If you're a woman who at any point in time has looked up fitness programs or workouts online, there's a high possibility that you came across the BBG (Bikini Body Guide) by Kayla Itsines. It's plastered all across Facebook and Instagram, with before and after pictures of women across the world losing a ton of weight and gaining a lot of muscle all by using the guide. I've done it (tried to anyway) and can say it's a simple, straightforward program, providing 12 weeks of hardcore workouts. After I finished the program, however, I definitely found that there are some things I wish I known before I started. 

1. There's an E-book and an App

I may have cheated the system a little bit by having a friend forward me the program (oops, sorry Kayla). Regardless, I thought there was only ever an e-book, but there's also an app. 

The PDF version costs $52 (plus tax) which includes four weeks of pre-training and 12 weeks of workouts, with pictures of how to perform them and explanations of symbols you'll see throughout the guide. It also includes a list of equipment you'll need, stretching exercises, photo progress reminders, and Kayla's recommendations on how to complete the program properly. Each workout is 28-minutes long, and you can save the e-book on your phone or iPad, and pull it out whenever you're ready to start your workout. 

The SWEAT app, on the other hand, is a completely different story. You download it from the App Store and pay $19.99 for a monthly subscription, or $243 for the year. It has four different programs (including the BBG and BBG Stronger), videos of the workouts, audio cues from a trainer, it's own playlist streamlined through Apple Music, and so much more. Plus, you can link the app to your Apple Watch and watch the videos from there.

2. You'll Need a Gym Membership

The guide says you can do the program at home, but I'll be honest, it's so much easier to do it at a gym. Any gym you go to will have the equipment that Kayla uses in the program, so you don't have to go out of your way to find stuff. Besides, gym equipment can be expensive, and I personally didn't want it lying around my house. Doing the workouts at home by yourself is also kind of boring and not motivating. Plus, if you use the app and want to do the BBG Stronger program, you'll need equipment like cables and machines. 

3. Don't Skip the 4-Week Pre-training

I made a big mistake in skipping over the pre-training. I thought because I already lifted heavy and did cardio every so often, I would be better off not doing it and going straight into the program. What a joke. I did two workouts and barely got through them. I had to go back to the pre-training and work my way up, all because I underestimated the amount of cardio that went into it. You'll be surprised at how much harder it is to do than it looks. So do yourself a favor and take it slow. It's not an easy program.

4. They're ALL HIIT Workouts

OK, I lied. They aren't all HIIT workouts, but it definitely feels like it. Kayla does schedule in some LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio every other day, but it's up to you on what you plan to do.

There are three HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts a week that are 28-minutes long. What makes it difficult is trying to complete as many rounds of a circuit in 7-minutes, resting for 30 seconds, and doing it all over again, for a total of four rounds. The whole point of HIIT is to keep your heart rate up, so if you feel like you're dying, you're doing it right.

5. It's a LOT of Quad Work

TBH, if you're looking to build a booty, this is not the program for you. There is a lot of squatting, jumping, and lunging, and it absolutely destroys your quads. But, since none of the workouts really focus on glutes and hamstrings, it doesn't do much for your backside. 

6. You Have to Stretch

Kayla's BBG includes a cool down session (stretching) for after your workouts, which is great, but you should definitely stretch before your workout, too. Going in stiff, to then jumping around and squatting, will do a number to your muscles and joints. And you should definitely foam roll any chance you have. Foam rolling may hurt, but it helps speed up your recovery by releasing the lactic acid in your muscles. 

7. You Have to Fully Commit to the Program

This one is a no-brainer. You cannot expect to get the Instagram results if you aren't putting in the work. It's a cardio based program that is guaranteed to help you get fit if you just put the time into it. And with it being only 28-minutes a day, there's no excuse. The program is set out for you, all you have to do is take it day by day. 

8. There's an Awesome BBG Community 

On Instagram, there is an official BBG Community that posts about group meet-ups, motivational quotes, and progress pictures of those in the community. It's an amazing source to have to get the support you need and motivation to complete the program. 

Knowing these things before I started the BBG would have definitely made the process easier. Especially if you're new to fitness and are using the guide to start your weight loss journey. Finding any excuse to stop can be the biggest challenge, and had I known all of this going in, I would have been better mentally prepared.