Last year I purchased the incredibly popular Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I had been following Kayla on Instagram as well as many of her success stories. The transformations of these girls were incredible. So finally I decided to take the plunge and try it for myself. The great thing about Kayla’s guides, is it’s an eBook, you pay for it and then can download it right to your computer or phone so you can take it anywhere with you.
The Bikini Body Guide is a 12 week program, each week getting more and more intense. The program includes strength training workouts as well as cardio and stretching. The eBook includes 3 different strength training workouts per week and also instructs you how to incorporate cardio and stretching. The books are detailed and give explanations of how to perform each exercise. Each workout is set up in the same manner. There are two circuits, each circuit consists of 4 exercises, each exercise has a given number of reps. You start with the first circuit and you go through the exercises as many times as you can within 7 minutes without stopping. Then you rest for approximately a minute. Then you continue with the second circuit for 7 minutes. Then rest for a minute. Then repeat both circuits over again. So the workout in total is only about 28 minutes, not including your rest. But don’t let that fool you, these workouts are INTENSE.
So after I purchased the Bikini Body Guide and got together all the equipment I would need, I excitedly dove right in to my first workout. I almost died. The first workout was incredibly brutal for me. I had difficulty exercising so intensely for 7 minutes at a shot without any break. 7 minutes doesn’t seem long until you’ve done one of Kayla’s workouts. I had difficulty breathing, I was sweating like crazy, and was insanely exhausted, but as hard as it was, I pushed through and finished. As the weeks went on I began to see some positive changes in my body. The only problem was… I hated these workouts. Every day I would just dread having to do these workouts. And it’s not because they were difficult, I enjoy being challenged and pushing myself, I just hated them.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think Kayla’s guides are great workouts and a wonderful program. Just take a look at the many amazing girls who have transformed their bodies using these guides and truly enjoyed the process. This type of workout, just wasn’t for me. I prefer going to the gym and lifting heavy, not doing a million burpees, commandos, and scissor kicks, that’s my personal preference. And it’s truly important to enjoy the workout you’re doing. If you dread your workout, like I did, you’re more likely to make excuses not to do it. Working out can be, and should be fun. It’s difficult and challenging, and sometimes you want to quit, but at the end of it all, you should enjoy it. And I just did not enjoy these workouts at all.
You can go to Kayla’s website, www.kaylaitsines.com.au and download a free sample workout to get an idea of what these workouts are like before you buy. I highly recommend doing this to make sure it’s something you will enjoy before spending the money. I also recommend browsing through her help section to answer any questions you may have.
This program is expensive. It’s $70 for the eBook. The book is very detailed and has thorough explanations of each exercise and other great resources. However it’s definitely not for someone on a strict budget. Additionally, you do need at least some equipment, so that will be an additional cost.
Each resistance training workout is 28 minutes not including rest periods. During weeks 1-4 you will do 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, 2-3 LISS cardio sessions, and 1 stretch session. During weeks 5-8 you will do 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, 4-5 LISS cardio sessions, and 1 stretch session. During weeks 9-12 you will do 3-4 resistance training sessions per week, 2-3 LISS cardio sessions, 1-2 HIIT cardio sessions, and 1-2 stretch sessions. By the time you get to weeks 9-12, it can be difficult to fit in all the sessions each week.
These workouts are fairly challenging. Kayla even states in her eBook that this is not for beginners. You need to build up a basic level of fitness before beginning these workouts. A quote directly from the Bikini Body Guide, “Due to the high intensity of this training, I do not recommend these workouts for absolute beginners. As stated on my website, these circuits are designed for people who have a very basic level of cardio fitness. If you do not have this, it is not uncommon that your first few attempts may result in slight dizziness from this type training. STOP: If you are a beginner and have purchased this book against my recommendation, please be sure to do 2-3 weeks of regular walking to build up a foundation of cardio fitness first.”
This program requires a fair amount of equipment but if you get creative, you don’t need to go out a spend a bunch of money.
- Bosu ( I omitted altogether, any exercise that needed it, I just did without)
- Dumbbells (3-6kg each)
- Medicine Ball (6-12 kg) (I used a Kettlebell)
- Skipping Rope (I did air skips)
- 1-2 Flat Benches (30cm+) (I used to sturdy chairs)
On her website Kayla also lists some substitutions for the required equipment
- Barbell – dumbbells can be used instead, or, you can perform the exercise with no added weight. Ensure that you hold one dumbbell in each hand and keep them by your sides NOT on the back of your neck.
- Bosu – If you are unable to purchase a bosu, then you could omit it altogether, but you will have to modify exercises slightly (i.e. do regular Burpees in the place of Bosu Burpees).
- Dumbbells – Two safe, heavy objects that you can grip comfortably. This could be bags, water bottles, food – get creative!
- Flat Bench(es) – Benches can be substituted for any flat, stable surface such as a chair, ledge, park bench, sturdy box etc.
- Kettlebells – one large dumbbell (8-15kg) can be used instead.
- Medicine Ball – This can be substituted for dumbbells, holding one in each hand, or for anything of the same weight.
- Skipping Rope – Unfortunately, there is no substitute for this, but you could always do ‘air skips’ if you are space restricted.
These guides are well written and very detailed. There is a glossary in the back demonstrating how to work through each exercise. The eBooks are a wonderful resource, definitely much more than just a workout program. Purpose/ Results:
These workouts are targeted to help you lose weight and build lean muscle. And they definitely help you build strength and endurance. The Bikini Body Guide is obviously meant to help you achieve a “bikini body” although that would be something difficult to put an exact definition to. This program works to target common complaints that women have about their bodies and what they would like to improve, “I hate my inner thighs. I want toned arms. I just want a flat-stomach and nice abs.” While everyone’s body is different, the best way to describe the type of result you will receive from these workouts is to check out some of the amazing transformation pictures from girls who have completed these guides.
eBook- Can download to phone and take anywhere, or even print them out.
Detailed instructions and resources included in the eBook as well as a glossary of all exercises.
You can do these workouts all from home.
Sense of community from fellow BBG girls.
Although my review may have seemed kind of negative in some respects, I do think this is a great workout program depending on your personal goals. Everyone’s body is different, we all have different goals, and enjoy different types of exercise. I encourage you to check out a free workout sample of the Bikini Body Guides from Kayla’s website to see if this is a type of workout you may enjoy and benefit from, as well as checking out some of the many amazing stories of girls who have transformed their bodies and changed their lives with this program.
(*This is NOT a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)