BBG & Sweat App Review
Fitness Tips,  Reviews

BBG & Sweat App Review (Is the Subscription Worth it?)

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I’m really into High-Intensity Interval Training, aka HIIT, and I love experimenting with different fitness apps! I decided to write a SWEAT App review since I’ve been using it on and off for the past year and wanted to share my experience!

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I found this program the way I find pretty much everything I purchase these days – while scrolling through my Facebook news feed. I had recently completed The Bodyboss Method for the second time and was looking for something new to keep my workouts fresh.

The creator of the SWEAT app is Kayla Itsines. I had never heard of her before but a quick visit to her website showed promise that if I stuck with her, my weeks would be filled with fuchsia and tough sweaty workouts. So I took the plunge and gave the first 12 weeks a whirl.

Please note this Sweat app review is not a sponsored post and these thoughts are honest and entirely my own opinion. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I am not in any way associated with BBG or the Sweat app. This is an honest review based on my own experiences and thoughts from using the app.

[Updated May 16, 2020]

What is the Sweat App and BBG?

The Sweat App is a fitness app with several fitness programs that are accessible for a monthly fee. The flagship program is Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. (aka BBG)

I have finished the first 12 weeks of this program so far but the app currently goes all the way up to 84 weeks!

The appealing thing about the BBG program is that they are all workouts you can do from home. As someone who’s not a fan of sharing sweaty gym equipment, this was a huge plus for me.

All you need is an exercise/yoga mat, some dumbbells, and perhaps an exercise bench. (And maybe these stylish kicks to workout in!)

But even if you don’t have that equipment there are relatively easy workarounds. 

Other Fitness Programs

Although BBG is easily the most popular program, the app offers no less than ten other fitness programs with four different trainers. Since 2020 has become the Year of Home Fitness, it’s no surprise that they have added two new home-fitness programs to the mix:

BBG Stronger with Kayla Itsines: This program is similar to BBG except it incorporates gym equipment like the leg press and cable machines.

BBG Beginner with Kayla Itsines: I always thought that BBG was a bit intense for beginners, and obviously so did other people since Kayla has just introduced this new 8-week program specifically for beginners in November 2019.  It’s rolled into the BBG program and replaces the original first 8 weeks.

Post-Pregnancy with Kayla Itsines: Now that Kayla is a mom herself, it only made sense for her to do a program for post-pregnancy, giving new moms an alternative to Kelsey Wells’ postpartum program. 

PWR with Kelsey Wells: Kelsey’s 12-week program focuses on building strength and also requires the use of gym equipment. 

PWR at Home with Kelsey Wells: This new program is another weight training program but tailored in a way that you can do the circuits, supersets, tri-sets, and burnouts in the comfort (or extreme discomfort, depending on how you look at it) of your home. 

PWR Post-Pregnancy with Kelsey Wells: An exercise program specifically for postpartum women.

FIERCE with Chontel Duncan: Another gym-based program that zones in on strength and HIIT workouts.

FIERCE at Home with Chontel Duncan (new): Strength-based, high-intensity workouts that you can do from home. 

BUILD with Stephanie Sanzo: This is Sweat app’s only bodybuilding program that features heavy-lifting. The gym is required.

LIFTING at Home with Stephanie Sanzo (new): This program is designed to build muscles, strength, and core stability without needing to get to a gym. 

Body and Mind (BAM) with Sjana Elise: Sjana’s yoga program is the lowest impact program you’ll find in the app. It’s supposed to help with strength, posture, and flexibility. 

Since I don’t have a gym membership anymore, this Sweat app review will only cover three of the home-based programs: BBG, PWR Home, and BAM.

Sweat App’s Nutrition Plan

The app also comes with a slew of other features including a weekly meal plan and grocery shopping list. But you know how I do with fussy diet plans. I’d rather just eat what I want and use an app like Cronometer to keep track of my calorie intake. 

I took one peek at the 16-ingredient, 45-minute recipe for a falafel salad roll (which was a LUNCH recipe by the way), scoffed loudly, took a bite out of my signature 3-ingredient-90-second tuna wrap, and never looked at the food plan again.

Don’t get me wrong, the recipes look delicious. But I don’t have time for that crap.

The app also includes a “progress” area that encourages you to take pictures of your progress and a community forum where other ladies doing the program share their encouragement and progress.

Thoughts on the BBG Program:

I will preface this by saying that I am not in any way associated with BBG and this is not a sponsored post. You can rest assured my BBG & Sweat app review will be honest/non-biased!

I thought Bodyboss Method was hard (and it is!) but in my opinion, BBG kicks it up a notch. The first six weeks are fairly comparable to Bodyboss in difficulty.

But BBG is looking for you to lace up way more often right from the start, with three, 30 minute HIIT sessions, and three cardio sessions scheduled per week.

HIIT sessions included one “lower body day” one “Upper body” and one “full body”.

Each session contains two, 7-minute circuits that have four exercises each. You alternate between circuits one and two 2x, for a total workout time of 28 minutes, with 1 minute of rest in between circuits.

The app lets you go through each exercise at your own pace, and the little videos of Kayla demonstrating the exercise makes it really easy to follow.

Once you’ve finished the specified reps, you just tap on the arrow for the next exercise.

The DJ air horn will always sound at 7 minutes, bringing the circuit to a merciful end no matter how many times you were able to make it through the 4 exercises. (On average, I could squeeze in two “laps” in seven minutes.)

You can follow the prescribed session schedule or just complete them whenever you want. As long as you complete everything before Monday, you’ll still fill up the little sweat meter in the top left corner with fuchsia greatness.

I kept up with the schedule fairly easily for the first six weeks.

Weeks 6-12 really tested my limits! HIIT sessions were still thrice weekly, but instead of generalized sessions, each of the three workouts targeted specifically legs, abs, or arms.  The program also mandates a fourth cardio session.

I admit that some weeks I struggled to stick to the schedule and didn’t always get in that fourth cardio session. (Read: there was one 1 out of 6 that I got all 7 workouts in.)

There were some leg sessions with so many plyometrics that my calorie burn after 20 minutes was greater than some 5k sprints I’ve done.

Some exercises were so ridiculously advanced that they were laughable to me. Like this one:

Despite how challenging it was, I did enjoy the workouts (mostly) and discovered some new favorite exercises. (Split squats, coincidently, aren’t one of them.)

A Note About BBG for Beginners

BBG for beginners was not available when I first went through the original Bikini Body Guide program, but I sure wish it had been!

The Sweat app – along with so many others – seems to start off assuming a certain level of fitness, which means if you’re really out of shape the normal programs can be challenging to the point of discouraging you to continue.

I love the addition of this beginner program because it slowly prepares you for the full program, getting you used to circuit training with lower impact exercise, fewer reps, and fewer sessions. 

I thought it was interesting also the two “mandatory” resistance sessions are for lower body and full body, with the upper body sessions being “optional”.

I think this is another great way to encourage women to stick to the program because upper body exercises can be particularly overwhelming in the beginning. They’ve always been my weak point anyway!

True to the rest of BBG, the beginner’s program requires very little equipment, making it ideal to do from home.

This addition further enforces my already favorable Sweat app review!

My BBG Results

So all that is good and well, but I know what you really want to get from this Sweat app review is whether or not it actually works.

Well, by the time I started BBG, I was already at my “happy weight” and had previously shed 20 lbs, some of which was a result of completing the Bodyboss Method program.

So my goals were not weight-loss related but I did hope to build strength and focus on body composition a little more.

That being said, I did end up losing another three pounds using the sweat app. I also noticed gains in lower body and core strength, which I’m very happy about!

Sadly, my abs are still mostly hiding under some slight but insanely stubborn pudge, but I’m pretty sure there’s not much more I can do there without going the “fussy diet” route, which I’m not really willing to do. *shrug*

I was also a bit disappointed in the lack of progress I made in my arm strength. Although I maintained what I gained from finishing the Bodyboss Method, but have not improved much.

It would have been better if there were fewer body-weight arm exercises and more exercises involving weights. There were no rows or flys of any kind, the only weighted arm exercise in the whole 12 weeks was the squat and press. 

 

Thoughts on PWR Home

I was super excited when Kelsey’s PWR Home program was released because for a while now I’ve wanted to do more strength-based workouts with heavier weights.

I’m also pitifully weak in the upper body area compared to other areas and I know Kelsey is all about those arm workouts.

In fact, of the three resistance exercises you need to do each week, two of them are centered on your upper body. The weekly resistance exercises are:

  • Chest & Triceps
  • Legs & Abs
  • Back & Shoulders
  • Arms & Abs (Optional)

So of the three or four workouts, you’re doing every week, only one of them is focused on legs and booty. In a way, I feel this is a good balance to Kayla’s program which I found really helped strengthen my legs and butt. 

The format of the exercise sessions are a bit different from Kayla’s. She starts with two cycles of “activations” which feel more like just a warmup to me, but are designed to “wake up” the muscles you’re about to be hammered for the rest of the session.

The actual exercise session consists of circuits and supersets. The circuits are 3 exercises that you cycle through every 40 seconds. The supersets are rep-based that you cycle through for six minutes each. 

All in all, it’s more complicated than Kayla’s program but you are definitely feeling the burn at the end of it! 

Thoughts on Body & Mind (BAM)

I love yoga. I’ve been practicing it on and off for about ten years, but it’s kind of taken a backseat in my exercise regime since HIIT came into the picture. I was curious to see how well a yoga program would work in the app. Like the other programs, there are four weeks of “beginner” sessions before getting to week one of the real program.

For resistance, BAM starts with “Heart Opener”, “Hip Opener” and “Hamstring Opener.”

Later on in the program, you’ll find “Core Cultivation” and “Toning”. Sjana has 24 weeks worth of exercises as of the time of this writing.

Each session starts with Sun Salutations for four minutes, then goes into Vinyasa and various strength poses, each in 4-minute segments.

BAM is different from the other programs in the sense that the exercises aren’t self-paced. Each segment contains a series of poses that you “flow” through. When the timer is done, there is a short rest period, and you need to tap the “Start” button in order for the next segment to begin. 

One thing I didn’t like was how they did the voiceover for the poses. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, the teacher is almost constantly talking throughout the class, reminding you of proper posture and what you should be focusing on in each pose.

Although Sanja does give verbal cues for each pose, she’s a bit robotic sounding and rarely gives you much more than the names of the poses. To me, it lacks the experience of a real yoga class. 

Meanwhile, although the classes are as long as 40 minutes, the flows themselves are quite tame and I found it didn’t get my heart rate up enough to be a real resistance workout.

In this sense, it’s kind of the worst of both worlds; it doesn’t feel like an authentic yoga class because it’s been shoehorned into the app’s exercise-centered, but it doesn’t get your heart rate up enough to yield the same kind of weight loss and toning offered by the other programs. 

Body & Mind was my least favorite program of the three I tried. If you are focused on learning yoga instead of resistance training, you’re better off with an app like YogaDownload

SWEAT App Review Summary

Just like The Bodyboss Method (or any fitness program), BBG via this Sweat app review contains pros and cons of the app and program:

Pros

sweat app review

  • You do these workouts and you will be feeling – and seeing – the difference!
  • Huge variety of programs based on your fitness goals
  • BBG has 84 weeks of workouts
  • Every workout is the same length of 28 minutes, which makes it easy to fit into your work-day
  • Short video loops of Kayla and friends executing the exercises makes it really easy to follow
  • Variety of programs to choose from depending on your goals and if you want a home-based program or one involving more gym equipment
  • Recovery sessions included 
  • Full food plan included (if you’re into food plans)

Cons

  • If you hate plyometrics or have joint problems, this is not the app for you
  • Only 3 of the 7 programs are gym-free
  • Yoga program (Body & Mind) doesn’t seem as good a fit for the app.
  • Program is difficult and a greater commitment of time than other programs! Although sessions are no more than 28 minutes, you’re expected to exercise 7 times a week (while still taking 1 rest day a week)
  • Exercise modifications are offered, but they’re often harder instead of easier!
  • App assumes that everyone who works out from home has two workout benches (lol)

Related: Check out my ultimate guide to home fitness gear!

For twenty bucks a month, you do get quite a lot of value from the Sweat app.

I really enjoy the program and highly recommend it if you have already been working out a while or have just completed a program more tailored to beginners, like The Bodyboss Method and you’re looking to step things up a bit.

Another alternative I found recently found that’s fantastic for all fitness levels is My Fitness by Jillian Michaels. Check out my full review here!

Or, if you like the idea of dancing your way to fitness, you can try a program like Figure 8, which offers high-intensity cardio workouts in the form of Latin dance.  

Although I doubt I will finish the remaining 72 weeks of BBG, I will certainly be incorporating these workouts and other workouts from PWR Home into my fitness routine for months to come! 

What did you think of my BBG & Sweat app review? Have you given the program a try? Shout out in the comments!

Quick FAQ!

What is the Sweat app?

The Sweat App is a fitness app with several fitness programs that are accessible for a monthly fee. The flagship program is Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. (aka BBG)

How much does the Sweat app cost per month?

Currently, it’s $19.99 USD monthly, or you can purchase the annual plan for $119.94 USD.

Is PWR or BBG Better?

It depends on what your fitness goals are. PWR is for building strength while BBG is more of a HIIT for slimming down and toning up. PWR also requires access to a gym will the BBG program is all workouts you can do at home.

Can you do the Sweat app at home?

The Sweat app has 3 programs that you can do entirely from home: PWR at Home (strength), BBG (HIIT), and BAM (Yoga).

 

Corrie Alexander is an ISSA certified personal trainer, home fitness advocate, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie shares tips and product reviews with the goal of helping others on their own fitness journey.

4 Comments

  • Leslie

    It took some time for me to fully immerse myself in the Sweat program, and I still don’t follow her meal guides, but the workouts truly work if you do.

    My biggest advice is to STOP WATCHING THE TIMER. Do the workouts properly; Focus on your form and your breathing, count to the correct amount of reps. It’s not a race against the timer and if you don’t finish all the sets in the 7 minutes, it’s okay. Think about it: isn’t it far better to do two and a half sets correctly than four sets sped up and risk injury?

    She incorporates basic moves that don’t require equipment, can be done at home, and allow your body weight and movement to really target the area…you’ll be impressed with the burn! I’ve skipped days…or weeks…but I find myself still dedicated to giving it a fair chance because for a $20 a month fee to have full-app access, you can’t beat that. Going to a gym can cost more in fees for trainers, or you go in blind and not knowing what to do so it really is worth it. Plus, you have the constant support of the BBG and Kayla’s Army community to lift your spirits and renew your motivation along the way.

    It truly is an incredible guide that I will highly recommend to anyone wanting to up their workout game.

    • Corrie Alexander

      Great advice! I agree about focusing on form and not trying to get through all the sets x number of times. That was the biggest difference I found between this program and Bodyboss that I liked better. Because with Bodyboss, you are also on a timer, but if you go “too slow” the timer is up before you’ve actually *gotten* to all the exercises. Whereas with BBG, there are only 4 exercises per set, so you typically get a chance to go through them at least once.

  • Jazz

    Haha yes about the two work benches, I laughed. I just modify them. I have limited home equipment but will slowly build up the more times I do it. I have her PDF of the bbg 1.0, am a major fan or the other ladies though, might try chontel in the future

    • Corrie Alexander

      Glad it’s not just me who raises an eyebrow at the double-bench squat jumps LOL. I agree, all the trainers on Sweat seem pretty great! I haven’t tried Chontel’s program thought due to it being gym-centric. Kelsey Wells is a great alternative to BBG that you can still do from home!

      Thanks for your comments and for stopping by! 😀

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