I became a BBG girl for a week
It’s from Kayla Itsines’ ‘bikini body guide’ and it’s a pretty big deal, apparently
In recent years, fitness guru, Kayla Itsines has taken the world by storm, reaching celebrity stardom status by sharing her workout and meal plans across the globe. With over 10,000,000 members in her BBG community and numerous ‘before and after’ testimonies to support the success rate of her programme, it’s no surprise that she’s reached such popularity.
BBG stands for ‘bikini body guide’. Kayla explains her interpretation of ‘bikini body ready’ as being ‘confident, healthy and feeling good about yourself’. Using her app ‘Sweat with Kayla’, I tried out the world renowned programme for a week to see what all the hype was about.
Familiarising myself with the app
First and foremost, Kayla wants you to take a bikini/undies selfie. This isn’t your typical sexy, arched back, posy kinda selfie but one of you with your feet together standing up straight but relaxed- like this:
Besides this, you have your workout planner (which you can adjust to your own taste and ability) and your menu plan for the week as well as some educational literature to teach you how and why the guide works.
So far so good, Kayla’s recipes seem relatively inexpensive, simple to make and quick to cook. More surprisingly, they actually taste pretty good too.Admittedly, it’s a little odd for me to weigh my muesli into the bowl but apart from that every meal/snack is a piece of cake (unfortunately only in the literal sense of the phrase).
As it’s Sunday, I began with a Rest and Recovery day- so I spent twenty minutes on a roller, stretching in the gym.
The app, however, is what’s preventing me from giving day one full marks- it’s slow and has plenty of bugs. The app’s shopping list feature made this morning’s weekly shop a logistical nightmare. I was forced to go through the entire week’s meals in order to verify what I needed to buy- pretty peak. To make matters worse, Lidl has an incredibly tempting bakery aisle. I’m already feeling tested.
Update: turns out the app was facing technical issues this weekend hence my teething problems. I’ll forgive you this time, Kayla.
Drama. I opened the app this morning to find that my weekly meal plan had changed completely. Turns out I’d been looking at last week’s. I can be blonde at the best of times, but this change wasn’t made clear when using the app.
Thus, yesterday’s shop is now pretty redundant as I now have a new menu in front of me with some ingredients that I simply don’t have the food for. Solution: I’m gonna try and make the best of what I have in the cupboards. Turns out the menu doesn’t differ too significantly from week to week- the nutritious base ingredients remain the same.
In consideration of my setback, today’s menu went pretty swimmingly. The ‘Full Body Resistance Workout’, however, did not. If you’ve ever heard of HIIT you’ll understand my current state.
11AM and I’ve already completed my LISS workout (40 minutes of moderate cardio) and wolfed down my brekkie and snack numero uno. Due to the nature of the workout, I also walked my dog, much to his delight- two birds, one stone!
Only problem is the app is yet again letting me down- turns out if the app isn’t actually open, it doesn’t log your progress. As a result, this morning’s ‘workout’ is not on my progress report for this week- futile but frustrating.
Today is Arms and Abs day, aka the day I sacrificed ease of upper body movement. Now I know why she called her app ‘Sweat with Kayla’. As I stand up to leave I realise I have left a me-size sweat patch on the workout mat- gross. Today’s meals were relatively quick and simple. However, I did cheat and use Mr. Birdseye’s breaded cod fillet in the place of plain old cod- sorry Kayla!
Another day of LISS, my dog is certainly reaping the benefits of this programme. Even though yesterday was Arms and Abs, everywhere is a little achy. If nothing else, I’m certainly learning the benefits of giving my body a break.
One thing I’ve really noticed about this programme is how much energy I get from her vegetarian menu. Previously, I was constantly worried about not getting enough protein. But with the vast amount of eggs, legumes and pulses I’m currently consuming, that’s no longer a problem.
The dreaded leg day is upon me. To put this circuit’s intensity into perspective, I looked forward to 100 reps of skipping. It’s the kinda work out where you need to picture a Victoria’s Secret model booty in order to push through the ordeal, and I’m only on week one.
I was out and about today and hadn’t left enough time to meal prep. But, never fear, Kayla’s ‘Education’ section allows for this and advises you opt for a healthy option when on-the-go. My healthy option consisted of a Vegetarian Burrito Bowl from Mi Casa- no wrap, no crap.
It’s the end of Week One of my BBG journey and I can honestly admit I’m feeling healthier, fitter and more energetic than pre-programme life. But I’m also itching to resume my own workout routines- running in particular. This app is all about that gym life and that gym life ain’t me.
But, if you are a gym bunny, I can confirm that Kayla’s workout plans will leave you feeling sore but stronger. Their design means you can tackle them at your own pace and the meticulous descriptions help ensure you’re doing it right, irrelevant of your workout experience. As the week draws to a close, I have decided against continuing the programme. At £14.99 a month, it fits neither within my budget nor my family’s lifestyle (thanks for putting up with me this week Mum).
That’s not to say that I don’t like the app. In fact, I even have some favourite aspects:
So would I recommend this programme?
Frankly, it depends on your current lifestyle. If you lack knowledge on eating clean and working out, the programme is perfect for you. Same goes if you lead a busy lifestyle and lack the imagination to create fresh, healthy food for every meal.
If, however, you’ve already got a good diet and routine, the app would simply be an unnecessary expenditure. You could just as easily create your own healthy eating and workout programme to suit your personal needs and timetable. It simply depends on your motivation levels- an app isn’t gonna change those!
Don’t get me wrong, meal prep, motivation and a blender are mandatory for success. But, is that a big price to pay for holiday swag? If you’re tempted, Kayla offers a free week trial period on her app. Some of her meal and workout plans can also be found for free online.