Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Review by Emma

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!

week12 week12side

Leave a Comment


  1. Sanne

    I really love your honesty in this review! Not only about the BBG, but especially about your own struggles with finding a balance between wanting to live healthy and happy, liking what you see in the mirror but not letting it affect you in an obsessive manner. Good luck with your journey! Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will get you where you want to be! Love Sanne @livelifedreamin

  2. Emma

    Thanks for the positive feedback. I hope many can relate to my journey. I have two weeks left of the guides. My instagram name is eking2014 if followers want to see more photos and join on my journey. My account is private as I am a teacher I hope people understand 🙂
    Next year I am setting up a fitness clothing business with a friend so follow me for updates on that. Thanks fitgirl for letting me share and be a fitgirl!

  3. L

    Really good review! Can totally relate to the food issue and nor seeing results. So reassuring to know I am not the only one struggling with this!

  4. gina

    Great review. Totally agree! I am at week 7 now 🙂 I was just wondering where you can find the weights to use in the glossary? I can’t find it. I read the whole guide… is it with the individual exercises? Or the educational part? Either way, my guide doesn’t explain anything about which weights to use… weird.

  5. Emma

    Hi Gina,
    Go to the glossary … For example number 48 weighted squat clean and press says use 5-8 kg and the medicine ball squat and press also says the weights …. I didn’t see this at first so used lighter ones. I just checked the abs didn’t say it but I think I saw it on her website or used the weights from the other moves to guide.
    So I saw that in number 48i had to use 5-8 kg and realised I had been doing too light on my abs and panicked. The second guide is clearer and says not to go over 10kg for abs.
    I like if the weights are stated next to the moves.

  6. Mila

    Thanks a lot for your honest feedback ! I have the guides and I want to start in January (due to an injury in my ankle I can’t do it earlier :/) and this review really helped me. Especially because it made me realise that I don’t have to be perfect and that I’m not the only one who struggles when comparing herself with other people. It was also really helpful because I wouldn’t have come up with the idea to check for the weight suggestion in the glossary! I really think the second guide is more accurate in that way 🙂

  7. Favor

    Youre tottally wrong about the sugar in fruit-not all sugar is created equally and the fructose/glucose in fruit is incredibly good for the body.Cutting down on fruit is bad because it is full of rich nutrients for the body

  8. Emma

    Favor it is suggested you eat two pieces of fruit everyday in all diet guides and online. I was eating over 5 a day so I have cut down to two a day. I know it is good for me thankyou. But my portions of it were wrong. I was eating 5 fruit and two veg and now have a lot more vegetables and my results have been a lot better. This is what works for me. I gave my experience and am not telling people what to do just offering experience.

  9. MB

    Thanks for the honest review! This is exactly how I have felt following her H.E.L.P and workout guide. I ate exactly according to the suggestions but I never felt full and I was always low in energy before and after the exercises. I was doing this for 4 months but when I realised how obsessed I had become over the calories and burning off “that extra apple” I just quit cause I had just recovered from anorexia and didn’t want to go back there. I was also comparing myself with the skinny girls. They were even skinny in the before picture so I felt like if I didn’t lose more weight than those girls in the before pictures I would be fat.

  10. Lucy

    Thought your review was fab, I was wondering if you struggled with measurements with you being a brit as well? Like ‘1 cup’ any advice would be really appreciated please!!!