Strength training, the bane of a long distance runner’s existence (at least for most). Although many runners will solely focus on running, strength training exercises are important for well, strengthening but also for preventing injury. Coming from a background of running cross country and track in high school, I totally understand the absolute dread of hitting the weight room. As I have gotten older and trained myself to stay motivated in my fitness routine, I have been acquainted with the Kayla Itsines’s Instagram famous, Bikini Body Guide, or more colloquially known as, BBG. For those that haven’t heard about this workout plan, it’s a plan that has three strength workouts a week that focus on Legs/Cardio, Arms/Abs, and Total Body. The plan also calls for 3-4 days a week of cardio or low intensity exercise, which I just pound out on the pavement, logging about 3-5 miles each time. For me the running part is a piece of cake, it’s the strength exercises that really get to me. I have completed BBG 1.0 last year and am returning back to it; I am currently on Week 7. Since I have started the BBG exercises, I have learned five things about myself that I think other runners can relate to and even appreciate.

 

  1. Burpees are HARD: Never underestimate the difficulty of burpees, or any of the exercises that are in the BBG workouts. It’s totally normal to break a sweat after doing five repetitions of burpees. After the 10 burpees (or 15, depending on where you are in the program), you usually do alternating jump lunges or sumo squats. Yep, that is what will really make you feel the burn in your quads.

  2. You may experience a different kind of sore: Fellow runners understand the type of soreness after running a 5 mile or doing mile repeats. The soreness I experienced during the first two days after I did the first BBG workout felt like a mix of sore after running uphill and sprinting 100s. Needless to say, after completing the first leg day, I was sore in muscles that I don’t normally feel after just running.

  3. Arm/Ab day is just as challenging as leg day: This is especially true when you have tricep dips and a combination of 8 mountain climbers and 1 pushup, for a total of 15 sets. I am on week 7 of the program and I still cheat a little and do the mountain climbers first, before the pushups. Sometimes, I’ll even skip the latter. When I do do the workout all the way through, my triceps ache the day after and my abs cry internally whenever I laugh.

  4. BBG will drench you in sweat: It normally takes me around 25 minutes to complete both circuits of a BBG workout. At the end of those grueling 25 minutes, my body is pouring sweat. I sweat so much that it threatens to get in my eye causing my eyes to water in fear instead of absolute fatigue. As gross as this is to some, it makes me feel great after because I know that I gave those exercises my all.

  5. You’ll feel like a badass when you complete a workout: The feeling of accomplishment I get after completing a BBG workout ranks on the same level as running five miles. I am a visual person so when I see my flushed, sweat drenched face wit my baby hairs all over the place staring back at me in the mirror, that’s when I know that I got a good workout in for the day.

 

So that’s basically what I feel about Kayla Itsines’s BBG program in a nutshell. I geuinely feel that her workouts have helped in strengthening my body. My legs don’t get as easily tired as before, my arms are able to carry more weight, and I can hold a plank for even longer. My plan is to continue doing these workouts along with my half marathon training. You can read all about my half marathon training progress on my blog. For my readers that follow BBG, please let me know what you think in the comments! For those that have any questions, ask me!

“Run Happy!”

-Samantha

 

Published by Samantha J.