My Favorite Workout Program

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

kayla-istines-bbg-program

If you follow anything fitness related on social media, chances are you've heard of Kayla Itsines and her 12-week BBG (Bikini Body Guide) workout program. I stumbled across it a few years ago and downloaded the free 7-day trial, but ended up canceling before the trial was even over. I think I've mentioned before how much I abhorred anything that required plyometrics, jumping, or getting my heart rate up in general. The number of burpees and jump squats terrified me just a little.

Fast-forward through six months of Tone It Up workouts and I decided to give it another go. As of today, I've completed 17 weeks of BBG and I'm completely hooked on the program. I'm so glad that I did Tone It Up (or any exercise, for that matter) before starting BBG.

(Side-note: There are actually four beginner training weeks built into the program that you can do first. I didn't realize this until after I started, so don't feel like you have to be a fitness guru to do this program. I'm certainly not!)

Not being a complete exercise newbie when I started helped, though, although I wouldn't say it made it any easier. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I could do burpees and jump squats. I still don't love them, but I've seen what they can do and I know I'm capable.

I've seen more results from the BBG workouts than anything I've ever tried before. I'm still surprised every time I catch sight of a muscle on my body because I'm just not used to seeing muscles! Here are a few reasons why I really love this program:

You can do it anywhere. I use the Sweat with Kayla app, but there are also PDF versions of the program available. Most of the BBG exercises are equipment-free so you can easily do every workout at home, in the park, on the beach, or at the gym. There are no restraints! Some exercises require equipment, but they're usually items that are easy to obtain like a bench, dumbbells, or a medicine ball. I use my back steps in place of a bench and a kettle bell in place of a medicine ball. If you didn't have anything, though, you could still easily modify the exercises to be completely equipment-free. It's not complicated!

The basis is simple: a combination of cardio and resistance. This doesn't change throughout the program. Every week includes 3 resistance workouts and 3-4 LISS and HIIT workouts. I typically do my resistance workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then fit cardio in on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend.

Here's an example of what a typical week looks like for me:
Monday: Legs and LISS (usually a 40min walk)
Tuesday: HIIT (sprints) and LISS
Wednesday: Arms & Abs and LISS
Thursday: LISS
Friday: Full Body
Saturday: Recovery (foam rolling & stretching)
Sunday: Rest day

It's well rounded. Cool down stretches are included after every workout, so you know exactly what to stretch. There's also a Recovery and Rest day built into the schedule so you can give your muscles time to recuperate. My only complaint is that there aren't warm-ups included. I am horrible at warming up before working out (read: I rarely do it) even though I know I should. I feel like having it built into the app would hold me more accountable. The app also comes with healthy recipes and meal plans for each week, so it makes focusing on every aspect of your health really easy.

It's structured. Knowing exactly what I'm going to be doing every week helps me immensely. The exercises will switch up every now and then, but it's pretty much always the same structure of workouts. As a list-lover, it helps me so much to see what the plan is for the week and then to see each workout get checked off as I go. Plus, it gives you a little trophy after you complete each week and, as random as it may be, I really want to get those trophies!

It works. It should be no surprise that consistent, daily workouts really do make a difference, but somehow it's still mind-boggling to me that I can do bodyweight exercises in my own living room and see a serious difference in my body. No gym memberships, trainers, or heavy weights involved. This simple reason is why I'm sticking with the program.

After completing my first round in January, I restarted back at Week 1. You have the option of continuing on to Week 13 and doing another 12-weeks, but I really wanted to do the first 12 weeks again to see if I noticed any change. Turns out, it's not any easier but I'm still seeing improvement every day. I never thought I would be a workout junkie, but this program has literally turned me into one. Even on the days when I don't want to workout, I still do because I know I'll feel better just from moving. Those after workout endorphins are no joke!

Besides a few TIU workouts every now and then, I rarely do anything else besides BBG. It works all by itself, but can easily be incorporated into any other workout routine if you wanted. This isn't a sponsored post by any means, just sharing something I truly love! If you have more questions about the program, leave them below and I'll try my best to answer. You can also learn more on Kayla Itsine's website.

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