I’ve been familiar with BBG for years. When I first started my Instagram account 3 years ago, I became familiar with many popular fitness bloggers, Kayla Itsines included. Although the many transformation posts and community get-togethers were enticing, there were many reasons why I held back initially. First of all, there’s nothing I hate more than being a band-wagoner. If I did BBG, I wanted it to be because I was interested in the fitness program itself, not in the excitement around it.

Secondly, I wasn’t sure how BBG would fit in with my fitness routine. When I started working out on a consistent basis, I focused mainly on cardio. Eventually, I incorporated strength training workouts, some machine-based and others circuit-based. For the most part, my strength training was mostly a mix of isolated movements performed in a circuit fashion. I remained resistant to changing my workouts because I saw results and I was satisfied.

Last year, I wholeheartedly committed to running, and ran at speeds and distances I only ever dreamed of before. My strength workouts took a back seat as I was saving my energy for long runs and speed workouts. I couldn’t have a tough leg day in the middle of my various half-marathon training plans. On a similar note, I often shied away from heavy arm days because after 9 miles, you WILL feel it in your shoulders. Trust.

Everything changed when I ran my final race of 2017. I didn’t come anywhere near within my goal time. Although I was dissatisfied, I tried to put the race behind me and move on. But I just couldn’t. Even without a race in sight, I continued with weekly long runs. I hesitated to give up the endurance I built up all year, even though I needed a rest. Eventually, my motivation started to wane and I started dreading my weekly LISS workouts. That was a wakeup call for me, as was my looming foot pain. I love exercise and movement, so there’s no reason for me to not look forward to working out.

I decided to take a break from long runs and focus on shorter distances and speed. I’ve been much more motivated to run now that I am not trying to hit a weekly mile number. But I still hadn’t taken a good look at my strength training workouts.

A few weeks ago, I was at one of my favorite workout classes, Dash 28 at Mile High Run Club. The intervals were tough but doable. What was not doable was the strength training portion on the floor. I became an honorary member of the struggle bus as I shuffled through jumping lunges and forced myself to do real pushups. Leaving class that day, I didn’t feel strong. I felt like my many years of exercise had not accumulated to much.

Trying to avoid more negative self-talk, I put these feelings into action. I wanted to know what I could do to actually get stronger—not just look stronger. So I decided to try out BBG.  I’ll admit it, I’m awful at plyometrics. I know I will struggle, but I need to struggle to gain strength. And I want to be able to do at least 15 push ups in a row without feeling like the world is coming down on my head. (Seriously, I get a weird feeling in my head when I do them now!)

I am really excited for this journey. Because I have decided to put racing on the back burner until later this year, I have time to focus on my strength training.

That being said, I will be making several modifications to the program. For one, I will not be following the diet plan. With all of my allergies and intolerances, I cannot subscribe to any diet plan that isn’t customized to my needs.  I will be continuing with how I currently eat. In the mornings, have a protein smoothie with vegetables and fruit or oatmeal. For lunch, I have a lean protein with some roasted vegetables and a salad. For dinner, I often enjoy a plant-based meal. I have dessert once a week. I get really serious food cravings, and I have learned that cutting out the chocolate and sweet potato fries that I love so much would make me really unhappy.

In addition, I also plan to add weights to certain exercises if I feel that it is something I can manage. For example, I added weights to the squats in the Week 1 Legs & Cardio workout. I don’t know what LISS will look like for me. It’s very hard for me to move at the same pace for long periods of time unless I’m running outside. I plan to do more outdoor runs as the weather warms up. But for now, I will be doing exercises that interest me the most. I love speed workouts on the treadmill, so I know I will continue with those.

Overall, I look forward to sharing this process with you all and getting stronger for real this time! What are you favorite workout programs?

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