Body Beast – Results and Recap

Another program finished, another round of “after pictures” and measurements. I’m pretty stoked, not gonna lie. This is the reward after every workout program…results. There is nothing quite like seeing the fruits of your labors. I usually just post a bunch of pictures on Facebook and call it a day, but I decided, this time, to do my “after recap” in the form of an article talking not just about my results, but the program itself.

So, I’ll dive right into my results (since that’s the best part!) then cover a little bit about Body Beast.

Results (only listing changed measurements):
Weight – 188 lbs (from 197.8)
Biceps – 15 in. (from 13.8!)
Waist – 32 in. (from 34)
Chest – 39 in. (from 40.8)
Thighs 23.5 in. (from 25.3)
Calves 17.5 in (from 18)

Neck and hips stayed the same, but I wasn’t really expecting any movement there – tough for those to get any smaller. Overall…wow! More fat was cut all over, and my biceps blew up! Now…before we delve into this…take a look at what those kind of changes look like when done by building muscle while at the same time cutting fat –

All I can say is…wow! A year makes a big difference, huh? So how about some from before and after just this program? (blue shorts are after, neon are before)

So, what happened?
I tried to eat in such a way that I would, essentially, be cutting and bulking at the same time – only adding lean mass (muscle) while at the same time burning fat. While it can be difficult to see some of the differences between before and after bodybeast (yellow/black and blue shorts) I think I can safely say…it worked! I leaned out a bit more, cut inches in some places and added inches in others (biceps), and I can see more tone and definition. Could I have added more muscle if I ate differently? Probably. But I was being careful. Having been so big before…I wanted to make sure I stayed on track and didn’t go back up. I’m not ready for TRUE bulking (which I’ll talk about in a later article). I couldn’t handle it mentally…I’d get unhappy really fast.

So What’s So Special About Body Beast?

Body Beast’s “thing” is it uses dynamic set training. Dynamic Set Training changes things up – you do several types of sets:
traditional “single sets” (eg. 10 reps x 3 sets)
“super sets” (two exercises back to back (eg. 10 reps incline bench then 10 reps incline fly = set 1)
“giant sets” (three exercises)
“drop sets” (final set is really two – 8 reps heavy weight immediately drop to 8 reps lighter weight)
“force sets” (5 sets of 5 reps back to back to back with ~5 sec rest in-between)

It forces your body to work harder, use more muscles, and get bigger. Sagi Kalev, the program’s creator and the big jacked guy in the video, says that if you do it right and eat right your body has no choice but to get bigger. I’m inclined to believe him, seeing my results. The program is split into three phases – Build, Bulk, and BEAST. Build gives you a foundation to work up from, Bulk packs on the muscle with heavy lifting focusing on a single muscle group, and Beast is sort of a combination, designed to help you lean out a bit, get some tone and see the definition you’ve been working for over the past couple of months.

Every workout program out there is all about getting slimmer, tighter, losing weight…if you want to gain weight, build muscle, and get BIG…Body Beast is for you. Next time I’m ready to bulk and get some serious muscle on…I will be coming back to Body Beast. It’s a monster!

So Now What?

Now it is time to put away the pre-workout, leave the iron on the rack, and go back to cardio-land. I’m beginning the serious endurance training for the Cape Cod Marathon Half. I’ll be doing a combination of running training, yoga and a new BeachBody Program – Focus T25 (from the creator of INSANITY). I’ll try to post some periodic updates to talk about how that program is.

Just remember – If I can do this, anyone can. That includes YOU.

Why Workouts Fail #1 – The Napoleon Complex

Napoleon Bonaparte

So I got to thinking about why workouts fail – ultimately, why people don’t work out. I was one of those guys for a long LONG time. I just…didn’t work out. I’d go to the gym with my Delta Chi brothers and do…kind of a workout. In the end I’d only go a couple of times a month. I’d try going on my own since there was a gym conveniently close to my dorm…didn’t stick with it. Obviously there’s a LOT of reasons people don’t work out. Many of these reasons are completely lame and not an excuse…but some are actually pretty justifiable. My workout for today got me thinking about this…and about one reason in particular – the Napoleon complex.

That’s him, right at the top of this post – Napoleon Bonaparte. I linked to Wikipedia for those of you who weren’t in school that day, but the short version is, he was short and didn’t like it. Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

(A Napoleon complex) is characterized by overly-aggressive or domineering social behaviour, and carries the implication that such behaviour is compensatory for the subjects’ stature. The term is also used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives.

 See that part I made bold? There’s the workout problem right there. I think nearly every time I’ve gone to the gym I’ve seen other people working out, and I feel like as soon as I start putting weight on the bar I’m going to be judged. And I sit there, with what I feel like is dinky weight, feeling like everyone’s looking at me like…

Seriously, Bro. Do you even lift?

At that point many people just kinda…leave.

“Whoops! I forgot about an appointment!”

“Crap! I totally midjudged my time, I’m late for work!”

However, it is at precisely this moment that people like me do something stupid. Because it is at precisely this moment that Joey Howyadoin shows up like he’s God’s gift to lifting and goes

“Hey Bro, you need a spot?”

OF COURSE! Because that was just my warm-up set. Let’s crank this up! Aaaaand on goes the weight. Next thing you know I’m putting myself in a really bad position where best case scenario I embarrass the ever-loving bejeezus out of myself and worst case I end up hurting myself. Why? Because everyone else in the place looks like they’re lifting this:

Over 1000 lbs on a barbell

and there I am with my two marshmallows on a straw. So the Napoleon complex kicks in and I try to go hard. Whoops…guess I’m not showing my face in the gym for…ever. It’s ok…my pals Mr. Couch, Tony the T.V. and Chester the Cheetah (Cheetos, anyone?) will comfort my ailing ego.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Don’t worry about what everyone else in the gym is doing. Don’t worry about that guy benching 400 lbs like its boring. Don’t worry about the people on Facebook posting pics of their one-handed handstand when all you seem to manage is somersaults. Worry about YOU. Because at the end of the day, what they did doesn’t matter in YOUR fitness world, and their mind-bending workout isn’t what’s building muscle on YOU. Or burning fat off YOUR body (even though watching them might make you feel worn out). Don’t be afraid to start with (what you think is) light weight. Don’t be afraid to take it easy the first time you do something. It’s good to feel out your abilities and test the water. If you do it right this will not be the last time you do this workout. You will have the chance to up your weights next time…when you have a better idea of what’s ACTUALLY a good idea.

During every dvd at-home workout program I do, the coach/leader/whatever basically says this same thing in different ways, but I think Tony Horton (creator of P90X) said it best:

Do your best and forget the rest!