WTF Is BBG And Does It Work?
As I do with almost everything, I updated y’all last week on my life and the subject happened to be my exercise saga. If you somehow missed it, I basically was lamenting about how, after 8 months of Orange Theory, not only had I not seen any earth-shattering results, but I also had hit a wall. From October-March, I was all about that OT hustle. But since April, my motivation to get up and row, run, and kinda sorta lift has been very absent. I was cancelling and straight up no-showing for classes left and right, which was making me feel guilty and wasteful all at once.
So, after complaining about the problem to anyone who would listen, I came to a resolve.
I started Orange Theory back in October because I needed a break from BBG. After doing 3 years of BBG, I was burnt out and wanted to change things up. So I did for 8 months and realized that the amount of cardio most OT workouts are comprised of does nothing for my body composition. I need plyometrics and repetitive body weight exercises to see change. Therefore, after the 8 months had passed, I realized I was ready to get back to BBG because it is really and truly the only fitness program that has worked consistently for me over the years.
When I posted about all this, I got a handful of messages from ladies asking WTF BBG even is, so I figured why not write up a quick blog post about it so we’re all on the same page. You never know if you may end up interested in trying it yourself.
WTF DOES BBG STAND FOR?
Bikini Body Guide. Yes — it’s a horrible, awful, no good, very bad name but its creator, Kayla Itsines, made it years ago and was trying to be literal, y’all. Of course today we know that every body is a bikini body if you put a bikini on it, but we weren’t as woke back then, so let’s cut her some slack.
WTF IS IT?
It’s a 12-week full body HIIT-centric fitness program.
W(HERE)TF DO I GET IT?
It’s an app! However, the app is called SWEAT because, whereas BBG used to be the end-all be-all, Kayla (the creator), has grown her empire and welcomed several more badass female athletes onto the app who offer their own programs, too! So you have more to choose from than just BBG but, if you’re just getting started, I HIGHLY suggest starting with week 1, day 1 of BBG and going from there.
WTF DOES IT COST?
$20 a month!
WTF DO I DO?
So, like I said, it’s a 12-week program. The SWEAT app will literally walk you through every day of every week, so no need to fret about what to do or when. Each week, there are three 28-min resistance workouts (legs, arms&abs, full body) to complete and those workouts are not only provided for you, but come with video demonstrations and a built-in timer so you can hit start and the app does the rest. The resistance workouts are broken up like this:
CIRCUIT 1, 4 EXERCISES, AMRAP (that stands for As Many Reps As Possible): 7min
CIRCUIT 2, 4 EXERCISES, AMRAP: 7min
REPEAT CIRCUIT 1 (AMRAP): 7min
REPEAT CIRCUIT 2 (AMRAP): 7min
So, in 28 minutes, you try and get through each circuit as many times as you can in the allotted 7 minutes. Don’t fret too much about how many times you’re able to — it varies for me based on my strength that day and what the workout is. Sometimes, I can make it through 2 times each, but most times I make it through 1.5 times.
Kayla also encourages you to do complete 1 HIIT cardio session a week (i.e. sprints, jump rope, etc.) and, from what I can remember, 2-3 LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio sessions a week (i.e. walking, running, jogging, elliptical, stairmaster, rower, etc.). You can be rigid about it (ex: Monday: LEGS, Tuesday: LISS, Wednesday: ARMS&ABS, etc.), or you can break it up how you see fit. It’s truly whatever works best for you and your schedule. Some days I’ll do BBG and LISS because I have the time; some weeks, I won’t even start my workouts that week until Wednesday. IT’S ALL ON YOUR TIME.
W(HERE)TF DO I DO IT?
The original BBG program was purposely designed so you could workout either at home or in a gym. Some of her other, newer programs in the SWEAT app (i.e. PWR and Fierce), were built specifically for the gym in mind, but not BBG. She wanted to create an affordable and incredibly convenient program that had little room for excuses, and she succeeded. I switch between doing it at home and my office’s gym, and both work perfectly fine for me. If you’re planning to do it at home, here are the few pieces of gym gear you’ll need for BBG:
Dumbbells (I’d suggest getting a “light” pair and a “heavier” pair)
A jump rope (love this custom one so, so much)
Eventually maybe a bosu ball, but not for a while.
You may also want to consider getting some type of foam mat to make the workouts even more comfortable for yourself. I got these squares from Amazon and love them. So easy to setup and break down.
Sure, there will be some exercises you have to get creative for (i.e. walking lunges or broad jumps inside your house), but it’s all doable. #NOEXCUSES
I can’t speak for everyone because, like I said earlier, everyone’s body responds differently to exercise and diet. All I know is that I completed 7 rounds of it from 2015-2018, and I’ve never been in better shape. I just fell off the wagon HARD when I started dating my ex early last year. My BBG advice is this:
DON’T SKIP THE LISS. I know walking and cardio in general can be very boring to most. But, it is essential to see the full impact of this program, so find something you don’t mind doing for 30-40 minutes and DO IT. I literally walk Cece and count it as my LISS! Try and walk at least twice a week for maximum results!
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHEN YOU GET THE WORKOUTS DONE, JUST DO THEM. Like I said, some weeks, I can’t seem to get around to even starting the workouts until Wednesday. Even if you end up squeezing them in Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it’s ok! Just get them done.
TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES. Kayla stresses this for a reason. The scale is the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met — do not trust her. Instead, actual pictures you take of your body on your phone will show you your progress rather than tell you. Take one before you start BBG, then take one every 4 weeks going forward. Wear the same outfit, take it in exact same place and same time of the day.
DIET IS 80%. Yeah, I know. It fucking sucks, and none of us want to accept it. But it’s true. Kayla used to maybe offer a nutrition guide? But I don’t think she does anymore. Basically, make good choices. You know what a balanced, healthy diet looks and tastes like, so do that. AND ALSO, use my 10% off code for the best smoothie additions ever: BLENDER BOMBS. Seriously, guys — this balls of dense health add so much to a smoothie and legit keep you fuller, longer. You can even eat them plain as snacks or crumble them up onto your oatmeal. Make them a staple in your kitchen.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY. And it’s what sets this program apart from so many others, IMO. As long as you get the 3 resistance workouts done every week, work in 2-3 LISS sessions, and maybe 1 HIIT session if you’re feeling extra powerful, there is literally no way you won’t see results from BBG. Don’t quote me on that, but believe in it.
Here’s to staying motivated and kicking your own ass!