Friday, January 12, 2018

How to Rock Kayla Itsines' BBG | #NewMe2018

Hello, beautiful! If you follow me on Twitter, you know I recently announced that I would be starting Kayla Itsines' BBG program to get fit for the New Year.

If you haven't heard of Kayla yet, she's a killer Australian trainer with an equally killer set of abs. I mean, just look at this girl's bod:

Total girl crush, am I right or amirite? Anyways, Kayla started the BBG program (BBG stands for "Bikini Body Guides") to help women build a beautiful, strong body that they feel confident in. To Kayla, a bikini body isn't about having the perfect body type, but rather a body that makes you want to wear that sexy string bikini. Don't you just love that?

Personally, I'm joining the BBG program to get fitter and get back into a healthy routine. For me, it's not just about a "bikini body," but also about a healthy mind, since exercise is the #1 treatment for depression and anxiety. Because happy people just don't shoot their husbands, as my fave girl Elle Woods once said...okay, you're right, that wasn't funny.

Regardless of my reasoning (or bad jokes), I'm starting the BBG program this January - and I want you to join me! Kayla's positive attitude and tough workouts will totally rock you and your hot bod, so I'm here to tell you how YOU can rock it right back. Let's get started!

Tip #1: Take Consistent Progress Pics

Since Kayla is adamant that BBG is NOT just about the number on the scale, it's important to measure your progress in other ways. How you feel, how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror are all more important indications of your progress than how much you weigh! You can, of course, weigh in regularly for a guiding number - but keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, and weight is no indication of health. 

Though you have many choices, Kayla says the best way to track your progress is with before and after pictures - check out her Instagram account to see some killer transformation pics from BBG! Every week or so, take a photo of yourself in a sports bra and leggings/shorts from the front and to the side. Store these in a secret folder on your phone so you're not self-conscious about what anyone thinks of them - and at the end of the 28-day program, consider posting a before and after pic with #HMBdoesBBG for the chance to be featured on my Insta! 

Tip #2: Read Kayla's BBG Books

Kayla currently has two books out: The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide and The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide. Personally, I have bought both of them; I've finished reading the habits guide but haven't gotten around to reading her 28-day lifestyle guide. 

In the motivation & habits guide, Kayla talks a lot about why women don't get the results they want or expect with BBG - and the number one reason? They skip workouts due to a lack of motivation. One of Kayla's top tips for motivating yourself to work out in this book is to educate yourself as much as you can about the "how" and "why" of nutrition and fitness, so you understand exactly why it's important to exercise and eat healthy for your body, mind and soul. 

Thankfully, Kayla's books are designed to be the perfect source of info for anyone doing BBG! They include comprehensive nutrition guides, recipes and tons of inspirational quotes and tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Plus, the motivation & habits guide even came with a pull-out poster showing the four weeks of exercises, so I definitely recommend buying a print version (rather than the ebook). 

Tip #3: Get Used to Lifting Heavy

The BBG program is NOT for the faint of heart when it comes to using the gym and/or equipment in your workouts! It depends which version of BBG you're doing (i.e. following the workout programs in Kayla's books or following the 1.0 and 2.0 guides), but at the very least, you need to be comfortable lifting moderate hand weights (or willing to try and become comfortable as you go along). For either program, I would suggest starting with 5-8 lbs in each hand and gradually increasing as you find yourself getting stronger!

Regardless of which edition of BBG you're following, it quickly becomes clear that BBG is intended to be performed in the gym. So, bring your pull-out poster or BBG printouts with you and head on over to your campus fitness center - and don't try to do BBG in your dorm room or apartment, because it just won't work out well for you. After all, you need tons of space for BBG, as well as equipment ranging from benches and jump ropes to Bosu balls and weights...which is why it's time to get used to lifting heavy!

Tip #4: Don't Be Afraid to Substitute

This goes for both meals and workouts: don't be afraid to change things up! So many times, when following a regimented workout and meal plan like BBG, you become terrified to break from the plan and not see the results you want. But try to remember that as long as you're doing something, you're working toward a healthier, happier version of yourself - so, feel free to skip your LISS or HIIT for the day and go to a yoga or boxing class with a girlfriend, or a long hike with your family. 

I'm also a firm believer that it's important to still live your life when doing a program like BBG. You can still go to that party or go out to dinner with your S.O. even when you're on BBG! The occasional treat isn't a bad thing, and one "bad" meal won't make you "fat." And besides, it's important not to get too caught up in self-regulation and restriction, which can lead to disordered eating or uncontrollable binges. 

In other words, if you want ice cream, have a kiddie cup, and go back to your regular routine tomorrow. As long as it's not every day, then follow the wise words of Tom Haverford and treat yo' self, girl! ;)

Tip #5: Set Yourself Up for Success

...ahead of time, that is! You can and will succeed in completing the full BBG program (I believe in you!), but I will admit that it takes plenty of planning to fit this workout plan into an already-busy schedule. Luckily, there are a few small purchases you can make in addition to BBG ( here for a free PDF download of the first BBG!) to help set yourself up for success. Here's some of my fave fitness and workout equipment to stock up on before you start BBG:
  • Wall calendar. I use a huge 2018 wall calendar I got from the Target Dollar Spot for $3 to write down all my workouts and meals, as well as my assignments and other school commitments. This is a great way to visualize your schedule and plan to squeeze in your 28-minute workout ahead of time!
  • Filtered water bottle. If you want to trick yourself into drinking more water, then get this Brita water bottle. I've been using it for weeks now and I've drank more water than I ever have before! Not only does the straw make it so easy to absentmindedly sip at your desk, but the filter helps you feel clean and actually enjoy the taste of boring old tap water. YASS, girl!
  • Yoga mat. Maybe this is a personal preference, but there's something I just love about having my own yoga mat when I go to the gym. Not only is it more hygienic than sharing with the sweaty guy who never wipes his mat, but the personalization aspect motivates me. This is the exact yoga mat I bought from Amazon - the bright colors get me excited to exercise every time I see them!
  • Basic hand weights. Some days, you won't feel like making the trek across campus to the gym - which is why I suggest keeping a basic pair of 5-8 lb hand weights in your dorm room. You can easily improvise some of the BBG equipment with things you have around the house (i.e. using a chair as a bench), but hand weights are pretty tricky to duplicate. Thankfully, Amazon sells this colorful set for super cheap - and with Prime student, you can have 'em in two days flat!
  • Optional: ClassPass membership. I recently sprung for a ClassPass membership, and I've got to say that it's one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself. With ClassPass, you can pop into any studio you want 3-10 times (depending on your membership option) over the course of a month. I happen to think it's the perfect way to supplement BBG because it provides just enough variety to keep me from getting bored! 

What are your thoughts on Kayla's BBG program? Will you be joining me? LMK in the comments below!