Tune in today to see if she can … complete Kayla Itsines’ 12-Week Bikini Body Guide
Who isn’t a sucker for a solid before and after shot? When a close friend told me to check out Kayla Itsines Instagram feed and let her know if I wanted to do the Aussie’s 12-week Bikini Body Guide, she must have known I was a complete fool for the side-by-side comparisons. The transformations are messed up they’re so amazing. And now I know why.
The friend who got me on the hook for Kayla, was also the gal who talked me into my first Whole30 and Insanity, both of which were torture at the time and extremely rewarding after. So I had high hopes.
The idea is fairly simple. The guide has you do the assigned Kayla workout 3 days a week, cardio of your choice for 30-40 minutes 2 days a week, stretching 1 day a week and 1 rest day. A Kayla day’s workout consists of 2 circuits, each containing 4 moves with designated repetitions. You set a timer for 7 minutes and do Circuit 1, as many times through as you can. Then, a 2-minute rest. Set the timer for 7 minutes again and do Circuit 2 as many times through as you can. Take a 2-minute rest. Then repeat the process. You complete each circuit twice.
This mama is still packin’ some extra LBs around the midsection and, perhaps because I had an umbilical hernia fixed 6 weeks after having Sloppy Joan, or perhaps because I am a tubby cake-lover, I had absolutely zero core strength. A fact that reached up and slapped me in the cheek as I reluctantly hovered in my first Kayla plank.
But, much like when we did Insanity, this program, over time, ignited a modest evolution in my meager muscles. Take the burpee, for instance. Kayla loves her some burpees. She changes up the form, but they’re there, in almost every workout. They might be first in the circuit, or fourth, but they’re coming for ya. During the first week, I felt like the motion was disjointed and sloppy and kind of pathetic. But by week 12, I could feel my body automatically snapping my limbs in and out like a push-button umbrella. After three kids, I’m thankful for every single small victory.
The pros of this program are many. The workouts only take about 40 minutes and, with a little bit of equipment, can be done at home. (You can certainly use your gym’s equipment and bust it out, too.) It does get a little tricky toward the end when she has you jumping over benches and such, but I just substituted a small child. It’s easy to get creative as long as you have some hand weights, a kettlebell or medicine ball, and some stairs. The movements are super effective and engage several different muscle groups at a time. And because you repeat a lot of the motions throughout the 12 weeks, just with some added difficulty, it’s easy to gauge your progress. I noticed the biggest differences in my core (Is that a muscle sprouting under that stretch mark?!) and upper arms.
I don’t really have any cons related specifically to the program as it was designed, although it is pretty pricey if you buy it from her. The cons in my case were tied to my tattered body’s inability to keep up. I never could do a jack knife; only one end of my body goes up at a time. My push ups are still of the girl variety. And once I passed Week 8, I’m pretty sure I never made it through a circuit more than 1.12 times, but you just keep getting back up, right?
Will you find my before and after in this post? Not likely. But I will throw you a bone with my measurements. Something to keep in mind is that I certainly did not follow the suggested protocol. I completed the guide in 20 weeks rather than 12, with some other classes and jogging peppered throughout.
If you want your Instagram feed flooded with unattainable body selfies, be sure to follow Kayla. It’s fun to browse and kill some time while your Oreos are soaking.
Until next time …