If you’re an avid ‘before’ and ‘after’ devotee, we’ve got just the fitness plan for you. Step off the scales and walk/jog/sprint right this way…

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Kayla Itsines has sprung (plyometrics are most definitely her thing) from Down Under to an Instagram feed, gym floor and park near you; the Bikini Body Guide community is ever expanding (notably, waistlines aren’t). Perhaps it’s her boundless energy, likely it’s her relatively straightforward half hour workouts and most definitely it’s her followers’ jaw dropping ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots; somehow, Kayla has struck a chord with time strapped but determined women everywhere. Discover why this Adelaide based, female only trainer’s workouts have come to form the ‘It’ fitness plan of the moment…

What is it?

Frankly, it’s a lifestyle. Kayla is quite rightly adamant that you can’t change one factor of your day to day life to the extreme and expect great results. You’ve got to put in the work in as balanced a way as possible to achieve your goals, not to mention develop confidence. This 12 week guide is packed with varied workouts and well researched information to help you to do just that.

Incidentally, a ‘bikini body’ is a state of mind apparently. You’re working towards feeling comfortable in your skin and attaining ‘happiness through health’. A ‘bikini body’ should mean different things to different women; one size fits all should never apply. NB. Kayla has since admitted that her only regret in her career thus far is referencing the ‘bikini’ aspect in the title of her guides. It certainly worked to kickstart the popularity of her plan, however, and once you’re in you’ll notice that there’s next to no beach body chat. Just in case your red flag was waving there.

Who is it for?

Kayla reports that her rough client demographic is women between the ages of 16-40, which is quite a wide fan base. From mums to teens to anyone in between, Kayla’s emphasis is on empowering women to workout wherever and whenever they can, for 30 minutes at a time, making sure they’re flexing pretty much every inch of their body, and resting up too. If you’re not ‘exercise inclined’, the workouts are stimulating enough to keep you interested, but exercises are repeated throughout so that you can master the moves, and happily, each session is broken down into circuits so that time flies. You’ll want to walk for five minutes prior to every workout to warm up your muscles and joints, however, and if you’re a complete beginner Kayla recommends easing yourself in with walking and gentle jogging for a few weeks before embarking on the plan.

What’s the main message?

That steely willpower, plus an even mix of HIIT , low intensity steady state cardio (LISS), resistance training and stretching, can help you to transform your body. You’ll want to take your diet, sleep, work and other habits and commitments into serious consideration too; change comes from getting all of the above in check. Peak health is a 24/7 commitment my friends, but the abs that you can carve out in the process are nothing short of astounding.

What will I learn?

That jumping up and down is mighty effective when it comes to improving your fitness levels (maybe warn the neighbours if you’re bikini bodying in your flat). Also, cardio comes in many forms, guises and intensities, and stretching is paramount when it comes to getting where you want to go; the bendier you become, the better your range of movement and overall performance. Safety first though; Kayla emphasises that you should feel a ‘pull’, but a ‘burning tear’ suggests you’ve gone too far. Tread gently, especially if you’re a rookie. You’ll also come to realise that short, sweet and regular is the route to results; Kayla doesn’t advocate working out for more than 70 minutes a day as a general rule.

Any final takeaways?

You’ll require a fair amount of equipment (plus commitment) to really get the best out of the 189 page guide, and while you can technically get great results at home, having a gym membership might not go amiss in terms of blasting HIIT bits on the treadmill. That being said, jumping straight in (there really is a lot of jumping) is simple, and the workouts are pretty uncomplication when you get in the swing.

Bikini Body Workouts Guide by Kayla Itsines, £33.59,  click here to purchase from our e-guide marketplace

For even more impressive results, you can purchase Kayla’s nutrition guide  here

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