Today marks Week 13 of the Kayla Itsines BBG and the first week of the second half of her program!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really glad to be getting back into the BBG. Although it was nice to take two weeks off where I could workout whenever I want to and try a variety of activities such as Body Balance and CXWorx, I actually found myself missing Kayla’s program. I missed how short they were, but also how much they kicked my ass (even though towards the end of Weeks 1-12, I was starting to hate just how much they kicked my ass!). And I also noticed something else: though I was doing a mix of running, CXWorx, Body Balance and Body Combat – and I love all these activities and they’re by no means easy workouts at all – still, I realised that none of these workouts left me with that feeling of strength or that feeling that I had truly worked out every muscle in my body the way Kayla’s BBG did. And – this was the biggest thing of all – I only began to realise just how much Kayla’s workouts did for me only after I stopped doing them.
I realised shortly after I stated doing Weeks 1-12 that I had actually stopped worrying about what my body looked like. I’ve always been pretty slim, but suddenly my body was being tucked in in all the right places without me even noticing it. It also made it a lot easier to buy clothes and decide what to wear without worrying about having a visible tummy or showing off bingo arms (hello, online shopping!). In fact, it wasn’t until after I stopped doing Kayla’s workouts that I realised that ever since I started her program, I’d stopped worrying about my stomach or my upper arms because there was suddenly no longer anything to worry about!
So with that in mind, I decided to jump back in and buy her Weeks 13-24 BBG program. And the moment I downloaded the book and opened it up, I was super glad I did. Weeks 1-12 were awesome, but you could tell that Kayla’s definitely had a look at what worked and what didn’t work in her first guide and kept that feedback in mind when she created her guide for Weeks 13-24. The book is well worth the money – everything looks slightly more professional and polished (goodbye to those bland stock photos), and she’s jammed a lot more extras into the second guide, including a guide to foam rolling (something I’ve always wanted to incorporate into my stretch routine!), both advanced and easier options for certain exercises, some more new advanced exercise moves, a much more comprehensive exercise glossary (which I think is really great because I did get a little confused sometimes over certain moves in Weeks 1-12), and my new favourite, new extra personal challenges!
When I had a quick look at the first week’s workouts, I was relieved to see the moves weren’t too hard – since I had taken two weeks off, I was worried that Kayla would bust out Week 13 with much harder, much more advanced moves than even Week 12 and that I’d have a really hard time catching up. But I was glad to see that the moves were relatively easy (most of them can be found in the first guide) and the reps were relatively low, with most of them around the 15-30 mark. In fact, I was able to complete at least 2 to 2.5 rounds of each circuit in seven minutes each time, something I’m pretty happy about! But – and this is a big BUT – don’t make the mistake of thinking Week 13 is easy though – my legs were super sore for the next 2-3 days after the Legs Workout and my arms were trembling like crazy towards the end of the Arms Workout, especially after the weighted side raises! Ooh, that definitely burned!
Side joke: I was doing my straight leg sit ups once and halfway through, my boyfriend came into the room. The next time I sat up, I saw him standing in front of me, watching me with this wicked amused look on his face. I knew he was going to be trouble. The next time I sat up, he started making buzzing noises and gesturing with his hands as if he were a magician pulling me upwards via telekinesis or something. The look on his face was so hilarious, I started cracking up and told him to go away. But he kept doing that each time I sat up, that I had to fall back, laughing so hard I could barely do my next sit up. I told him to go away because he was ruining my timing and finally he did, but he did add a good laugh to my workout that day!
Equipment-wise, Kayla still uses pretty much the same equipment she does for Weeks 1-12, except she does add on barbells and kettle bells. But for those of you whose heart sank at this news (like me!), don’t worry, you can still substitute the barbells and kettle bells with your dumbbells instead. I know, whew! When I first saw those barbells, I too thought, noooo, I have to spend more money?!? Luckily, you can substitute – or just take your Kayla Itsines guide over to your local gym which should have all the equipment you need!
Optional challenges: The biggest change (and for me, the best yet!) are the additional optional challenges Kayla scheduled for the end of Week 13. These are challenges you can choose to do to measure your fitness level and track how much stronger and faster you’re getting along the way. I’m pretty excited about them because they’re something new and different – and a new challenge!
I accomplished my first two challenges today and can’t wait to see my results when I do them again a few weeks later. Although, to tell the truth, when I first looked at the challenges, especially the 1000-Rep one, I got a little scared because there were sooo many moves to complete, each of which I had to do at least 30 reps of. I started thinking, hey, they’re optional, right? I can just skip them and do them in another week! But I remembered my vow to get gritty and finish whatever I started, and so I took a deep breath and tackled each move, rep by rep by rep (by never-ending rep!), and allowed myself to take breaks whenever I needed it (I probably ended up taking a lot more breaks than I really ought to). In the end, I ended up completing the challenge in 49 minutes and 21 seconds. Right now, I don’t see how I could possibly complete the challenge in a shorter time! But hopefully I will get fitter and faster and I’ll be able to do it!
October 6th to 12th:
- Monday: Kayla Itsines Week 13 (Legs)
- Tuesday: Rest Day – stretches. (this is supposed to be foam rolling day but as I haven’t had time to buy a foam roller yet, I just did my stretches and a few yoga moves off a Jillian Michaels Youtube video).
- Wednesday: Kayla Itsines Week 13 (Arms)
- Thursday: 8km run (LISS day, which I substituted with a run)
- Friday: Rest Day
- Saturday: Kayla Itsines Week 13 (Abs)
- Sunday: Kayla Itsines One Minute Challenge + 1000 Rep Challenge
Personal Challenges Results:
One minute challenge: (I had to do as many reps of each move in one minute each)
- Push Ups: 21
- Straight Leg Sit Ups:24
- Jump Squats: 38
- Plank: 1 minute (My form started getting shaky midway through but I managed to hold on!)
1000 rep challenge time: 49 minutes, 21 seconds!
Stay tuned for next week’s review! And if you like, check out my reviews for Weeks 1-12 here.