Pros and Cons of Kayla Itsines' BBG Fitness Program
Thinking of starting Kayla Itsines' BBG fitness program? You've seen all the impressive transformation photos and know that millions of women around the world follow it, but is it for you?
After completing several rounds of BBG and BBG2, I've experienced all the good and the bad sides of the program. Overall, it's a well-made program that can produce results, but like anything, there are some aspects of it that make it not the best program for some people. To help make your decision a bit easier, I've listed what I believe to be the pros and the cons of doing BBG.
All your workouts are pre-planned and are easy to follow
One of the best parts about the Bikini Body Guide (now called Sweat) is that it includes 12 weeks of workouts all planned out for you. All you have to do is show up to the gym, grab the equipment and go. You don't have to worry about what exercises you should do or how long you should do them.
Whether you use the PDF guide or the app, the workouts all follow the same format and are easy to follow. They are all 2 circuits with 4 different exercises in each.
You will get a great workout each time
BBG is no joke! Those workouts are intense and will definitely kick your butt into shape. There's never been a BBG workout that I've done and thought "damn, that was too easy."
The program structure is motivating
The 12-week setup of BBG makes it very motivating to complete. When you do BBG, you feel so accomplished finishing each week and moving on to the next. Knowing that the program is 12 weeks long, it gives you an end-goal that you can work towards each week.
There is a huge community that will support you
Kayla Itsine's community is pretty crazy. There are millions of women around the world who follow workout guides and support each other. This is honestly one of the best parts of doing the program. I have met many friends across the globe because of BBG and that alone has made it worthwhile. I highly recommend starting an Instagram account or joining the Sweat forum to connect with other women and get advice. If you make an Instagram, follow veteran BBG'ers and newbies alike to keep you motivated and help you stay accountable.
The program is designed for you to progress at your own pace
The format of the BBG workouts makes it so that you can progress as you become stronger. The format for all workouts is to get through each circuit as many times as you can in 7 minutes. This is great because as you're first starting out, it will be hard and you might only get through each exercise once or twice. As you become stronger and fitter, you can push yourself harder to get through more rounds. This way the program never becomes "too easy" and you don't plateau quickly. Because of this format, you can repeat the 12-weeks over and over again and still see results.
There is more to the program than just circuit-style training
In addition to the circuit-style resistance days, the BBG program also includes HIIT (high-intensity interval training) as well as LISS (Low-intensity steady state). These are two types of cardio that are great for burning calories. Doing these workouts in addition to the resistance days makes for a well-rounded program that will earn you results.
It's a great program to learn more about fitness and exercise
Many women who start BBG have little to no experience with working out consistently. BBG is a great starter program as it will introduce you to dozens of exercises and show you how to do them. The PDF guide has descriptions on how to do each exercise and the app has videos so you can learn how to do each one properly. The guide also includes an education section that explains the method and science behind the program along with tips for success.
The app has great features that will keep you accountable
The app has a section for tracking your progress- including your weight and progress pictures. It also reminds you to take progress pictures as you go. The calendar feature includes all the workouts you need to do each week. This visual guide will help keep you accountable and motivate you to cross off each workout.
BBG is tough to stick with at first
For most people, the first few weeks of BBG are HARD! If you aren't used to working out, you will feel weak and nearly incapable of finishing the workout. Unfortunately, it does take a few steady weeks of workouts to get to a place where you feel more capable. Because of this, many women try a few workouts and then drop off from the program. If you want to do BBG, just know that the first few weeks will be rough, but once you get through that, it's all smooth sailing!
BBG is a big time commitment
Yes, the workouts are only 28 minutes (more like 35-40 if you count setting up, stretching and warming up), but you are expected to do at least 3 resistance workouts per week, plus several sessions of LISS and HIIT. This can be a big adjustment if you aren't used to working out much. If you aren't willing or able to workout 4+ times per week, BBG might not be the best fit for you.
The workouts can be a bit boring
While it's great that all the BBG workouts are the same format, this can make it a bit boring at times. I often wish that BBG had a bit more variety when it comes to timing and format of the workouts. However, the app and BBG2 also include "challenge days" that are workouts that have different formats. This helps break up the routine a bit.
The meal plans aren't the best
You can read more about my thoughts on the BBG meal guides and book here, but in general, they aren't the best. The recommended meals have very small portion sizes and often include ingredients that are not convenient or practical for meal prepping. Many women who follow the workout guides follow their own dietary guidelines instead.
I hope these pros and cons provide some clarity on the BBG program and help make your decision easier. For more info on BBG, see my other posts below: