ULTIMATE REVIEW: BODY BEAST – Part 1 of 2

The program that made a Man out of a Parrot.

By Jean Paul Fender

 

body beast packageBody Beast is the new fitness program by Beachbody and is hosted by Sagi Kalev who is one part man and one part adamantium gorilla ( I hope he doesn’t read that ).  Like all reviews at DysfunctionalParrot.com, this will involve myself as the test subject.  No here-say reviews at this site kids!  That means it’s my skinny systems analyst ass against the Israeli powerhouse.  The odds are not in my favour.

Body Beast is a 90 day, 3 Phase program ( BUILD, BULK and BEAST ) consisting of 12 workouts and is designed for one primary purpose…getting you big.  The package has the option to include some impressive supplements and 3 bonus workouts, but because nobody out there sent me a bag of cash ( jerks ) I went for the basic package.

Unlike other programs such as P90X or Insanity, Body Beast is strictly focused on muscle growth and this is a good thing because let’s be honest, even Tony Horton and Shaun T spend time pumping serious iron because you don’t get muscles like that otherwise!  And really, who of us warm blooded males wouldn’t mind putting on a few pounds of stunning lean mass to impress the wives?  Well that’s my goal as this review officially begins and I commit myself to the beast!

Equipment Needed:

Weights and preferably an incline bench, although one guy will always be using a stability ball as an alternative.  You can use bands, but come on…you don’t get a program like this and use bands!  There is also some use of the pull-up bar.

PHASE ONE: BUILD

CHEST and TRICEPS

Time: 49 minutes

Right away I like Sagi.  Although he has a thick Israeli accent, he is still understandable and comes off as very friendly.  That is until he says, “BEAST UP!“.  Dude scared me so bad I had to change into a second pair of workout shorts.  But he’s all business and his two co-stars are also equally friendly.  To be honest I was worried this was going to be a “muscle-head douchebag” package.  Fortunately, it is nothing of the sort.

This one is straight up chest presses and flyes for the first half, then tricep work for the second.  Supersets, Drop Sets and a one minute closeout with abs.  That means no alternating between body parts, but instead beating the ever loving crap out of one part then moving on.

I recommend a proper incline bench for doing this to get more isolation in the upper pecs, but a stability ball worked well enough for me.  Oh, and you’ll also think Sagi is being a bit of a wuss by grabbing smaller weights on moves you’ve done in P90X with bigger weight.  You’d be dead wrong because these moves are slower and therefore have negative reps making them far, far more intense.  So for the love of all things holy, take your recovery drink!

LEGS

Time: 38 minutes

P90X and Insanity are mainly plyometrics, so while you’ll get lean and ripped legs, odds are their size won’t increase significantly on those programs.  Not so here because this is lifting iron and that means you’re gonna feel like you’ve been kicked in the ass by Sasquatch.

Sagi wastes no time here.  You get about one minute to warm up and then you start lifting.  Squats, Alternating Lunges/Step ups, Parallel Squats, Bulgarian Squats ( really messed me up! ), and Calf Raises.  All in back to back sets that quite frankly will trash your legs completely.  Sagi’s got some antics when dealing with excessive time-outs, like asking if you need to take a “nap-nap!”.  That’s code for saying he’ll reach through the TV screen and tear your still beating heart out of your chest if you stop.

My advice with this workout is to take it easy the first time because it works the body in a whole different way that plyo.

Best line:  “Do you love it?  Do you hate it?  IT DOESN’T MATTER!!”

BACK and BICEPS

Time: 50 minutes

I’d rather kick a kitten than move my legs today.  Fortunately for the kitty my legs won’t move from yesterdays thrashing.  That means I’ll be doing Back and Biceps instead.

Take everything you thought you knew from P90X and put it aside for a moment as this is not the same approach.  Each set is done 3 times and finishes with a drop set ( do max, then drop the weight for another set right away ).

The first half is all Back and has traditional moves like dead lifts, pull ups and rows.  The second half is Biceps with misc curls that will tear your arms off.  You’ll find that Sagi uses the EZ Curl Bar occasionally which seems to work you different than just grabbing a couple dumbbells.

A word of advice when buying a curl bar: Get one with spring collars, not screw collars.  I have the latter and it is very inconvenient to change weights on it without falling behind.  I’ll definitely have to invest in the proper type as I continue with this program.

SHOULDERS

Time: 38 minutes

Please Sagi, no more, I can hardly move!  I’m also wondering if it’s normal for my muscles to crackle this much with every movement.  Man, I must be a mess inside.

There’s not to much complicated going on here.  A 3 minute warm up and straight into Presses, upright rows and flyes…the stuff you’d expect from a traditional shoulder routine.  There’s a few drop sets to liven things up and a couple abdominal moves at the end to engage the core.  Again, this is a solid traditional-style approach to working the shoulders.

CARDIO

Time: 30 minutes

Up until now it has been all weight, so I really had no idea what to expect with Cardio.  But I was not disappointed with what Sagi brought to the table!  This was hardcore.

It’s squat lifts, jump squats, dumbbell sumo squats, plyo pushups, jacks, isometric holds…AAArrghhh!!!  You use weights too, albeit light ones for one minute cardio bursts followed by compound weight moves that took my hide out to the woodshed.  The music is also really good and Sagi is yelling at you a lot here!  The whole thing actually has an Insanity style feel to it and yes…your heart rate will hit max because Sagi is really riding your ass!

No, it doesn’t have the plyo-focus of Insanity, but using weights actually made it feel harder!  Cardio is also optional depending on which path you take with Body Beast.  But I’d always find a way to include it just to remain versatile.  As a bonus, the DVD has P90X Plyo on it as well which will be a handy addition for many not familiar with that program.

TOTAL BODY

Time: 38 minutes

Straight up circuit training.  Total Body is 4 circuits consisting of 4 moves done twice.  I’ll be perfectly honest, after doing Beast Cardio yesterday I’m a total mess.  Keep in mind, you normally wouldn’t do this as Cardio and Total Body are meant to be interchangeable with each other on the Build Phase.  The thing about circuit training is that it might as well double as a cardio workout considering how the blood is moving through you.  I got through this, but wow…I’m done like dinner. During the Bulk Phase of Body Beast this workout is not on the schedule.

Thank heavens you get one day off before jumping back in for Week 2.  But for the moment, I’m skipping to Phase 2-BULK for the next segment of the review…

Conclusions Thus Far…

Nothing like having your body stuffed in a trash compactor and spit out onto the basement floor.  I used to think getting eaten alive by rats was the worst way to go.  Nope.  It’s Body Beast.  Like a hundred angry leprechauns beating you with hammers.

Keep in mind, this program has a very specific goal.  If you’re a runner and want to prepare for a marathon then Body Beast is not for you.  But if you want to put on some sexy muscle, then oh yeah…you’ve come to the right place.  But this was only the BUILD Phase and there’s more workouts in this program to cover as I enter the BULK Phase, so I’ll reserve my final analysis until the end.  If I can make it that long…

PROCEED TO PART 2…

  

© 2012 – 2014, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

Jean Paul Fender

Jean Paul Fender

Supreme Overlord at DysfunctionalParrot.com
Jean Paul Fender ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects. Jean Paul is also the author of the ongoing comedy apocalyptic novel, LOOPBACK.
Jean Paul Fender
 
 
  • http://scienceunveiled.blogspot.com/ Tim Maguire

    Great review of the first phase. I cannot wait to get it and try it out!!

  • BruceP

    “Like a hundred midgets ( can you still call them that? ) beating you with hammers.”
    If you need to make a reference you should call them little people, i’m sure they would feel more comfortable with that. The other term is offensive.
    Otherwise I liked your review.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Keeping up with political correctness is a hopeless cause for me. I’d rather hand the midget a hammer and let him take it out on me.

      • Cherryblue

        Lol!

    • stephanej

      if you are 4’2″ you belong with the little people but if you are 3’2″ with some baby fat ,walk like a cowboy and your head seems too big for your body … im sorry but you are a midget my friend !!! by calling a midget ”little people” its offensive for the real ”little people” lol

  • Joe

    Hilarious review! Love it!

  • http://fitdadblog.com/ Jim C

    Awesome review. Despite your humor I can tell you are serious about Fitness. Have you ever tried BSN’s True Mass? Do you think this would be a good supplement to use with this program?

    Jim C
    http://fitdadblog.com/workouts/body-beast/

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Never tied it but the ingredients look alright, except for the artificial sweetener and colors. I tend to like products that I feel my body will like long term so my product of choice is VEGA. But I think you would still do well with BSN.

  • Gman

    I’m offended by the midget comment too! But thanks for taking the time to write the review, enjoyed it.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Thanks for the compliment and glad you enjoyed the article. Thus far it stands Midgets 2 Parrot 0.

  • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

    In the interest of professionalism and good taste, I have changed my reference from “midgets” to “leprechauns”. I figure two people getting after me is probably a sign I should cut the little people of the world some slack.

  • Angry dwarf

    Why don’t you just man up and tell the two whinging skidmarks who complained about the midget comment to go and @&$? Themselves if they don’t like it. Everybody needs to get over themselves. That’s why the great sport of dwarf throwing is starting to phase out because of losers like them. Your review was great keep up the good work

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Out of curiosity, I just spent 20 minutes watching Dwarf Tossing on YouTube.

      I am a horrible, horrible person.

  • clearday

    can you please review bodybuilding revealed? Sorry for the dupe post in the T25 beta review

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      I’ll see what I can do. I have a stack of to-do’s that also involve finishing off a novel.

      Not sure if I’m the right guy for a review on that kind of a book as bodybuilding isn’t really my specialty as much as general fitness. Nonetheless I’ll see what I can do in the near future! The book does appear very highly rated.

  • Tracey Mahoney

    I think your reviews are pretty down to the point, I am female and am into my 3 rd week of Build. Everything you said about the way you felt after doing the specific program is too true, legs being so sore that cant hardly walk and so with every other body part . And yes it took me over a week to not feel the pain from the first sessions too, its a great program and does push your body to the limit making you feel that you do have un worked muscles. I do like the way you do write your reviews though makes me laugh.

  • Guest

    Awesome review! I am looking at the program for myself (I am a 20 year old male) and I understand that some equipment is required. I have most of it already, but I need to get some dumbbells still. Currently, I am looking at the at the BowTec SelectTec adjustable dumbbells. There are two models, one ranges from 5-52 lbs and the other from 10-90 lbs. Which set do you think would be best suited for the program?
    Thanks for your input!

    • Alan

      I just bought PowerBlock U-90′s, and having used both this set and the Bowflex SelectTech weights, I would definitely choose PowerBlocks. They take up much less space than the Bowflex, are expandable from 50 to 70, 90, and even 125 lbs, are made to attach to a specific EZ curl bar and straight bar, and even a kettle bell handle, and have a lifetime warranty. My main argument for them would be the warranty and the size. You can’t do narrow curls with the Bowflex weights. I am currently in the Build phase of Beast, and my PowerBlocks have killed over the time I used the Bowflex ones.

      • fuchs

        Do you use the PowerBlocks EZ curl bar with body beast? Also what is the main difference between the u series and the elite series? I currently own the SelectTech but find them too “big” sometimes for the smaller weights and more annoying to maneuver.

    • Cherryblue

      Power block all the way – they are just better in every respect and way more versatile

  • Joel

    Hi there,

    My name is Joel and I am a twenty year old, who is looking at buying your home workout program, Body Beast. I have completed other home workouts from you such as Insanity, but have never done anything involving weights.

    I understand that some home equipment is required for Body Beast. I have most of it already, such as the EZ curl bar with weights and a bench. As far as dumbbells go, I am currently looking at purchasing BowFlex SelectTec dumbbells. There are two different models, one ranging from 5-52.5 lbs and the other from 10-90 lbs, I was wondering which set would be best suited for this program. Or is there a different product that you would recommend?

    Thank you for your time and input.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      I’ve used both SelectTech and Powerblocks occasionally and always found the Powerblocks to be of superior build quality. The SelectTech were also just plain huge, but that’s just my personal preference.

      As for weight, 5-52.5 is going to be more than enough for Body Beast for the average guy. I rarely ever reached for my 50′s except when doing a press. Also, I HIGHLY advise NOT using a stability ball like is shown in some workouts. Get a half decent bench and save yourself the medical bills!

      • Joel

        Thanks for your input! I look forward to starting this program! Keep up the great reviews!

  • Scooby

    DP,
    I’ve been working out in gym for past 8 years. I’m 48 and in good shape but like any male ego always looking to get a little bigger and more defined just for the challenge. I work out at gym weights about 5 days a week and then do t25 with my wife as she wanted to lose some weight and get back into shape.
    Lookingfor the next challenge. What about body beast for myself? Just different than gym routine? or some pros to giving it a go? I want to finish t25 with my wife first.
    thanks,
    Scooby

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Body Beast would be great, but be aware you will probably be at an advantage at a gym due to more sophisticated equipment. That having been said, Sagi will get you where you want to go!

      As one who has really enjoyed this program ( one of my faves! ) I recommend getting a simple incline bench and a good selection of free weights. Don’t do the modified moves on a stability ball or you will not be able to lift as much. Or worse…the ball will decide to expire crashing you and two 50lb dumbbells to the ground!

    • Cherryblue

      I did T25 in the mornings and bodybeast in the evenings – you can do both as T25 is only 25 mins

  • fuchs

    Hi @DysfunctionalParrot:disqus -Do you use the PowerBlocks EZ curl bar with body beast? If so, what is is the main difference between the Uu series and the elite series? I currently own the SelectTech but find them too “bulky” sometimes for the smaller weights and more annoying to maneuver.

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      Nope. I use the generic brand curl-bar with disc weights from Canadian Tire!

      • fuchs

        Thank you. I’m debating whether or not to buy a new set of dumbbells…I would love a regular set so I can switch weights quicker, just hard to justify the cost

  • Packer Gym Rat

    Hello – I am 60 now. And, for the most part, what you are describing here, to me, is a re-surfacing of the regular Schwarzenegger process. It essentially goes thru each phase in much the same way his Workout book (as large as a encyclopedia). I am still reading, but Aahhnold, would start Chest & Triceps on Mondays, Back & Biceps on Tuesdays, Legs on Wednesdays, Shoulders on Thursdays… and arms only on Fridays. Each day would entail a warmup (for me) of good dose of situps and 20 min treadmill … get the ligaments warmed up… and reduce injuries. I found that after roughly 90 minutes, you would have used up all of your carbs and then the workout seemed to start eating off the body fat.
    I am a slender man about 5’9″.. at my age, I’m shrinking…..
    My problem has always been to gain muscle… essentially turning myself from an ectomorph into a potentially stable mesomorph.
    I would ask exactly how, at my age now, would I see real gains that I would prefer, when it has always been so hard to gain real mass for my body type (?)
    I worry constantly about GMOs and eating too much and belly fat.
    Suggestions?

  • Momof2

    Hi, there, Dysfunctional Parrot !! I love your review of ‘Body Beast’. I saw an infomercial and got curious, so I checked reviews, which all seem good to excellent, so far.
    I am a female, turning 42 soon, & have 2 children, 4 years old and 2-1/2. I have lost the ‘baby weight’, but I am an ex-smoker and gained 30 lbs. when I quit smoking….I STILL have NOT lost that weight and it has been a little over 5 years since I quit. My question to you is do you think this program would be a good one for a female who wants to lose weight and add some muscle, but not bulk up like a man in the ‘Mr. Universe’ competition??

    • aryeh levine

      no try insanity

  • PiperK

    Hi Momof2 – I am a female who just turned 40 and I am currently trying to quit smoking. I’ve purchased the Body Beast and I have to say, yes it does hurt like hell, (I mean a LOT), but at the same time, it makes you feel darn good to finish a workout! It’s totally doable and you will most definitely lose weight. By doing this program, you will not bulk up to look like Mr. Universe – it’s genetically impossible. My suggestion would be to do Yoga in the same day as these workouts to lenghten the muscles and hopefully ease some of the pain. Epsom salt will be your best friend! I say go for it Momof2!

  • SEM

    Momof2, PiperK is right to say that you will not bulk up. DP has given a great review of this program. I would like to add, that you should throw in (not just yoga) a Stretch day on the off days of lifting. His cool downs really are to short for me, and I am an old short guy…lol. I truly do love this program though.

  • diti51

    Momof2, as a 42 year old dad of 5 kids I know how tough it is to eat right and find time to workout. I have done p90x, p90x2, p90x3, insanity already. I agree with SEM and PiperK, that this workout is awesome.

    Sagi is a great motivator and not over the top. Very reminiscent of my high school and college weight lifting days with a buddy.

    You CAN bulk up if you want to (creatine, extra calories, no cardio, etc) but you will likely just tone if you keep calories under control and mix in some extra cardio/yoga. I am only 2 weeks into the program but have added yoga and a 2-4 mile run on the REST day.

    Agree with SEM that cool down is too short and I added in a few extra minutes of the stretching I learned from p90x workouts. Definitely worth doing, all workouts less than an hour. Drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as you can as these workouts are seriously intense. Good luck!

  • aryeh levine

    I have tried insanity and it was great but now I want to bulk up but I am scared bodybeast will be too difficult. Should I try it?

    • http://dysfunctionalparrot.com Dysfunctional Parrot

      As with anything, go at your own pace and lift the appropriate weight and I see no problem. The actual moves are quite basic – it’s really just a question of how heavy you feel like lifting!

 
 
 
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