There was a point last summer when trainer Kayla Itsines couldn’t do a single push-up.
For many other people, that would be no big deal. But for Itsines, it was a huge problem. After all, she sits on top of a fitness empire. She’s created a series of insanely popular fitness e-books, amassed a huge following on Instagram, led bootcamps everywhere from New York to Dubai, and created the BBG workouts that are available on Sweat — a meal- and workout-planning platform that launched in 2017 and still consistently tops Apple’s download charts.
And yet there she was, last Spring, unable to do a single push up after the caesarean birth of her daughter Arna.
“I felt like my body wasn’t mine,” she shares with Refinery29. “This was my job, but I couldn’t do it. I got down on my hands and knees to do a modified push up, but fell and hit my chin. I cried.”
It took many months before Itsines could do a push up again, but ultimately she sees the experience as a positive. It gave her a new perspective on how fitness beginners might feel when they attempt one of her workouts. Her advice to them: Have compassion for yourself.
She used this knowledge when crafting a custom four-week exercise routine for Refinery29’s 2020 Clean Slate program. It’s challenging, but also doable for people who are just starting out. Yes, there are planks, but there are also days completely devoted to stretching and recovery.
So check back here on Jan. 1 for Week 1 of her exercise plan. All you’ll need to get started are a few clear feet of floor space and a supportive sports bra. The first week will fly by — and you may even surprise yourself by looking forward to Week 2!
Kayla Itsines is an Australia-based global fitness trainer with the SWEAT App and founder of the BBG programs. You can train with Kayla and her four programs: Post-Pregnancy, BBG Beginner, BBG and BBG Stronger via the SWEAT App. | | You can find information on the mind component of Clean Slate 2020 here, and the food component here.
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