Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review by Emma

Fit & Training door anna FG

My name is Emma and I am a 28 years old British female who lives in Australia. I'm a high school teacher, lover of fitness and a healthy lifestyle and a non- drinker. My dream is to continue travelling and live a healthy, happy and honest life. Before I started the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide I already was a keen runner. I also tried yoga, pilates, Xtend Barre classes, swimming, bike riding and boxing. I've completed the first and second Bikini Body Guide from Kayla and I'm going to share my personal and honest opinion with you. 

If you're up for a challenge yourself, we have great news for you: if you download a Bikini Body Guide now, you get 10 % off. You just have to enter our special code: BBTGFGC10 

(Valid until 02.28.2015)

Bikini Body Guide 1


  • Variety of moves
  • Easy as I was already quite fit
  • Slimmer hips and stomach at the end
  • It works


  • The layout of the glossary at the back is not in alphabetical order
  • The weekly layout is not as clear as the second guide, with the first guide you have to keep flicking back and forth whereas the second guide lays it out a lot better
  • Not stating the weights next to the moves and only at the back so unless you read the glossary you are unsure of the weights to use


Why I started
I started the Bikini Body Guide July 2014 as I had a running injury and could not run over 2k without struggling. This frustrated me so I wanted to see what else I could do. I had recently joined Instagram and was following a few fitness pages and copying there moves but needed solid routines. I found Kayla and really liked the way she looked so I thought I would try the guide.

The guide
Once I got the guide I read the instructions and knew what I had to do in terms of the rounds and timing myself. The first guide is a mix of resistance training, on Monday you do legs, Wednesday you focus on arms and Friday you focus on abs. You also have to do LISS which is low intensity walking and stretching. Later in the guide you have to sprint which is HIIT high intensity interval training. I liked the variation with everything. For me exercising that regularly was not a problem but I know for others it might be.

Tip to new girls
My first tip to all girls is: read the instructions. I see so many people on Instagram asking Kayla things that the guide explains and it frustrates me to see that. How can you take on a journey that requires patience if you are not patient enough to read what is required? I would advise people to read the glossary at the back as it tells you the weights to use even though I listed the glossary as a negative one. I knew how to do most moves so I didn’t read the glossary which states the weights you should use. I was using lighter weights than I should have. This gave me strength and helped me but I regretted this. I will explain about this later.

How I exercised
During the first guide I was walking more than I had to with my dog and trying to run for my physio and doing the Bikini workouts. I would wake at 5.20am and be in my shed by 6am to exercise before work. After work I would walk and run and also do other workouts as I get very addicted to exercise. I found the workouts exhilarating and dynamic. I would get through about 2 rounds each time and feel good about myself. I would also attempt the challenges Kayla posted on Instagram. I felt good when doing them and sometimes I did the workouts on the off days. Some days I would be running late for work so I would do half the workout in the morning and then finish later after work. If I did it this way I usually ended up continuing and working out more with other moves or challenges. Kayla has a 600rep challenge posted on her page which I tried.

By increasing my exercise I found that I was hungry so my natural reaction was to eat more bread and carb portions. This meant that I maintained my 53kg weight throughout. My goal was to never lose weight but I wanted to be fitter. (Though this changed when my obsession with comparing to others took hold later). I had the food guide from Kayla but didn’t like the idea of measuring my food and as I already had salads and smoothies. I assumed the way I did it was ok…. How wrong I was (more later)

Mid way through the first guide I knew I was becoming obsessed. I started to feel that my progress was worse than others or that because I was slim and not drastically losing weight it wasn’t good enough. I started increasing my workouts at about week 6 so I was doing something everyday. I didn’t increase my weights or change my food and later found that this was the issue.

Week 11 nearly the end…

At Week 11 I was happy with my results. I could see my hips were slimmer, I was fitter and I could see progress. But I was questioning why my results were not the same as other girls and wanted to see if I had been doing something wrong. A few girls had six packs and looked leaner and that became my goal. I was off to Bali before Week 12 for four nights and wanted to be perfect. I looked at the glossary for the ab moves and saw that the weights were stated at the back of the guide (this is one negative that they are not stated on the exercise pages). I realized I had been using lighter weights than I should have. I had been using 3kg on my arms and 2.5kg on my abs so I got leaner but didn’t build muscle. I went into a meltdown at that point and wrote down every single move from the whole guide involving weights and decided to repeat them all throughout week 12 as well as the week 12 exercises. I increased the ab weights to 5kg and the arms to 6kg and did this to “catch up”. (I am aware this is not healthy and do not suggest people do this).

Week 12

At the end of the guide I knew I wanted to continue with the second so I kept pushing myself. I now ran 3k without my injury playing up and I was sometimes rowing for my HIIT training. I compared my photos to the start and could see a leaner me. I sent my photos to Kayla and they asked for my story but I was not selected which got me down. It seemed many girls with six packs were being featured so again I beat myself up for not upping my weights earlier. I ended the first guide happy but determined to be like other girls. If you ever get to week 12 you should be happy to make it to the end. Many girls give up or never start. To continue for 12 weeks is an achievement. If this is you. Well Done!

Second Guide

The first four weeks of the second guide are really easy which was strange compared to weeks 9-12 of the first. I kept walking and running but the resistance sessions didn’t seem too hard. The second guide has more of a focus on weights whereas the first seems to be focused at leaning girls down which make sense. You lean down then build muscle. The second guide adds in personal challenges, the 1000rep challenge is not fun. I did it in week 13. I was next due to do it at the end of week 17 but was getting over a flu so only managed a few moves. I am not looking forward to attempting it again at the end of week 21.

Second Guide Tip
Do not start the second guide without completing the first. It will not help you as you need to build up some strength and coordination with the moves as they get harder.

Change in weights and food
I already mentioned that with the first guide I was frustrated for not increasing my weights earlier. At the start of the second guide I was using 10kg on my legs and 6kg on my arms. As you have to lift the weights over your head and my arms are not that strong I cannot use heavier. For the abs I started to use 13kg and started to do this everyday to quicken my progress. By week 15 I was distraught. I didn’t understand why I didn’t have a six pack and was asking everyone for advice. The guide says not to use more than 10kg for your abs and my abs were not sore and I didn’t understand why. I took a photo and could see a six pack but underneath what looked like fat to me. I decided I had to try the food guide when I compared a photo from week 3 and week 15 and they were the same.

From week 16-18 I used the food guide I measured everything and had a cheat meal. If I felt hungry I would have yoghurt or a small amount of oats before a workout to fuel me (The guide does not state this). At the end of one week I could see a change and at the second week again. I knew it was my food that had let me down.



Carbs are not evil
I stated earlier that during the first guide I would eat more bread and rice. I think we are all trained to believe that carbs are what you go to when hungry. I now know that carbs are in fruit and other foods. I also ate too much fruit which is high in sugar which also had to change. I still have rye toast and brown rice (switched from white at week 16) and quinoa but have had to lessen these. I have two portions of fruit a day not five and I eat more spinach.

Another low point
Week 16-18 I had followed the food guide pretty much exactly, but I had protein powder, water, oats and yoghurt as extra. Week 19 and 20 I had upped my protein like chicken and veg portions. Essentially, I was back to maintaining my food intake. Kayla seems to have low protein portions but other food guides state to have higher protein portions, so I increased mine. By increasing the good foods, you are still adding calories. I was maintaining my food intake, but not in a calorie deficit way to loose fat. I was feeling down for the weekend. I had begun to question whether all this was worth it. I knew I was obsessed and didn’t like it. This was not the journey I wanted to be on.

Week 21
I am now on week 21. I have decided to reduce my grains like bread and oats. Instead of two bits of toast I have one and no wrap at lunch. I found sometimes, with all the extra protein and vegetables, that I wasn’t hungry for the grains. Though I still would make myself eat them. Grains are not bad, but if you eat more vegetables, meat and fish you can have less of them. The last few days I have reduced my grains and I have felt ok. I have decided that at the end of the second guide, which is just before the new year, that I need to reflect on this whole journey.

Balance in my life
At the end of the second guide I will be making a decision if this is all worth it. I love the exercise and that I am stronger and leaner. Kayla has created guides that help women all over the world and I am one of them. The guides have given me a tool. I went to a fitness class recently and was the fittest one which made me feel good. I could see my muscle tone and liked how I looked. The food is the issue for me. I know that eating more meat, vegetables and lean food is best, but I don’t want to feel guilty for eating some toast if I feel like it. Why have a perfect six pack if you can't enjoy food? One negative of the food guide is that it gives you 7 days of food inspiration and how to switch this up. However, there aren’t many recipes. I wanted to try new things but was unsure how this would affect the calories you need for the day. This is why I want a balance in my life. I want to follow a guide for breakfast and lunch as this helps with my routine while at work. Having simple evening meals is also helpful as I walk my dog, exercise and prepare dinner. The weekends are where I want to be healthy, but try new recipes and eat out as well. I want to eat at a restaurant and not worry that my vegetable portion is not enough if I would be following the Kayla Itsines guide.

Other girls on Instagram…
For many girls this obsession may not happen for them and I hope it doesn’t. I know many on the journey that stick completely to Kayla’s food and exercise and are unable to veer away from that. Others have also visited nutritionists and personal trainers to increase their progress. We are all different.

The main lesson to learn is not to compare to others as each of us is different. Some girls may have exercised longer or used other methods to help them. As long as you do what is right for you and are happy, your choices are all that matters. I have choices in my journey. I can choose to exercise and change my food and for now that is a choice I experiment with. These choices may change down the track. The main choices I make will to always be healthy and fit, that may include continuing the way I am now or changing. Instagram is a dangerous tool as you compare your life to others and feel inadequate when you are on the same journey. Being aware of this is important.

Final tips and advice
Remember to live and let live. Live your life and your journey and let others live theirs. Progress, not perfection. I am not perfect. People tell me I am slim and they want a body like me but I still want to work at mine. I know a perfect body may not mean a perfect mind and I want to have a healthy body and healthy mind. I am starting to realize a six pack may mean restricting foods and obsessing and this is not healthy.

Lean and clean is the way. Eat lean foods and clean up your diet as this plays the biggest part. You can exercise all day but if you eat junk, this will not help you. I do not drink alcohol at all or eat junk food and if I eat chocolate it is raw chocolate. I do eat popcorn at the movies and eat ice-cream and drink coffee.

For me the Bikini Body Guide has helped give me an exercise routine. It gives me a workout for every area and I do not have to think as it is all laid out for me. I can run and walk and add in other things. At the end of the guide I am off to Cambodia to teach English at an orphanage. This means I will not be exercising for over two weeks. I intend to do yoga and stretching when overseas. I will have no control over my food as it will all be cooked for me and I hope the experience changes my mind set about my body. Jealousy, control, comparing and obsession are my negative traits that the Bikini Body Guide brought to the surface. These may never change but I hope to learn how to keep them at bay and love who I am, with a six pack, with guns, or either without.

If you're up for a challenge yourself, we have great news for you: if you download a Bikini Body Guide now, you get 10 % off. You just have to enter our special code: BBTGFGC10 

(Valid until 02.28.2015)

Do you wanna read more reviews about the Kayla Itsiness Bikini Body Guide? Read all about Annelie's personal experience.