If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen that I have once again started doing the Sweat BBG workout program and I just completed the first four weeks last week. I started to get a lot of questions as I shared my workouts on Instagram so I thought I’d cull them all together in a post that answers all the most frequently asked questions you guys have!
All Your Sweat BBG Workout Questions Answered
As background, I started the BBG program initially in the summer of 2018 and then kept it up for over 9 months. I moved from BBG Beginner to BBG 1.0 to BBG 2.0. I only stopped following my skin cancer diagnosis as, after my surgery, I had to put a pin in working out for a bit. If you missed it last year, I did a full review of my experience with BBG Beginner and 1.0 and shared all my before and afters.
It’s felt so good to be back to a workout that really challenges me and while doing it in my NYC studio apartment has presented a new set of hurdles, it has been worth it. The sweaty sessions feel like an emotional cleanse and leave me feeling more confident, more energized and stronger each and every time.
First of all…What is BBG?
In a nutshell, the BBG 1.0 workout is a 12 week program featuring a variety of resistance and strength training workouts with High Intensity intervals. The program also recommends Low Intensity Steady States (LISS) throughout the week.
The HIIT workouts are 28 minutes and they each consist of doing 2, 7-minute circuits, 8 times total (Circuit 1 x 4 and Circuit 2 x 4) with 60 second breaks in between each one. The workouts target different areas and are done three times per week. In an ideal world, you complete Legs on Mondays, Arms on Wednesdays and Abs on Fridays. The circuits are 7 minutes each (you’ll do Circuit 1 twice within 7 minutes then Circuit 2 twice within 7 minutes and then repeat that from the top for a total of 28 minutes). The workouts are hard. I honestly couldn’t believe just how hard they were. In looking at each exercise you can most certainly under estimate the toughness! I generally end each workout dripping in sweat and am almost always sore the following day.
What’s the best way to start BBG and where do I find the workouts?
BBG is available via the Sweat app and also through the purchase of a PDF guide on the Sweat website. My first time doing BBG I bought the PDF guide and had it printed and bound so that I wasn’t on my phone and distracted during the workouts (except to keep time of the 7 minutes and play music) but now I’d never go back from using the app – I love the app!
The app shows you each move in motion so you don’t have any questions about form and it also keeps time for you each circuit counting down the 7 minutes while also allowing you to seamlessly sync with Spotify to have your preferred playlist play throughout the workout. The app will also guide you through the program – starting you with your new week every Monday when you launch the app. In addition to BBG, the Sweat app also offers various bonus challenges and additional workout programs so there’s tons of value in it.
The app costs $119.99 for the whole year which sounds like a lot but if you complete just 1 12-week program of BBG it equates to under $4/workout. That’s A LOT cheaper than going to a studio class and, having been using the app for a year now, I think it is 100% worth the spend. You can also pay monthly but it equates to being a bit more per month.
Did you do the Beginner workouts?
When I first started BBG in 2018 I did them and I highly recommend completing Beginner before you dive into the 12 week 1.0 program. They were hard even for someone like me who works out several times a week. They’ll also help familiarize yourself with the format and a lot of the moves so I think they’re a great way to start your BBG journey. Initially I did 5 weeks of the Beginner workouts before I moved onto the Training workouts but this year I skipped the Beginner workouts.
Is there enough variety? I struggle to stick with programs if I get bored!
Each workout is a mix up of a variety of the same moves you’ll see throughout the program. It does get somewhat repetitive but it also works so I remind myself of that whenever I start to get burpee fatigue. Every four weeks you’ll have new moves introduced however.
How long did it take for you to feel empowered rather than discouraged?
By the time I took my first progress photos after completing Week 4. I could notice subtle but worthwhile results that really made me excited to keep going! The progress photos are key to keeping yourself motivated.
Which of the optional workouts do you like? Abs or Upper Body?
I’ve actually never done any of the optional workouts! Something I may try in the future.
Do you do it fast or slower with a focus on form? I feel like I can’t get through fast with good form.
I 100% think it is most important to focus on form. If you get the form right then you’ll get the results the move is intended to bring. If you’re doing the moves wrong, then what’s the point, right? I only *just* started to feel like I could do lay down pushups. When I first started doing BBG I could feel I wasn’t doing them right and it was straining my lower back where I tend to have issues. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk so I would just do regular pushups. Now I have more upper body strength and when I re-started the program last month and encountered laydown pushups again I gave them a shot and was like “OH!! This is how this is supposed to feel!” It was empowering to see the progress I’d made.
I also find it super helpful to always be tightening your core during the moves. Your form will be improved and the moves become a bit “easier” to complete when you do this. Always, always modify as needed. Injuring yourself isn’t worth it.
What size of weights do you use? I’m doing beginner and there’s no reference.
I usually used between 5, 8 and 10lb weights my first time doing the program. (I worked up to using 10lbs). Now I only have 5lb weights in my apartment so I’m making those work but there are definitely moves I wish I had 8 or 10lb weights for. I’d say use what you have or use what feels comfortable yet challenging.
What equipment do you need and what do you do if you don’t have all the equipment?
The workouts do require some equipment including free weights, a medicine ball, a bench and a mat. I also recommend you have a towel and water for each workout. I prefer doing the workouts at a gym because of how sweaty you get but as I’m currently doing so during shelter in place – you can indeed make it work at home if you have some space for it. I’m getting creative using my coffee table for moves like tricep push ups and I’m re-placing step-ups with a similar move as I don’t have a bench of any sort. Despite these modifications, I still end each workout wiped and sweaty. Get creative and challenge yourself no matter what.
What’s the cost for the program and cost of equipment needed?
As mentioned above, the app is $119.99 when paid for annually. Equipment is relatively affordable or you can get creative using things you already have in your home if you’d prefer not to buy equipment at this time.
Do you ever do a different workout like BBG Stronger or PWR in the app at home?
I actually began PWR at Home at the onset of 2020 but then signed on to partner with ClassPass so put it on hold. I liked it but it definitely required more equipment (heavier weights, etc.) despite being an at-home program so I won’t be revisiting it anytime soon.
How long did it take for you to really see results?
Every four weeks when I took progress photos I saw results! It was enough of a change that I kept wanting to continue the workouts. I also think you’ll feel every couple of weeks how you’re getting stronger.
Here are my results so far having started Week 1 of 1.0 four weeks ago.
Area you saw results/strength in the quickest?
I would say my hips and my core. It was noticeable when I would put on my clothes.
Do you always spend 7 minutes on each round? Sometimes I do everything 2x with 1 minute left.
This happens to me, too on occasion! When it does I either start a third circuit or I grab free weights and do some lifting for an added upper body boost.
Do you follow the LISS / HIIT parts of the BBG program?
I don’t per se. I typically walk enough each week to count as my LIIS.
Do you supplement BBG with other exercise?
When I previously did BBG I supplemented the workouts with hot yoga 1-2x per week and loved how the stretching complimented BBG. I also did pilates reformer and boxing classes occasionally. This time around I am just doing 10-15 minute core workouts on the days I don’t do BBG. I may start working more yoga back in but right now I’m working my way into this new normal of workouts.
Any recommendations for motivating yourself to do the workouts?
Before every workout I would remind myself: you get out of it what you put in. Mental toughness is key during the workouts. You’re going to want to quit halfway through often. This is definitely when I would have to mentally tell myself I’ll be so happy when I complete it.
Historically I have never been a morning workout person but with BBG I always do them first thing in the morning so I can knock them out and not spend the day dreading them. I have found this has been key for my completion rate. Once they are done I feel so accomplished for the day already and I have more energy to take on what awaits me on my to do list. Put the workouts on your calendar like a meeting. When I start the program I mark off 8-9 on every M,W,F on my calendar so the time is accounted for.
Also be sure to check out the transformations as they are pretty amazing from the people who stuck with the program. I find them highly motivating to see.
Any advice for finishing the program from start to finish?
Have an accountability buddy you do the workout with so you’re motivating each other to keep it up! I also highly recommend doing the program fully through without taking breaks. Every time I took a week or even a day off when I did BBG initially, it proved harder to get back into it. Commit to it and you’ll be so happy when the 12 weeks are behind you!
And take your progress photos!! This is my #1 tip if you want to complete the program. Every four weeks when you take your photos you’ll see subtle but noticeable results and it is the most encouraging thing! BBG recommends you take a photo of yourself at the onset of the program and then every four weeks. I really can’t recommend doing this enough. The photos ended up being my biggest motivator in keeping the program up. I actually looked forward to taking the photos every four weeks. For me the photo I took at the onset of the program was also kind of a wake up call at seeing the improvements I could make.
Did you lose weight your first time around?
I didn’t! It wasn’t my goal to, either. I’m sure I would have had I changed my eating habits but I didn’t. I actually find it the most remarkable thing in my results from last year, too. You can see such change in my body but the scale didn’t fluctuate. I’m glad I can still fit in all my clothes but that they just look better on now. So I am hoping for the same results this time around, too.
I live in an apartment, is this going to disturb my neighbors?
I am extra cautious and put my yoga mat on my carpet for all the parts of the workout and am particularly consciences during all the jumping portions of the workouts. And I think if you do this too, should be fine!
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I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the Comments below. And here are all my favorite workout clothes.
p.s. my experience with body image and my workout playlist.
Thank you for sharing this! Like you, I’ve been doing home workouts (mostly free videos from YouTube) the last couple of weeks and started running again. But after seeing your results I might start doing BBG… You look great! 🙂
Thank you so much, Anne! Do let me know if you start the program!
Meghan, thanks so much for writing this post! I’ve started BBG so many times, and I end up quitting because I get discouraged. Your post really inspired me and also provided me with some helpful tips to keep me going. Thank you for always being so honest and for sharing your experiences!
Megan, thank you!! I’m so glad you found the post helpful and inspiring. Appreciate this thoughtful comment – means a lot to me!
I’ve heard a lot about this program and tried using it in the past. I agree that the workouts are intense, varied and keep you on your toes.
TW for EDs
However, I do want to point out that the eating plan that comes with the program isn’t suited for everyone, especially people with previous issues with food. Her suggested meal plan is right at the limit of most women’s basal metabolic rate, with quite a few users reporting that the recipes actually result in significant less calories consumed during the day. She also includes a table which points out the duration of certain activities that are required to burn off “naughty foods”. It’s really not a healthy approach to nutrition and can actually end up leading to longer recovery times and injury. I follow your IG too and it seems like you have a very healthy and balanced relationship with food but this may be worth noting for your followers.
Thanks for the thoughtful comment! I’m not familiar with her eating guidance at all but it’s a good call out
Thank you for all these details and answers to these common questions! I just started working out again regularly and decided to follow BBG because seemed very sustainable to make a part of my everyday life! For anyone who is a beginner, I’d suggest starting with even just 1 circuit, and working up to the 4. That suggestion REALLY helped me ease into weight training again with proper form and not get discouraged!
A great suggestion! Thank you for it!