Fitness

The SWEAT Breakdown: BBG, BBG Stronger and PWR


The SWEAT breakdown you’ve all been waiting for: explaining BBG, BBG Stronger, and PWR! Now, I want to preface this by pointing out that I am only on week 6 of PWR, so I can’t really speak to the entire program, but I’ll discuss what I’ve experienced thus far and update when I’m done. So with that, let’s get started! 

BBG

BBG is the exercise program that started the whole SWEAT platform. From trainer Kayla Itsines, it is a twelve week regimen that consists of high intensity plyometric (think: jumping) body weight resistance workouts. There are only 3 resistance workouts per week, with an additional optional challenge, and cardio days. Cardio consists of LISS (low intensity steady state) and an optional HIIT (high intensity interval training) day. 

SO if you got all that, you might still be thinking what is BBG? Each workout is twenty eight minutes, broken down into 2 seven minute circuits that are repeated at least twice. In each circuit there are 4 exercises that are to be repeated for the specified number of times  (ie 12 squats). For example, you do the exercises in circuit A for 7 minutes and when the timer goes off, switch to the exercises in circuit B. Once the timer goes off you go back to circuit A, then circuit B. Am I explaining this well? No? Don’t worry, the app tells you EXACTLY WHAT TO DO! 

My experience: 

BBG works. It’s effective because you are incorporating cardio (all the jumping) with body weight resistance and it is nonstop for twenty eight minutes. It is tough. Even if you can’t make it through the circuit a full time (it still happens to me) you’re moving and trying and it’s still…really effing tough. I did several rounds of BBG (not perfectly and not consecutively, I might add) and it never stopped being challenging, even as I got stronger. I did find that eventually it became unsustainable for me as my primary workout because it was too draining physically, but I do love to incorporate BBG workouts when I have high energy, especially during the crazy phase before my period when I feel practically manic. 

BBG STATS

Program length: 12 weeks

Resistance workouts per week: 3 and an optional challenge

Cardio workouts per week: 3 LISS and an optional HIIT

Workout duration: 28 minutes (4x 7 minute circuits)

Equipment needed: very minimal, can be done at home (dumbells suggested)

BBG STRONGER  

Admittedly it has been a long time since I did BBG Stronger – and I only did one round so I am not as familiar with it as I am with the OG BBG – but it is just as killer of a workout. The program follows the exact same structure as BBG, but incorporates more weighted exercises which breaks up alllll…the…jumping (did I mention theres a lot of jumping?) nicely. It is easier than BBG in the sense that you switch back and forth between cardio based exercises (think burpees or jump squats) to, for example, glute kickbacks (on a machine) so while you are still actively working out, you can catch your breath. I find this to be a more sustainable way to exercise for a prolonged period of time, and the combination of BBG style moves with weights is guaranteed to produce results. 

BBG STRONGER STATS

Program length: 12 weeks

Resistance workouts per week: 3 and an optional challenge

Cardio workouts per week: 3 LISS and an optional HIIT

Workout duration: 28 minutes (4x 7 minute circuits)

Equipment needed: gym

PWR 

PWR is trainer Kelsey Wells’ program on the Sweat app. As I mentioned in the introduction to this post, I am only on week 6 so I will update this once I have completed it, but I will speak to my experience thus far. PWR is very different than BBG and BBG stronger and I love it for that. I actually really enjoy how each workout has different phases and look forward to every session for this reason. The first 4 weeks of the program consists of 3 resistance (or strength) workouts (with an optional challenge) and 3 LISS sessions, which increases to 4 resistance workouts (with an optional challenge) and 3 LISS as the weeks progress. 

So, what are the phases? 

PWR starts with an activation phase which is comprised of 2 four minute circuits. Within each circuit there are 2 moves that are supposed to get your heart rate up. Because it is only 8 minutes total, this is a really manageable (and can be fun) way to get energy going for the next phase of the workout. 

The second phase of PWR is the pyramid portion. This is comprised of 3 weight exercises targeting whatever part of your body you are focusing on that day, and you complete 3-4 sets of each exercise, decreasing reps and increasing weight. This is a completely different experience from the first phase you have just completed, because instead of getting your heart rate up you are working on solely strength. You also take a one minute break between each set which is always a good thing in my book.

The final phase of PWR is supersets. This is comprised of 2 six minute circuits, with 2 exercises per circuit. These exercises combine strength and some cardio (for leg day for example, think deadlifts followed by knee ups), with a thirty second break each time you complete the 2 moves. I find this to be a challenging, effective way to round out the workout as you are getting your heart rate going again and incorporating strength training. 

I like PWR because you aren’t constantly doing cardio, and you can choose how hard and heavy you go. I also love that it is broken into separate phases, as it feels much more manageable that way. I’ve noticed I keep using the word manageable here because it truly is just that, which makes it something to enjoy rather than dread. AND I’m not just saying this all because I’m friends with Kelsey!

PWR STATS: 

Program length: 12 weeks

Resistance workouts per week: 3 for the first four weeks, 4 the rest

Cardio workouts per week: 3 LISS 

Workout duration: varies; activation and supersets, combined, are twenty minutes; pyramid is your own pace. 

Equipment needed: gym

As for the effect each program has on your body, this will completely vary person to person. You will not look like Kayla if you do BBG and look like Kelsey if you do PWR. We are all different. I feel just as lean doing PWR as when I did BBG even though they are totally different workouts. Maybe I weighed less doing BBG because of all the cardio but I can’t be certain. Anyway, there you have it! I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions please comment on my Instagram post as that is the easiest way to reply. Xoxo

INSTAFILES