Entering week three of Kayla Itsine's Bikini Body Guide (BBG) 12 week programme, Tina and Tessa were feeling optimistic about their ability to work through the third installment of this epic fitness challenge.
That is until Tina discovered something called a "600 rep leg challenge" and Tessa fell over while running to the gym this morning.
Here's how the beginning of week three is shaping up for our challengers:
Somehow, despite having a cold, I was able to finish the week two BBG workouts. I was concerned that this sickness would stop any BBG progress way too early. Failure in week two of a 12-week course? That sounds pathetic.
I've spent a few days trying to listen to my body, trying to rest and popping cold meds. Come last Thursday, it was time to tick off the resistance sessions and get a few walks in. I eased my way back into BBG with the arms and abs workout, thinking that since most of the exercises involved floor work, it would be easier.
Each seven minute session had me wheezing and stopping after every 10 repetitions of an exercise. And I would need to take a longer-than-30-second breaks after each circuit to get my energy back up for the next batch of exercises. I wanted to complete the circuit on my own terms, so I took more breaks - that way, I hoped, I'd finish the workout, it would register as a win in my mind, and I could carry increased confidence and energy into the next workout.
I'm trying to be good to myself and not beat myself up for not nailing the circuits quickly and perfectly. I'm trying to give myself a pat on the back for keeping up the regime, even during a cold. And even during the post-cold weekend away at the in-laws where the food, wine and banter flowed pretty freely. (Did I mention I'm NOT following Kayla's diet plan? I'm not at this point, but hope to integrate some of her recipes into my diet this week.)
How I'm feeling: I'm not terribly scared of what to expect this week. It'll be tough, sure. But I know I can commit to it. And I'm well enough to tackle it. No biggie. Most of the exercises seem to replicate the ones I did this week: jump lunges and sumo squats and burpees...
And yet this morning, I checked the Sweat app and guess what I see today? Something called "600 rep leg challenge 1.0". I don't like the sound of this... Week three and we're talking 600 reps? This should be interesting...
Listening to: Nerdist podcast
Least favourite exercise: sit ups
Favourite exercise: sumo squats
One thing is for sure, Kayla messes with your sleep pattern. Being a complete night owl (and by that I mean a bed time of 1am), my new 9:45pm-lights-out has thrown me off, including my flat mates and the gym.
I usually exercise in the afternoon, and I'd normally say a five hour sleep isn't enough to prepare for a morning workout. But here I am, getting up at the crack of dawn to put on my runners and do some high intensity torture. If anything, I kind of feel like an elite sportswoman - I'm not kidding. There's something about waking up at 5:30am and hitting the gym before a day of work. You kind of just look at yourself like, yeah, I am actually pretty cool, and not only that, I'm actually pretty fit, too. (Disclaimer: Having said this, I do not "rate" myself).
I've started enjoying the workouts a lot more than in week one. I no longer think I've made it through the seven-minute intervals without nearly dying of exhaustion - only to look at the timer and realise a mere 47 seconds has passed - #winning.
Due to this, I'm all for the "mind over matter" cliche. I find tricking myself into liking the workouts makes them a lot more bearable, even enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, I don't like working out the same way I like (okay, love) Tim Tam Slams. But I definitely don't hate it like I used to, expect for jump lunges - I really loathe those things.
By the way, if you've never had a Tim Tam Slam, take it from me, it's a life-changing experience. Again, for those who are thinking "What would Kayla say?" I really don't care because Tim Tam Slams are a shining, chocolate coated, heaven sent gift, and I will smash a whole packet if I want to.
On the topic of food, I have been eating rather cleanly by following Kayla's H.E.L.P Guide. Acai bowls, chia puddings, and salmon scrambled eggs have made up my morning bites.
For dinner I've had orzo tomato pasta with greens, burnt kale, sautéed chicken, roasted kumara and my favourite: charred broccoli.
Eating clean is easy, if you prepare your food ahead of time which, for me, involves a Sunday night grocery shop to get ready for the week. Otherwise, it's brioche for breakfast, tempura sushi for lunch and toast for dinner.
Oh, and when I've said in past blog posts that I'm uncoordinated - I really mean it. Here's proof that running to the gym at 5.45am when you're half asleep and already coordination-challenged isn't a good idea.
How I'm feeling this week: I feel more toned through my legs and a lot stronger through my core. This helped when I was forced to take numerous 'hot dog or legs' shots with my best friend in the weekend.
Workout music: Middle of Things, Beautiful Wife Sango for LISS sessions & Maybe Carmada for HIIT sessions
Favourite exercise: Medicine ball squat & press - I kind of feel like the Hulk doing this
Least favourite exercise: Jump squats - like jump lunges but not as gross
Check out how the week is progressing on Thursday.