Toward the end of January, my roommate Carlyn and I decided to take on the BBG challenge. BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide and was created by Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines. It is a 12 week program that consists of three, 28-minute resistance workouts per week and low-intensity or high-intensity cardio the rest of the week. In this post, I'll be giving you the background of what BBG is as well as some tips I found that helped me along the way!
shorts / top / sports bra (similar) / shoes (similar - best tennis shoes ever!!)
Carlyn and I chose to do BBG to improve our spring break bodies. We originally said we would only do it until spring break (which would have been 8 weeks). I ended up deciding to keep going and completed all 12 weeks of BBG right at the end of the semester!! If you just explore the hashtag #bbg or #bbgmoms on Instagram you will be amazed at some of the transformations! This is why I wanted to do it in the first place and what kept me going when it got tough. These people are straight up real and so inspiring! I have also continued on and am in the middle of BBG 2.0 with my mom (go mom)!
The program comes in a pdf booklet that you can buy online or you can Google it and get it for free. Click here to take you to the website to buy it. BBG also has a nutrition plan that can accompany it. You can buy the nutrition plan separately here and buy it in a bundle with the exercise program here. I did not to do the nutrition plan or change my eating habits at all, mostly because I wasn't unhappy with the way my body looked before starting BBG and because I love dessert and fried chicken and butter.
On to the workouts! Below, I have posted one of her FREE pdfs as an example! Each resistance workout has 2 circuits. You do the first circuit (so 15 jump squats, 24 walking lunges, 50 sumo squats, 24 weighted step ups) as many times all the way through as you can in 7 minutes. If you finish before 7 minutes is up, start again! If you don't make it all the way through in that time, that's ok! It's awesome to even just get up and attempt this workout. After the first 7-minute circuit, rest for 30 seconds. I recommend ONLY 30 seconds. This way your heart rate doesn't get too low and you don't get in a "resting" mindset. Then do circuit 2 the same way. After your next 30-second rest, repeat circuit 1 again the same way as before and circuit 2 again the same as before. BBG has it organized to where you do these resistance workouts on M/W/F, but if you are like me, you can change it to whatever combination of days best fits your schedule!
Here is what my week of BBG would usually look like:
Monday - Resistance Workout
Tuesday - LISS
Wednesday - Resistance Workout
Thursday - Resistance Workout
Friday - Rest
Saturday - LISS/HIIT
Sunday - LISS/HIIT
LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio. Basically, you do whatever type of cardio is low-intensity for you and stay at the same pace for the entire 35-45 minutes. So, if jogging is low-intensity for you (lol it isn't for me), then you can jog! If walking is low-intensity for you, then set your Netflix up on the treadmill and go for it! If you hate all of the above, do something else like riding a bike, elliptical, dance class, etc.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT days do not start until week 9, so do not get intimidated! This is 30 seconds of absolute maximum effort and 30 seconds of absolute rest. You do this cycle for 10-15 minutes. For me, this was sprinting at like a 9 or 10 on the treadmill then putting my legs on the sides for 30 seconds. Some other ideas are jumping rope as hard/fast as you can or rowing machine at max. This is more about speed than resistance!
water bottle / jump rope / weights / yoga mat
The resistance workouts do not require a lot of equipment at all. It is doable without a gym membership. If you do not have a gym, I recommend buying 10 and 15 pound weights and a jump rope. Almost every workout also requires a bench, so make sure you are ok with stepping up onto your coffee table or a chair because that can serve as your "bench".
Here are some things I wish I had done differently:
1. TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES! I really wish I did!! I just kept forgetting! Carlyn took progress pictures, and let me tell you, hers are amazing! BBG really toned her body in all the best ways and she looks so healthy!
2. Do NOT skip a week! I skipped spring break and it was really hard getting back into it.
3. DO the four weeks of pre-training! This really helps you nail your form with the exercises. Form matters so much! It prevents you from straining muscles or damaging your joints.
4. DO stretch thoroughly after EVERY workout! After you workout, your muscles are warm and movable. You want to stretch them to get long and lean muscles instead of bulky muscles! (unless you want bulky muscles lol)
Here's how I feel: stronger! Mentally and physically. Seriously, I think one of the biggest effects BBG has had on me is how mentally strong I am. The workouts take serious focus. Getting through each week of workouts takes dedication and discipline. I attempted BBG one time before this round and I only made it through one week! Now, I think I could take on any challenge I set my mind to! Of course, I feel stronger physically and see evidence of that. I can do a lot of (real!!) pushups now, more jump lunges, and not die during sit ups!
That's my take on BBG! If you have any specific questions feel free to contact me using the form below!