Why Kayla Itsines' BBG App Wasn't For Me

In the world of Instagram famous health-stars, Kayla Itsines is a big name. She has built an incredible following. If you take a look at Kayla's Instagram page, you will see picture after picture of before/after images depicting women who have lost incredible amounts of weight and toned their bodies using her program.

about the workout

Her program boasts a slimmed-down, healthy body using a strict, targeted regiment of 28-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, mixed with some LISS (low intensity steady state) workouts. Each of the HIIT workouts, which are the main portion of the program, consist of two different circuits. Each circuit contains four exercises. A circuit is performed non-stop for 7 minutes at a time before switching to the other circuit for another 7 minutes. Each circuit is performed twice, adding up to a 28 minute workout. In addition to HIIT and LISS, the app recommends recipes and helps you plan out strategic rest days. 

I had been told that the BBG app would be great for me, as I was typically traveling during the week and on weekends, meaning I didn't always have access to a proper gym. I downloaded the BBG app and signed up for the 7 day trial. This sounded great! I could easily get in a quick 28-minute workout anywhere!

I quickly learned that this was not the case.

In fact, you do need some equipment. For some of the workouts, you need a fair amount of equipment.

Let's take a peek at some of her workouts.

attempt 1

The first time I tried using BBG was a morning when I didn't feel like walking to the gym in the cold. I pulled out my yoga mat (something I don't have when actually traveling) and opened up a leg workout.

I worked my way through to the second circuit, which included doing weighted lunges and squats with a medicine ball (check out the first BBG app screenshot above). I do not own any sorts of weights and therefore decided to be creative.

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I pulled out two 1.5 liter bottles of wines. Odd shape aside, they were heavy enough to do the trick. I finished up the workout using my makeshift weights, skipping over the exercises which called for a bench (second BBG app screenshot above).

Yes, I am in fact doing bicep curls with two wine bottles in that second picture.

I had worked up a sweat and was fairly happy with the workout itself! The exercises were all ones I had done before, but the app provided picture and video tutorials for those I wasn't familiar with. The alternating circuits provided some variety and I found myself out of breath trying to fit in as many sets as I could within the 7-minute circuit times.

attempt 2

The next time I tried out BBG was while visiting Jon. I didn't have a yoga mat this time around, so I decided a fluffy bath towel on the hardwood floor would have to suffice. This time, using the app was a bit harder. Jon only had some measly bottles of beer (which I cracked open later), with no wine bottles in sight. And again, there wasn't anything for me to use as a bench either. The workout became obsolete pretty quickly and I found myself substituting in my own exercises.

Why did I need an app if I had to make up half the workout on my own?

Furthermore, I found that I wasn't even able to opt for LISS. This meant a low intensity exercise, such as walking or using the elliptical. I wasn't quite feeling up for walking around in the cold, and I didn't have access to a treadmill or an elliptical. This added in another facet that wasn't quite travel-friendly.

final thoughts

The BBG app definitely has some solid workouts, if you have access to the proper equipment. The workouts incorporate your necessary weekly cardio with strength training in a quick and easy format. It is a program that anyone from a beginner to someone more comfortable in the gym can use.

I can't vouch for the results that the program provides. Instagram seems to tell the tale that the results (if you stick with the program) can be phenomenal. Based off what my needs were (a travel friendly workout), I decided to cancel my subscription. If I ever switch to a job which requires less travel and allows me to workout more at my gym, I may definitely be looking back into BBG.

Since canceling my subscription, I've made the switch to ClassPass and have been thrilled with the decision. It's been doing wonders for adding in variety to my weekly workouts!