeks 1 and 2 and then repeat these on weeks and 3 and 4. Then you get new workouts for weeks 5 and 6 and repeat these on weeks 7 and 8 and similarly there are new workouts for weeks 9 and 10 which are repeated in weeks 11 and 12.

Why do I like it? 

I love Kayla because of the simplicity. The circuits are very easy to follow and as you can tell from the description above there is just enough repetition in it to allow you to become confident with what you're doing but without it becoming boring. The circuits, especially at the beginning, require little to no equipment which means that with a little improvisation (using benches for the step-ups and paint pots as Dumbbells) the workouts can be completed without the need for a gym. With a bit of forward planning it also means you can flexibly fit the workouts in if you're away from home.

Does it work?

As I've said lots of times before, I'm not a qualified fitness professional or dietician but I can say that it definitely helped me to lose weight. The reason being that the training is intense. If you don't do any training at all and start Kayla you will lose weight, just by the simple fact that you will be exercising more than you did before. The plan is also over an elongated period, it isn't trying to offer a quick fix which again means that it's more likely to work and the results more likely to last.

I got the chance to meet Kayla and train with her on her world tour last year. Training in such a big group with so many other women loving working out was so much fun. I can't wait for the next one.

I'd love to know if you've tried Kayla and what you thought of it.