I Did Kayla Itsines’ 12 Week Bikini Body Guide

Hey guys! So one of my New Year’s resolution was to get in shape this year. It hit me when I was down to Mexico this past Christmas. I was climbing a Mayan monument with my brother and was literally out of breath after 20 steps. I was fed up with feeling unhealthy and out of shape, and wanted to make a change. I have been working out on and off for years, but always had trouble sticking with it. I remember someone once mentioning to me the Bikini Body Guide (or BBG for short). After taking look at what the guide entailed, I decided to try it for myself.

Photo 2019-04-23, 11 17 54 AM

What is BBG?

BBG is a 12 week program created by Kayla Itsines. You can purchase the ebook or buy the Sweat with Kayla app (I found the pdf online……..). The first 8 weeks has 2-3 resistance training sessions (gym workouts) and 2-4 light cardio sessions. The last four weeks also includes HITT training.

The workouts are grouped together, so weeks 1 and 3 are the same thing. Every four weeks the workouts get more intense, but are similar to the past weeks. For example, week 1 is 15 push-ups, week 5 is 15 decline push ups and week 9 is 20 drop down push ups.

Each workout consists of two circuits with four moves each that you do twice. In total there are eight moves that you do twice each. The full workout is supposed to take around 30 minutes. There are three workouts for each week, focused on either legs, arms or abs.

What did I think of the BBG workouts?

I like to preface with saying that I was very out of shape when I started this guide. I 100% should have started with some basic exercising before starting this. I was exhausted by the end of the workout. After doing weeks 1-4 I decided to do them for another week in order to build up my strength more before moving forward. So it took be 14 weeks to complete the 12 week guide.

I really like the layout of the workouts. Since I’m not super in shape, it would take me around 10 minutes to complete a circuit. I could complete the workout in around 40 minutes.

I like that the workouts don’t need a ton of equipment so I could do some of them at home. But the moves I hated the most were the ones I had to do most often. There is a ton of push ups and burpees in this guide. By week 6 the burpees were starting to hurt my knees, so I reduced the amount that I was doing.

Overall I liked the leg workouts the most. I was able to master the majority of the moves and I felt satisfied after completing the workouts. I equally disliked the arms and abs workouts. Half of the arm exercises are some form of a push up, so as someone who isn’t good at doing push ups I was not pleased. Abs depended on the week because some weeks were harder than others.

For the cardio portion I did it twice a week. I tried a few times to do three times a week but that was too much for me. I would do yoga for one of my cardio sessions. For the other session I would either go swimming or go on a walk. Since I was going this in the dead of winter it was way too cold for me to run outside. I also never did the HITT workouts. I was going to do them, but I was so busy with school that I didn’t have time to add another work out.

Overall I am pretty proud of myself for doing all 12 weeks of the guide. There were a few weeks here and there that I would miss one cardio or workout, but for the most part I did it all. I think this is the longest I have ever consistently worked out in my life.

What changes did I notice in my body?

One of the biggest changes I noticed was the amount of energy I had. After not working out for months, I was shocked at how energized I was. I liked to work out before class, and the days that I did work out I was much more awake in class than the days I hadn’t. Since it was also winter, I noticed that working out really helped improve my mood. Winter can be depressing (like actually seasonal depression is a thing), and I noticed that overall I was in a better mood compared to past winters.

Another HUGE difference was my immune system. I have a relatively week immune system. Last winter I was sick the majority of the time, so I was so surprised that I didn’t get sick ONCE this winter. I had a few days where I might feel a little bit of a sore throat or a little congested, but it was gone the next day. I had no colds and no illnesses, which is absolutely shocking for me.

Physically I did get stronger. For example at the beginning I couldn’t do one sit up and by the end I was able to do ten. Visually I did not notice a difference. I did take before and after photos, but I don’t see a difference. To be fair, its only been 3 months, and it takes awhile to actually see changes. Finally, I did manage to lose 10 pounds over the three months. Unfortunately, I stopped working out during exams and then while I was away in Europe, so I have since gained those 10 pounds back (oops haha).

Would I do BBG again? Would I recommend BBG?

I have decided to group these questions together because I won’t be following BBG again BUT I would recommend.

First I have decided not to do BBG again because I hated half of the moves. But what I will be doing is taking the format and placing in my own moves. So for those who are curious, I am planning on working out at the gym three times a week and then doing cardio twice a week for the next three months. I will definitely update you guys about that in August!

While I am not doing BBG again, I think the structure is really great. I think BBG would be good for anyone who is in a rut or needing a routine that will keep them motivated to go to the gym. I think it is a good place to get started.

Overall I think BBG gave me the push I needed to get in shape. It helped me both physically and mentally, and now I can’t wait to do my own thing! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, I’d be more than happy to answer them 🙂



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