This may be one of my most requested blog posts, and I thought it was fitting to post my BBG tips the week I am restarting BBG for the eighth time (I think!)
If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I am obsessed with BBG and have been doing it since 2015. BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide, by Kayla Itsines. I started doing BBG the year after I graduated college. I was overweight from four years of partying and eating whatever I wanted in undergrad. I was insecure with my body and felt overwhelmingly unhealthy. I stuck with the 12 week program, and along with a healthy diet, lost around 25 pounds! You can see my before and after photo in THIS blog post. Now over four years later, I’m still doing BBG! It really changed the trajectory of my life. When I completed this program the first time, it opened my eyes to leading a healthier lifestyle and made it seem attainable, which is why I am so passionate about it.
Today I’m sharing the top tips that I have learned through the years of doing BBG that have helped me stay committed to being successful to the program. I’m breaking down exactly what I do to be successful in this 12 week program and have results every time. Although these are specific to BBG, many can be used to be successful in any workout plan!
Tip #1 Schedule your weekly workouts on Sunday
Every Sunday, I sit down and I plan exactly when I am doing my workout and what type. And when I say schedule, I mean I schedule it down to the hour (ex: 5:30am-6:00am). In the words of Rachel Hollis, “Hope is not a strategy,” and you have to do more than “hope” you will get all your workouts in.
Typically, I try to schedule by HIIT days (BBG Monday, Wednesday, Friday workouts) in the morning. I like to knock these intense workouts out first thing. I also schedule a back-up time. Meaning, if I overslept and didn’t have time to workout before work, then I know I will workout right after school that day.
I also schedule my LISS (usually Tuesday and Thursday) workouts. I’ll go into this later, but I don’t do the same thing for LISS workouts every day, but I always have a timeframe of when I am completing my LISS for the day.
I take the time to schedule on Sunday so I have a game plan going into the week! This is probably the most effective tip I will share today for you to be successful!
Tip #2 Be flexible
Lol are you confused? I just told you to schedule your workouts down to the hour! What I mean by being flexible is that the BBG program is scheduled so HIIT workouts are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while LISS workouts are on Tuesday and Thursday. Depending on my schedule, I sometimes need to change this up. Meaning some weeks I flip my HIITT and LISS and don’t stick to the exact BBG schedule. I don’t love to do this, but sometimes it’s my only option and it’s way better than skipping the week all together! I try to make this decision on Sunday when I am planning out my week, but sometimes I have to pivot mid-week if something comes up! Having this flexibility has really helped me stay on track.
Tip #3 Have an idea of what you’re doing on LISS
LISS days give you more freedom. Essentially you are doing low intensity cardio (fat burning) workouts, such as taking a long walk or going on the elliptical.
In my experience, if I don’t have a few options in my head of what I’m doing on LISS, then the workout just doesn’t happen all together! So instead, I make a game plan of a few different exercises. I choose an option based upon how my body feels and what I’m in the mood for. Here are my go to LISS workouts:
- Hour long walk with Tira! I try to get my heart rate up and walk at a fast pace.
- Hour long session on the elliptical (I like doing a higher level resistance or incline while doing this)
- Hour long walk on the treadmill (3.5mph at 8% incline)
Now sometimes, I need something more than LISS on Tuesday and Thursday. Every once in a while I feel like my body needs a more intense workout, and I will opt for a run (usually about 3 miles) or intervals (I usually do this while I’m at a hotel, you can go to my Instagram under the “fitness” highlights to see my specific hotel workouts).
Tip #4 Review Workouts and be Prepared
This tip is extremely helpful if you are new to BBG. I highly recommend glancing at the workouts before your schedule workout. When I first started BBG, I would review the workouts the night before and ensured I knew what they were supposed to look like. If you take the time to do this in advance, you will feel more confident going into the workout.
This also helps you to be prepared. Most workouts require a bench and dumbbells, but every now and then you need a mat or a bosu ball. By reviewing the workouts in advance, you can setup your equipment before your workout to ensure you don’t waste workout time. Since I typically do HIIT workouts in the morning, I like to set-up my equipment the night before. This means all I have to do is wake up, get dressed, and go downstairs to immediately start my workout.
On the topic of being prepared, I also recommend giving yourself enough space for the workout. You can definitely complete BBG in your living room (like me) but you want to make sure you give yourself enough room for the moves (i.e. move the coffee table, chairs, etc).
I also lay my workout clothes out the night before since I am doing my workouts in the morning. This is really helpful for me to stay prepared! It’s just one less thing for me to do in the mornings!
Tip #5 Keep a Journal
When I did BBG the first time, I kept a little notebook in my gym bag (back then I lived in a tiny apartment and went to my apartment gym to do BBG). In my notebook, I recorded how far I got in each circuit and what weight I used (if I was using weights for that circuit at all). In two weeks, when the same workout came up, I would try and beat my number. This was a tangible way for me to have a goal to beat each week.
Though it’s been a while that I have done this, I am actually doing this for this round of BBG, so I have something to work towards each week!
I also want to say, it’s okay if you can’t beat your record some weeks. I usually hit a point during BBG (usually week 6 to 8) when my body is just tired. These weeks I listen to my body and modify workouts as needed.
Tip #6 Track your Progress
I encourage you to take pictures of yourself throughout your BBG journey. The program asks that you take pictures every four weeks. But I actually really like taking pictures every week. I personally can see a change in my body week to week, and it is incredibly motivating to see that change! I personally like to take pictures in the same swim suit weekly so it’s easy for me to see the change in a consistent image.
I also encourage you to measure your inches (not your weight) during this program. You will likely gain muscle (which is heavier than fat), so tracking inches lost is a friendly reminder that you are burning fat and going in the right direction, even if you aren’t losing weight on the scale!
Tip #7 Timer during Workouts
This is a newer tip, which I recently discovered and have loved! This is really only applicable if you aren’t using the Sweat App. I bought the BBG ebook before the Sweat App came out, so I don’t use the app (as of now, I plan to use the Sweat App for BBG Stronger soon). Since I don’t use the app, I use my iPhone timer. For each circuit, I set my timer to 7 minutes and 5 seconds. This extra 5 seconds gives me a little buffer to start the timer and get set before the circuit actually starts.
I also time my breaks! I have not always done this, but when I do my workout is dramatically more effective since this prevents my heart rate from dropping too low. I switch to the stopwatch setting on my iPhone for 45 seconds. During this 45 seconds I drink water and try and catch my breath. Once the timer goes off, I reset my 7 minute and 5 second timer and push start. When it’s all said and done, my breaks are about a minute between each circuit. However, listen to your body. When I first started this program, my breaks were longer than a minute because I wasn’t as fit. As always, you need to pay attention to your own specific level of fitness.
Side note: I use my iPhone as the timer and I have the BBG ebook on my iPad. This way I can view both the timer and the workouts simultaneously. I know a lot of girls who print the workouts out instead. This is just what I do! I also have BBG on my drive, so if I forget my iPad on a trip, I still have access to BBG.
Tip #8 Have a Fun Playlist Ready to Go
This is the best way to get me motivated, especially in the morning. I use Spotify, so I pick one of their workout playlists and have it playing while I do BBG. Find a playlist that motivates you and pumps you up! These workouts are hard, but having a playlist in the background motivating you makes it 1000 times easier.
Tip #9 Drink Enough Water
Maybe this is obvious if working out is already something you do on the reg, but to the newbie (like I was when starting out BBG) this is essential knowledge! You will be sore from doing BBG and you will sweat a ton (lol I guess that’s why they call it the Sweat App). Drink your water! This will make you feel better and perform better during the workouts.
Tip #10 Do Something Different on Weekends
You’ve been working your tail off all week with these HIIT workouts, take the weekend to do a different sort of activity. I like to do hot yoga, hike, take a cycle class, or walk a really long trail. My goal on Saturday and Sunday is still to do something active, but to mix up my exercise regime with something a little less structured and intense. This helps me from getting burnt out from BBG all together!
I hope you liked today’s post! This has been requested for a LONG time! Let me know if you are starting BBG with me! We can cheer each other on!
Today’s blog post is in no way affiliated with Kayla Itsines or the Sweat App. I am sharing my personal experience with this program.
I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. The purpose of this blog is to share my personal journey and experience with diet and fitness. As always, consult a physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.