I’m notorious for coming up with excuses for why I’m not working out. I am a serial program starter, and can never seem to find something I like. I usually buy a new outfit for a burst of motivation, but I heard about the BBG (Bikini Body Guide) program by Kayla Itsines and the results seemed unbelievable. I put off buying her book for ages, knowing that I probably wouldn’t take a book to the gym, but when the app came out it was a game changer. Over the years I did so much research on the program, read the good and the bad and usually ended up psyching myself out before purchasing it. Finally, unhappy with my lack of fitness knowledge therefore unable workout (well) on my own, I downloaded the app. I am now 8 weeks in, I am ready to share my full honest thoughts on Kayla Itsines BBG program and the Sweat App.
What is Kayla Itsines BBG Program /the Sweat App?
BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide. It’s a workout program created by Australian trainer, Kayla Itsines. Originally a book/pdf version, now turned into an app on your phone with several different programs. The recommended schedule consists of 3 Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio exercises, and 3 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts per week. The program is 12 weeks long and there is a 4 week beginner program to get you acquainted with the program style first.
My thoughts on Kayla Itsines BBG Program:
I have completed 4 weeks of BBG Beginner and 4 weeks of BBG 1.0, and overall I really like the program, but I have made some modifications to make it work best for me.
The HIIT workouts consist of Arms & Abs, Legs, and Full Body. There are also three LISS workouts a week for which I typically run for one or two of the days and then walk the other with my dogs. I’ve determined that it is in my best interest to do all 3 LISS exercises each week because 1) I actually enjoy running and 2) it keeps my metabolism and stamina up which helps me complete the HIIT exercises. I do not do all 3 HIIT workouts each week, partially by design and partially because I am still not used to working out 6 days/week. I always do the Arms & Abs workout, but I then choose between the Full body and Legs workouts. My body is unbalanced from (by my best guess) marathon training, so my legs and lower body are strong and muscular, but my arms haven’t caught up since I quit tumbling in middle school (although I’m not sure they could have been considered strong then, either).
I noticed that I was gaining muscle quickly since I didn’t have a lot of fat to lose, but I wasn’t super interested in bulking up my legs more. So I’m sticking with one lower body HIIT and all of the cardio in my program. Point of the story: If you’re already muscular, you may gain more muscle.
What I like about Kayla Itsines BBG Program:
The Calendar: There is a built in calendar where you can move workouts around, and fit the schedule to your needs. You can also re-start weeks if you skip too many workouts, and there is a built in meal plan if you choose to use it. (Note: I have not changed my diet since starting this program.)
Results: True to my expectations, I did see results rather quickly! My main goal with this program was to strengthen my arms and define my abs, and both happened. I still have some room to go before I have a 6 pack, but I am so much more confident when I wear crop tops or a bikini now! As far as weight goes, I’m pretty sure my weight is about the same as when I started- I don’t keep track, but I have heard if you’re looking to loose weight, the meal plan helps a lot.
Time: Each HIIT workout is 28 minutes (add in 5 minutes for warm up and 3 minutes for breaks in between circuits and you’re still under 40 minutes in the gym). Cardio can be as long or as short as you want it to be, it’s recommended you do your LISS cardio for at least 30 minutes.
I Feel Stronger: For me working out is about strength. I want to have the strength to put my luggage in an overhead compartment on a plane, I want to have the stamina to run from a potential attacker, I want to be able to carry my dogs out of an apartment fire (we’ve had a few middle of the night alarms go off and the thought has definitely gone through my head). The strength I’m gaining with this program is giving me confidence. After each workout I complete I am sore and dripping with sweat, and to me that’s a strong indication that I got a good workout in.
Who the Kayla Itsines BBG program in the Sweat app is good for:
- You who want a structured program.
- You want to gain muscle.
- You want quick, visible results.
- You don’t want a long daily workout.
- You want to lose weight.
- You can commit to exercising at least 30 mins/day.
Here are my progress photos (with NO flexing or sucking in) before I started, 4/6 weeks in, and 8 weeks in.
Now with flexing, because guys… I HAVE ABS!
I have some friends also doing the Kayla Itsines BBG program, you can follow their progress too: