Have you ever looked at pictures of fitness models and thought to yourself, I wish I could look like that?? I think most of us have at one point or another but quickly dismissed the idea as not possible.
But what if I told you it is! Even if you’re new to fitness. In fact, just about any body can.
It takes one ingredient: Determination.
How do I know this? Because I used to quickly dismiss the idea and say I don’t have the stamina, time or courage to face it. Until I did.
But don’t take my word for it, check out hers…she was a beginner just like all of us.
For years I’d tell my coach just put me through the program not to compete but to feel it, achieve my goal and know that it’s possible. He said there are too many components and that it requires a lot of commitment and restrictions that my lifestyle didn’t allow for. So I believed him as he knew more than me. If you’ve ever been in that position, you know how it feels, that you are not capable of following through.
Wishing I Could Look Like That Until I Did
For nearly 2 years I went about looking at photos and only wishing I could get there. Then one day I said enough! I’m doing it. I won’t compete with anyone but myself and won’t listen to anyone that will bring me down and tell me I’m crazy or can’t make it.
At the time, I was considering coaching and I figured, I can’t test others until I test myself. My purpose was to better understand how the process of trimming down to single digit body fat was. It was something I can document and teach others about whether I took up coaching or not. That’s why I am telling you about it today. If you’ve ever thought of jumping on stage, trimming down for a photo shoot or personal gains, this series will help you through as a beginner in that realm. I’ve tried it and tested it on myself to give you the roadmap to get there.
Understanding the Bikini Body Guide Routine
Whether you’re an avid gym goer or just starting your fitness journey, going through a fitness model workout routine is a departure from your typical strength training. If you’re new, this may be an intense start. The good news is, once you’ve gone through this, anything else anyone throws at you will seem like a piece of cake.
Why?? Because you will better understand what works on your body and what doesn’t.
This routine consists of 3 phases. In this post we are focusing on phase 1, which will essentially lay the groundwork to get you ready for the challenges ahead.
Tip: Build up that foundation so your muscles develop a firm, round appearance without a lot of bulk.
Finding a Suitable Program
Although I’ve acquired the main recipe to achieve this journey, I didn’t necessarily know where to start. I will take you step by step as to what I did.
As a newbie, the first thing I did is locate a reliable fitness program. There, I had a phased approach with timelines, workouts and meal plan.
I wanted to do this without a coach, because I felt that I was able to, at least for my first time. Well that was a mistake.
Tip: Get a coach! Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, a coach is needed to get you through it, motivate you, course correct and keep you accountable.
The checklist will help you with getting started. It will prompt to you what you need to have in your cupboards and fridge, as well as workout gear. Below are some options I highly recommend:
- protein options (highly recommend this brand)
- Aminocore bcaas for muscle recovery during workouts
- weight lifting gloves
- gym membership or free weights if you plan to do it at home
- jump rope, bike or running outside for cardio
- iPod/phone armband
- Resistance bands
- Running or training shoes
- Workout wear (Underarmour has great sales on their leggings now if you’d like)
The checklist will also direct you as to when to do your checkpoints, and how to split your cardio/strength time.
Going into a fitness model program and training for it is unlike any other training you’ve done before. You know and understand that it’s for a short period of time but it is intense. You must be dedicated and make it top of mind because deviating from it when you’re on course is dangerous.
One thing that can help you along the way is going through the program or a form of it with others so you can motivate each other. I’ve done that though unfortunately, the gals I started with dropped off, some before even beginning.
It was a bummer, but it’s a reality we all face.
Tip: Find people that you know are motivated and take fitness seriously or are up to a challenge. Even if they aren’t completing the exact course you are, if you are there to cheer on each other, it’s better than not having anyone.
In this program, you will be doing supersets and sometimes triple sets, moving directly from the 1st exercise to the 2nd and sometimes the 3rd.
Remember to rest 20-30 seconds after completing both or all 3 sets sets, as well as before moving to the next round.
Rest 30 seconds before repeating the exercise for all other exercises.
For declining reps, add weight as you decrease the rep number.
For increasing reps, remove weight as you increase the rep number
On upper body workouts, use heavier weights. Your last couple of reps should be difficult to complete. If you feel it too easy, add on the weights but remember to always have a good form.
Make sure to hold and contract for a 1-2 seconds at the peak of each lift or pull.
Warming up with light weights for 2 sets of 20 reps for each new body part you engage will be essential to avoid injury.
Your cardio sessions will depend on your body type, where you are at, and how much fat you need to lose. It will vary so be sure to check with yourself and see whether you need to focus more on mass building or leaning out more.
You’ll be doing 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. Steady state cardio or LISS (low intensity steady state) should be done 2-3 times a week for 45-60 minutes.
Add time or days as you progress into phase 2 and 3. Depending on body fat levels, you’ll need to increase or lower the intensity.
This is always a controversial topic but from my understanding from the fitness community, different cardio types, require different time of the day. This may sound a little complex to schedule but I assure you it’s easier than you think.
Remember, I went through this and my schedule was already squeezed. So if I can do it, so can you.
Most fitness gurus will suggest doing fasted early morning LISS cardio.
If you plan on doing your HIIT cardio in the am, make sure it is not fasted and ideally follows your strength training, unless there is a lapse of time of around 6 hours between your HIIT and strength training where you can regain your glycogen and protein levels. The reason behind this is because HIIT will deplete your glycogen and protein levels leaving you out to dry when it’s time to perform your strength training, which will decrease your muscle development progress.
What Will You Be Eating?
Your meals will change as you progress through the phases. Remember that food is more important than exercise so ensuring you follow the required amounts and weigh your food is key.
Keep your program on track by making sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrients for your training. Sample menus are provided to you in the downloadable program.
The right foods will help fuel your fitness and keep you energized while enhancing recovery. The best part is, the healthy eating habits you’ll use during this routine can last well beyond showtime.
The 1st phase will establish a healthy, balanced diet, which means eliminating, junk food, processed foods, and high-sugar foods. You’ll be consuming more nutritious options like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein and cleaning house in your daily nutrition.
Tip: You should be eating 5-6 times a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks to speed your metabolism and prevent your blood sugar levels from crashing.
Food Groups to Include
In the checklist and workout plan you can download, you will get a variety of options for each item mentioned below.
Choose from a variety of proteins such as meat, eggs, dairy, and protein powder. Be sure you’re watching your portion sizes.
Generally for ladies, that’s 3 to 4 oz of meat or fish per meal, 1 cup of liquid egg whites, 2 whole eggs, or 1 scoop of protein powder.
Fruit will help ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients. Don’t forget through that they all count, even tomatoes!
Greens & Other Veggies
Have at least 1 cup of vegetables per meal is important for your digestive system and for satiety. Vary your choices especially in these early weeks. There is much more to choose from than you think.
Going through a stringent routine doesn’t mean you don’t get to consume carbs, especially when you are just getting started. They help provide the energy you need for workouts and keep you on an even keel.
Be careful of your portion size: 1⁄2 cup (4 oz) of carbs in your meals is suitable at this point.
Healthy fats keep your body energized and your heart on track. In addition to providing satiety, good fats help your muscles feel fuller. Fat has more than twice the calories per gram of carbs or protein, so be mindful of your serving size.
Each main meal should include a protein, veggie, fat, and carb option.
Have 2 servings of fruit, as part of a snack or in your meals.
Try to eat whole foods whenever possible, and remove sugars, nibbles, or meal-replacement bars.
Keep a food journal of what you’ve eaten on My Fitness Pal.
Start weighing and portioning out all your meals.
Pre-prepare your meals on a given day in the week. This way your food is always ready and at arm’s length. It will keep you on track with exact food measurement and give you no excuse to deviate from your plan, as well as liberate your schedule from having to spend hours each night cooking.
Tip: Divide them in tupperwares for each meal and freeze the ones that you will eat later in the week.
Make sure you get enough of that. If you don’t your stress levels will rise and so will your cortisol which will hinder your progress. Getting 6-8 hours is essential to help your body recuperate especially as you will be training hard.
This phase of the bikini body guide will focus on laying the foundation and balancing muscle toning. It starts you off slowly. It usually lasts 4 weeks. I did it for about 5 weeks as my first week was a slow start.
You’ll be training between 5 and 6 times a week. That depends on how many rest days you want and how you want to divide your strength and cardio sessions.
I’ll be posting about phase 2 and subsequently phase 3 in the next few weeks. You should have already been settled in and built the groundwork for your new program.
Your strength training routine is around 45 minutes on upper body workout days and closer to an hour on leg days (as you may feel the need to rest more since it engages bigger muscles).
You’ll be doing between 4-6 sets with repetitions varying between 12-15.
Tip: When I started on this routine, given the number of sets and reps, I abandoned my regular 1 rep max at 70-80% rate and decreased it to 60% or less sometimes to have enough power to last through the 4 to 6 sets and plough through them on 30 second rest periods.
Perform HIIT (high intensity interval training) 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. Steady state cardio or LISS (low intensity steady state) should be done 2-3 times a week for 45-60 minutes.
The good thing is you crank up to that level slowly and have plenty of time to ease into it and build up your stamina and endurance. I remember the first time I had done HIIT cardio after a long hiatus. I recall thinking this was so hard and that I was not going to be able to finish it.
Tip: Don’t let your brain take over your body. You’ll quickly run out of juice, especially if you’re doing it alone.
Use the sample menus as a guide for how to mix and match the food groups. For the first phase, add 2 low-carb days a week on rest days, when you’re not training.
The Gist if it
Following a bikini body guide isn’t impossible, it just requires a lot of determination and will power.
Keep on track and you’ll be on your way to getting that dream body. Bear in mind though that we are all made and cut differently. So just because her thighs had more definition on them, it doesn’t mean you will and vice versa. We each retain more fat in certain places that differ from someone else, but don’t let that discourage you. This workout and meal plan will give you the best body you’ll ever have.
Now are you ready? If yes, click below to get access to phase 1 workouts and meal plan completely for FREE! Don’t forget to share and tell all your friends and send me your progress pics!
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