On Saturday I attended one of Kayla Itsines workout sessions in London as part of her world tour, along with over a thousand other girls.
I’ve attended quite a few events like this in the last year- fitness sessions focused on girls and women, building a community and not just working out- but was actually pretty disappointed with this session.
I was first introduced to Kayla’s BBG (Bikini Body Guide) and workout plan via Freelee the Banana Girl and DurianRider (Vegan YouTube vloggers) when they did a series of videos critiquing the dietary advice that Kayla gave as part of her BBG. As far as I can tell, the nutrition guide that Kayla advocates features a series of menus consisting of around 1600 calories a day. This is normal for a bikini body plan because it promotes rapid weight loss but it’s not sustainable. I feel that my nutrition is working for me right now so I wasn’t very interested in Kayla’s dietary advice but here’s a link to a few of Freelee and Durian Riders videos if your interested in their reviews (there was a big court case about this):
The BBG- fitness plan
So Kayla’s BBG is $69 to buy and features a 12 week plan with two different circuits per session. These circuits consist of 2 * 7minutes rounds of 4 different exercises. Looking at Kayla’s Instagram and Facebook page, the girls that are following her programme seem to be getting really good results (which is expected if they follow both the fitness and nutrition plan) so when I attended her workout session I was expecting something special.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge promoter of fitness especially for girls. I’ve been co-running the Nike Trainer Club at my University this past year which provides free work out sessions for girls each week. As part of my work with Nike I’ve been to quite a few Nike Women’s events this year (Skateboarding and yoga at BaySixtySix, NTC workouts in London, the Nike Women’s Race Series Launch etc. ) and was expecting something on the same scale. I understand that Kayla is only a 24 year old girl, and not a huge brand such as Nike, but she has been marketed really well on social media so I thought there would be something special about her London event…
I was really disappointed when I arrived at the venue and saw an almost empty hall filled with a few hundred girls on yoga mats, with a stage at the front. I understand that the aim was to get as many girls in the hall as possible but the venue seemed too big and would’ve benefited from a smaller room, providing a more personal feel, after-all the actual workout only lasted 30 minutes.
However, it was great too see so many girls working out together. Kayla has created a community for those who do her workout guides (#Kaylasarmy and the #K2movement) and throughout the workout she encouraged the girls to keep pushing harder not for themselves but to help motivate everyone around them. I thought that this was a really nice sentiment because being part of a fitness community promotes sustainable fitness as you want to keep coming back. Kayla also mentioned that the reason why she created guides and not a fitness DVD was because she wanted the girls to motivate and challenge themselves. The workouts are mostly done in the individuals living room or at the gym solo so the girls needed to be able to workout independently.
The actual workout session on the day consisted of a 5 minute warm up (dynamic) and 2*3 minute circuits+ 2*2 minute circuits. Each circuit consisted of two different exercises for 30 seconds e.g. high knees followed by press ups. Although the session didn’t last long it was enough to get your heart pumping. I like these type of HIIT sessions because it makes you push yourself in a set time limit. I frequently aim to do more more rep per set than I did previously i.e. 8 burpees the first time and 9 or more the second. It’s all about challenging yourself and being responsible for your own improvement.
I wouldn’t say that i’m extremely fit or well educated in fitness. I do not have any fitness qualifications,I didn’t even take PE or anything to do with sports for A-level or at University but everything that I know now has either been from online research or from trial and error… and I’ve been doing the workouts that Kayla is selling for years in my living room.
It’s crazy to think that girls are paying money for this kind of HIIT session when similar one’s are widely available online. None of the exercises that Kayla uses are unique and alternating between cardio i.e. high knees and strength i.e. press ups for a HIIT session are well known methods for lots of different workout sessions. HIIT is great for burning fat so is ideal for a ‘Bikini Body’ plan, but the workouts are so easy to create yourself! Or if you don’t know much about fitness then there’s lots of apps which are **FREE** that have precreated workouts for you to follow.
Nike and NTC
Although I’ve technically worked for Nike this past year, I’ve been using their N+TC app long before this and I promote it to everyone that I know. The app is completely free to use and a consists of different workouts focused on getting :
Each section has beginner, intermediate and advanced options as well as different time limits; 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute sessions. They also provide an explanation and video of each exercise for reference during the workout.
There are also sessions called Nike Training Club (N+TC) which have taken place in London and at Loughborough Uni for the past few years. I started attending these sessions back in Uni second year (2013) and loved them! Picture over 40 girls working out together, each week, for free… ideal for any Uni student!
Nike have also started a run club which is also free to attend. It’s available for all levels of fitness (I haven’t tried these out yet but i’m planning too soon).
Here’s a link for anyone wanting to try out the NTC London classes or join the Nike running crew: http://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/cities/london
As you can probably tell I think that it’s possible to get fit for free quite easily and there’s lots of free classes in and around the London area (not just Nike sponsored)- they may take a bit of research to find but your body and your bank balance will thank you for it!
When i’m away travelling i’m not going to be able to get to a gym so i’m going to be using the N+TC app quite a lot in attempt to keep up my fitness!