Onto the topic of this post: choosing between several amazing workout programs that are all highly recommended. The four programs I’ll be including are Blogilates, Tone it Up (TIU), Bikini Body Guide (BBG), and Fit Body Guide (FBG). *Disclaimer* The only program that I have several years of experience is with and therefore can speak with authority about is Blogilates.
My sections on TIU, BBG, and FBG are based on recent research I have done and recommendations from others. I chose these four to focus on because they seem to be the most popular in the IG community and therefore I feel are pretty effective/enjoyable and would have a wide network of support.
There’s no way I couldn’t begin with Blogilates which effectively jumpstarted my entire interest in working out and building confidence. For those of you strapped on time here’s a few bullet points about my experience with Blogilates and below will be a more detailed review.
Founder: Cassey Ho
Instagram & Facebook: @Blogilates
Workout Guide format: FREE monthly calendar that tells you which videos to pair on each day or option to purchase PIIT28 (new!)
Top 3 favorite aspects (aside from the fact that it’s the only one of the four that’s 100% free)
- Cassey herself: In every video her bubbly, energetic personality makes me crack a smile no matter what mood I’m in. Another thing I love about Cassey is the body positive talk she incorporates into 99% of her workout videos. This I believe is the main difference between Blogilates and most other fitness trainers/prgrams – the emphasis on self-love. Whether it’s telling viewers to “smile with that body” during oblique crunches or reminding them that the end goal is so much more than a “bikini booty”, Cassey is a constant source of positive encouragement for young women on how to treat their bodies.
- The music: Blogilates is also known as POP Pilates for a reason. All of Cassey’s workout videos are accompanied by upbeat, fun, pop music that makes the workout feel more like a dance party (no, seriously it’s possible). One awesome feature of Blogilates are its POP Challenges which are videos in which you do one or two exercises without rest for an entire current, pop song. There are POP challenges for all different focus areas of the body. My favorite POP Challenge is the Katy Perry Roar Challenge for Inner Thighs and Abs
- The community: Blogilates is unique in this sense because its community extends beyond Facebook, Instagram, its own app, and other forms of social media. In the past year Blogilates has become a certified group fitness class and Cassey has already began offering workshops to train POP Pilates instructors to begin teaching at 24 Hour Fitness clubs around the US. As someone who has recently started her own community here at Healthyezsweet Life, I value a fitness instructor who makes her community feel as special as they are.
Cons: I don’t really have anything negative to say about Blogilates, but the one area I would like to see updated is the amount of printables available. All of Cassey’s videos are free to watch on Youtube, but sometimes I don’t have a perfect wifi connection at the gym and would like to do the exercises from a printable. Some of the videos/ workout series do have printables to accompany them, but not all.
Finally, in my freshman year in college, I decided to break up with the dreadmill & the cardio machines I just wasn’t enjoying and put all my faith into Blogilates. For a month I did solely Blogilates videos as the calendar instructed and was amazed at how good I felt (and looked) without ever stepping on a cardio machine. I did four more calendars back to back from May – September. To get access to this month’s calendar you just have to sign up for the newsletter at blogilates.com & the password for the current month’s calendar will be e-mailed to you for free.
After spending all morning skimming through the websites of each workout program pictured above, I found myself returning to the Tone it Up girls’ repertoire of workouts and blog posts the most. Here’s why I am planning to try out the TIU team 😉
- Easy to follow workout schedule: This one is huge for me. I consider myself a smart lady, but I’ll admit that when it comes to structure I can get confused easily. Between BBG, FBG, and TIU, TIU seemed the most clear-cut to me. I like that each Sunday trainers Karina & Katrina release the workouts for the entire week and different options for completing them. Which brings me to my next point…
- Accessibility & adaptability: Just by browsing through one week of TIU workouts I could tell how easy they are to complete anywhere: at home, at the gym, even outdoors! I love that almost all of the workout videos have a corresponding printable so that if I’m out of wifi or out of the gym I can still have my workout. This in itself speaks for its adaptability, but from what I can tell, TIU is even more flexible than that. For cardio days, TIU girls have the options of taking a run outside, doing any type of group fitness class, or cardio videos/printables. I LOVE this approach because there were some days when I was following my Blogilates calendar where I’d have an itch to try a new spin class or maybe just felt like getting outdoors but didn’t want to “set myself back” in my workout plan. Sound familiar? TIU seems to eliminate the guilt factor of subbing one workout for a different type and encourage intuitive exercising
- FREE: This is obviously a perk, but let me be clear: the weekly TIU workouts are free whereas the detailed “guides” like 8 Week Bikini Body or Beach Babe will cost money. As someone just looking to try out the workouts to see if the moves & trainer’s style fit my own, I’m not really looking to fork over a bunch of money before I know if I’m all in. From what I can tell, Blogilates and TIU are the only ones on this list that offer a surplus of totally free weekly/monthly workouts, youtube videos, and printables. Basically if you want to do TIU for free, you can. I don’t think there’s that option with BBG or FBG aside from their one week sample downloads.
- The app: Like blogilates it has an awesome, easy to navigate app that allows you to bring your daily workouts on the go for just 99 cents and view them anywhere, anytime.
My experience with TIU: Like I mentioned above, I’m leaning towards that Tone it Up tiara (is that a thing?? Can it be??) so I decided to hop into this week’s Tone it Up Tuesday workout available online. The workout called for a treadmill routine, but given that I don’t have access to a treadmill right now, I chose to sub it for a different TIU cardio routine of equal time that I could complete outside. Here’s the two side by side.
Bikini Body Guide (BBG) and Fit Body Guide (FBG)]
I’m combining these sections not because they’re similar (I wouldn’t really know), but because ultimately I have chosen not to start BBG or FBG for a few reasons.
- Cost: I am a college student on a budget and I simply don’t have the $69.97 to spend on BBG or $49.95 for FBG. This is not a post to compare the cost for what you get in each program nor am I disputing the effectiveness of either program. It’s just out of my price range at the moment. If I’m going to spend that much money on a workout guide, I would have to be sure I ADORE it and I have no way of really knowing that. What may work for one friend or IG follower may not be the same fit for me.
- Structure of workouts: Both BBG and FBG seem to be structured around interval style circuits. Some people like these circuits because they allow you to get in and out of the gym quickly and only require a few different moves on each day with high repetitions at a fast pace. This has never really been my style. I savor my workouts (most of the time) and I really don’t like to rush through them until I’m sweating so hard I shake. That’s not enjoyable *for me*. I prefer to do an hour of cardio and toning or arms & upper body that isn’t necessarily as fast paced but has more variety. I also like to have options. If I don’t feel like doing a certain circuit one day, I want to know I can sub it for something else without taking on the “falling off the bandwagon” feeling.
- Confusion: This one mainly applies to BBG. I don’t really understand the week 1&3, week 2&4, etc. formatting of the circuits nor am I really sure how I’m supposed to pair them with things like LISS, HIIT, etc. I still don’t really know what a Monday – Sunday week on BBG would look like. Whereas Blogilates & TIU outline each day very clearly. BBG is a guide that explains it so you can pair the workouts yourself and I just didn’t follow.
All that being said, when I asked my IG followers for their opinions on TIU VS BBG, BBG was the obvious favorite so don’t let me deter you if you want to start or offend you if you’re a proud BBG babe. We’re all friends in this community and I’m so glad you’ve found what works for you.
- Before choosing a workout program, it is a good idea to list your goals and expectations for that program. Better yet, incorporate your goals and expectations for the current chapter of your life and make sure they align. What role does this workout program play in the bigger picture? What will it mean to you?
- Side note: You’ll notice that in my discussion of any of the four programs I do not reference which is the most effective for weight loss or the best transformation. That’s not part of my goals and I’m not looking to transform. I want a program that makes me feel happy, strong, and confident. I want to have fun with my workouts, and you should too! I remind myself of this every day with my Body Positive Calendar
which I use to keep track of my weekly workouts. You can download it for free HERE
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