What To Do if High Intensity with Kayla Itsines Seems Too Hard
As a personal trainer for women, I have heard all kinds of feedback from women, including those who find High Intensity with Kayla Itsines (formerly BBG) too hard. It might be that they can’t do plyometrics, or the exercises are simply too difficult, and if this is you — whatever YOUR reason — I want you to know this is completely NORMAL!
I provide modifications in the Sweat app for most exercises, but if you have tried alternatives during the High Intensity with Kayla Beginner weeks and still find it challenging, my program, Low Impact with Kayla, can help get you started with my style of training!
Find out how you can build your fitness foundation and progress to High Intensity with Kayla with CONFIDENCE, so you can take your health and fitness journey from strength to strength.
How to prepare for High Intensity with Kayla
If you’re not sure if you’re ready for high-intensity training, Low Impact with Kayla could be a good option to start with, as this will help build your fitness and familiarise you with my style of training.
Low Impact with Kayla is a 14-week program that makes my training style accessible to ALL women! Low-impact training is a great option to start with before you try a more challenging program such as High Intensity with Kayla.
Low Impact with Kayla’s easy-to-follow workouts can be completed anywhere, anytime, in under 30 minutes — making them ideal for busy mums or if you’re short on time. The workouts are time-based, meaning you can go at YOUR own pace, and are easy on your joints too, so you can feel confident moving your body no matter where you are on your health and fitness journey.
To find Low Impact with Kayla, choose me as your trainer in the Sweat app and select the first week of the program from the “Manage My Program” section. The program is divided into two phases, each with four weeks — the first four weeks will help you to build up a strong foundation that will prepare you for the rest of the program.
Low Impact with Kayla can help you build your strength and fitness so that you will be more likely to stick with High Intensity with Kayla.
To help you through those tough weeks of High Intensity with Kayla and if you ever feel like giving up, I’ve put together this list of five common difficulties with High Intensity with Kayla and what you can do to keep going.
5 things High Intensity with Kayla beginners find hard — and how to tackle them
Use these ideas to help you stick with your fitness journey and keep working towards your goals.
You can’t do a full push-up
So many women tell me that when they first start High Intensity with Kayla they can’t do a full push-up.
To help you work towards completing a full push-up — and continue on to harder variations — you can start by doing wall push-ups, incline push-ups against a bench or variations on your knees, and work your way down as you get stronger. You’ll find some of these simpler variations included in the Beginner weeks of High Intensity with Kayla.
I also understand that some women can’t complete push-ups because it puts too much pressure on their wrists and if this is the case, my Low Impact with Kayla program is easy on your wrists, knees, AND ankles so you can still build your strength without the strain on your joints.
Jumping is too hard
My original High Intensity with Kayla program contains a LOT of plyometric (jumping) exercises, and many women find these challenging.
There are no jumping exercises in the first four Beginner weeks of High Intensity with Kayla, and jumping is gradually introduced before you transition into Week 1 of the program.
If you need, you can continue to modify the exercises in High Intensity with Kayla to lower the intensity. For example, instead of doing a squat jump, you can do a regular squat. You will learn examples of this in the Beginner weeks I’ve just mentioned.
You can also find lots of exercise modifications on my Instagram, where I demonstrate exactly how to do the modified exercise.
If you feel light-headed during jumping exercises it might be a sign that you need to drink more water throughout the day. You could also try having a pre-workout snack to ensure you have enough energy for the workout.
Or, if you are like my mum and find the impact of jumping too much, I recommend trying my Low Impact with Kayla program which has absolutely NO jumping!
You can’t finish a circuit
The circuits in High Intensity with Kayla are timed, so you just do as many laps as you can in the seven minutes. If you don’t finish one full lap, that’s OKAY!
My advice is to reduce the number of reps so that you can get through all the exercises, or just keep moving until the timer goes off.
In the four Beginner weeks of High Intensity with Kayla, you’ll get longer rest breaks within each circuit, as well as between circuits, to allow you to catch your breath as you build your fitness. To help you stay on track, make sure to take these rests breaks — or even longer if you need.
I know it seems discouraging if you can’t complete more laps, but if you stick to it, you will improve! When you are a beginner, the most important thing is CONSISTENCY!
You run out of energy quickly
Lots of women who start out with High Intensity with Kayla find they fatigue quickly because they aren't used to the intensity — even if they are already exercising regularly!
If you have wobbly legs or you simply run out of breath to go on after the first circuit, one thing you can do is to pace yourself at the beginning of the workout. Try to maintain that lower intensity for a bit longer and once you begin to build some fitness you can raise the intensity back up.
You are too sore for your next workout
The dreaded delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is real! Even women who exercise regularly can experience sore muscles after a tough workout, which can interrupt your regular routine.
When you work muscles you haven’t trained before, or in different ways, sore muscles are inevitable — but there are some muscles recovery tips you can use to lessen soreness so that you can continue hitting your weekly goals. Some of these include getting plenty of sleep and ensuring you warm-up and cool down before and after EVERY workout.
What if High Intensity with Kayla is too hard post-pregnancy?
For the new mums who aren’t ready to jump into High Intensity — I’ve got something for you too!
One of the biggest concerns for mothers is the loss of core strength. I experienced this after my C-section delivery and had to slowly ease back into exercise using a very different training style to the workouts in High Intensity with Kayla.
If that sounds like you too, it might be worth slowing right down and focussing on exercises that aim to heal and rebuild your strength.
This is exactly what my Post-Pregnancy program does! I recommend starting with this program BEFORE moving into Low Impact with Kayla and only when your health professional gives you clearance to train.
High Intensity with Kayla is hard, but you can do it!
My program High Intensity with Kayla will challenge you, but you have the support of other women from all over the world to help you get through it!
Start with my Low Impact with Kayla or Post-Pregnancy programs to gradually increase your strength at your own pace. You can also repeat the Beginner weeks of High Intensity with Kayla as many times as you need, and I recommend reading my guide to surviving week 1 of High Intensity with Kayla Itsines. before you begin — then you will be well and truly set up for success!
And remember: never compare your fitness journey to someone else's! Just do YOUR best and commit to continuing with your training.
Do you have any tips for when High Intensity with Kayla seems too hard? Share them in the comments!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.