Whenever you're on a fitness journey, you try so many things before finding what actually works for you. I know this because this happened to me, and even though I've found something I love I still like switching it up!
If you don't love the workouts you do, you won't be motivated. Finding something you love whether it's weightlifting, circuit training, an Instagram fitness stars program or just your own workout program you created, it will help you in the long run.
We all know that going into the gym without a plan always fails. It's like going into the grocery store without a list, you walk around aimlessly until you're over it. I absolutely love workout programs because I believe it's the best way to hold yourself accountable. Having a goal when working out is always motivating, so that's why workout programs are so beneficial and they work. Well, most of the time.
I'm very aware that everyone has their preferences, and everyone has a different body shape. Just because something worked or didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you, but if you're looking for a program and can't decide which one to do, I'm here to give my opinion!
It's best that you talk with your doctor before starting any workout program, especially if you have health issues. Every program is different and requires different starting points, so research is always key when you're trying to reach your goals for your body type.
Jillian Michaels DVDs
I swear, Jillian Michaels DVDs are how every girl starts out their fitness journey. I remember trying super hard in high school to 'get in shape' which meant restricting my calories, eating 100 calorie packs of Oreos and doing Jillian Michaels DVDs. However, her workouts (specifically Ripped In 30) made me so incredibly sore I couldn't walk for days and then wouldn't be able to work out for a week. And then it would happen all over again.
Jillian Michaels is one of my girl crushes, I honestly think she's what got me into loving fitness because I loved how I felt after doing her DVDs. However, I could never do them for long enough because of how sore the workouts made me. I've seen progress photos from the workouts and it definitely works, but just like with any program you can't expect amazing results in 30 days and not continue on. You have to keep going to see the best results, and I couldn't do that unfortunately. So do her workouts work? From what I can see on The Biggest Loser, yes they do. But are they maintainable? I could probably do them now and not be as sore, but if a workout program is too much for you, you'll most likely do more damage than good.
Anna Victoria Fit Body Guides (FBG)
Anna Victoria is a beautiful and fit personal trainer who is also the creator of the 12 Week Fit Body Guides. Her workouts consist of high intensity strength training workouts that you do for 30 minutes, and you do them for 3 days a week. You also add 3 cardio days to that as well so you can burn fat while gaining muscle. I love Anna. I love how positive she is, I love how real she is and her way of looking at fitness.
Her workouts were just like she said, high intensity. She definitely doesn't go easy on you, and I really liked that. Her workout program seems similar to Kayla Itsines' which is bound to happen, but Anna's workouts involve different body parts and always a full body day. To be honest, I wasn't extremely motivated on her guides. They weren't easy, but they didn't make me as sore as I had hoped and I get sore very easily. I think Anna's program is great for beginners, but when I was starting it I wasn't a beginner. She has an FBG Lifting Guide which would be amazing for those who don't know what to do in the gym, and that's the next program I'll try for sure if I'm looking to switch it up!
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Tone It Up Workouts
Tone It Up is run by two girls, Karena and Katrina, who have successfully made their love for fitness in a million dollar company. From workout DVDs to their own brand of Perfect Fit Protein (my favourite protein ever, btw), they're so inspirational and definitely deserve it. I found TIU back in 2014 and fell in love with how different all their workouts were. Safe to say TIU is what really got me into my love for fitness. I became a TIU member in 2015 and have successfully failed at all of their Bikini Series. Let me tell you why. Hint: It has nothing to do with them.
Like I said before, they started my love for fitness. Seeing that you didn't have to run for 7 miles a day or eat nothing to see results. They really stress on feeding your body real and whole foods, and they even have recipes for healthy and actually tasty donuts, muffins, and cookies. The only problem I had was a lot of the time on their Bikini Series, or any challenge they have, you have to work out twice a day. Once for your bootycall, which is the morning workout, and once at night or whenever you can get it in. While some people don't mind this, I really don't enjoy working out in the morning and I really don't enjoy working out twice a day. It can be so beneficial to some people, but for others they don't need that much cardio and it's not realistic to keep up that lifestyle. I still do TIU workouts because I love them and I always will (especially their HIIT workouts), but I don't know if I'd consider myself a #TIUgirl anymore.
Kayla Itsines' BBG Workouts
Kayla Itsines is the creator of the famous BBG Workouts, the one you probably see all over Instagram. I'll try to keep this short and sweet, since I have written about this program before. I love these workouts, and it's the first time I've actually stuck with a program and haven't gotten tired of it.
The program is 12 weeks long, and it's 28 minutes every other day. 3 days a week you do resistance training, and the other days are LISS (low intensity steady state cardio). And she throws HIIT (high intensity interval training) in there once you reach a certain point. The weeks don't get easier, you just get stronger. The thing I love about her workouts is that it's a mix between body weight exercises and if a workout does require weights, they're not super heavy. It may seem like a lot of workouts, but since it's only 28 minutes a day and 35-45 minutes of LISS on the off days, it's really not something to stress about.
Her workouts changed my life, mind, body and soul. I have noticed such a difference in my body it's crazy, but it's made my anxiety vanish. I'm currently on week 22 (there are 24 weeks) and I will be starting all over again. I'm not sure if I'll do this program forever, but I don't see why I would stop. I don't dread these workouts at all and if you think 28 minutes isn't enough time to sweat, try out a workout then come back to me. You'll be dripping.