BBG WORK OUT Q&A WITH STEF
I’ve been thinking about doing Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Workout and actually got the e-book a little while ago when a good friend recommended it to me. Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer from Australia who sells 12-week workout plans online. What I love about her mentality is that she pushes women to be the healthiest and strongest version of themselves, not the skinniest.
This Monday, I finally started the BBG workout and I’ve invited a friend of mine, Stef, over to the blog to share a few tips and answer my many million questions. Stef has been doing Kayla’s workouts for a while now and weirdly enough, I started following her journey on Instagram (@steffejung) before we met coincidentally at a party.
Stef has an great story and an absolutely amazing body!
As I started the workout this week, I was dying to ask Stef a few questions and thought I’d invite her over here to share her tips! So… sit down, grab a healthy juice and I’ll leave the floor to Stef!
Tell us a bit more about yourself :)
I’m a clean eater & part-time vegan, gym rat, runner, yogi and self proclaimed wellness warrior. But I haven’t always been like this. Only three years back, I was stuck in a horrible eating disorder. It’s hard to describe how things turned around, but one day I decided that enough was enough and that I needed to take control of my life again. It was an incredibly hard journey and I wouldn’t have been able to succeed without my family, friends and especially my boyfriend, but I am healthy and happy today. In fact, I am healthier, happier and stronger than I have ever been before. Looking back, I am grateful for what the eating disorder has taught me, and I wouldn’t be the same person without having gone through this experience.
What do you like about Kayla’s workouts?
Kayla’s workouts are so different to anything I have ever done before. I have gone from torturing myself for 2 hours each day on the treadmill to only lifting heavy weights at the gym. It took me some time to figure out the right balance between cardio and weight training, and Kayla’s workout helped me a lot with that. Her workouts incorporate both HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LIIS (Low Intensity Steady State), but also body weight exercises that build muscle and tone the body. The perfect combo in my opinion! But what’s even better is that Kayla promotes a healthy lifestyle and helps girls to build self confidence and be comfortable in their own bodies. If you’ve been following her on her Instagram you’ll know what I’m talking about.
What do you need to get started?
Once you have bought the eBook, I recommend printing it out (at least the exercise part). I used to have it on my iPhone via Dropbox, but this can get complicated when you are trying to look at the exercises, use the timer and listen to music at the same time. The second time around I am also using this GymBossTimer. It is specifically designed for interval training and allows you to concentrate on your training without worrying about time.
Equipment needed includes a set of weights (3-5 kg are recommended, but I have used up to 10kg), a medicine ball, skipping rope, bosu ball and a bench. I definitely also recommend investing into a good pair of shoes, if you don’t already have a pair. The workout consists of plyometric exercises, meaning exercises conducted in a rapid or “explosive” way. Not wearing high- quality shoes could mean hurting your knees and shins in the long run (trust me, I’ve been there).
Do you need the nutrition guide? Do you follow it?
Do you know the saying: “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet?” Well, nothing could be more true. If you really want to see changes, you will have to give 100% in both battles, end of story. Kayla’s nutrition guide is definitely a good starting point if you want to overhaul your diet but don’t know where to begin. That said, I personally don’t follow her guide. I was already in the middle of improving my diet before I started Kayla’s workout, and I found it “too basic” for where I was in my journey. I have read many books and educated myself about numerous dietary philosophies over the last two years, and have reached a point where I have found a diet that works well for me. If you ever need some tips, take a peak at my Instagram!
Where do you work out? Can you do the workouts at home or outside?
I do the workouts in a gym, but they can definitely be done at home or outside. A set of weights aren’t that expensive and are a good investment in the long run. The same goes for the medicine ball and the jump rope. I don’t think it’s worth getting a bosu ball, as it’s not used that often in her exercises. And lastly, the bench can easily be replaced with a chair, coach table or even a park bench or steps.
What’s your favourite time of the day to do the BBG work out?
Due to uni and work, I don’t really get to choose when I work out and have to do it in the evening. But on weekends I love being active in the morning! My one recommendation is to not do the BBG workout right after a meal or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I remember the couple times I did Kayla’s workout without having eaten anything in the morning, and I always got dizzy and felt light headed. If you plan to exercise in the morning, at least have a small snack like a banana or a green juice before.
For those of you who want a taster of what kind of exercises to expect or somewhere to get started, Stef’s taking us through four simple exercises with tips and tricks. I don’t know about you but I always worry I’m doing things wrong.
Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and heels firmly planted on the floor. Slowly lift your head, followed by your shoulder blades and torso and roll up until your chest is close to your legs. Then slowly release the torso down and roll back into starting position. Tip: I see many girls jerking themselves up by crossing their hands behind their head. This is not the right way to do a sit up. To stop yourself from doing this, try keeping the hands parallel to your body instead.
Get your body into push up position, meaning both hands on the floor (in this case, the wall) slightly further apart than your shoulders and your feet together resting on the floor. Bend your arms and lower your torso to the floor until your arms form a 90 degree angle. Now push through your chest to push yourself back up into starting position. Tip: Make sure to keep your back straight and your abs tightened throughout the entire exercise. If you can’t do the full set of push – ups (I couldn’t in the beginning), it’s ok to take breaks in between. It’s better to do the whole set properly and take longer than doing the exercises halfheartedly or worst case hurt yourself in the process.
Sit on the edge of the bench with your knees bent (like you would on a chair). Place your hands shoulder width apart to the sides of your hip on the edge of the bench. Now move your bum off the bench, but remain in a 90 degrees position as if you were still sitting on the bench. Lower your body by bending your elbows until you create a 90 degree angle with your arms. What is important here is that your shoulders, elbows and wrists stay in one line all the time. Using the strength of your arms, push back up into starting position. Make sure not to use your legs, instead really focus on feeling the burn in your arms. Tip: For this exercise I really recommend watching yourself in the mirror the first couple times you do it. This way you will know if you are hitting those 90 degree angles or not.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart and weights in each hand. Take a big step forward with your left foot. As you plant your left foot on the floor, bend both knees approximately 90 degrees. Your front knee should be aligned with your ankle and never further. Tip: If you are struggling to keep balance in this position, I recommend planting the leg not just in front, but also slightly to the left. Now you have two options: What you choose really depends on how big your workout area is and if you have enough space to walk around or not. A. Either you transfer your weight completely to your left foot and take a large step forward with your right foot to switch legs or B. You revert back to starting position by pushing yourself back with the force of your left leg.
Last question! Who are your top 5 Instagrammers to keep motivated?
1. elle_fit : Self taught yogi with an admiring flexibility and the biggest heart
2. sporteluxe : A beautiful blog with everything you need to know about fitness, nutrition and holistic well-being
3. hannamodig : Just take a look at her pictures and you’ll know why she is such a motivation!
4. alexandrabring : ditto
5. carolinehgroth : An inspiring story about a young girl who fought cancer and turned her life around
6. Sorry S, i just had to add a 6th one, it’s soooo hard to narrow it down to five… 6. theholisticingredient : She has the best cooking eBook & her sweet omelette is to die for!
A biiig thank you to the gorgeous Stef for all your tips and tricks! Let us know if you want to see more of these sorts of posts and we’ll make sure to get Stef back here (or even get her to start her own blog – I’m working on convincing her!).
Also, get over to kaylaitsines.com and get your work out guide and we can all keep motivated together. Be sure to follow the journey on Instagram @steffejung for motivation and me @sofia.clara for sweaty struggles :). xS