Beachbody programs are my guilty pleasure. I tell myself each time a new one is released that I don’t NEED it, I have plenty of programs I can continue to cycle through and get results. But inevitably, I order the latest release, I do the program, I fall in love. Although it isn’t a new release, I kept seeing ads for Body Beast for only $40, so I broke down and bought it, even though I wasn’t even sure it was the type of training I was interested in doing. $40 is a relative steal in the Beachbody world and I figured if nothing else, at least I would have the workouts on hand to loan a friend if they were interested in starting their journey with weight training.
When the program and nutrition guide arrived, I was in the middle of the PiYo calendar, so I perused the guide, tried to mentally digest the amount of calories that were prescribed and immediately shelved the program. YIKES.
I decided to keep up with my PiYo program, because I can’t start a calendar without finishing; it’s like putting a book down halfway. Bad form 😉
So, I finished PiYo. I did a hybrid Les Mills Pump and Turbo Fire. I did the entire Insanity calendar again (never. gets. easier. ughhh). By now, it was December, a reasonable time to pack on some muscle if I so intended. I cracked out the Body Beast program and again stared at the program guide & nutrition. The nutrition is no joke. I busted out a spreadsheet and calculator and decided to do this for real. I spent the better part of an hour trying to figure out how on earth I was going to plan, make, pack and CONSUME that much food. It is a real concern for a lot of women considering this program. I immediately reached out to my team on Facebook and said “Have any ladies DONE THIS CRAZINESS??” I got some great feedback on all options and decided to attack this program by:
- Continuing to eat clean, but not hold myself to the Beast eating guide. It was stressing me out just looking at it. I did the 21 Day Fix last year and have been able to keep up with that eating plan fairly easily (I do not eat in a constant deficit, but I do eat the right amount of veggies, proteins, fruits etc)
- NOT taking the supplements that are part of the guide. The guide includes a Whey protein shake, a Fuel Shot, a Creatine blend and Suma Root blend. Taking the supplements is totally up to you, your intended results, and your personal preferences. I’m pretty sure all the dudes doing Body Beast love the supplements and I’ve chatted with women who love them as well, love SOME of them, or haven’t taken them (like me!) I’ll be real with you, I have FINALLY gotten my skin to a place where it is balanced and not angry every day…so I didn’t really want to add back in some things that mess with hormones, and I also tend to take a more natural path with my life. Just not for me, but might be for you….you decide! The point is, I don’t think my results were hindered by NOT taking them. I did continue to use Results and Recovery formula on tough days because walking was still a necessary part of my daily life, and a leg day without R&R would make said walking difficult.
- Following the LEAN BEAST calendar. After the first week or so, I did decide to add in some additional cardio. More on that later….
So, if you’re still thinking about joining the BEAST, let’s talk about all the details:
WHAT IS BODY BEAST?
Twelve workouts (there are extra optional workouts too) that combine single sets, super sets, giant sets, progressive sets, drop sets and tempo sets to scientifically work your muscles to the max. I was new to lifting heavy weights and just really focusing on lifting one muscle group at a time. The fact that the research was already done to maximize my workout and use my muscles in a way that I had NO background in was one of the best parts of this program, in my opinion.
Workouts are broken down into three blocks: BUILD, BULK & BEAST. There are two calendars to follow: HUGE BEAST “for those who only care about getting big” and LEAN BEAST “for those who want to get big but also lose some fat.” I already mentioned I followed Lean Beast because well, I care about more than getting big. Both calendars are twelve weeks.
WHAT DO I ABSOLUTELY NEED?
There are a ton of workouts you can do that you literally just need your body to complete, but this ain’t one of them. Bare minimum you need a set of dumbbells that have a range of weight that will be light to super heavy for you. In my dream world, I’d have used the BowFlex SelectTech weights because they offer a great range of weight. In my reality, I used a combo of my Gold’s Gym adjustable dumbbells and some heavy plates/dumbbells that my husband has in his weight set. My light weight was 5 lbs (shoulders, etc) and my heavy weight was 40 lbs (some legs and back). I probably could have used a 50 but I was going with what we already had….don’t make it harder than it has to be. I also used my bar from Les Mills Pump, a stability ball, and pull up bar. You can get by without the bar, but you should at least have a ball and pull up bar. If you don’t have a ball…get one. If you don’t have a pull up bar you can get by with a heavy resistance band, they show a modifier using a band for those moves. I definitely recommend getting a bar because doing pull ups is bad ass.
- It is really a good idea to keep track of what you lifted. By the time the workout rolls around again, you want to make the most of it by lifting heavier. It’s kind of hard to increase on a number you don’t remember.
- Once I did the workouts once or twice, I preferred to rock my own jams and do the work without the videos. Definitely follow the videos the first few times to learn the proper form and pacing, but once you feel like you’ve got it…hit up your favorite music and go into your own Beast Mode by just referencing the sheets.
Otherwise, you just need the calendar and the commitment. Get to it.
BUILD (3 weeks: 6 days on, 1 day off)
- Chest & Tris/Legs/Back & Bis/Cardio & Abs/Shoulders
BULK (5 weeks: 6 days on, 1 day off)
- Chest/Legs/Arms/Cardio & Abs/Back/Shoulders
BEAST (4 weeks: 6 days on, 1 day off)
- Combination of Build workouts & Bulk workouts
I also did the Total Body workout a few times, even though it wasn’t on the calendar. It is recommended to do this workout if you are going to skip a day or need to combine a few days. I did it because I was getting bored, but it is a great addition to the set!
Overall score: B
I ended up really HAPPY that I did this program. It was the right time for me to get into lifting heavy, and it was a refreshing change of pace. Just a few thoughts I had throughout the program, and then let’s get to my results.
- Sagi Kalev, the trainer, is hilarious without exactly trying to be. He says crazy things and picks on the dudes in the videos. He hails from Israel, so I’m not trying to bust on someone who isn’t a native English speaker, but the stuff he says is enough to give you an ab workout in the middle of your set. He refers to himself as the Beast and is not messing around. He rules.
- The calendar is probably appropriate for the right muscle growth & timing, etc…but I thought it was LONG. Twelve weeks is a long calendar in general, I much prefer 60 days because I start to get bored. This one was especially lengthy to me because the last block of workouts is just a combo of the first two blocks. I like a bit more variety personally.
- I thrive on a workout that leaves me doubled over catching my breath, and there is none of that in Body Beast. I researched the effect of adding additional cardio to the program and MANY folks do NOT recommend adding more cardio, because your body is working to build muscle and gassing yourself with cardio can be counterproductive. I started to feel fluffy, so I added cardio. It is important to remember this is all about your goals and your life, so as long as you are safe & healthy…do what works for you. Don’t suffer through a program, modify it so that you look forward to your workouts AND get results. I added mostly HIIT workouts (Turbo Fire & Les Mills Combat), T25 cardio workouts and a variety of ab exercises (mostly 21 Day Fix and Tony Horton from YouTube).
- I use photos as my progress report; I’m actually terrible at weighing myself and taking measurements because I’m at a point where I just want to feel good and comfortable and I really don’t care too much about the numbers. I do try to weigh at the beginning and the end of a program, at least once. I was up about two pounds at the end of this program, so that’s whatever to me….moving on to the real results. The pictures!
My workouts are pretty consistently Beachbody programs. I do take photos to mark my progress, but I don’t spend time taking a picture where I’m frowning and slouching. I work hard to be my best, so I compare myself to my best. My “before” pictures are always my “after” pictures from the last program I did. In this case, the last documented program I did was PiYo (with a little Les Mills Pump tossed in). I’m at the point where I’m not seeing huge changes, but each program has something different to offer. So, without further ado, here are my Body Beast results photos:
Overall, I definitely gained some muscle mass, but didn’t BEAST UP because of my choice to maintain cardio and not supplement. I’m happy with my results, even if they are slight. I loved lifting heavy weights and changing up my routine. The leg workouts from this program will definitely be added to my circuit when I’m not following a specific calendar.
Thinking about Body Beast? I’m happy to chat with you about it and answer any questions you may have, just shoot me a message or comment below.
To see the workouts in action, check out my video review on YouTube.
Thanks again for stopping by, have a happy & healthy day!