I love all the different questions I get from you about how to exercise to get maximum results! One of the common questions I receive is if you can combine my program with another workout program.
I am happy for you to try different workout programs. After all, there are some great ones out there! But doing them at the same time as my Lean Legs Program probably won’t give you the results you want.
KAYLA ITSINES’ BBG REVIEW
One of the workout programs I am asked a lot about it Kayla Itsines’ BBG (Bikini Body Guide). I wanted to take a chance to answer your questions about the program and give you my thoughts!
WHAT IS KAYLA ITSINES’ BBG?
Kayla’s original BBG program is 12 weeks long. Now, she has over 80 weeks of workouts available, but the structure of all the weeks is similar.
Every week of the program includes the following types of workouts:
- Resistance training workouts
- Cardio workouts
- Recovery workouts
- Challenge workouts
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THE #BBGcommunity IS STRONGER THAN EVER!! 💛 The way you ladies supported each other throughout the #SWEATchallenge was INCREDIBLE. It made me so happy to see you pushing each other to achieve your goals and smash this challenge, I saw SO much positivity across social media and on the forum on the @SWEAT app!! This post is to say THANK YOU for being the best community in the world. 💪 SWIPE ACROSS to see the #BBGcommunity getting their workouts DONE: @fitcitymum @fitwithsweat @lifting.baby.and.dumbbells @tessrobiin @mealplanchicken I want everyone to leave a comment shouting out a #BBGcommunity member who helped them through this challenge! 👇 kaylaitsines.com/BBGatHome #BBGathome #SWEATathome
Kayla’s resistance training workouts are all circuit workouts. You do 4 circuits of 7 minutes each, adding up to about 28 minutes of workout.
In each circuit, you do 4 different exercises as fast as you can for the duration of 7 minutes. Your goal is to do as many of the exercises as possible for those 7 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, you take a 30-second break and then switch to the next circuit.
Each session focuses on a different part of the body (legs, arms and abs, and full body), and Kayla uses a combination of bodyweight moves, jumping, and strength-building exercises.
You do 3 sessions of resistance training per week.
EXAMPLE RESISTANCE WORKOUT
In one of the resistances workout on the BBG website, you do the following workout:
Cycle through the following exercises as much as you can for 7 minutes.
- Rebound Lunge – 20 repetitions (10 per side)
- Lay down Push-up – 15 repetitions
- X-Mountain Climber – 30 repetitions (15 per side)
- Straight leg raise – 15 repetitions
Take a 30 second break.
Once again, cycle through the following exercises as much as you can for 7 minutes.
- Bench Jump – 15 repetitions
- Tricep Dip – 15 repetitions
- Commandos – 24 repetitions (12 per side)
- Single-Leg Ab Bike – 24 repetitions (12 per side)
After completing circuit 2, repeat circuits 1 and 2 once more.
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#BBG – My program 💪 ⠀⠀⠀ – Every single BBG resistance workout is 28 minutes long. – There are 2 circuits which you repeat twice (4 in total). – Each circuit is 7 minutes. – There are 4 exercises per circuit. – Each exercise has reps next to it. – You repeat the 4 exercises over and over until the 7 minute timer goes off. ⠀⠀⠀ Your workout should look like this: ⠀⠀⠀ ✅Warm Up ✅Circuit One – 7 minutes ✅Rest – 60 seconds ✅Circuit Two – 7 minutes ✅Rest – 60 seconds ✅Repeat Circuit One – 7 minutes ✅Rest – 60 seconds ✅Repeat Circuit Two – 7 minutes ✅Cool Down ⠀⠀⠀ Download the @SWEAT app now to start my #BBG program today! 🙌 ⠀⠀⠀ kaylaitsines.com/BBGathome ⠀⠀⠀ #BBGatHome #SWEATatHome
MY THOUGHTS ON THE RESISTANCE TRAINING
Kayla’s resistance exercises are pretty intense, especially if you are a beginner. If you are new to working out, you might struggle to keep up with these circuits.
The BBG resistance workouts include a lot of skipping rope, jumping, lunge variations, squat variations, and burpees.
These moves are great for toning your legs if you are an ectomorph (like Kayla!). Ectomorphs tend to struggle with having the so called skinny fat look. They are usually very slim, they don’t build muscle tone easily and weight loss is not their main goal. Instead, they tend to want to look more toned and defined.
The resistance training in these workouts should help Ectomorphs look lean (like a model!) without adding bulk or getting bigger.
However, if you have a Mesomorph or Endomorph body type, your legs will most likely become bigger and more muscular from this program. Squats, lunges and jump rope make most girls thighs bigger, especially if you’re doing them regularly.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think having muscular legs is a bad thing. It just depends on your preferences. :)
If you want to build your leg muscles, this program will help you do that. But, if you want to slim down your thighs, these resistance exercises probably aren’t the best choice for you.
And what about cardio?
RELATED POST: WILL DANCING, CYCLING, BARRE, JUMP ROPE MAKE MY LEGS BIGGER
Depending on the week, you do 3-5 cardio workouts with Kayla’s BBG program. These cardio workouts are broken down into 2-4 low-intensity sessions of 35-45 minutes and 1 HIIT session of 10-20 minutes. The HIIT sessions are optional in the beginning.
For low-intensity workouts, Kayla lets you pick from the following:
- 35-45 minutes of fast-paced walking
- 34-45 minutes of cycling
- 35-45 minutes on a cross-trainer
And for HIIT workouts, Kayla lets you pick from the following:
- 10-15 minutes of interval sprints on a treadmill, rower, or bike
- 10-15 minutes of interval sprints running on a flat surface
All of the HIIT workouts follow a 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off structure. In other words, go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, and then walk or go very slowly and steadily for 30 seconds. Repeat this for the duration of the workout.
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AT HOME CARDIO #BBGathome #SWEATathome One request I’m getting a lot at the moment is for cardio options you can complete at home. For the ladies asking, YES you can march on the spot or run up and down your hallway, but for me the BEST way to get a great cardio workout is by incorporating exercises I know are really going to get my heart rate up INTO my circuit training. Save this workout and try it today. 💪🌟 Circuit 1 ✅Jump Squat – 10 reps ✅Mountain Climber – 30 reps (15 each side) ✅Burpee – 10 reps ✅Skipping (or Air Skips) – 50 reps Circuit 2 ✅Snap Jump – 10 reps ✅High Knees – 30 reps ✅Double Pulse Squat – 10 reps ✅Jumping Jacks – 20 reps Try to complete as many laps of each circuit as possible in 7 minutes, then repeat! You’ve got this. 🙌 www.kaylaitsines.com/BBGatHome #BBG #BBGStronger #BBGBeginner #BBG2020 #BBGcommunity #fitnessvideo #athomeworkout #athomecardio
MY THOUGHTS ON THE LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO
I like that Kayla allows you to pick the low-intensity cardio that works best for you. I always suggest that you pick walking if you can though. :) Walking is a fantastic way to burn fat and slim your thighs.
I recommend that Ectomorphs walk 2-3 times a week for 34-45 minutes each.
But girls who are an Endomorph and Mesomorph body type will probably want to do more than this. So if you’re an Endomorph or Mesomorph, I suggest walking 5-6 times a week, especially if you want to lose weight. :)
Although cycling and cross-training can be fun ways to get your cardio in, some girls don’t like the way this type of cardio impacts their bodies.
Endomorphs and Mesomorphs will most likely notice that their legs are getting bigger if they do a lot of cycling. Other types of cardio, especially if you use your legs muscles a lot, can cause the same thing.
RELATED POST: THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FAT BURNING ZONE – HOW TO BURN MORE FAT
MY THOUGHTS ON THE HIIT WORKOUTS
HIIT is an excellent mix of cardio and resistance training. It’s important for improving your metabolism and cardiovascular health!
But most HIIT workouts are very focused on the lower body. And a lot of girls will notice their legs bulk up when they do lots of HIIT, which is why I specifically create HIIT workouts that HIIT workouts that won’t make your legs bigger.
The sprinting, rowing, and biking that are in the BBG program will make most girls’ legs bulkier! Sprinting and biking are obviously very lower-body focused, but rowing actually is too! You use your arms, core, and legs a lot when you row.
Also, the HIIT workouts in BBG might be a bit too challenging for you if you’re new to working out. I like that Kayla makes the HIIT workouts optional in the beginning. This helps people adjust to doing low-intensity cardio and resistance training first.
RELATED POST: HIIT VS LISS – WHICH IS BETTER FOR FAT LOSS
Every week you do three recovery workouts — one for your lower body, one for your upper body, and one for your full body. You also have one full rest day per week.
The recovery workouts are made up of a combination of foam rolling and stretching.
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WAKE UP ROUTINE <<SWIPE FOR >> WIND DOWN ROUTINE⠀⠀⠀⠀ Here are a few quick easy stretches you can do when you wake up in the morning or go to sleep! ⠀⠀⠀⠀ Is anyone like me and finding it difficult to wake up motivated in the morning or struggling to wind down in the evenings?? Now more than ever, it’s important we try to create and stick to a daily routine (as best we can) to help our bodies recognise when it’s time to wake up and wind down. Here are some simple routines that you can include in your day to help you get up and ready in the morning or wind down and prepare your body for sleep at night. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ www.kaylaitsines.com/SWEATchallenge ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #BBG #SWEATchallenge #wakeuproutine #winddownroutine #stretchroutine
MY THOUGHTS ON THE RECOVERY WORKOUTS
The recovery workouts are great! It is important to give your body time to recover. Stretching and foam rolling will help prevent injury, keep your muscles from being sore, and ensure that you stay flexible.
Foam rolling specifically is one of my favourite ways to get rid of and prevent muscle soreness. When you foam roll, you are essentially giving your muscles a massage. This will help you loosen up knots in your muscles, relieve tension, and improve blood flow. Sign me up!
The weekly day off in the BBG program will give your body a chance to rest and get ready for the next week. If you do this program, I recommend that you follow the weekly rest day. :)
Every week, Kayla provides you with different workout challenges to complete. Most of the time, you are required to complete a certain number of repetitions of an exercise. Some of the challenges are:
- 500 repetition ab challenge
- 600 repetition leg press
MY THOUGHTS ON THE CHALLENGE WORKOUTS
I love a good challenge, and it can feel nice to accomplish something. If you’ve been working out for a long time, you might feel a sense of satisfaction by completing the challenges.
But these challenges are probably going to be too hard for beginners. If you are new to exercising you might want to try out the challenges after at least a couple of weeks of training. :)
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Are you up for an AT HOME CHALLENGE today? #BBGathome #SWEATathome ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are so many challenge workouts in the @SWEAT app and you can access them from the main page – just scroll down👇🏼 ! My favourite is the advanced 1000 rep challenge, which you can do using no equipment so it’s perfect to do at home. There are 40 exercises and you need to complete the set amount of reps before moving on to the next exercise – the goal is to see how quickly you can complete 1000 reps in total! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you scroll further down in the app dashboard there are also TARGETED AREA workouts, where you can choose a workout with a particular focus – you can choose from Glutes (12 workouts), Core Strength & Abs (10 workouts) or Shoulders (12 workouts). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ You can also change the program week you’re on if you want to move onto more challenging workouts – click on your avatar icon, and choose “Manage My Program” and select a week from there. For BBG, there are 92 weeks to choose from!!! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ www.kaylaitsines.com/BBGatHome ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #BBG #BBGStronger #BBGBeginner #BBG2020 #fitnessvideo #athomechallenge
DOES KAYLA ITSINES’ BBG PROGRAM REALLY WORK?
This program is well-balanced. It includes resistance training, low-intesnity cardio, HIIT cardio, and recovery workouts. These are all important for losing fat, building muscle, and staying healthy!
Only you can determine if this program works or not. It just depends on your goals. If you want to lose fat, this program should help you accomplish this. If you don’t mind putting on a bit more muscle, this program will work for you too.
Some girls are concerned about looking bulky. If you’re worried about that or are prone to building muscle easily, this program might not work for you. 2 out of 3 female body types build muscle easily, so I’d say that most girls will notice that their legs got more muscular at the end of this 12-week program.
WILL BBG HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?
This program should definitely help you lose fat and tone up, especially if you are eating clean and healthy. But BBG might not help you lose weight.
What’s the difference between fat loss and weight loss? When you burn fat, you are using your stored body fat as energy. This helps reduce your overall body fat percentage. When you lose weight, you’re losing fat, muscle, and even body fluid. Some girls want to lose just fat, but others actually want to lose weight.
I’ve written more about how fat loss and weight loss are different here. :)
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MY #BBG PROGRAM #BBGathome #SWEATathome “Do I Need To Do BBG In The GYM?” No, you do not need a gym to complete my BBG program. 💪 My BBG program is designed for women to complete their workouts from the comfort of their own home. 🙌 Here are a few exercises from one of my #BBG workouts! ⠀⠀⠀ ✅Jump Lunge ✅Pop Squat ✅X Hop ✅Knee Up ⠀⠀⠀ Don’t forget to tune in to my #MondayNightMeetups this Monday, May 18! We’re hosting a number of premieres on my Facebook page to create the best possible experience for you, with workouts starting at Monday 6pm for Sydney, London, USA (East Coast) and USA (West Coast). Exact times for your local area may vary, so head to my Facebook page to see the workout premiere time for your location. ⠀⠀⠀ I am going to be taking you through a high intensity, NO EQUIPMENT workout like this one that you can do from the comfort of your own home. I can’t WAIT! ⠀⠀⠀ #BBGcommunity #homeworkouts #fitnessvideo
SHOULD YOU COMBINE BBG WITH MY PROGRAM?
I don’t want to disappoint you but I wouldn’t recommend it! BBG is not a bad program, and I have nothing against you trying it. :) But, if you combine it with my program, you will be working out way too much! :/
Doing both of our programs at the same time would mean you are doing 6-7 resistance training workouts a week. That’s a lot. You don’t need that much resistance training!
If you’re doing my programs, you are probably trying to avoid bulking up your legs. Combining my program with BBG will almost certainly make your thighs and calves get bigger.
We all want results quickly. But slimming our legs, toning our abs, and other changes to our body sadly doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of women that I talk to want to make their results go faster by:
- Going on extreme diets
- Trying fad pills and teas
- Or overexercising
Some girls like to combine my program with other programs with the hope that this will help them see results faster. But it doesn’t work this way. Ironically, working out too much can actually slow down your progress and affect your results negatively.
Doing more than one workout program can lead you to overwork your body, which can lead to bulky muscles, exhaustion, stress, overeating, or other problems.
Kayla Itsines’ BBG workout program will make you work hard! The workouts are no joke, and beginners might struggle with some of them.
Girls who are worried about bulking up should learn more about their body type and the types of exercises that are in the BBG program. They might find that BBG makes them more muscular than what they want. :)
But, if you’re looking to burn fat and become stronger, this is a good option for you.
I love answering your questions! If you have any more fitness programs you’d like me to review, please let me know in the comments. xx
Featured image credit: Kayla Itsines’ Instagram
Não consigo andar ou correr 5x na semana, por conta do trabalho no máximo 3, sendo assim o que posso fazer para substituir e ter os mesmos resultados?
To be honest, from Rachael’s experience, walking is by far the most effective cardio exercise for slimming down! But if you are in a quarantine or the weather has been terrible the entire day and you can’t get out, you can temporarily substitute it for these two in-door cardio videos:
FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO
FREE AT-HOME CARDIO VIDEO (BOXING)
Again, keep in mind that it’s not as effective as walking is but it will be way better to practice these than skip your daily cardio routine. <3
Is it ok if I do the BBG and replace the squats, lunges, burpees and row jumping with some of your leg exercises? Do you think it will still bulk my legs (I am a mesomorph). I’ve been doing your programme for 6 months and would like to switch it up a bit, for a few months. Thanks ❤️
Thanks for reaching out! :)
Kayla’s plan is HIIT based so the exercises are all high intensity. High-intensity training is great but for some body types, it can cause bulkiness, especially in the legs. Rachael’s Program focuses more on low-intensity circuits to tone up without getting too muscular. There are no exercises such as squats and lunges, and the cardio is focused on non bulking as well.
Since you are a mesomorph, it is possible that doing BBG will still cause you to gain muscles even if you replace the exercises you mentioned, but you can always try and see how it goes! I just recommend you take before and after pics to track your progress <3
Let me know if you need help with anything else :)
I am doing with your program, but would also like to mix it up with the new sweat programme – barre with Brittany. Do you think her program will bulk up my legs?
Many thanks in advance for your advice ! ☺️
Thanks for reaching out! :)
Rachael doesn’t recommend mixing her Program with any other, because it includes a lot of physical activities and your body needs time to rest in order to perform a best as possible.
Also, she can’t guarantee the results if you combine other programs with it. :) xx
Hi Lean legs team
I would like to get your thoughts about one-hour swimming with long fines for legs toning.
I guess it is both cardio and resistance train.
Do you think it will make me bulk thighs or slim them ?
thanks for reaching out! <3
Swimming shouldn't cause any bulkiness and is great for slimming down. It's a good workout to add variety to your training. However, I wouldn’t suggest swimming as your sole source of aerobic, weight loss exercise. I would use swimming as part of a well-planned training program that includes various forms of exercise.
I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx
Just finished first week of your program after 4 months of consistent BBG where I had some really satisfying results! I am Mesomorph so I hope your program will give me some even better results ! I will keep you posted :)
We’re so glad to hear that! <3 Please keep up us updated on your progress! Feel free to email us at email@example.com
Another ex BBG here! I did BBG for over a year: I really enjoyed it… the workouts are hard and challenging, but I was actually looking forward to doing them and I felt good and strong afterwards. Why did I quit then? I started because I wanted a programme that I could easily do from home in order to get more toned and defined (especially around my tights) and to stay active besides walking… unfortunately I did not notice the changes in my body I was hoping for: I got more muscular (I did not really care about it at the beginning, I thought that I was just part of the game and that it would get better the more I practiced) but in the last few months I noticed that I was struggling to get into my jeans! I was toned, but I did not look and felt like that…
Now I have been doing Rachel’s program for just one week, I’m still struggling with my jeans of course, but I really appreciate that she does stress so much the need on walking!
It is too soon to tell… But I’m starting to feel a bit more confident about the way I look
Hi lovely <3,
I am very happy you're starting to feel more confident!<3
Please know that if you have any questions you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org any time!:)
An ex BBG here! I did the program for 6 months and built muscle all body round including my legs which I did not like. I don’t think HIIT training is for everyone and as you said it can easily put beginners off. Your lean legs program demonstrated that with more balanced effort women can achieve equal or better results aiming at being lean without getting exhausted and sore the following day for months. I think BBG does not stress enough the need to balance cardio (walking) unlike you do in your program. I like the recovery sessions as Kayla is one of the few trainers who built a comprehensive stretching routine. I also believe that a Pilates program could complement nicely your lean legs program. Take great care!
Hi lovely <3,
Thank you for this great feedback!
It is very appreciated. <3
I would be interested in your opinion of my body type. You meant I one when replying to Taylor that you could assess her body type if she sent you pictures in sport wear.
Could I do the same because I’m confused as to whether I’m a tall Endo or a Mesomorph
Is there also a way to avoid any strain on my neck whilst doing the course as I’m scheduled for a disc replacement op when all this craziness is over and hospitals open fully. Thank you
Please feel free to email us a full body picture in sports clothing to email@example.com and we can help you determine your body type <3
Thanks very much Sanja. I’m doing the lean legs full video program so trying to mix in a bit of variety but also conscious not to include too much HIIT as well – I think 2-3 days per week of Rachael’s HIIT routines is recommended?
That’s correct, I would aim for 1-2 days of HIIT :)
Please let me know if you have any questions! xx
This is great information. However, I have one question to ask you, is your program effective for petite women, women who are 5ft.4 inches tall and under? There is another program, called Petite Power which is done by April Whitney. April looks amazing and like you is awesome, but she focuses more on weight lifting to lose weight. Do you think you could do a review on her program? As I petite woman, I honestly like both of your programs, but I need to know which one would make me look long and lean.
Hi lovely <3
Thank you for reaching out! The 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program is definitely beneficial for girls which are on the shorter side! You see, it's all about body type so there is a big difference between, for example, a short endomorph ad ectomorph. Ectomorphs are naturally lean and don't gain weight or pack muscle that easy (think of a shorter Kate Moss, for example) while endomorphs are quite the opposite so they can't get away with some of the things that ectomorphs can - those include HIIT, weight lifting and in some cases, even running.
So what I'm saying is that if you are a short endomorph, I would definitely advise against lifting weights unless you don't mind a more muscular look (in which case you should definitely go for it!). But if you prefer a leaner look, then Rachael's Program would be a great match for you – I suggest you send me your pic in sports clothes to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can check out your legs, waist and figure and help you figure out your body type. You can include any questions you have about the Program in the email – I and the other girls from my team would be happy to respond!
As for reviewing the ‘Petite Power’ – thank you for your suggestion – it might be a great idea for some of the next blog posts:)
I will definitely share this with Rachael and I am sure she will consider it as she loves answering your questions. :) xx
Hi Rachael – I wondered if you could review the Yoga Burn Total Body/Trim Core/Booty Challenge. I have tried all of these and really enjoy them as they are fun and quick. I’ve now scaled back on all except the Trim Core Challenge (which I do daily) and also swapped out the squats/lunges that are added in the metabolic sequencing as I felt that my legs may get bulky. Would be grateful for your thoughts – thank you!
Thanks for reaching out! <3
I will definitely bring up your suggestion to Rachael!
Please let me know if you have any questions! xx