Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Body Beast Review ~ Building Muscle

Over the past couple weeks I have become pretty well acquainted with Mr. Isreal, Sagi Kalev, and his amazing program Body Beast. I have been sampling the various workouts to give you a good review and overview of what to expect from the Beast. As I am writing this, we have a long list of individuals taking the Body Beast Challenge. This is going to be a one of a kind experience. Wearing out my dog, as I am at it all day, reviewing this new program, and helping others get going!

I’ve got the BEAST on my mind so much that nearly everything I say these days has a “Beast” or “Beastly” thrown in for good measure (“That was a Beastly dinner”.). Anyways, let’s get to my review.

I couldn’t be happier or more pumped about these workouts. They are straight to the point and all about lifting BIG to get BIG. The first thing I noticed was how brief the warm ups and cool downs are. Sagi gets right to business, spends only the time he needs and then we go straight to the weights. The routines are pretty complex. The varying set types could be hard to follow but the on screen cues and guides make it really easy. The workouts are fast too!

They key to building hypertrophy NATURALLY is to increase your body’s own testosterone and stimulate muscle growth with quick, yet intense, types of targeted muscle building. Sagi has mastered that, as a long term advocate of natural bodybuilding. He’s coined the term “Dynamic Set Training” for his technique, which uses multiple sets, progressive sets, drop sets, supersets, etc., in combination with each other, to pre-fatigue the muscles, and then hammer them into submission! There are some great big Giant sets where you hit three lifts, back to back to back. It is amazing how much time under tension your muscles experience.

That is the key to growth, not just a large stimulus from a huge weight, but the cumulative time under tension. The pump you get from the workouts is second to none. You’ll be feeling Beastly after a single workout for sure. The workouts are a little shorter too (30-50 minute averages), mainly due to the abbreviated warm up and cool down. It is almost all lifting! The BUILD phase has multi-body part days (Chest/Tris day, Back/Bis day, and Shoulders Day), where as the BULK phase hits each muscle group individually (Chest day, Back day, Shoulders day, Arms day). The final BEAST phase is a combination of lift days and incorporates some cardio to help you lean out a bit.
The Nutrition Plan

“If you want to put it on, you’ve got to put it in! You can’t build muscle out of nothing” — Sagi K.

To be a Beast you need to eat like a Beast. The nutrition plan in the Book of Beast is very well done. It lays out clear calculations to find your caloric need for bulking. You reassess after the BUILD phase to meet the caloric needs of your new mass. At the end of the BULK phase you transition to a slight deficit (depending on your BF%) for the BEAST phase. This allows you to cut for the final 3-4 weeks to lean out and expose a little more of your Beastly gains.

The macro-nutrient breakdowns for the BUILD and BULK phase are the same 25% protein, 50% carbs, and 25% fats. Your caloric need is figured off of your lean body mass (LBM), resting metabolic rate (RMR), daily activity, workout activity (calories to maintain weight) and a 20% surplus. For the final BEAST phase, you transition to a more standard 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fats. That is very pretty close to Fat Shredder. There is a portion plan for Body Beast, much like P90X and X2.

It is important though to note the different categories of foods that you should try to get in a day. Even if you are tracking and not using a portion plan, making sure you get a variety of foods will give you the best results.You need to stay on Shakeology to make sure you have all my vitamins and minerals covered. For a lot of guys and gals, you may need an extra shake and liquid calories to be able to hit your budgets. Don’t be afraid of this, just track everything!

This could have easily gone in the Nutrition Plan section. The Beast’s Supplements in part help you hit your marks for the bulking diet. The Base Shake and the Fuel Shot are both to be used to help you hit your budgets for protein and carbs. MAX Creatine and Super Suma are both more along the lines of true supplements to your diet. Let’s look at all four.

Base Shake – this is a all natural, flavorless whey protein. It is used in the Book of the Beast for post workout mainly, but you can add it to meals/shakes to increase your protein intake. It has 18g of protein per serving.

Fuel Shot – this supplement is a carbohydrate blend. It mixes both dextrose and maltodextrin. Both of those are very simple carbs. They are high on the glycemic index and will spike your blood sugar. But isn’t that bad? No post workout! That is the perfect time. You just crushed your workouts and have used up a lot of your glycogen stores. It is time to replenish them. The release of insulin to blunt the rising blood sugar will pull more nutrients and amino acids (from the massive amounts of protein you’ve been eating) into your muscles. This will fuel protein synthesis and muscle growth/recovery.

MAX Creatine – Plain and simple, you get high-grade pure creatine monohydrate—without fillers, preservatives, or untested ingredients. I’ve written a lot about creatine, so if you need a refresher..

Super Suma – I don’t have experience with this product.. I know what I have heard from Beachbody, “Super Suma is made from suma root (“Brazilian ginseng”) and contains Beachbody’s exclusive plant-based enzyme system for enhanced benefits. Use daily to help amp up muscle strength, size, and endurance.” The fact that Suma will trigger false positive results on steroid tests says a lot about how this product (which is totally natural, from the suma root plant) might be very effective. It’s not a steroid, but a plant sterol. However, our current steroid testing protocols are not advanced enough to differentiate between sterols and steroids. So if you are an athlete or military person who might be tested for performance enhancing drugs, stay away from the suma. For the rest of us, I say BEAST UP!! LOL!

So if you’ve thought you are a hard gainer, or that it’s tough for you to put on the kind of mass you desire, here’s what Sagi says to you =
“You are NOT a hard gainer. You just haven’t done the right program … YET!”. — Sagi
Beast Up!

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