‘Women can’t ski’ gloated the young man in the ski lift as we trundled up across the Arapahoe Basin.
At that moment, I felt like going Rhonda Rhousey on him and doing a Samoan drop right there.
But in hindsight, I should’ve probably listened to his advice.
To give you some perspective, I am Margaret, a 35-year old British National, currently working in the United States.
And like a lot of other British families, I decided that Christmas eve last year was the right time to go for what would be my maiden skiing trip (definitely the last one too).
It was easy to see why people thronged to the Ski resorts. It was heaven.
The alpine woods, like a bright spot of green amidst an ocean of white, the sparkling blue sky, the crisp winter air smothering your face with freshness.
That was until I got into Ski mode.
The first thing that hit me was how heavy (and downright uncomfortable) the clothes were. I felt like Matt Damon from the space movie.
Jenna, my woman Friday and a veteran skier as she called herself had promised to keep me safe. She took me to what according to her was a ‘green run’ or a beginners’ slope.
It certainly didn’t look any different from the other slopes around me. But hey, I was the rookie here.
So, I strapped on the horrendous plastic contraptions that they call skis and down the slope I went with Jenna right behind me.
In the beginning, I could see young kids whiz past me at what seemed like the speed of light.
Then all of a sudden, there were wings on my back. I was going a lot faster than I expected to.
I called out to Jenna. No response. No Jenna.
Panic struck and I looked around, desperately for some assistance. Hell, I just wanted the damn thing to stop.
Suddenly, I hit something. And I blacked out.
- 1 The Twisted Knee
- 2 The Weight Gain
- 3 The Random Advices and Yoga
- 4 Yoga Burn Review: My Experience
- 5 The Bikini Body Workouts: A New Hope
- 6 My Experience With The Bikini Body Workout
- 7 Transform Your Body and Your life
The Twisted Knee
The spinning head, the excruciating pain, the podgy French tourist trying to speak to me, everything seems to be a blur after that.
Two weeks later, I was nursing a badly sprained knee at home.
Doctors said that I was extremely lucky to have not broken my femur, which apparently are extremely common with skiers.
This was a sprain in the Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Was it any better than breaking my leg? I didn’t know, cause it was excruciatingly painful.
So much so for the perfect ski destination for people of all ages. Sigh!
Jenna didn’t dare show me her face for the two weeks after the incident.
I forgave her after that. (With secret plans to take her to a bear-infested trail in British Columbia and abandon her there.)
The doctors had predicted that the knee would recover in about 4-weeks.
It took 14-weeks for me to get back on my foot. 20 to start walking normally without the help of crutches.
As I lay on the bed for the next five months, all I did was eat and watch TV.
And as I stood and watched myself in that mirror, I nearly broke down.
The Weight Gain
I wouldn’t call myself an athlete. I am far from it. But I like to keep myself active.
The everyday walk and an occasional run were my way of staving off those extra calories.
But as I stepped on the weighing scale, I was in for the shock of my life. I had gained 28-pounds. And I looked like a blubbery mass of cellulite.
The jean-hugging curves were replaced by formlessness. Hell, I couldn’t get into any of my jeans in the first place.
Desperation hit me as I walked into the plus-sized clothing aisle. I have nothing against being a little stout. But this just wasn’t me.
And I decided that it was time to get back into shape.
The Random Advices and Yoga
Since running was out of the question, I had to figure out other ways to get into shape.
Then, the random (worthless) advices began.
’28 pounds is nothing Marge’
‘Why don’t you try HIIT?’
‘Walk. Swim. Do anything’
‘You’ve got to restrict calories. No other way to lose weight’
‘You are just holding water’
I was almost on the verge of a mental breakdown when Lorraine, a fitness instructor and my schoolmate asked me to try Yoga.
For a moment, it felt like the only sane advice.
Yoga was a holistic way of fitness and healing. At least that’s what I had heard and read about it.
So, after googling for an eternity, I found a home workout program called ‘The Yoga Burn’.
It seemed godsend.
The website claims that the program is ‘Helping Women Get Lighter, Healthier and Happier’
I was all set to find out whether those claims hold any water.
Yoga Burn Review: My Experience
The Yoga Burn Challenge is a progressive Yoga workout plan designed by ‘Zoe Bray Cotton’, a certified Yoga Instructor based in the United States.
They call it ‘Dynamic Sequencing’ because it goes through three stages of incrementally difficult workouts. The theory is that your body never gets adapted to the workouts and hence, you are more likely to make progress.
I googled to find more information about ‘Zoe Bray Cotton’ and only found a few promotional interviews.
Anyway, the first phase is called ‘The Foundation Flow’, which is a set of 3x 45-minute videos that help you understand the basics of Yoga.
The second phase is the ‘Transitional Flow’, which is like a step-up from the first phase. During this phase, the workouts get more vigorous and are divided into three sets, Upper body, Lower Body and Core.
The last one is the ‘Mastery Flow’, which is aimed to be more like an HIIT workout involving Yoga Poses. You can mix and match these videos until you hit your weight loss goals.
There are two bundles to choose from. The first one costs $37 plus S&H, and includes one set of Digital downloads and two DVDs which will be shipped to you.
The second package will make you poorer by $57 and offers two sets of digital downloads and physical DVDs.
I do not have the faintest idea what the second set is. I opted for the first package and paid $37.
Almost immediately, I was redirected to an advertisement page offering a free membership to ‘Yoga Burn Monthly’, which I politely refused. (More on this later)
Why Everything About The Program is Flawed
I must admit that when I started the Yoga Burn Challenge workout, my knowledge about Yoga was limited to what I’d heard or read or seen in the media.
But to my surprise, it was nothing like what I expected it to be.
The Foundational Phase
The workout videos in Phase 1 are 15-minutes long. But they keep playing in a loop three times. So, you have a set of poses that you perform for 15-minutes and then you repeat them twice.
There are three videos in Phase 1 by the way. You can perform them three days a week and you can follow any other activity on the other three days.
Each phase lasts for 12-weeks.
The first week was extremely difficult. Not that I expected it to be a cakewalk.
But some of the poses were impossible to perform for someone who’s new to Yoga.
But just like most other women who are desperate, I wanted it to work and I decided to grind through.
It was not muscle soreness that made it difficult mind you. I’d have lived with that.
You just cannot find the balance required for these poses, right off the bat.
Imagine having to perform the Balinese dancer. Hell, I couldn’t even do the downward dog with my feet on the ground because my hamstrings were impossibly tight.
By week three, the agony was unbearable. I tried to reach out to customer support to ask them if its normal for people to feel fatigued and uncomfortable while performing Yoga. I was redirected to an email-id.
No response came for a week.
By now I was at the end of the foundational phase. And the only poses that I could perform with reasonable expertise were the child’s pose, the Chair pose and the Corpse pose.
The Transitional Phase: I Gave Up
I didn’t have very high hopes with the transitional phase either. But I decided to try nevertheless.
The exercises suddenly got very difficult. More difficult than I could handle to be honest.
I mean, think about it.
Here I was playing the 15-minute video and performing only 5 minutes of it and skimming through the rest.
The sheer frustration of not being able to find the balance to do the poses made it even worse.
I reached out to customer support again. No response.
To make it worse, there’s no community support either whereas the sales page boasted of a Yoga Burn Community.
The Hidden Charges
Then came the biggest surprise of them all. The hidden charges.
Remember the ‘Yoga Burn Monthly’ videos which were supposedly free and were turned down by me? Turns out that those weren’t free after all. And I was billed twice for those videos despite not signing up for it.
Thankfully, Clickbank stepped in and gave me a full refund minus S&H.
To sum up my experience with Yoga Burn
Basic exercises that can be followed on YouTube
Advanced exercises from week-1 which are very, very difficult to perform
No customer support
No community support either
Best for some stretching at best
No weight loss whatsoever
The Bikini Body Workouts: A New Hope
Getting into a bikini was the last thing on my mind at that time. I had just wasted 7-weeks of my life trying to become a Yogini.
And spent a few other days ripping my hair out trying to revoke the unauthorized charges on my credit card.
So yeah, I felt like shit.
But Jenna (oh yes, my woman Friday) had mysteriously made an appearance and promised to be the savior once again. Only this time, she was determined to not abandon me.
She swore by the effectiveness of ‘The Bikini Body Workouts’.
To be honest, the name itself seemed gimmicky.
Jenna was relentless though. She had herself lost 17 pounds and up to 4-inches off her waist doing the same workouts.
‘It’s easy-peasy marge’!
Reluctantly, I agreed.
My Experience With The Bikini Body Workout
So, I spent the next week researching about the Bikini Body Workout and ‘Jen Ferrugia’, the lady behind the program.
The first thing that I noticed was that she had a legit social media presence. And there were tons and tons of women on Reddit who were using the program. You can read some testimonials over here
The presence of a community was very inspiring to say the least.
Also, she’s the wife of Jay Ferrugia. I swear that I’d heard the name before. Turns out he’s a very reputed fitness trainer known for his No BS approach towards bodybuilding.
I was half sold there. The next motivation was the price. This was cheaper than the Yoga Burn workout and to top it off, there was no upsell.
I liked it.
What is the Bikini Body Workout?
66 days have passed since I started with the Bikini Body Workout.
Not only have I lost the 28-pounds that I so desperately wanted to lose, I have also gained a boatload of muscle.
I look very different from the way I looked and felt before I started. In fact, I am secretly thankful to Jenna for taking me to that Skiing trip.
I think I jumped the gun a little. Let’s go back to the start of the program.
The Bikini Body Workout is a 60-day progressive workout plan that uses a combination of High intensity workouts, smart eating and supplementation to give you a completely new body.
It’s a scientific approach to weight loss. No lofty claims. Just pure exercise.
Calories in minus calories out. Clubbed with exercises that stimulate your body for optimum muscle growth.
The workouts are 45-minutes long. But it’s not the same workout on a loop.
Each workout is different and you have four workouts for a week.
The most important part is that you never get bored.
What type of workouts are included?
It’s a set of 4 exercises for each day.
So, you will be doing supersets of Lower body, Upper body, Lower body and then Upper body again.
Three days of the week are reserved for compound movements while the fourth day is a little more complex and involves synergetic moves.
Along with the workout guides, you also receive a nutrition guide, a supplement guide and a bonus 21-day workout called the Booty Blast.
If you find e-book downloads as boring as I do, you’d love the members section of Jen’s website where you have instructional videos that can be streamed anywhere and anytime on your iPhone.
Do you calorie restrict?
I would be lying if I said that you don’t.
Let’s face it. There’s only one legit way to lose weight. That is to control your calorie intake.
What I loved about the Bikini Body Guide is Jen’s approach towards nutrition. You will never feel that you are curbing calories.
The focus is on macros and portion sizes. Guess what? It works.
I found that I could easily incorporate just about anything that I wanted to eat into the nutrition plan without feeling deprived.
I just needed to be smart and spend some time shopping.
Oh, by the way, there’s a detailed shopping guide as well. It’s like Jen has everything figured out. You just need to get out there and follow her.
Are the exercises difficult?
At the start, no.
They are very easy to adopt to and perform.
Lunges, squats, bench press, overhead shoulder presses, these are fundamental exercises which when performed at a fast rate, will torch fat and build muscle too.
If at any time, you feel overwhelmed, you can pause the video and catch your breath.
By the time you reach week three of the program, you will be feeling the increased strength in your arms and legs. You will be looking forward to the workouts.
What I loved About It
Everything. This is hands down, the most convenient and effective way to lose weight.
But these are the best things about it:
It’s a 60-day workout plan. If you hate waiting for months to see results, then this one is for you. At the same time, you can adapt and include the lessons here for life and make fitness a habit.
Jen has a private messaging board on Facebook where she’s always available to answer your queries. No waiting for emails to arrive while you are struggling with your workouts.
It comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.
- It comes with a free nutrition plan.
There are no hidden charges.
It’s a progressive workout that you can adjust to easily.
I have just started the 21-day booty workouts and I am already loving it.
What I didn’t like about the program
Nothing. I loved it so much that I have signed up for Jen’s advanced Level two training videos.
Oh yes, there’s no looking back.
But, there are a couple of things that deserve a mention:
This is a digital download only. You will not receive a physical DVD with this.
You will need to invest in some basic equipment. Dumbbells, a barbell rod (optional), a foam roller and a bench or a box.
The exercises include weight lifting. The amount of weight you lift can be tailored according to your preferences. But if you cannot lift weights for some reason, then this isn’t the workout for you.
My Results: Before & After Picture
Transform Your Body and Your life
Jen’s Bikini Body workout has completely changed my outlook towards life.
I am more confident than ever. My toothpick thin arms are now replaced by strong, sinewy muscles with a hint of vascularity. Oh yeah, the veins are popping.
The best part? I am heading skiing again next month. Only this time, I will be taking it head on.
Bring it on!
Go for the Bikini Body Workout girls. I can’t recommend it enough. Am sure you won’t regret it.