#thekaylamovement Bikini Body Guide: Abs and confidence

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Are things getting any easier as our challengers reach Week 10? Photos / Supplied
Are things getting any easier as our challengers reach Week 10? Photos / Supplied

The battle's not over yet. Heading into Week 10 of #thekaylamovement, Tina is making some discoveries about ab strength while Tessa reminds herself what all the squats and jump lunges are really for.

Tina

My nemesis: Jump lunges. Photos / Supplied
My nemesis: Jump lunges. Photos / Supplied

This past weekend, I was looking forward to another quick 15-minute high-intensity interval training session (HIIT). But the Sweat app gave me a choice of a boring low-intensity session or another boring low-intensity session. Guess which one I reluctantly picked? The low-intensity session. I shouldn't complain. It's not that hard to throw on some headphones and get amongst it in the cooler temperatures.

Coming into Week 9 and Week 10, I'm starting to see how little strength I have in my abs. During the ab training sessions, Sweat has had me do these raised leg sit ups with a twist, which I do by putting my feet up on the coffee table.

Sounds relaxing, right?: Lay back with your feet up - now try to touch your toes. Trying to do 20 of these will take up the majority of my seven-minute strength session. It takes heroic effort to get my upper torso off the floor, elevate it up, twist over, then thud myself back down to the floor. Will these get any easier? Doesn't seem so at this moment.

My other nemesis, jump lunges, also don't seem to be getting any easier for me to complete. As I jump up to switch my legs, I wobble too much on the way down and it throws off my momentum. And if I do have momentum after a few jumps, the pain and burning in my legs will require me to stop and shake them out.

I find that breaking the number of reps into more sets helps me get through the exercise. Trying to do 20 jump squats is intimidating. Doing five sets of four jump squats is more doable. Maybe next time, I can do two sets of 10.

This week's strength workouts look like they only will get more intense. There's an ab exercise called a spider push-up, which looks pretty awful. Lay down push-ups with tuck jumps? I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do maybe 4.5 of those, despite the description to do 20.

There are more X Jumps, which start out in a squat position and transition through jump lunges and back into a squat. Those don't sound all that great. But hey, at least there are no sets of jump lunges to do this week?

My results

How I'm feeling: Squatted and lunged out
What I'm listening to: Some Pandora station with Pitbull blaring
Least favourite exercise: Jump lunges and X Jumps - which are basically another form of jump lunges
Favourite exercise: HIIT sessions. Why is there only one a week?

Tessa

I roped my best friend into doing a couple of sessions with me. Adding in a few fun tyre throws with our mates Courtney and Rhys, from Crave Fitness. Photo / Angela Pan
I roped my best friend into doing a couple of sessions with me. Adding in a few fun tyre throws with our mates Courtney and Rhys, from Crave Fitness. Photo / Angela Pan

There's a saying that goes: "It takes four weeks for you see your body changing, it takes eight weeks for friends and family and it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep going."

I'm not usually one for these sort of cliché quotes but this one seems to have truth behind it. The week just gone, I had several friends and family members comment on the amount of weight I've lost. It's always nice to hear this, when it's unexpected and kind of when it's expected.

My goal when I started out on this Kayla experience wasn't actually to lose weight. Sure, the weight loss came with it but my main goal was to tone and refine.

I know that my body will never be a size six, I don't have a "no hips and tiny legs" figure. I've accepted that and I'm happy with that.

However, I do carry a lot of muscle from previous years of rowing and playing hockey competitively. So I know that I can tone up and get lil' baby abs (if I decide to be good and not eat McDonald's that day) and I also know that I love being fit and the feeling of being fit. This beats being skinny any day.

Although we've had so much support, Tina and I have seen a lot of backlash over our "Bikini Body Challenge". The idea of having a bikini body has been ridiculed and shamed for promoting an unrealistic, negative body image: "You wanna start with real women? 67.5kgs & 63kgs! What a joke..." was one of the many comments.

The thing is, it isn't about losing enough weight to achieve the exact same body as Kayla. And "real women", what even defines that?

How and when did we allow people to classify body shapes of females into an ideal "real woman". No one in my mind has the right to even attempt to classify it. We are all different, mind body and soul.

This guide and challenge from Kayla isn't about dropping 10 kilograms. It's about determination, dedication, perseverance and learning about both your mind and your body.

I have learnt so much over the past 10 weeks. From how to push through those moments where your legs feel like they're bleeding, to knowing that it's okay to stop and rest because you're exhausted. The connection and effects of mental wellbeing and greater physical capabilities have been a huge realisation for me. But more on that next week.

Training with friends makes things so much better! I roped my best friend into doing a couple of sessions with me. Adding in a few fun tyre throws with our mates Courtney and Rhys, from Crave Fitness.

My results

How I'm feeling: Stronger mentally but super exhausted
Favourite workout music: Lady Leshurr, Queen's Speech Episode 4
Favourite workout: Skipping
Least favourite workout: Jump tucks. Do you know how uncoordinated I am? This is not a good mix for me.

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