The Bikini Body Guide By Kayla Itsines

Are you trying to get in top shape and looking for the right exercise program to achieve that goal? In that case, you should be familiar with Australian coach Kayla Itsines' popular BBG workout. The program aims to give your metabolism a boost, reinvent your entire shape, and be suitable for all female body sizes.

The show looks amazing and is promoted by celebrities and many personal success stories. More than nine million people follow Itsines on Instagram with an even greater audience of 22 million on Facebook.

What makes this program so popular and effective? Kayla and other fitness experts help answer these questions.


The BBG program includes a series of e-books titled Bikini Body Guides, commonly known as the BBG workout. You've probably seen people posting exercise images with the hashtag #BBG on social media.

The before and after shots launched a BBG move and the rest is history.

According to Itsines, more than 20 million women around the world are using his program and getting results.

Kayla shared in an interview that she created the BBG workouts in 2014 alongside her fiancé and Sweat CEO Tobi Pearce.

They were first available through an e-book, The Bikini Body Guide, which gave women access to more than 12 weeks of BBG workouts. This included 28-minute resistance exercises, as well as educational information.

She and her team felt it was important for BBG to include steps and instructions, along with safe and effective exercises for women. Teaching proper form and technique was also a development goal of the program to help empower women to exercise with knowledge and confidence.

Kayla describes BBG as a 4-6 session per week program that incorporates high intensity training, plyometrics, as well as cardio and recovery sessions.

Kayla also notes that the workout is suitable for women of all fitness levels. Workouts last 28 minutes, making them easy to fit into a busy schedule and can easily be done at home with or without equipment.

To improve the program, Kayla shared that in 2017, Tobi Pierce launched the Sweat app, where his BBG and BBG Stronger programs are available.

Although you can do the workout without equipment, Kayla's website recommends hand weights, a weight medicine ball, jumping rope, and a bench or flat surface area. A foam roller for stretching is suggested, but not required.

How does BBG work?

BBG uses a circuit-style training method and groups four different exercises per session. Each circuit suggests that you complete a certain number of repetitions per exercise.

The program emphasizes AMGRAP (as many rounds as possible) for seven minutes before moving on to the next circuit.

BBG circuits consist of multiple exercises (in this case, four) for multiple repetitions, completed in a specified time, according to Tony Maloney, the ACSM-certified exercise physiologist.

Kayla's program consists of two 7-minute AMGRAPS of four exercises with different repetitions that she completes twice with one minute of rest between AMGRAPS.

The program is divided into different parts of the body, such as arms and abs, legs and the whole body, says Maloney. It also combines strength training and cardio-based movements.

Each circuit program can be completed in less than 30 minutes. The ability to finish a workout in less time is part of the allure of BBG. It is a program that easily adapts to a busy lifestyle.


Kayla says her BBG workouts are based on the workouts she has done with clients as a personal trainer since 2008. Often times, new clients flocked to her after seeing the amazing results their friends were getting from the program. She knew from the beginning that this style of training was effective.

The combination of plyometric training, cardio, and recovery sessions at BBG helps improve your overall fitness, according to Kayla. The program allows you to achieve and maintain a lean and strong physique.

BBG training seems to bring positive and effective results. The program applies basic circuit training, but also increases the challenge with high intensity interval training (HIIT).

High intensity movements to maximize energy expenditure during your workout. During recovery, your body works hard to replenish the oxygen that was used during your workout, of which fat is the main source of energy, Kayla says.

After and during recovery, your body continues to burn calories after exercise as it works to replenish depleted oxygen. This is called COPD (excessive oxygen consumption after exercise) and can last for several hours after exercise, according to Kayla.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) remains a very popular exercise method among fitness consumers and is backed by more and more research every day, according to fitness expert Tony Maloney. HIIT can be very effective mainly due to the greater training effect in much less time.

Simply put, the more you exercise, the more energy (calories) you burn. In addition, energy is used during adaptation and recovery from the training session. This means that you are burning a lot of calories after you stop training.

Additionally, this style of training can improve blood insulin sensitivity, resulting in better metabolic health, Maloney suggests.

Keeping the motions simple is another way this program can be effective, Maloney says. Most people can do them and they are widely used; for a reason, they work.


BBG uses progressive training, starting with basic movements and adding increasing challenges as you adapt to the exercise. Itsines promotes its program in a simple way, using a basic format and making it easy to get started.

Kayla says that the BBG program is suitable for women of all ages and fitness levels, with the exception of pregnant women.

The workouts are designed so that depending on your current fitness level, you can control the intensity of your workouts.

You can gradually increase the speed of completion of the circuits, as well as adapt the resistance of the weight to your liking.

As you progress, the intensity of the exercises also slowly increases, as does the complexity of the exercises as you get stronger, fitter, and more confident.

Given that the exercises lean towards the beginner's side of the fitness pendulum and considering any individual limitations in movement, it can be safe for anyone, assuming there are regressions / options for the movements, indicates exercise physiologist Tony Maloney.

BBG offers a four-week pre-workout workout. This is especially useful for new users who are not sure how to start the program.

It can be useful to build confidence and prepare you for the rest of the circuits. You can also start a brisk walking program on your own before using the program.

Kayla says that the Sweat app also offers users an in-depth education section. This section discusses the general principles of cardiovascular training, resistance training, stretching, posture, and injury prevention.

Itsines always recommends that you consult your healthcare professional before beginning any exercise program to ensure that the exercise style is right for you.

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Source: Women's Health UK

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