Finding the time to workout when you’re a mom is really stinkin’ hard. After hearing about the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) Workout and the wonders it’s worked on so many people, I decided to do some more research to figure out exactly what this miracle program was.
After learning it only takes 28 minutes to do (score!), I decided to give BBG a try for at least 12 weeks. Here’s an honest review of my experience and all the details on how it works.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using one of my links.
What Exactly is the BBG Workout?
The BBG program by Kayla Itsines is a 12-week program consisting of 28-minute resistance workouts, done three times a week. There are several other workouts required for the program, and a meal plan that you can follow as well. Here’s the breakdown:
1. Resistance Training
Resistance training makes up the core of BBG. The resistance workout is a 28-minute workout, done three times a week. It consists of two circuits with four exercises each. You do the exercises in the circuit as many times as you can in 7 minutes. So in the end, the full workout looks like this:
If you are doing the warm-up and cool down, you can see that the full workout takes about 40-45 minutes.
For the first 8 weeks, each resistance workout is broken down into one day of Arms & Abs, one day of Legs, and one day of Full Body. For weeks 9-12, this changes to one day of Arms, one day of Abs, and one day of Legs.
2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) Cardio
Each week, you also do three instances of either HIIT or LISS, on your own. (This increases to 4x a week as you progress through the program.) Some examples of LISS include walking, biking, and running.
HIIT is a high intensity workout done in short intervals. It’s a little less clear what counts as HIIT, but they talk about it a bit more here; one example given is sprinting on the treadmill.
Recovery is supposed to be done twice a week, and can be either stretching or a complete rest day. Both are really helpful, and Kayla is a big advocate of the rest day, though once you get further in the program and there are more workouts suggested, it’s really hard to squeeze in a day of only rest.
Why I Wanted to Try BBG
There’s a million workout programs out there, but BBG was really attractive for a few reasons.
1. Short Workouts
28-minutes for a full workout and I don’t have to go to the gym to do it? Yes, please! It does take longer if you do the warm-up and the cool down — approximately 40 minutes total. Still, you can try to squeeze it in in the morning before the kids wake up, during nap time, or in the evening after bedtime. If I was in a rush, I would also shorten the cool down stretches to 15 seconds per stretch instead of 30 seconds.
2. No Gym Equipment/Membership Necessary
There are very few things you need in order to complete the workouts. And, if you don’t have the proper equipment, it’s easy to substitute items (e.g. substitute a chair for a bench).
3. Crazy Results Online
If you check out the BBG page on instagram, there are a ton of before and after photos, and these people look amaaazing. Seeing those possible results (Kayla Itsines shares a lot on her profile) can definitely get you motivated.
4. Structured and Easy to Follow
I operate really well when there are goals to meet and a schedule to follow. The BBG workout is available in either a pdf e-book, or through the Sweat app. I opted for the app, and it was a huge motivator. It shows you what you’ve completed for the week, what’s left to do, gives a sample schedule to follow, and talks you through the exercises. There is also the option to try out the other workouts that are part of the Sweat family, some of which are done by other trainers. A few examples are BBG Stronger (gym equipment necessary), PWR (gym equipment necessary), PWR at Home, and Fierce.
You May Also Like: Best Workout Clothes on Amazon
BBG Workout FAQ
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. These are some of the most common questions I’ve seen about the BBG workout, and questions that I also had before starting.
1. Did you see results?
Yes and no! As the weeks went on I felt much stronger than I did during Week 1, and I felt eons better about myself. I had more energy, and it gave me some serious motivation to workout everyday, which always made me feel better in general. I don’t love working out, but I always love how I feel post-workout.
As far as weight lost – zero. However, there are some caveats to that. First, I did not follow the diet plan. I feel like I generally have a pretty good diet and I am not a fan of dieting. Basically, I exercise so that I can eat what I want and not gain weight, I don’t exercise specifically to lose weight.
Second, this program has a lot of exercises that build muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. I felt I lost a bit of my belly fat, but I didn’t see any obvious toning, even though I know there’s more muscle there. That was a bit disappointing and I think would require much more time. Given the price of the app and the fact that I already pay for a gym membership, I’ve decided to give BBG a break for a bit.
2. Do you have to be fit to do it/how hard is the workout?
I’ll be honest – the BBG workout is hard. I go to a dance class twice a week and consider myself to be a reasonably fit person, but it was much harder than I expected, especially since the workouts are only 28 minutes.
That being said, I don’t want to scare you away, because it is definitely doable! I recommend you do the first four weeks of the program, called “BBG Beginner,” instead of going directly to BBG 1.0. The exercises in BBG Beginner are still hard, but you build up a ton of strength during those first four weeks, which helps immensely as you continue and the workouts become progressively more difficult.
Also, don’t be afraid to modify exercises as you need to. The app has a great feature where it will show you alternative ways to do most of the exercises.
3. Do you need equipment for BBG?
Generally speaking, no. I purchased a few items that I saw repeatedly used, but you can substitute general household items (e.g. books for dumbbells, a chair for a bench) for basically everything that’s required.
These are the items the Sweat app says are necessary for BBG 1.0:
- Dumbbells (3-6kg each)
- Medicine Ball (6-12kg)
- Skipping Rope
- 1-2 Flat Benches (30cm+)
- Step (10cm+)
- Drink Bottle
- Foam Roller
- Sweat Towel
- Yoga Mat
4. Is the App or e-Book better?
As I touched on a little bit earlier, I opted to use the Sweat app for my workouts. I found it more motivating, it’s easy to track your progress, and it is nice to have the option to change your program or just try others out. The advantage to the e-Book is that it’s a one-time cost.
5. How much does BBG cost?
Speaking of cost — the app is currently $19.99/month, or you can pay for $119.94 upfront for a full year and save quite a bit. There is also usually an option for a free trial.
Note: My program defaulted to paying monthly after the free trial period was over, and there was no way to change it to the full year on my own, so it's a good idea to contact Sweat before your trial ends, if you decide to do the full year.
The basic 12-week program e-Book is $47.55. Kayla has that book and others listed here.
6. What kind of exercises does the BBG workout consist of?
So as mentioned, the BBG workout is split into a day each of Abs & Arms, Legs, and Full Body. One of the big negatives for me with this program is that it can get repetitive. Kayla LOVES burpees. I hate burpees. haha! There is still quite a range of exercises, but there are several that are repeated week-to-week, and many that are just slightly modified versions of other exercises.
Examples of leg workouts include: lunges and jumping exercises; arms & abs day can include push-ups, burpees, leg lifts, and sit-ups; and full body day can be pretty much anything from the other two days.
7. Is it ok to do this postpartum?
It can be, but you know the drill – talk to your doctor and make sure you’re cleared to workout. Also, if you have diastasis recti, the ab workouts can be detrimental, so again, definitely talk to your doctor before you start BBG or any other workout program.
8. Would you do BBG again?
Yes! It was a really motivational, hard workout, and I felt incredible afterwards. There are a few cons:
- I wish the workouts varied more week to week. I started to get bored by week 11 or so, and also started to dread arm days.
- It can get very pricey. I think it can also take a really long time to see really noticable results (without a diet), which makes it tougher mentally to stay motivated.
- This is a more general full body workout, so if you have certain areas you want to focus on (e.g. for me my problem area has always been my stomach), the workouts can get frustrating. I started replacing the arm workout days with a second ab workout, since that was the area I really wanted to focus on. There are some extra ab/core focused workouts to choose from in the app, but there weren’t many that I could do from home without equipment.
In the end, if you are looking to get back into working out consistently without having to go to the gym at 5am, BBG is a really motivational, effective, well-rounded workout and strength builder, and is definitely worth a try.
Which workout programs have you tried?