Alice Miller runs the instagram @kaylaitsines.transformations. She wrote this article to answer the multitude of questions she gets asked on a daily basis (IG:(@kaylaitsines.transformations).
My names Ally, I’m a fitness instagrammer and affiliate for Kayla Itsines. If you aren’t familiar with who Kayla Itsines is (and have been hiding under a rock instead of paying attention to social media), let me get you up to date!
WHO IS KAYLA ITSINES?
Kayla Itsines is the face of a fitness brand created by herself and her partner, Tobi Pearce. This ‘brand’ has been changing women’s lives since their Bikini Body Guide’s (BBG) were released in 2014. Kayla and Tobi took an active role in the emerging health trend of ‘strong not skinny’ and produced workouts to help women build lean muscle; the BBG focuses on FITNESS, HEALTH & STRENGTH.
WHAT MAKES BBG DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GUIDES?
The true secret behind BBG becoming so HUGE (10million+) is, hands down, social media. The community that has evolved on instagram is immense; often referred to as “Kayla’s Army” you will see many women of all ages with handles including the abbreviation “BBG”. It truly is the most supportive and encouraging community you will ever be a part of. Women often tear each other down and in day-to-day life there’s a lot of negativity and judgement; however within the BBG community only positive vibes are tolerated. Many girls find that in their family or friendship groups they don’t have the necessary support required to stay determined with their new fitness lifestyle, and the BBG community provides this. Worldwide there are BBG meet-ups where girls can attend workouts and meet others with similar interests. Yes, instagram friends turn into REAL LIFE friends. I know personally that when I moved to Bristol it was amazing to have a group of girls to go and meet up with, originally I didn’t know anyone apart from some family and who I am living with, but due to BBG I’ve met some incredible girls (shout out to the BBG Bristol Squad).
I have been a member of the BBG community since July 2014 so believe me when I say I’ve heard every question under the sun, so here’s a quick FAQ for you guys!
WHAT FORMATS ARE THE GUIDES AVAILABLE IN?
The guides are available in PDF format for use on phones, tablets, pc’s and thus can also be printed if you wish. When you purchase the PDF format of the guide it will be immediately emailed to you to do with as you wish. I personally chose this format as I like to have access to it on iBooks (iPhone app), and being able to print the programme allows me to annotate my progress actually on the guide. The second format the guides are available in is through the apple or android App Store. The app is called “Sweat with Kayla” and allows you access to the workouts, nutritional information and extra little things such as a weekly progress photo journal.
DO I NEED TO JOIN A GYM?
Absolutely not, and this is one of the main reasons I love this programme. You don’t need any fancy gym equipment, however you will need to purchase a few small things such as a yoga mat (thicker is best for back support), a medicine ball and a pair of dumbells (weights are shown on the guides themselves). Anything else in the programme you can easily find substitutions for in your home. I would also highly recommend purchasing a foam roller to aid recovery and reduction in muscle soreness.
WHAT IF I CAN’T DO ONE OF THE EXERCISES?
If you can’t do one of the exercises do not worry! It is a tough programme and it is built to challenge you. All you need do is use a modification, for example the most common people struggle with is push-ups, so to make the move easier you can do these on your knees instead. Once you have built your strength up you can then begin incorporating some full moves amongst the modified version until you can complete all the reps with the full move.
WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING?
A full BALANCED diet. This is a new lifestyle so it needs to be sustainable, don’t focus on restriction just focus on keeping your fresh foods higher and your processed food consumption lower. If you feel you need extra advice in this area Kayla has also created a nutritional guide called the “H.E.L.P Guide”.
HOW CAN I LOSE WEIGHT ON X PART OF MY BODY?
Suuuuperrrr sorry but you can’t pick where you lose body fat. It’s a concept called “spot reduction” and it is a total myth. Fat loss will occur over your whole body and dependent on the individual it may be lost in some places more than others, however there is no way to know this until it has begun. (RIP boobs & bum)
WHY DO I STILL WEIGH THE SAME?
The BBG focuses on building muscle, and boy muscle weighs A LOT. Therefore unless you have a very high volume of fat to lose it is likely your weight will remain the same or potentially it may go up. Original weight – fat loss + muscle gain = similar weight (typically). This is precisely why in BBG we take progress photos instead of using the scales. Quick tip: take your progress photos in your underwear/ a bikini and in good lighting so you have really clear comparison photos, also take these of your full front, full back, full side and any extra areas you want improvement e.g flexing arm muscles etc.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE MISSED A WEEK?
At some point everyone gets ill or has a commitment that stops them for a week or so. It is advised that you go back as many weeks as you have missed. E.g. if you completed week 6 and fell ill for a week you should restart at the beginning of week 6, or if you were ill for 2 weeks then you should restart at week 5.
I’M NOT SORE, AM I NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH?
Soreness does not directly correlate to how hard you have worked out, so don’t worry! In the first few weeks of the programme it is likely you will be veeeery sore due to all these new muscles being used, and then after a while your body will adapt and begin to get used to the increased level of exercise. This results in a mega reduction in soreness.”