The term “bikini body” has been used throughout history to describe females that are generally lean and well-toned, and to some, this is really the holy grail of female aesthetics.
Jen Ferruggia is an online fitness influencer that says her workouts are perfect for achieving this aesthetic. Let’s see if she’s being honest.
Table of Contents
- About the Creator – Jen Ferruggia
- Bikini Body Workouts Program Overview
- Bikini Body Workouts Details
- Does the Bikini Body Workout Have Any Pros!?
- 5 Bikini Body Program Cons
- Jen Ferruggia’s Bikini Body Workouts – Final Thoughts
About the Creator – Jen Ferruggia
Jen is one of those trainers that would really love to change your life for the better. The reason being is that she herself fell victim to the “freshman 15” when she started studying at William Paterson University. She would eventually graduate with a BS in Exercise Movement Science.
She started her career off as a physical education teacher at schools like Midland Park and the Middlesex Borough School District. After 10 years of teaching, she moved on to become a model at Professional Model Management.
Then, she found her place over at Renegade Fitness, LLC, where she was a professional chef and fitness coach. She’s been there for over 15 years and has helped hundreds achieve their perfect bodies.
Today, Jen also has her own website called bikinibodyworkouts.com, where she sells this program and aims to help even more women achieve their dream bodies.
Bikini Body Workouts Program Overview
Unlike other, more aggressive workout programs, the Bikini Body Workouts promise to have a more “relaxed” and “free” approach to fitness. In her own words, “I’ve refined a simple, sustainable approach to a year-round fit body…and it’s all about feeling free.”
- Fitness level: Beginner to intermediate
- Duration: 8 weeks
- Workouts per week: 4 workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 45 minutes
- Equipment needed: Full gym
- Goal: Lose weight
Now, I have to mention that in this plan, you also get a “21 Day Booty Blast,” which, as the name suggests, is focused on working the glutes – similar to V Shred’s “Booty Builder.” We’ll be discussing this a bit later.
Another difference between this plan and others you may have read reviews for on this website is that this plan was specifically made for women. Female training isn’t all that different from male training in reality, but when chasing a certain aesthetic, it begins to differ slightly.
Bikini Body Workouts Details
The program is located on the Bikini Body website, which has a few PDFs that you can download and then view offline. This may seem very old school, which makes sense – it was created in 2013. We’ll be reviewing each PDF individually to get an idea of the entire plan.
Gym Workout Guide
Each PDF starts off with a great deal of information and nomenclature definition to make sure the person reading it understands what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. For the most part, this is pretty good, but on the first page, there are already some things that don’t add up…
Jen starts off by trying to convince women to use heavier weights to build more muscle mass – which is good, and they should do that. However, she mentions that females don’t have any muscle-building hormones – which they do. Men just have way more, but it’s not fair to sell the female endocrine system that short.
She then focuses on progressive overload, which is one of the best introductions you can make for someone looking to improve their physical function. This leads her into the design of your weekly workout schedule.
The Weekly Workout Schedule
It’ll be a full-body workout that you’ll do three times per week, with one additional cardio training session as well. On the weight training days, you’ll be doing “non-competing, antagonistic alternating supersets,” meaning you’ll do one upper-body movement followed by one lower-body movement, with a short rest period in between.
This, unfortunately, doesn’t correlate with the progressive overload and “strength comes first” approach she described in the beginning. See, when you’re training to have the most amount of muscle mass possible, you need a good amount of rest time.
Supersets don’t belong in a phase where you’re trying to gain as much muscle as possible. If you’re squatting and then doing push-ups, what if your back becomes the limiting factor? Does your chest grow poorly now because of the acute fatigue in other muscles?
This isn’t a great plan when muscle gain is priority number one.
Great for saving time, horrible for gains.
After each workout, you’ll also be doing the following exercises as a “core” routine:
- Side Plank
- Iso Hold Glute Bridge
- Prone Mountain
Alternating Weeks’ Workouts
One interesting part of this plan is the concept of alternating weeks’ workouts. On weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7, the workouts will be the same, and on the other weeks, the workouts will be different. This allows for some level of “interest” in the workout.
However, it has one flaw …
People need to adapt to a movement neurologically. If you only do something every 2 weeks, you’re not going to get really good at it. You don’t see sprinters doing a 5-mile run to keep things interesting… They sprint. Thus, you should be doing the same workouts weekly and simply improve on those movements as time goes by.
On rest days, you’re instructed to do 30 minutes of fasted, low-intensity cardio. She goes on to say you can have some black coffee that’ll “actually help free up some fatty acids to burn during the session so it would benefit you to have a cup.” That is the function of lipase – not caffeine.
Fasted cardio does not burn more fat than regular cardio – ever. No study or scientific paper has ever found this to be true.
This section or PDF comes to a close with a FAQ, exercise description, and a tracking sheet.
Overall, this is pretty good, for the most part. Some of it’s good, some of it isn’t optimal, and some of it is pure hogwash.
At-Home Workout Guide
The At Home Workout Guide is a guide that’ll take you through training at home to have the best results possible. Not that much is different from the normal gym workout guide, but there are a few things worth discussing:
- Warm-up routine: Jen seems to be incredibly focused on the warm-up routine that’ll not only take a long time but will also tire you out since it does contain cardio. This, again, is not the best idea if someone has the goal of building as much muscle mass as possible.
- Progressive overload: As most of us learned through lockdown, practicing progressive overload is hard when you have nothing at home. Thus, these home-based workouts do lack the progressive overload that the gym-based options are able to do sufficiently.
And, finally, we come to the nutrition part of the program – something that’s usually butchered, so I’m actually quite hopeful about this since the other PDFs weren’t too bad. Unfortunately, the very first paragraph destroyed any hope I had for this workout program:
“To lose body fat you need to cut carbohydrate consumption. It’s that simple. It’s the tried and true method used by thousands of physique competitors worldwide for over sixty years.”
So, to lose fat, you have to cut carbs… Interesting. Let’s look at some studies, shall we?
- A 2018 meta-analysis found that “when compared to usual diets, low-fat diets are indeed more effective in weight reduction with a slight to modest effect.” Thus, a low-fat and higher-carb diet would cause weight loss.
- A 12-month study found that both a low-fat and low-carb diet resulted in fat loss and health improvement.
Clearly, the only thing that’ll actually lead to fat loss is a reduction in calories, so I’m slightly appalled that the very first paragraph would even suggest that carbohydrates are the reason you’re “fat.”
The next paragraph suggests that you’ll be fasting every single day. Again, the option isn’t given. You’re outright told to do so… And then, things take a turn for the worse – which I didn’t think was possible, to be honest.
There are specific foods to eat, specific amounts, at specific times. This means they don’t take into consideration your age, lifestyle, training age, hormonal health, or dietary requirements. Absolutely nothing is taken into account.
In fact, the diet looks downright dangerous…
“Off Days Nutrition”
1) BREAKFAST: 14 hours after your meal the night before.
a. One palm-sized portion of protein
a. 4 eggs
a. One palm-sized portion of protein
c. a small amount of coconut oil or grass-fed butter
a. Two palm-sized portions of protein
4) DESSERT: (Optional) a. 1 serving of fruit
That is a direct quote from the actual nutrition guide. Now, I’m no mathematician, but if your only carbohydrate source for the day is “1 serving of fruit” (which is usually 25 – 30g of carbs), you’re going to suffer.
The training day nutrition is virtually the same, with one extra “starchy carbohydrate” added and one extra protein shake. There’s a throwaway comment made about how carbs are the only thing that’ll keep you from losing fat and that you should never ever eat more than the recommended amount.
And then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, they recommend BCAAs!
If you don’t know, branch-chain amino acids are a supplement sold with the promise of keeping you from going catabolic – losing muscle. The problem is you need all 9 essential amino acids to build muscle, not just the three in BCAAs. Thus, no study has found them to be effective.
They proudly boast, “You don’t have to count calories!” Well, that’s because there are none. This is truly absurd – you should never follow a diet that has been blankly given to a large population without personal changes.
This will only lead to some fat loss, some muscle loss, and even the development of eating disorders. Stay as far away as you possibly can, and then go the extra mile just to be sure.
It Doesn’t Get Any Better From There
Unfortunately, this nutrition “advice” goes on…
For ease of maintenance, I’m going to list everything that has no actual science backing behind it that Jen wants you to do:
- Drink Pink Himalayan salt when waking up to combat adrenal fatigue and lower cortisol. Pink Himalayan salt is exactly the same as regular salt, and as far as I can tell, there isn’t any evidence that salt lowers cortisol.
- Have a cup of organic black bulletproof coffee an hour or two after waking. No reason is given as to why. However, you’re adding calories just for the sake of adding calories?… Fun fact, caffeine will increase cortisol. So, you increase calories and cortisol and then increase sodium to lower cortisol? What?
- They use “gm.” instead of “g” as the SI unit for grams. You’d expect a “nutrition expert” to know better.
A Few More Quotes From This Program …
“They kill vital nutrients in food and alter their chemical structure in proteins into toxic compounds. Microwaves also expose you to radiation and can cause other health issues.”
First off, if you alter the chemical structure of something, you literally change the thing! I’ve never seen beef go in and a pair of Levis come out. Secondly, a microwave doesn’t expose you to dangerous radiation.
Radiation is described as energy that flows through space without a medium. Thus, even light is radiation. Better not step outside; you’ll get exposed to radiation, Jen!!
“Canola, corn, soy, and all the other vegetable-based oils will only ruin your health and make you fat and sick.”
“Sugar is probably what causes more fat gain and immune-related issues than any other food. If you have it in your kitchen you need to get rid of it. This also includes all artificial sweeteners like aspartame, Splenda, agave, and whatever else there may be.”
Sugar does contain calories and can lead to fat gain if over-consumed. However, sweeteners don’t contain calories, though they can cause digestive distress if you eat too many.
She also mentions that “if man made it, you shouldn’t eat it!” and then goes on to say you should drink protein shakes and eat butter. I don’t see cows pooping out butter… but okay.
The cherry on top is where they admit that this program isn’t suitable for those who may have suffered from an eating disorder in the past. Good. Now they get to create more. Eating disorders are awful and remarkably easy to pick up.
These disorders are even more prevalent in those who feel bad about their bodies. Jen does absolutely nothing to educate people about their bodies or food. No relationship is built between the dieter and food. Of course, this can only lead to trauma.
The nutrition section ends with links to supplements that are affiliated with Jen so she can make more money because her diet is so poor that you need to supplement the sh*t out of it. A good diet should only need a bit of creatine, some protein (maybe), and possibly some vitamin D if the person lives in an environment that’s cold and gloomy.
Honestly, this is the worst nutrition guidance I’ve ever seen, and this would get a -10 out of 5 stars from me. This isn’t scientific and should never ever be followed. Ever.
Booty Blast Guide
The Booty Blast is simply a 21-day guide that’ll allow you to do some glute exercises from the comfort of your own home. It’s meant to be combined with the normal training program and to be done on rest days.
The movements you’ll be doing will be variations of yoga exercises, hip thrusts, and other glute movements. Again, without added resistance, you won’t necessarily grow more booty. Ever noticed who has a big booty? Yeah, the girl who squats a lot. And eats a lot.
For the most part, this training plan is okay. However, you’re bound to end up overtraining. For someone who’s so focused on lowering cortisol, Jen is very keen on giving you absolutely zero carbs and all the training volume on the planet.
Cortisol can lead to reduced fat loss and muscle gain. However, we know that carbs lower cortisol. So does fish oil if taken before bed. So does a low-volume training plan. Again, this plan is extremely contradictory.
A good enough training plan wouldn’t need more volume, and a good coach would end up removing some volume rather than trying to increase it.
We Found a Bigger Problem – Somehow
This plan also includes a Level 2 – which promises an even better workout and diet plan for a measly $69.97. Trouble is, we purchased this program to review it and were met with a login website… and we never received login details.
This is the cherry on the cake for a program that encapsulates everything that’s toxic about the fitness world.
Does the Bikini Body Workout Have Any Pros!?
Not a single one.
Usually, we list a few pros here, like, “Oh, the workouts are good” or “The diet is manageable.” This program has none of that – absolutely zero. In fact, there are only negatives. This plan was designed by someone who has no idea what sustainable fitness is about.
This plan has zero pros because there’s nothing that good about it. The workouts are counterintuitive, the nutrition is horrific, and the whole plan reeks of toxicity.
5 Bikini Body Program Cons
- You might develop an eating disorder if you follow the nutrition plan. No one should follow the exact same diet as someone else, and because Jen wants you to do this, you’re going to suffer.
- You’ll lose muscle mass. There simply aren’t enough calories for you to sustain muscle mass – she even spoke about how women have a harder time building muscle and then gives you zero chances to do so.
- You won’t last 60 days. This plan is so visceral and hard that the average person won’t last two months. It’s too much.
- Zero adaptability: Because the plan is very black and white and grants you zero ability to change anything, you’re left with a plan that you can’t adapt to your life.
- Scientifically illiterate. There’s so little science in this program that I thought I walked onto the set of a conspiracy theory show. There are no citations, and the explanations are half-hearted.
Point 5 might not seem like it would be a big thing, but this is how misinformation spreads. Jen says in the program that bulletproof coffee might make you lose fat faster, but there has never been a single study showing this.
This plan seems to be keto-focused, and yet again, no study has found keto dieting to be better for fat loss than regular dieting! You need to focus on the total amount of calories, protein, and training you do.
Jen Ferruggia’s Bikini Body Workouts – Final Thoughts
My final thoughts are all pretty aggressive toward this trainer. Towards the Bikini Body Workouts, as a whole. Towards whoever thought this was a good idea.
The fitness environment is already confusing as it is, and now they think it’s okay to just throw in a ton of inaccurate facts?!
You’re much better off just following a few tips to lose weight, like these:
- Eat 200 – 300 calories less than your maintenance calories
- Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
- Practice resistance training 3 – 4 times per week, and maybe do some light cardio for 20 minutes twice per week
- Aim to lose around 0.5 – 1.0% of total body weight per week
This is a plan that’s way more sustainable. A plan should never ever be black and white regarding specific foods and the amounts of foods, at least not for a collection of people.
Two people might weigh exactly the same, but one might have 7% body fat and be several inches shorter… They probably have a great deal of muscle mass and should never ever be eating the same as the other person.
This plan is awful. Stay as far away as you can, and try to find something – anything – else that allows you to lose weight. This plan will lead to injury, disappointment, and perhaps even eating disorders.
Furthermore, even when you buy the upgraded version (the term is used very loosely), you don’t even get it! When you make contact with the company about where the product is, you’re met with deaf ears.
Please, do not buy this plan. There are hundreds of other and better options online.
Rating: 0 out of 5 (but we’d rate it -10 out of 5 if we could)