Hi friends! We officially made it to the weekend (insert hallelujah emoji!) I’m officially 8 weeks into the BBG program and after getting a lot of questions from you all any time I would post on IG stories, I decided to compile those questions and answer them in a post for you! I feel like I need to preface this by saying I am not a fitness professional and this is my personal opinion of BBG…. and that taking photos in our small gym was HARD. And awkward. That is all 😉 Moving on, let’s get started talking all things BBG.
2019/2020 update: I stopped doing BBG in 2019 when I noticed my joints were not reacting well to the movements. I ended up having a torn meniscus in my right knee that the doctor said likely resulted from the HIIT circuit exercises causing tension on my joints. I never had any problems with my knee or other joints prior to BBG, so I have since stopped using the program.
WHAT IS BBG?
BBG, also known as Bikini Body Guide, is a 12 week program created by Kayla Itsines, an Australian fitness pro. The workouts are circuit based and designed with two 7-minute circuits that are repeated twice to complete a 28 minute workout.
TELL ME THE DETAILS ABOUT THE PROGRAM! APP vs. PDF… PRICE… etc.
The program, which was started by Kayla Itsines, originally began as an e-book that was downloadable on her site. It has also now been made into an app called Sweat that’s available in the App Store. The e-book is $55 and the Sweat app is $19.99/month. You can also pay yearly for $119, so it saves you a bit of money. Either way, it’s less than a gym membership and it guides you through your workouts.
The Sweat app contains the workouts, a food guide, and a community section where you can ask questions, encourage others, etc. The PDF can be downloaded and printed (and bound to make a book) or used on your phone after downloading.DO YOU USE THE SWEAT APP?
I think choosing to use the app vs. PDF is personal preference. I use the app because I like having it on my phone no matter where I am. For me personally, the PDF is just one more thing to lose or forget when heading to the gym. The app itself isn’t wonderful and could certainly use some updates, but it does it’s job for the most part! I do like the app for the built-in 7 minute timer and for the fact that it physically shows you the correct way to do the workouts (and also offers modifications). I have the Sweat app on my phone and my iPad and sometimes I’ll bring my iPad to the gym with me so I don’t have to worry looking at my phone the whole time. WHAT MADE YOU START BBG?
I was feeling unmotivated with the workouts I was doing and wasn’t seeing the results in the areas where I needed them, so I decided to give BBG a try. I had been following Kayla’s instagram page(s) for a while and the transformations from others were incredible. Booking our delayed honeymoon also definitely helped get my butt in gear haha! That gave me a little over 16 weeks to get into better shape. I’m halfway to that 16 week mark and I’m feeling more confident every day.
CAN YOU DO BBG AT HOME OR DO YOU NEED TO GO TO A GYM?
The main reason people really enjoy BBG is because it can be done everywhere! You can definitely do BBG at home with minimal equipment, but I think it’s easier to do at a gym. For my first week I did the workouts at home just to get a feel for the program. I already had a jump rope, a medicine ball and weights and I used my coffee table for tricep dips. While it is feasible to do at home, I personally find it easier to do with actual equipment. I also have people living below me and I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate me doing burpees and mountain climbers above them haha!
What I like most about BBG is that it’s for almost anyone, no matter what your exercise level is. However, I wouldn’t start this program if I had never worked out a day in my life. For this program you need to have basic knowledge of exercises and cardio. If you’re a beginner this program is TOTALLY doable, but I would caution you to make sure your form is correct, to take your time with each exercise, and to modify the exercises as you need to until you have built up your muscles and strength.
I began BBG by doing the “BBG Beginner 1.0” program. This was a 4 week program that got you acquainted with the workouts and the circuit system. I liked doing this because it eased me into it and prepared me for BBG 1.0. I highly recommend giving this a try before diving right into the program.HOW MANY WORKOUTS ARE THERE A WEEK? TELL ME ABOUT THE CIRCUITS.
BBG consists of three resistance workouts a week (arms and abs, legs, and full body) along with LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio three times a week. They also offer HIIT (high intensity interval training), but don’t recommend beginning that until week five.
I’ll admit the circuit style workouts were confusing to me at first since I had never really done them. The resistance workouts are all 28 minutes and are divided into two 7-minute circuits that are repeated twice. Here’s a run down of how a circuit works! For reference I typically get through 2 laps per circuit, depending on the exercises.
-circuit 1 for seven minutes- There are 4 exercises/circuit. Do as many laps of those exercises as you can until the 7 minute timer runs out.
-circuit 2 for seven minutes- Do as many laps of those exercises as you can until the seven minute timer runs out.
-repeat circuit 1 for seven minutes
-repeat circuit 2 for seven minutes
WHAT EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED FOR THE WORKOUTS?
As I mentioned before, the great thing about BBG is it can be done anywhere with minimal (or no) equipment. I would suggest a pair of weights, a medicine ball, and a jump rope. I would also suggest purchasing a yoga mat or something to give you support from the floor, especially if you’re doing it at home. A lot of equipment can be substituted for things around you home. Ex: a coffee table can be used as a bench for tricep dips, a gallon of water for weights, etc. IS THE PROGRAM FLEXIBLE? WHAT IS YOUR WORKOUT SCHEDULE WITH BBG?
YES! One of the things that drew me to BBG was the flexibility of the exercises. Between travel and having a differing schedule day-to-day, I was having a hard time committing to workout classes where I had to sign up in advance. I am easily able to adjust my BBG schedule for what works for me and my week.
This is my typical weekly workout schedule with BBG. I like to do full body mid-week and legs last because my legs tend to be sore for longer and take a bit more time to recover!
MONDAY: Arms & Abs circuit
TUESDAY: LISS and some form of arms/abs afterwards. upper body recovery
WEDNESDAY: Full body circuit
THURSDAY: LISS and some strength/core exercises. full body recovery
FRIDAY: Legs circuit
SATURDAY: I may repeat a few exercises from the week or work on arms/abs with other exercises. lower body recovery
DO YOU MODIFY ANY OF THE WORKOUTS?
When I first started the program I did modify things, such as pushups, until I got my strength up. I still sometimes modify my pushups and do them on an incline on a bench because I have awful wrists haha! If you’re using the app, it offers modifications for almost every exercise.
I think the most important thing with ANY workout is to work first and foremost on your form. If you’re doing the exercises wrong you won’t see results and you run the risk of injuring yourself. I have given this advice to anyone who has reached out to me about BBG (and especially when I taught Pure Barre.) I would rather modify moves than fear injuring myself just so I could say I did it! 😉 As you gain strength you will see that you’re able to do exercises without modifications and that is THE best feeling!
IS THERE DOWNTIME FOR BEING SORE?
I’m not going to sugar coat it, these workouts make you sore. It’s not unbearable by any means though. Because there is such flexibility and only three resistance workouts, there is plenty of time to recover from being sore. Even when I’m sore I try to do something whether it’s cardio or a few arm/ab/leg exercises on days when I don’t have a resistance workout. Your goal is to fatigue your muscles and gain strength. My one piece of advice for being sore is to get yourself a foam roller. It’s a game changer when it comes to working out! I use my foam roller after workouts (sometimes before if my muscles are feeling tight) because it helps release tension and stretches my muscles.
I can see how some people may find it receptive, but I don’t personally find it to be too repetitive. I like doing similar exercises because it helps me practice my form.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED (ESPECIALLY AFTER WEEK 1/2?)
For me, I not only wanted to look better, I also wanted to feel better. I always feel great (and sweaty) after a BBG workout. The first few weeks were a doozy. The workouts were SO hard, and still are, and I felt like I was constantly sore. But week after week I like seeing that I’m getting stronger and that I can do exercises more easily than I could a week or so before. Having the feeling of being stronger and seeing results really help keep me motivated. Knowing I’m going to be in a swimsuit on our honeymoon (and much of the summer) is also a big motivator too haha!
DO YOU FOLLOW THE BBG NUTRITION GUIDE?
I don’t follow the nutrition guide, so I can’t attest to how it works or any of that. In the app there is a nutrition section and I’ve browsed it a few times. From what I can tell it provides great meal ideas. I’m a really picky eater, so it’s hard for me to follow any sort of nutrition program, but I have tried to be more conscious about what I eat and when I eat.
HAVE YOU STARTED TO SEE RESULTS? WHERE?
I have started to see results (I noticed them as quickly as about 4 weeks). I’m seeing most of my results in my abs/arms and my legs. I tend to gain weight in my upper thighs (which I’m so self-conscious about since I’m short) so seeing results there has made me SO happy. I still have a long way to go, but it’s been nice to physically SEE the results. I think one of the best results is not only seeing myself look better, but also feeling better about myself. I feel healthier and stronger. WHAT HAVE YOU LOVED MOST ABOUT THE PROGRAM? WHAT ARE YOUR OVERALL THOUGHTS/TIPS?
I like that it’s a guided circuit program that I can complete in less than 30 minutes. Gyms can be super intimidating, so I appreciate having a guide of what to do. I feel like this program makes me sweat and work really hard during the ENTIRE 30 minutes. I also really like the community that comes from BBG. There are so many amazing transformation stories and people who are there to build you up. A few of my friends also do BBG so we always check in with each other (and complain about how hard the workouts were ha!) Doing BBG has really been motivating for me and it’s made me, dare I say, excited to get into the gym every day.
Overall, I really enjoy it & would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new workout program. A few tips would be:
-Focus on your form over everything else.
-Modify exercises if you need to.
-Stick to a routine- it will be easier to keep yourself motivated.
-Don’t expect transformation overnight. Like everything, it takes time to see results.
-Don’t try to beat the 7-minute clock. Focus on the exercises and doing them correctly instead of seeing how many laps you can do.
-Pause if you need to. If my timer is about to run out, I will pause it so that I can finish the exercise before moving on to the next circuit.
-Find friends who will keep you accountable!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend! XO