My Thoughts on the BBG Exercise Program

My thoughts on the BBG Program from Kayla Itsines

I’ve been procrastinating this post about my experience with the BBG exercise program for ages because I don’t really know where to start and I have so many thoughts.

But I’m finally sitting down to pound out some thoughts.

free weights that are perfect for every level
listening to podcasts while I exercise is the biggest game changer
I love tracking my exercise progress on my apple watch!

The best part about the BBG program is that I can do it at home in my living room!
My thoughts on the BBG Program from Kayla Itsines
the best part about doing the BBG program is that I can do it at home!


First of all, let’s address your most asked question…

What the heck is BBG?

For a long time, I would refer you guys to Kayla Itsines’ instagram page when you asked this question. But it turns out that she doesn’t share a ton of details on there, or her website, about the specifics of her program. So let’s clear that up first.

BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide, and it’s a 12 week circuit strength training program. It’s a three day per week program (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), and it’s 28 minutes long each day.

Each daily workout has two 7-minute circuits with 4 exercises in each. You set your timer for 7 minutes, and do each of those 4 exercises until your timer goes off (you might be able to go through each of the four exercises twice). Then you move to the second circuit and do the same. When you’re done with that, go back to the first and repeat.

On the off days, she has you start with low impact training, like walking or jogging, and work your way up to high intensity training.

The BBG program has an ebook (which is what I have), and an app that you can subscribe to within the app store. The ebook is a one time charge, and the app is a monthly fee.  The ebook has images of each of the exercises and you’re responsible to set your own timer, whereas the app has videos of each exercise and keeps track of the time for you.

I have the ebook, and I haven’t used the app, so I can’t speak for it specifically, but I’ve heard amazing things about it. One of my readers messaged me saying it’s the best app she’s ever used.


Can you do it at home?

Yep, this is one of the biggest benefits of this program for me. I do the entire thing in my living room three days a week, and then run outside the other days. It requires a couple of free weights, and a step, and that’s it. So you could do it at the gym, but you can absolutely do it at home.

I use my (very sturdy) coffee table as the step, and I use a set of free weights (like these ones) that are great for adjusting based on your strength level.

Also some exercises require a medicine ball, but I just use one free weight in place of that (holding it on either end), and for the jump roping sessions I just do air jump roping so I don’t hit my ceiling fan.

Basically, it’s very easy to adjust based on your circumstances.


How did you stay motivated through the entire 12 week program?

I wrote more in depth about my motivation to start, and my motivation to stick with it in this post!

Also, podcasts. I really hate exercising, but I forget about it when I’m listening to an amazing podcast. I shared my three favorite podcasts in this post.

What changes have you seen since starting the program?

The biggest change for me was mental. When I finally made it through the entire 12 week program, I felt so happy and so proud of myself that I actually stuck with it for twelve weeks. I realized I could wake up at 5:40am and do this. I wasn’t a quitter, and I could do hard and challenging things. Twelve weeks is a lot, but it’s not impossible, and it was enough to make me realize if I could do twelve, I could do twenty, and fifty, and I just don’t want to stop!

I feel so much happierIt’s hard to make time for your health when you’re a busy mom with little kids, but I’ve realized how much happier I feel when I get up and move, burn some calories, and boost my endorphins. It’s like a daily therapy session, and I totally see the difference when I miss a day.

I feel stronger than I ever have. My arms, legs, and abs are more toned than ever before, my whole body feels tighter, I feel like I have more energy and clarity, and I just feel strong. One of my 2017 goals was to get stronger, and it took me almost the whole year to start working on it, but better late than never.

I love this quote that Kayla has in the intro to her ebook.

“…To us, a “bikini body” is not a certain body weight, size or look, but rather a state of mind where you are confident and feel good about YOU…The definition for that goal is happiness through health.”


Do you do Kayla’s eating program?

No, I don’t use them. I struggle with eating programs because I have kids and a husband to feed too. When I first started BBG, I felt like I needed to ease my way into a lot of lifestyle changes, so I didn’t change what I was eating at all. But after about three weeks I realized I was gaining weight because I was hungry from all the exercise I was doing, so I was overeating.

I started using MyFitnessPal to track my calories each day, and it was so eye opening to see just how much I was overeating. I started eating my veggie scramble every day for breakfast and lunch, and making better choices throughout the day, and instantly I saw big changes in my figure.

I’m not great at inputting my food into the MyFitnessPal app every day, but I’m much better now at paying attention to portion control and what’s in my food than ever before. And if I ever catch myself falling back into poor eating choices, I force myself to diligently input my food for a couple of days to jumpstart my progress again.


It’s a fantastic program.

  • I love that I can do it at home
  • I love that it takes less than 30 minutes
  • I love that it challenges me
  • I love that it’s different every day so I don’t get bored
  • I love that I can do it by myself OR with people (I’ve never actually done it with other people, but I know others have and love it!)
  • I love that I saw quick results!

Also, Kayla has several versions of the program now — a starter program (I don’t know all the specifics, but it’s some kind of program that you do before you start the 12 week program if you need a lower starting point), BBG 1.0, and now a BBG 2.0 program, although the higher programs are only available on the app as far as I know.

Like I said, I’ve only done the 12 week 1.0 ebook program, but if any of you have done the other programs, leave a comment and share your experience!

And of course if you have any questions I didn’t cover, leave a comment below and I’ll answer!


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  1. Em says:

    I have done BBG 1.0and 2.0 and I loved them both. i could do them at home or on my work travel and was able to stay with the programs no matter what was going on in my life. i even got a co-worker (and my husband) doing it with me. It is an excellent program and I felt the fittest I have been ever after finishing.

  2. Lauren says:

    I’ve been curious to try the BBG program. If you buy the ebook, do you just go through it again after your first 12 weeks?

    • Merrick says:

      Yes, you’ll just have to continue doing the same program over and over unless you sign up for the app or purchase another ebook.

  3. Elise says:

    I also do BBQ (but on the App) and LOVE it!!! I’ve been doing it for about 6 months now. It’s one of the best workouts I’ve found. And I agree, the fact you can do it at home in 30 min, is the best. I’m a mom of four and work outside the home part time. Everyone can find 30 minutes. Prioritizing 30 minutes for myself has made me a better wife, mother and Friend.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I workout at home too. I have since my gym closed at the end of november so I can no longer get my workouts in on my lunch breaks. Instead I workout in my basement after I get myself and everyone else fed in the evenings. I has it’s benefits and also it’s challenges but it’s important to me to stay active so this is my only solution right now and I”m making it work! Good for you for sticking with a home workout program. It is harder to stay motivated when you workout at home by yourself. I find the best way to stick with it is to make sure you really GENUINELY enjoy your workouts. There are tons of different types of workouts out there and if you can find one that you really really love, then getting off the couch and doing your workout isn’t a chore…it’s fun! I’m doing a dance type of workout program right now and LOVE it!!!! I actually look forward to it every evening 🙂

  5. DIana says:

    This is such a good Blog, Thank you Merrick! (Where did you get your coffee table from?)

  6. Olivia says:

    Im planning on serving an lds mission soon, could i complete her guide on my mission? Is it something that i could repeat or do you have to pay again when you get it again? Thanks!

    • Merrick says:

      Yes! The e-book might work best for your situation because you could just print it out and bring it as a booklet. Just put them in sheet protectors in a binder! It’s just a one time purchase that way. Best of luck on your mission!!

  7. Jane says:

    I also want to know about your coffee table!

  8. Lexi says:

    the app is seriously the. BEST.!! It simplifies your workouts and it helps that the app has videos showing you exactly what to do. I’ve been “working out” for years and have gotten better results from the app in 1 month than I have in the last 2 years. can’t say enough good about it.

  9. Torrie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I have it as one of my101 in 1001 goals to do one of her 12-week programs, and I’m hoping to start one as soon as I’ve had my baby in the summer! This was a good snapshot into what I can expect.

  10. Jessica says:

    I’ve been curious ABOUT bbg for a long time now, but i’ve really only heard good things. never any bad reviews! I might give it a go…after half-marathon training!

  11. Krista says:

    So it sounds like the Days off AREN’T really off from exercise, are they planned out at all? Is the goal to make the days off the nigh intensity Days and the 28 min workout the “easy” days? Also How can you wta so many eggs a day! Breakfast and lUnch! Sorry this is all cAps, i’m not sure what is going on,

    • fleur says:

      i do the app and its 3 days of resistance based exercises (the 7x4min) and 3 days of recommended cardio – 30 min of walking, running, whatever. plus one rest day a week. she recommends Low intensity or only 15 min of high intensity, for quite a number of weeks.

    • Merrick says:

      Sounds like Fleur answered your question, but just wanted to pop in and say that yes, the “off” days are not actually “off of exercise,” but just the “other” days. I do 30 minutes of running on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, but no weights or other resistance exercise on those days.

      Also it’s only 2 eggs per day, so it’s not bad 😉

  12. Deepashree says:

    I am in week11 of BBG 1.0 – 1st round and have seen good results. I also run twice a week for 6.5 kms. CAn you please share how many kms you run or what other workouts you do other than bbg? you are in a great shape and hence would love to hear your reply. Can you also throw some more light of food and portion control?

    • Merrick says:

      I do a 2-3 mile run on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Those are the only other exercises I do.

      And as far as food and portion control, I just looked up about how many calories someone of my size should be eating and set my calorie intake at that within my MyFitnessPal app. Then as I input my meals in, it shows me how many calories I have left throughout the day. I’m not good at keeping track of specific portions (like 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, 1 serving of carbs, or whatever)…I just try to make my breakfast and lunch really veggie heavy and then eat whatever I want for dinner but keep it under my remaining daily calorie intake. That makes it really easy and mindless for me.

      Hope that helps!

  13. Cathgrace says:

    If you ever decide to move on to the app, if you do a whole year at once its only $10 a month vs the $20 of doing it month to month.

    The app has 5 different programs now, it has bbg (beginner, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0) and it has bbg stronger, (1.0 and 2.0) postpartum, yoga, and PWR.

    I’ve done bbg up to 3.0 (its the sAme-ish as 1.0 and 2.0, except it goes to 2, 14 minute rounds, instead of the 4, 7 minute rounds) and i just restarted the program so i could do it with my sister, but i may do the pwr program some weeks instead just for variety.

    • Merrick says:

      Oh that’s good to know about the price difference if you sign up for the year! $10 is much better than $20.

      Thanks for the other info too!!

  14. Caitlin says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I’ve been looking in to BBG for a while and couldn’t decide whether it was worth it or not. Sounds like you can fit things in to fit your lifestyle too, which is a huge bonus.

  15. Lori says:


    • Lori says:

      Sorry, I didn’t realize I had my caps lock on. I didn’t mean to yell at you’all.

      • Merrick says:

        I’m so glad to hear that it’s working well for you! And yes, so easy to track everything in one place – I love that too!

        Thanks for sticking around with me for so long! xox

  16. Katie g says:

    Thank you so much for all Of the info! Ive Wanted to start wEights but had no clue where to start and im going to try it out. Thank you! Also i found thAt same set of weights on amazon for $47 and prime shipping just in case anybody reading this wants to knOw 🙂

  17. Emeli says:

    Thank you for sharing your training program, it looks very useful. Recently, after reading the article best rowing machine I bought a simulator and constantly engaged at home. It saves me a lot of time and I’m always in great shape!

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