Does the BBG workout actually work?
If you follow along on Instagram, you know I did the super popular workout program, BBG by Kayla Itsines . I’ve had a lot of you ask about it so I wanted to share my full BBG Workout review to help you know if it’s right for you!
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After I had Penelope the weight didn’t come of nearly as quick as it did with Roy. I also still looked pregnant for months since my stomach wouldn’t flatten out. Darn, kids! 😉
I knew I wanted to jump on some sort of workout plan (like I did after having Roy– find that review here) and my best bet is if I have a schedule to follow. If I have a plan, I’m the type of person who doesn’t skip a day!
I saw a few people I follow on Instagram share about the BBG workout and decided to jump on board. I got my sister to join me too. We could all use an accountability partner for things like this! There were plenty of days I didn’t want to do the workout but then I’d get a text from her showing her sweaty face telling me she just finished. That was motivation enough for me!
What is BBG?
BBG stands for Bikini Body Workout. It is a 12 week workout plan created by Kayla Itsines. It focuses mostly on strength with 1 leg day, 1 arm/core day and 1 full body workout each week.
You can either buy the full program and get it in a PDF document or get it through the Sweat app.
There are more perks by using the app, though. There’s up to 75 weeks of BBG workouts as well as meal plans, shopping lists, warm up and cool down ideas and more. I’ve never used it but I’ve heard good things about it!
I figured I could just do the program over and over again for the price of one program rather than paying a monthly fee for the workouts. I also like to do my Peloton treadmill and strength workouts so I knew I wouldn’t only do BBG for the foreseeable future.
How much does BBG cost?
It depends on if you use the app or if buy the e-book.
The Bikini Body Workouts Guide ebook (which is what I got) is $47.32.
You can get the Workout Guide + the Eating plan for $81.14 or just the eating plan for $47.32.
If you go through the app it’s $19.99 per month. If you sign up for the whole year on the app it $119.94.
Each workout is 2 sets of 4 different exercises. You do each set for 7 minutes and repeat it twice.
So depending on how much you rest, you’ll workout for around 28 minutes. My sister was super good about stretching at the end (which I wasn’t!) and neither one of us warmed up that much.
(We started this in the middle of winter so doing a quick 10 minute walk outside was not super ideal.) I also have limited time now with getting my workouts in before the kids get up so I just jump right in. You really should do a little bit of a warmup though so you don’t hurt yourself!!
My BBG Workout Review
The program begins with 4 full weeks of beginner workouts. This is optional. If you’re already in shape you don’t need to do it but if you’re just getting back into working out (or just had a baby, like me!) it’s a good idea to start with the beginner weeks.
This is where I started and Oh.My.Word. I knew I was weak from having 2 kids back to back but man, I was so out of shape!
I was actually really grateful for those beginner weeks before the “actual” work started. They were so hard that both my sister and I were freaked out for when the real work started ha!
That’s probably the biggest “con” of her program. I had to modify exercises pretty much every day throughout her entire program. As someone who was super out of shape when I started, it made it really hard to do what she asked.
She does give ways to modify it but don’t feel bad if there are some days you modify every single exercise! Trust me when I say you’re not alone!
What equipment is needed? You don’t need a ton of equipment which is a big perk of this program. You do need a jump rope, bench, light weights and a medicine ball.
- Jump Rope – I’m a believer that everyone should have a jump rope on hand! Amazon carries jump ropes or Target jump ropes are great too!
- Bench – We actually don’t have a workout bench at home but I plan on picking one up for our new home! I think something simple like this bench from Amazon is a great option or you could even use a step platform!
- Light Weights – We have a few different brands of weights and I love them. Target has a ton of different options (like these All in Motion ones or the Tone it Up style) or I love this simple rack of dumbbells from Amazon or you can also get different pairs of weights!!
- Medicine Ball – We have one medium weight med ball and I use it all the time. These Amazon med balls come in a variety of sizes and Target also carries medicine ball too!
Other less critical things that I used was a yoga mat, water bottle and foam roller.
- Yoga Mat – I like yoga mats for harder surfaces and to give myself some extra cushion on my knees and butt! Lululemon has some gorgeous yoga mats, Amazon has some neat mats with a carrying strap and Target also has some great yoga mat options!
- Water Bottle – I love the Hyro Flask option for easy cleaning and the Contigo style to prevent spills!
- Foam Roller – I don’t use my foam roller all that often but when I need it I’m so glad I own it! Amazon has some very inexpensive foam roller options and Lululemon has a fun double roller option!
Overall, I saw INCREDIBLE results.
I felt stronger, I got leaner and I had more energy. Initially I just did the BBG workout (so I worked out 3 days a week) but then I added in running 1-3 days a week on our treadmill.
This workout is not for the faint of heart.
It is a LOT of work and many of the exercises are incredibly difficult – even after we’d been doing them for weeks! BUT. If you put the work in and give it a good effort you will see results.
I was super strict about taking the photos so I could see results. You definitely should take photos because the scale doesn’t always tell the truth! 🙂
I had lost most of my muscle so when I was adding it back but losing fat the scale didn’t bulge that much since muscle weighs more than fat. Take pics! More on that below.
So…here are my before and after’s. I cut off my head in these photos because let’s be real, nobody needs to see my RBF that is shot first thing in the morning with crazy bedhead. 😉
Pros + Cons
As mentioned above there’s a variety of pros and cons! I always like to see these listed out before committing to a program!
- You can do it at home.
- It’s relatively inexpensive.
- Very effective!
- Quick workouts to fit in at any point – even during nap time!
- Fairly repetitive program so it’s easy to get bored.
- Very high impact (which you can modify if necessary)
- Some equipment is needed.
What about food?
I didn’t monitor my food a ton when I started but about halfway through I got more serious about not devouring ALL the sweets and carbs and it definitely made a difference too.
I think there is a meal plan that you can buy but I just tried to switch my lunches to things like avocado toast and egg, scrambled egg scramble with veggies, soup, or sometimes a protein shake.
Dinner is pretty much always chicken (made in our sous vide – similar to grilled, I guess) and veggies (we did a ton of brussels sprouts, carrots, beans, asparagus, spinach).
Or if you’re looking for a healthy snack or breakfast? This Green Smoothie is on constant rotation in my house! I make a big batch Sunday night and have it readily available all week long!
Overall, I think it’s a great program. It’s relatively short and simple, hard but easy to modify to make it manageable and really easy to follow.
How can you make BBG work for you?
1. Find a buddy.
Seriously! On days I didn’t want to work out I would get a text from my sister showing her sweaty face and telling me she just finished her workout. It’s great motivation!
Grab your roommate or spouse or best friend. Even having someone who knows you’re doing it and can encourage you is great too!
2. Take photos!
Don’t only rely on the scale to tell you you’ve lost weight. Take the photos! It can be annoying to take photos but I’m so glad I did! Even quick selfies in the mirror helps you see actual change happening in your body.
(Remember – muscle weight more than fat so you’ll likely be losing fat but gaining muscle so the scale won’t move as much in the beginning.)
And just remember, nobody needs to see them! I honestly never intended showing my before and after photos to the world but seeing the process and what hard work can do can be super motivating.
3. Don’t be afraid to modify the exercises!
The workouts are HARD! Modify the exercises if you can’t do them with the correct form each time.
Do push ups on your knees (or on the wall), step out instead of jump or take breaks in between harder exercises. Good form is so important when you’re working out so you don’t hurt yourself!
If you get injured than you’ll have to stop. Don’t feel bad if you need to modify every single workout for weeks – even on the last week I was modifying some of them! Do what you can.
4. Push yourself.
I know, I know, this is pretty much the opposite of number 3 but this one is important, especially if you’re doing this by yourself.
There were days that I was a total slacker and didn’t do weights that were heavy enough or took one too many water breaks. It’s fine to rest when you need to and let your body take a break but if you do that for every workout you won’t see the results you want.
To get results you’re going to need to work hard. It’s only 30 minutes of your day – you got this!
And always remember, you GET to do this – you don’t HAVE to! I can remember during pregnancy (especially the last trimester) when I really wanted to do harder workouts or have more energy. Remembering those moments makes me appreciate the times when I am physically able to work out!
5. Watch what you eat.
I live by the motto: “abs are made in the kitchen”.
Don’t waste all your hard work on a giant bowl of ice cream every night (but also don’t deprive yourself). I’ve figured out a handful of frozen chocolate chips when I need something sweet does wonders for my sweet tooth and prevents me from devouring an entire carton of ice cream that night.
Try to eat more vegetables whether you drink them like in a green smoothie or eat them raw, steamed, roasted or anything! Figure out ways you like to eat them and start there. I love roasted veggies so I do a ton of those.
Another key things is watch your portions. Just because you’re eating grilled chicken doesn’t mean you should eat 3 chicken breasts in one sitting! Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
And lastly, listen to your body! If you’re craving something (milk or yogurt or red meat for example) think about when the last time you had something like that! Often times I crave red meat when my iron is low or I crave a glass of milk when I haven’t had much calcium. Give your body what it needs!
I really hope my official BBG Workout review helped you know if it’s right for you! Have you tried it? What’s your favorite workout? Share below!
Or check out my how to wear leggings post for tons of ways to wear your trusty leggings out in public as well as a round up of some of my favorite leggings – many of which I work out in!
Thanks for reading!