Okay, so you want to talk BBG. What is it? Does it actually work? What do results look like? What to expect?
Answering all of your questions about the workout program that whips me into shape FAST like nothing else I've tried (read about My Fitness Story here) in today's post.
What Is BBG?
BBG, short for Bikini Body Guide is a 12-week on/off HIIT workout program (and optional nutrition guide) developed by fitness powerhouse Kayla Itsines.
6 days a week - yes 6, and yes this almost initially turned me away - you'll alternate between high intensity resistance training and plyometrics (jump training) and low intensity steady state cardio days, giving your body a chance to rest in between the days that are tougher on your body.
The core exercises remain consistent, but will vary slightly in form and difficulty as you advance in the program.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday / Lower, Upper, Full Body
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday / LISS (low intensity steady state)
How Long Are the Workouts?
HIIT/resistance days are 28 minutes, performed in circuits. You'll do typically 10-20 reps of 4 different exercises in approximately 7 minutes for circuit A, before moving on to 4 new exercises in circuit B. You'll then repeat the process of circuit A and B once more. So 4 circuits, 7 minutes each = 28 minutes.
With breaks, which are absolutely needed, I typically finish in 35-ish minutes.
LISS days are 30-45 minutes. On these days, I'll usually track calories on my Polar watch, and stop at about 300-350 calories.
What Does Each Day Look Like?
One of my favorite things about BBG is that the mix of high intensity and low intensity keeps me challenged while making me feel like it's still doable. When I feel like I can't walk after leg day, I don't have to get discouraged knowing that I can simply go for a walk as my exercise the next day.
HERE'S HOW EACH DAY BREAKS DOWN:
Monday / Lower body, consisting of lots of squats, lunges and step ups, also including some plyometrics as you advance in the program like jump squats.
Tuesday / LISS, with the goal of increasing your heart rate to a level that is above your normal rate, and then maintaining that rate. I'll typically choose a light ride on the Peloton, or walk in the Spring/Summer.
Wednesday / Arms & Abs, consisting of push ups, mountain climbers, burpees, and ab exercises, many being body-weight focused.
Thursday / LISS. I always see my LISS days as 'active recovery' days in between the hard hitters, and they are much needed!
Friday / Full body, consisting of a mix of exercises you're already familiar with from your lower and upper body days.
Saturday / LISS, + a day to rejoice because Sunday is rest day!
Some of My Favorite Workout Leggings:
What's the Difference Between
the Sweat App & the PDF's?
People often ask me, is the app worth it? So I set up a free trial in order to be able to share an honest opinion with you guys between the two. Ultimately, I feel that it depends on the 'workout experience' you're looking for.
I personally downloaded the PDF's years ago before the app was released, and find that they work just fine for me. I keep the PDF saved on my Dropbox app on my phone, and simply open it up each day when I'm ready to start my workout.
The app offers a much more interactive user experience with added perks like additional programs, workout challenges (in addition to your program), video clips of each exercise, audio cues, a trackable calendar and more.
The main difference: PDF's are a one-time $50 purchase, while the app is $20 per month.
You can certainly look it the app as you would a gym membership, and for that reason, if you're looking for a true user experience, I'd say it's worth it!
And that's pretty much the gist of the program! I wanted to share some FAQ's that I've received on Instagram with you below. Simply click on the arrow to expand each question!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO SEE RESULTS?
One of the reasons I love the BBG program is because you see and feel results quicker than most (prob because it's such a kick in the butt, to be honest). Of course, every body is different, but I tend to start feeling results week 2, and seeing results week 3-4.
In the past, I've always seen another big jump in how my body looks from week 4-6.
My current results: After 4 full weeks of BBG, I have lost 6 lbs. and 2-3 inches off of my waist.
I've made the choice to cut out refined sugar, including desserts and wine (RIP), and I'm sure that's played a part too, but otherwise my diet remains unchanged. I don't believe in "dieting", rather I focus on eating clean and healthy unprocessed foods that I know my body needs. Do I still think about cookies like, 16 times a day? Yes.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WITHIN BBG?
Personally, I always find it hard to get over the 2-week hump. Going from minimal activity to 6-day a week HIIT workouts is TOUGH; mentally and physically, I'm always pretty exhausted an unmotivated during those first two weeks. Once your body starts to recognize your workouts as habit though, that motivation and drive kicks into high gear and working out simply becomes a part of your routine.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN PER WORKOUT?
This will of course depend on your body type, weight and target heart rate but for me personally, I will tend to burn 300-450 calories on HIIT days (100-150 calories per 10 minutes), and about 250 calories in 30 minutes on LISS days.
I use my Polar watch to track my heart rate and calories, and on the days that I'm feeling like I can keep pushing, I'll often keep the workout going until I hit around 300-350.
HOW DO YOU MODIFY YOUR WORKOUTS?
Girl, I know those push ups are hard! In week 5, I'm still modifying by using my knees. Kayla has a few modifications within the PDF's/app which you can follow, but if your'e not finding what you're looking for you can also do a quick google search, ie: "modified burpee".
If plyometrics is tough on your knees, I recommend investing in a mini trampoline! You can grab this one right on Amazon for only $40. Not only is it easier on your landings, but it tends to get your heart pumping a little faster too.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU ACTUALLY NEED?
Having done this program quite a few times, having some equipment keeps me motivated, but it is 100% not necessary. Of course as a business, BBG recommends using quite a few pieces of equipment. The reality though, is that you can air jump if you don't have a jump rope, you can step up on an ottoman if you don't have a flat bench, and you can use objects around the house for weight if you don't have dumbbells.
Because of Joe's schedule, we've built a home gym so he has everything he needs, which means I have a lot of equipment on hand to begin with. However, what I personally use for BBG is:
WHERE DO YOU SHOP FOR WORKOUT CLOTHES?
To be honest, I usually just wear an old t-shirt or tank on top, but when it comes to leggings, my two favorite brands are Athleta and Nike Pro! Athleta is definitely on the pricier side (comparable to Lululemon, which I also recommend), but they also have great sales! For example, one of my favorite styles is now only $35 in some colors.
I linked a bunch of my favorite styles from both brands above.
Have you tried BBG? Are you thinking you want to after reading?
I'm always curious to know others' perceptions of the program. Let me know your thoughts below!