I just completed Week 1 of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide 1.0 and it’s as hardcore as people say it is. I can verify that. However, I CAN do it, which is great. Last week on the train back from spending Mother’s Day weekend with my family, I realised it was exactly 12 weeks until my birthday. That gave me the final push I needed to actually start the guide that I bought back in January.
(Image borrowed from Kayla’s Instagram.)
Who is Kayla?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you have probably heard of Kayla Itsines, online personal trainer extraordinaire. With over 2.3 million Instagram followers, an army of devotees aptly named #KaylasArmy and abs of steel, Kayla is a 23 year old who has pretty much got it all. Why? Because she is personable and approachable. She still replies to fans/clients and reposts their amazing transformations on her social networks. She has created her Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide to help women feel confident and get into shape. And it’s working. Just search #thekaylamovement or #deathbykayla to see how. In fact, just the other day a friend I hadn’t seen for a couple of months said to me as we were talking about workouts, ‘You should do Kayla!‘ and I said ‘I already am!‘.
What is BBG?
As a personal trainer, Kayla was getting asked the same questions about trouble areas over and over by female clients, so she decided to create a downloadable eBook full of workouts designed to tone every part of a woman’s body. The Bikini Body Guide 1.0 (there’s a 2.0 for those who complete the first one) is a 12 week guide with very clear instructions on how to perform each move, so even beginners can get along pretty well with it. Each week comprises of 3 workouts, focused on legs, abs, arms, full body or a combination of these. Each workout consists of two sets or circuits of four exercises. Each set should be done for 7 minutes followed by a 30 second rest.
The workout goes as follows: Circuit 1 – Rest – Circuit 2 – Rest – Circuit 1 – Rest – Circuit 2.
There is also a lot of guidance in the eBook not only on correct form but also on stretches and rehabilitation. You are also supposed to include 2-3 LISS activities a week. This is what Kayla calls a low intensity workout that is essentially ‘any moderate or long-duration cardiovascular exercise that maintains the same pace throughout’. For example, a long walk, a slow run or 35-45 mins on an elliptical on the same setting.
How was Week 1?
After being ill for a while and only going on a couple of runs over the past few weeks, the major sets of burpees and jumps were a pretty big shock to the system, but that can only get better, right? Week 1 of 12 was never going to be easy. I didn’t have the right weight dumbbells – mine were a bit lighter, but I’ve ordered more on Amazon and it was probably better to ease myself into the programme, because oh-did-I-ache for a couple of days after Workout 1! The arm + ab workout is a welcome change to squats on Wednesday and a good way to still get a workout in even when you have problems standing up. Workout 3 is a combination of the week’s first two workouts designed to work the full body. I did it on Saturday after feeling the need to have a bit of a rest and rehab day on Friday.
Here is how my week’s workouts went:
I don’t think this is a perfect Kayla week. I decided after my 5k run that I was going to start BBG that week so I had to switch Mon & Tues. I’m also in training for a half marathon in 8 weeks, so I do need to keep my running up, which means a bit more high-intensity cardio than the LISS sections are intended to be and my spin class was a fun way of loosening my legs up, but I may not do this every week. It’s a bit intense. Diet-wise I am being my usual everything-in-moderation self and I think I’ve dropped a couple of pounds, although I don’t want to focus on that. I am feeling healthy and happy and ready for the next 11 weeks. Bring on Week 2!
Have you tried the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide?