Kayla Itsines 12-Week Bikini Body Program

by Khushboo on December 22, 2014

Hey guys!  I just finished my workout for the day & thought I’d share more about my current workout routine & goals for the upcoming weeks: Kayla Itsines 12-week Bikini Body Program.  Chances are you’ve heard of Kayla, as she seems to have become an Instagram phenomenon.  If not I’ll give you the ‘Cliff Notes’ on her and her program.  Kayla is a 23-year old personal trainer from Australia & the brains behind the 12-Week Bikini Body Program, which she sells online as e-books.

Kayla Bikini Body Program

Source

Although the program’s name is a bit cringe-worthy, I love the breakdown of her workouts:

1) Resistance Training: Performed 2-3 times a week, each session targets a different muscle group (Legs & cardio, Arms & Abs, & Full Body).  Each workouts includes 2 circuits which you complete twice (4 circuits total per workout).  You have 7 minutes to complete as many rounds of the circuit you can.  The entire workout takes approximately about 31 minutes to complete, including rest times (4 circuits x 7 minutes each = 28 minutes  + 1 minute rest in between each circuit).  The circuits are a combination of plyometrics, body weight exercises & a few weighted exercises. 

2) Low-Intensity Steady State Cardio (LISS): In the first 4 weeks, the program calls for 35-45 minutes LISS sessions (e.g. walking or swimming) 2-3 times a week.  In weeks 5-8, this increases to 4-5 LISS session per week. 

LISS scenes

LISS scenes

3) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): These sessions involve performing an interval of high intensity ‘work’ such as sprinting and then ‘rest’ for an equal duration of time.  These 15-20 minute sessions are only incorporated in the final 4 weeks of the programs, 1-2 times per week.  As a result, the number of LISS sessions drops back down to 2-3 sessions per week. 

4) Rehabilitation: The program also calls for at least one stretching session per week, either based on the exercises she provides or in the form of yoga or pilates. 

If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll know that my workout style & preferences are constantly evolving, and right now her workouts seem like the best fit for me right now for a number of reasons: 

  • Quick: No matter how busy I am, I can always squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise…and the time literally flies.  Her workouts can be done both at the gym or at home.  To minimize my need to go to the gym, I’ve bought the most essential equipment: 1 set of dumbbells (3 kgs), 1 set of heavier kettlebells (6 kgs), & an exercise mat.  Rather than buy a step box, I had a carpenter build me a box which works doubly as a drawer for my equipment and a step box.

Workout equipment

  • Efficient: Although the resistance workouts are essentially only 28 minutes, they are anything but easy.  I thought I had built up a pretty good level of fitness but I feel like it’s making me step up my fitness game like no other. 
  • Flexible: There’s plenty of travel on the horizon for me during the first half of 2015, so I want a workout structure that I can continue while away.  The workouts & explanations for each exercise are all in her guide- I just need to make them happen. 
  • Variety: These workouts are different to anything that I’ve done in the past so I am looking forward to the challenge.  While lifting heavy is great, strength training using our own body weight has its merits too which is why I think many people have been successful with Kayla’s program. 
  • Amazing transformations: Speaking of success, one look at her Instagram page will blow you away…at least it did for me!  I’m always wary of transformation pictures, but both my sister and a good friend did her workouts and had amazing results.  That alone is enough proof for me that she’s legit.

kaylaitsinestranformations

Source

  • Good balance: The workouts are a good balance of high-intensity sessions  and lower-intensity workouts, as well a good balance of cardio & strength training.  Especially as I tend to be so lazy about stretching, this now forces me to make it a regular fixture in my workout schedule

To supplement the 12-Week Bikini Body Guide, Kayla also sells a H.E.L.P Nutrition Guide.  While it contains great, well-balanced eating guidelines, I am not going to be following it.  After years of trial & error, I am at a good place with my eating habits and know how to fuel my body optimally.  That aside, I don’t want to start obsessing over what I’m eating, which I’m sure would result if I were to follow any eating plan to the T. 

So that is my current P of A where workouts are concerned.  While each week contains a different workout, the overall structure changes every 4-weeks so I plan to post regular updates.  I’m currently in Week 2 and so far, so good! Cheers to burpees, lay down push-ups and all that other fun stuff!

Have you heard of Kayla Itsines or tried any of her workouts?

What workout did you do/are you doing today?

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Shashi @ RunninSrilankan December 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm

“lay down push-ups”??? I would love to see a demo of these – am sointrigued! I have not heard of Kayla Itsines – but you are right – the results others seem to have achieved are pretty phenomenal! Currently, I have been focusing more on strength training and am in week 9 of The Beast workout DVD’s, in addition to my drug of choice: running.

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Hi Shashi- I found this video for you online on laydown push ups: http://kaylaitsines.tumblr.com/post/96521995365/lay-down-push-ups-ive-had-a-few-emails-asking …let me know if you try them out :)! And you’re so right about running being a drug: so addictive and therapeutic!

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Jess December 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm

I have actually never heard of her and I am an Aussie. Ashy Bines is big over here and Michelle Bridges. It sounds like a great program though! Great review!

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Thanks Jess! Love how strong the fitness scene in Australia seems to be :)!

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sumathi December 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

where to get these vedos in India? or youtube?

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Her plans are in the form of E-books which you can purchase here: https://www.kaylaitsines.com.au/guides/

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Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli December 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for this review of sorts, Khushboo! I’ve heard a lot about Kayla – I feel like she’s allllll over IG all the time. I’d be interested in trying some of her bodyweight strength workouts but the nutrition guide is so not for me – for the same reasons you mentioned. How did she get “discovered” anyway?!

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

From what I read, she started posting transformation pics on her Instagram and then people just kept following her…and now the rest is history for her!! I would highly recommend trying out her workouts- they are super quick & efficient. If I’m not mistaken, she has a few free workouts on her site!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles December 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Sounds like a great program! I’m with you on nutrition guides though – I know what works for me so I’ll stick with that. As for my workout today – a body weight/strength training AMRAP workout at some point!

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

That sounds like a great workout- I’m really digging these AMRAP style workouts!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld December 23, 2014 at 4:14 am

This is crazy, my sister was just tellng me about a new workout program she bought from facebook and I think it’s her! I think her workouts seem varied and anything quick is always a winner!

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Oh no way- do find out from your sis if it’s the same one…I’d love to hear how she is finding it!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld December 30, 2014 at 2:24 pm

So, I asked her and you know what she said?

“I only do her abs and butt workouts, I want a toned ass’.

She’s a twat.

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Khushboo January 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Hahah gotta love her honesty ;)!

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GiGi Eats December 23, 2014 at 5:28 am

Resistance training, something I will be doing A LOT OF in 2015!!

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

You and me both, Gigi 🙂

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sumathi December 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

where do u get these dvds in india?

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Khushboo December 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Her plans are in the form of E-books which you can purchase here: https://www.kaylaitsines.com.au/guides/

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Parita @ myinnershakti December 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I love the sound of this! And if you love it, I’m sure it’s legit. I may look into it after my half marathon. I want to strength train more in 2015 and need all the help I can get. I need structure when it comes to these types of workouts!

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Khushboo December 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

I really think you’d enjoy these workouts, P…especially after half marathon training! I’m only on week 2 and am already notice differences both in terms of appearance and fitness levels.

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Brittany December 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm

WOW, those transformations!!

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Khushboo December 25, 2014 at 11:14 am

Amazing stuff!

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Parvathi Nair December 26, 2014 at 8:42 am

Omg finally someone from India who is following Kayla’s guide! I’d really appreciate it a lot if you could help me out with a couple of things. I got both guides of Kayla’s and I loved it! I can’t wait to get started on this. However, I’m really skeptical about her diet program, because it includes items which we either don’t get in India, or we do get it but it is really expensive to buy and eat on a weekly basis! I don’t eat non veg all that much either. It’s not a diet plan I can follow and I am deprived of my Dosas, Idlis, Rotis and Upmas! I would really like to know what you’ve been eating while following this schedule! Anyways, good luck and keep posting pictures of your transformation! xx

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Khushboo December 26, 2014 at 9:41 am

Hi Parvathi! I had a look-through her nutrition guide and actually liked how easily accessible her food options are. What foods are you finding hard to get/expensive?

I run a nutrition consulting company called K Weigh (http://kthadani.com/k-weigh-a-way-of-life-2/) whereby I help clients achieve a better quality of life through nutrition i.e through weight loss, improved health & overall wellbeing. My plans are completely customised according to each client’s individual goals, lifestyle, preferences, health status and diet history. If you are interested to hear more, please email me at thekweigh@gmail.com :)!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets December 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I love that you finished with a shout out to burpees.

Confession: I actually like them. Crazy, I know.

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Khushboo January 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Guess we are 2 crazies together- love burpees…at least for now!

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Divya January 20, 2015 at 3:59 am

Hi Khushboo

This is a great post. I actually live in Australia and the whole “bikini body” lingo might seem a bit cringe worthy but is SO popular here, its unbelievable! Women WANT bikini bodies here and work so hard to achieve it – it is quite motivating.

🙂

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Khushboo January 20, 2015 at 11:26 am

Thanks so much for your comment, Divya- really appreciate it :)! I definitely cringe every time I hear the term “bikini body” but hey, Kayla clearly knows what she is talking about when it comes to workouts! Where about in Australia do you live?

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Divya January 21, 2015 at 6:31 am

I live in Melbourne. I see your blog and the kind of food you eat and drink – you will fit perfectly into the Aussie culture and would never want to leave. Apart from the best fresh dairy, meat and high quality agriculture products, the locals are so into fittness and you cant pass a day without seeing a dozen runners on the road at all times of the day and night.

You should plan your next holiday here and trust me, you wont regret it!

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Khushboo January 21, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Ahh it sounds like a dream! Australia is definitely on top of my travel list…hopefully sooner rather than later!

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Divya January 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

Also, what Kayla teaches is very similar to a workout class called GRIT cardio / GRIT strength that take place in my local gym. It is part of the Les Mills programme. They are all high intensity interval training programms.

also, check out CXWorks by Les Mills – complete abs and butt workout.

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Khushboo January 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

Thanks Divya- will check them out!

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Sveta February 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Hi! Just started Kayla BBG today. Thanks for your article! I just wonder what interval should i make between workout and food. Are there any rules? Thanks a lot

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Khushboo February 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Good luck with the 12 weeks, Sveta. There are no rules with eating timing before workouts- gauge how your body responds and base it according to that- most days I like to wait 2-3 hours after breakfast to work out.

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Zen May 14, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for the post! Would love to see your progress pics 😉

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Khushboo May 14, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Unfortunately I won’t be sharing those pics as they’re personal 🙂

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Manu sharma August 16, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Hi khushboo,
If you have completed your workout can you please share guide with me.
if interested please contact me.

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Khushboo August 16, 2015 at 8:51 pm

I won’t be able to Manu, as it wouldn’t be ethical on my part given that Kayla sells her guides as a business.

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Manu Sharma August 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

I dont think this matter is something that someone can connect with it’s ethical value this is something doing help in a good way. I am following kayla on instagram. Women all around the world after using guide are selling off their guide. after reading your blog I thought that it would be good if I buy it from a Indian user because I thought you can help me with the diet plan and other things.Kayla is a Australian trainer.So, regional food and temperature matter.That was all my concern.As a student as a trainee we do share books and plans so, think in that way.

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Shyma January 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

Yayyyy! I got so excited when I found your post. Finally, someone in India follows Kayla! I absolutely sweat by her. I’m on my second bbg guide and it’s brilliant! We should do a Kayla meet up 🙂 I’m based out of Pune! Let’s see if we can gather more. I’m a blogger myself http://www.liquorish.in... Nice to have found you

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Khushboo January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Welcome to my blog Shyma :)! That’s awesome that you are enjoying Kayla’s workouts – it’s so important to find a style of exercise that you ‘want’ to do, rather than ‘need’ to do! I enjoyed her workouts till about week 9, I share my concluding thoughts in this post:http://kthadani.com/2015/03/09/why-i-stopped-kayla-itsines-bikini-body-program/

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prateeksha April 18, 2016 at 10:00 am

Nice post Khushboo.
I am gonna start bbg tomorrow. I don’t have all the equipments needed for the workout but luckily I have got a pair of 2.5 kg dumbbells , pair of 0.5 kg ankle weight and a treadmill at home. I don’t have a stepper or bench but ya I am gonna figure out something 🙂
How much did you lose ?

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Khushboo April 23, 2016 at 4:51 am

Thanks Prateeksha! Here’s my full review: kthadani.com/2015/…/why-i-stopped-kayla-itsines-bikini-body-program/

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Pallavi July 22, 2016 at 12:44 am

I’m so glad I chanced upon this website – I didn’t know Kayla’s programme had any followers in India. I’m so psyched about the BBG programme. I’ve seen some ridiculous before afters. I’ve been working out religiously but I need to up it for better results. Did you get the e-books off the internet? Are DVDs available? Can I just download them for free?

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Khushboo July 22, 2016 at 9:32 am

Hi Pallavi! Good luck with the BBG program- I bought the e-books off the internet :)!

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prateeksha July 25, 2016 at 9:11 am

Hi Pallavi,
I am on 3rd week of pre-workout BBG 1.0 & I am from India. I got the ebook & meal plan pdf for free from the internet. It’s available on “issuu” app and “issuu” website.
Goodluck…

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Khushboo July 26, 2016 at 11:22 am

Thanks for your input Prateeksha & good luck with BBG!

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Kd December 12, 2016 at 3:52 am

Hi Khushboo..
The bbg guide 1.0 is available on Amazon.in
Do you have any idea if they are original since the price is really less!

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Khushboo December 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Hi Kritika! Unfortunately I have no idea about the deal with that :)!

janki patel January 2, 2017 at 3:31 am

HEY….i am from Canada and i wanted to start Kayla’s BBG workout and diet. but i realized that she doesn’t have any south Asian meals options or ideas. is it easy to stay with her diet plan?? please suggest me. Thanks

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Khushboo January 2, 2017 at 8:25 am

Hi Janki! From what I remember, Kayla’s nutritional guides list various food items- I’m sure you can tailor them to suit your preferences. I work with many clients to help them lose weight who also prefer to eat an Indian diet. If you’d like to know more details about my plans, please let me know.

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