Fitness Review

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review

23 september 2015
Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review

Since I’ve had a few recent questions about my workouts, I decided to write a review on it! I’m currently doing the Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines, a 12-week program to start living more healthy and achieve a state of mind where you feel confident and happy.

But before I’m diving into the details of my workout schedule, let me start by giving a quick explanation to who Kayla Itsines is and what her guide is all about:

Who is Kayla Itsines?

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review

Kayla Itsines is 24 years old and from Australia. In 2008, she followed a personal training course and afterwards started working at a training centre. It was a women’s only centre, so she coached only females. But she started noticing that the methods she was taught didn’t give the results her clients desired. Her clients expressed that they wanted “a flat stomach, slimmer legs and toned arms“, so Kayla started researching on those things to help her clients better, including nutrition planning.

After her research, she developed her own set of exercises that proved to be quite successful and targeted the desired areas. This was when the Bikini Body Guide come into play. Shortly after that she started her own company to help out other women, reaching out to women around the globe. She’s now an Instagram sensation with 3.6 million followers!

Many women got very enthusiastic about Kayla’s program and obviously started recommending and telling their friends about it, spreading Kayla’s succes globally!

What is the Bikini Body Guide?

Kayla developed a 12-week program that involves resistance training circuits and a guide to help with nutrition. If you have no basic fitness experience, you can do her pre-training first which prepares you for the following 12 weeks. Each week contains a 4-6 workout sessions, but they’re easy to do at home/the gym and they only last for 28 minutes!

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review

How did I found out about the guide?

I found Kayla Itsines and her program by accident via Instagram. Transformations of girls who were following the Bikini Body Guide (also known as the #bbggirls) were popping up on my feed and I was just amazed by the results! I wasn’t happy with my weight and my lifestyle, so I decided to take a look into these transformations and the program behind it. To be honest, at first I thought the Bikini Body Guide and its results would be too good to be true, but I didn’t realise that I was going to be so wrong on this one…

It turned out that I LOVED IT!

Bikini Body Guide: How To

As I have explained above, the Bikini Body Guide (also referred to as BBG) is a 12-week program with resistance training. You have 4 to 6 sessions a week, but they’re not all resistance training, I promise ;-)
1 workout = 28 minutes, so they are absolutely do-able if you’re a busy girl!

DISCLAIMER: Because of copyright, I do not want to post full screenshots of Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide, as it does not feel right to show them completely. You can buy her e-books on her website. All of the guides belong to Kayla Itsines and all credit is given to her.

However, I have included screenshots of a FREE guide that is available on her website:
These screenshots are highly similar to the ones in her Bikini Body Guide, so you will still get an idea of the layout and exercises. 

This is how the workouts look like. Remember that this is the free guide so although the layout is slightly different, the concept remains the same!

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review Workouts

This is how my workout-schedule looks like:

Monday: Legs & Cardio (BBG)

Tuesday: LISS

Wednesday: Arms & Abs (BBG)

Thursday: LISS

Friday: Full-body workout (BBG)

So you see that every other day, I also do a LISS workout. A LISS workout includes: walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, … for 30-45 minutes. So NO huge and tiring workout.

Conclusion: every Monday, Wednesday and Friday are my true BBG workouts, while on other days I go walking or jogging. Simple!
I told you those 4-6 sessions/week wouldn’t be all resistance training! ;)

Let’s zoom in on one workout out of the three above and see what’s going on:

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review Leg Workout

1 page = 1 complete workout = 28 minutes!

You start out by warming up. Never skip warming up! This is essential to prevent a sudden increase of your heart rate, injuries or “cold” muscles that are in no way ready for an intense workout! I jog on the treadmill for 10 minutes at 5km/h speed. After my workout, I stretch for at least 10 minutes to avoid injuries or soreness the day after.

Let’s take the leg workout above as an example. You’ll start with Circuit 1. You perform each exercise as asked: do 15 jump squats, then 24 weighted walking lunges, then sumo squats and you end with weighted step ups. REPEAT this for 7 minutes! After 7 minutes of repeating your Circuit 1 as much as possible, you take a break of minimum 30 seconds and maximum 1,5 minute.

After your break, you start with Circuit 2. Same story here: you repeat as much exercises as possible within 7 minutes. Then it’s time for a break. Congratulations! You’re halfway your workout! :-)

After your break, you start Circuit 1 again for 7 minutes. Then a break. Then you start Circuit 2 for 7 minutes. AND DONE!

For the more visual among us, like myself, here’s a schedule:

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review Schedule

My Experience With The BBG Workout And Why I Love It

It works. It’s as simple as that! I love the results that I get from this program and I’m having so much fun going to the gym. I’m not saying the workouts are all rainbows & kitties… You will huff, puff and sweat your brains out (sorry about the visual!) But afterwards, you’ll feel so accomplished and like “Yeah, I did this and this feels awesome!” I like the workouts: they challenge me physically and mentally. It motivates me to push myself a little harder and have some perseverance!

I’m talking real talk right here. I’m not being paid to say this and I am in no way affiliated with Kayla’s business. I’m a real girl, who wanted to make a change in her life and did it. I was the girl who pulled out all kinds of excuses not to run in highschool gymclasses, and generally wasn’t interested in sports at all. I’ve done several things to get me started on some sports, but I never persevered and always stopped after a while because I lost interest. With the Bikini Body Guide, I found that yes, it’s tough sometimes and yes, I sometimes think of quitting while doing 24 commando’s (ugh!), but I’m always motivated to go to the gym and finish another workout.

My mind is blown on how much motivation you get from not only the workout, but also from the community around BBG. Just look for the hashtags #BBGgirls, #bbgbelgium and #BBGprogress on Instagram. You’ll notice how big and loving this community is, inspiring and motivating each other. I love that! So to all the #BBGgirls reading this, thank you! Thank you for the motivation, thank you for the inspiration and thank you for the endless friendships with girls from over the whole world!

Let me show you some results that I got with this program. Kayla Itsines recommends taking a progress photo every week, so you don’t only focus on your scale (the numbers) but on visual progress too! Because that’s why we’re here, aren’t we? Progress: in it to win it! Let’s look at some progress photos of mine:

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress

Okay, so a little scary to show these. But this is how I started, front and side. I call this week 0, because I hadn’t started with the Bikini Body Guide yet. So this is literally right before I started. This was when I said: I would like to change this! We bought a scale that besides weight, measures your fat and muscle percentage and your BMI. In this picture, these were my numbers:

Weight: 59,3 kg
Body fat: 36,6%
Muscle: 28,1%
BMI: 24,5

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress

Here’s a comparison shot of week 0 – week 3. This is a difference of only 3 weeks! I was still in my pre-training at this point so I was really enthusiastic about the early results! There is definitely a change in my tummy! I have to mention here that I also followed Kayla’s H.E.L.P nutrition plan so that will also have had some influence.

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress

So here’s my progress shot from week 1. No comparison, just the front and side after the pre-training and the first “official” week 1! So if you’re counting pre-training + official week 1, this is “week 5”. But I started counting again from the beginning after the pre-training, and that’s also what most of the other girls do too. Also not a huge difference like I had with pre-training week 0 – week 3, but keep in mind I took 3 weeks of vacation in between the last week of pre-training and week 1. So I was super happy I hadn’t lost much progress. I can only say that I was proud of myself! Vacation can be hard: you’re lazy, don’t feel like working out (only twice in 3 weeks, oops!) and you’re eating yourself to death because of all the yummy foods (and desserts!) I was so afraid I would have lost all progress, but I hadn’t! Ofcourse, after vacation was over I started eating healthy again and working out. And you know what? I actually missed it: I was glad to be back in the gym! Going on a vacation and doing nothing is perfectly fine, as long as you get back at it afterwards and don’t quit!

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress

Here’s the latest progress shot from week 4. Maybe it’s the lighting, but I can slightly see some baby abs peaking through! :D The arms & abs workouts on Wednesdays are killing me though. It’s my least favourite workout, but I’ll learn to love it someday ;-) Most of my progress is in my numbers at the moment, but there are some visual changes too. Although not always visible for the eye, I can feel them :-) Clothes are an indicator to notice if there has been progress! ;-)

Here are my current numbers (Monday, 21th of September):

Weight: 57,2
Body fat: 34,8%
Muscle: 29%
BMI: 23,7

Since I’ve started BBG, this is my progress in numbers:

Weight: – 2,1 kg
Body fat: – 1,8%
Muscle: + 0,9%
BMI: – 0,8

My progress in numbers is slow, but steady. This is also something I truly like about the Bikini Body Guide workouts: I’ve had some non-active weeks like vacations or being sick. But despite that, I’ve barely lost any progress since I started. So no huge fluctuations in any of my numbers, which indicates that this is no crash diet or crash fitnessprogram. The BBG is all about getting a “bikini body”, but it also involves teaching you a healthy lifestyle and a happy state of mind where your confidence gets a boost. I find this to be very true. I was never extremely aware of my body, but I’ve definitely noticed a change in state of mind. I discovered the importance of drinking more water and eating more veggies and developed a craving for working out as it helped with lots of things. I also discovered I didn’t “hate sports”, I just had to find the right one! :-)

UPDATE (27th December, 2015) :

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress week 12

By the end of 2015, I finished BBG 1.0! Above you can see my progress shot after completing Kayla’s program. I did not complete her food program as I felt it was too much cooking everyday, so I might have “less” progress than expected, but I still feel preeeetty good about my progress!

Bikini Body Guide: Before & After

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review BBG Progress before and after

To clearly see my results, I decided to put the first and the last progress shots together! There’s definitely a difference in my tummy (baby abs!), my legs and arms have gotten slimmer and there’s even some booty progress going on :-) Hooray!

To conclude, here are my pointers on why I love the BBG workouts:

  • Versatile
  • The intervals & different exercises keep me from getting bored
  • Fast results
  • Easy to follow
  • Slow but steady: no crash diet/fitnessprogram
  • It’s not only about the bikini body, it’s about a happy state of mind too!

I’m really happy I decided to start with Kayla’s program. And although I’m still far away from the spectacular #bbgtransformations, I’m certainly making #bbgprogress! ;-)

Are you joining the #bbggirls? What do you think of resistance training?

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  • Reply Caitlin 23 oktober 2016 at 05:06

    Good post. I certainly appreciate this website.
    Keep it up!

  • Reply Nat 22 juni 2016 at 21:16

    I’d strongly recommend NOT following Kayla’s advice. She promotes starvation and the exercises are basic at most, easily found for free online. Read more about it here

    • Reply Anverelle 24 juni 2016 at 14:44

      Hi Nat, I’m sorry you feel that way about the Kayla guide. My review is completely honest and based on my own experience with it, and personally I didn’t experience any starvation nor at any time I felt like I wasn’t eating enough. I actually sometimes felt it was a lot of food, but have a look at my progress pictures. I don’t exactly look like I starved myself, right?

      True, there are a lot of eggs and chicken involved which is why after a while I didn’t stick with the guides that much and just ate healthy to fuel my body. For me personally, that’s what her guides were for me. A guide, to help me on my way to being more fit and healthy. I’m the kind of person that needs a little bit of help and a bit of some guidance with things, and then just make my own way to continue. Personally, I’m glad I had a complete plan that I could follow so I could get the hang of it, instead of getting lost in all the information that is out there. But to each its own! :-)

  • Reply Shannon 16 juni 2016 at 10:32

    Hey Awesome progress! What do you think of the price of the guide? This website says it’s over $200 is that true? I’m not sure I can afford that. Do you know any other cheaper options?

    I want results like your but just can’t afford it right now :( Your progress looks awesome.

    • Reply Anverelle 18 juni 2016 at 13:59

      Hi Shannon! I’m not sure if everything together is $200, but I know I personally haven’t spent that much money. I have the food guides and the 1.0 workout guide. You don’t need the complete package to notice results! Kayla’s guides (especially the food ones) are just what they are: a guide. Once you get the hang of it, you will notice you won’t need the food guide as much and you’ll know and feel what is good for your body and what not. For me personally, the guides were a really good jumpstart to start living healthy and working out regularly. If you feel like the guides are out of your budget, there are tons of alternatives you can find on the internet. Look at some Youtube workout videos or look up healthy recipes on blogs, they will help as well! Good luck!

  • Reply Iris @ Earth Love Skin 21 januari 2016 at 21:50

    I had been wondering what the BBG was all about since one of my friend, Ginie (you guys met on Instagram through me!) is also doing this! Thank you for the info and it really makes me wanna join! I have gained a lot of weight after birthing Avis, and being a girl who’s best friends with metabolism, it’s surprisingly hard to shed weight after pregnancy!

    But thank you so much for thoroughly explaining this. You’re one heck of an inspiration, Tessa!



    • Reply Anverelle 23 januari 2016 at 16:22

      Aww Iris, that’s so sweet of you. Thanks! Should you decide to join, good luck!

  • Reply Marta 6 januari 2016 at 20:47

    Hi Tessa!
    Congrats for your progress!
    I want to start the Bbg training but I dont really know if its going to be really tough for me, I’ve never do a lot of sport and actually I’m not on shape.
    I’ve seen there is a 4 weeks pre-training, do you recommend me to start with it or directly with the 12 weeks training?

    Btw how do you measure your body fat?


    • Reply Anverelle 6 januari 2016 at 21:12

      Hi Marta!
      Thank you for commenting and the compliment! I’d recommend starting with the pre-training and see what your body tells you. I didn’t do any sports previous to the BBG and didn’t have any fitness experience, so I decided to do the 4 weeks pre-training first. I definitely feel that the pre-training helped me prepare for the following 12 weeks. And don’t worry if the first week is hard on you; if you’re not used to doing these kind of workouts your body needs a bit of time to adapt :-) I measure my body fat with a scale which measures my bodyweight, bodyfat, muscle percentage and BMI. Good luck and have fun: I’m sure you’ll do great! ;-)

  • Reply William 22 oktober 2015 at 20:54

    Congrats on starting the BBG program Tessa! Agree with you on the happy state of mind part – the self confidence boost alone is worth all that sweat :)

    We at WorkoutLabs are working with Kayla to promote her program and have a 10% discount if you’d like to share it with your readers:

  • Reply Carolien - On a Healthy Adventure 23 september 2015 at 19:02

    Zo blij dat je ook resultaten van de BBG ziet! De hele BBG community is geweldig. Zo leuk om met meiden van over heel de wereld in contact te komen :)

    • Reply Anverelle 24 september 2015 at 12:08

      Ja, exact! Ik leer mensen kennen van over de hele wereld die ik waarschijnlijk anders nooit ontmoet zou hebben, wie had dat gedacht van een fitnessprogramma dat ik gevonden heb via Instagram! ?

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