Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Day 289 - Weight Selection in Body Beast

 Great question regarding increasing resistance in Body Beast:
When incresing on these Pryamids is it best to increse from the bottom up or the top down

If i do say
15 = 20lb
12 = 30lb
08 = 40lb

IF i found that i think i could move it up the following week would it be best to try next week
15 = 25lb
12 = 30lb
08 = 40lb

15 = 20lb
12 = 30lb
08 = 45lb
GREAT question! First of all, Steve Edwards and Dennis Faye (Beachbody's Fitness Nerds) hosted a video chat back in August after Body Beast came out, called "To Beast or Not to Beast" they addressed this question (along with others relating to Body Beast) in the chat, although they gave sort of a roundabout answer, so here are my thoughts:

First of all, let's talk about Training Load and Repetitions.

%1RM - # Repetitions Allowed
100 - 1
95 - 2
93 - 3
90 - 4
87 - 5
85 - 6
83 - 7
80 - 8
77 - 9
75 - 10
70 - 11
67 - 12
65 - 15

What the above chart tells us is that if you can lift 50lbs for 8 reps, then ideally, you should be able to lift around 42 pounds for 12 reps and around 41 pounds for 15 reps. Sounds off right? Well if you are doing one single straight set of 12 reps, you SHOULD be able to lift 42 pounds and max out, but with Body Beast, the goal is to fatigue you a bit before you even reach the 12 rep range, and therefore fatigue you even more before you reach the 8 rep set so that you don't need a huge rack of dumbbells to get huge...that's the theory at least.

So then what? Well, back to your original question. What weights should I increase first. Check out my blog on Volume.

"Volume - Total amount of weight lifted in a workout."
If we use the example:

15 = 20lb (15*20=300)
12 = 30lb (12*30=360)
08 = 40lb (8*40=320)
Total Volume = 980lbs

15 = 25lb (15*25=375)
12 = 30lb (12*30=360)
08 = 40lb (8*40=320)
Total Volume = 1055lbs

15 = 20lb (15*20=300)
12 = 30lb (12*30=360)
08 = 45lb (8*45=360)
Total Volume = 1020lbs

From this example, you can see that the 2nd scenario is actually the most "volume".

Having said that, Volume does not necessarily determine anything unless you define what your goals are.

With Body Beast, the goals of the program include increasing muscle size (hypertrophy). We know that hypertrophy is best gained in the 6-12 rep range, so....if you increase your weights on the 15 repetition exercises, your overall volume may go up, but you would actually be leaning towards training your aerobic system more. This may be beneficial for endurance athletes.

If, on the other hand, you wish to gain more size, aim to increase resistance on the 8 and 12 rep sets first. If you fail out on the final set and only make it to 6 reps for example, then you are still hitting that hypertrophy range.

Very long-winded answer, but I always enjoy explaining the "why". Hope that helps!

Quote of the day:
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
~Theodore Roosevelt

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