Bulking seems to have fallen by the wayside in favor of “getting ripped”, or becoming the fittest on earth. Crossfit, P90X, and just about every group exercise class has a cardio component designed to strip fat off you, but not many programs focus solely on gaining mass.
Beach Body, the company that brought you P90X, insanity, and T25, also have a program called Body Beast to fill that void. In conjunction with former professional bodybuilder and creator of The Master’s Hammer & Chisel Sagi Kalev, Beast Body is designed to add as much muscle as possible in just 90 days.
What is Body Beast?
They claim that you can gain as much as 20 pounds of muscle in the duration of the program, which consists of six workouts per week over three months. And while there’s no way you’d be able to pack on that much mass just doing the workouts, the team at Beach Body has put together the complete package, including how much and what you need to be eating, as well as the supplements you should be taking.
This program is not for the faint of heart though. Each workout will take you between 45 minutes to an hour depending on the rest you take, and is designed to break you down and then build you back up.
There are three phases: Build, Bulk, and Beast. The Build phase is three weeks long and introduces you to the moves, gives advice on how to brace your core to stay safe during heavy training, as well as teaching you how to breathe. Bulk is a six-week phase that takes the training to a more physically demanding level, with a focus on heavier lifting and moving the weight with the muscles. Beast is the last three weeks and is the most demanding, with a faster pace to help you finish your training looking and feeling like a beast.
Who is it for?
This program is for someone who is familiar with the gym already, but hasn’t seen the results they wanted after doing group training or programs like CrossFit or P90X. If you have familiarity with exercise, but want to focus for a solid 90 days on stretching out all your t-shirts, this is the program for you.
This program is effective and could work for a beginner as well, as the moves are well laid out and explained. It is a bit more advanced and has two or three times the total volume that a beginner would need when starting off the couch, and as such is a much better program for someone with at least three months of solid training.
This is also a great program for someone who has been stagnant in their training for a while and wants to try something challenging or wants to get a great workout and get out of the gym in an hour.
Why We Love it
This is old school heavy weight lifting! You’re doing all the basic moves, but in different set and rep schemes, including drop sets, super sets, giant sets, and contrast sets. It’s a great workout that will get you fantastic results… IF you do the work.
Everything is laid out for you in step-by-step in order for you to be successful. This includes your workouts, meals, supplements, and recovery. It’s built for you to succeed, all that you need to do is show up every day and do the work.
Bodybuilding at home? It’s great to have the freedom to train at home, especially if you have the equipment they recommend. However, this program can easily be done in any gym if they have a dumbbell rack.
You’ll feel great every time. Even if you’re not interested in gaining 20lbs of muscle, or don’t have time to do the diet they recommend, the workouts are great and would be beneficial for anyone trying to get bigger or stronger. Even if you don’t have room in your life for six workouts per week, doing three workouts per week and still going through the program will get you feeling and looking strong.
What You’ll Need
Unlike some of the Beach Body programs, you can’t substitute bands for your weighted work on this one. A full gym is a great place for a Body Beast workout, but if you’re going to be doing this at home you need at least:
- A set of dumbbells (regular or adjustable)
- A pullup bar
- A EZ Bar or Barbell (although you could get by without it)
- What’s Included
- 4 Dynamic Set Training Program DVDs
- Body Beast Eating Plan
- Sagi’s “Book of Beast” which talks about the program, mindset, and success principles.
Body Beast Workout Calendar
You can also stream the workout on your smartphone, or walk through each session on the mobile app, if you don’t want to watch the workout every time.
If you don’t have a solid base of knowledge about exercise form and technique, it could be difficult to complete this high-volume program. The workout is a full body split, which is great for gaining size, but can be detrimental for those of us without perfect form.
Each workout also comes with a specific warm up and cool down, which is helpful for recovery, but lacks self myo-facial release techniques like foam rolling which can be the difference between finishing an intense program or getting sidelined with nagging injuries.
Body Beast also has a little bit more equipment needed to start than other programs like P90X. You could probably get away with lighter dumbbells if you’re just starting out, but buying individual dumbbells can be a big expense. It’s better to get an adjustable dumbbell that you can grow into rather than trying to piece together a full set. This can be expensive up front.
Furthermore, the cardio component of this program features muscle building exercises and plyometrics, which is great for guys looking to gain size, but isn’t ideal for anyone looking to lose extra weight.
This is not a hybrid fitness program that will help you advance in several different focus areas like P90X. With the rise of Crossfit, many people are trying to get stronger, faster, more muscular, and leaner at the same time, which is not always reasonable. Body Beast goes back to the basics as a focused program dedicated to all things mass, and so may not be suitable for people with more than one specific goal.
Then again, that’s all Sagi and Co promise, and one of the reasons it’s an effective program.
While many programs these days promise massive muscles and t-shirt stretching workouts, many fall short by opting to focus on general fitness.
This is especially true when it comes to at home workouts and videos.
That’s not to say that Body Beast is unique or original in its training style or the techniques they utilize. There are many workout programs that follow the same principles, and for good reason — they work.
Finding a similar training program is relatively simple on any major bodybuilding website or through a coach that specializes in mass gain.
However, there’s very little competition for Body Beast when it comes to having the full program laid out in front of you, videos for each workout, and step by step nutrition. This program is designed to eliminate all distractions or potential problems that come with taking on a big goal.
While there are many similar and possibly even more effective written programs, none have achieved the level of user-friendliness that this at home mass gaining system employs.
Where to Buy
You can get the Body Beast Base Kit on the Amazon.com for $49.85.