Welcome to Body Beast, Beachbody's hypertrophy, or mass-gaining program. The first workout in the standard schedule is Build: Chest/Tris
My chest has always been a trouble spot for me for building mass, so I was excited to give this one a shot. Not only that, but if you are at all familiar with Beachbody's other workout programs like P90X, Insanity, P90X2, Asylum, etc., many of those programs mainly use pushups for chest exercises. This workout breaks that mold and uses dumbbells to Beast your chest up.
Bench or Stability ball (I highly recommend getting yourself a bench)
I like having a towel nearby to dry off my hands when resistance training
Worksheets are very important in these workouts, as with any exercise program. With the Beast, you are really aiming to stick to very specific rep counts for a reason, so you will want to make sure you make intelligent weight selections.
This may be an introduction into old-school weightlifting for a lot of folks, which may be a great change of pace and a breath of fresh air.
The advantages to having these workouts on DVD, is that the pacing is set up for you. All of the breaks are timed for a specific reason to target a metabolic demand in your muscles and increase the likelihood of hypertrophy, or muscular growth.
The trainer Sagi can be pretty motivating at times, and the music is pretty awesome as well, if you are into "rock" music.
The warmup and cool down is VERY short and almost non-existent. For those of you coming off of P90X, P90X2, or Insanity need to remember that this is a bodybuilding program. The actions themselves are (for the most part) intended to warm the muscles and stretch them through their full range of motion.
Not only that, but nearly every exercise starts with a set of 15 reps. This is a great way to get blood flowing to the muscles and prepping them for the higher-weight sets.
Having said all of that, the cool down and stretch is not very good at all. I find not only the duration, but also the stretch selection to be very poor. I usually just perform stretches on my own based on my own knowledge.
Also, I can see Sagi and the cast being a bit 'much' for some of you out there. I don't mind their attitudes and nature, but I also don't mind Tony Horton either, and I know how much he gets on other people's nerves.
I will touch on this later in the review in the "Advice" section, but just let me say now that weight selection is absolutely VITAL to your success in this program. I believe your weight selection in this program is even more important to your success than something like P90X.
Having said that, once you reach a point where your weight choices are spot-on and you are hitting your 'max' on the last few reps of every set, this routine will have you whimpering by the end! The pacing, structure, and exercise selection is great in my opinion at hitting the chest and triceps hard!
The first few times I did this routine, I had to do some of the pushup sets on my knees. I can't remember the last time I was forced to doing pushups on my knees...
For those of you who are familiar with the P90X/P90X2 workout structure, you will enjoy the change of pace here. Rather than doing 20 straight sets of exercise, or 10 sets repeated, Body Beast uses what is known as "Dynamic Set Training". This workout uses a combination of Single Sets, Super Sets, and Giant Sets.
Single Sets are single exercises, completed with various repetition goals. For example, you will do a flat dumbbell chest press for 15 reps, a quick break, repeat with a goal of 12 repetitions, one more quick break, and then one more set with a goal of 8 repetitions.
Single sets tend to finish off with a "Drop Set", which is where you do 8 reps with one weight, then drop down in resistance by a bit, and do 8 more reps. A lot of these principles are not re-inventing the wheel by any means, but are using old school bodybuilding techniques.
Super Sets are two exercises done back-to-back, also in a progressive manner. So for example, you may do an incline chest fly for 15 reps, immediately followed by an incline chest press for 15 reps. A quick break, then repeat the 2 for 12 reps similar to what you see in a single set.
Giant sets are the same as Super Sets, but with 3 exercises back-to-back-to-back instead of 2.
The workout progresses through working the chest for the first half of the workout, followed by triceps work for the 2nd half. Warmup, cooldown, and a crushing workout to both your chest and triceps all, in under 50 mins!
Weight selection is absolutely the most important factor for the Body Beast program.
There is a very specific reason to the breakdown and structure of the workouts. By aiming for 15, 12, and 8 rep sets, with little break in between, you are not only trying to create a very specific demand within your muscles, but you are also maximizing your muscles' potential with less overall resistance needed.
On a good day, I can curl 45-50lbs for 8 reps, for example. In Body Beast, the bicep curl sets, I struggle to hit 8 reps with 35lbs!
Luckily, as I progress through the program, you all can follow my videos and progress and can use me to help you with the program as well.
A great start to Body Beast, and a great workout for your Chest and Triceps. A few minor problems here and there, including a poor cool-down and stretch, but overall a great workout that gets you in an old-school weightlifting sort of mood.
Quote of the day:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
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