BBG is hard and there are no adequate words to describe how difficult I found BBG1 in particular. I was out of shape; I had no strength, no stamina and no discipline.
Even towards the end of the 12 weeks getting through each 7 minute round was a struggle and quitting must have crossed my mind every 30 seconds. The numbers of reps for each exercise were my nemesis. I could usually only get through 5 before my head would be screaming that my body couldn’t do it. It wasn’t that I couldn’t execute the exercise at that point, I just didn’t have the stamina to sustain them.
So instead of using major modifications, I tried to implement little adaptations that made the exercises just easy enough to allow me to keep going and make sure I never quit.
You may well know about these mini modifications already and probably, many of you will have done a lot of these in your own routine naturally and of your own accord. But I always think it’s good to read that someone else made the same adjustments and still got great results and its always nice to know that we are all going through the exact same mental and physical barriers during those first few months.
So here are some of my Mini Modifications from BBG1
- Reps – Whether it was 10, 15, or 20 reps I split every exercise in to reps of 5 with a slow count to 4 in between. Mentally it was easier to cope with the task at hand by visualising each exercise as only 5 repetitions.
- Burpees – I tried really hard not to make a major modification by taking out the jump so when I was struggling with energy I would simply not lift my arms up with jump and this would take enough of the edge off the high impact movement to allow me to continue.
- Ab bikes – the closer you have your legs to the floor (without touching it) the harder this exercise is. Raising my legs a little higher in the air eased up the intensity just enough to get me through to the end and was kinder to my post pregnancy abdominals.
- Jumps squats or tuck jumps – the easy thing to do when your legs are on fire and you cannot face another jump is to modify to a regular feet on the floor straight up and down squat. But if it’s a question of stamina holding you back rather than ability, try going down into a squat and then coming up and pushing through on to your tip toes. It takes out the jump but still allows for a push through the calves at the end so you make the most of the exercise without the impact of the jump.
- Skipping – I’ve been very truthful and vocal about my ordeal with skipping from the water works to the fact I could not for the life of me get my feet over that rope. Nor could I coordinate my arms well enough to not tangle my self up with every attempt. The normal modification would have been to air skip or do jumping jacks/star jumps. However I went back to skipping 101. Otherwise known as… 5 reps at a time, one foot over at a time, changing the leading leg after every 5. The thing is… you can’t practise skipping without actually skipping. It was slow but by week 6 I was skipping 20 reps at a time on two feet. So practice really does make perfect.
- Straight leg jackknifes – okay lets be real for a second. I still end up modifying these even now. I start off doing them exactly as the guide states but after 10 reps my form starts to get sloppy which I know is no good for my body or my progress, as it will not be working my muscles properly. So I swap to single leg straight leg jackknifes for the final ten. Even at week 50 I still have to mini modify this super hard exercise.
- Reverse lunge and knee lift – Super simple but super effective. Do the reverse lunge then very lightly touch your foot to the floor before you go up in to the knee lift. It’s such a tiny adjustment but it just gives you a split second to balance and stabilise your core before you lift.
- Spider push ups – push up are hard enough when you are starting out. So when faced with the prospect of spider push ups you might very well feel, like you want to give up right there and then. Mentally and physically, I found these so difficult I was inclined to think I needed to just continue with regular push ups (which during BBG1 were mostly done on my knees.) However I did find out that practising just the individual movements of this exercise produces better results in my body AND in my strength than just doing another standard push up. So here’s how I modified it. Part 1. Standard/normal push up (initially for me on my knees). Part 2. Holding plank position (on your toes not knees), complete the leg ONLY motion of the spider push up. So bending your knee, you bring you leg out to the side at up towards your elbow. You arms stay still and fully extended the whole time.
It may be modified, but at least your muscles are practising the motion of the exercise and those muscles are being challenged by moving in an entirely different way to a standard push up.
I hope this was helpful. I think it’s really important to remember to only modify once your form starts to suffer.
Always start the exercise trying to do the full version, even if you think you can’t do ANY reps like this, always try first. One day you will attempt a spider push up and realise you CAN do it. But if you just went straight into the modification you would have never known what you were capable of.
Here’s a short , really badly shot video just to make some of my explanations clearer. It’s my first ever attempt at Imovie and I only had a very small window of opportunity to film it, so I apologise for the messy dining room and poor video set up. However at least it gives an idea of how I took the exercise from its full version to a mini modified version.
Have a great day lovelies.xx