I just officially finished week 12 of Kayla Itsines Beachbody Guide and I am so excited to talk a little bit about it here. I took all the requisite photos to show the results, but I also wanted to chat a bit about the internal shift that has occurred while working this program.
*just a little program overview. There are 3 days of targeted circuits (abs, legs, arms), where you repeat 2 circuits as many times as you can for 7 minutes straight. The whole workout is 28 minutes long and kicks your butt. Seriously. Then there are recommend cardio days (2-3), where you either do steady cardio or HIIT workouts. I group those onto my circuit days, as I don’t do the gym more than 3 days, but it is recommended you don’t. I will say, there are some days I only do the circuits and they are a killer, so you CAN get away with just those!
First off, I purchased this program because I was getting bored at the gym and wasn’t really seeing any results despite working out consistently. I had heard a lot of people loved this program, so late this summer I decided to buy it. I started in mid August and began to see results pretty quickly. (Yay!) I didn’t start out needing to lose any weight, but I wanted to tone up and gain some muscle definition. I also wanted to get away from worrying about the scale and the numbers that tend to go up and down on occasion.
I weigh myself every four weeks as Kayla advises (the same day I take the progress photos) and that is it. I love how freeing that is! I DID end up losing about 2 pounds, but I don’t really care about that, to tell you the truth. I love that because I feel strong and have a purpose at the gym, the number on the scale means nothing to me. I have weighted less and I have weighed more, but I have never felt this good in my skin. That has been my biggest takeaway from this program.
Week 1, 4, 8 and 12 from left to right.
Week 1 and 12.
It’s funny, when you look at my progress photos there isn’t a HUGE difference from weeks 1-12, but I feel so much better in my skin as I’ve worked my way through these 12 weeks. (The ab photo below does show a more dramatic muscle definition difference. It was taken at the same time, just better lighting!) I saw the biggest difference in my stomach (I did no ab work before this), and my legs and arms have more muscle definition. I do a ton of pushups and burpees, so my back has finally gotten some definition as well! I’m going to try to do better photos for my 2nd round of this program to help capture the increased muscle definition a little better. Mirror selfies just don’t show what I want to show, you know? Ha.
Week 1,4,8 and 12 from left to right.
This side view is a little bit more dramatic, my stomach is obviously flatter (I am sucking it in in that first photo, too!), and I can tell by the way my bathing suit bottoms fit that my legs and butt are getting better. I feel like my legs are a lot stronger and I am hoping in weeks 13-24 that I see further improvement here (I’ve always hated my butt, ha.) All in all, I AM pleased with the changes I see and feel and it makes me so excited to start week 13 next week.
I have been loving the increased muscles I’ve been building and how strong I feel! I truly enjoy pushing myself and doing better each workout I do. I try my best to push it each time and to keep going even when I feel like I’m going to die. Lol.
If I’m not working I can go to the gym my regular days (typically M/W/F), and can do an hour or so of the circuits and cardio with some stretching at the end. If I am working (I sub at my kids’ school!), I wake up and go to the Y at 6 am and just do the circuits and stretching. I have tried going after work, but I do best when I workout right away, and despite the fact that getting up at 5:30 HURTS, I’d rather get my workout done early rather than later.
My favorite low impact cardio is walking on the treadmill at an incline (about 10-14%) for 15 minutes, and my favorite HIIT workout is running intervals for 15 minutes (run at a 7.5-8 mph pace for 1 minute, hop on the side for 30 seconds of rest, and repeat.) I am hoping to add one more cardio day to my routine for the next 12 weeks, just to see what the results can be.
Week 1 and 12 ab progress. (The week 12 photo above shows my muscle definition so much better than the frontal collage above… lighting DOES makes a difference;)
I think I have seen the most progress in my abs. I didn’t really do any ab work before this, and while I was pretty happy with my stomach before, I am really excited to see some definition here. There is something really empowering about feeling like you can have two kids and then get yourself back together after and be better than ever. I was thin before I got pregnant, but my stomach looks way better than it ever did before children, and I love how awesome that feels.
The whole point of this for me has been to do my personal best and see what my body can do. I want my kids to see their mama working hard to be as healthy as she can be, and that I care about myself enough to better myself. If I am happy, they are happy! Again, while I have really liked seeing physical results from these past 12 weeks, I feel like I have felt a more drastic inner change. I feel more confident and in charge of my body and what it can do. I feel really good in my own skin, for the first time in a long time, and I love that.
I’m thinking of doing a post about how I eat for my next fitness installment! (I follow the IIFYM guidelines.) Thoughts?!