Photo: Kayla Itsines
You can’t step foot inside any gym without seeing someone squatting, skipping, or mountain-climbing with a seven-minute timer and a printout of Kayla Itsines‘s 12-week program in front of her. Itsines may hail from Adelaide, Australia, but her guides have gone global.
In fact, in the past month alone, I’ve overheard two corporate women raving about the program in an elevator at our New York City office, chatted with a makeup artist about how she’s coping with week six, and spoken with my sister about the women at her gym—in London—who are avid followers of the program. See what I mean? Global.
Photo: Sporte Luxe
As someone who finished Itsines’s original program over a year ago, I was excited to try out weeks 13 to 24—a new, extended program recently released for women (like me) who saw amazing results from the first 12 weeks and really don’t want to plateau. The 199-page guide ($69.97) is familiar to Kayla-fanatics: Inside you’ll find 12 weeks of workouts broken down into the same seven-minute circuits that the personal trainer became famous for.
I’m now at the 21-week mark, and I’ve found the new workouts way more challenging than the first 12 (oh my god, arms day is a different kind of hell), but I guess that’s exactly the point. The second guide is also much more detailed and includes a full glossary section detailing new exercises, information on foam rolling, and a bunch of new resistance exercises to stop you from getting bored with the circuit.
“It’s all about getting the most for your body out of a limited amount of time,” the fitness star told us. “It provides you with tools needed to create maintainable lifestyle change, which has helped increase happiness, health, and confidence in women all around the world.”
Compared with the first 12 weeks, I also noticed different results with the extended program. No, I’m not getting lighter on the scales, and my body shape hasn’t changed as dramatically as it did in weeks one through six—but I am still seeing incredible improvements in different ways. I am stronger, fitter, and leaner, and my muscles are much more defined. After scrolling through the before and after photos on Itsines’s Instagram, I noted that most long-term followers are experiencing similar results.
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@veganmama_fitness 9 months later using my guides! She says she feels blessed, thankful and is very excited! 💛☺️ She looks amazing! So proud of all you ladies doing my guides☀️ If you have a transformation you want featured, make sure you email it to firstname.lastname@example.org ☺️💛 www.kaylaitsines.com/guides
Itsines has also just launched a brand-new workout app called Sweat with Kayla, which I’m trying out right now. Essentially, it’s a fancier version of her print-out Bikini Body Guide (BBG). The app walks users through the same format of seven-minute circuits (equipment-free, of course), gives diet and nutrition advice, and encourages you to track your progress with weigh-ins and before and after photos (Itsines’s trademark). The app presents weekly coaching recommendations, daily menus with recipes you can tailor (yes, there are options for vegetarians too), grocery shopping lists, hundreds of educational food and fitness blog posts, and workout trackers. Newbies can try the beginner workouts, and regulars can move straight to the advanced exercises.
“I absolutely love the progress photo feature! It allows girls to take weekly photos and compare them side-by-side so they can see their incredible progress,” Itsines told us. “I also love the automated fortnightly shopping lists. So many of us are time poor these days, so this feature really helps to stay organized and plan ahead.”
While the download is free, you can’t see much without punching in your credit card info and committing to the $19.99/month ($4.61/week) subscription fee. When you consider how much I’m paying for my gym membership, that’s literally pocket change.
Photo: Kayla Itsines/iTunes