BBG Sweat with Kayla 12 Week Challenge: What you need to know

It's mid-January which means Kayla Itsines' annual 12 week challenge is upon us! What is the 12-week challenge you ask? It's an initiative started by Kayla for new and veteran BBG'ers to start the program together on the same day. 

By starting on the same day, we are all in this together and can keep each other motivated! It's a great way to start the BBG program and feel part of the community. 

After much thought, I have decided to participate in the challenge! I took some time off from BBG, but I'm more than ready to get back into it and do this alongside thousands of other women around the world. I can't wait to see how these next 12 weeks go! 

The challenge officially started Monday, January 15h, but it's not too late to start! If you've never done BBG before or have tried it but didn't stick to it, this is the perfect time to do it. 

If you're ready to participate in the challenge, check out my list of FAQs below to help you get started! 

Which program should I do for the challenge?

Traditionally, the community would start BBG1 week 1 for the challenge. However, as the program has expanded, there are now many more options to choose from including BBG2.0, BBG Stronger, BBG Stronger 2.0, PWR with Kelsey Wells, etc. 

The great part about this is that you can choose a program that best fits your goals and abilities. 

If you're new to the program, I'd recommend starting with BBG1 as it's a great program to get you in shape and more comfortable with working out. You can also do this program at home or at the gym. 

If you've already done BBG and are looking for something new to try, there's BBG Stronger and PWR with Kelsey Wells.

BBG Stronger is similar to BBG in that it still consists of 28-min workouts with 2 circuits that you repeat twice. The biggest difference is that there is a greater emphasis on strength-building and it now incorporates weight machines and other gym equipment. This program requires having access to a gym. 

PWR with Kelsey Wells is brand new and like BBG Stronger, it is a weight-lifting program. Unlike BBG Stronger, PWR consists of 4 resistance days instead of 3. The resistance days include: chest and triceps, legs and abs, back and shoulders, and arms and abs. The program also has a different format than BBG as it is not just based on 2 circuits that you repeat. This program uses a lot of weights and gym equipment. 

Overall, I'd recommend looking at the different options and choosing one that will best fit your needs. For this challenge, I've decided to do the PWR program for the first time! I'm excited to try something new and stay more on track with weight lifting. I'll be sharing my experiences here and let you know how I like it! 

BBG 12 week challenge

What should I do before starting the challenge?

To prepare yourself for the challenge, it's always good to familiarize yourself with the program so you know what to expect. Take a look at the different workouts and read through the instructions. For info on what to expect when you first start BBG, check out my posts here and here.  

When looking at the program, note the required equipment and make sure that you have access to what you need. The required equipment will depend on the program and the day, so look ahead at the later weeks so you know what to expect. 

If you aren't using the app, I highly recommend getting a timer app to keep track of time. I use the Interval App which makes it easy to set up the timing for each circuit plus time for breaks. 

You might also want to consider a fitness watch to help you track your progress and monitor your heart rate. I currently use the Apple Watch Series 2, but I used to use the Polar A300

Last but not least, don't forget to take progress pictures before you start! Take them in a place with good lighting and from multiple angles. Keep your feet together, stand up straight, and maintain a pose that you can easily recreate weeks later. 

What do I do if I fall behind? 

Life happens. As much as we try, we can't always stick to our plans. If you miss a workout, don't get discouraged! Try to make it up as quickly as you can. If you can't make it up, then it's not the end of the world to miss a workout. Just make sure you don't make it a habit to keep missing workouts. If you fall a few days behind, that's okay. You'll notice that as the challenge goes on everyone will go at their own pace. Some will fall back a week or two while others will stay on schedule. Do what works for you! 

BBG results

How can I stay motivated?

Encourage friends to do it with you so that you can stay accountable! If you can, try to workout with a friend at least once a week as this will make the program more fun.

If you don't have friends doing it, then stay connected with the community. Creating an Instagram is a great way to meet others and share your experiences. If creating an Instagram isn't your thing, check out the Sweat forum to connect with others and learn more about the program. If you use the app, the forum is built in, which is very convenient! 

What happens after the 12 weeks are over?

Hopefully, after 12 weeks you will have finished your first round of BBG! At that point, the official challenge will be over, but you'll find that it is often not the end. Most participants continue on and either repeat the program or move on to BBG2.0 or one of the others. 

From personal experience, 12 weeks is often not enough time to see significant results. For that reason, many participants continue on with the program. Not only that but if you quit after 12 weeks you will most likely lose the results you just earned. Remember that fitness is a lifestyle, not just a temporary thing. It takes time and serious commitment to achieve and maintain results. 

After 12 weeks, many find that fitness becomes a habit and is something they want to continue with for weeks and months to come. 


I hope you found these tips helpful and I wish you the best with the start of the challenge! It won't always be easy, but it will be worth it! Let me know how the challenge goes for you- I look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing what tips you have. 

For more info on BBG, see my other posts below: 

Pros and Cons of Starting BBG

Everything you need to know before you start BBG

BBG workouts: Can I change the days of the workouts to better fit my schedule?

My BBG fitness journey

BBG workouts: How to see more results

What happened after 5 rounds of BBG