FITNESS UPDATE // AN INTRODUCTION TO BBG
If you follow me on SnapChat (username: merrittbeck), you may have seen me chat quite a bit about BBG. If you’ve never heard of BBG, it stands for the Bikini Body Guide, created by Australian fitness guru Kayla Itsines. I discovered this guide while scrolling through the black hole that is Instagram, and stumbling upon the many #BBGTransformations. Just search that hashtag and you’re sure to find thousands upon thousands of inspirational transformations from real women around the globe using the Bikini Body Guide! If you’re not inspired or motivated to start using BBG after seeing the incredible transformations, I don’t really know what else to tell you… but if you ARE interested in learning more, I’m sharing a little more info and my experience with it thus far below!
The idea behind BBG is pairing a variety of resistance/strength training workouts with High Intensity intervals (HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training) and Low Intensity Steady States (LISS) throughout the week. If you’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before, this is a common practice – it’s also called circuit training. What’s amazing about BBG however is that you can do the workouts at home without the need of a gym membership and at a fraction of the cost of working with a trainer or buying classes! While you can definitely do these workouts without actual gym equipment (or at the gym if you do happen to have a membership), I went ahead and ordered some inexpensive equipment on Amazon to create a mini home gym in my garage, like a yoga mat, jump rope, a medicine ball (mine is 12 lbs), free weights (I have 5lb, 8lb and 12lb weights) and a bench. If you’re planning to do the box jumps on the bench I linked, I’d recommend getting some sandbags to weigh down the legs. It’s perfectly sturdy for all of the ab exercises, step-ups and knee-ups, but it needs a little more weight on it for jumps so you don’t knock it over in the process. A Bosu ball is also recommended, but you really only need it for one exercise (Bosu burpees) – you could easily just replace the Bosu with weights and do weighted burpees instead. It’ll save you $100!
While many people choose to download and pay the $18/month for Kayla’s app, I just purchased her guidebook online to download and print out. For 12 weeks of workouts (plus four weeks of pre-training!), it only cost me $50 USD ($69 in AUD), and I plan to repeat the 12 week program a few times before purchasing her second guide for the next 12 weeks of training (which I hear is significantly more difficult). I bought the workout guide separately – you can also buy a nutrition guide + stretching guide along with the workout guide as a combo (comes with a discount). Compared to the $20-$25 I normally pay for single classes at PureBarre, Tread Fitness and FlyWheel, I’m saving hundreds per month using this program. I still take FlyWheel as my cardio – it’s so fun and burns SO many calories! It’s also a program I’m having no trouble keeping up with while I travel! As long as I have access to a decent fitness center at my hotel (or on a cruise ship, more recently!), I’m able to complete each resistance workout!
What the Bikini Body Guide e-book provides you is a complete set of resistance workouts for a twelve week period, three days per week. Each week gets progressively more difficult, challenging you with new sequences and reps. In any given week you can expect to see a few of the following: jump squats, walking lunges, burpees, rope skipping, bicycle crunches, tuck jumps, mountain climbers, etc. These workouts are meant to get your heart rate up, blood pumping and muscles exhausted for a solid 30 minutes. For the first eight weeks you are rotating between resistance workouts and LISS, but starting at week nine you add in a couple of HIIT sessions each week as well – I start week nine next week!! HIIT is basically sprinting for 30 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds – you do this on and off for 10-15 minutes.
There have been a lot of questions about how to do the resistance workouts, the number of reps, etc so I thought I’d share that here too. Each workout page is a single day. The four workouts on the left side of the page are Circuit 1, and the four on the right side are Circuit 2. To do it properly, you must complete all four workouts of Circuit one as many times as you can within seven minutes. The number of reps per specific workout (lunges, for example), is listed next to the title of the workout. Once you’ve completed Circuit 1, you take a 30 second break before moving on to do Circuit 2. Once you’ve completed Circuit 2, you do the whole sequence over again one more time. Because you do a total of four Circuits (dedicating seven minutes for each one), the whole workout should only take you 28 minutes! It’s very challenging, and the harder the workouts get, the more difficult it becomes to complete even one round in seven minutes.
MY WEEKLY BBG SCHEDULE
MONDAY: BBG Resistance Workout
TUESDAY: 35-45 minutes of LISS. When I’m home in Dallas, this usually means going to a 45-minute spin class at FlyWheel. When I’m traveling this could mean a brisk walk, run or hike!
WEDNESDAY: BBG Resistance Workout
THURSDAY: 35-45 minutes of LISS. When I’m home in Dallas, this usually means going to a 45-minute spin class at FlyWheel. When I’m traveling this could mean a brisk walk, run or hike!
FRIDAY: BBG Resistance Workout
SATURDAY: 35-45 minutes of LISS. When I’m home in Dallas, this usually means going to a 45-minute spin class at FlyWheel. When I’m traveling this could mean a brisk walk, run or hike!
SUNDAY: Rest. Sometimes I switch Saturday and Sunday!
While this schedule has worked really well for me, you can easily tailor it to fit your own schedule based on what days you have time to do the resistance workouts. Prefer to do your resistance workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Just start it that way!
Anyway, I’m LOVING BBG! I feel so strong and can see some major changes happening in my body. I’ve always worked out – taken fun classes, been to personal trainers, I run… but I’ve never experienced such major changes to my muscle tone so quickly. If you’re in need of a new workout routine that keeps you on your toes, I highly recommend trying the Bikini Body Guide. As many users have professed, it becomes a lifestyle. It’s not a one and done kind of workout!
SOME ADDITIONAL BBG TIPS TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK
- Plan your week of workouts ahead of time and put a reminder on your calendar. This will help keep you accountable so you don’t miss a workout! I always put a time block on my calendar for an hour to give myself some wiggle room if I need to take more breaks!
- Drink LOTS of water. This workout totally leeches your body of all hydration – I’ve never sweat so much in my life! Before eating anything in the morning, force yourself to drink one full glass of water – not only does this get you off to a good start, but it’s great for digestion too. Keep a water bottle by your desk that you can continue to refill all day long.
- Create a lively playlist. Having good music is the only way I can get through things like Burpees or jumping lunges! I usually listen to the Calvin Harris channel on Pandora – there’s always something bumpin’ on there!
- Print out the 12 weeks of workouts and place on a clipboard (mine is this pretty lucite one!). I did this based on a reader recommendation – once I’m done with each day, I just move the page to the back! It’s sort of like a to-do list that I get to cross off every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Take progress photos and measurements every four weeks. As I’m sure you can imagine, taking these photos can seem silly, and even embarrassing, but it is worth it! While progress is not immediate and may even seem slow to some of you, it has really helped keep me motivated. Even the slightest change gets me excited and makes me want to work even harder on my next workout! Some people even have Instagram accounts dedicated to BBG and their progress/transformations – it is such a strong, supportive community of women.
PS – this probably sounded like a sponsored post, but I swear to you it is NOT. I’m just very excited about this new fitness routine and have already seen amazing results in just seven weeks!