Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016 – My first impressions of the program

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed my posts have quadrupled since last week and are littered with hashtags about #tius and #bikinis. #sorrynotsorry.

As I explained in this post, I’ve joined a few thousand other women to take on the Tone It Up 2016 Bikini Series Challenge for the next eight weeks. And aside from keeping up with the group and feeling like a part of the community, all the posts and hashtags = chances at awesome prizes, including a trip to Turks and Caicos. Hence why I’m #sorrynotsorry.

I’ll do a full recap at the end of each week to let you know how it went and my thoughts on the workouts and meals (since they change a bit each week), but I thought I’d share some initial thoughts I’ve had since reviewing the program, doing Sunday meal prep and how changing up my morning routine went on day one.

The Meal Plan
Although the Bikini Series Challenge is free to join and participate in, if you’re looking for the whole shebang you’ll have to join the Tone It Up nutrition program to get access to the meal plan. I purchased the bundle (which includes the meal plan, workout journal and some other goodies like a tote bag, beach towel and socks) as it was the best deal.

The K+K salad. Super yummy-looking make-ahead meal for later this week!

The K+K salad. Super yummy-looking make-ahead meal for later this week!

The meal plan is fairly straightforward, but I noticed some of the stuff on the weekly menu isn’t on the grocery list, which is emailed to you separately at the start of each week. I ended up having to go through the grocery list and each daily meal plan to make sure I had everything.

The meals themselves are actually really yummy sounding and have been good so far. Today (day one of the program) I had to switch up my morning routine to work around the meals and workouts, which is probably better for me in the end as it means I get to sleep in for an extra hour and a half. So instead of getting up at zero dark thirty to eat a big bowl of oats with berries, write/blog for a bit, workout for 40 minutes, shower, drive to work and eat my second breakfast (rice cakes drowning in peanut butter and an orange) at work, I got up at 5 a.m., had a small glass of green juice with apple cider vinegar in it, did the Tone It Up workout for the day, showered, drove to work, and ate my protein pancakes that I made the night before (and were delicious, by the way). I started to get hungry as soon as I got to work, but otherwise I felt fine — not famished at all! The juice did the trick for a little something in my stomach before, and eating breakfast later in the day meant I wasn’t starving before lunch.

Dinner! Quinoa Pesto Bowl (SO GOOD!) and pita with hummus

Dinner! Quinoa Pesto Bowl (SO GOOD!) and pita with hummus

I calculated up all the calories from the vegan meal plan today and it was coming in way too low for me — about 1,200 calories. The plan doesn’t focus on calories (which I like), and mentions in the back to add in #tiuapproved snacks if you feel hungry/know it’s not enough food for you. I included a pita with hummus for dinner and had the Bikini Ice Cream (which is so easy and yummy!) to bump up my numbers by a few hundred calories for the day.

Overall I felt good all day — no hanger (I got a bit hungry at 3 p.m., though, so I may need to bring an extra work snack) and no tiredness. And best of all, I didn’t crave chocolate after lunch or dinner like I normally would have!

The Workouts
The challenge has you picking two to three workouts to do each day (yes, each day) — the five daily moves workout that’s posted each morning on Tone It Up, a free workout from the website, and/or one of the new Bikini Body workouts. This morning I did the five daily moves (five exercises you do for one minute each for two to three rounds) and couldn’t even finish — it was no joke. I followed it with the Rock Your Body routine, which was very Pilates inspired — lots of tiny but effective movements that would be suitable for a beginner. I had to laugh at some of the hip-tilting and gyrating ab moves — I’m sorry, I would never do that in a gym. Haha!

Daily workout time!

Daily workout time!

Since the moves are more Pilates-esque, it would be fine to do them everyday of the week since you’re not recruiting your big muscle groups with heavy weight. I’ll probably take Saturdays off, as that’s my hike and chore day and is enough of a workout. I might also supplement a few workout days with my own lifting routines, and will still do my 5K run on Wednesdays (which I think is actually on the plan?) and a longer run on Sunday for Sunday Runday. We’ll see how it goes!

The Trainers
You know those people who are so nice that you think they’re being fake, so you kind of want to hate them? But then you find out no, they actually are that genuinely nice and you’re the asshole?

I tried not to like them, but I can't. Any trainer that puts #WineNotWednesday on a meal plan is a trainer I approve of.

I tried not to like them, but I can’t. Any trainer that puts #WineNotWednesday on a meal plan is a trainer I approve of.

That’s how I feel about the trainers Karena and Katrina. They’re so bubbly it’s eye-roll worthy. But they’re also quite sweet and supportive, and it’s definitely rubbed off on the Tone It Up community. I love it when women lift each other up and are so supportive of one another, so it’s nice to see everyone has a place here. And sure, its girly and beachy and Victoria Secret-esque. But it’s a nice change from the coldness and bro-ness of the weight room world I’ve been living in for the past three years. As much as I try not to be, I’m a girly girl at heart and eat this stuff up — Beaches! Sea shells! Turquoise! White wine! Mason jar salads! Cute California beach clothes! Bathing suits! Fruity drinks!

Again, #sorrynotsorry.

Are you doing the 2016 Bikini Series? Add me on Insta!

Have you done a plan like this before or been a part of a group or community doing the same challenge? What did you like/not like about it?

Have any questions about modifications to the program to make it work for you? Hit me up! I’d be happy to help 🙂