Body Beast - working out with Sagi Kalev

Introduction

Recently I've switched up my gym routine. Previously I was working out three time a week doing a pretty novice Starting Strength style program modified from Greyskull LP.

My new routine comes from BeachBody of P90X popularity and the trainer Sagi Kalev previously known for Hammer and Chisel with Autumn Calabrese. The end goal after 90 day workout program is to build muscle and bulk up.

The program was recommended to me by a coach that I love. we went over my usual gym routine and what my goals are. I could stand to gain about 10 pounds, but I fell like I would have to eat one million calories to get there. The more primary goal is to improve strength by setting new personal records for weight lifts.

Getting Started

Unfortunately if you're late to the party you're going to miss the opportunity to use the Body Beast Mobile App. You can read the important message here. An unofficial app that is a decent replacement app is 90 Day Workout Tracker Body Builder By Jared Grant (90 DWT BB) available from iTunes can be used for a number of programs including P90X. I've yet to find a suitable app for Android opting for pen & paper.

Personally, I must suggest grabbing the beast workout sheets for tracking. Writing down your workouts it's one of the most important aspects of weight training. You will see yourself lifting more on paper and notice a real metric of improvement.

In my day to day life I have been using a Moleskin Notebook to keep track of my workouts even before starting this program, but any hard cover notebook will stand up in the gym.

Additionally you can keep up with Sagi and the rest of the BeachBody trainers over at BeachBody OnDemand. There you can get general fitness and nutritional support. There is also a reddit community specific to the Body Beast program with advice, inspiration, and additional knowledge.

What is Body Beast day 1 like? It's going to hurt, you're going to sweat but before you begin, day zero you need to develop a mentality that you can make change and commit fully to improving yourself. This includes never skipping your Beast Abs workout. Especially if your like me, who is still putting off the Beast Cardio day. Beach bodies are not just made in the gym but also require reconsidering your daily dietary choices. Some find a Body Beast calorie calculator beneficial as a starting point.

Take the time to watch the workouts before fully committing to them, when your watching the workouts for the first time pay very close attention to form. Read the Body Beast book of best cover to cover and then read it again. An entire blog post could be written about the contents of the short book, be sure to internalize all it has to offer.

Equipment

Currently I am a member of a local gym close to work and can complete my workouts there but I am a huge fan of home gyms. I already have some equipment at home such as kettle bells and a pull up bar, but would need some additional equipment to start working out at home.

I find myself wanting more blender bottles throughout the week, on a workday I find myself carrying up to 3 water bottles around with me. My favorite is a large Hydro Flask that I purchased when I couldn't find my Kleen Kanteen for a number of weeks.

I've noticed with my pull up / chin up bar at home that it would leave some black marks around the area and wouldn't fit every door frame for these reasons you may want to consider a door attachment kit that uses resistance bands to get similar results.

The most important piece of equipment is the dumbbells. I can't express the desire I have for the Bowflex Select Tech 552.

Body Best is a workout centered around lifting weight, while all lifts can be done with dumbbells. Some are designed to be done with an EZ Curl Bar. Do some research before purchasing Body Beast fitness gear, for this particular item I would stress looking for an "Olympic" EZ curl bar.

Some equipment is optional but highly recommended. The Body Beast workouts have a modifier using the stability ball but I can't imagine doing the workouts without an adjustable bench. There is a modifier for every exercise using an essential balance ball. The recommended Beach Body Balance Ball listed under the Body Beast Equipment is a 55cm" Premium Stability Ball.

Nutrition

The general rule of thumb with Body Building is establishing a macro nutritional goal. For me, that means loading up on more carbs, but the Book of the Beast will go into more specific ratio depending on your goals. It's a common rule of thumb that 80% of your results will come from your diet. This is almost the 80/20 rule observed by the Pareto Principle. I've never seen any sources cited for this specific fact but that doesn't stop anyone from saying it.

When I purchased Body Beast, the deluxe option came with two products from the BeachBody Performance workout supplements line. They provided a container of the lemon flavored pre-workout called energize and they recover post-workout mix.

Energize happens to be one of the best pre-workouts I've tried because it has been the best I've tried yet. Maybe that's because my previous pre-workout drink was BeetElite from HumaN, a natural Nitric Oxide Booster containing Beet Root Powder. The flavor was a nasty black cherry that I dreaded drinking before my workouts, Energize on the other hand is a refreshing take on lemonade that gives you that tingly feeling. For a long time I would take Caffeine pills before they started to trigger migraine. I find this pre-workout to be a health dose of caffeine just enough to wake me up in the morning or get me in the zone after work. Reading the supplement facts you'll see that the caffeine comes from a green tea leaf extract! It seems odd that while reading Book of the Beast, Sagi has written that he personally does not take any form Caffeine or alcohol. The overwhelming majority of Body Builders I have seen post online, swear by black coffee.

I will always carry a second and third water bottle around. A second for the post-workout recover formula, and the other for plain water. Again, I found the chocolate flavor enjoyable. For a number of weeks I had replaced my normal whey protein with recover. My main complaint would be that the recover did not seem to last me as long as I would've hoped. Each container comes with 20 serving, and that didn't last me an entire month. Normally I like to take a shake as my first meal of the day, but this is not prime time for recover. If you follow the directions on the label, it is recommended to drink within 30 minutes of exercise. This recommendation is supported by scientific research.

Meal prep can be a huge factor in achieving your health and fitness goals. As I was doing some research for this article, I found myself reading the beach body regarding meal prep for bulking. Setting aside some time on your off day to meal prep can make your life easier and even save you money. It was incredible satisfying to grab a portion of Sagi's lean turkey meatballs out of the freezer when I'm leaving for the workday.

Conclusion

This has probably been the longest blog article I've ever written to date. So I'll try to summarize some key points I'd like to make.

Getting started isn't always easy with a new program but it's never too late to start. Ease into new programs, learn the moves as you learn more about yourself.

Body Beast is a program suitable for those looking at a weight training program with access to the proper equipment. Generally, while in college I always had someone to lift with a spotter, but with the program you are safe to do this alone. If you're looking for a no-equipment style program you'll have to look elsewhere.

Nutrition is often neglected but is a key component of success. Without the proper diet you will never get the results you desire. The performance line is a great tool provided for your success.

When completed I will post a reflection on the program as a whole with more information on the exercises. Sagi is a very serious trainer who will push you to new limits.

Buy me a pint