Hello, My Beautiful Friends! What I do to workout or what my fitness routine is has been such a requested post for years! Before I get into what I currently do, I want to point out something. I truly believe I’ve been fortunate to have parents who supported and encouraged a healthy and active lifestyle. I started figure skating when I was 8-years-old and shortly after, to keep up with the demands figure skating put on my body, I was introduced to a warm-up, workout and post-skating regimen. Figure skating competitively was my life for more than 11 years. This contributes to a great metabolism and foundation for having lean muscle. My Dad is quite lean himself and had well-defined muscles in his legs before he got sick. My Mom encouraged us to eat plenty of greens and vegetables so I grew up loving healthy food.
I have no doubt these things along with a little blessing when it comes to genetics, play a huge role in how I look, how my body processes food and absorbs nutrients and how muscle develops on my body. Trust me, I eat relatively healthy, but I’m 100 percent guilty of eating a whole line of Oreos or swinging by Chick-Fil-A when we’re stuck in the field on breaking news. That said, I’m also no stranger to injury. I’ve got a slew of them from figure skating and it’s not something I’m proud of. For a 20-something to have the injuries I do is not fun. I cannot stress enough how important it is to properly warm up before you work out. Please take five to 10 minutes to stretch out your body and get your heart rate going. This is always part of my fitness routine. “Shocking” your body by jumping straight into your workout can lead to painful injuries. I don’t want any of that for y’all! Now, let’s get into it!
Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Program
Why I Use BBG
I’ve been doing a program called Bikini Body Guide or BBG by Kayla Itsines for three years as my fitness routine. Personally, I love how I’m done in about 40 minutes, which includes warming up and cooling down. It’s no secret I’m incredibly busy, so time is very valuable to me. I don’t have time to spend two to three hours in the gym (I used to do this, more on that below). Also, I’ve been able to relatively get away with doing most of the workouts at home or in my apartment gym. This is huge to me since it saves me time from commuting to and from the gym! Definitely a big reason why I use BBG. Finally, there are exercises I can easily adapt for my injuries without really affecting the overall workout. I’m sure if I did the whole workout all these years, I’d be stronger, but that’s okay and I’ll take what I can get.
What Is BBG?
It’s an intense 28-minute workout you do three days a week. This is the HIIT portion of the program. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. Each day you’ll focus on different muscle groups such as legs, arms and full body in that order. You can choose what day you want to workout but I recommend a break day in between. You’ll be sore, so you’ll want a break. Whether that means you start with legs Sunday, arms Tuesday and full body Thursday or use Monday as your first day, it doesn’t matter. Just get it all done! Each workout will be used every other week. There is a workout you do for week one and three, another for week two and four, so on and so forth. The workouts are exhausting and designed to push you to your limit. Be prepared to be exhausted, grunt, groan and suffer
just a little bit. There are jump squats, jump lunges, push-ups, burpees, weight squats, tricep dips and more. Doing both your weight training while getting cardio in is what makes this program effective.
How I Make The Program Work For Me
For most people, you should be able to do BBG without any true issues. I don’t mean this will be easy. It’s going to be incredibly hard and you will be sore. However, I’m talking about injuries. I have a bad knee, so I don’t do all of the jumping exercises. For example, I don’t “jump” when I do burpees. If there are three or more jumping exercises, I take one of them out. Perhaps one workout has jump squats, jump lunges and X-jumps. I’ll take out the easier one (in this case, the X-jumps) or the one I feel is actually provoking my knee. Throughout my years of figure skating, I can differentiate a “good hurt” from a “bad hurt.” I use this as a baseline and never make my body do something when it’s telling me something is wrong.
When I actually do my workout ranges on how busy or stressful I can estimate my week to be. I usually will workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However, on really stressful weeks, I’ll use a weekend day as one of my workout days so I’m not worried about working out and showering before I go to work. When I do this, I’ll usually start Tuesday and have Saturday as my last day. The flexibility of the program is why I use BBG.
Other Things Worth Mentioning
There is also a LISS portion to BBG, which stands for low-intensity steady state. This means you’re doing something for 40 minutes straight at the same pace. You can walk, jog, bike, do the elliptical… it doesn’t matter so long as you’re doing it for 40 minutes. This is the perfect time to listen to podcasts or catch up on TV shows! Be prepared to be sore the first few weeks. Basic things including walking, getting up, sitting down could be quite difficult, but there are ways to combat that (more on this below). When you purchase the BBG program it will also come with a meal plan. Personally, I don’t use this, however, you’re more than welcome to.
Personal Training & Other Things I Did/Do
Longer Weight Training
From 2014 to 2015 I trained incredibly hard to get my body in shape for Miss USA. I worked with two different personal trainers who kicked my butt. I would spend about two to three hours in the gym every other day and one hour the rest. While these truly got me into incredible shape, I no longer have the time for this. I can’t imagine spending that much time in the gym when I have other things I need to do. Occasionally, I’ll hop on the elliptical and do interval for 40 minutes to an hour like I used to back in the day. But nowadays, I rely on BBG.
Extra Body Weight Exercises
- Hip Touches – I’m a big fan of these for my abs and to give my arms an extra boost. I do three sets of 30. Some days I’ll throw these in after I do my BBG workout or if I have a few minutes, I’ll do them on days I’m not doing BBG.
- Donkey Kicks – These will be incredible for your butt. I can’t imagine my fitness routine without this! I do four sets of 25. Once these get easy, you can add ankle weights to make it harder!
- Abs on Fire – Cassie from Blogilates is sooo fun. Her energy is electric and for years, I’ve done her abs on fire routine. This will make your core burn but it’ll make your muscles stronger!
The importance of stretching was instilled in me from a young age thanks to skating. While I was blessed with natural flexibility, stretching helped me maintain that. I’m sure it also warded off injuries. I stretch before and after every single workout. I talk about stretching in this blog post.
- Yoga Mat – I think finding a yoga mat you love will serve you well. Whether it’s for actually doing BBG on, foam rolling or stretching, it’s better to do it on a yoga mat than hard surfaces or carpet.
- Sneakers – These Nike Epic React Flyknit Sneakers are my favorite athletic shoes to date. I’ve worn a lot of different sneakers, but the comfort level of these is on another level. They feel like clouds, are extremely lightweight and the flyknit is so breathable. The react foam cushioning technology is responsive, springy yet durable and performs well. So far, my arches haven’t burned and this is something I always struggle with.
I recently caved and purchased a foam roller. Let me tell you, it is a game changer! I’m going to be honest, what got me on the bandwagon was peeping on all the figure skaters at the Olympics and World Championships foam roll. I wish this was introduced to me and my fitness routine back when I skated! Foam rolling makes I used this YouTube video to figure out how to properly roll out my muscles. The scientific term is self-myofascial release, which is basically a soft tissue therapy focusing on nerves and connective tissue. The whole body is one and works in tandem. I remember when I would skate injured, other parts of my body would compensate for the hurt leg, arm, etc. This not only leads to imbalances but potential overloading of those other muscles and tissues, which will lead to fatigue and injuries.
Foam rolling will first of all help muscles relax and eliminate imbalances. It’ll also improve your range of motion, relieve muscle soreness and joint stress (this was huge for me, ain’t no body got time to be limping around) and relax your muscles. It’ll improve the quality of your life, trust me.
Since I’m still in the “honeymoon” phase of foam rolling, I’m doing it every day, but that’s not necessary. A little bit before and after your workout should suffice. You can also do this while listening to podcasts or catching up on your TV shows.
I truly hope sharing my fitness routine helps you on your fitness journey. Remember, don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress. The hardest step is always the first one, but it’s also the most important one. With some hard work, you can do this!