Arriving back on the hill for spring semester, although the weather felt like anything but spring, reminded us all that summer is rapidly approaching. After a long
glorious month of spending as much time in bed as possible, and leaving only for meals, I felt the urge to get back into shape. Spring’s impending arrival means
not only the return of darties in the lot, but also ditching the sweatshirts and leggings we’ve been wearing since November and pulling out our summer wardrobes.
A few friends and I decided to start working out upon returning to Mount Saint James. New semester, new us! (Maybe).
If you have been on Instagram in the past year, you have probably stumbled across a before/after picture of someone who has joined the #fitfam, or possibly, #kaylasarmy. Instagram’s fitness queen, Kayla Itsines, has taken the internet by storm, amassing thousands of loyal followers who swear by her workout program. Her guides to 28-minute workouts, available through her app and online in a PDF, promise to get you into shape fast.
Day One (Monday): Legs and Cardio
After taking the hike up to Hart, we settled into the workout room attached to the upstairs gym. Each workout has a focus area, and today’s was legs and cardio.
Halfway through our first seven-minute circuit (the 28 minutes are divided into two sets of exercises that you repeat twice each in 7 minute sections), we realized
this was no walk in the park. Struggling through the squats, lunges, and burpees, we finished the first day sweaty and exhausted.
Day Two (Tuesday): Day one was hard, but even getting out of bed on Day Two was a struggle. Everything hurt. Day one, although dubbed “legs and cardio”
had actually sent my entire body into a tizzy. Everything from my calves to my shoulders burned. The walk from class in Stein to Hogan had never felt longer.
Ever. Tuesday’s workout was called “LISS” or Low Intensity Steady State training. Basically, it’s walking for a half an hour. Hauling our sore bodies down to
Loyola, we crawled on the treadmill, wincing through every minute.
On Day Three, we felt especially #blessed to be doing anything but legs. The soreness continued, making hikes up and down everyone’s favorite hill less than
ideal. Day Three’s workout can be summed up in two words: push ups. Of every variety. But once again, for 28 minutes, we amused every other gym-goer with
Day Four (Thursday): Monday’s soreness faded (finally) on day four, when we had some light cardio to look forward to. Instead of looking like snails on the Loyola
treadmills, we looked like actual people.
Day Five (Friday): On the verge of the weekend, we learned that Kayla likes to up the intensity just in time for the weekend when you’re bound to walk up Boyden
at some point on Friday or Saturday night. Yay! Although we knew that soreness awaited on the other side of the 28 minutes, we felt like seasoned pros by the
end of the week. Kayla’s workouts repeat several of the same movements on different days, so you’re bound to do them more than once. By Friday, we had seen
several pieces of the workout before (such as medicine ball squats, burpees, and knee ups), so the 28 minutes flew by.
By Day Six, the final workout of the week, (Kayla gives you Sunday off, bless her heart) we could turn our 30 minutes of walking into some light jogging, and,
despite some lingering lactic acid, felt like we were on the road to finally getting back into shape.
In one week of workouts, I can see why the Australian fitness mogul has created such a large following. While initially a shock to the system, Kayla Itsines’s
workouts work. I’ve never squatted and pressed more in my life, but after a week, I could absolutely do some medicine ball squats in my sleep. While we all
continue to wait for warm weather to finally return to the hill, you can find me up in the gym just working on my fitness.