Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide

Many of you guys out there will have read my review on Joe Wickes' 90 SSS plan and well that didn't go so well for me.  However, every body has a different way of working and it seems that, that particular plan just wasn't the one for me.

Since leaving the plan behind, I have managed to shift some of the weight that I gained on it and have picked up Kayla Itsines plan instead.  On reading through the plan, I instantly felt at ease - every tiny little detail and question is answered and illustrated and you can see exactly what you are supposed to be doing for each circuit, leaving less room for error or misinterpretation.

I have been dedicating myself to the workouts for the last two weeks and today I begin week 3 already.  How fast has that gone?

What changes have I seen so far?  Well so far I have lost a total of 5lbs and 2 inches.  My fat is definitely more stubborn now that it's ever been, so motivation and positive thinking is something that I am trying my best to stick to and recently joining forces to train with Kayleigh really helped on Friday.  We had a great workout session in the Reebok gym in Canary Wharf (review to come soon).

I haven't used Kayla's meal plans yet though, as I am dubious after my last experiences (with Joe's plan) - however, I think I will when I am back form my cousins wedding in Malta.

There are so many inspiring and honest people that are working on the plan at the moment too, here are some of my favourites to follow on Instagram...

1. Stef

2. Nessa

3. Brianna

4. Small and strong

5. Of course, I follow Kayla herself

You can also find lots of #fitspiration using some of the hashtags, such as:

Are you part of the Kayla Community?  I'd love to follow you too - leave a comment below with your Instagram handle and if you want to you can follow my progress here @LaurenHughes87.

Don't forget to check back again soon when Kayleigh and I will be announcing some exciting changes to the blog.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Gym Review: Better Gym Romford

It's been 9 months since I joined a gym again and this time I actually stuck to it.  Which I am very proud of and it's something that I couldn't imagine giving up now.  I feel healthier, less stressed and I have built muscle that I have never had before now.  Above all else though, I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin again.

This transformation has come with the support of the new gym that I joined in my local market place.  On my first visit to look around, I instantly felt comfortable - something which I had never experienced in a gym before and everyone that worked there was so welcoming.

You might remember my first blog post about joining the gym here when the extent of my gym kit was 4 pairs of running tights, a top to match each of them and a pair of trainers.  I now own countless pieces of kit for the gym (so much I couldn't even count) and three pairs of trainers.

The first thing that I noticed about the gym was the people though, they were extremely supportive and motivating and I had soon booked in with a PT that demonstrated things I should be doing in the gym and gave me a plan to get me going.

I then began booking in for classes, starting slowly and working my way up.  I began making friends with the people in my classes, getting to know all of the gym instructors by name and having so much fun.  Before I knew it, back in May I was named member of the month.

The second thing that struck me about the gym was the size, space and the people that were attending.  Everyone seemed normal, no one cared what I was doing and people smiled at me when I came through the door. It felt good to be welcomed to the gym, especially as Better Gym's are based on a self-service system.

Everyone that worked in the gym made the effort to know me by name and I know that this isn't just something that they do with me, as my mum and neighbor have since joined and they make the same effort with them as they do me.  It just creates such a lovely atmosphere to work out in.

Now for the classes, well what can I say?  I would normally be clock watching the whole way through waiting and counting the seconds down.  Now I am surprised when it comes to the end of my class.  The classes are hard work (in a good way) and I mostly look like I have just jumped from a swimming pool when I leave them.  The classes are for all levels though and the instructors are brilliant at helping you adapt, so you can work you way up in skill and performance.  I they think you can do better, they will always encourage you to do so.

I try and make it to as many classes as I can in the week, mostly the 7pm sessions.  Although when I can I switch it up and go to some earlier ones like Brazilian dance (or you many know it better as Zumba).  All of the instructors are amazing though, they know what your goals are, they are encouraging, they push you when you are finding something more difficult and support you when you are injured.

When I first joined the gym, there was a lot I couldn't do and I was thinking about it a lot yesterday and the ways that Better Gym has helped motivate me to reach these new levels:

Couldn't do a press up up
Can do multiple press ups with knees on the floor and body extended
Could do around 4 lunges before collapsing Can work my way through 3 sets of 8 lunges going down for 2, 3, 4 and 5 seconds
Could run for 20 mins Can run 5K in 29 mins
Could lift 2-5kg Can lift 5-10kg
Couldn't plank Can do a full plank for 60 seconds
Couldn't hit a pad with boxing gloves on Can hit the pads in different number formations with some relatively strong power behind it while moving
Didn't have the motivation to work out alone Can motivate myself to work out on my own for over an hour and feel ‘the burn’ afterwards

I am looking forward to seeing improvements over the next few months, but know that I need to step my game up a little more and vary my routine.  So I am on the look out for another gym to join with my friend Kayleigh, that we can train at in central or east London.

Today we are going to check out the Reebok Sports Club and we have a few others on our list too, including:

-        Gymbox
-        Barry’s Bootcamp
-        Fitness First   

That being said I love Better Gym so much, I still won't be leaving them as my home gym.  At only £25 a month with all your classes included - how can you complain?