Last year I did the Bikini Body Guide pre-training, round one, and round two. I felt stronger and more toned, but I stopped for a bit when I was training for the half-marathon. I am still running regularly, but I want to start the Bikini Body Guide program again because I’m more accustomed to running and don’t need to take as many rest days. I’m going to start again with round one since it gets progressively harder and I haven’t done strength training in a-w-h-i-l-e. (P.S. I don’t love the name The Bikini Body Guide because everyone has a bikini body…everyone should feel comfortable and confident in a bikini regardless of their weight or shape but I do like the program.)
What’s Sweat With Kayla?
The OG version of The Bikini Body Guide was a PDF of exercises that didn’t include The Bikini Body Guide Pre-Training. You had to time yourself to make sure you were following the circuits. Sweat With Kayla is an app that walks you through the circuits and cool down. You can also view the nutrition plan, save progress photos, see your schedule and progress for the week, and more. I like the app because it makes it simple so I only have to focus on the workout itself. (Which is tough enough!) Kayla recommends you take photos each week so that you can track your progress.
What Is It?
The Bikini Body Guide is a workout program designed by Kayla Itsines and her fiance, Tobias Pierce. For The Bikini Body Guide Pre-Training you workout six days a week and alternate between 28-minute resistance exercises (Monday – Legs, Wednesday – Arms, Friday – Abs) and LISS which stands for Low-Intensity Sustained State.
What are the resistance exercises?
The resistance exercises include two series of four exercises that you complete in seven-minute circuits, twice. According to Kayla it totals 28 minutes of “high intensity, plyometric, resistance jump training.” For each circuit, you do each of the four exercises as many times as you can in the 7 minutes. I usually end up doing each exercise (so for example 15 squats, 15 burpees, 15 sumo squats, 30 weighted step ups) twice per circuit. It also includes 30-second breaks between circuits and a much-needed cool down which includes guided stretches.
What is LISS?
LISS is low-intensity cardio that’s done for half an hour to an hour. Some options are walking quickly on an incline, going for a walk, or bike riding. I did a lot of googling and learned that Vinyasa yoga can also count as LISS (Kayla wrote it in a comment on one of her blog posts). I alternate between walking on the treadmill, bike riding, yoga, walking outside, hiking, and studio cycling classes. I don’t think studio cycling classes really count because it isn’t low-intensity and your heart rate skyrockets above the recommended heart rate for LISS (50-70%).
Do you need equipment? Can I do it from home or do I need a gym membership?
You need some equipment like weights, a mat, a medicine ball, a bench, a jump rope, and a foam roller. I go to the gym and use the equipment there but technically if you have all of the equipment and don’t live in a small apartment where you’d be bumping into the coffee table…you could do it at home!
I find that going to the gym makes me more accountable. I take fewer breaks and get energy from the people around me. When I see people working with their personal trainers (and chatting with their personal trainers while standing next to weights…without actually working out) I get a tiny bit of satisfaction out of knowing I’m “working out with a personal trainer” on my phone. I’ve even had people come up to me to ask what app I use.
Do you do the diet?
Kayla’s site includes nutrition PDF’s and Sweat With Kayla has healthy recipes and grocery lists for the week. I like that you can set your diet restrictions (i.e. vegan, vegetarian) and see Kayla’s breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner recommendations for each day. I do my own thing for the nutrition but I enjoy seeing her recipes and save them for inspiration.
What does it cost?
The Bikini Body Guide is 12 weeks. The Bikini Body Guide Pre-Training is four weeks. The app costs $4.61 weekly if you pay month to month (roughly one almond milk latte + tip) or $54.99 for three months. I chose the three-month plan so that I would be motivated to stick it out! I thought about the price a lot before buying it because I already pay for a gym membership, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted from my group workout class routine. I was feeling really discouraged so I decided to do something. I read a good review that justified the price by explaining that a boutique workout class costs around $35 per class…so $35 for 45 minutes to an hour…this is three months. I always think health is a worthwhile investment so I’d rather pay for an app than buy a pair of shoes on a whim.