If you look up Kayla Itsines or #BBG on Instagram, you will see that she has a HUGE following of BBG (Bikini Body Guide) girls. For the longest time, I looked at these BBG girl accounts on Instagram, seeing strong and happy young (and older!) women transforming their lives and their bodies. I wanted to be one of those girls because I was unhappy and stopped taking good care of myself, and I wanted to change that. When a friend offered to let me borrow her BBG guides, I decided to try them. These guides are available in PDF format, and come in a 1.0 and 2.0 version. There is also an app called Sweat with Kayla, where the 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 guides are available. Each guide has 12 weeks worth of workouts, each week consisting of 3 days of resistance training, 2 days of LISS (low intensity steady state exercise), and 1 day of HIIT (high intensity interval training). The resistance workouts, which are the workouts Kayla designs for you to do in her guides, consist of 2 circuits with 4 moves each that are to be completed within 7 minutes, both circuits repeated twice. So that’s 28 minutes of body weight/dumbbell exercises that you can do at home. Kayla gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with LISS: walking, running, biking, swimming, etc. for 35-40 min. HIIT is 10-15 minutes of alternating between sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 30 seconds.
So, now that you have a little background info on the guides, I will share my experience with you 🙂
I tried these guides once… and I didn’t follow through to the end of the 12 weeks. I tried them AGAIN, and didn’t follow through to the end of the program. Of course, I had to try them for a third time, and I FINALLY made it through the entire 12 week guide! Why did it take me 3 times? Because I approached it with the wrong mindset. I was looking at this program as a way for me to lose weight and to look better because I hated myself. I did not see it as a way to become healthier, stronger, and as a way to love myself better. Once I changed my mindset to becoming healthier and happier, I was able to complete the 1.0 guide, and I absolutely love the program!
Let me tell you: these workouts are TOUGH. They will test you both physically and mentally, which is why you should start this program with the correct mindset. Several times, I hated doing the workouts because they were so difficult, especially during weeks 9-12 of the 1.0 guide. However, whenever my workout timer was complete, I always lay on my floor, drenched in sweat and proud of myself for completing such a kick-butt workout. At times when I became discouraged, I looked at BBG Instagram accounts (@plankingforpizza @training4tacos @sophiegetfit_bbg @positively.megan are my favorites!) and refueled my motivation. The online community that Kayla Itsines and the BBG girls have created is a positive place, and I love looking for encouragement, tips, and advice from other real people trying to become healthier and stronger.
Over the past 12 weeks, I lost a few things and gained several:
What I lost
- 12 lbs
- 3-4% body fat
- Some self-doubt
What I gained
- Confidence and self-love
- The ability to prioritize exercise and healthful eating
- Gratefulness for my body
- Stronger muscles that are now able to do burpees, jumping lunges, and big-girl pushups with relative ease
- A love for hard exercise
- The ability to reach my max heart rate during a workout
- A faster 1-mile running time
If you are willing and ready to put in the work, this program is great, especially if you do not have a gym membership. You WILL change physically and mentally. I no longer care about the cellulite on my legs, but I love them for how strong they are when I do squats and tuck jumps. I no longer focus on the jiggle I still have on my stomach, but how I can hold a plank for longer than a minute, which I haven’t been able to do in years. I haven’t been this thankful for and excited about my own body and strength in such a long time, and it is so liberating to see myself start becoming more comfortable with the body God has given me. I may not have treated it well the past few years, but I am working to take care of it now, and for that I am grateful.
I can’t wait to do BBG 1.0 for another round! Maybe in another 12 weeks, I will be brave enough to share a transformation picture 😉