It seems as though everyone has a fitness e-guide / book nowadays. Packed with all you need to lead a healthy instagram-worthy life – from healthy guilt-free recipes to 12-week workout schedules, these guides have it all. Towards the end of last year, I noticed that more and more people were bringing them out and started thinking about the people who are buying them.
For me, it started with the fitness queen – Kayla Itsines. I was looking for a way to tone up and discover new exercises and workouts, without having to fork out for a personal trainer. Kayla’s BBG (bikini body guide) is a 12 week fitness guide – designed to help you tone up and lose weight with its combinations of LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio workouts and HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits. After completing it the first time (full review here), I decided to do it again, but I found I was less determined and motivated having already done it all – so I looked for something else.
Next time round I found Anna Victoria’s FBG (fit body guide) – which has a similar structure to Kayla’s BBG (you can read my comparison of the two guides here). Again, the first time round I was completely motivated and dedicated to working out 6 days a week – but after completing it I sort of lost all motivation. I’d do a combination of workouts instead of following the guide, or I’d skip ones I didn’t want to do and did something else.
Why do we keep buying fitness guides?
Easy, we get bored easily and lose our focus, our goals change or we simply suffer from that post-challenge fatigue. Losing focus is the easiest one – 12 weeks is a long time to commit to something, especially if weeks 1-4 are the same! So we try to find something else to fire us up.
We are living, moving people with ever changing lives – what suits us one month might not suit us the other. The media also doesn’t help by constantly moving the goalposts for us – one second we’re told we need a thigh gap and the next week you get told that you actually want to be bootylicious and curvaceous like Bey. We might set ourselves a January New Years Resolution to lose weight (which we lose focus on about mid-Feb) and we might then want to tone up and grow the 🍑 for our summer holidays. The ever-changing nature of our goals mean we end up not knowing what we actually want, thus buying different guides for different goals!
Finally, we suffer from what I call a post-challenge fatigue. You’ve run the marathon / you’ve reached the end of the guide and you have that “now what?” feeling. You decide to give yourself a couple of weeks off as a break and then find you can’t get back into it. With marathons / half marathons I always just book myself onto another one – which keeps me training, and it’s the same with fitness guides – I want a new one to refresh my motivation.
What I do now
I do whatever I damn want. I’m currently training for a marathon (or two.. more on that later) so I make sure I do my cardio 3 times a week. When I do go to the gym (or workout from my bedroom – don’t judge me), I just do whatever I feel like doing. Sure that might mean that I concentrate more on legs than on arms, and that I end up doing HIIT workouts more than weightlifting – but that doesn’t mean what I’m doing is wrong. My goal is to be happy and healthy and fit.
What I do might not be the most effective to lose weight or whatever, but I enjoy it. I take inspiration from Kayla and Anna‘s guides, from people’s Instagram accounts (Zanna, Chessie and Bradley I’m looking at you) and sort of mash it all together in a circuit.
I always keep track of what I do in my workout calendar so that other people can take a look at it and take some inspiration from there – I let people know when a workout is particularly great because someone might want to try it out. I don’t promise that they’re going to help you lose weight, they’re not PT-certified and I don’t give any tips on form (I’m not a PT so not exactly in any position to tell someone how to workout!)
I think fitness guides do have a place, but just not with me. I don’t want to be constrained to constantly working out 6 days a week (I do this anyway to be honest, but I don’t want to feel guilty for missing a workout).
Do you follow any fitness guides? Have you completed one? What are your thoughts on them? X