My BBG Review

May 11, 2018

My first ever fitness post! This has been a long time coming and I’m excited to finally sit down and write it out so I can share my BBG experience with you! I’ve been keeping little notes for the last 4.5 months while I’ve been immersed in BBG so hopefully I cover everything. I finished the program three weeks ago but have been really nervous to publish this post because progress photos are a scary thing to put out on the internet. I’ll share my results at the end of the post but just know it’s v. intimidating to share photos like that! Buckle up, because this is a long one.

So, what exactly is BBG?

BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide (dumb name, I know) I prefer to just say BBG and offer no elaboration because I don’t like having to say the full name out loud🤣. The program was created by Kayla Itsines who is an Australian personal trainer/Instagram personality. 

Why did I start BBG?

Basically I was feeling like garbage after two weeks of pretty much eating nonstop over the holidays. So I am a cliché and started the program on January 1st. I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it for 4.5 months though. That’s the longest I’ve ever stuck with a workout program. I think I did eight weeks of P90X in college before getting sick and then quitting. Getting sick has always been something that derails my workout regiments. As soon as I skip one workout I skip them all. 

You may be wondering why I didn’t do an intense workout program like this one before our wedding but honestly I don’t think I would have been able to keep it up. I had so much on my plate with wedding planning I couldn’t wrap my head around a lifestyle change too!

How does it work/What do you need?

You can either buy a PDF of all of the workouts or you can get an app subscription. Personally, I pay for the app. The program is 12 weeks long and gets progressively harder. There is also a four week beginner program that I did prior to starting BBG. The beginner program is no cakewalk though. I was cursing Kayla the whole first workout because I was dying. 

Anyway, it’s three days of resistance training a week with one day focused on legs, one for arms/abs, and one for full body. In addition to those three days of resistance training you’re supposed to do a few days of LISS (low intensity sustained state) or HIIT (high intensity interval training). The amount of LISS and HIIT you’re supposed to supplement with goes up the further into the program you go. Personally, I walk the dog four days a week and play volleyball one day a week so I’ve been counting those as my LISS and HIIT workouts. I know that I could be doing more in the way of cardio, but I really hate it so this works for me!

The workouts range and include plyometrics, bodyweight moves and some weighted moves. There are two circuits per workout consisting of four exercises. So you’ll try to get through those four exercises as many times as you can in seven minutes then you do the next circuit for seven minutes and then repeat. So there are four circuits but it’s only eight total exercises you’re rotating through. I know I’m not explaining it well and I went into it not knowing how it would work and was just thinking “omg what is going on and when will this be over?!” the whole first time.

The equipment required throughout the program would be a bench, a jump rope, a step stool, free weights, a bosu ball and a yoga mat. I only have an ottoman that I use as my bench for step ups/knee ups/tricep dips, 5 lb free weights and a yoga mat that I use. For jump rope I just act like I’m holding one and it’s literally the same exercise. For the bosu ball ones I just modify to do regular pushups and I don’t have a step stool so for anything requiring that I’ll modify too. There’s nothing wrong with a little modification ;) 

What worked for me:

One of the reasons that no workout plan has really stuck with me is because I would always try to work out in the evenings. I found that when I had planned to workout in the evening I had all day to talk myself out of doing it. I would find any reason not to exercise whether that was needing to walk the dog instead or get started on making dinner. I am a morning person through and through and am pretty much useless after 6PM. After work I have a really hard time being productive and just want to hang out and watch TV. I decided to lean into that and start waking up at 5:30 AM three days a week to do BBG. It’s not quite as painful as it sounds as I was already waking up at 6 AM for work. I really didn’t want to workout in the morning because anything earlier than 6 sounded like torture. The first week I tried doing one of the workouts at night and hated it. On a whim I decided to just see what it was like to get up half an hour earlier and it stuck.

I found that knowing exactly which days I was going to do which workout helped a lot too. It eventually just became routine and was inevitable that on Mondays I’d be doing a leg workout. I did modify a few times if I was going to be out of town or if my shoulder was hurting from volleyball I’d switch things up and do full body instead of arms. It was all about the routine. I would put out my workout clothes and gear the night before so I wouldn’t have to think about anything when I woke up and could just get into it. Gotta remove as many barriers/excuses as possible😬

Here is what my weekly schedule looks like:

Monday: Legs + 35 minute walk with the dog
Tuesday: 60 minutes of volleyball
Wednesday: Arms/Abs 
Thursday: 35 minute walk with the dog
Friday: Full body
Saturday: 35 minute walk with the dog
Sunday: 35 minute walk with the dog

Pros of the program

1. I really love the app. Like I mentioned above it takes going through it once to figure out exactly how the circuits work but then it’s pretty intuitive.
2. It’s not a video. I don’t know about you but whenever I do workout videos enough times I basically have them memorized and when you have to hear the trainer say stupid motivational things that you’ve already heard dozens of times you kind of want to punch them. The exercises are shown as gifs and you can click on them for more instructions if you need it. I really really love that it’s not a video and you can just listen to whatever music (or workout in silence if that’s your thing) that you like. 
3. You can do it at home. You could definitely go to a gym too if that gets you in the workout mindset but I prefer to not have to leave my house (or put on a shirt haha).
4. It’s quick. It’s touted as a 28 minute workout, and while that is true that you’re doing four seven minute circuits there are breaks between and stretches at the end so I allot 35 minutes for the whole shebang. Which, to me, is the perfect length of time.

Cons of the program

1. The subscription is kind of pricey at $20 a month. Usually I’m not even willing to buy an app for a one time price of $.99🤣. You can try it for a week for free though. Spending money on it definitely keeps me accountable because I don’t want to waste $20.
2. The workouts are hard! Like I mentioned before, even the beginner workouts kicked my ass. It’s short but they order the moves in a way so that you’re working the same muscles for several moves in a row. You do feel like you’re getting a really good workout in though.
3. This one is superficial but the laundry! Adding in an extra three sets of clothes to be washed every week takes its toll. 



The photos on the left were taken on my first day of BBG, January 1st, and the ones on the right were taken 16 weeks later on April 23rd after completing the four beginner weeks and then 12 weeks of BBG 1.0. I didn't really intend to share these photos so you'll have to forgive the bad lighting, dirty mirrors and general disarray. Neither of our mirror locations are particularly photogenic!


I forgot to do arm photos when I first started so the photo on the left was taken on February 7th and the the photo on the right was taken March 14th.

As you can probably see there wasn’t a huge visible change. I’ve come to accept that. Like I mentioned above I don’t follow the LISS or HIIT guidelines to a T and I didn't change my diet. I know both of these things contributed to the fact that I didn’t see any radical changes but adding in three extra days of working out a week was radical enough for me :) maybe eventually I’ll get better at those things. I’m still so excited that I finished it and I didn’t miss a single workout. It doesn’t hurt that I went down two belt notches and have had friends comment on my legs looking good, so all of that feels pretty great!

I will say that I still do not enjoy it. I will never be that person who says that working out “is my me time” or anything. I do feel accomplished afterwards and love that I have it out of the way for the day and I can forget about it but it’s never going to be fun for me. 

So what’s next? 

I’ve started the program again and we’ll see how I’m feeling after round two about moving up to BBG 2.0, which is with weight machines. 

I really hope this was helpful and not preachy. I’ve never written about fitness because it’s not something I’m passionate about or until very recently was part of my life so I’m definitely not in a position to give advice. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about though I would definitely encourage you to try it! 

Let me know if you have any questions!

xo Catherine 


  1. Loved this review! I never knew what the program actually was.

    Sincerely, Jennie

    1. Thanks Jennie! I know, I was so confused by it before I tried it. Glad it made sense!


Latest Instagrams

© Catherine Day Dreams. Design by FCD.