It’s that time of year when all the drive and determination that accompanied our new year’s resolutions is wavering. And, with the colder weather about to set in, some at-home or in-gym workouts are much more appealing than early morning park side personal training sessions. So, when motivation is at a stalemate, we’ve enlisted the latest fitness fad. Enter, guru girls of toned abs and svelte silhouettes promising big results with their own quick and effective exercise and food guides. Here at the Beauticate office, we road tested three top fitness programs to find out what works, who benefits and just how well they’re delivering on their body promises.
Image: Instagram @alessandraambrosio
What is it?
Personal trainer, The Biggest Loser coach and the human epitome of fitspo, Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation is an event that starts four times over the course of the year. When you join, you gain access to an online community, as well as 12 weeks’ worth of workouts and a specified diet plan including recipes and a shopping list.
Our first impression is that the program is pretty foolproof if you follow it properly, and there’s a lot of help online if you need it. The second is that the recipes are to die for. The lentil-based butter chicken will definitely be a kitchen staple going forward. It also uses leftovers, which is a great way to not spend a fortune on obscure groceries every week but still reap the benefits of a healthy, nutritious diet. The workouts are simple, easy enough to do at home and not too strenuous; making this challenge perfect for anyone who would rather a clean diet and moderate exercise in place of slogging it out in the gym for hours a day.
What is it?
With currently over four million Instagram followers, Kayla Itsines’ 12 Week Bikini Body Guide (BBG) phenomenon has inspired a bit of a fitness movement in women around the world. With a slew of amazing transformation before and after shots of her BBG-ers (creating a social network for participants to cheer each other on), it appears the fitness and diet program promises significant results.
Armed with both the nutrition and fitness guides, we set off to the gym. The workouts involve three 28-minute circuits a week, as well as low intensity exercise (think long walks) and HIIT Training (high intensity interval training like sprints). Sounds basic enough – but it isn’t. Week one’s leg workout left us unable to walk up the stairs, and it does feel like the longest 28 minutes of your life. But, within a couple of weeks, we could see serious results, particularly ing the abdominal region. One thing to know about this program, though, is that it favours the aesthetic of a small waist and strong, thicker, thighs. If you’d prefer an elongated appearance to legs, incorporate pilates into your training regime.
What is it?
The online training program designed by sisters Diana and Felicia (who make up Base Body Babes) is available in four-week blocks, and holds participants to a high standard of dedication. The program takes you through a health and fitness screening – including medical history – to ensure they know where you’re at, and exactly how to get there. It’s not for the faint at heart – but stick to it and the results are some of the best on offer.
The Base Body Babes (all up) 12 week plan is super effective, if you’re happy with exclusively weight and occasional sprint/interval training – no other cardio. It goes against the grain of other training programs, but you will get amazing results. The program pretty much forbids exercise like long distance running – which is a hurdle for anyone who finds running not just great for endurance, but also as a way to refocus and de-stress. The food plan allows you to choose from a long list of meal options, and doesn’t allow any room for treats – say goodbye to peanut butter on toast for breakfast, pronto. This program is especially perfect for anyone who finds self-motivation a challenge and prefers a strict regime to follow, and those of you ready to turn your health and fitness lifestyle on its head (as opposed to having one that fits in nicely with your penchant for a conchiglie and cabernet cheat night). This is sustainable, if you’re prepared to be all-in. Otherwise, it’s an excellent kick-start to making health and fitness a priority for life.
Story by Emily Algar and Jessica Keogh