What The Heck Is #BBG?

What The Heck Is #BBG?

I’m always surprised when I get this question, because I think everyone knows what it is. Then I realise that even when you explain what it stands for and who it’s by, it’s still kinda confusing! So here it is, my complete breakdown of #BBG.

Bikini Body Guide founders: Kayla Itsines and Tobias Pearce (Image c/o Instagram)

Bikini Body Guide founders: Kayla Itsines and Tobias Pearce (Image c/o Instagram)

BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide and was started by Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines and her partner Tobias Pearce in 2014. The guide started as an eBook and consists of a 12 week exercise training plan. The workouts are unique in that they are 28 minutes long and are high energy, that’s where the hashtag #deathbykayla comes from! There is also the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Plan (HELP) eBook which you can purchase separately.

Image c/o Kayla Itsines 

Image c/o Kayla Itsines 

At the end of 2015, Kayla and Tobi released the app Sweat with Kayla, which basically combines BBG and H.E.L.P in app form. The app is meant to streamline the whole experience for the user, and I love using it.

A look into the Sweat with Kayla app. Image c/o Notey

A look into the Sweat with Kayla app. Image c/o Notey

I get a butt load of questions about BBG, so I dug deep into my DM’s to find the most frequently asked questions.

What does a typical week of the Sweat with Kayla app involve?

This changes depending on the week you are on. As your strength increases, the exercises will become harder and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will also be added to your workout schedule.

At the start, you can expect to be performing:
- 3 x 28 minute resistance workouts a week (abs + arms, full body and legs)
- 3 x Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS) sessions

Towards the end of the 12 weeks you can expect to be performing:
- 3 x 28 resistance workouts a weeks (abs, arms and legs)                                  
- 3 x LISS sessions                                                                                                    
- 1 x HIIT session  

What is BBG 1.0 and BBG 2.0 and are they in the app?

BBG 1.0 is basically weeks 1 - 12 of the resistance workout plan. BBG 2.0 is week 12 - 24. In the Sweat with Kayla app, you’ll automatically start on week 13 once you finish week 12 (which is the end of BBG 1.0). It won’t feel like you’ve started an entire new program as BBG 2.0 is just an extension of BBG 1.0. But hey, still celebrate it! 12 weeks is a long time!

Can I do the workouts from home?

Yes you can do the workouts from home but you will need to buy equipment. It also depends where you live. When visiting my sister in San Francisco, I received several complaints from the neighbour in the apartment downstairs that I was “shaking his chandelier”. So burpees were definitely out of the question! You can always workout outside but you will most likely need weights and a step. If you have thin walls and sensitive neighbours, you’re going to have to go to the gym.

What equipment will I need?

Image c/o Kayla Itsines 

Image c/o Kayla Itsines 

I borrowed from the Kayla Itsines website for this. Kayla says you will need:

For BBG 1.0

  • Bosu

  • Dumbbells (3-6kg each)

  • Medicine Ball (6-12 kg)

  • Skipping Rope

  • 1-2 Flat Benches (30cm+)

  • Yoga mat

For BBG 2.0

  • Barbell

  • Dumbbells

  • Flat Bench (30cm+)

  • Kettlebell (8-15kg)

  • Medicine Ball (6-12kg)

  • Skipping Rope

  • Yoga mat

Writing as someone who has done both BBG 1.0 and BBG 2.0 I can say it’s possible to perform the guides without a bosu, medicine ball, barbell, kettlebell, flat bench or medicine ball and still get great results. I didn’t have access to a gym for the first 6 months when I started BBG, so all I used was dumbbells, my coffee table, a small fold-up step, yoga mat, a skipping rope and a chair. I also used a foam roller to stretch after my workouts. It hurts like hell, but is the best way to avoid the dreaded DOMs.

Talk me through the 28 minute workouts. What exactly am I getting myself into?!

A whole lotta pain that's what! I can still remember the first time I did my first ever BBG workout. It was so full on! I whined and cried the whole way but I did it! It's exhausting, you'll sweat like crazy, your legs will hurt and 28 minutes never go so slow! Buttttt, it'll be worth it! In terms of what you're actually doing it depends on the area you're targeting that day. For instance, if you're working arms you can expect to do push-ups, tricep dips, burpees, commandos and mountain climbers.

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical ab exercises

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical ab exercises

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical arm exercises

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical arm exercises

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical leg exercises 

An example from the BBG 2.0 eBook of typical leg exercises 

What is HIIT and what do you do for it?

HIIT is high energy exercises that get your heart rate up whilst pushing yourself to the max, followed by a brief recovery. You can try all sorts of different exercises like skipping, burpess or starjumps but I prefer to keep it simple and do sprints. I use the timer on the Sweat with Kayla app and time myself for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. I like to use the treadmill as I can put the same speed in every time and my legs are forced to keep up! You have to push yourself to your very limit in 30 seconds, so sprint as fast as you can. Then, keeping the treadmill on grab the handle bars and swing your legs to the side. Take a 30 second breather and then grab the handle bars and swing back on. Repeat this process for 15 minutes and you'll be either loving me or hating me! 

HIIT timer from Sweat With Kayla

HIIT timer from Sweat With Kayla

What is LISS and what do you do for it?

According to Kayla's website, LISS is "any form of steady state cardio where you maintain the same pace for a set period of time." I like to do yoga or go for a beach walk as my LISS. I find the most beneficial part of LISS is that it keeps me in a routine of fitness. If I was only working out 3-4 times a week, it would be easier to just drop off. 

Climbing a mountain, bush walks, hiking, stand up paddle boarding; LISS is meant to be fun and enjoyable. I always love trying something new, so challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone!  

Climbing a mountain, bush walks, hiking, stand up paddle boarding; LISS is meant to be fun and enjoyable. I always love trying something new, so challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone!  

Should I repeat BBG 1.0 or move onto BBG 2.0?

I repeated BBG 1.0 but the personal preference is up to you. I chose to repeat BBG 1.0 as there were still some moves which I struggled with and I didn't feel ready to progress. It's still just as hard the second time! 

What do I do if I can't do the exercises? 

You can either substitute the exercises or simply take longer performing them. The Sweat With Kayla app has a timer on it which you can pause. 

How much does the Sweat with Kayla app cost?

The Sweat with Kayla app is billed as being the cheaper alternative to the eBooks as it cost $55.42 for 12 weeks as opposed to the eBooks which will set you back $120. However, once you finish the 12 weeks on the Sweat with Kayla app, there is little chance that you're just going to stop. You may repeat from the beginning or you may move onto week 13. I think the eBooks are cheaper in the long run because you have them in hard copy whereas if you use the Sweat with Kayla app for a year and then decide to stop, you'll have nothing of monetary value to take away with you. My advice? If you can afford it, buy the eBooks and use the app to workout. That way if you decide to stop you can simply pick up again with the eBooks. 

Can I cancel the app at anytime?

Yes, you can cancel the app at any time. Lot's of people have had trouble with this as the app does give you a free trial for 7 days and if you fail to unsubscribe after the trial period it will charge you. Click here to learn how to cancel your subscription.