What is Body Beast?
Body Beast is a 12-week home workout bodybuilding program. In its design Body Beast was meant to help you get BIG and BEASTLY. The program consists of 12 different workout DVDs and is divided into 3 different training blocks: Build, Bulk, and Beast. During the entire program you workout for 6 days in a row and then have 1 day off.
So why in the world would a 5’1″ woman want to do Body Beast? I think a better question would be “Why not?”
While women don’t have enough testosterone to get HUGE they can still benefit from building muscle just as much as men, if not more so. I’m not using Body Beast to get HUGE, I’m using Body Beast to get leaner, stronger, and RIPPED. It’s all about your nutrition plan!
Instead of following the Body Beast nutrition plan I’m going to follow the Fat Shredder nutrition guidelines from P90X. This means for at least the first training block I will be aiming for 50% protein 30% carbs 20% fat and a 500-600 calorie deficit. So for me that will be around 1200 calories per day. After 8 full days following this routine I’m feeling pretty good so far! After the BUILD block (which is 3 weeks long) I will evaluate my progress and see if I need to tweak my plan.
I allowed myself to get a little “puffy” during the holidays and now that I’m back into a routine I’m feeling SO much better. My ultimate goal is to be 15%-19% body fat. I’m not sure if that’s possible to do in 12 weeks (I’m currently around 25%) but we’ll see how it goes! Typically you can lose 0.5% BF per week so if all goes according to plan I will at least reach my goal of 19% BF by the end of 12 weeks.
Before I get into the workouts here are my stats from Day 1 of the program:
Right Arm: 11″
Left Arm: 10.5″
Right Thigh: 21.5″
Left Thigh: 21.5″
There are two different plans you can follow during Body Beast; LEAN Beast and HUGE Beast. I will be doing LEAN Beast which includes a little extra cardio. Unlike the P90X Lean program there is still PLENTY of strength training in LEAN Beast!
The first week was a little awkward, to say the least. The driving force behind Body Beast is Dynamic Set Training. Dynamic Set Training is to Body Beast what Muscle Confusion is to P90X. This includes all kinds of different sets like single sets, super sets, giant sets, drop sets, combo sets, etc. If all this sounds like a foreign language to you that’s OK, just print out your worksheets and follow along with the instructions on the screen. The worksheets help a lot! Sagi does a good job of explaining everything and the screen cues help a ton but it’s a good idea to watch each workout once before you actually start throwing the weights around.
The reason the first week was kinda awkward was because you need to spend some time figuring out what weight you need to use on each exercise and there can be some fumbling around. You move from each set to the next pretty quickly! This is NOT like P90X where Tony Horton tells a story between each exercise! Be sure to keep the remote handy because you will need to pause the workout while you get your ducks/weights in a row…otherwise Sagi will be yelling, “The Beast is waiting for you!!”
After Week 1 with the Beast I feel a lot like I did after my first week of P90X. Pretty beat up, but in a good way. If you do the Build:Legs workout right, you won’t be able to walk down stairs for at least the next two days. So far I haven’t done a workout that is longer than 45 minutes. The warm-ups and cool downs are typically less than 3 minutes long! So far my favorite workout DVD is Beast:Cardio. It’s very Asylum-like! I just need to get used to the pace of the other workouts.
I feel like I should be using heavier weights during these workouts, after all I’m a P90X graduate! But I think it’s a good idea to exercise a little caution in the beginning, especially when you’re using a stability ball instead of a bench (I don’t have a weight bench). For the most part I’ve stuck with 5, 10, 12 and 17# weights. Although for some of the back exercises I can handle 25#. Sagi grabs a 50# dumbbell and it makes you feel a little scrawny but seriously…you just have to do what you can. He says he doesn’t care if you have to drop the weights before the end of exercise, as long as you finish the set. Good plan.
You only do one 15-minute Ab during the week, but at the end of every workout Sagi throws in a couple of ab exercises. I’m not quite sure what I think of Beast:Abs. I’m so used to doing Ab Ripper X that any other ab workout just seems weird! You start off doing crunches which I hate…and you end doing this weird exercise where you have to spell B-E-A-S-T with your legs while you lie on your back. The other exercises were good though. I’m going to follow the program as written for the whole 12 weeks but next round I may do a different ab routine. I think it’s funny that Sagi instructs the entire time during the Ab workout. He doesn’t do one single ab exercise.
Sagi is all business and there isn’t a lot of chit-chat. Although he does like to remind you often that your shirt should be feeling tighter. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sagi in person and heard him give a motivational speech. He is beautiful both on the inside and the outside! I’m not sure I’ve seen that same spark from him during the first week of these workouts, but maybe it will come out a little more as the program goes on. I think that’s why Beast:Cardio has been my favorite workout so far, because his personality and determination for your success really comes through on that DVD more so than the others. But I don’t think I would have the same impression of him if I didn’t previously see him speak in person. So far he comes across more like a “I pick things up and set them down” type of guy when I KNOW he’s NOT like that AT ALL!
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the next 11 weeks and sharing more of my Beastly experiences with you!