The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Review

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Review

The Body Coach Graduate Plan contains the same basic principles towards food and exercise as Joe Wicks 90 Day Plan. I completed Cycle 4 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan in summer 2020 and moved onto Cycle 5. Here’s my honest review of The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5.

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a commission from purchases made through chosen links on this site at no additional cost to you. However, I am objective and extremely picky and I only recommend things that I truly believe in. Find out more here.*

I completed Cycle 4 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan in early summer 2020. Although I found some aspects of Cycle 4 to be challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you’re debating whether or not to sign up for the Body Coach Graduate plan check out my review of Cycle 4, and continue reading for my review of Cycle 5 right here.

Who Is Joe Wicks?

Joe Wicks is possibly one of the most famous online fitness personalities in The UK.

He began his career as a teaching assistant after graduating with his degree in Sports Science. Soon after he became a personal trainer before making the transition to an online fitness coach.

Joe Wicks The Body Coach

In 2015 he released his first book:  “Lean In 15: 15 Minute Meals” which became a bestseller.

Since 2015 he has released nine more recipe books tailored around healthy meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes.

He then went on to create The Body Coach 90 Day Plan based on the principles outlined in his Lean In 15 book range

The 90 Day Plan has helped hundreds of thousands of people across the world to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. With the popularity of the plan, Joe Wicks decided to create The Body Coach Graduate Plan. 

The Body Coach Graduate Plan

The Body Coach Graduate Plan is a continuation of The 90 Day Plan. It has helped many 90 Day Plan graduates continue their fitness lifestyle by following the same process to either maintain their current physique or to encourage further fat loss.

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Review

The aim of Cycle 5 Of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is to further reinforce good habits that were forged during The 90 Day Plan and also in Cycle 4.

Cycle 5 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan follows similar principles as the previous 4 cycles.

There are all new delicious recipes to try and exclusive workouts on YouTube to follow that will enhance your fitness levels and deliver results.

As with previous cycles, you can pick and choose the recipes and workouts that you like. 

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Workouts

The workouts in The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 are another increase in intensity compared to Cycle 4. The aim to to help you build strength and stamina whilst also toning your body.

It is recommended to complete four to five workouts per week consistently in order to achieve good results.

To help you remain consistent, it’s a good idea to plan your schedule for the week ahead and stick to it.

This magnetic weekly planner is particularly useful for pinning to the fridge so you can easily remember your workouts and keep on track.

In Cycle 5, you’ll receive another four workouts that are exclusive to Body Coach Graduates. The workouts include EMOM, AMRAP, Tabata, and also introduce Ascending Ladders.

One of the drawbacks I initially found in Cycle 4 was that there were only four workouts included in the plan.

However, I quickly realised that this gives you an opportunity to try out other workouts and programs by different personal trainers. I personally love workouts by Caroline Girvan.

Workouts and The Body Coach

If you don’t want to use other workouts there are plenty of other options such as going for a 5k run, taking up another gym class (if the gyms are open as your time of reading), doing some Yoga, or even creating your own workout based on the formats used in the Graduate Plan so far: I.e HIIT, EMOM, Tabata, or AMRAP.

What’s New With Cycle 5 Workouts?

While Cycle 5 includes exercise formats that you will have done before such as HIIT, EMOM, AMRAP and Tabata. There is the inclusion of Ascending Ladders.

An ascending ladder is quite simple. Based over a certain time frame you will be required to start with 2 reps and increase the reps when each round is completed.

For example:

Burpees: 2 reps – 4 reps – 6 reps – 8 reps and so on until the time is up.

Although this doesn’t sound too difficult to start with you will notice that the higher rep ranges really tire out your muscles.


As with Cycle 4, there are exercises in cycle 5 that require no equipment. Some exercises that require dumbbells and other exercises that feature kettlebells.

The important thing to remember is to make sure you’re lifting a weight that is right for your current strength and abilities.

You might also need to drop the amount of weight you lift on The Body Coach Graduate Plan when compared to what you may have lifted on The 90 Day Plan. 

This is quite normal as the workouts in The Graduate Plan are more intense and have a higher rep range.

Just make sure you are lifting a weight that you are comfortable with. The weight you choose should not be too heavy to ruin your form, and not too light to feel little to no tension.

Avoiding injury

Whichever type of exercise you choose to do, I really can’t express enough the importance of warming up and cooling down.

Good solid warmups and cool downs will help you to avoid injuring yourself which could set you back by months.

In the same vein, rest days are incredibly important to allow your body to recover properly from the highly intense workouts. Taking 2 to 3 days per week to rest your body will allow your muscles to repair and recover.

My Thoughts On Cycle 5 Workouts

The workouts in Cycle 5 are designed to really ramp up your fitness levels. 

I found the workouts in Cycle 5 to be far more enjoyable than Cycle 4. They were still a little repetitive but included a better variety of exercises.

There were some workouts that were still a little off putting for the reasons I mentioned in my review of Cycle 4, and also at least one workout where Joe forgot how to count. 

In saying that, I thought it was more funny than anything else and it’s nice to see that he is only human.

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Nutrition

As with all cycles so far on The 90 Day Plan and The Graduate Plan, the key to success is nutrition.

The Graduate Plan is built around nutritious meals tailored to your specific caloric needs. The plan tries to keep things simple so you don’t need to count calories or macros, and in fact, the plan doesn’t actually give you any of this information.

However, if you are interested in learning more about the calorie intake of your recipes, you can of course input your meals into MyFitnessPal.


Meal Planning

Cycle 5 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan features a whole new range of delicious recipes and snacks to try. And once again there is also a create your own section detailing key ingredients with allocated amounts to help you design your own delicious recipes.

It is so important to have a varied diet to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs from your food. 

To make sure you’re eating a varied diet I cannot reiterate how important it is to plan your meals and carry out your meal prep for the days or week ahead during The Graduate Plan.

By this point, you should be a pro at planning your weekly intake however, I found this magnetic weekly planner to be very useful. I stuck it to my fridge door so I could easily see what I was making on my meal prep days (and it also helped me stay on track and avoid excess snacking when I was bored during lockdown).

How You’ll Be Eating On The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5

On Cycle 4 there was a slight alteration to how you could eat on The Graduate Plan. This has continued on Cycle 5. The idea is to listen to what your body needs.

The methods are as follows:

Rest days:

  • Three reduced carbohydrate meals
  • Two snacks

However, on training days you can choose to eat by the following methods:

Method 1:

  • One Carbohydrate refuel meal to be consumed after your workout
  • Two reduced carbohydrate meals
  • Two snacks

Method 2:

  • Two carbohydrate refuel meals (one to be consumed after your workout
  • One reduced carbohydrate meal
  • Two snacks

Method 3:

  • Three carbohydrate refuel meals
  • Two snacks

In cycle 5, I decided to try eating one carb refuel meal on training days to see how the decrease in carbs (compared to Cycle 4) would affect my body. I realised this wasn’t going to work for me so I had to increase my carbs again

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Recipes

In Cycle 5, you’ll receive a brand new batch of reduced carb meals to eat any time, along with carb refuel meals to eat on training days and of course, some delicious snacks to tuck into.

The recipes are delicious and what you have come to expect from Joe Wicks. There are firm favourite recipes such as smoothies, porridge, pancakes and banana bread. There are plenty of recipes to batch cook along with some quick and easy meal options.

Again, my only criticism is the lack of recipes compared to The 90 Day Plan, but I did make use of my CYO section to create my own meals.

I also took inspiration from the following recipe books:

Below is my favourite recipes from The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5:

Cycle 5 Reduced Carbohydrate Recipes

  • Coconut Porridge With Raspberries & Almonds
  • Pecan Pie Smoothie
  • Chicken Curry With Coconut Rice
  • Teriyaki Salmon

Cycle 5 Carbohydrate Refuel Recipes

  • Banana & Maple Porridge
  • Banana Bread
  • One-pot Chicken With Orzo Pasta
  • Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas
  • Slow Cooked Beef Meatballs With Tagliatelle
  • Paella

Water Intake

It’s so important to keep your body well hydrated on a daily basis. It will help to boost your bodily functions and keep your appetite in control.

Drinking water will also help your body to recover after each workout.

My water allowance was still 2.75l in Cycle 5, but I still found myself drinking at least three litres per day. 

Having this water bottle certainly helps me to drink my daily water intake.

Victories & Challenges of Cycle 5

I enjoyed Cycle 4 for the most part but I was more than happy to move onto Cycle 5 when the time came. 

I enjoyed Cycle 5 more but did find it a little more challenging for a few reasons.


I loved progressing onto tougher workouts but I found myself needing to press the pause button more often just to catch my breath. In a way this was good because it really pushed me to my limits and I felt the benefits.

The downsides to the workouts were that there weren’t really that many weighted exercises, it definitely appeared to be more body weight and cardio based. 

I don’t think this is terrible, but after using weights a lot in Cycle 2, Cycle 3 and even Cycle 4 I worried that I may start losing some of the muscle mass that I have spent a long time trying to build.

I did enjoy a little more cardio, but on the whole I would have preferred a bit more of a balance.

Once again after a couple of weeks of using the workouts in Cycle 5, I found them to be a little on the repetitive side so I started branching out to find alternative routines such as Caroline Girvan.


One thing I really noticed during Cycle 5 was that I did not feel like I had enough energy when only eating one carb refuel meal per day.

I found myself feeling completely drained and sluggish, and not able to put 100% effort into the workouts. 

I increased to either two or three carb refuel meals per day on my training days depending on how I felt that day. 

I noticed a massive difference in the amount of energy and effort I could put into the workouts, and even the energy I had throughout the day.

Birthday Celebrations

Towards the end of Cycle 5 I celebrated my birthday. For a week. Happy Birthday to me.

There was a LOT of off plan food. There was a LOT of chocolate cake. It happened. I’m not beating myself up about it.

It did take a little while to get back on track but at least I made it back on track.

Lost Track Of Time

Although I did get back on track eventually with the plan, I completely lost track of time.

Curiously, I did think Cycle 5 was dragging on a bit. I was convinced it was the longest three weeks I had experienced.

Then I happened to check my calendar. Apparently, I’d been on Cycle 5 for approximately 7 weeks, including the week I had off for my birthday. Whoops!

I put this down to the lockdown effect. Even writing this I still feel like it’s April. So it’s not really too much of a surprise that weeks have passed by without realising it.

Dropping Another Dress Size

During Cycle 5 I noticed my clothes were hanging off me. The difficulty of going clothes shopping now is that we can’t try on clothes in the store.

However, I decided to get a few things in a smaller size. Worst case scenario if they didn’t initially fit, I knew eventually they would so it wouldn’t be money wasted. 

Imagine my surprise when I got home to try said items on and they only went and fit me. Like a glove!

The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Results

During Cycle 5 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan, I didn’t see much change in terms of inches lost. Which is quite a surprise since I had dropped another dress size.

However, I did manage to lose 1.5kgs. 

I’m not sure how this worked out but I’m thrilled that changes are still being made in the right direction.

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What Have I Learned On The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5?

Cycle 5 has certainly been interesting. Although I felt like it was dragging on, which was entirely my own fault for losing track of time, I did enjoy many aspects of this cycle and feel like I learned a lot.

Gaining Confidence

I may have found the workouts a little repetitive, which again may have been due to losing track of time, but I felt more confident about trying new workouts on YouTube from The Body Coach and other PT’s.

I also felt more confident in myself and my body. At this point I feel like I’m regaining a bit of the old me back and I don’t think that would have happened had I not signed up to The 90 Day Plan in the first place.

Listening To My Body

I was able to recognise fairly quickly that my body needed to be fueled in a different way on training days. This is something I wouldn’t even have considered before I started my journey with The Body Coach. I’ve learned to listen and understand my body more.

Whether you choose to carry on your journey with The Body Coach Graduate Plan, or subscribe to the app (if you’re an Apple user) I can promise you that you will not regret making an investment in yourself and your health.

Are you planning to continue on the graduate plan? Do you have another plan in mind? Let me know in the comments. 

The body coach graduate plan cycle 5 review (1)
body coach graduate plan cycle 5 (1)

What is The Body Coach Graduate Plan?

The aim of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is to further enforce the good habits that you’ve built on through the 90 Day Plan.
The format of follows the same principles as the previous cycles in the 90 day plan. You’ll receive some delicious new recipes and exclusive workouts to enhance your activity and fitness levels whilst also delivering results based on how strictly you follow the plan.
As with previous cycles, you can pick and choose the recipes and workouts that you like. Or, you can also create your own delicious recipes using your ingredient allowances to keep you on track.

What workouts feature in The Body Coach Graduate Plan?

The Body Coach Graduate Plan workouts are an increase in intensity when compared with the 90 day plan. This will help to build upon your strength, stamina and activity levels to get leaner.
You’ll receive four exclusive workouts in each of the three cycles to choose from. The workouts will include EMOM, AMRAP, Tabata, and Ascending Ladders.

How will you eat on The Body Coach Graduate Plan?

The Body Coach Graduate Plan contains a range of new delicious recipes and snacks to try throughout each cycle. You’ll also receive a create your own section with quantities for each ingredient.
The principles and how you’ll be eating on The Body Coach Graduate Plan are similar to the 90 day plan. On rest days you will eat three reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
On training days you will have the option to choose how you eat from the methods below:
– One carbohydrate refuel meal to be consumed after a workout. Two reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
– Two carbohydrates refuel meals (one after a workout), one reduced carbohydrate meal and two snacks
– Or three carbohydrate refuel meals and two snacks on training days

4 thoughts on “The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 Review”

  1. Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady

    This sounds like a really great plan! We were at the cottage labour day weekend and there was so much not so healthy food. It’s hard to stay on track sometimes, but as long as you get back to healthy eating and exercising it’s ok to have a moment of weakness lol.

  2. Interesting! Although Im not trying to lose weight but this sounds like a great challenge for body and mental improvement.

  3. Congratulations on pushing through. I just finished LIIFT4 with Beachbody and am debating my next step. Hearing about your journey has helped give me some ideas and tips.

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