Welcome to my Kitchen/Diner/Gym where I have been working out for the past few months whilst doing Kayla Itsines 12 Week Bikini Body Guide (BBG). I bought this guide a few years ago after hearing lots about it on Instagram. It ticked all of the right boxes for me being a stay at home mum and not particularly wanting to join a gym. I bought the Bikini Body Guide 1.0 with the Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Plan which cost around £70 altogether but I didn’t ever use the eating plan. The Bikini Body Guide on its own costs just over £40 so if you are already into clean/healthy eating and have a good knowledge of diet and nutrition then you could just choose to purchase the Bikini Body Guide only.
The 12 week programme is sent to you as a digital download which you can keep on your phone, laptop or tablet or can be printed out. It is packed with information and goes into detail on each of the exercises and contains all of the things you will need to know whilst doing the guide including your stretch routines and any equipment you may need. The programme consists of 12 weekly workouts which are set up as three resistance training circuits a week (Mon, Weds, Fri) and three Low Intestisty (LISS) workouts a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat) and one rest day (Sun).
On resistance training days, you complete two different circuits twice for 7 minutes each. So you set your timer and do circuit one for 7 minutes, have a 30-90 second break then go onto circuit two for 7 minutes, have a 30-90 second break and then repeat. I bought a few pieces of equipment, basic weights, a skipping rope and a yoga mat (to save my floor) but I also found different pieces of furniture I had, like a dining room bench and the bathroom step stool for other exercises.
The LISS days are focused on Low Intestity Steady State workouts, where you are just aiming to get your heart rate up enough to burn fat for 35-45 minutes. I spent most of my LISS days walking for 45 minutes until I found a 45 minute Zumba DVD which does the job nicely and means that I can workout at home. I wear my Fitbit so that I can track my heart rate and tone a few moves down to stop myself from going into cardio.
I have heard mixed reviews about the eating guide, but since I didn’t ever use it, I won’t comment on it. All I will say is that you NEED TO EAT whilst doing BBG. You really need to fuel yourself to be able to maintain these workouts and have the energy to do them. The LISS days are not strenuous at all, but they burn a lot of calories and if you are already an active person you need to make sure you fuel your body to be able to feel strong. I eat more now then I did before I started BBG with a greater focus on increasing my protein/fat intake. My breakfasts have gone from around 350 calories to 500 calories otherwise there is no way I would get through the morning. You can see all of my BBG Breakfasts on Instagram. As most of you already know, I don’t actively count calories but having a good understanding of the calories you burn vs the calories you consume is actually not a bad thing, especially to prevent drastically under eating because lets face it, who doesn’t want to eat as much food as they can and still get in shape?
My goal wasn’t to lose a lot of weight but to tone up, build muscle and improve my fitness level. If your goal is to lose weight then you need to work out an eating plan that works for you but DO NOT restrict your calories by so much that your body goes into starvation mode and starts to store fat. ((Google BMR (Basil Metabolic Rate) and TDEE (Total Daily Exercise Expenditure) to find out more info on recommended calorie consumption)). I stuck to Clean Eating 90% of the time. I’d say almost all of my daily meals were healthy and balanced but I also enjoyed a few treats in amoungst them. Some weeks were better than others. I still experienced ups and downs with regards to cravings but generally I felt motivated to eat well…. with a few biscuits on the side 😉
This whole experience has definitely changed me. I had started BBG a few times before and I just couldn’t do it. I was always put off by the dreaded DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), I was in the wrong headspace and didn’t commit to it like I could this time. This time was different. I started out slow and steady with the 4 Pre Training Weeks and the more I made my BBG workouts a priority, the more I felt myself committing to it. I supported myself with vitamins that I had been deficient in (Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Iron) good healthy whole food, lots of water and plenty of sleep. I found the secret to avoiding terribly sore muscles too which helped a lot! STRETCHING, HOT SHOWER, MAGNESIUM SPRAY. Works a treat. Eventually I started setting my alarm early so that I could workout before the day even started. It changed my life. I have never been a morning person. Ever. I have books about how to become a morning person but I have always found the mornings so hard. Setting my alarm for 5.45am each morning is so far away from the girl I have ever been it’s almost hard to believe but it is the best part of my day and worth the early nights to finally be able to say that I love the mornings.
Completing BBG has also given me the bug for something more. Im not sure exactly what it is yet, but it has opened the door to the world of fitness which is a world I had never been into before. I’m intrigued by lifting heavy weights and have had a few fun days at the gym with Luke showing me the ropes but right now I am going to keep doing BBG until I want to try something new. BBG worked for me. It was everything I needed in a workout guide and I saw results. My body has changed but more important to me is knowing that I have changed. I am a stronger, more motivated person, I lived through the highs (seeing my abs) and lows (loosing my abs in bloat) week after week and I never missed a workout.
My Tips For BBG Success;
- Eat Well
- Sleep Well
- Hydrate Well
- Ensure your body is supported with the right vitamins & minerals
- After Every Resistance Workout – Stretch/Shower/Magnesium Spray
- NEVER GIVE UP – Consistency is key
- Make Yourself a Priority
- Learn to love your body at every stage
My BBG Results
I lost around 7lbs in weight which continues to fluctuate weekly and our scales say that I lost around 8% body fat. I am still in the same size clothes and my goal now is to just build on my body as it is. I’m not and never have been interested in looking ‘skinny’ so I hope to gain more muscle and feel stronger. Was it difficult? It was definitely a challenge. The resistance training days were physically challenging, some workouts I hated but there is something about the 7 minute timer that makes it mentally doable and it was ALWAYS worth is afterwards. My skin is better, I have more energy, I sleep better, I have less headaches and my mood is generally brighter. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still have hard days, low days, unmotivated days, tired days etc. But I have found that generally I am ticking over a lot better then I ever have before. It really has changed my life and I am so excited to see what the next 12 weeks will do to strengthen my mind and my body.
So that is my review, and my results. You may find some mixed reviews of the guide on the internet, as with anything and everything, it might not be for everyone but if you wanted to give it a go you can try BBG for free in this 7 Day Free Workout Guide.