I am a huge fan of Beachbody, a home workout company from America providing personal training DVDs and nutrition plans to millions of people looking to transform their bodies worldwide. I have already completed Insanity, P90X, P90X3, Focus T25 and PiYo, and following a rather indulgent Christmas I’m now looking to tone up and build muscle. I’m not a fitness professional, instructor or coach, just an average person looking to keep active. I’m 27yrs old, a single parent to my 7yr old daughter and 2yr old son and a vegetarian/almost vegan for the past 23yrs. I have such a greedy appetite and simply cannot deny myself treats in life because I seriously love food, so in order to eat what I want without being the size of a bus I choose to keep active and burn off the difference.
The man responsible for Body Beast is the incredible champion bodybuilder, clinical nutritionalist and superstar fitness model Sagi Kalev. Not only is he easy on the eye, but he’s also an absolute machine with huge rippling muscles and a positive and productive attitude. This is the first real weight program that I’ve undertaken, as some might look at me and think “Why do you want to be a huge muscular woman!?” but I don’t. Yes I love muscles, and yes I want to be strong, but I’m not looking to compete or punch my way through a solid wall anytime soon. I like to look feminine but with more definition and shape to my body, to have those washboard abs, a peachy butt and toned arms instead of flabby squish that wobbles all over when you walk. And after having my two children I see no excuse to let myself go.
Sagi focuses Tempo on burning fat and building muscle with weights all from the comfort of your own home, which is perfect for me and my lack of childcare. I can simply pop on the DVD first thing in the morning and have an hours workout before the kids get up, setting me up for the day ahead and keeping me on track to achieve my fitness goal. But if I overrun and miss my morning workout then I can always pick it up later in the evening instead, as routines don’t always go to plan and things crop up unexpected because that’s life. I figure if people find time to watch several hours of TV a night after dinner then there’s certainly time for a one hour workout, and once you start the hardest workout is over, as day by day you get stronger and more capable.
I am doing just the Tempo sample edition of Body Beast and not the 12-CD full package as I’m in fairly good shape to begin with. I don’t want to lose any weight at all so there’s no point in weighing or measuring myself, and I workout with the aim to gain muscle and tighten up my physique. The tempo sets rely on the latest weight-training science to work the chest, tris, back, and bis intensely promising to make the body stronger. There are three sections to the Tempo DVD are described by Beachbody as:
Tempo Chest/Tris:In this workout focused on executing Tempo Sets, you’ll practically feel your muscles grow during the workout.
Tempo Back/Bis: More grueling Tempo Sets, this time for the opposite muscle groups to give you that balanced appearance.
Beast: Abs: Whether or not you care about having a six-pack, possessing a strong core helps you lift heavy weights safely and improve your posture so you can stand straighter.
With this workout equipment is needed, but if you don’t have it all you can adapt what you have at home. The main pieces you will need are a bench or stability ball, chair, weights, curl bar, worksheet and pen, water and towel. I use two dumbbells and a dining chair and can modify the sets to suit what I have. I have gathered pieces of gym equipment over the years from resistance bands, press up rings, a pull up bar, a bench and various weights and kettle bells, which certainly pay for themselves over time, as what you would have spent on a gym membership in just a few months can set you up with a lifetime of home training equipment, so it’s certainly worth investing in pieces to build up your equipment. Sites online sell equipment second hand and shops have sales throughout the year so you can pick up some great bargains if you’re patient.
As I’m vegetarian I won’t be following the nutrition plan or changing my diet to accommodate this routine, aside from cutting out treats and junk food that is. The only thing that I do differently when training is to prepare my food in bulk so that I always have a healthy meal to hand before or after a workout without running short on time or reaching for quick and easy meals. I don’t believe in starving myself or eating tiny portions, as in order to fuel a workout you need to eat clean. I prepare everything myself and always use brown rice and fresh vegetables as my staple workout meal. I generally tend to add lentils or split peas along with carrot, onion, peppers, ginger, garlic and whatever other vegetables I have in my fridge that week, mostly babycorn, broccoli, chillies, courgette and tomatoes. it doesn’t have to all be at once as sometimes I make a batch of broccoli, ginger and chilli rice, and other times I have just carrot and onion. I also add a vegetable stock cube, a splash of lemon juice, squirt of tomato puree and dark soya sauce with either cumin or coriander seeds for flavour. The rice tastes delicious and is filling, healthy and packed with nutrients to keep me going without the fear of snacking. I get the majority of my protein from soya mince, raw nuts or protein shakes when doing intensive routines. I’m not planning to use any protein shakes or supplements for this routine at present as I want to see my results without them, but if I find recovery tough or delayed then I’ll consider adding it to my routine or using caffeine based supplements to give me an energy boost.
The number of repetitions you do whilst training is very important, almost as important as how long your muscles contract during each rep. Tempo training is one of the most effective ways to keep your muscles under tension for longer periods of time, which helps you increase your overall strength and definition.It basically gets you cut fast which is exactly what I’m looking to do. The Tempo program focuses upon burning fat, carving lean, defined muscle, and transforming your body quickly. The program features a different workout every day, each under an hour in length for six days a week across 90 days, however as I’m doing the sample I will give each routine a few tries and see how quickly I can get results. Body Beast is built from a proven combination of sets, reps, resistance, and short recovery and it’s not easy, but it’s proven to strip away fat and add definition to your whole physique which is certainly worth the effort. Men and women alike can expect to achieve a narrow waist, shredded physique, contoured muscles and nothing jiggling when you walk. So that’s about enough of an introduction, let’s get onto the routines!
Here I will post my daily progress with pictures, thoughts and feedback on each routine and my transformation as it happens. Please feel free to ask me any questions, or if you’re doing this routine then let me know how you’re getting on and what you’re enjoying most. Let’s get fit together!
Day 1 Tempo Chest & Tris
It’s the new year and I’m ready to start it with a new body. Last night I ate too much chocolate, drank too much wine and snacked on naughty treats to kiss goodbye to 2014, one final blow out before the hard work begins today. Putting on my Beast Body Tempo DVD this morning I had no idea what to expect, and when Sagi popped up on screen with his massive muscles, industrial gym and huge weights I suddenly felt like a fish out of water. I guess it’s not your typical ladies workout, but that’s exactly why I love it. It’s different, challenging and suitable for men and women alike.
The Tempo Chest & Tris Routine Consists Of:
Figure 4 Crunch
EZ Bar Crunch
The music was punchy, the reps relentless and muscles popped all over the place. I’m not a massive weights person as I mostly prefer floor work and using my own body weight as resistance, so to pick up my dumbbells to build muscle is a welcome challenge. I’m using two 2.5kg weights on a 1kg bar making each hand 6kg in total which is a pretty testing weight for me, as it’s heavy enough to make me shake but light enough to not destroy me from the starting line.
Todays workout was 52 minutes in length and absolutely annihilated me in such a great way. My arms are like scrawny twigs, floppy, soft and thin, and raising and lowering the dumbbells slowly and steadily left me shaking like jelly and burning hot. It’s true what Sagi says, keeping proper form and moving slowly really makes all the difference, as it keeps the muscles under tension for longer and gets the quickest and most effective results. Already I notice a difference in the solidity of my biceps and triceps, and the results are so immediate that it keeps you motivated to keep going.
The routine also featured some floor work in the form of crunches, twists and planking and it was just the right amount to give my arms a few minutes to rest and stop shaking, whilst satisfying my need to tone up my stomach. Despite sweating, huffing, puffing and grimacing my way through the weights today I absolutely loved the routine and can’t wait for tomorrow. By far the hardest moves for me were the tricep kickbacks and incline fly as my arms were shattered towards the end of the workout, and the tricep dips made me shout as I counted them down. My favourite set was the skull crusher and plank twist as I was more in control of the burn and kept my form in top condition.
Day 2: Tempo Back & Bis
Well my arms want to cry like a baby after todays routine! I guess they were still pretty tender from yesterdays initial workout, and when I lifted my first set today I felt a little sore, but much stronger than yesterday. Despite it burning I found I could so more reps slower without needing to break, and as you get a minute or so between sets it gives you enough time to recover and switch arms.
The Tempo Back & Bis Routine Consists Of:
Wide Plank In & Out
Reverse Bent-Over Row
Lat Oblique Twist
Speed Mountain Climber
Today I used a pull up bar, dumbbells and a chair, or you can use resistance bands, a bench and curl bar if you have it. As each set is broken into varying weights, you start off low and slow and build up in three stages to heavy and quick, taking each rep from a six count down to a just a three. I haven’t used my pull up bar in such a long time and found my hands started to lose grip from the weight of holding myself up, despite my arms wanting to carry on. So my grip is certainly something that I need to work on in order to get the most from bar work. My favourite move today was the hanging curl where you hang from the bar, cross your ankles and lift you knees from one side to another, as you can really feel your whole body tightening and engaged.
My arms are already increasing in size despite it being only day two, and from where I’m standing in a stance and keeping my body engaged, and also thanks to the small bursts of ab work throughout the routines, my stomach is feeling tighter too so I’m really looking forward to the ab session tomorrow. So far I’m eating clean, drinking plenty of water to keep myself hydrated and loving the new challenge and results so far.
Day 3: Beast Abs
I’ve been really looking forward to today as the chance to carve some abs, but it was only a ten minute workout which is nothing compared to the other two at just under an hour each. The only equipment needed for this was a single dumbbell for the Russian twists where you do crunches with a weight touching your elbows on either side of the floor and it’s an absolute killer. I was really pleased with myself when I modified the move and lifted my feet off of the floor too.
The other move that really got me burning was the bucket drop, where you’re in plank and touch each hip down to the floor. You can literally feel your entire lower body turn to concrete and immediately after My muscles are tense and firm.
The Beast Abs Routine Consists Of:
One Arm Open Plank
Whether it will make a visual difference to my abs right away remains to be seen, but I hope from my daily progress pictures you can see the results I’m getting as they happen. I’ve now worked my way through each of the three Tempo routines which I’ll respect twice a week to give me my 6 day workout with the seven day being a rest day. There is no calendar for this so I’ll set my own for 30 days and post a before and after picture for day 1 and 30 when I get there.
Day 4: Tempo Chest & Tris
So today I repeated my first workout and wow what a difference in my strength! I used the same 6kg dumbbells as last time as if I want to increase the weights on my dumbbells I have to jump up to 8.5kg and I don’t think my arms are strong enough just yet. So for each of the three stages of weight for the sets I just use 6kg throughout until I have built my base muscles.
I’m already far stronger than the first time I tried this routine, as I can lift the weights with less effort and don’t struggle so early into the routine. I’d say I’m 40% stronger than three days ago, as it’s not easy lifting but it’s noticeably more controlled, and I can get my weights right down low and wide on the flys. The Skull Crusher finished me off though as it really tested my triceps and left me grunting and shouting. When I did the planks today I couldn’t help but laugh at how much firmer and tighter my core felt, and I held each move with just a little tremble in my core as opposed to the shaky weak mess that i was just a few days ago. What a difference weights and core training can make to a body so quickly, and I hope that outwardly my daily progress pictures can mirror my progress too.
Please feel free to ask me any questions, leave your comments, thoughts and feedback. If you’re doing this routine then let me know how you’re getting on and what you’re enjoying most, and don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see how I’m getting on!