It’s tough going from eating sugary goods and forgoing the gym to eating healthy and adopting a workout regimen.
That’s where Kayla Itsines came in for me. I’m the kind of person who needs a semi-strict plan to follow or I’ll quickly fall of the bandwagon. I stayed in shape in high school doing track and cross country, but once I got to college, I had to regulate my own workout schedule – and I didn’t do such a great job at it.
Cue the Freshman 15 and a ton of regret. Recently, I decided to give Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide a go after hearing about it on Facebook.
BBG is a 12-week program consisting of a workout plan and an optional eating guide. It’s super simple and comes with a 4 week pre-training guide for beginners. All of the exercises can be done at home with a bit of equipment, or you can use your own modifications if you don’t want to go out and buy something.
The program is available as an app for $19.99 a month or $53.15 for each e-book, one containing the 12-week workout guide and one containing the healthy eating guide. It’s expensive on a college budget, but I did find the free PDF online pretty easily by doing a quick Google search.
I just finished week 2 of BBG and have a run-down of my first two weeks using Kayla’s plan. The first week was definitely the most brutal so far.
Weeks 1-4 start you off “easy” consisting of:
- 2-3 sessions of resistance training
- 2-3 sessions of LISS cardio training
- 1 rehabilitation (stretch) session
Resistance training is composed of 28 minute workouts targeting legs, arms, and abs. LISS stands for low-intensity steady state, which means doing cardio at a steady pace that keeps your heartrate in the fat burning zone. Rehabilitation is a short session of stretching to help with tight muscles.
As for food, I tried to eat clean as best as I could at the dining center. No white bread, no pasta or pizza, lots of greens, veggies, and fruits, white meat only, etc. I didn’t fully follow Kayla’s food plan since I don’t have a kitchen. I did allow myself a cheat meal on Sunday to stay sane.
I was super pumped to start BBG as soon as I woke up, which is weird for me. I didn’t eat so well the weekend before, so my body was pretty much crying out to me to get on with it.
Day 1 is Legs & Cardio, and let me tell you right now, it is brutal. My legs were shaking by the end of the workout and I could barely keep them straight enough to walk down the stairs without tripping.
The workout consisted of a circuit of jump squats, squats, walking lunges, knee ups and a circuit of x jumps, burpees, weighted step ups, and medicine ball squats. Each circuit lasts 7 minutes long and is done twice for a total of 28 minutes of exercise. The workout may be short, but it was nowhere near easy.
I’m used to being sore the day after a new workout, but I hadn’t been this sore since my cross country coach tricked me into running 5 miles on my first day of practice. It wasn’t just stairs that hurt. Getting out of bed hurt, sitting down hurt, getting up hurt. It hurt just to exist.
I looked up other people’s reviews at this point to see if it was just me who was dying or if this was a trend. I wasn’t the only one. If you’re considering trying out Kayla’s program, don’t let this scare you off. It does get better.
Day 2’s workout was just an inclined walk on the treadmill and actually made my legs feel a little better.
I thought soreness was just a “day after” thing. Nope. To my surprise (and dismay) I could still barely get out of bed on Wednesday. I still walked with a limp everywhere and I still died a little inside every time I had to sit down.
Even though all I wanted to do was lay in bed and die in peace, I did my second Resistance workout of the week. It was manageable only because it targeted arms and abs and didn’t require much use of my legs.
The workout consisted of pushups, medicine ball squat and presses, lay down pushups, and tricep dips for the first circuit, and mountain climbers, ab bikes, sit ups with a twist and straight leg sit ups for the second circuit. The sit ups and pushups were the hardest for me.
Day 4 and I was still sore. Except now, I was sore all over. It kind of hurt to laugh and definitely hurt when I sat up in bed in the morning. I’ve never been sore for this long. I was honestly losing hope that it would ever get better by this point, but I still did my LISS workout, another walk on the treadmill. The nice thing about alternating Resistance with LISS is that it gives your body a chance to recuperate before straining the same muscles. The bad thing is it took me a literal week to recuperate.
At this point, my legs felt a lot better but there was still one spot on my left leg that was killing me. I bought a foam roller at Wal-Mart to help with muscle soreness and it’s the best decision I ever made. I was supposed to do my third Resistance workout, but I decided to do a foam rolling session instead as my Rehabilitation.
Day 6 and the pain was FINALLY GONE! I will never take walking for granted again after limping around in pain for almost a week. I did feel some discomfort in my legs when I did my LISS session, but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been all week.
For LISS, I took a walk with my best friends (more like I forced them to take a walk with me.)
Without the soreness bogging me down, I was ready to do my final Resistance workout. My brother joined me for this one and realized I wasn’t kidding when I said it was tough.
The workout was a full-body one and consisted of a combination of the first two Resistance workouts. It definitely seemed easier than the first two, but still hard.
Week 1 was the most eventful for me with the ridiculous amount of soreness I experienced. Week 2 went much more smoothly. I didn’t have to put off any of my exercises and none of my workouts made me so sore I could barely move.
If you can get through the first week, it gets sooo much better, I promise. I follow Kayla on Instagram and she posts pictures of people’s results using her guide and they’re all the inspiration I need to keep going even when it gets hard.
All it takes is 12 weeks to potentially change your life. Do you think you’ll give Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide a go?