When it comes to working out, everybody’s different. Some people prefer a morning run outdoors, while others are dedicated to their seat in spin class. But regardless of your regular routine, it’s easy to get stuck in an exercise rut. That’s why we’re trying out Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide—to kick us into shape while teaching us new exercises. Follow along as we blog about our 12-week journey.

Why the BBG? 

GE: Growing up as a competitive dancer, my primary form of exercise was sweating through jazz class. In fact, I’m not sure I set foot in a gym until college, when I realized I’d have to find a new way to stay active. While I began getting used to the treadmill and elliptical, I neglected to push myself to do more than just cardio. I'd crank out a few crunches and squats here and there, but I felt completely lost when it came to weight lifting or circuit training. For me, motivation has never been the issue—it’s a lack of knowledge and confidence that has kept me from leaving my comfort zone. With photos, instructions, and detailed workout plans, Kayla’s guide seemed like the perfect way to round out my workouts. Oh, and to strip the intimidation from the weight room at the gym!

RL: As a ballet dancer turned long-distance runner, cardio has always been a part of my workout routine. Call me crazy, but I love cardio! Put me in a spin class, on a treadmill, on a hike, with a jump rope—you name it, and I’ll probably like it. I love the “runner's high” as well and never believed that I could achieve that post-run high through any other type of exercise. Like many other women, I also feared getting “bulky” and often avoided weights, but after a friend showed me Kayla’s Instagram account, my opinion quickly changed. Here's a woman, who is definitely not bulky, demonstrating incredible strength doing burpee after burpee, multiple pull-ups, crunches, and more. After spending a little too much time on the treadmill over the years and facing the fact that I can barely do more than 10 push-ups, I wanted to challenge myself and gain energy through strength. Plus, it’s always good to shake things up a bit.

Favorite part?

GE: I've been blown away by how intense a workout can be just by using my own body weight. Once I finish the 12 weeks, I’ll have no excuse not to continue performing these exercises—regardless of whether I have access to a gym. And while I practice ‘quality over quantity’ when it comes to food, I’m learning how true it is in fitness as well. I mean,

this guide has you sweating in less than seven minutes, and the circuit workouts in total are only 28 (making it easy to find time to fit them into our day). Additionally, I've loved having a workout buddy to keep me accountable. Rebecca is constantly inspiring and motivating me, and it helps in keeping the workouts light-hearted.

RL: I love being a part of this “Kayla movement” she’s created. She’s incredibly inspirational, encouraging, and making a difference in the lives of so many women around the world. It's been shocking to see the change in my body in just two weeks, but I also feel the change in my strength. I can’t believe how much progress I’ve already made on burpees and push-ups! My favorite part about the workout, though, is feeling so satisfied and accomplished when I leave the gym in the mornings.

Least favorite part?

GE: Aside from the fact that I could barely walk the first week, there really hasn't been many negative components. Yes, certain exercises are brutal (commandos, burpees, and jumping rope in particular), but I can already feel them getting easier every week.

RL: I love a good challenge, so there isn't really anything that has been negative to me about the program. I will say though, the arm workouts have been by far my biggest challenge. As a dancer/ runner I definitely had strength in my arms, but not quite the kind that lifts my entire body off the ground. I’m excited to see that change over the next couple of weeks.

Inspired? Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 Dumbbells
  • Medicine Ball
  • Jump Rope
  • Bench