So you’ve just started BBG? Or maybe you’ve been considering starting, but haven’t taken the plunge yet? Or maybe you’re like me and quit after only a couple of weeks because the program is so damn hard? (Yes, my very first time attempting BBG I quit after 2 weeks. Thankfully I got back on the bandwagon and have now been doing the program for what’s soon to be 2 years.) Because I know how difficult the program is, and how defeating it can feel when you’re struggling to make it through each workout, I thought I would weigh in with some (hopefully) helpful advice:
Be kind to yourself, and remember that we ALL start somewhere. If it’s been years since you’ve last stepped foot in a gym, or if this is your first ever attempt at really exercising, starting a fitness routine can be daunting and discouraging. But, it’s important not to allow your fear or anxiety to prevent you from trying, because let’s face it, we all start somewhere. No athlete, fitness competitor, or fitness model became one overnight – they too started at square one. Remember that the most difficult part is actually starting, and you should give yourself credit for even making the decision to try.
There is NO shame in doing the Pre-Training. The Pre-Training is included in the guide for a reason! I know you likely want to dive in head first and skip over the 4 weeks of Pre-Training, however, if you haven’t exercised in a considerable amount of time – it’s probably not the best idea to skip it. The Pre-Training is a great time to learn correct form, to focus on your breathing, and to get your body used to the exercises that you’ll be doing throughout the course of the next 12-24+ weeks.
DON’T hesitate to MODIFY exercises. If a workout calls for you to do 10 burpees, and you can barely even do 1, don’t beat yourself up about it. Start with 1 burpee. If a workout calls for jump lunges and you don’t yet feel comfortable enough to do them, do standard lunges instead. When I first started BBG I remember the very first leg day called for 10 burpees, I could only do 2 before my chest started to burn so badly that I felt like I was going to pass out. So guess what? I did 2 burpees, I took a quick break, and I moved on to the next exercise. Fast forward nearly 2 years later and I can now do 20 consecutively. Are they still grueling? Absolutely. But with time, and consistent effort, you’ll build up your strength and stamina, and find yourself able to things that you could have never envisioned. So don’t feel guilty or discouraged if you have to modify exercises, or use less weight than what the program calls for, do what you can, and have faith that with time you will become stronger.
DON’T stress out about the timer. If you’re new to working out, or haven’t worked out in years, the timer can seem a bit daunting. You might think, “What if I can’t even complete the circuit one time in 7 minutes? What if I need to take breaks throughout the circuit?” When I first started BBG, I remember setting a timer for 7 minutes, and feeling instantly discouraged when it went off before I had even completed all 4 of the exercises. So, for the first 4 weeks of the program I decided not to use a timer. I completed each circuit one time only and focused carefully on my form. When I eventually felt comfortable enough with all of the exercises, I reintegrated the timer. I’m by no means suggesting that you NEED to omit the timer, but if you’re feeling rushed or stressed out by the 7 minute time frame, I suggest doing the exercises at your own pace until you feel more comfortable. (Also, anyone who thinks 7 minutes isn’t a long time clearly has never tried BBG.)
STOP comparing yourself to others. If you remember only one thing from this blog post, let is be this. This is your journey and no one else’s, so it shouldn’t matter that another woman doing the exact same program as you has lost more weight, or can run further, or can lift heavier – the only thing that matters is that YOU are improving. All too often we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, when the only person we should ever compare ourselves to is our past self. Be less concerned with being better than the person on the treadmill next to you, and more concerned with striving to be better than YOU once were.
Be consistent. Be patient. Be kind to yourself. And welcome to the BBG Community.
(***I want to make it clear that this advice is not endorsed by Kayla Itsines, nor is it included or suggested in her guides, this is simply MY advice for someone new to the program. If you have specific questions or concerns about the program itself, it is best to contact her support team.)