I’d completely forgotten that I’d intended to do a review of BBG 1 (Kayla Itsines‘ Bikini Body Guides) when I finished it. I completed the programme a few weeks ago and had quite a few questions about what I thought about it and whether I would recommend it so, although a little late, here it is!
I was the fittest and strongest that I’d ever been before I started BBG, but I was in a rut. I was lacking inspiration, my gym didn’t always offer classes that I wanted to go to and I wanted some guidance if I wasn’t going to the gym. With a tight schedule and the overwhelming nature of school and AS levels, the idea of having all of my workouts planned out for me was very appealing.
I’d come across BBG on Instagram where posts in the social media health community are often hashtagged with #BBGcommunity or #deathbyKayla. I’d seen some of the results, it’s very popular and having considered it for some time and completed the free trial workouts, I went ahead and bought it.
BBG is both convenient and time-saving; the workouts are 28 minutes long and stretches are included in the pack, which means that it’s easier to fit into a busy schedule. The best part about BBG for me is that the workouts are all planned out for you, but I was also drawn to it by the idea of belonging to a community.
As I mentioned in my post about Kayla’s 2016 London Bootcamp, BBG is more than just a workout plan. By starting BBG you are immediately welcomed into a supportive network of girls and women who encourage each other and are looking to achieve strength and confidence. You will gain both of these strengths, but you’ll also make new friends through BBG.
I wasn’t expecting to see any huge changes in my body because I had a healthy diet which I didn’t change during BBG and I wasn’t working out any more than I had done before. I also wasn’t a beginner, I was already very fit and I was familiar with most of the exercises in BBG. I also wasn’t just doing BBG, I was including a variety of my own workouts and cardio such as running in my routine too.
However, I was hoping to see some smaller changes such as more ab definition and most importantly in terms of my strength. But I must admit that I was pretty bad at the whole transformation photo thing and barely took any (just the odd awkward mirror-selfie along the way), which makes it harder to see any progress in terms of my appearance.
Although in appearance my body did not really change from the BBG and because I wasn’t just doing BBG I can’t say that my results were from BBG alone, I have become a lot stronger. What my “progress” pictures don’t show is that I’m able to do a lot more reps for certain moves (X-hops and mountain climbers with press-ups I will always hate you) without pausing so much. So don’t just judge by appearance!
I started BBG using my own playlist but quickly got bored of listening to the same songs every time and lacking the time to change it all, I downloaded the free version of Spotify where I found several playlists created specifically by BBG girls for other BBG girls. I like the playlist #BBGGIRLS created by @Corporatesneakers if you’re looking for one!
I also made BBG more challenging by ordering some 2kg ankle weights from Amazon (by Pineapple FYI), and wore them for almost every workout, but found they worked best during the ab workouts – you’d be surprised at the difference they make!
A disadvantage of BBG is that I started to find it quite repetitive and boring – this is inevitable when you’re doing 3 workouts a week all with the same format and often similar moves. I also realised that a few of the workouts from different weeks were exactly the same, which may have been why I got a bit bored with it. However, I like the 7-minute circuit format – for those of you who don’t know the structure of BBG, there are 2 circuits, each 7 minutes long and you repeat each circuit twice so the workouts are 28 minutes each. The workouts often involve jumping movements, which are pretty tough-going on the joints, and I ended up adapting some of the workouts in order to put less stress on my joints.
I did all of BBG at home on days when I was busier and couldn’t make it to the gym. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do all of it because I didn’t have the equipment needed for some of the moves, and this was one of the reasons why I was hesitant about buying the guide; I know that some of you were saying this too. However this made me very resourceful and I ended up using alternatives as well as adapting some moves.
The equipment I used throughout the programme included chairs, a coffee table, a sofa, a stool, my workout mat, my 2kg ankle weights and I had kettlebells already so used these instead of dumbbells…I think that was everything! I made a few adjustments too, for example I didn’t have a bosu ball so I did full burpees instead of bosu ball burpees.
I like BBG and the message that it gets across but in all honesty I wouldn’t say that it is anything incredible – there are plenty of workout programmes or even any self-designed workouts which would give you similar results when combined with a healthy lifestyle. Like any sensible combination of a healthy diet and workout routine, it will get you results, and during school time it’s harder to get to the gym as often, so it’s easier to have workouts that you can complete at home.
I would recommend BBG to anyone who is new to fitness, pressed for time or is simply looking for a well-structured workout guide. If you have any thoughts or questions about BBG, then please comment below!
Thanks for reading!