Some of you might have seen me mention my workouts on Twitter or Instagram. Now, I know that IrisjeXx is a book blog (in case all the book related content didn’t give it away already), but it’s also my blog, and there’s simply more to me then just my love for books. So I thought it was time to tell you all what’s up with all the workouts I’ve been doing!  I’ve wanted to share for a while now, and figured it was time to do just that!

Where did all this craziness get started?

A year ago I started running. I set the goal for myself to run a 5k, but never really thought beyond that. At the time I just thought being able to run a 5k would be really cool and a great way to get a bit more fit. It wasn’t always fun: lungs burning, legs hurting, cussing at myself for being crazy enough to do this. But that feeling after completing a run: that feeling of accomplishment, of being proud of yourself for grabbing your running gear and just go, of feeling like you’re on top of the world; that feeling got to me. I caught the running bug. That feeling is what motivated to keep me going, and THAT feeling is what’s so addictive about exercising.

What happened when I accomplished that goal?

So I could run a 5k, what now? Well, I just ran a 5k distances for a while. Running outside, and not always running the same round will keep you interested for quite a while, but after a while I pushed myself to run a little longer and a little harder. My average pace started improving, and before I knew it I was running up to 10k! I ran in the Rotterdam marathon (1/4 marathon, let’s be realistic here) with my sister and my dad and everything was going great!

Then, I fell off the bandwagon…

Even though I loved running, before I knew it I hadn’t run ANY distance in a whole month. One month became one month and a few days, and I was REALLY disappointed with myself. I have asthma, and not training in such a long time meant that I basically had to start from rock-bottom again, which kept me from finding that motivation again and getting off my ass and back to training. I had a major exercise rut and had a hard time getting my motivation back. I’ve often heard that it’s not hard to start exercising (and this is so true), however, what IS hard is finding the motivation to keep going when you’re sore, or tired, or just don’t feel like doing anything.

Changing up the routine

So I decided it was time for some change. I started looking for ways to make training fun again and add some variety to my routine, and by searching online I happened upon Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide. I talked to some girls who were doing the BBG program and their excitement was so palpable that I decided to purchase the guide. The combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) turned out to be a golden combination for me.

Six weeks ago (January 11th) I joined in on The Kayla Movement 2016 together with TONS of other women all over the world. I started a separate Instagram account (for those of you who’d like to follow that account: iris.does.bbg) to keep in contact with others doing the same program as me (which was a golden move! Motivation to find in abundance!). Six weeks of 3 HIIT workouts, 3 LISS workouts, and one rest day a week and I feel great. I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard work, really hard work and my muscles were SO SORE after that first week, but it’s so worth it.


I have a LOT of energy, I am happier than I’ve been in a long time, and I’ve never been more comfortable in my own body than I am now. I’m improving in all fields: I’m running faster than ever and I’m getting stronger and stronger each day. I can see my body changing; my muscles are developing and I love how strong I’m looking.

What does a week in workout-land look like?

I’ve got quite a happy workout schedule going on right now. Warning: you might think I’m crazy.

Monday: 4 x 7 minutes Legs & Cardio (HIIT)

Tuesday: 5 to 10k run (LISS)

Wednesday: 4 x 7 minutes Arms & Abs (HIIT)

Thursday: 5k run (LISS) in the morning and Abs workout (HIIT) at the gym later that day

Friday: 4 x 7 minutes Full Body workout (HIIT)

Saturday: 5 to 10k run (LISS)

Sunday: Rest day (or, when I’m feeling like it, a 5k run)

That probably looks crazy to you, but if you do the math, besides Thursday (and the days I run more than a 5k), you’ll see that I only spend 30 minutes on my workouts every day , and 30 minutes really is such a small proportion of the day, almost everyone can miss 30 minutes. I just to spend 30 minutes of my day, that someone else might spend in front of the tv, working out. I have all the equipment I need at home: dumbbells, medicine ball, and workout mats. So there’s no need to do my workouts at the gym (I just love to do so every now and then, especially when I go with a friend). If it’s raining outside, I can always switch around, and if I feel like having a rest day, I’ll just have a rest day.

I don’t force myself to train, I want to. I get restless and have too much spare energy when I don’t. At a certain point I started to crave those workouts, I crave exercise, they clear my head and make me feel strong. I push myself every day to become a stronger version of myself and I am SO proud of how far I’ve come!

What am I working towards?

March 6th I am running a 10k in during the CPC (City Pier City run) in The Hague with my father. I’ve been working hard on improving my average pace over the last two months. I run a 5k under 30 minutes quite easily, and I’m a bit afraid to set a time goal for myself for the 10k, but I’m hoping it’ll at least be under 1 hour and 10 minutes (taking in account how many runners there’ll be and how swarmed the road will be with them).

Recently, I was chosen for the most awesome project EVER! Glamour magazine (sponsored by Maybelline) set up a program to work towards half a marathon. Together with 29 others, we’re going to train, under guidance of professional trainers, towards 1/2 marathon. Our starting ticket will be paid for by Maybelline New York and we’ll get a ticket for the Glamour Health Challenge (last year THE Kayla Itsines gave a bootcamp, so I can’t wait what this year will hold!), we’re all getting a personalised training schedule, and a package from Maybelline New York. I literally CANNOT contain my excitement about this and I cannot wait to share all about it with you on my journey to 1/2 marathon! #Makeithappen

So, how crazy do you guys think I am? Haha