I haven’t said much about the Body Beast program I started September 1st. It’s a tough program to give continuous results on, which I’ll get into. But I’m going strong (*wink*) and loving the program. I haven’t missed a day yet and am in week 7 of the Lean schedule.
The program comes with two different calendars – Huge Beast if you just want to build muscle and Lean Beast if you also want to lose some fat. I am strongly in the still have fat to lose category, so it was an easy decision for me. The biggest difference is in the Bulk block where the Huge Beast calendar doesn’t have Beast Cardio on the schedule at all. Also, the Blocks can be different lengths.
So, the blocks. This is why it’s difficult to see results until the end, and why a lot of people give up on the program. Block 1 is Build, where you work on the foundation and working muscles synergistically (together). This phase is 3 weeks long. The workouts are 38-50 min in this phase of the program. The nutrition plan recommends a 25/50/25 ratio (percentage of protein/carbs/fat) for the Build and Bulk phases. You’re taking in a lot of calories, and need fuel in these phases. So there is no focus on calorie restriction here! You’re focusing on muscle growth.
Block 2 is Bulk and is all about pumping up your muscles! Same nutrition, and the workouts are 29 – 41 min. You stick with this for 5 weeks in the Lean Beast schedule, 6 on the Huge Beast schedule. It’s where I am now and it’s a good place to be so far. Cardio is once a week, 5 days a week are focused on a body part and one day is rest.
Now, the final block is Beast. This is where you’re cutting phase is, where you strip away the fat and reveal the muscle. Here the nutrition drops calories, and goes to 40/30/30 ratios. It’s said to be extreme and you should keep it to 4 weeks max. The Huge Beast schedule has you here for 3 weeks and Lean Beast is 4. You use workouts from the other phases, so not much new there and Cardio shows up more. There is also the Beast – Total Body workout option for Cardio days. I haven’t tried that workout yet but I definitely will be taking that option some days.
I adore this program. Though I’m not seeing anything too noticeable, I have noticed some extra definition. I’m really looking forward to the Beast phase so I see what might be hiding under there. I feel amazing and love how strong the program makes me feel. So while I can’t say I’m looking amazing yet, I do think I’ll see good results after the Beast, or cutting, phase! I will say that I don’t love the Beast – Cardio workout. I don’t hate it, but calling it cardio is kind of a misnomer. It does burn calories, but you’re basically lifting light weights with a little plyometric work thrown in. It isn’t so much that I don’t like it, more that I love other forms of cardio. So, comparatively it’s not high on my list.
So, how do you judge if you’re making progress in a workout program like this? First off, you’ll feel good. Like whoa. And like you can take on the world. You can’t bottle that! Second, you track your weights so you can look back at what you’ve done. Are you increasing weight somewhere? Does something feel easier? You don’t want to ramp up every exercise in one workout, but there should be a progression in weight or, for the really small muscles where it is tough to increase, ease of lifting. Don’t think you have to stay with little weights! I use from 5-30 so far and will likely be pushing above that. You want to challenge yourself!
So, how are you challenging yourself today?