Which High Intensity with Kayla Itsines Program Is Right For You?
Some of you will know that I have three high-intensity workout programs available in the Sweat app: High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla (formerly BBG Zero Equipment), High Intensity with Kayla (formerly BBG), which you can do at home, and High Intensity Strength with Kayla (formerly BBG Stronger, which has been designed for women who want to train in the gym (you can read more about why I changed the name of BBG here).
I love these programs — I have been doing workouts from High Intensity Strength with Kayla and I am feeling stronger than ever!
I want to explain the differences between the three programs for those of you who might be new to my training style, unsure of which one to start with.
What is High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla?
High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla is my no-equipment full-body training program designed to be done at home, or in any available outdoor space.
It is a 34-week program, which includes four Beginner weeks of low-impact training, using bodyweight as resistance.
If you’re new to training, the Beginner weeks have been specifically designed to build a foundation of fitness and help you get used to doing the circuits.
After you finish the Beginner weeks, the exercises gradually increase in complexity and build towards a more high-intensity style of training.
To maximise the flexibility of High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla, you have six to seven workout options to choose from every week. There are four bootcamp-style workouts which are 28 minutes, and two weekly Express workouts, which are under 15 minutes.
The High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla workouts available each week are:
- Full Body Circuit (28 minutes)
- Full Body Bootcamp (28 minutes)
- Arms & Abs (28 minutes)
- Express Legs (12-13 minutes)
- Express Abs (12-13 minutes)
- Full Body Chair (28 minutes)
- HIIT Cardio (28 minutes)
The Express Legs workouts are optional in Beginner weeks, and weeks 1-4, and part of the program for weeks 5-30. The Express Abs workout is optional for the full duration of the program, as is the Full Body Chair (which can be done using a chair at home, or a bench if you’re training at a park).
A different workout is introduced from Week 25 — HIIT Cardio. It is an optional session, which targets all areas of the body.
High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla also includes low-intensity steady-state, and high-intensity cardio and recovery sessions you can do over the course of a week. One rest day is also designated each week.
The four Beginner weeks have three scheduled resistance workouts, a low-intensity cardio session and a recovery session.
Weeks 1-4 have three resistance workouts, two cardio sessions and a recovery session.
Weeks 5-24 have four resistance workouts, two cardio workouts and one recovery session.
Weeks 25-30 have four resistance workouts including an express workout, two cardio workouts and a recovery session.
High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla follows a similar format to my other programs, with the introduction of HIIT cardio after Week 9.
How to complete a High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla workout
Each of the High Intensity Zero Equipment workouts is time-based or lap-based.
If you haven’t tried one of my workouts or programs before, this is the format of each workout in this program.
Full Body Circuit (28 minutes): These are time-based workouts, and consist of three circuits, each targeting a different area of the body. Each circuit has four exercises, which you do for 30 seconds each, and you complete three laps of each circuit. There is a five-second transition between exercises and each circuit is completed in seven minutes. You rest for one minute between each circuit, and the session is completed with a superset finisher. Supersets consist of two exercises completed back-to-back, with little to no rest in between.
Full Body Bootcamp (28 minutes): These time-based sessions include three trisets (three exercises you complete consecutively without a rest), two supersets and a workout wrap-up. There is a one-minute rest between each of the trisets and the supersets. The wrap-up consists of every exercise already completed in the workout in succession — you do each exercise for 30 seconds, and there is a 30-second break in the middle so you can finish at a high intensity.
Arms & Abs and Full Body Chair (28 minutes): These are rep-based workouts, with two circuits of four exercises each. Each circuit is repeated to create four seven-minute circuits.
HIIT Cardio (28 minutes): These are time-based workouts, made up of four supersets that each have a different focus — legs, arms, abs and full body. You complete each exercise for 30 seconds, then take a 20-second rest break and repeat this for three laps before moving to the next superset. The workout finishes with a wrap-up of every exercise already completed in the session — you do each exercise in succession for 30 seconds, with no rest break in between.
Express Abs and Express Legs (12-13 minutes): These are time-based workouts. They consist of seven exercises — you do 30 seconds per exercise and a total of three laps for a 12-minute or 13-minute workout. You have a rest or transition between each exercise to allow time to swap from one exercise to the other.
What is High Intensity with Kayla?
High Intensity with Kayla is a workout program designed to help women achieve their fitness goals with short workouts. All the High Intensity with Kayla workouts are 28-minutes long, and there are two to three workouts each week.
The program also includes three low-intensity cardio sessions, with the option to include high-intensity cardio from Week 6.
The original High Intensity with Kayla program was an eBook, with 12 weeks of resistance training and other educational content. This eBook was so popular that we built an app, which became the Sweat app that you can use today!
There are now 92 weeks of High Intensity with Kayla workouts available in the Sweat app. This includes eight Beginner weeks to help anyone starting (or re-starting) their fitness journey build a base fitness to prepare for high-intensity exercise!
When you use the app, you’ll find easy to follow instructions, timers and video demonstrations of each exercise.
How do the High Intensity with Kayla circuits work?
If you’re new to High Intensity with Kayla, you might be unsure how the circuits work, so here’s what to expect.
In each 28-minute resistance workout, there are two circuits, and you’ll repeat each circuit twice. Each circuit has four exercises and lasts for seven minutes.
The goal is to complete the exercises in order, as many times as you can for the seven minutes!
When the timer starts, you begin with the first exercise, completing the specified number of repetitions. You then move on to the next exercise and do the same thing. At the end of the seven minutes, you’ll have a 60-second rest before starting the next circuit!
You’ll do each circuit twice, for a total of 28 minutes of exercise!
What do I need to do High Intensity with Kayla at home?
High Intensity with Kayla has been designed so it can be done at home, using minimal equipment.
For Week 1–Week 24, you only need a few pieces of equipment:
- Exercise mat
- Skipping rope
These weeks of High Intensity with Kayla have been specifically designed so they are suitable for working out in smaller spaces. All you need is the space for a mat!
If you don’t have all of this equipment, that’s okay! Lots of women who do High Intensity with Kayla substitute household items for dumbbells — one option you could try is using empty milk cartons and filling them with sand or water.
If you don’t have a skipping rope, you can do high knees or jumping jacks instead.
Weeks 25 and onwards of High Intensity with Kayla require some additional home gym equipment.
High Intensity with Kayla in the Sweat app vs the eBook version: which is better?
Whether you use the High Intensity with Kayla eBook or the Sweat app is up to you.
Both the guides and the app provide workout content and nutrition advice. However, the Sweat app has additional features that can help you during your fitness journey — and it’s being updated all the time!
In the Sweat app you can now access 92 weeks of High Intensity with Kayla workouts, with video demonstrations of the exercises and audio cues to motivate you to maximise your workouts.
Can men do High Intensity with Kayla workouts?
My High Intensity with Kayla program is designed for women, but men are welcome to join in! I love hearing stories from members whose husbands, boyfriends or brothers who have smashed out a High Intensity with Kayla workout!
Men can follow the program, they just need to be mindful that their nutrition requirements may vary from the guidelines provided for women.
Now you know more about High Intensity with Kayla, let me explain how it differs from my other program, High Intensity Strength with Kayla Itsines.
What is High Intensity Strength with Kayla?
High Intensity with Kayla is for women who LOVE training in the gym or are looking to build their confidence using gym equipment. This program has 52 weeks of training which means you will have workouts to follow for an entire year!
During the 28-minute workouts, this program guides you on how to use gym machines and equipment that might be unfamiliar, like the Smith machine or leg press — there are short video demonstrations and easy-to-follow instructions. You’ll build confidence using gym equipment, one machine at a time!
High Intensity Strength with Kayla takes on the same circuit structure as High Intensity with Kayla, with two seven-minute circuits that you repeat twice for 28 minutes.
There are also three LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio sessions, with the option to include a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio session after Week 6.
What is the difference between High Intensity Strength with Kayla and my other programs?
You will find that many of the workouts and overall programs are similar. The main difference is that High Intensity Strength with Kayla requires weights and some large gym equipment for the resistance workouts, while High Intensity with Kayla uses a smaller range of equipment that you might have at home. High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla requires no equipment, using only bodyweight as resistance.
High Intensity Strength with Kayla program has four Beginner weeks — these weeks will help you to build a fitness foundation.
What equipment is used in High Intensity Strength with Kayla?
Many of the workouts in High Intensity Strength with Kayla use machine-based gym equipment, so I recommend doing it at the gym to achieve the best results!
- Decline ab bench
- Dual cable
- Lat pulldown
- Leg press
- Medicine ball
- Seated row
- Skipping rope
- Smith machine
- Squat rack
Make sure you follow the exercise instructions and video demonstrations in the Sweat app to see how each piece of equipment should be used.
I'm just starting High Intensity Strength with Kayla — what weight should I use?
You should train with a weight that challenges you, but isn’t too heavy. I recommend finding a weight that feels around a 7 out of 10 in difficulty — the last few reps should feel difficult but not impossible.
If you aren’t sure, start with a lighter weight and increase it gradually until you reach the right level of difficulty.
Remember to keep your form in check when lifting weights, to avoid the risk of injury. Use the exercise instructions and video demonstrations in the app as a guide.
Is there an eBook for every High Intensity with Kayla program?
I have had a few ladies reach out to me to ask if there is an eBook for High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla, High Intensity Strength with Kayla or the Beginner weeks of High Intensity with Kayla.
While there are four Beginner weeks included in the High Intensity with Kayla 1.0 eBook, the full Beginner program, High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla and High Intensity Strength with Kayla are only available in the Sweat app.
Is it possible to do workouts from all the High Intensity with Kayla programs?
If you are using the Sweat app, you can do workouts from different programs! For instance, if you are doing High Intensity Zero Equipment with Kayla and want to try a High Intensity Strength with Kayla workout, you can choose one in the “On Demand” section of the app.
Just be mindful not to double up on body parts if you are doing workouts from different programs. For example, if you want to strengthen your arms, you may decide to replace a High Intensity with Kayla arm workout with an arm workout from High Intensity Strength with Kayla.
High Intensity with Kayla programs overview
Each High Intensity with Kayla program has optional workouts that can be completed in addition to the number of weekly workouts listed below.
Try one of my High Intensity with Kayla programs today!
I hope you now have a better understanding of my High Intensity with Kayla programs — and which one you’d like to try!
If you are new to exercise or are starting again, I recommend starting out in the Beginner weeks of one of my programs. Once you are feeling confident you can then continue with either program or move onto High Intensity Strength with Kayla where the workouts will start to increase in intensity.
To get started with one of my High Intensity with Kayla programs you will need to download the Sweat app onto your device.
As well as my programs, the Sweat app contains additional on-demand workouts, challenges, recovery sessions and most importantly, the Sweat Community forum where you can talk to like-minded women from all over the world.
What are you waiting for? Start your health and fitness journey today!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.