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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Workout Wednesday: My Experience With 28 weeks of Kayla Itsines BBG

I've been meaning to write this post for sometime, and with the holiday madness done I can finally share with you my experience with Kayla Itsines's Bikini Body Guide (#BBG). 

I decided to try the BBG workout because as a fitness enthusiast I was curious to see how this program could transform my body in the ways I've seen it transform other women's bodies around the world. Everyone's body responds differently to different workouts due to their personal genetic build, and their current diet. Today I'm going to share with you my 28 week journey with BBG.

(Note: I had more images of when I first started the program, but my phone freaked out and deleted all of my before pics :( I wish I had more pics to share with you, but due to technical difficulties I only have a few to share.)

How To Get Started - Manual or App

Kayla's program can be done two ways. You can either buy the guide for a one time fee, or download the Sweat App and pay a three month fee. For the app review click here for the blog post I did. Starting from day 1 of the program I used the app for my entire 28 week program. I loved the app because of the timer, being able to see videos of moves, modifications, and being able to track your progress. 


The program does require equipment, and most of the items I needed I found at my apartments gym. Some of the items the program calls for is hand weights, mat, bench, jump rope (I always subbed by doing jumping jacks), barbell, kettle bell (you can just use a hand weight), and a bosu (my apartment didn't have one so I just did normal burpees vs bosu burpees). 

Modifying the Program

I'm a firm believer that with any workout regimen you need to modify it to fit your lifestyle, and what is best for your body. Throughout the program I did a couple of modifications to fit what worked for me.

 The program has you do three sessions of strength training (abs, arms, and legs) per week that last around 30 minutes. The program also calls for 3 sessions of LISS cardio (low intensity steady state), and 1 session of HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) per week. Since running is my way to decompress from my day I decided that I would sub my HIIT portion for an additional LISS since I already run 5 days a week. During my 28 weeks I didn't do a HIIT session. 

I've never had bad knees, but I have never enjoyed jumping EVER! I guess my adversity toward jumping comes from my body feeling "compressed" after doing long sets of jumping up and down, and eventually feeling it in my lower back. From weeks 1-15 I would modify any type of jumping during the program. After week 15 I decided to be brave enough to start jumping to elevate my heart rate more, and added it to the routine.

Since life gets in the way I didn't do the program 28 weeks straight, and it was more like 35 weeks of doing Kayla. Since life was crazy with moving and graduation there would be days that I missed a strength set, and then repeated the week the following week.

The Start

When I started the program I was excited to dive in, and see what I could learn from Kayla. Since I absolutely HATED leg day I quickly learned that I needed to do that on Mondays so that I wouldn't put it off during the week. Since I normally do cardio then strength training in the same workout session I did the same thing with the Kayla Program. This made my workouts last a little over an hour, which is something I am used to.

Since I knew this program was going to be intense I modified my Pure Barre workouts to once a week. 

Lets talk leg day......
Let me say it again. I HATED LEG DAY! Why did I hate leg day? Pretty much because of jumping lunges. Every Monday was such a challenge because my thighs would beg me "NO MORE." Ok I'm being a little dramatic, but Mondays seriously kicked my butt. Now I don't want to completely hate on leg day because it did work for my body in this way. A couple years ago something happened to my left hamstring where I can't keep heel bent into my glutes for too long. I started noticing that whenever I would take Pure Barre I couldn't do base work for my left side, and have to completely modify during class. During leg days there wasn't ever a move that would agitate my left hamstring.

Abs day is my favorite day!
Since I have a pretty strong core ab day was my favorite day! Abs were never challenging for me, and always looked forward to doing abs with Kayla

Arm day rocked!
Since I naturally have a strong upper body from Pure Barre arm day was something that I enjoyed. Throughout the program arm day has lots of pushups in it, and my chest would shake like crazy on the final round of pushups. Whenever the program called for elevated pushups (where you have your feet on a bench) I would be pushing myself to not drop down to my knees. Elevated pushups KICKED. MY. BUTT!

Seeing Results

When going into the program I knew that I wasn't going to see DRASTIC results with my body like I see on Kayla's instagram. Why? I already live a very active lifestyle, and for me to see major changes I would have cut my calorie intake DRASTICALLY in my diet. Since I need food to fuel my active life starving my body would lead to an unhealthy state. 

What I was hoping to see change in my body was the muscle in my legs. I naturally have really muscular legs because of my genetic build, and wanted that muscle the appear slimmer for my petite frame. In the beginning I felt as though my thighs appeared slimmer, but as the program progressed I felt like my legs were starting to appear larger with all the muscle I was building.

Overall I didn't see a huge change in my body at the end of the 28 weeks. The most change I saw in my body was that my abs were appearing more cut.

Here's the images of my results starting from old to new.

The End of 28 Weeks

I could of kept going with the program, but decided to end it at week 28.

A few weeks before I hit the 28th week my knees were starting to bother me after leg day. I attribute the knee pain to the jumps that I started to incorporate after week 15. The aching feeling of my knees lasted for a few days after leg day, and the pain prevented me from doing my runs.

With being a fitness enthusiast for my whole adult life I have learned that working out needs to be fun for me in order for me to keep up with a routine. BBG became more of a chore vs something that I enjoyed doing, and I never looked forward to working out for the day. While I love how challenging BBG was there's other workouts I have done that are challenging, but fun for me at the same time.

Not Goodbye Forever & What I Would Do Different Next Round

Saying bye to the program now doesn't mean goodbye forever. I see myself attempting this program again when I decide to have kids, and use it as a way to get back to my pre baby body.

One thing I wish I did when I first started the program was find a group of women to do the program with. When you can make working out a group effort I think it adds "fun" to the program, and can make working out a social event.

What I loved about the program was that I absolutely love a challenge, and this was a HUGE challenge not only physically but mentally too. On the days where I knew I didn't want to do Kayla I mentally had to push myself, and tell myself "that I'm stronger than I think." I learned some awesome moves that I can incorporate into my daily workout, and I have to thank Kayla for that.

What I didn't love was how high impact the program was for my body. Some days I finished a set feeling compressed and achy in my joints.

If you have ever done Kayla I would love to hear about your success about the program


  1. Totally agree about workouts needing to be enjoyable vs. a chore! I did bbg off and on for two years and finally completed 24 weeks last spring, but I found it so difficult and always had to modify, and didn’t want to do it. That’s when I started Pure Barre and fell in love! Now I look forward to going to class four days a week.

    1. To me if it's not fun then I can't enjoy myself, and feels like I didn't add enjoyment or excitement to my day. The program is definitely difficult, and you need to always mentally push yourself to not stop. Something that I always found motivating was on the days where I didn't want to do big I would look at the amazing transformations and stories to give me inspiration and motivation. You can never go wrong with PB it's amazing! You should try soulcycle sometime. I just started doing it, and its sooooo much fun!



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