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Does Body Beast Work? Workout Reviews (Complete List)

 

Body Beast Review

 

Body Beast Review… Does it work?

 

Yes. Yes, Body Beast works. How do I know? I have been doing Body Beast for 4+ years now. I had great results in my first complete round adding 12 pounds lean muscle while reducing body fat percentage. You can check out my Body Beast graduation results HERE! And, since then I have been leveraging Body Beast in hybrids I created from personal experience including combinations with Insanity Max:30, Sagi’s HAMMER workouts from Hammer and Chisel, and 22 Minute Hard Corps.

 

Here is what I believe… Body Beast is THE BEST program out there for adding mass with muscle hypertrophy taking advantage of the unique dynamic set discipline that can be done at home or gym. However, I created multiple hybrids with Body Beast to add in more cardio and athletic, functional performance movements. Regardless, I will always be pressing play on Body Beast to achieve my mass goals (remember, I have a history of being a hardgainer). I have personally met Sagi Kalev many times. He knows his stuff and is one of the nicest, most inspirational guys I have met. Beast up, whatever it takes!

 

So if I know Body Beast works, why write another blog article with my Body Beast Review (that will likely take me 40+ hours to complete)?

 

Good question, thanks for asking! You see, since Body Beast came out back in the Summer of 2012 I have become much more refined and detailed in the way I review workout programs. I have a Ph.D. in Science and Engineering, and I just can’t seem to get away from using data to help determine the efficiency and effectiveness of health and fitness (Sorry, Fitbit). Ha. As such, I have had many requests for a “geeked out” review of Body Beast much like my very detailed reviews of P90X3, Insanity Max:30, Hammer & Chisel and 22 Minute Hard Corps. Ask and you shall receive!! Although I have tracked heart rate data for some Body Beast workouts in the past, I am just as interested to see how this program stacks up relative to other workouts given the shear volume of muscle-specific, resistance-focused work.

 

Again, given that I am a science guy:),  I will leverage heart rate analysis for each workout to draw conclusions and comparisons including the data in my perspective. I have a Polar H7 Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor (chest strap) synced to my iPhone using the free Polar Beat Mobile App and Polar Flow (used “other indoor” setting as default). Warmup and cooldown time is included in the heart rate analysis. The warmups and cooldowns are very short in the 2-3 minute range mostly so it is recommended to add additional time to stretch if needed (that has been one of the few complaints with the program). Workouts include the BUILD, BULK and BEAST variations. Nutrition is CRITICAL for getting the results you want in this program and the targets are aligned with each of the three month-long “blocks” of Body Beast. For me, nutrition targets during this review are consistent with the Body Beast nutrition guide – Book of Beast (during my first round I adjusted calories to match my goals based on progress). Supplements include Beachbody Performance Ultimate Stack of ENERGIZE pre-workoutHYDRATE during workoutRECOVER post-workoutCREATINERECHARGE casein protein before bed and Shakeology snack.

SIDE NOTE: During the course of this review Polar decided to update the Polar Beat phone App. It had been unchanged on my phone for the past 4 years. The data acquired is still valid, no change to the actual Polar monitoring device, and you will notice the appearance change of the heart rate analysis on my 10th review out of the 15 Body Beast workouts, BULK:Chest. I do not like when variables change, but, regardless, life goes on. Now on to my Body Beast Review!!

 

Body Beast Review

 

The Workouts

BUILD Legs

BUILD Back/Bis

BUILD Shoulders

BEAST Cardio

BEAST Abs

BUILD Chest/Tris

BULK Legs

BULK Back

BULK Arms

BULK Chest

BULK Shoulders

TEMPO Chest/Tris (Extra Deluxe TEMPO workouts)

TEMPO Back/Bis (Extra Deluxe TEMPO workouts)

Lucky 7 (exclusive workout bonus from your coach or sold separate)

BEAST Total Body

 

The Data Analysis Summary

 

To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed working on this “geeked out” Body Beast Review. Again, I have been pressing play on Body Beast for 4+ years, but I did not spend much time analyzing the efficiency-effectiveness of the workouts via detailed heart rate analysis. However, after completing the analysis I am more convinced than ever that Body Beast is one of the best programs out there, especially for combined muscle hypertrophy and shredding (as confirmed possible with my first round results and countless other success stories from men and women!) I am also convinced that the data supports my thought process and scheduling for the Body Beast Hybrids I have created.

 

The table below demonstrates the VERY detailed results from comprehensive heart rate analysis for all 15 workouts for Body Beast including the bonus workout Lucky 7 and deluxe TEMPO workouts (click to expand for easier reading).  The data includes calories burned, average heart rate, max heart rate, time in each of 5 workout zones plus the percentage of time in max zones 4 and 5. The data is sorted with the highest calorie burn workouts at the top ranked toward lowest calorie burn at the bottom (not surprising, BEAST:Abs and shorter Lucky 7 routine).

 

Body Beast Heart Rate Analysis Summary

CLICK TO EXPAND.

 

Below is a graphical summary that visualizes each workout sorted by calories burned and average heart rate. Also, Regression fit of normalized calories (total calories burned/total workout time) vs. average heart rate provides an excellent fit with R2 = 0.9954 (y = 0.131x – 7.6086). Overall, I feel really good about this data set for my conclusions. However, I am not pleased that the Polar Beat App was auto-updated on my iPhone near the end of my review, especially since I noted with the new App version some inconsistencies in heart rate monitoring with unusual spikes recorded in heart rate. The spikes appear to have a negligible impact on the actual data for the workouts. Calories, average heart rates and workout zones were as expected while I was able to extract the true values for max heart rates from the curves at flow.polar.com.

 

Body Beast Heart Rate Analysis Graph Summary

 

Body Beast Heart Rate Regression Summary

 

 

My heart rate data compiled in the table and graphs in the figures shows some interesting findings for Body Beast. The Legs workouts in Body Beast are my nemesis for a reason and BULK:Legs tops the list of highest calorie burn and BUILD:Legs is Number 4 on the list. These workouts move fast and you have to be on your game to get weights changed in time (pause otherwise until ready). The workouts that challenged my heart rate the most along with BULK/BUILD:Legs are also performed at a fast pace and include BEAST:Total Body, Lucky 7 and BEAST:Cardio. An interesting finding is that some of the highest max heart rates come from the heavy resistance sets BUILD:Chest/Tris, BUILD:Back/Bis and BULK:Chest. The TEMPO workouts have high calorie burns, but that is solely because the workout times approach one hour. Otherwise, the TEMPO workouts have some of the lowest average heart rates and time in the max workout Zones 4/5 due to the slow, deliberate pace of the negatives and positive movements.

 

Check out the comparison below to some key performance indicators relative to other top Beachbody programs P90X3, Insanity Max:30, Hammer & Chisel and 22 Minute Hard Corps (click to expand for easier reading). Numbers shown are averages of all 16 Insanity Max:30 workouts, all 20 P90X3 workouts, all 19 Hammer and Chisel, all 13 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts relative to all 15 Body Beast workouts. Workout times generally average in the 30 minute range for the other programs while Body Beast is obviously longer with 30-40 minutes for most workouts…

 

Beachbody Heart Rate Program Summary

CLICK TO EXPAND.

 

 

Not surprising given the purpose of the program to “max out”, Insanity Max:30 clearly provides the biggest challenge of the Beachbody workouts from a heart rate analysis perspective with highest normalized calories, average heart rate, max heart rate and % of workout in max Zones 4/5. Max:30 would also have the highest average calories burned per workout, however, the Body Beast workouts have a longer average workout time at 36.93 min per workout. As such, Body Beast has the highest average calories, but lowest normalized calories. This is exactly why I perform the normalization calculation. The table also shows Body Beast has the lowest or near lowest values for average heart rate, max heart rate and % of workout in max Zones 4/5. With all that said, Body Beast is very effective at shredding body fat because of the enhanced heart rate and metabolism (and calorie burn) for sustained periods AFTER the workout given the focus on resistance with weights. Even the “cardio” workouts have weights. Some reports indicate enhanced burn up to 24 hours after a weighted resistance workout similar to my previous findings vs. shorter enhancements for cardio. Regardless, the stats are impressive for Body Beast given all of the breaks provided throughout the workout for muscle recovery between sets. In addition, most of the other programs compared in the table are shorter, partly made possible with less rest between sets therefore allowing less time to recover.

 

DOES BODY BEAST WORK?

Yes!

(I do recommend closely monitoring your results and adjusting nutrition as needed to match your goals, best to consult with your Team Beachbody Coach for support!)

 

Favorite Workouts: TEMPO workouts, Lucky 7, BUILD:Shoulders, BULK:Shoulders

Least Favorite Workouts: BUILD:Legs, BULK:Legs

Hardest Workouts (for me): TEMPO workouts (due to slow eccentric/concentric movement), BUILD and BULK:Legs (my nemesis)

Easiest Workouts (for me): BEAST:Cardio, BEAST:Abs, Lucky 7

 

 

The Reviews

BUILD Legs

Never been a fan of leg workouts given my history of knee injuries (ACL tears, cartilage, meniscus both knees). With that, leg workouts are critical to build strength in my lower body and stabilize my knees. However, BUILD:Legs and BULK:Legs have ALWAYS BEEN MY NEMESIS in Body Beast over the years. Killer workouts!

Described as,

“Say goodbye to skinny legs. Focused on building powerful quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes.”

So how did I do in 38 minutes of BUILD:Legs?

Heart rate analysis data…

 

Body Beast BUILD:Legs ReviewBody Beast BUILD:Legs Review

 

Challenging as usual, but great workout for the lower body with some in and out abs at the end. Movements included single sets, super sets and several series of giant sets. That is, dynamic set training. Specific exercises involved squats (I like the sumo squats, but also Bulgarian and parallel versions), alternating lunges, step-up (on bench) reverse lunge combination (come on now!!), deadlift and calf raises. My current bench is tall almost 2 feet high, so those step-up reverse lunges were insane. Back in 2012 when I first did Body Beast my bench was shorter. The step-up reverse lunge sequence really challenges my heart rate and it shows in the heart rate analysis data. Polar info indicated I burned 449 calories in 38 minutes of resistance leg work, which is actually impressive. I also know from experience the resistance workouts enhance metabolism for sustained periods of time compared to traditional cardio. Average heart rate was 148 beats per minute with max heart rate 180 bpm in that super set with alternating lunge/step-up reverse lunge. Most of the workout was in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. Not bad. With most Body Beast workouts, the key is to get dialed into your weights since Sagi moves between sets fast at times. It always gets easier once you have tried the workout at least once since you know what to expect next time. I think (know) I will be sore tomorrow. I remember the first time I did BUILD:Legs I was hoping there would be more deadlift variations, but those show up more later in the program.

 

 

 

BUILD Back/Bis

Excited to see my heart rate analysis data for Back/Bis. Always a fan of the workouts that focus on back and biceps together given that they complement and BUILD one another. I always look forward to this workout on the schedule.

Described as,

“Create that ‘V’ shape with bigger lats, traps, rhomboids, and biceps. Get ready to pull and curl.”

Pull and curl? What is not to like?:)

I’m ready. So how did I do in 50 minutes Build:Back/Bis?

Heart rate analysis data…

 

Body Beast BUILD Back Bis ReviewBody Beast BUILD Back Bis Review

 

Wow. Done. I can’t remember the last time I sweat that much during a workout. That was brilliant. This dynamic set training discipline is a rocker. There is limited rest between sets and each complex series, and my heart rate was elevated throughout. That is a good sign. The workout was approx. 50 minutes and included single sets, giant sets and super sets. Movements involved deadlifts, dumbbell pullover, EZ bar row, one-arm row, pullups, closed grip chin-ups, seated bicep curl, hammer curls, neutral EZ bar curls and cobra. Great workout. I broke out the 20-lb weighted vest for pullups and was able to do all 3 sets of 10 reps. That super set of dumbbell pullover and pullups is a challenge. And, the closed gripped chin-ups bridge the back focus to biceps focus perfectly as you are forced to fatigue both muscle groups. The 1,1,2 hammer curls are just insane. (Side note: Starting the workout with deadlift the day after BUILD:Legs on the schedule is just cruel. Cruel.) The workout ended with cobra which reminds me of some of the swimmer and pulse sequence moves in Insanity Asylum Back to Core. Heart rate data supports my comments with 470 calories burned with average heart rate of 130 beats per minute and max heart rate of 183 bpm. Most of the workout was in Zone 3 “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. Zone 3 may sound low, but there are many breaks in these BUILD workouts that bring that heart rate down. You do see the spikes in heart rate during the movements though in the graph above. BUILD:Back/Bis is easily one of my favorite workouts of all Beachbody workouts.

 

 

 

BUILD Shoulders

It probably seems to you that I look forward to all of these Body Beast workouts, but in reality I do (excluding legs!). Shoulders are one of the muscle groups I most enjoy building up with a challenging workout routine. My results from my first ever round of Body Beast demonstrated that my shoulders had some of the most significant gains during the round. I KNOW this workout works.

Described as,

“Focused on creating perfect deltoids.”

Okay, seriously, I think Beachbody could have added more content to that description to make it sound more exciting, ha!

So how did I do in approx. 38 minutes of BUILD:Shoulders?

Heart rate analysis data…

 

Body Beast Build Shoulders ReviewBody Beast Build Shoulders Review

 

BUILD:Shoulders leverages single sets, super sets and a killer giant set of a broad range of shoulder movements. Exercises included dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raise, upright row, EZ bar underhand press (my favorite!), front raise series, rear delt raise, dumbbell shrug, dumbbell scap trap, six way shoulder raise and tuck & roll abs (have to be careful with lower back). The giant set with EZ underhand press/1,1,2-front raise/rear delt raise is the best in the entire program, from my perspective. My shoulders are on FIRE! I have to admit, I was surprised when I first looked at the program and the dynamic set training method because most of the sets involved a progression from 15 reps to 12 reps to 8 reps followed by drop set of 8 reps. With that said, I find it incredibly effective in mass gain relative to heavy 5×5 or savage 4×4 discipline I have done in the past where you lift much heavier (with more rest). Of course, provided you are getting sufficient nutrition. What I do know is the limited breaks within sets keeps your muscles engaged and heart rate elevated. Polar heart rate data shows 371 calories burned in approx. 38 minutes with average heart rate 132 beats per minute and max rate of 169 bpm. Most of workout was in Zone 3 “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max, again, partly attributed to breaks between sets during the length of the workout. Rage. Become a Machine.

 

 

 

BEAST Cardio

I know from experience that BEAST: Cardio is not your typical cardio routine. Of course with Sagi, cardio must mostly involve weights! I have actually mapped heart rate before on this workout and look forward to seeing how consistent the results are years later (keeping in my mind my fitness level may/may not be different). I am mapping this one again so that all of the data in this review is relative to a similar point in time for my fitness journey. In general, Body Beast has very limited cardio, which is also why P90X Plyo X is included as a bonus in this series for those seeking extra cardio focus, although I much prefer the hybrids I mentioned earlier.

Described as,

“You didn’t see this workout in Pumping Iron. A highly new-school performance-oriented cardio workout to not only help cut you up but to increase your ability to get bigger.”

As a side note, loved the movie Pumping Iron with Arnold!

So how did I do with 30 minutes of BEAST: Cardio?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Beast Cardio Review Body Beast Beast Cardio Review

 

And, done. According to the Polar monitor I burned 374 calories with average heart rate of 152 beats per minute, max heart rate 176 bpm and most of the workout in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. The workout consisted of total body moves with and without weights. Exercises included shoulder press, sumo squat, squat to upright row, alternating plyo lunge, plyo push-ups and weighted burpees with plank hold, to name a few. Many of these are basically done for 90 seconds where 3 sets of the movement are separated by a 10-sec isometric hold between the dynamic moves. Tough stuff, actually! There are also speed moves including toe taps on bench, sumo run, and core to sprint at the end. In reflection I now see where much of the HAMMER workouts in Hammer & Chisel drew inspiration! The plyo pushups were especially challenging for me today, as usual. Now, let’s briefly compare my heart rate analysis data from today relative to BEAST:Cardio from about 3.5 years ago… the total calorie burn today is a little lower than last time, but the average heart rate and max heart rate are spot on. The difference in calorie burn could be a number of factors including the level of my fitness at the time (not as good as today). I do have 2 kids now vs. 1 at that time so perhaps I am in better shape from chasing these kids around, ha! The other interesting finding to confirm is that again my heart rate took MORE TIME to come down after BEAST:Cardio with weights vs. traditional cardio like Insanity Fast & Furious. This is consistent with the theory that resistance work is critical for your overall health and fitness program, from my perspective. Finally, wanted to note that the data for BEAST:Cardio demonstrates that the cardio combined with weights provides a higher calorie burn in a shorter period of time than most of the muscle-specific resistance work (i.e., normalized calorie burn). This can be observed when comparing against BUILD:Back/Bis and BUILD:Shoulders, for example. Of course average heart rate is higher as well with the cardio focus, but the max heart rate is lower (more weights appear to elevate heart rate more in this comparison). Interesting, I love this stuff!! Side note, BEAST:Cardio would be awesome with the variable resistance PT Sandbag used in 22 Minute Hard Corps!

 

 

 

BEAST Abs

The primary ab workout for Body Beast is only around 10 minutes, however, I would argue that you engage your core and lower back throughout the program otherwise. This is particularly important to stay safe during the lifts of dynamic sets. So, plenty of ab work in Body Beast. For those that want more ab work you can hybrid like I have done or simply add BEAST Abs several times per week during your round.

Described as,

“Ab work is here for more than looks. A strong core helps you lift heavier weight safely and helps you improve your posture.”

Agreed. The core work is especially important for me with my recovering lower back disc herniation.

So how did I do with 10 minutes of BEAST: Abs?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Beast Abs Review Body Beast Beast Abs Review

 

I really enjoy the BEAST:Abs workout. It is VERY simple, but effective. Today I pressed play on Abs after a short rest following the BEAST:Cardio workout. These two show up together on the Body Beast schedule so I wanted this review to be representative of typical scheduling. Moves included crunches, Russian twists with weight, windshield (floor) wipers, one-arm plank vertical press, spider man plank and others, but my favorite (most difficult) for me was bucket drop (plank position and twist leg under your body with outside thigh touching ground and repeat both sides for a minute). I used 20-lb weight for the Russian twists and one-arm plank vertical press today. This workout is good, but not my favorite overall of the Beachbody workouts. I actually prefer some of the Insanity Max:30 abs workouts and 22 Minute Hard Corps Core and Spec Ops:Core routines. Regardless, BEAST:Abs was effective in a little over 10 minutes giving me 110 calories burned with average heart rate 137 beats per minute and max of 170 bpm (this was surprising!). Most of the workout was is Zone 3 “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. I will take it. Great workout though to stack with the other Body Beast workouts!

 

 

Body Beast Review

 

 

 

BUILD Chest/Tris

I am always a fan of working the chest muscles (hopefully to the point of failure) and this combination with triceps is one of the longer workouts in the program. I recall the first time I pressed play on this one I was amazed at how hard I was pushed with the chest movements, and then had to go after the triceps even though I was already exhausted. I am interested to see how the heart rate analysis compares.

Described as,

“Focused on the muscles of your chest and triceps, a combination of Super, Giant, and Single Sets will create strength and definition.”

Let’s do this.

So how did I do in approx. 50 minutes BUILD: Chest/Tris?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Build Chest Tris ReviewBody Beast Build Chest Tris Review

 

Build:Chest/Tris consisted of supersets and dropsets for chest and triceps. Very effective since these muscle groups are clearly linked together so the exercises complement well. The quality of the production looks great and I like the on-screen tracker that shows up after each complex. All moves in this workout leveraged dumbbells and a bench (incline needed). There was someone in the video using a stability ball, but honestly I believe a bench is a much better, safer approach. As usual, the warmup was very short and involved stretching and a range of pushups. Chest exercises included bench supersets/drop set for flat press, closed grip, fly in addition to incline press and fly. Typically there are 3 sets with progression in reps from 15 to 12 to 8. I did fairly well today with the dumbbell weights compared to the dudes in the video with high weights of 60-lb dumbbells for flat press (increase to 70s next time with good form) and 45-lb DBs for incline press superset with fly. I used 35 degree incline for the bench and often vary the angle to hit the chest muscles from different angles (e.g., 50 degrees every other week). Triceps involved a range of skullcrusher and extension type discipline. Decline pushups and diamond pushups also showed up in the supersets. Did max rep tricep dip on bench and hit 45 reps. Finally, the abs work at end was basically one minute or so of sitting on the bench and bringing your knees to your chest and then back out. Heart rate data is impressive considering all of the breaks. Burned 448 calories with average and max heart rate of 128 and 189 beats per minute, respectively. 189 is the highest max recorded thus far in my study for Body Beast. Average heart rate is fairly low, but, again, there are many breaks that are 1- and even 2-minutes in length that tend to bring the average down. Awesome workout!

 

 

 

BULK Legs

Here we go again. Legs! What I do like about the BULK workouts in Body Beast is that they are shorter and specifically focused on just one major muscle group to failure. For me, again, legs are my nemesis, but SO important. And, working some of the largest muscles in your body (i.e., legs) leads to progressive gains in other muscle groups and metabolism ramp for achieving your lean muscle goals.

Described as,

“Progressive sets, Force Sets and Super Sets to help you transform chicken legs into tree trunks.”

Well alright then, let’s develop some tree trunks!

So how did I do with BULK:Legs?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Bulk Legs Review Body Beast Bulk Legs Review

 

I have done this workout many times over the years, but that was INSANE today. I was expecting that this would be shorter like most of the BULK workouts. Not. I must have blocked it from my memory. It was approx. 41 minutes and felt every minute of 41 minutes. This has always been my most challenging workout in the Body Beast program. With that said, I was able to push hard today and I was pleased with my weights for BULK:Legs. The workout consists of single set (front to back lunges), progressive set (squat), force set (full to ½ sumo squat), progressive set (split squat EZ Curl Bar), super set (stiff leg deadlift, alt. side squat) and super set (calf raise, beast abs). Highlights for me last sets included 30s for front to back lunge (could increase but trying to keep form solid to protect lower back), 50s for squat and full to ½ sumo squat, 70-lbs EZ Curl for split squat and 50s for calf raise (50 reps each leg). To me, the split squat sequence was crazy hard and it was difficult to keep up with changing the weights for each set. You really need to take it at you own pace to stay safe though. Major cardio impact. Ha. Legs are a bit weak now and my forearms are really sore as they get worked hard holding weights. I am also a big fan of force sets throughout the program to fatigue the muscles. Polar data indicates the highest calorie burn of all workouts measured thus far at 488 calories with average heart rate of 148 beats per minute and max of 176 bpm. Most of the workout was in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. The leg workouts in Body Beast sure get the heart rate elevated, second only to BEAST:Cardio. Bring on more BULK workouts!

 

 

 

BULK Back

I am a fan of working the back muscles and especially appreciate pull-ups as one of the best exercises you can perform for your upper body and back in general. I have added a weighted vest for pull-ups over the years for BULK Back since reps are targeted at only 10 for each set in this workout (super set with dumbbell pullover). However, today I will target 12 for each set, which will also be quite challenging.

Described as,

“Uses Super Sets and Force Sets with increases in resistance to create a massive back. The addition of Force Sets creates a focus on hypertrophy.”

Agreed, the Force Sets are killer (as much on the arms as back!). I am looking forward to seeing what the heart rate data tells us for this workout.

So how did I do with 29 minutes of BULK:Back?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Bulk Back Review Body Beast Bulk Back Review

 

Body Beast BULK:Back done. Love this workout. Only 30 minutes in length and goes after the range of back muscles in a targeted approach. The movements include super set (dumbbell pullover, pullup), progressive set (reverse grip row), force set (one-arm row, 5×5 under tension between sets), single set (deadlift) and super set (reverse fly, plank rotation). I was able to get 12-12-10 unassisted in the 3 sets of pull-ups in the super set with dumbbell pullover. The force sets for one-arm row are my favorite and they certainly worked my grip since  you have to hold the dumbbell in the down position between sets. My back was worked! Similar to BUILD:Back/Bis, not a big fan of having deadlift as part of the Back workout, especially after Legs day. This is one of the shorter workouts in Body Beast, but I still had a burn of 293 calories with average heart rate of 135 beats per minute and max heart rate of 174 bpm. Most of the workout was in Zone 3 “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. There are quite a few breaks between sets in this one, although you need to change weights at a decent pace to keep up with the progressive reverse grip row sets with EZ Curl Bar. Overall great workout!

 

 

 

BULK Arms

I almost couldn’t sleep last night when I saw BULK:Arms on the schedule. I LOVE this workout, one of my all-time favorites from Body Beast or otherwise. Short, but very effective. Looking forward to getting “sleeves of fire” via fatigue. Heart rate analysis should be interesting.

Described as,

“Focused training with Progressive Sets, Force Sets, and Super Sets to create huge biceps and triceps.”

Let’s GOOO!

So how did I do with 35 minutes of BULK:Arms?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Bulk Arms Review Body Beast Bulk Arms Review

 

BULK:Arms consists of progressive set (standing curl), single set (tricep extension), force set (wide EZ Curl bar curl 5 sets x 5 reps with biceps under tension between sets), single set (skull crusher), progressive set (hammer curl, concentrated version), progressive set (tricep kickback) and single set (weighted crunch). The first progressive set for standing curl was much harder than I expected today and the workout was relentless from there. For last sets I ended up hitting 35s for standing curl (well, part 35s, part 30s), 50-lb dumbbell for tricep extension, 40-lbs on EZ Curl for the force set, 70-lbs on skull crusher, up to 30s for hammer curls, up to 30s for tricep kickback and then used a 25-lb plate for weighted crunches. These numbers are pretty good compared to previous times doing BULK:Arms, especially since I am really focusing on form even more now and not wearing the weight belt anymore since I found it was actually doing a disservice to my lower back stability/strength. Polar heart rate data indicates 334 calories burned with average and max heart rates of 128 and 173 beats per minute, respectively. The average is fairly low compared to some of the other workouts and most of the workout was in Zone 2 “Light” at 60-70% target heart rate max. I definitely do not consider this an easy or “light” workout, ha. Seriously, I was pushed hard from a cardio perspective during the hammer curls and tricep kickbacks, particularly, as you keep moving between sets alternating arms without any extended breaks. If you have not tried BULK:Arms yet, I think you will love it. Sleeves of FIRE!!

 

 

 

BULK Chest

What is not to love… working the chest muscles in a workout that is 100% focused on this task? Powerful combination. These BULK workouts have been my go-to over the years, especially when in a time crunch given the shorter workout times. Shorter doesn’t mean less of a workout.

Described as,

“Uses Super Sets, Force Sets, Progressive Sets, Combo Sets, and Multi-Sets with an increase in resistance to help bulk your pecs. Different angles and exercises hit different fibers of the fan-shaped muscle. The addition of Progressive Sets really focuses on muscular hypertrophy.”

Hard to believe all of this happens in only 30 minutes. Let’s do this!

So how did I do in 30 minutes BULK:Chest?

Heart rate analysis data…

NOTE: Polar decided to update the Polar Beat phone App TODAY. It had been unchanged on my phone for the past 4 years. The data acquired is still valid, no change to the actual Polar monitoring device, and you will notice the appearance change here for my 10th review out of the 15 Body Beast workouts, BULK:Chest. I do not like when variables change, but, regardless, life goes on!

 

Body Beast BULK Chest Review

Body Beast BULK Chest Review

The max heart rate listed here is 228 bpm, however, this is due to a few connection issues as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 182 bpm.


Monster workout today. Unfortunately, I was annoyed by the fact that Polar changed the Polar Beat app today plus there were a few connection issues with the signal spiking momentarily or dropping altogether (these are split-sec changes with negligible impact on running data besides max HR). The drops are not entirely uncommon, but the spikes are unusual. As such, the max heart rate is listed as 228 beats per minute in the summary graphic. I reviewed the data at flow.polar.com and extracted what I believe to be the true max heart rate of 182 beats per minute. Calories burned was 286 for the 30-min workout with average heart rate of 128 bpm. Primary Zone, like many of the Body Beast workouts, was Zone 3 or “Moderate” at 70-80% target heart rate max. These numbers are all as expected and I do not believe the connection challenges had a significant impact on the overall numbers otherwise. The new look of the Polar Beat app is kinda cool, but for whatever reason the screen goes dark every 5 minutes or so during the workout so I had to hit my home button on my phone to get the tracking to re-appear during the workout (I did not see any options under settings in App or phone to change this behavior yet). As far as BULK:Chest, the workout consists of super sets (incline fly, incline press), force set (chest press with rotation), progressive set (incline press), combo set (close-grip press to fly) and a strong finish with multi-set (decline pushups, cobra to airplane and Russian twist). All in 30 minutes. Wow. I was able to hit the 50s for incline press super set and 35s for most other movements. Sometimes I add a 20-lb weighted vest for the decline pushup multi-set at the end. This workout really hammers the upper chest more than a typical workout for me and I know I will further develop. By the way, I am a big fan of the music in Body Beast. Looking forward to doing BULK:Chest again!

 

 

BULK Shoulders

Those that know me well understand that I love working my shoulders. Also, my results from Body Beast over the years have shown that my shoulders have benefited the most from this program. It works , simply stated. There are some great shoulder-specific workouts out there including Tony Horton’s One-on-One DIAMOND DELTS, but BULK:Shoulders is one of my favorite shoulder routines.

Described as,

“Super Sets and Progressive Sets that focus more on the posterior delt (or back of the shoulder), creating an even more 3D appearance. Added weight and lower reps pronounce the hypertrophy effect.”

Let’s see how effective this one is for my heart rate analysis.

So how did I do with 35 minutes of BULK:Shoulders?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Bulk Shoulders ReviewBody Beast Bulk Shoulders Review

 

Body Beast Bulk Shoulders done. 35 minutes with warm-up and cool-down included. 346 calories burned with average and max heart rates of 132 and 169 bpm, respectively. Most of workout in Zone 3 again. (Note: No issues today with the heart rate signal recording unusual spikes!) Bulk Shoulders requires resistance, and dumbbells or EZ Curl bar or barbell works best. You can do the entire workout with just dumbbells, although I prefer the EZ Curl as prescribed as I can lift more safely to stimulate muscle hypertrophy. A bench is required, although there is always one person using the stability ball as a bench. Again, not recommended from my perspective. Like the Chest/Tris workout Bulk:Shoulders leverages super sets, drop sets and progressive sets. Several variations of lateral raise are incorporated along with Arnold Press and upright rows. I was able to hit 40-lb dumbbells today with Arnold press. The workout ends with some plank and ab work to elevate the heart rate. For the plank work I did not go to my knees as shown in the workout similar to some of the moves in P90X3, Max:30 and 22 Minute Hard Corps. This is a great workout and I was soaked in sweat by the end. That is a good sign. This Body Beast program is very professional, the music is heavy metal inspiration and awesome and Sagi Kalev has a good sense of humor at times (today he said something like, “Do you have enough weight? Too much? Need a hug?”) Haha. Good stuff. 4 more workouts left in my Body Beast Review… TEMPO Chest/Tris, TEMPO Back/Bis, Lucky 7 and Beast:Total Body. Can’t wait!

 

 

TEMPO Chest/Tris

Excited to press play on this one today. TEMPO Chest/Tris is one of my all-time favorite workouts along with 30-15 Upper Body Massacre (Tony Horton One-on-One) and Hammer Power from Hammer & Chisel. This is a long workout, longest of Body Beast, and it takes discipline to stick to the slow-motion count for eccentric and concentric motion of the lifts. However, I have found this workout and TEMPO discipline (especially eccentric, or negatives) to help me break plateaus the most out of any workouts. The TEMPO workouts are sold separate from the base Body Beast program, but you will not get the ultimate experience and benefits from Body Beast without them in my opinion.

Described as,

“Nothing creates hypertrophy quite like Tempo Sets, where you can actually feel your muscles grow.”

True story.

So how did I do with 52 minutes of TEMPO:Chest/Tris?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Tempo Chest Trips Review

Body Beast Tempo Chest Trips Review

The max heart rate listed here is 212 bpm, however, this is due to a few connection issues as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 171 bpm.

 

I did very well and look forward to this one again, as usual. The workout was approx. 52 minutes and consisted of a series of single and super sets leveraging the TEMPO discipline of slow, controlled movements to take advantage of concentric and eccentric (negative) contractions. Most of the single sets used sets of 15 reps (6 sec down, 6 sec up), 12 reps (6 sec down, 3 sec up) and 8 reps (3 sec down, 3 sec up). The exercises included flat bench press, incline press, incline fly, skullcrusher triceps, tricep kickback and dips. Every series ended with some abs focus. My favorite ab movement was EZ bar crunch (used 70-lbs). The last move of TEMPO:Chest/Tris was plank twist-twist. Killer. My triceps were ON FIRE along with my chest on the 6 sec up, 6 sec down set for incline press (bench angle 35 degrees). Working chest and triceps in same workout is very effective. Superset with dips was a significant challenge by that point of the workout. Saw some inconsistency again in the Polar monitoring data for heart rate with some unusual spikes in heart rate. I have not seen this before, only since I updated the Polar Beat app a few days ago. Not sure what that is all about, but the spikes are short-lived and average data and calories should be accurate. Actual max heart rate though was extracted to be 171 beats per minute. Calories burned was 435 calories, which is the most of any workout tested thus far, however, it is because the workout is the longest. Average heart rate was lowest at 121 bpm and most of the workout was in Zones 1 “Very Light” and Zone 2 “Light” ranging 50-70% target heart rate max. This is attributed to the slow, controlled movements in the workout, but, trust me, this workout is NOT easy. Good stuff. TEMPO Back/Bis tomorrow should be fun!

 

 

TEMPO Back/Bis

Already sore after TEMPO Chest/Tris yesterday and looking forward to blasting the rest of my upper body with TEMPO Back/Bis today for my Body Beast Review. Again, the TEMPO workouts are sold separate from the base Body Beast program, and I highly recommend adding TEMPO to your Body Beast round. I have completed TEMPO Back/Bis many times, and I recall (and sometimes subconsciously block!) those TEMPO pull-ups and preacher curls. However, extremely effective.

Described as,

“Same drill as TEMPO Chest/Tris, but different muscle groups.”

Well no kidding, ha. Thanks for that enlightening description Beachbody!

Let’s do this thing…

So how did I do with 48 minutes of TEMPO Back/Bis?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Tempo Back Bis Review

Body Beast Tempo Back Bis Review

The max heart rate listed here is 193 bpm, however, this is due to a spike when I turned on the App as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 166 bpm.

 

These TEMPO workouts are insane. The workout was approx. 48 minutes and leveraged 5 series of TEMPO single set combinations (3 series for back, 2 for arms plus abs after each series). TEMPO focus is typically 6 sec down (eccentric) and 6 sec up (concentric) for 15 reps, 6 sec down and 3 sec up for 12 reps, and 3 sec down and 3 sec up for 8 reps with the exception of pull-ups (10, 10 and 8 reps). The moves included dumbbell pullover followed by wide plank in & out after last set, wide front pullup followed by hanging circle after last set, reverse bent-over row with EZ Curl bar followed by lat oblique twist after last set, dumbbell preacher curl followed by hanging curl after last set, and, finally, all-angle bicep with EZ Curl bar followed by speed mountain climber after last set. I was pleased with my performance and my arms are on fire. I am good at pullups but the TEMPO pullup count pushed me to the limits. I also enjoyed the hanging circle (hang from pullup bar and work abs side to side with bent knees) and preacher curls. The EZ Curl bar work was a great addition to this workout. Even though there are only 2 different variations for Biceps, your biceps are already exhausted from the previous sets for back (especially pull-ups!). The design of the workout is excellent. Also, be careful on the dumbbell pullover that you do not go too far in the down position or you could hurt your neck or otherwise (and, use your lats not arms). Calorie burn was higher than most Body Beast workouts, similar to TEMPO Chest/Tris. As mentioned earlier, this is primarily due to the longer workout time compared to most. Average and max heart rates were 125 and 166 beats per minute, respectively. Max heart rate was extracted from the heart rate curve as the 193 bpm in the summary above was marked when I first started up the App for the workout (not sure why that happened). Workout was primarily in Zone 2 “Light” at 60-70% target heart rate max. Again, this is due to the slow, controlled TEMPO movements. Don’t think for a second though that Zone 2 is easy. Looking forward to my last 2 workouts of the 15 in Body Beast… Lucky 7 and BEAST:Total Body. Beast up!

 

 

Lucky 7

This is the shortest workout of the program and an exclusive workout bonus for ordering from a coach, also sold separate. It is only 23 minutes in length, but very effective. The workout leverages compound pyramid sets with EZ Curl Bar. Pyramids are challenging and provide a significant muscle burn. I am interested to see heart rate analysis data for this one. It has been useful to me over the years for getting in a total body workout in a short period of time.

Described as,

“Seven exercises, seven pyramids, seven times bigger muscles. Like Total Body, this can be done any time the schedule calls for a full-body workout, or to make up for missed workouts.”

So how did I do with 23 minutes of Lucky 7?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Lucky 7 Review

Body Beast Lucky 7 Review

The max heart rate listed here is 225 bpm, however, this is due to a spike when I turned on the App as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 184 bpm.

 

This is a great, short workout. Very effective sequence with compound movements hitting the total body in only 23 minutes, as mentioned. There were 7 combo sets of 7 progressive circuits beginning with one rep for each combo, then 2… all the way up to 7 reps for each combo in each circuit. That is 28 reps each circuit! All circuits leveraged the EZ Curl Bar. Combo sets included EZ Pushup/Clean/Squat, Dead lift/Bent over row, Skullcrusher/Press/Crunch, Curl/Military press/EZ squat, Delt raise/Reverse lunges, Lat oblique twist, Upright row/Calf raise. Awesome. I particularly enjoyed the Curl/Military press/EZ squat, which was T-O-U-G-H. I ended up using 40 pounds on the EZ Curl bar for the entire workout and have a good sense of where I can increase the weights. The 40-lbs was a challenge for the Delt raise circuit near the end. This is definitely a workout that I will add to a range of hybrid schedules. Even though this workout was short, the normalized calories are significant. It is more like a cardio workout given the fast pace of the pyramid lifts. I burned 277 calories with average heart rate of 150 beats per minute and most of the workout in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. I noted some connection issues AGAIN and had to extract true max heart rate of 184 bpm. I am clearly seeing some issues with the update to the Polar Beat App as these spikes in signal are unusual from my experience. With that said, the data indicates that this workout is one of the most challenging in Body Beast from a heart rate analysis cardio perspective!

 

 

BEAST Total Body

And last, but not least in my Body Beast Review — workout #15, BEAST: Total Body. I often sub this one in for hybrids since it is a fun workout for me that targets all of the major muscle groups.

Described as,

“A circuit routine for your entire body. Good to have when reality sets in and you need to (*gulp*) miss a workout day or two.”

Let’s do this. So how did I do in approx. 38 minutes of BEAST:Total Body?

Heart rate analysis data…

Body Beast Total Body Review

Body Beast Total Body Review

The max heart rate listed here is 216 bpm, however, this is due to a spike when I turned on the App as noted in the text below. True max heart rate = 181 bpm.

 

BEAST:Total Body is a great alternative to BEAST:Cardio, which is also a total body focused workout. The workout was about 38 minutes in length and consisted of 4 series of circuits of two sets each at 15 reps. The circuits were 4 moves with the last being abs discipline. The circuits included, 1) Pullup, pushup, squat, crunch; 2) Incline press, bent-over row, reverse alternating lunge, plank twist-twist; 3) 1,1,2 military press, post delt raise, stiff leg deadlift, Russian twist with dumbbell; 4) bicep curl-up-hammer down, tricep extension-kickback, calf raise-weight at shoulder, side forearm plank. Wow, that was really intense. I particularly enjoyed the 1,1,2 military press and bicep curl-up-hammer down moves. I was able to hit the 30 reps of pull-ups, but it was a challenge second set given the limited breaks. I like that the entire body is engaged in this workout and abs included for each circuit. Very efficient and effective. Polar data indicates I burned 458 calories, which will end up being one of the highest normalized calories/workout time in the entire Body Beast program. Average and max heart rates were 147 and 181 beats per minute, respectively. Again, issues with spikes in the heart rate data and had to extract max heart rate from the curve afterward. This is something I will need to investigate later or make the decision to switch Apps or monitors. I am confident in the data acquired based on manual pulse checks, but it is annoying that the data has not been as clean after the update to the Polar Beat App. Most of the workout was in Zone 4 “Hard” at 80-90% target heart rate max. And, that is a wrap! I hope you enjoyed my detailed Body Beast Review my friends!!

 

*****

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Body Beast Review

 

Body Beast Review

Body Beast Review

Thank you for checking out my Body Beast Review!

 

 

 

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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, HowDoIGetRipped.com and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!

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