The Herald Life & Style team road test health and fitness trends so you don't have to.

They've survived week one. Today, Herald writers Tina and Tessa spill on their second innings trialling Instagram star Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide 12-week programme.

Plagued by sickness and a few too many wines on Waiheke, it's a rough start to week two for our brave challengers.


Push up: Push ups result in stronger arms and stronger grimaces. Photo / Warwick Meade
Push up: Push ups result in stronger arms and stronger grimaces. Photo / Warwick Meade

Sore throats: The biggest threat to the start of BBG.

What is the one thing that could detail this BBG journey in the first week alone?


Is it overdoing it at happy hour? Nope. I've nixed happy hour. If you're taking on a workout regime, anything dehydrating isn't going to keep you bright and energetic for the next day's workout.

Is it eating a croque monsieur for weekend brunch? Maybe, but I can recover from that. I did a long walk to and from the cafe the next 'burb over, which I decided gave me permission to order that delicious, delicious sandwich. Besides, it came with salad.

Is it waking up with a sore throat, the surefire first sign that I'm getting sick? DING DING DING, there it is.

I woke up Saturday morning with a tickle in my throat that elicited a far stronger "oh crap" than doing a set of burpees would. Can I still do the workouts with this stupid sore throat?

Sore throats don't make you or I bedridden. They just kinda ... suck. So on Saturday, I did my cardio workout - the walk to and from the cafe. That left a strength workout for Sunday. My hope was that if I didn't exert myself too much and had a quiet Saturday night at home with a reasonable bedtime, I could sleep off the sore throat.

I woke up Sunday to a cool morning and that same damn throat tickle. Do I rest and skip the workout? Or suck it up and be a warrior?

Why don't I take some advice from Wedding Crashers? Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion (go do your workout).

5 Jan, 2016 9:56am
2 minutes to read
The button that says
The button that says "skip circuit" is tempting. Photo / screenshot of Sweat app

I persevered and did the arms and abs workout in my backyard. It was a slower workout that I probably would have done if I were at 100 per cent. Let's say I was at 85 per cent for this one. That sore throat didn't stop me, but it did end up turning into a little cold. You try doing mountain climbers and pushups with a runny nose. Not fun.

My treat after I finished? All the lemon honey gingers I wanted to sip for the rest of the day. I just hope this doesn't knock me out for week 2.

My results

At the start of week two:

I'm feeling anticipatory. Ready to see what week 2 holds, and expecting some new muscle pain

Favourite workout music: David Bowie on Pandora radio
Favourite workout: Still squats. But if I were to be totally honest: none. I'd rather be under a duvet.
Least favourite workout: Everything when you're under the weather.


If you want to see what an awkward person I am when it comes to jump lunges, it's all here in the above photo. I'm not going to lie, I look quite composed in that photo but don't believe it. All I was thinking about was how I shouldn't have had those extra glasses of Chardonnay on Waiheke Island because come jump time I felt so unfit and sounded like a cow in labour.

The end of week one came around quite fast: three high-intensity interval training sessions, one low-intensity steady-state workout plus one personal training session. I felt stronger, less bloated and like Kayla Itsines' twin (well, maybe more like her fatter cousin).

The best thing about this Bikini Body Guide is that it literally takes 28 minutes to complete the four circuits plus one minute rest in between. This means you don't have to dread a full hour of muscular and cardiovascular torture - yay.

I am also following Kayla's Healthy Eating Lifestyle Plan (H.E.L.P) Guide, which includes a weekly meal plan. The guide is meant to provide nutritional knowledge to help maximise your results in conjunction with the Bikini Body Guide.

A lot of people may not enjoy the plan, but I've made it suit me by altering it to my own taste - who wants to eat half a kilogram of steamed broccoli and quinoa every day?

My Friday menu:


•Chia pudding with nuts, berries and yogurt

•A Long black


•Three rye crackers with spinach, cottage cheese and smoked salmon


•Sashimi, grilled teriyaki tofu and cabbage salad

My Sunday menu:


•A flat white and smashed avocado on toast with macadamia nuts and a poached egg


•Tomato Soup, hot chips and blueberries - yeah, weird combo.


•McDonald's. Everyone can indulge a little sometimes. After the end of a big week, I don't mind treating myself. For all of you turning your nose up at my Chicken McCheese combo, that's okay because firstly, I feel sorry that you don't appreciate the fatty deliciousness of this multi-million dollar fast food chain and secondly, I really don't need negativity like that in my life.

My results

At the start of week two:

I took a progress picture from the start of week one to the end of week one. I'm pretty happy with the results: My legs and stomach are already toning and slimming down. But there's no way I'm uploading these for the whole of New Zealand to see so don't bother asking.

Favourite workout music: Soundclash - Flosstradamus
Favourite workout: Push-ups. I do have some very minimal upper body strength
Least favourite workout: Jump lunges. Again, these need to stay out of my life