Nina Agdal has always been a fitness fan. She grew up playing basketball in Denmark and maintained an athletic build throughout her modeling career, which helped her land appearances in six SI Swimsuit issues (including on the 2014 cover with Chrissy Teigen and Lily Aldridge). But the 30-year-old always wanted to be sure she was focused on overall wellness and not give in to the crazy demands of the fashion industry. So, she became a certified holistic health coach and is training to become a certified Pilates instructor. Agdal then decided she wanted to share her fitness and nutrition knowledge by creating an app called The Agdal Method with Playbook in March 2020. I decided to try it for a month.
After a couple of years of at-home pandemic workouts, I was bored and uninspired. Plus, I’m a working mom of a toddler, so time is limited. So while there are many incredible programs, I needed one that was doable at home (or in my building’s gym) and wasn’t an hour-long session. That’s when I came across Agdal’s method, which promised quick workouts, easy-to-follow nutrition advice and minimal equipment (something that was key for me as I travel a lot). So I gave it a shot. Here’s what I think about the platform and the experience.
The Nutrition Advice
Within the app, there is a 20-page recipe guide and 22-page nutrition guide that gives general tips like hydrating, focusing on real foods, creating a morning and evening routine, and shutting your phone off 30 minutes before bed. Agdal says she starts every morning with a glass of regular water and one with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. From there, she shares her grocery list before getting into meal suggestions.
I have to admit that the meal options were limited. Though she says more recipes are coming, this wasn’t the number of options I had hoped for. And since weight loss (if that’s your goal) is generally 75 percent diet, I would have loved more insight into what the model ate. But Agdal did give numerous smoothie options, which got me on a kick of making them regularly for my breakfast. They were delicious, filling and easy to make.
More from SwimLife
With the workouts, you have several options. You can opt for programs like Two Week Sculpt, Reset & Renew, Back to You, and more. An a la carte option is also available where you can choose from 20-, 30- and 40-minute sculpting sessions, run-focused suggestions, arms and booty, and more. I opted for the My Week option, a seven-day routine that changes weekly and is supposedly what Agdal is actually following herself that week.
The My Week option was great because it was packed full of variety, something that cured my workout boredom. It was also wonderful because it laid out all seven days at once, allowing you to move things around if necessary. Overall it would be a mix of workouts as short as 15 minutes up to 45 minutes an hour.
What’s truly incredible about these workouts is that you’ll break a sweat and feel the burn, even with the shorter ones. Nearly all the sessions required light weights (2-3 pounds) or ankle weights or used your body weight. Still, my arms and legs would shake, proving that Agdal knows something about barre and pilates. Her workouts seem to be a choice compared to heavy weightlifting sessions.
And if there is one thing the SI Swimsuit cover star loves more than anything, it’s ab exercises. She almost always included planks in workouts, which were killer. You’d have to hold a plank for a few minutes at a time. But her favorite core burner was slow bicycles (she consistently said how much she loved them).
While I genuinely loved the workouts and felt like I got a decent daily burn, I’m a bit skeptical if this is truly all Agdal does in a week. On the other hand, she’s also clearly genetically blessed, so it’s possible.
I’m not one to use a scale, so I can’t tell you if I lost any weight over the month. I should also mention that besides adding more smoothies into my diet, I didn’t really follow the nutrition guide. It was prescriptive enough for me, so I stuck to my regular eating that is primarily plant-based and focuses on consuming real foods (just like Agdal).
I noticed how much stronger I got in just one month. I could barely do some of her plank series in the beginning and was able to (mostly) get through them by the end. My core and arms felt stronger, and I could see some definition in my upper abs. My lower abs are harder to notice since I have some loose skin still from having a baby. But I’d venture to guess there would be a better definition there, too!
Overall, I enjoyed the program. It made it so I didn’t have to think about my workout schedule for the week, and I could pretty much do the sessions from anywhere in the world since minimal equipment is required. However, I’m not sure I would get a supermodel-worthy physique by following the program as I think a lot more work would be required. Still, I’m excited to see if more nutritional information will come out to support my toning goals.
Bonus: a friend commented at the end of my month that I looked “incredible” and like I was an “athlete.” Clearly, the program must be working!