Although I did not wind up completing the full 12 week Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide program (affiliate link, FYI), I did manage to make it through 8 solid weeks of workouts and healthy eating, so I wanted to share my final thoughts with you all today.
Originally I wasn’t planning to write a wrap-up or final thoughts post about the program since I am still continuing to do the workouts a couple times a week, but man, do you guys have a lot of questions about it! Nearly every day I receive an email about the program, and I have more than 100 comments on my Kayla Itsines Updates post, so I know the need for information is real.
Today I’ll be sharing an overview of how the plan works, an explanation of what my results were like, and answers to some of your commonly asked questions. Ready? Here we go!
Who is Kayla Itsines, and what is her Bikini Body Program?
Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer based out of Australia. She has created two eBooks – essentially PDFs – as part of her “Bikini Body Program,” one for fitness called the Training Guide, and one for nutrition called the H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide. You can purchase the guides together and save $19, or you can choose to just buy just one of the eBooks. You can buy the eBooks here.
Kayla has a huge following on Instagram, where she frequently posts before and after pictures from the program. They are truly inspirational photos, and are part of the reason why I’m sure so many women are dying to try her program.
Do you need both eBooks?
The two eBooks are very different from each other, and though they can be completed separately I recommend purchasing both if you want to see the best results. Even if you are already happy with your nutrition or have a great workout regimen, it’s helpful to see what Kayla recommends since she’s the professional.
If you really want to buy only one, I personally got more value out of the Training Guide because you can do the workouts over and over again. I already know a decent amount about nutrition/have a relatively healthy diet, so while I found the H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide to be helpful, it didn’t change my eating habits too much. It was also a little more vague, whereas the Training Guide gives you specific instructions for each day of the program.
Both of the guides are great though, and I’m sure this preference varies for everyone.
What’s in the Training Guide?
The Kayla Itsines Training Guide includes workouts for you to complete for weeks 1-12. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the book provides workouts for Legs & Cardio, Abs & Arms, and Full Body which you will complete. On other days, you are encouraged to run, speed walk, or complete your own HIIT workout.
Each of the workouts in the Training Guide includes two circuits, which you will complete two times (4 circuits total per workout). You will have 7 minutes to complete as many rounds of the circuit as you can. This workout should take you 28 minutes total, not counting any time for resting between circuits (4 circuits x 7 min each = 28 min).
Here’s an example of one of the circuits for Legs & Cardio. You would complete this circuit as many times as you could in 7 minutes (I usually can get through them twice – sometimes more, sometimes less) and then do the second circuit (not pictured). After that you would repeat the process until you’ve done circuit 1 twice (14 minutes) and circuit 2 twice (14 minutes) for a sweaty and challenging 28 minute workout.
Note: The back of the guide has explanations for each of the moves in case it’s unclear what you should do from the picture.
Here’s an example of what your week might look like workout wise:
- Monday – Legs & Cardio
- Tuesday – Short run
- Wednesday – Arms & abs
- Thursday – Speed walk or HIIT
- Friday – Full Body
- Saturday – Stretch/yoga
- Sunday – Rest
You can do all of the workouts from home or in a gym, but just note that if you choose to do the workouts at home you’ll have to get creative with some of the equipment (weights, medicine ball, bench, etc.).
I should also mention that the workouts are fairly challenging, and if you don’t have a strong fitness background you should probably spend a week or two doing some light exercise before getting started. I do believe anyone can do these workouts to a varying degree, but that does not mean they are easy. At all.
What’s in the H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide?
The H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide is very simple and follows the Australian dietary guidelines, which seem pretty similar to the U.S. guidelines. The plan sort of reminds me of the old food pyramid because it recommends having things like 5 servings of vegetables, 2.5 servings of dairy, 2 healthy fats, etc. per day. The foods recommended in the plan are all wholesome and clean, and there is no room for any junk food or sweets (except fruit). The plan does allow for one “cheat meal” a week, which is to both help you stick to the plan, and reset your metabolism so you don’t fall into a plateau. The Nutrition Guide also provides sample recipes and meal plans, as well as a science section in the back explaining why it’s important to eat certain types of foods and steer clear of others.
Because I already followed a relatively healthy diet, I used this eBook as a general guideline. I did not use her recipes or meal plans, but I did track my servings using the notepad function on my iPhone.
This is probably the topic I received the most questions about: What counts as a healthy fat? What would a serving size of grains include? What should I do about counting calories? etc. etc. etc. I have literally received more than 100 questions about this, and although I will do what I can to address them, I encourage you to buy the guide yourself and try it out. This post is here to help you with the program or answer any questions you might have before pulling the trigger – I am not going to give away Kayla’s hard-earned knowledge for free.
Also, I want to reinstate that this Nutrition Guide is just that – a guide – and it should not be looked to as the Holy Bible. You need to figure out what eating plan works for you and adjust the recommendations to fit that. Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs.
What were my results?
Although I didn’t take any before and after pictures or weigh myself much during this time period (I’m not a huge fan of doing either of those things, which is a topic for another day) I did notice some nice differences in my body from the Bikini Body plan. My clothes fit looser and I saw a much more noticeable gap in my thighs. That, my friends, was a pretty awesome feeling. I think it was worth doing the program just for that!
I also noticed my shoulders and arms were a lot more defined, probably because I was mostly running before I started the Bikini Body program and was admittedly ignoring my arms and abs a bit.
My friends were also telling me that I looked really good, which is always nice to hear. 🙂 So, while I can’t give you any concrete numbers, I can definitely say the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body program worked for me.
While this program worked well for me, it’s like any other fitness and nutrition regimen in that you will get out what you put in. If you work hard, watch what you eat, and do the workouts, you will get awesome results. If you take it easy, cheat, skip workouts, and slack off, you won’t. It’s just like everything else in life, and there is no quick fix.
And yes, I still hate the name “Bikini Body,” since I think it emphasizes all the wrong aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but I have to admit the program itself is pretty great. 😉
For more information about my experience with the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide eBooks, please review the Workouts tab at the top of the page, and click on Kayla Itsines.
**NOTE: This post was not sponsored by anyone, although I am an affiliate of the Kayla Itsines program because I truly believe in it. As always all opinions are my own. If you have a question about the program, please read this post in its entirety before asking. There’s a good chance I’ve already addressed it above. Also, check out the questions others have asked in this post, since your question might have already been answered. Lastly, due to copyright information included in the eBooks, I cannot and will not give or sell you a copy.**
Question of the day: Do you have any other questions about the Bikini Body eBooks?