Wondering if you should start the BBG Program with the 4 Week Beginner training program, or go straight to the 12 week challenge? Well here is my story and review to help you decide!
A Little About How I Got Here:
If you have spent anytime online recently looking for fitness inspiration, you have probably heard of Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide Program- commonly referred to as “BBG”.
I had first heard about this program about 2 years ago while scrolling on Instagram one evening. While looking for some fitness motivation, I stumbled upon a video of Kayla herself doing some intense looking body weight exercises in a home setting. I immediately thought something along the lines of “Holy cow that looks SO hard but goodness this girl is in amazing shape!” and kept on scrolling. Admittedly, while I was wanting to get in better shape, I wasn’t about to work that hard to do so…
Fast forward to a few months ago. I was 4 months postpartum and realized the 6 week grace period of not working out post-baby had expired 14 weeks prior…. Plus, I didn’t feel good. I was unhappy with how I looked, but more importantly I was unhappy with how I felt.
I had always pictured myself as being one of those fit, cute moms, but was doing zilch to fit that picture.
What’s more, I honestly didn’t have too much baby weight to lose. I had gained 30 pounds in my pregnancy, but I lost almost 15 pounds during my first trimester. (I had basically been nauseous for 3 months and while that was horrible, I pretty much ate nothing but pastas in cream sauces and my weight in cheesecake, and lost weight. Wish that was real life postpartum!)
That being said, I wasn’t in the shape I wanted to be in when I got pregnant. I wanted to be 20 pounds lighter than my pre pregnancy weight.
And not just weigh less, but actually be fit.
I wanted to be in the shape I wished I had been when I had gotten pregnant. If I was going to put the work in to loose 15+ lbs, then why not try and make a real change and get my body into the shape I’ve wanted to be in for years now?
I have tried (and even liked) diets in the past and some light workout routines, but I wanted to make a real lifestyle change this time.
I wanted to be in the shape I had pictured, and not find myself in the cycle of losing weight only to gain it back a short time later.
Why I Chose BBG:
From the research I did when choosing a workout program, the lifestyle change aspect is something that women kept mentioning in their reviews of BBG, and is what really resonated with me. As I said, I wasn’t looking for a quick fix this time.
The results other women shared from using this workout program were very impressive as well. Defined abs? Toned arms? Amazing legs? Check, check, check and then some! Many women were also mothers that had completed the program post baby!
In addition, I was looking for something I could do at home since it would be way too difficult getting to the gym or a class with my little baby in tow. The BBG program was perfect for that since I could do the exercises right in my living room, with little to no equipment.
Even better? The workouts were only a half hour! I felt like I could make this work, even with a small baby.
Bikini Body Guide (BBG)- What is it?
So here is the lowdown… The BBG program is a 12 week program with an optional 4 week beginner training course, comprised of 2 different kinds of workouts: Resistance workouts and Cardio.
Each workout type is to be done 3 times a week for a total of 6 workout sessions.
The resistance workouts are focused on either Legs, Arms & Abs, or Total Body. Each workout is only 28 minutes long, and is comprised of 2 circuits, each 7 minutes long, repeated twice. Each circuit has 4 exercises which you run through as many times as possible before the 7 minutes are up. At the end there are a few cool down stretches to complete as well.
Doesn’t sound too bad right?
Except, IT’S SO HARD.
The moves really get your heart rate up and your muscles working. (And really, you want to work right? That’s how you’ll get results! If I could just sit on my couch and get fit I totally would but so far that method hasn’t been working out for me…) But still, SO HARD.
They never really get much easier either because as you get stronger, you are able to complete more rounds of each circuit. I have definitely been able to execute moves better though as the weeks have gone one, which feels great!
I also modified some moves in the beginning that I couldn’t execute. And if you are in the same boat, don’t feel bad! As long as you are trying your best then that is what matters. I literally fell on my face the first time I attempted a Commando… I modified it to be on my knees and tried to push through. Now only a few weeks later, I can do 12 on a side, non modified! If you had told me that at the beginning I definitely would not have believed it!
The cardio days incorporate LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) exercise like walking, running or swimming. I go on walks with my dog and baby. It’s time that all three of us really enjoy 🙂 In the future I might change our walks out for running, but for now, it works really well for me and still fulfills the LISS requirement. You could also choose to do a HIIT workout for your cardio, though it’s recommended that you start with LISS.
You can either follow the workouts through printed pages, or through the Sweat App.
I use the sweat app and I love it! A mini Kayla demonstrates each move, and it times your circuits, rests and cool downs for you.
Here are some screenshots of the App:
As I mentioned earlier, I was very out of shape when I started the program so I knew I needed to do the beginner 4 weeks. And I am SO glad I did them instead of just jumping in! If I hadn’t there is NO WAY I would have been able to make it through even 1 resistance workout.
I would have probably just quit and felt even more demoralized… again.
I love the fact that I can do the workouts right in my living room. My baby hangs out next to me on her mat and I am good to go! (Sometimes she helps me out when she is tired of being on her own… She happens to be just perfect for weighted squats and lunges! And she giggles when lifted in the air so it’s pretty much the best thing ever.)
One of the main reasons I’ve been able to stick with this program is due to the short duration of the workouts. 28 minutes? I can figure out how to work that into most of our days.
Here are my 4 week results:
(Oh my goodness are these hard to post!)
I haven’t lost a lot of weight yet- only about 5 pounds in a month. But I have lost at least 2 inches off of my waist and have definitely gained muscle. And while I eat fairly healthy-ish on a regular basis, I have not been dieting by any means and have still seen results. (I have a glass of wine pretty much on a nightly basis. Anything that I see results with and can still have wine? Yes please!)
And while I still have quite a ways to go to meet my goals, I already feel so much stronger, fitter and healthier.
Are the Beginner Weeks For You?:
If you already workout regularly and want to try the BBG program, you probably don’t need to do the 4 Week Beginner Program, but I still recommend it for at least a week to get comfortable with the format and the routine. If you like it? Great! You can start the 12 week program the following week no problem, and be really prepared since you know what to expect.
If you are anywhere closer to my end of the fitness spectrum, definitely do the beginner 4 weeks! I am on Week 4 of the 12 week program now and I can honestly say I couldn’t have gotten through a single circuit without doing the beginner training first. (And I mean, I thought the beginner program was hard so… I definitely needed to do it!) You can even repeat the beginner program (as many times as you like really) before starting the 12 week challenge.
Good luck Mama, You Can Do It Too!
I finally realized I needed to stop making excuses for why that fit, cute Mama couldn’t be me, invest time into myself, and make the change I wanted happen.
I am truly proud of my progress so far, but am still working every day to get to where I want to be.
And remember that “lifestyle change” I was talking about earlier? It’s slowly happening. I wouldn’t say I quite enjoy working out yet, but I do enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get at the end of each workout, and my improved physical health overall. It’s enough to have kept me working out consistently for two months now, and keep me on track to reach my fitness goals!
I do think I am going to shop around for some other at home workouts. I’m not quite sure what that is yet, but I don’t think this will be a program I continue long term. This Mama is definitely still going to continue on her wellness journey! Just maybe with something else long term. I will share another post with you about my progress in a few weeks after I have completed the 12 week Challenge. Feel free to ask any questions you have about the program and I will include them in my follow up post!