Week in Training (June 9-15)

Walking on Sunshine

Now I’ve hit the magical number of 21km, I’m going to take a slight breather from running to focus on other things like weights and swimming. I think I need a bit of variety to keep me going right now! I still love running, though, and I want to keep it up each week so I don’t fall back on endurance. I’ve worked too hard to lose it all right now!

This week, we got hit by a cold snap. The air is brisk and bright, the cold as sharp as a knife’s edge, and it’s a thousand times harder trying to crawl out of a warm bed every morning, much less make it to a workout. With the bright cold sharpness comes crystal clear blue-sky days so I’ve been following the sun around our living room every day like a cat and making the most of the days by shifting my workouts outside. My toes grow blue and numb as I sit and type each day so I’m going to have to start hunting down some new fuzzy bed and house socks the next time I force myself out for a shopping excursion. Our house is so cold, I’m actually eager to get to work each day because the building is a lot warmer than our house!

And one other thing that entices me to get out of bed and do a workout? My post-workout breakfast this week which consists of smashed avocado and ham on fresh-sliced grilled bread (I have no idea what’s happened to our toaster or if we even ever had one so I’ve just taken to grilling the bread quickly in our oven), along with a plain omelette dusted with fresh cracked black pepper. We’ve been getting really horrible stone-hard avocados all summer that don’t seem to have any concept of ripening so it’s been a relief to get some nice properly ripened ones in the store lately. I’ve missed my avocados!

Ham and avocado on toast and plain omelette

And finally… I’ve just started the first week of Kayla Itsines’ 12-week Bikini Body Guide training plan! For those of you who don’t know who Kayla Itsines is, check her out – she’s a personal trainer from South Australia who does the most amazing work with her clients, sculpting their bodies into incredible lean, mean, toned machines! I’ve been following her on Instagram for a while and have been extremely awed by all her clients’ before and after results. I even showed her Instagram page to one of my friends, who is extremely skeptical of these things and who immediately grabbed my phone off me and started Googling for any  bad reviews of this woman – and guess what, she has literally none!

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

Check out my new workout gear for my Kayla Itsines workouts! I’ve bitten the bullet and gotten a yoga mat (so I won’t get my hands and back grubby while doing push-ups, burpees and ab exercises outdoors), and a couple of really cute neoprene weights (3kg each – yes, I’m a weakling!). I didn’t realise till I had all my items set out that everything actually matched – purple mat, purple weights… and even Kayla Itsines’ manual is purple-themed! What are the odds of that?

The one thing I love about Kayla Itsines is not only her professionalism, experience and obvious expertise (in her guide, she outlines plenty of information about her research and expertise as well as her qualifications), but also her emphasis on strong, lean bodies – for example, arms that merely look slim and lean while in repose, but then you do a clench and suddenly there’s all this amazing, powerful muscle! I love the idea of muscles in disguise – it’s almost like the muscle equivalent of retracted Wolverine claws! 😛 😀 I also love the fact that she and her clients still look slim and lean, a la ballerinas or Pilates folk, but next thing you know, they’re all doing these push-ups and pull-ups with no problems at all. Strong, lean and powerful – that’s what I want too!

And though Kayla lives in South Australia, anyone can do her workouts because she’s got a bunch of e-books out, including her main seller, the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I kind of shied away from it at first because of the title but hey, it’s true, you will get an amazing bikini body out of it, but best of all, you will end up feeling incredibly strong and powerful! I can attest to that myself – I’ve only just done the first week of her training plan and can really feel the difference.

I’ll just break it down really quickly – each week, you’re meant to do a set of resistance-based circuit sessions three times a week as well as three days of low intensity cardio training. I’ve mixed mine up a bit as you can see below – the best idea is to alternate resistance circuit days and cardio days, but I’ve switched my workouts around to accommodate stuff like weather (it was raining the first two days of the week so I opted to do resistance-based workouts indoors instead of outdoors) and social outings. The resistance workouts are killer but they’re not long at all – a mere 28 minutes per session. For such a short session (and believe me, when you start one session, you will be super glad it is that short), they leave you feeling extremely sore, especially after the second workout, but I love this because I know this means things are changing in my body! I’m especially psyched to feel the soreness of my ab muscles because I always feel like I’m not properly engaging those muscles – now I know I definitely am!

One final thing I really love? Since I’ve started the resistance-based sessions, I’m waking up each morning, just feeling strong. That’s the best word I can use to describe it. I’ve felt this before in various workouts, but never on an ongoing basis like this and just after a couple of short 28-minute workouts! It feels really good 🙂

June 9th to 15th:
Monday: Kayla Itsines Bikini Body resistance workout Week 1
Tuesday: Kayla Itsines Bikini Body resistance workout Week 1
Wednesday: 7km run
Thursday: Kayla Itsines Bikini Body resistance workout Week 1
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 5km run, 2km walk (the run became a walk toward the end because the cold air was so dry and sharp, I had a little trouble breathing midway through my run! I’ve never had it that before so it was kind of weird and I’m hoping it won’t repeat itself again. Not being able to breathe really had me worried!)
Sunday: 45 minute swim, 20 minute stretching session.


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  3. Rita


    So I’ve decided to start Kayla’s programme this week and I’m SO happy I stumbled on your blog! You do an amazing job of explaining everything. Truly a life saver. Anyway, I have some quick questions..

    I notice that you don’t always skip days in between the workouts.. Is that hard for you? I felt like Kayla stresses spacing them out? Which do you think is better??

    Also, do you consider your runs more HIIT or LISS? I run a few km every other day and I want to incorporate it into this workout but honestly I’m kind of just confused about how to break down the whole HIIT and LISS aspects of the programme? Please let me know your thoughts.. Thank you so much! You rock!


    • MarilynChin

      Hi Rita! Thank you, I’m glad you like the blog! 🙂
      With the days in between workouts, I just follow them the way Kayla said to – HIIT on one day, LISS on the following day and so on. It does get a bit hard sometime to keep it up but if I’m having an off day, I allow myself to take things down a notch and do the workout at a lower intensity than usual. Every now and then, I have a week where I just don’t feel the mojo and that’s okay… I usually just let myself work out when I want to and have a break and then I repeat that week’s exercises the following week. It’s okay if you don’t complete the BBG in exactly 12 weeks – I think mine took a bit longer because I’d repeat weeks where I was sick or felt like I needed to take a step back and let my body rest!
      Also, I would consider my runs more LISS. I prefer doing slow long runs so it’s more categorised as LISS, whereas if you incorporate intervals in your run, that would be more of a HIIT. I suggest doing your runs as LISS but also to let yourself take a break and slow to a walk whenever you need to because the HIIT sessions are quite intensive and you don’t want to push your body too much with an intensive session on both HIIT and LISS days. I think the most important thing is to listen to your body and let it rest when it needs to 🙂


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