Beachbody Body Beast Review

Body Beast Tracker

Looking for an in-depth Body Beast review from a non-Beachbody coach? Read on!


First off, I’m NOT a Beachbody coach; I review things because I love them. And Body Beast is one of those things that I love dearly.

Why I Chose Body Beast

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I started the program. I was looking for something with less cardio and more focus on building muscle. Although I love P90X, I was looking for something that worked well with limited equipment and limited time availability. I already integrate a lot of running and yoga into my day, so I really needed a program that would help define and shape my body into what I wanted it to be.

Body Beast: Program basics

BodyBeastOne

Body Beast breaks down the program into three phases, or blocks:

  • Build – this three week phase helps create a good foundation for gaining mass and volume by building up and strengthening base muscle groups: chest, triceps, back, biceps, legs and shoulders. Nutrition during this period is roughly 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat.
  • Bulk – the next phase is six weeks long; this is where you’ll gain incredible strength and mass. You’ll work on the same base muscle groups that you encountered in the Build phase, but you’re lifting heavier, lifting longer, and focusing in on particular muscle groups. You’ll learn to love progressive sets and force sets; they’ll push you to the point of failure. Nutrition for this phase remains at 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat.
  • Beast – this is the third and final phase of the program. By this point you should be lifting bigger weights and focused intently on maintaining your form even as you near the point of failure. This is a hybrid phase based on workouts from the Build and Bulk phases. In this phase, your nutrition profile changes to 40% protein, 30 % carbs and 30% fat. It’s not a huge change in your nutrition, but it has the effect of stripping fat from the body and showing of the muscles you’ve worked so hard to build.
    This phase is optional; it’s most useful in the three weeks before you hit the beach or if you’re heading into competition (or if you want to take the perfect selfie for your profile pic. We be ‘mirin!). If you don’t want to enter a fat-burning phase, simply head back for a second Bulk Phase.

Body Beast: Equipment

BodyBeastTwo

A yoga mat and some stretch bands won’t really cut it on Body Beast. You’re going to have to invest in a little bit of equipment. But the good news is that it comes fairly cheaply.

I started my program with the following used equipment I picked up locally for $100:

  • Basic York inclining weight bench
  • Two dumbbell bars with collars
  • One straight bar with collars
  • 180 lbs worth of York concrete weights (4 x 25lb, 4 x 10lb, 6 x 5 lb, 4 x 2.5lb)

I already had a chin-up bar from my bodyweight workouts, but if you don’t have one you can pick one up used for about $20 on Craigslist or similar. I also bought some quick-release clamps for the bars for about $6 a pair.

The weight bench is optional – you can use a large exercise ball instead and the videos show how to adapt the workout to use the ball instead of a bench. However, I strongly recommend a bench; it provides a lot more support when you’re lifting large weights, and there’s less chance of hurting your back or abs from trying to use your core to keep your balance on the ball while lifting. You can get used benches for around $40 online if you keep your eyes open – and sometimes I see people giving them away for free just because they’re clunky and in the way.

That equipment worked well enough so that I could get a real taste of Body Beast; once I knew I was invested in the program I started hunting around for a decent dumbbell stack. I found a great deal on a CAP dumbbell 200-pound stack, very similar to this one offered on Amazon.com. It contained pairs of  10, 15, 20, 25 and 30-lb hex rubber-coated dumbbells. I fleshed out the set with a pair of 5-lb hex dumbbells purchased new for $6 each.

The new dumbbell stack was worth far more than I paid for it; I save time by not swapping weights on and off the bars which is a HUGE pain in the ass, I save my floors from getting all scuffed since the weights are encased in rubber and the hex shape means I can place them on the floor without them rolling away. I also find that I can safely grip the sides of the hex dumbbells for moves like skull crushers and tricep extensions.

I also invested in this EZ curl bar from CAP; some time ago I injured my left wrist and I really appreciate that I can adjust my grip accordingly when doing barbell curls to reduce the strain on my wrists. Plus shifting your grip slightly reduces fatigue and helps you crank out those last few reps when you feel yourself starting to flag.

It’s a bit of an investment, but I know this equipment will last me a lifetime; I could easily pass it all down to my kids if they ever show an interest in lifting.

Body Beast: Eating like a Beast

NewBodyBeast

Hey peeps: the Body Beast Calorie Calculator has changed since December of 2014. Click the image above to get a PDF with the new calorie calculations!

BodyBeastThree

If you’re used to other Beachbody nutrition calculations from progams like PiYo or the 21-Day Fix, you’re going to be surprised at the calorie requirements for Body Beast.

For comparison purposes, I calculated my daily calorie target using the 21-Day Fix methodology and arrived at the following number:

1630 calories/day

If I calculate my daily caloric needs for the Build and Bulk phases of Body Beast, I come up with the following number:

2238 calories/day

That’s a difference of over 600 calories a day. That’s because this program is designed to build serious muscle and burn fat like crazy. You need to eat to lose. Without proper nutrition, you won’t have enough stamina to survive these kick-ass workouts, and if you don’t finish the workouts, you aren’t going to see the results you were hoping for. Eat!

Although my base calorie target was around 2200 calories/day, there were days where I ate over 3500 calories because I was kicking my workouts into overdrive and incorporating additional cardio and weight sessions into my day which burned (according to my heart rate monitor) over 800 calories per hour. I needed tons of extra nutrition on those days, and I knew if I didn’t eat I was going to suffer. I also find that keeping myself from getting too hungry helps diminish the effect of delayed onset muscle soreness – which kept me in good form for my next workout.

Body Beast: Weight loss

This program is not about weight loss – but you can definitely still lose weight on it. I did – and I ate like a beast as I showed above. In fact, I lost over 13 lbs in 14 weeks. That’s what you should be shooting for – a good, steady loss.

Need proof of my accomplishment? Here’s my tracking chart from our most recent weight-loss challenge at the office, posted for all to see:

Body Beast Weight Loss Chart

I didn’t quite stay below the line, but I came damn close – and that was enough for me. I lost a few bucks on the challenge, but that’s how it goes in life. You can’t be perfect all the time.

The key here is that you will boost your metabolic rate as you build muscle. Stronger muscles need more nutrition than weaker ones. You’re essentially training your body to burn calories more effectively, which is great if you’re sick of calorie-reduction diets that leave you hungry all the time. I’d rather eat what I want and boost my metabolism through weightlifting than starve myself on a calorie reduction diet and depend solely on cardio to burn my extra calories.

Body Beast: Supplementation

BodyBeastFour

Okay, here’s the big question – do you need to take a bunch of crazy supplements on this program?

If you check the nutrition plan included in the Body Beast book, you’ll see that it includes an entry for post-workout nutrition which is simply shorthand for “protein shake”. But not all protein shakes are created equal, so here’s the detailed breakdown of what supplements Body Beast recommends – and how you can achieve the same nutrition results much more cheaply.

There are four components to the Body Beast supplementation program; the Suma is pretty much useless but the other three have definite benefits for your muscle-building goals. Here they are in order of importance:

Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake

This is a basic protein shake. Here’s the nutritional fact sheet:

Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake nutritional information
Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake nutritional information

The important pieces of nutritional information are as follows: 120 calories, 1g fat, 18g protein, and 11g carbs. Right now I can order this from Beachbody.com for about $60 for 30 servings.

How does this stack up against  my favorite protein powder of all time – Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard?

Optimum 100% WheyGold Standard nutritional info
Optimum 100% WheyGold Standard nutritional info

The same serving size of this shake gives you 120 calories, 1g of fat, 24g of protein, and 3g of carbs. That’s 33% more protein in a single shake – protein you’re going to need to repair your muscles after these killer workouts.

Right now I can get this from Bodybuilding.com for about $0.75/serving, which already saves me about $1.25 over the Beachbody version.

**Click here to see my full review of Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey!**

But what about the carbs, you ask? The Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake has 11g of protein versus 3g in the Optimum Nutrition version; and it’s true that you need extra carbs post-workout. Before I introduce you to one of my favorite secret ingredients for workout nutrition, you should take a look at the next Beachbody supplement in the Body Beast stack.

Beachbody Fuel Shot

First, you should understand why this supplement is required in the first place.

Your body stores carbs in your liver and muscles as glycogen, which is basically long chains of glucose. Glucose, also known as dextrose, should be consumed post-workout for two reasons: one, your body needs to replenish that glycogen or it’s going to crash; and two, consuming glucose post-workout creates an  insulin spike that helps your body pull the amino acids into the muscles it needs to rebuild.

The Body Beast nutrition plan recommends two one scoop of this in your post-workout shake. (Note that older copies of the Book of Beast are incorrect – the correct dose is one scoop of Fuel Shot!) But take a closer look at the nutritional information to see what you’re getting:

Beachbody Fuel Shot nutrition information
Beachbody Fuel Shot nutrition information

Here’s what you get in one serving of Beachbody Fuel Shot: 210 calories, 47g carbs, and 5g protein. Multiply that by two scoops and you have 410 calories, 94g carbs and 10g protein. Note: BeachBody updated the Book of Beast late 2012 to show the correct amount of Fuel Shot per shake: ONE scoop (55g).

Right now I can buy this from Beachbody.com for a staggering $50 per 25 servings. I’m really stunned how much this costs.

I’d like to introduce my favorite secret weapon for post-workout nutrition: pure dextrose. It’s nothing complex or out-of-this-world; it’s simply sugar derived from corn. That’s it – it’s not a crazy chemical created by mad scientists. I buy this stuff in bulk for pennies per pound at my local bulk food store. Here’s a look at the nutritional information for the same size serving:

Pure dextrose nutritional information.
Pure dextrose nutritional information.

The same serving size of dextrose gives you 400 calories, 100g of pure carbs, and 0g protein 200 calories, 50g of pure carbs, and 0g protein – and I can get this at Bodybuilding.com for about $0.50/serving – one quarter the price of what Beachbody is selling it for.

I don’t worry too much about the lack of protein – the fact is I’m making up most of that protein in my main shake. And the side benefit is that the sweet taste of dextrose makes my chocolate shake taste even better than it already does!

Beachbody MAX Creatine

I won’t bore you with the usual prelude to creatine with the fact that it’s the “safest and most studied fitness supplement on the market today”. The hard fact is that creatine works in several ways to boost your muscle-building goals, through cell voluminization through water uptake, satellite cell growth and increased production of insulin-like growth factor I or IGF-I. This supplement is found in animal-based protein such as red meat and fish, so your body is no stranger to creatine.

Beachbody promotes their MAX Creatine product, which retails for $29.95 for a 30-day supply. What are you getting in that daily serving? Let’s take a closer look:

Beachbody MAX Creatine nutritional information
Beachbody MAX Creatine nutritional information

For about $1.00 per serving, you get a full 10g of creatine monohydrate. But what if I told you that I could get it for you FIVE TIMES cheaper?

Take a look at the following comparable product from Bobybuilding.com:

Optimum Nutrition Creatine nutritional information
Optimum Nutrition Creatine nutritional information

The exact same product costs me $0.20/serving – that’s right, TWENTY CENTS per serving at Bodybuilding.com. You’d be a nut to go anywhere else to buy this stuff.

If you’re on the fence about creatine, I can only offer my experience. It’s only affected me in positive ways; I can crank out a few more reps, lift a few more pounds, and the size of my muscles at the end of the workout is noticeable. It won’t turn you into Superman or Superwoman overnight, but I noticed about a 5-10% increase in my lifting abilities when I started to incorporate creatine into my daily workout post-recovery shakes.

The bottom line on Body Beast supplements

I’m incredibly suspicious about putting anything in my body, even Tylenol. But after a year of being on Body Beast I’m fully convinced of the benefits of supplemental protein, dextrose, and creatine. I just couldn’t have achieved my current fitness goals without them. But I’ll be honest – you don’t need to buy them from Beachbody. You can save a lot of money by following my recommendations and buying them online.

If you need further proof, let me break down the cost of building up a month’s supplement stack with Beachbody.com:

Beachbody Base Shake: $59.95

Beachbody Fuel Shot: $49.95

Beachbody MAX Creatine: $29.95

Beachbody stack total: >>>$139.85<<<

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that much money to spend on supplements every month. For that price, I might as well be drinking Shakeology; you can read about my Shakeology analysis here.

I’m a hardworking parent with two kids to feed; I can’t justify spending that much on supplements for a month. That’s why I always rely on Bodybuilding.com to provide me with clean supplements without the crazy cost.

Here’s the breakdown of the SAME monthly stack, but I’m going to check out my latest receipt and show you how to do it a hell of a lot cheaper. What Beachbody doesn’t tell you upfront is that the product they send you is only a 25-day supply, as they assume you’ll not be taking these products on your rest days. It pays to be informed:

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey, 30-day supply: $24.30

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder, 30-day supply: $6.00

NOW Dextrose, 30-day supply: $15.13

My money-saving stack total: >>>$45.43<<<

That’s saving me $94.42/month. How the heck can you argue with that?

I’ve provided the direct links to the products listed on Bodybuilding.com below; click these links to get the absolute best deals on the above supplements.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey – Buy Now

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder – Buy Now

NOW Dextrose – Buy Now

Body Beast: The bottom line.

Do I recommend Body Beast?

YES! I heartily recommend Body Beast as it is a solid workout program that helped me lose weight, build muscle and gain a physique which I’m slowly coming to appreciate. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is my physique. But Body Beast has gotten me further than I’d ever though possible with my fitness goals.

Is Body Beast good for women?

I get this question a lot. YES, it’s also good for women. My wife loves it; it’s her favorite workout program of all time. For those women who wonder if they’ll get all bulky on the program, let me show you something. Here are two of the top finishers at the 2014 IFBB Europa bodybuilding competition, Jason Poston on the left and Sarah LeBlanc on the right:

Jason PostonSarah LeBlanc

Notice anything about them? Look at the muscle definition that Jason achieved with a year of dedication. Now look at the physique that Sarah achieved with the same level of devotion and hard work. Is she bulky? Is she all sinewy? HELL NO, she’s incredibly sexy and toned. Women, your bodies will NOT respond the same way that men’s bodies do to weight training. SO STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT AND START WORKING OUT ALREADY!

So here’s the bottom line:

  1. Get the Body Beast program.
  2. Find some inexpensive, basic equipment to start with
  3. Get the supplements as advised above from my links to save you big bucks.

Beast Up – and come back here to tell me how you’ve done on the program!

Do you have comments or questions on Body Beast? I’d love to hear about them below!

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189 thoughts on “Beachbody Body Beast Review”

  1. hi I am a 38 yr old female, I swim laps pretty vigoriously for 35 min 3-4 days a week, and I am about 30 lbs over weight. I did order body beast and I received it today (I have not even opened the box yet). I have been working out basically since the age of 12, and I know the importance of lifting weights, but I have never followed a structured program, and I thought I’d give body beast a try. so bottom line, I do need to lose weight (fat) am I on the right track here??? I’m scared to follow the diet and start taking protein supplements, etc; I am afraid I will only gain weight but the new muscle will just be covered with a layer of fat. I would appreciate any comments, advice, or guidance that you can give. thank you

    1. Hey Lisa!

      I think you’re on the right track, especially if you maintain your cardio 3-x per week as you’re doing.

      The fear of gaining fat from weightlifting is rooted in guys and gals who are trying to build significant muscle mass and consume a lot of calories; this leads to rapid increases of muscle mass, but then their bodies store so much of the excess calories as fat. They then need to go through a “cut” phase to strip the fat away from their bodies to show off their muscles for competition.

      The “cut phase” is not totally unhealthy, per se, but I think that approaching Body Beast from a different perspective of building strength and cutting fat at the same time is a solid tactic. You’re getting 35 minutes of good cardio 3-4x per week, so you can supplement that with Body Beast to build solid muscle strength (and boost your metabolism a touch as well). Fitness is built in the gym (and in your case, the pool), but weight loss happens in the kitchen. I see a lot of guys who have been working out seven days a week for a few years, but they’re carrying an insane amount of fat on their bodies. Oh, true, they’re as strong as an ox, but sit them down for lunch and they’ll have two burgers and a milkshake. That’s a whole boatload of carbs that keep their fat stores intact.

      The true benefit of protein powders is that it lets you boost your protein intake without the accompanying fat and calories that exist in most meat-based protein sources. Most people who find success in weight-loss programs coupled with weightlifting do it through lower-carb and average-fat diets. At a very basic (and grossly oversimplified) level, your body will burn simple carbs first, followed by complex carbs, followed by fat, followed by protein. To lose weight while building muscle is really a factor of your diet. By limiting high-availability carbs (like the aforementioned milkshakes), you’re asking your body to turn to its fat stores once available glycogen stores (and other carbs in your system) have been exhausted.

      Now, how does that relate back to Body Beast? Well, two ways.

      First, I might suggest that if you’re already eating *really* well and not looking to build muscle mass rapidly, try to follow the Body Beast “Beast” nutrition phase for 3-4 weeks which knocks 20% of the calories off of your daily totals and converts your daily macro totals to 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. That’s a *lot* of protein and quite a *little* bit of carbs which will lead you to some degree of fat loss and a lower degree of muscle building; that’s why I only suggest it if you already consider yourself to have a great diet. But if you’re like most of us and your diet is a mess, then start off with the standard Body Beast macro mix of 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat until you get your diet worked out. If you then don’t see the weight loss you’re looking for then I’d taper that back to 40% carbs, 30% fat and 30% protein for a few weeks to see how things change. If you feel lethargic and tired on the Beast nutrition phase, then switch back to the normal Body Beast nutrition phase until you feel like yourself again.

      Second, I’d suggest avoiding the dextrose Fuel Shot in your post-workout shake at the beginning. Once scoop of this stuff is 200 calories – that’s a significant chunk of energy that needs to be burned off in some fashion. Yes, it’s important for building muscle, but not for burning fat. If you don’t really need 200 or 400 extra calories at the end of your workout, why bother? If you want a quick shot of carbs in your shake because you feel droopy and tired the hour or two after your workout, then try a half a scoop. But I think you’d be disappointed to consume the extra 400 calories a day in simple carbs and not see any weight loss.

      Open that box and give Body Beast a try – and if you have questions, post them here or hit me up at chris (at) bodymoment.org. Thanks!

      1. Hello Chris –

        My situation is very similar to Lisa. I am a 35 year old female and also looking to lose 30 pounds. I have recently lost 40 on my own through proper diet and exercise, but I would like to focus on getting more shape and toning which I know through previous experience happens by lifting weights “the old fashioned way”:)
        I ordered Body Beast today, however was not going to follow their nutrition plan entirely. I was thinking (as my nutrition is already pretty good) to follow the 90 day workout plan to a tee, while maintaining a 40% protein, 30% carb and 30% fat ratio and running 5km 3X per week for the 90 days. Do you think this is a solid plan for someone not concerned with bulking up or gaining mass? I simply would like to shed fat and get toned. Or is this not a program for someone looking to do so?
        Any comments and advice would be appreciated:)
        Thanks!

        1. Hey Elysia!
          That sounds like a solid plan to me. You might find that the carb ratio is a little low since you’re introducing 5k 3x/week, so if you feel tired and lethargic a lot of the time, then bump the carbs up to at least 40% (and steal the percentages from the other two macro categories.) This is very similar to the plan that I follow when doing Body Beast and simultaneously participating in our office weight loss challenge – Body Beast to a “t” and 1/2 hr cardio 6 days/week, with a 40% protein, 40% carb and 20% fat ratio. Let me know how it works out for you!

      2. My name is Heather and I’m starting body beast for the first time. How can I do a morning workout as opposed to the afternoon? Prefer to workout first thing in the morning but how would this affect my diet and do I still have to wait two hours after breakfast to workout? Sorry but this is a bit confusing for me!

        1. Hey Heather!

          There’s no issue with doing a morning workout as opposed to an afternoon workout. I personally workout whenever I have time – the morning if I have no meetings at work, or the evening if I have to hit the ground running early in the day.

          I’ll let you in on a little secret – the timing of your meals and your workout makes very little difference to your progress, especially in a program like Body Beast. You don’t have to wait two hours after breakfast to workout. Usually I work out in the morning only half an hour after I’m done breakfast. After my workout, I have my protein shake. Sometimes I don’t get to my protein shake until later in the day. It makes very little difference in the end results. What you want to avoid is any meal arrangements that make you feel crappy.

          What do I mean by this? Some people can’t eat early in the morning or they feel nauseous, so they workout on an empty stomach and have a shake or a meal later. Some people can’t workout on a full stomach (I can workout after breakfast usually but after supper is a challenge). Some people need to eat IMMEDIATELY after their workout, while some can wait a few hours before refueling.

          The most important part of the program? Do the exercises, eat to your meal plan target, and don’t be afraid to move things around to suit your life. Need a day off? Don’t sweat it. Need to work out at night instead of in the morning or afternoon? No problem.

          Good luck with Body Beast – it’s a great program. Reply here or shoot me an email at chris@bodymoment.org if you have any questions!

  2. Thanks for the information! I’ve been off and on body beast for a while, I looked up cheaper supplement options and read your review. Great write up, I’ll definitely look into the options, any tips on meal prep for bulk?

    1. Hey Levi!
      I think the best meal prep tips can be found right in The Book of Beast that comes with the program. My biggest tip is to keep a lot of prepared (i.e cooked) lean meat protein and a lot of prepared beans/legumes on hand in the fridge, ready to go for meals. It’s so tempting to fall back on cheap carbs and fatty meals when you’re in a rush – but that will lead you down the road to a dirty bulk which does no one any good. Meat, beans and legumes can be thrown together with so many other options that they can form the basis to a lot of your meals. And don’t skimp on decent carbs – as you bulk you’ll find you burn carbs at an astounding rate, but steer clear of using high-GI carb sources like fruit juices (one point that Sagi and I differ on). If you can get your carbs from complex sources, including whole fruits and veggies, do that. Also, don’t forget to have a quick carb boost (i.e. dextrose or other simple carbs) in your post-workout snack – but ONLY then. Good luck!

      1. Hey Chris,
        Thanks for the reply. I’m currently bulking, as you stress the diet aspect. Where can I get some of the alternate supplement ingredients, and should I cook daily meal loads every morning or the hard/time consuming stuff a few times per week? I’d say I’m about 70/30 or 65/35 clean diet wise.

        1. Hey Levi!

          First, a comment on your math – if you’re eating clean between 65-70% of the time, that means you’re only eating clean five days out of the week! 🙂 Hopefully you’re doing better than that. A ‘cheat’ meal is okay – but not a whole cheat weekend. Trust me, reworking your diet is the frigging hardest part of this lifestyle change.

          My life is crazy busy – so if I leave the meal prep to the morning, I’m going to be tempted to grab something “off-plan” from the fridge and take that for my meals instead (like I did today – damn). Twice a week is probably a good goal for prepping food; I don’t like food hanging around in my fridge for a week. As well, I eat a lot of the same foods, but not the same foods all the time. I saw someone post their week’s meals on Facebook – a whole week of chicken, rice and spinach. I can do that for about three days – after that, I’ll need a change. Cooking every three days or so lets me add some variety to my meals and ensures my prepped meals still taste fresh.

          As to the alternate supplements (I assume you mean the ones I mentioned in the review):

          Optimum Nutrition Whey – replacement for the Hardcore Base Shake

          Optimum Micronized Creatine – replacement for the M.A.X. Creatine

          NOW Dextrose – replacement for the Fuel Shot

          If you have a bulk food or health food store nearby (NOT GNC) check out the price of bulk dextrose/corn sugar there; I paid about $3 for a couple of pounds of dextrose yesterday. You can also use plain old sucrose – table sugar – for your post-workout carbs as well. I just find the dextrose dissolves more easily.

          P.S. – If you’re really into making tailored protein mixes, then you might want to check out maltodextrin as well – this is a complex carb that you can mix 1:1 with your dextrose to give your shake both fast and slow carbs; you might also like to check out adding casein to your protein mix as it takes longer to digest than whey.

  3. Hi Chris….this is actually one of the best reviews ever. I have been using Beach Body programs since Power 90 came out. The first full program I completed was Insanity and I thought I ate clean for the 90 days but never really saw a change in my body composition. My heart was strong but I really wanted to lose weight. P90X was another good program that I pretty much completed but, not that my diet was bad, but with two kids in the house, there are just too many temptations. I graduated then to p90X3 and have finished two rounds and the body fat percentage on my scale just wont change. I think it could be that I really am not building muscle. Being 51 I know it is hard and after these programs I can do lots of push ups but still carry extra weight…5’8 182. I would like to get to 170 so now I am looking at Body Beast. I do use Shakeology. I love the Choc flavor. How is the taste on the one you recommended? Its expensive but does carry a lot of nutrients that I like. I did try Greenberry and it was really bad and strawberry’s flavor got tiring after a week.

    If you can answer this question and give me any other helpful hints I would appreciate it. I also use C4 Extreme as a preworkout but that is also expensive. It seems like you use the protein shake as your prework out…Am I correct?

    thanks
    Charlie

    1. Hi Charlie! Actually, I don’t use anything except food or a straightforward water/whey shake as my preworkout. I tend to work out in the early morning, like within an hour of rising, and by that point I haven’t eaten for about 11 hours or so. If I’m going for a straight steady-state high HR cardio workout, I’ll tend to rely on a banana or a quick whey-only shake to prevent me from getting dizzy; if I’m doing a straight weightlifting workout, I won’t eat anything as I feel nauseous if I push myself on the weightbench with food in my stomach. I used to be on N.O.-Xplode for a while which has a crazy amount of caffeine…and putting that fizzy mess into an empty stomach just didn’t do me any good.

      C4 is fine for a workout supplement as long as you don’t have any untoward reactions to it like I do; if you are looking for another option, my good friend Jim is extremely passionate about Pre-Jym as a pre-workout supplement as developed by Dr. Jim Stoppani. I haven’t tried it but I’ve been bugging Jim to write a review for me. Perhaps if I can tear him away from flexing in front of his wife as she rolls her eyes I can get him to comment further.

      Now, about the body composition – I suspect you ARE building muscle, but like me, you struggle to keep your eating clean and as a result, your body keeps the fat/muscle ratio fairly consistent due to the physical stress you’re putting on your body coupled with the extra calories you’re taking in. I think Body Beast is probably your best bet after graduating from P90X and P90X3. The absolute hardest part of the Body Beast workout is maintaining the nutrition. I have two kids in the house along with all their tempting snacks, and I must admit that I love a good gin and tonic from time to time. To see an effective change in your body composition, you NEED to be strict about the diet and maintain your macros. I burned 13 pounds while on Body Beast, and I suspect that you won’t have any issue dropping the weight – once you win the battle in the kitchen. Keep the lean protein, lentils and other low-GI foods cooked, packaged, and ready to go. Prepping your meals for the week is KEY if you want to change your body composition through weightlifting.

      I recall a picture that someone posted of Sagi Kalev some time ago; as he was sitting in the airport, waiting for his plane, he ate his prepared lunch out of a Tupperware container. All those delicious restaurants around, and one of Beachbody’s biggest stars…is eating a packed lunch out of a Tupperware dish like a schoolboy? But THAT’S how you see results – NOT by convincing yourself foolishly that “JUST one meal of ribs, coleslaw and fries and what the hell, throw in a piece of pie while I’m at it” is not going to set you back.

      Hopefully this all helps you – I wish you a lot of luck with Body Beast. And as for the Double Rich Chocolate Whey – I love the flavor; it’s one of my favorites. My friend Jim gave me a bag of the Milk Chocolate flavor a few weeks ago and that one is a bit lighter in taste but is still a good backup when I run out of the Double Rich Chocolate.

  4. I am starting Body Beast next week. I, like you, am a working dad and can’t afford the cost of the supplements. I have purchased a good whey isolate protein powder, creatine monohydrate powder, NOW Carbo Gainer and dextrose. I had read posts that said you could mix the Carb Gainer and dextrose as a Fuel Shot substitute and even addd these products to the whey protein as a substitute for the Hardcore Base Shake, however, no instructions are given as to the proportions. Do you have any advise on how to stack these products to get a similar result as the Body Beast supplements?

    I should also add that I am a little worried about the bulking phase of the plan. I am overweight at 5’10” and 213lbs. I have a larger frame and don’t want to get a whole lot bigger than I am…I just want to add muscle and definition. I am hopeful that the diet, workouts and supplementation will get me to my goal without fattening me up.

    Any help making this journey a success would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Ed – it’s easy to figure out the mix of the maltodextrin and the dextrose with a little math.

      Dextrose is a simple carb, while maltodextrin is a complex carb. The dextrose doesn’t need to be digested and enzymatically processed in your body, so it will be sucked up immediately. The maltodextrin needs to be broken apart and digested before it’s absorbed, which fuels you longer and won’t cause a carb crash.

      Fuel Shot has 24g of sugars – almost all of this is attributable to the dextrose, as only about 3% of the calories in maltodextrin are from free sugars. Let’s assume that the full 24g of sugar in Fuel Shot is dextrose. There are 47g of carbs in a serving of Fuel Shot, so I suspect almost all of the remaining calories come from maltodextrin. 47g carbs – 24g dextrose = 23g of maltodextrin. So your optimal mix is pretty close to a 50/50 mix of both. To measure, take the scoop that comes with your Carbo gain, fill it half with dextrose and half with maltodextrin.

      There’s not a lot of dextrose or maltodextrin in the Hardcore Base Shake – it’s only there for flavor. So I wouldn’t worry about mixing your own concoction for the base shake – just use a full scoop of the whey isolate as you would the Base Shake, a teaspoon (5mls) of the creatine, and a single mixed scoop of the dex/malto mix as discussed above.

      The path to success with Body Beast is truly, truly found in the kitchen. If you’re like most of us and your diet is a mess, make it your goal to get your eating cleaned up as much as possible. I lost 13 lbs on Body Beast because I followed the nutritional plan as closely as I could. If your goal is weight loss on Body Beast, I would do the following:

      – eliminate fruit juices from your menu on the Body Beast eating plan – I don’t agree with Sagi’s suggestion to include fruit juice as a source of carbs.
      – stock up on lean protein (chicken, beef, pork), legumes (beans and lentils) and low-GI fruits and vegetables, prepare them ahead of time, do them up as meals, keep them in the fridge, and learn to love them. There are a ton of ways to prepare meat, beans, lentils and vegetables, but if they aren’t sitting in the fridge, ready-to-eat and staring you in the face, I guarantee you will choose something else to eat.
      – ONLY use the dextrose and maltodextrin in your shake AFTER your workout. If you’re making a shake in the evening for a snack, DON’T add the extra calories in the dex/malto. Just use the whey, and maybe use whole or almond milk to give it a bit of creamy taste.
      – If you want to go hard-core with the weight loss and use a shake as a meal replacement, I’d suggest that you get some casein powder to supplement your whey. Whey is great and all, but it’s digested quickly and will leave you feeling hungry. After a hard workout first thing in the morning, I put a scoop of whey, a scoop of casein, a scoop of dextrose, and a tsp of creatine in my water-based shake and call it breakfast. I then don’t feel hungry for the next four hours or so.

      I can’t stress enough the power of clean eating when it comes to weight loss. Cut the cheap carbs out of your diet, stick to your macros as detailed in The Book of Beast included with the program and you will see success. I know guys who can press 250 lbs but don’t have any definition – they just look fat. Stay away from the dirty bulk and don’t try to convince yourself that one or two cheat meals a week is OK.

      I wish you tons of luck in your goals for this year – if you have any more questions, post them here and I’ll do my best to answer them!

      1. Chris,

        THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR THE FEEDBACK!! That was some awesome advice! I appreciate you taking time out or your day to help people like me get healthy! I will definitely follow the eating plan in the book. I actually think there is quite a selection offered on this plan, so it shouldn’t be too hard. I am looking for a better way of life not just a quick weight loss plan. I’ve been down that road and it only lasts for a little while.

        Again, thank you for the feedback. I will keep you up to date on my progress!

  5. Hi chris..
    I’m a little confused! I’m starting body beast after doing t25 and looking forward to it but do I eat 3 normal healthy clean meals per day and use the protein shakes as my 3 snacks (other meals)?? Or do I have my normal 3 meals and then 3 snacks as well as having 3 protein shake on top of that? I’m 5ft 9 and 175lbs so how many calories should I be eating daily while I’m doing the body beast program? I’m having trouble working out what my calorie intake should be
    thanks
    Dave

    1. Hi Dave! Let me see if I can get you straightened around.

      At 5’9″ and 179 lbs, that puts you at a BMI of around 26.4. Without knowing your exact body fat percentage, I’ll estimate it at about 25% based on your BMI. Based on the Body Beast easting guidelines you’re looking at Lean Body Mass of (100 – 25) / 100 * 175lbs = 122.5 lbs. Then plug that number into the rest of the Body Beast formula: (122.5) * 10 * 1.3 + 600 = 2195 calories, which we’ll call 2200 calories per day to make things simple.

      If you check the Body Beast chart, you’ll see that you get the following servings of each group per day:
      1 Starch
      3 Legumes or Protein Liquids
      4 Veggies or Balanced Liquids
      1 Fruits or Carb Liquids
      21 Protein
      2 Fats
      1 Scoop Base Shake
      2 Scoops Fuel Shot

      If you want a nice guide to tracking your food, check out my Body Beast Nutrition Tracker here.

      How you break up your day into meals and snacks is up to you – but no, you won’t have three shakes per day, just one post-workout. If you look at the sample meal plan included with Body Beast, Sagi has Breakfast, a yogurt/fruit smoothie for his snack, Lunch, then a post-workout snack of the protein shake, Dinner, then a light snack at night. Two snacks per day seems to work for me; you don’t have to cram in three snacks per day but don’t starve yourself between meals if you can help it.

      Does that help you out? Feel free to post any more questions you have about Body Beast and I’ll do my best to answer them!

      1. Thanks for the reply chris..
        it all seems very complicated can i just eat clean as I do now but make sure I get the 2200 calories in me everyday? I’m going to buy the dextrose as you suggest and I already have the protein and creatine so when do I take all of this? Do I mix the protein dextrose and creatine together and take just that one shake post workout?
        Thanks
        Dave

        1. Hey Dave! You can simply mix the dextrose powder, protein powder and creatine all together with water (or milk, almond milk, or whatever you like in your shakes) and drink that within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. Then keep eating your 2200 calories per day, and stay clean. This means minimal white carbs; lots of meats, legumes, and vegetables, and try not to drink your calories in the form of fruit juice.

          Don’t forget that the 2200 calories per day includes your post-workout shake. Since there’s about 550 calories in your post-workout shake (one scoop of protein and two scoops of the dextrose), you’re only working with of 2200 – 550 = 1650 calories per day from your food. Good luck – let me know how it goes!

        1. Hey Dave – anywhere from 250ml to 500ml is a good range. I like it really thin after a hard workout, so I use about 500ml or 16oz of water. 250ml will give you a thick shake at the expense of not dissolving all of the whey properly. Go with 400ml and see how you like it – add or reduce water to control the thickness. Hope that helps!

          1. Dave – make sure you see Jeff’s note in this thread about the correct calorie count – my original math was a bit off!!

          2. Thanks Jeff and Chris
            I’ve now worked out my calorie intake and its only 2150 a day.. I unfortunately have body fat of 34.6% and I’m 180lbs so my calories have come down a lot
            Cheers
            Dave

      2. Chris,

        Your calculation on this seems to be off. Perhaps you used a different body fat percentage then what you posted. If Dave’s weight is 175 and 25% bf, using the formula puts him at 2533 calories per day and with Body Beast we are supposed to round up the intake putting Dave at 2600 calories per day.

        1. Jeff – you’re absolutely right. There’s two errors in there – I assumed a 25% BF for Dave but must have plugged in 20% by accident in my little spreadsheet – which then didn’t add the extra 10% for a BF of over 20%.

          So the correct math is : (100 – 25) / 100 * 175lbs = 131.25 lbs. Then (131.25) * 10 * 1.3 + 600 = 2306 calories + an extra 10% == 2536 calories per day, rounded up to **2600**.

          Dave – hopefully you’ll see this. Sorry if you followed my numbers and have been feeling a little more hungry than usual!! If you subtract the post-workout shake (550 cal), you’re working out of a total of 2050 calories per day.

          1. This actually made me realize my personal calculation was off. I have been eating too much for the past 2 weeks. I like your comparison on beachbody products vs other brands btw.

  6. Hey Chris..
    After reading bodybuidling.com they say on there that I need to consume 2g of protein for every 1kg I weigh so that’s works out as 150g of protein a day to build muscle.. should I make this up by eating lots of high protein food and just 1 protein shake a day?

    1. Hey Dave! Yes – focus on high protein foods to get between 1.5-2.0g of protein per kilo of bodyweight. Your average one-scoop protein shake has about 25g to 30g of protein, so you need to shoot for about 90g to 120g of protein per day from food. For instance, three eggs at breakfast, one can (6 oz) of tuna at lunch, one cup of cooked black beans, one 4oz chicken breast at dinner and one cup of milk comes to about 90g of protein for the day.

  7. My dilemma is that I train in Martial Arts 2-3 days a week for 45-60 minutes a session.
    I can only do the Body Beast program every other day.
    I don’t care if it takes me 180 days plus to finish the program.
    Can I get decent results doing the workouts every other day?
    I am already in good shape and just want to add a little more muscle.
    After researching I think BB fits me better than any of the P90 programs.
    I get all the cardio, flexibility, and plyometric work during my Martial Arts workouts.
    Thanks for email and suggestions.

    1. Hey John – since you are already active, I believe you will still see great results on Body Beast. In the summers I like to run, so I tend to alternate Body Beast with my running days. Muscles grow when they are stressed and rested in the presence of good nutrition – but not necessarily every single day. I always preach that NO workout program or schedule is sacred, so you can alter it as necessary, especially since you are still active on your off days. I wish you great luck – please let me know how it works out for you!

  8. Chris,

    First off, I just read your PiYo and Body Beast reviews. As a FORMER BB coach, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a pure perspective on these programs and Shake-o.

    Now, onto my question and request for feedback… I am (or try to be ) a runner. I am 35 years old, 2 small kids, full-time working mom. I currently have been diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome and am doing a series of at-home PT exercises prescribed by, you guessed it, my PT! However, I am also doing Body Beast but can tell from my PFS injury that I need some more stretching, flexibility, and functional strength in my life. I am wondering about what you would think of a BB/PiYo hybrid and how that can be scheduled? It would also give me a bit extra of a calorie burn than just doing BB alone. I do not follow the BB eating plan. I average 40% carbs, 35% protein and 25% fat – I eat more carbs on days I lift with BB and less carbs on days that I just do cardio. I was doing Turbo Fire cardio workouts until I got injured with PFS in my right knee.

    Your thoughts and guidance are much appreciated. Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Jennifer. Thanks for your kind words! I’m not a big fan of hybrid programs but I do think Body Beast doesn’t include enough flexibility exercises to be considered a complete program on it’s own, so I incorporate other things into my day to promote flexibility and core strength.

      Here’s what I think you should do for a BB/PiYo hybrid, at least for the Build phase:
      – On a BB Chest/Tris day, incorporate the Upper Body PiYo workout (or as much as you can get in).
      – On a BB Back/Bis day, incorporate some of the Core workout.
      – On a BB Legs day, incorporate the Lower Body PiYo workout, Buns, or Strong Legs (if you can stand it – Legs day can be brutal)
      – On a BB Shoulders day, incorporate some of the Core or Full Body Blast workout.
      – On a BB Cardio day, incorporate some or all of the Drench, Sweat, or Hardcore workouts.

      As for the Bulk Phase, go hard with the big weights for the BB BB program and incorporate Core, Drench, or Sweat to boost the cardio without putting too much more stress on your muscles. If you want, you can incorporate PiYo Core on BB Abs/BB Cardio day if you feel like it.

      Also, make sure your rest day IS a rest day – and take an extra rest day if you feel you need it. Hybrid programs burn a lot of calories and the effort will eventually “catch up” with you – so if you feel lethargic, low, overly hungry or sore then take an extra day off and just pick up where you left off once you restart your program.

      Good luck!

  9. Also, Chris, I am 5’ll 1/2 and currently 165 pounds. I am roughly 24-25% body fat but would like to get down to 18% (I realize that is going to take some time). I am not so much concerned about WEIGHT loss as I am about FAT loss – I would rather weigh the same and be a size 6 or 8 than weigh what I do now and be a size 10 (which I am currently). (Again, I am 35.) Please let me know if you think my diet needs tweaking. My calorie goal on myfitnesspal is 1670 NET calories a day – based on the 40% carbs, 35% protein, 25% fat. To reiterate my post above – I try to eat more carbs on days I lift and less carbs on cardio-only days.

    Thanks.

    Thanks.

    1. Hey Jennifer! The 40/35/25 split should do the work – but you’ll have to do some good record keeping for at least a month or two to know for sure. Oddly enough, if you plateau with your weight loss you might find more success in boosting the carbs calories and stealing calories from the fat. This promotes anabolism to help you build muscle – a prolonged low-carb diet will likely keep you in a catabolic state where it’s difficult to build muscle and burn bodyfat in a balanced manner. The extra carbs on lifting days is a good idea – especially if you consume the extra carbs post-workout, as I’ll discuss in your next question.

        1. Jennifer – “low-carb” is what you want it to be. Even at 50% carbs, you’re still consuming far fewer carbs than the average American. 40% is “lower” and 30% is quite low, in that your body will turn to fat stores to supplement energy needs through the day.

  10. Last question – I promise!!! My post BB meal includes: 1 red/golden delicious apple, 1 scoop UMP Beverly International Chocolate Whey mixed with 1 packet of Original Quaker Oats. Do I still need dextrose if I am eating an apple immediately post workout?

    Creatine…. I have mixed feelings about this. I guess I associate creatine with gaining fat for bulking. I know I don’t produce testosterone so I won’t bulk but I don’t want to build bulk FAT either. I must be confused. Can you clarify creatine benefits for women?

    1. Oh, but you DO produce testosterone – just not as much as men: http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women.

      The idea behind dextrose (or any simple carbohydrate) is that post-workout, your body has drained its glycogen resources and will start hunting around for other sources of energy to fuel and repair the body. Giving yourself a shot of simple carbs post-workout gives your body a quick, cheap source of carbs to replenish glycogen so – theoretically – your body will get to work building and repairing muscle instead of wasting time hunting around and breaking down body tissue in the absence of other available energy sources. An apple does contain carbs – but they’re in the form of fructose. Fructose must be processed by your liver before it’s absorbed into the body, so it’s not a great choice for a quickly available carb source. Dextrose, on the other hand, is very quickly absorbed and is a better choice post-workout. If you don’t want to use dextrose in your shake (it’s pretty sweet), Dr. Jim Stoppani suggests something like white bread and jelly, or even candy which is made with dextrose (like Pixy Stix or Nerds candy). The average person will still see results with any carb source, to be honest. But when you get down to lower body fat levels then your choice of carbs does have a significant effect on your body composition.

      Now, creatine. You don’t NEED creatine in your shakes, and you’ll still see progress. I’m not sure why you associate creatine with adding fat – creatine has the effect of pulling more water into your muscles and giving them a larger, more toned look, and potentially stretching the muscle fibers a little more to promote more muscle growth. If people are adding fat as they bulk up then they’re doing it wrong, to be honest – and it’s not the creatine to blame. I didn’t use creatine for a long time, but once I did, I noticed that my muscles were much more defined than before, in the space of a few weeks. Generally, the average women stores less natural creatine in her body due to her diet, so it’s not a bad idea to supplement. If you don’t want to use creatine, there’s no need to. If you want to try, give it 3-4 weeks to see if it has the effect you like, and if not, then simply stop supplementing with it and your body will return to its normal creatine levels. You may gain 3-4 lbs of water weight as your muscles store more water, so don’t be alarmed if your scale goes up slightly when you start on creatine.

      Good luck!

  11. Wow, great review! Its awesome to see such a great write up from an enthusiastic non-coach.

    Feel free to check out our “Body Beast Super Group” with over 2200 members on Facebook. It is strictly support and motivation without all of the coach rah rah.

    1. John – I’ve just sent in my request to join the group! Hope to get involved with you all very soon.

  12. Hi,
    I am in decent shape now, working out 5-6 days a week with strength training at least 2 days. I eat pretty clean but have not found the rippled, defined look that I am striving for. I have Body Beast on the way and have been researching it a lot. My question is do I follow the meal plan and supplements suggested to get the look that I am going for. I also want to lose around 10 pounds.

    1. Hey Kelly. It’s possible that you have muscle mass built up, but if you don’t have low body fat levels (which are hard to attain) then your great muscle might just be hiding under a small layer of fat. Since you want to lose about 10 pounds, here’s what I’d suggest – do at least one round of Body Beast for 90 days, following the base nutrition guide. Then, once you’ve finished the first round, look at the “Competition Plan” in the book for a plan to shed subcutaneous fat and make the muscles pop. You should see a difference – but don’t stay on this plan forever as it’s pretty drastic. You need a bodyfat composition of probably less than 10% to make your muscles pop – so if your muscles aren’t as visible as you’d like you can throw some extra steady-state cardio into the Body Beast plan (like running, treadmill, biking, elliptical) to get the body fat percentage down even further. Good luck – and let me know how you progress!

  13. Hi! I recently finished up a 12 week hybrid round of Chalean Extreme (CLX) and triathlon training – it was easy to do, since CLX only has 3 strength workouts a week, and I just dropped the non-weight workouts for my tri training (5-7 hours of swimming, biking, and running), with an active rest day each week (usually yoga).

    I’d like to start Body Beast (for a change of pace), but since my Half Ironman is in June, my tri training time is only going to increase from here (especially once the weather breaks, and I can take the bike outside – and run longer outside)….but looking at the Body Beast schedule, even “lean beast” has 5 lifting days and only 1 cardio day. I don’t have time to lift more than 3x a week (and that might drop to twice a week come May/June), get my tri training in, work, sleep, and still spend time with my husband.

    Any suggestions for modifying the Body Beast schedule to fit with my tri training? Or should I just do another round or two of CLX (or maybe P90X or X2, although I’m not a Tony fan) until after tri season wraps up in September?

    Thanks!
    -Christina

    1. Hey Christina! “Not a Tony fan”? GASP! 😉 That’s OK. Since you’re going to be doing some serious tri training, I would suggest using a trimmed version of Body Beast in conjunction with your tri train schedule. My suggestion? Follow the “Build” phase of Body beast while you’re training, with the following modifications: drop the Legs/Abs workout (and as a former avid road biker, and current runner, I know how hard you’ll be training your legs); drop the Cardio workout (tri training is MORE than sufficient for your purposes); keep the Back/Bis, the Chest/Tris and the Shoulders workouts. When you drop to two workouts per week, drop the Shoulders workout as your swimming will be enough workout in that area. For variety, swap in one of the “Bulk” phase Chest, Back or Arms workouts if you like. I wish you good luck with your triathalon training – please come back and let me know how you did! 🙂

      1. Thanks so much Chris! I’m planning to start the modified Body Beast Schedule next week! I should finish up within a week or so of my Half IM! 🙂 99 days to go! Of course, my 70.3 is only my first tri of the season – I’ve got two olympics tris and two sprint tris, as well as the run portion of a 3rd olympic tri (relay!), a couple of century charity bike rides, a half marathon, and a number of 5/10Ks. 🙂 But I’d be happy to check back in and let you know how my first 70.3 went! 🙂

        1. Christina: If you can fit it into your awesome yet totally crazy competition schedule, 🙂 I’d love to publish a post on how you fit BB into your tri training – if you feel so inclined to put together some notes telling us what worked, what didn’t and how you found the experience overall, feel free to email it to chris at bodymoment dot org and I’ll share it with everyone!

          1. Oh gosh…really?? I’d love to! 😀 I think it would have to be a “post-season” thing in the fall, though…in addition to training, I’m going to be the volunteer director for my local tri club this season, as well as the “race roundup” person for my racing team (ie: who’s racing this weekend and where, good luck wishes, post race congrats and PR shout-outs, etc)…oh…plus the usual work, sleep, and spending time with the hubs. 😉 And, while I’ve had good luck combining tri training and BB in the off-season, I’d like to see how it goes during peak season. 🙂

  14. I am in a quandry. I am quite satisified with every area of my body except……the stomach……. I weight lift three days a week, using training “recipes” I downloaded from the web. In between, I do about twenty minutes of cardio followed by some ab work. Sometimes I do the ab work at the end of the weights. I’ve tried various things……I cannot seem to reduce the middle while gaining everywhere else. It drives me crazy. I’d give my eye teeth for a formula that keeps the muscles but loses the stomach. I think going TO the gym is important……staying at home promotes apathy. Being in a fitness center forces me to WORK…and watching both gym rats as well as those just starting inspires me to work harder. However, I’m tempted by Body Beast. Those other at home programs seem to be wonderful for weight loss and toning but not building……I’d like both and Body Beast seems to do that…..One questions is, is there any way to do this regimen IN a gym? Does anyone even use DVD’s anymore? There must be a way to download the thing on device and take to the gym? No? Won’t work feasibly? What do you think? And btw – If you CAN give me a way to shed the stomach while continuing my weight routine, I will PAY!!!!!

    1. Mike – you and I share the same problem: getting definition in the abs. Body Beast is a great program in that it includes some Abs/core moves in each workout, no matter what you’re working that day. Additionally, it includes a 10 minute abs workout to do at the end of the Cardio workout at the end of the active rest day.

      Can you do this program in the gym? Absolutely. To be honest, I don’t even watch the DVDs anymore as I just pull out my Body Beast Worksheets and perform my routine at my own pace (which is usually faster than Sagi) either in my home gym or my office gym. I would recommend that you get the program, watch the DVDs to learn the form that Sagi uses for his moves, then get the worksheets and take them to the gym. As long as your gym has free weights, barbells, and proper benches, you can do this program. You’ll actually benefit from some of the other equipment at the gym like the cable machines, because you can perform a LOT of the same exercises in a vertical position, instead of having to lie down on a bench all the time.

      Mike, I would GLADLY take your money if I had a surefire way to get your abs ripped. The only real way to get your six-pack showing is to focus meticulously on your diet – and to get your bodyfat as low as you can. I would also recommend checking out some of the great shredding programs like Jim Stoppani’s Six Week Shortcut to Shred which includes workouts along with nutrition and meal plans to help you get the physique you’re looking for.

      Also – what does your supplement stack look like? Any pre-workout, post-workout, fat burners? Check out some of the top recommended stacks for fat loss and muscle building here to see what you need to add to your regimen.

      All I can tell you is that you’re not alone in your abs battle – stay strong, stay focused, and know that I’m fighting the battle with you! Good luck!

  15. Hey Chris,

    I’m interested in buying all of the supplements you mentioned. Are they all safe to take in regards to being an athlete and military/government employee?

    1. Hey James!

      I try to keep things really simple and safe with my supplements. The whey I recommend is derived from milk and is quite pure with no other added supplements or compounds. The dextrose is simply corn sugar and nothing more; it’s very similar to table sugar but derived from corn instead of sugar cane. The creatine is also safe to take; it’s really only there to help enhance muscle volume. Your body stores creatine from food sources such as cold-water fish, pork and beef anyway, so you’re just helping it boost those stores.

      I can’t speak for 100% certainty but I believe these are all acceptable by military standards. If in doubt – ask. But the fact that GNC has stores at over 100 US Military bases tells me that these supplements are quite accepted by the military. Get the supplements using the links in the article above – and if you have any questions about dosage, frequency or anything else, please come back and ask!

      1. Awesome! Thanks so much. I ordered the supplements and can’t wait to use them. I have completed week one of Body Beast without the supplements and am excited to see how different I feel with the supplements in week two.

  16. Hi Chris!

    First of all, thanks for your write up. It’s super informative, and I plan to check back periodically for advice, as I start my workout tonight.

    My question is… I am preparing my post-workout mix using the supplements you suggested above. I used the scoop from the ON Whey, which when rounded is 30.4g or so, to add dextrose to my blender bottle. But because you call for 100g of dextrose, I used over 3 SCOOPS of dextrose. The whole powder mixture in my cup before I add water is almost 4 inches high. Am I doing this right??

    1. Hey RJ – You jogged my memory that BeachBody updated the Book of Beast to correct the serving sizes of the Fuel Shot, but I hadn’t gone back to correct the article. The correct dose of dextrose is ONE protein scoop (50-55g) of dextrose per shake. If you use your protein scoop to measure out your dextrose, you’ll find that one scoop weighs about 50g or so, since dextrose is more dense, and therefore heavier, than fluffy protein powder. Three scoops is A LOT! Thanks for asking – and sorry for all those sugar highs I may have inadvertently caused you.

      1. Hi Chris!
        Thanks for the response. I only did that once, considering it was only my first day of Body Beast. It oddly wasn’t as unbearably sweet as I expected it to be. It was definitely drinkable if necessary. But thank God that was a one time thing. One scoop of ON Whey and one scoop of dextrose made a very thin drink with only about 250 ml of water, which surprised me. Expected something much thicker. Or maybe I’m doing something wrong.

        The recovery shake for the Build and Bulk phases call for two servings of Fuel Shot, while the Beast phase calls for one serving of Fuel Shot. Should I use two scoops of dextrose for Build and Bulk and one for Beast, or one scoop for the Build and Bulk and half for Beast?

        1. Hey RJ – welcome back! The post-workout shakes are relatively thin as per the instructions; you can reduce the water to make it thicker if you want. Another idea is to add Casein into your shakes which not only make them a bit thicker but give you a slower-digesting protein to keep you fuller, longer.

          Stick with one scoop of dextrose for all phases. If you feel REALLY sore during the Build and Bulk phases then try two scoops; you need the carbs anyway.

  17. Hello again Chris! Is honey a decent substitute for dextrose? I am also taking NLA For Her Amino’s (BCAA’s). Do you think a good immediate post workout meal could be honey (how much), 1 cup of fat free milk, and 1 scoop of ON Whey?

    1. Hey Jennifer – good to see you again! Honey is a mixture of fructose and glucose, which are slower to digest than dextrose (and are absorbed into the body differently). Dextrose will always be your fastest carb, but if you want to use honey, 3 tablespoons will have as many carbs as 50g of dextrose. Thanks!

  18. Hi Chris,

    I just started body beast and I am only able to find time around 800pm to get my work out in. I am worried about taking the supplements in accordance with the plan in BB. I am following the lean schedule. Should I change up the plan to fit my workout schedule so I am not going to bed with a stomach full. Thanks!

    1. Hey Dave! I frequently work out at 7:30 or 8:00pm since that’s after the kids are in bed. There’s no issue in terms of muscle gain or weight loss with going to bed on a full stomach – unless you find it uncomfortable or it affects your sleep. The post-workout shake is quickly absorbed, so it’s not sitting in your stomach all night. Usually I will move my heavier meal to lunchtime and have a light supper so that I can down my shake without feeling uncomfortably full. What particularly are you worried about, regarding the supplements?

      1. Chris,
        Thanks for the reply. I was just worried that it would sit in my stomach overnight. I am new to the supplement scene so I was unsure if I would have to be moving around for my body to take it. I will continue as is! I noticed in an earlier post that you mentioned ed a weightless supplement stack for working out. I saw the whey in the stack was slow release. Would I continue to use the regular whey or can I use the slow release whey As well? Thanks again.

        Dave

        1. Hey Dave! Your body will digest and absorb the protein even if you’re asleep – no worries there. A lot of bodybuilders use casein as a “night protein”, although the truth is that it’s good at any time in the day. Casein thickens in the stomach and gives you a fuller feeling, longer. Therefore it’s termed a “slow-release” protein. The truth is that most current research tells us that it’s your overall daily protein intake that makes a difference, not “when” you take your protein. A lot of people will tell you that after a workout is the absolute best time due to increased uptake of protein, better recovery windows, and so forth, but I would guess neither you nor I are at that level of performance just yet. Someday – right? 🙂

          My favorite and current stack for post-workout is 1 scoop of whey, 1 scoop casein, 1 scoop dextrose and 1 tsp creatine mixed in water. It’s about 450 calories and I don’t get the hungry snacky cravings later on after I workout. I also recommend casein for meal-replacement shakes since it is a slower protein – a pure whey shake will leave you hungry in no time at all.

    2. Hi Folks:

      I just want to re-confirm if there is an ability to do Body Beast in a gym using a mobile device. I have had an awful time trying to speak to Customer Service (aka India based people using template scripts) and as of yet, still do not have definitive answers. It was insuated that the online version does not contain the full video program. Would someone please tell me exactly how they are using the program at the gym, and in what format?

      Thanks

      1. Mike – from what I’ve heard from other users, the mobile version of the workout is not as flexible or user-friendly as it could be. It does provide the ability to track your results online in a simple fashion, and it provides images and descriptions of the workouts (but no video). If you wanted to take this into a gym, I would suggest that you watch the videos at home, take notes of the form and movement for each exercise (they’re mostly standard lifts that are described on any lifting website), then print off the Body Beast worksheets and take just the worksheets and your exercise notes into the gym with you. That’s what I do; I can scribble extra notes on the workout sheets, I can work out at my own pace, and I don’t need my mobile device or TV at the gym. There’s no real need to follow along with the program on the screen; I haven’t watched the videos in months.

        1. Many thanks for your thorough reply. And yes, that is what I figured was the best way to use this, which is exactly what I plan on doing. It is a frustrating though that one need to rely on DVD’s in this day and age! Being able to download should not remotely (pun intended) be an issue!!!

          Thanks again!

          1. Mike, just so you know, Beachbody.com offers a streaming subscription program for $2.99/week which includes most Beachbody programs including Body Beast; you can check it out here.

          2. I know this. I am disappointed in having to pay extra for the same program just purchased only in another format I feel I should already be able to access! Nevertheless, I was told that Body Beast wont’ even be on there for another few weeks? Is it already showing?

          3. To further clarify Chris’s comment: Beachbody On Demand currently has several popular programs available for streaming in full (including Body Beast right now, the full programs are planned to rotate), as well as sneak peeks of the other programs (single full workout). AND, in the next month or so, they are planning to roll out full program availability for ALL programs that you have purchased (I’m not sure if that is both through the main Beachbody site AND Team Beachbody, or only Team Beachbody, though)…I also believe that it is limited to programs that are still sold (ie Les Mills Combat and Les Mills Pump have been discontinued, so they will not be available on demand, even if you purchased them). HTH! 🙂

          4. Body Beast just has one workout on the BOD list right now as a sneak peek. But it will eventually rotate into the full program list (and then rotate back out). But like I said, if you purchased it, you’d have access to the full program in BOD soon. And you’d also have access to everything else on the BOD list (full programs and sneak peeks). 🙂

  19. I am not sure if this program is for me. My first priority is losing weight. 30 Llbs would be perfect. I currently do T-25 but do not see the results I desire. I also play intensive basketball 1-2 times per week. I know diet is a huge component of my problem. Would this program be something that would work for my situation?

    1. Justin – my experience is that Body Beast alone is not going to cause you to lose weight. If your diet is all over the place, then Body Beast will help you gain strength, but not shed weight. My current plan follows the Body Beast workout plan and nutrition, but adds 30-45 minutes of steady state cardio each day to help shed the pounds. I lost a pound a week last time I really focused on Body Beast with the added cardio, and I’m seeing the same results now as I’m back into the office weight loss challenge after a long winter. And I’ll echo what a lot of people have said – until you wrestle your diet to the ground, you won’t see the results you deserve with ANY program.

      I take a very technical approach to nutrition; I might suggest that some of the online nutrition guides on BodyBuilding.com including Hunter Labrada’s excellent primer on fat loss would be a great start. What do you struggle with, in particular? Combating cravings? Picking the right mix of foods? Finding time to plan and create meals?

      1. all of the above, along with the EXCUSE that I have triplets and usually eat late when I am starving

    2. I haven’t done T 25 but it looks pretty intensive. The only thing I’d say is that working out is an access pass to continuing a poor diet. I used to believe that…”hey, I just did two intense hours…..I think I’ll have a plate of ribs and polish it off with a hot fudge sundae!” You have to balance both!

  20. I know it has already been said before but I just wanted to let you know that I truly appreciate you offering this information about Body Beast, especially listing comparable alternatives to the Beachbody shakes and supplements. I bought the program but was really having a hard time figuring out how I was going to afford the supplements. Since my husband is going to do this with me, I’ll need double the amounts. Thanks so much!

    1. Jen, thanks so much! I hope you do well on the program; if you have any questions about supplements or the program itself feel free to drop by again!

  21. The rest day for Body Beast in the middle of the 7 day cycle. Should I assume that day 1 of the following week should occur immediately following the previous week or that another rest day?

    1. Hey Mike! The Huge schedule Body Beast schedule is a little weird – it follows a six day cycle (including rest day) instead of seven. Day 1 of the next week should follow Day 7 of the previous week, no matter which schedule you’re on. Think of Days 1-7 of a schedule like Sunday to Saturday on your calendar. You won’t do the same workout every Monday; it’s just the way the workouts cycle back through the days of the week.

      The Lean Beast schedule moves to a 7-day cycle by the Bulk phase, while Huge Beast keeps on with the six-day cycle. Does that make sense?

  22. Hey Chris 🙂

    I literally just stared Body Beast today. I have lifted weights, up to 40 on a bar, but it wasn’t intense enough, so I bought BB hoping it would kick my butt. The first day was so-so, I started light switching between 5 & 10lb but my heart was racing.

    The 5 was easy, unless I did more reps then provided but the 10 made me shacky which was good lol.

    My three questions are does it get more intense? The workouts I mean, because I know I’ll have to go up in weights. I calculated I need to eat around 18,000 but the lowest they go is 20,000. I’m worried about eating to much and adding fat instead of muscles. So will 20,000 be fine? And finally they have me eating more carbs then protein, I thought you needed both equally as much?

    The reason why I picked up BB is because I’ve always been skinny and a fast metabolism all my life (I’m 21) but recently I’ve become “skinny fat” and wanted to shed off those 3 or 4 pounds and build musle.

    I’m just concerned that I’ll reach the end of the 3 months and the results won’t be there.

    1. Also I’m allergic to whey and wheat so I can’t have protein shakes, so then do i eat more protein then the 9 portions or no?

      1. Ashley – have you checked out Vega Sport Performance Protein? It’s milk, soy and dairy free, and doesn’t taste half-bad. If you don’t want to invest in protein shakes, then add 3 more protein portions to your day; a scoop of protein powder has about 120-130 calories and since a protein serving in BB has 45 calories, this accounts for about 2.5-3 more servings of protein per day. Hope that helps!

    2. Hey Ashley!

      I’m glad to welcome you into the Body Beast fold!

      Does it get more intense? Body Beast can be dialled up and down depending on how much you can manage. The workouts change between phases, but they don’t get more intense; they simply focus on different body parts with different exercises. If I had to be honest, I find the “Build” phase harder than “Beast” or “Bulk”, since it’s designed to build endurance which has always been my Achilles’ heel. Also, don’t worry about eating too much – if you’ve done the calculations correctly then eat what it tells you. The nutrition of lifters (including the nutrition included in BB) is different from other Beachbody or other workout programs you might have encountered. You will gain weight, then shed it, gain weight, then shed it, wash, rinse, repeat. But eventually you will build muscle to a point where your body fat stores stay at a low level – assuming you keep your diet clean.

      How did you arrive at the figure of 1800 calories? By my estimate that either puts you at a really, really low weight, or a really, really high body fat ratio that isn’t in line with your “3-4 pounds” as noted above (or you’re also doing a lot of exercise outside of BB). To build muscle, you need to eat. A lot. 50% carbs is still a lot less than the average American eats in their day; when you have a lot of muscle to maintain the protein can certainly go up but relying too heavily on protein over carbs will probably leave you lethargic and tired, especially if you do have a “fast” metabolism. Besides, I always find that the math is just a starting point – you need to ride out the program for a few weeks to see if the calorie count is right for you. When I’m looking to shed body fat I dial down my calories by about 200-300 per day; when I’m back in muscle-building mode I eat what the plan recommends and more – sometimes up to 3000 calories per day when I’m going heavy on the cardio or running.

      Good luck! If you have more questions be sure to stop back and share them!

      1. Hey Chris I just did my BF calculations and got a different number, could you help me I feel like I’m doing it wrong.

        My weight is 100 (I don’t starve myself, I get plenty of food, I’ve just been tiny my whole life with a fast metabolism and my doctors say my weight is fine for me. I’m also only 5′ 2″).

        My waist at the tiniest part of me is 25 inch.
        My wrist is 6 inches
        My hips (at the widest part of my butt) is 34 inches and my forearm is 8.4 inches (I measured below my elbow).

        So then I got a 31 % BF. Then from there I did all the Body Best steps to see how many calories I need. At the end I got 1,646.

        I have no problem at all with eating more and gaining 10 lbs as long as it’s musle not fat. But when I was eating at the 2,000 calorie point I felt like I was eating way to much. I had to force myself. And i was getting sore from working out which was greet but then I could feel that i had more fat and bloat on me. I really want to gain more muscle, and plus if that BF is correct that seems way to much at my weight.

        I know my metabolism started slowing down a few years ago, and it irritates me that my weight is what it is but I can feel to much fat around my stomach. I know I need to gain more musle that’s why I bought BB, (and using the Lean schedule) to shed that weight that’s covering my abs ( because I do have definition from working out) and gaining more strength.

        1. Hey Ashley!

          I’ve been playing around with a few numbers and I think you’re right – 2000 is too much. Based on your BMI I got about a 26% BF, which gives you about 1700 calories a day.

          So here’s my recommendation – shoot for 1600-1700 calories in your plan (I have yet to recalculate the Body Beast macro amounts based on that weight but give me a bit of time and I’ll work it out for you). If you’re hungry, and you’re hitting your macros, then increase it by 100 calories and see how you feel. If you’re full and bloated, bring it down 100 calories and see how you feel.

          Stick around – I’ll figure out what your BB food servings should be shortly!

          1. Thank you so much, I knew that I just was eating way to much for my stomach to handle at 2,000, and yes I’d diffidently love to know my portions.

            Personally I don’t understand why my BF is so high, but I would love to bring it down to at least 10%.

            I eat my 10 protein per pound body weight (I end up eating more just because 100 is really easy to hit but I figure it doesn’t hurt), fruits but not to much because of the sugar and carbs, veggies like green and carrots and so on. I only indulge sometimes and not often a lot but I was lifting before BB. I drink a cup of coffee with barley any cremer and hardly drink alcohol only less then a glass of wine maybe two or three times in a month.

            So I know the Lean section of the workout is designed to shed some weight, but are there any more things I can do to bring that number down?

            Thank you!

          2. Hey Ashley! I took some time to work out a 1700-ish calorie BB food mix, and here’s what I’ve come up with:

            4 Starches
            2 Legumes or Protein Liquids
            4 Vegetable or Balances Liquids
            3 Fruits or Carb Liquids
            8 Proteins
            3 Fats
            1 Base Shake
            1 Fuel Shot

            If you *don’t* use a protein shake post-workout, (but you should think about it, especially if you’re trying to build muscle fiber), then follow the 2,000 calorie plan in the Book of Beast, but omit the Base Shake and Fuel Shot:

            5 Starches
            2 Legumes or Protein Liquids
            4 Vegetable or Balances Liquids
            5 Fruits or Carb Liquids
            9 Proteins
            4 Fats

            If you want to burn fat stores while building muscle, there are two things you can try:

            1. Introduce another 30-45 minutes of steady-state cardio into your day, such as treadmill, elliptical, or stationary biking, or anything else that doesn’t super tax your body, like a modified T25 or similar Beachbody, Jillian Michaels or Fitness Blender YouTube workout.
            2. Instead of cardio, try this: bump down your weights a little to the point where you can do 25 reps instead of 15, 18 reps instead of 12, and 12 instead of 8. This is a lot more taxing on your muscles but it’s a trick that some lifters use to shed fat while still building muscle.

            I choose the cardio option – I pull up a TED talk or an episode of Futurama on my iPad and watch it while I do my steady state cardio. I haven’t tried #2 but I thought I’d throw it out there as an option.

            Good luck! Let me know how you make out!

          3. Thank you so much for figuring out my portions for me 🙂

            I’m hoping to get a treadmill in 2-3 months, but for now I’ve found a Jillian Michaels thing on YouTube for 30 mins, but I was wondering for my cardio should I just do the Beast Cardio?

            I just did it yesterday as part of the workout schedule and made my heart race which was great and sometimes difficult which is also gpod. Or should I not because then it would be easy for when it comes back around on the schedule because I’d be doing it every time post workout. Let me know what your opinion is and thank you!

          4. Hey Ashley! If you can hack Beast Cardio more than once a week, go for it. But if you start feeling tired or sore try reeling back a bit with a less aggressive cardio. I need to swap my cardio around quite frequently so I don’t get tired of it; I go between treadmill, elliptical and recumbent biking along with Beast Cardio to keep things fresh. Good luck!

  23. Well, I think I’m doing everything wrong here. I love working out with weights but I trully need to shed tons of fat. I have all the supplements including the Suma. Currently I’m doing the LEAN program, starting my second week of Bulk. I have noticed harder and bigger biceps and defined back. However, I can tell I’m not loosing fat. My stomach has definition but still big and forget about my legs. I’m a 47 year old female and I started BodyBeast at 193lbs. I don’t cook so my actual problem is diet. Where can I get simple samples of daily breakfast, lunch and dinner? Can’t find my book.

    1. Brenda – you’re doing NOTHING wrong – sometimes progress comes slowly. If this is your first time through the program (and you’ve only completed four weeks so far if you’re in the second week of Bulk) then you’re still in the process of building strength and endurance. The Beast phase is where you’ll see a lot of the pounds start to come off as you’re cutting carbs drastically during this phase and burning fat. A lot of people go through three or four rounds of BB before they reach their goal size; I’ve been doing it for about 18 months now and I still struggle to keep my weight where I want it; it goes up and down seasonally.

      It’s true that a lot of weight loss happens in the kitchen; although you state you don’t cook, there are a lot of recipes out there that are tremendously easy to throw together, and some of them don’t even require a stove. I suggest that you try cooking in bulk; instead of cooking every single meal, cook a big batch of the same meal at once and pack it up in the fridge for the rest of the week. I do this with Curried Lentils and Rice, my Mom’s Chili recipe, and Baked Chicken and Rice. Nothing fancy, one-pot meals for the most part, and I package it up in single serving sizes for the rest of the week. If you need some inspiration to get started, browse through the list of quick recpies at Bodybuilding.com; see what you can adapt to your cooking style. A quick Google search for “Body Beast meal ideas” also gives a good list of starting points for meal ideas. What does your current meal repertoire look like?

      1. Hi Chris!
        Since I do my workouts after 7pm, I’m usually not hungry for something elaborate like dinner particularly after having my pre-workout Base Shake and Fuel Shot (one scoop). Since I go to bed quite late (11:30pmto 12:30am), I might get a little hungry. I usually have almonds with raisins or whole grain toast with peanut butter. I need help with this late night snack. Perhaps I should substitute with a casein shake.
        For breakfast I either have 1/3 cup (pre cooked) oats with 1cup unsweetened almond milk. Sometimes I make Ducan diet’s oatbran galette with strawberries. If I’m in a hurry, I might just end up having 1cup cheerios and 1/2 cup almond milk.

        Mid morning some almonds and raisins.
        Lunch two chicken breasts and salad with french dressing. Late afternoon some almonds or if I have apples then one grannysmith with peanut butter.
        While I’m at work that is what my meals would look like except with the ocassional whole grain pasta with ground turkey for lunch (my husband cooks it). It’s the late night snacking and the pre-workout shake’s calorie value that worry me. Also, I drink anywhere from 90oz to 110oz of water a day.
        Weekends…that’s a whole different story. I have my usual breakfast but running errands during the rest of the day make it difficult to stay on schedule and on track. Usually an apple pecan salad from W will do.

        Also, for cardio I have added or actually replaced BB’s cardio with Les Mills Combat (30min). I found myself struggling the first time I added it so I’ve increased LesMills to 2 times a week. Perhaps I should go for 3x.

        So where should I do fine tunning? Should I eliminate the Fuel Shot from the Base Shake? Casein for late night? Please help…I already received my three month supply of supplements. By the way, I mix my Fuel Shot and Base Shake with Tropicana’s drop 50 juice 8oz. (tastes like P90X Results & Recovery). Should I just mix with water? Been using juice since it has carbs….label of supplements suggests grape juice. Creatine I also mix with juice…6oz. Help!!!! I’ve already made a considerable investment and I’m determined to make this work.

        1. Hey Brenda. Having read through your comments, my first question is: How closely are you meeting your macros and your calorie count each day – and are you recording everything, including the late-night snacking? If you’re jonesing for weight loss on this program you’ll need to keep a close eye on your macros and calorie range before thinking about fine-tuning anything.

          If your macros are good (and you’re recording everything), then I would start by eliminating the fruit juice from the shakes and mix with water instead. Mix the creatine, protein and fuel shot together in the same shake with water. I don’t agree with the BB recommendation to include fruit juice as a carb; I instead recommend eliminating fruit juices altogether as they can cause carb highs and crashes which make monitoring your hunger even harder.

          Let me know where you sit with your macros – I think you’re probably close but let’s make sure you’re starting from a good foundation first.

          As for cardio, adding in extra Les Mills is not a bad option. I do 30-45 minutes of steady state cardio six times a week in addition to Body Beast. Cardio is kind of a freebie – it will burn extra calories without stressing your body too much that it can’t recover from the BB workouts.

  24. Not keeping track of macros as I should. Will make adjustments inmediately.
    Now Caloric Numbers are as follows:
    193lbs x 11= 2123+400(woman with BF% over 20%=2523
    I find it high. Should I round it down to 2000 to 2200 and only do 2400 on days I add cardio?

    Also, I am kinda confused with post and preworkout shakes. I was mixing Fuel Shot and Base Shake as pre workout since I do my workouts so close to bedtime. Creatine was left as post workout. Should I mix the three (now with water) and take as pre or post?

    1. Hey Brenda!

      What are you using to calculate your calorie requirement? That looks like a 21-Day Fix or PiYo calculation, not Body Beast.

      I made a guess at a few numbers, but I plugged in 193 lbs, 30% BF into the Body Beast formula and came out with a total of 2591 calories. Rounding that to 2,600, you’d have the following macros:

      7 Starches
      3 Legumes or Protein Liquids
      6 Vegetable or Balanced Liquids
      6 Fruits or Carb Liquids
      12 Proteins
      6 Fats
      1 Base Shake
      1 Fuel Shot

      That may seem like a lot, but about 335 calories of that is *just* the base shake and the fuel shot. If you were to cut back on anything there, I’d suggest knocking the Fruits and Carb Liquids back to 4 (saving you 120 calories) and the Legumes/Protein Liquids back to 2 servings – that’s another 125 calories. But I wouldn’t go beyond that. You need the carbs, the fats, and the proteins to build muscle and reduce body fat stores.

      One of the things I tell people on BB is to ditch the salads. They don’t contribute much of anything in the way of carbs, fats or proteins – they just waste time and space in your stomach. If you hang out with lifters for a while, you’ll see that most of them don’t waste time either preparing or eating salads. They prepare and eat chicken, turkey, lentils, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, root vegetables, fruits, quinoa, whole grain pasta and other foods that are quick to prepare and deliver lots of calories in a small package. If you’re going to do BB and cardio together, then you’re not going to survive on 2000 calories and apple pecan salads, to be honest. You’ll feel tired and sore quite often which will drag you down mentally and make you hate your workout.

      As for the shake ingredients: it doesn’t really matter when you consume your shake ingredients, either before and after. The only one that *might* matter is the fuel shot; it gives you a shot of carbohydrates which theoretically promotes muscle synthesis and reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness after your workout. But since you workout so close to bedtime, you should consume your ONE protein shake when you feel it’s best for YOU. Don’t like going to bed on a full tummy? Then drink it before or during your workout. Need a shot of something tasty and filling after a workout? Have the shake after the workout. If you are drinking your shake WAY before your workout, then I’d say ditch the Fuel Shot from your protein shake and instead consume the Fuel Shot with fruit juice after the workout to give you a quick boost of carbs. You can have creatine and protein any time of day; this builds up creatine and protein availability in your body to help you build muscle.

      Hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions!

    2. Hey Brenda – I just realized you’re using the newest Book of Beast calculations – my bad. It’s interesting that our two calculations came out to almost exactly the same number! 🙂

  25. Hey Chris,
    I am 45 years old, very fit. Have completed P90X (twice), RevAbs, TurboFire, T25, Insanity (partial) and P90X3 (4 times). I usually work out 2 times a day (with a program like this in the morning 6 days a week) then cardio (bike trainer – HIIT style, or inline skating – aggressive 35 mins. at lunch 2 – 4 times a week). And somewhere in there I also try to fit a 30 min. yoga 1 – 2 times a week.
    I just started BB 3 weeks ago and just finished the build phase today. I begin the Bulk phase on Monday – YA. I’ve done the diet calculations and for the Build phase I was at 2096. I just took my measurements and weight/body fat % and nothing has changed. No gain, no loss.
    I eat clean. Very clean. Mostly chicken breast, salmon, trout or tuna, with the odd beef or pork in there (but not often). I eat veggies (lots of the green stuff). Sweet potatoes only, no pasta, rice only and a rice cereal with my breakfast (no oatmeal). I choose to not eat gluten or dairy (I only get a little dairy whey in my protein shake). I eat egg whites only, no yolks. I drink gluten free shakes only.
    According to BB I should round up my cals to 2200, which I have done. Upon a review of my diet, it seems that I am right on target for my portions according to his chart, with the exception of fat. I eat extremely lean and my fat count is only 1/2 of his 10 portions that is recommended. So, more avocado and nuts please 🙂 I will work on that.
    My question is: Should I have seen a weight/fat loss in the build phase?
    Contrary to what is said, I DO want to put on some bulk/mass (lean muscle of course). No, not a ton, not interested in competition, just want to see those muscles pop.
    I love the workouts and love the way I feel during and after (I kinda like the muscle burn/soreness in a weird way – ha). I feel great, but again, am concerned with not having any change in this first segment. Am I doing something wrong?
    I’m 5′ 3″, 130 lbs. 22.8% /bf (using a caliper – so not 100% accurate, but close enough). I also have a MioAloha2 and its an excellent tool for these workouts. I work well within my correct target zones. I’m not usually tired – although somedays yes, but I think that’s lack of sleep. I aim for 8 hours, but usually only get 7 – 7.5. I’m pretty stubborn, so I can blow through my workouts even if I’m a bit tired. I think I recover well as my muscle soreness sticks around for a couple days then I feel better.
    The biggest thing for me is, I am doing the BB program first thing in the morning at 5:15 a.m. So, before I go to bed, I have 1/2 a protein shake (mix of 1/2 scoop Kaizen natural protein & 1 scoop Usana meal replacement). In the morning, I drink 1 protein shake (mix of 3/4 Kaizen & 2 scoops Usana) 1/2 hour before my workout. I am also consuming water and 1 scoop of P90X Results & Recovery during my workout. I have a shot of BCAA’s right before and right after my workout and 1 shot of L-glutamine before my workout and right before bed.
    I am not interested in taking any other supplements – well I’d have to do a research on them first, so maybe, but I’m very careful what goes into this body.
    I know I should be patient with change, I guess I’m just looking for re-assurance that I’m on the right track and consuming the proper nutrition at the right times to get me through my workouts and recovery. I’ve done all these programs, BB included, by myself with no professional or nutritional assistance so any information you can provide would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

    1. OK so correction, the fat portions for me is only 5 portions, and I think I’m ok…I’m at 4, so will add just one more.
      Also, I just re-read your post to Brenda, and I guess, yes, I just have to be more patient. Still any advice you can give is much appreciated. Thanks

    2. Hey Leanne!

      You’re right – just be patient. You have a great command of your nutrition, supplements, and body composition. I’d actually be surprised if your BF% was 22% given your weight and height – I think it is likely less than that. There are very few accurate measurements of BF% that are available to mere mortals like you and I, so take it as an approximation and run with it. BB is structured a little differently than other programs in that you won’t see great changes the first few weeks, especially if you’re sticking to your macros as detailed in BB. The only reason I saw (and continue to see) consistent weightloss on BB, regardless of the phase, is the 30-45 minutes of cardio I add in daily. BB maintains the classic bulk/cut cycle that most amateur bodybuilders follow – expect to see some serious BF loss (and muscle definition) in the third phase when your macros go low-carb.

      I’m pretty confident you’ll see the muscles pop – just give it a bit of time. And don’t be afraid to eat your fat portions – your body needs them! 😀

      1. Chris,
        Thanks for the reply. Again, I guess I just needed some reassurance that I’m on the right track.
        Also, just started the bulk phase…legs today, what the???? Wow, its kinda ridiculous…awesome, but ridiculous. Yes, I loved it!
        And to anyone on here who thinks they can’t do it…wrong, you totally can! Get your mind right, eat right, sleep well, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish! And then you’ll feel awesome…and, well, BE awesome!

  26. What about the Super Suma supplement? You have commented and made suggestions on every other supplement besides that one. What do you recommend to take for that?

    1. Hey Leah!

      Frankly, I don’t recommend you take the Suma supplement at all. Here’s why:

      The compounds in Suma (ecdysteroids) don’t have a ton of reasearch against them. There is some evidence that consumption promotes muscle growth (around 6-7% lean muscle increase in athletes), but I can’t find the referenced “Russian study” to find if that was 6-7% TOTAL muscle increase, or 6-7% increase over the control group, which would be a much smaller difference. One of the effects of suma is to boost testosterone production (which may also account for the muscle growth). I try to be balanced in my approach to everything I put in my body and not cast out something that might have positive benefits, but I’m not convinced that Suma is worth the price. It’s known to have a short shelf-life, to not have much effect when consumed orally, and the few studies I can find involve subcutaneous injections of ecdysteroids, not pills. Save your money (and your hormone levels) and leave Suma out of your supplement routine.

  27. I returned all my supplements from Beachbody, too expensive when there are other affordable options.

    1. Good to hear – supplements can be an expensive, slippery slope. Best to do it as cheaply as possible.

  28. Quick question my bro in law and I were really interested in The Body Beast and working out together but will it be effective if we only have 1 set of equipment (dumbbells, bench ,etc)?

    1. Hey Cedric – yes you can do it this way. My wife and I share a set of weights, and one of us swaps in while the other takes their rest. But you might find you are using different weights for the same exercise anyway. Good luck!

  29. Hey Chris, I’ve been doing the body beast for just about 2 months now. I’m very new to this stuff and my question is, how would I keep on doing the body beast after the 90 days without hitting plateaus? I see some people have been doing this workout for a couple years now. Would starting over be enough change or do I need to do something completely different?

    1. Hey Justin!

      I’ve been doing Body Beast for over 18 months now, and plateaus are a real problem with any workout. Here’s what you do – when you hit a plateau with your workout, mix things up. When I noticed myself plateauing, I added some steady state cardio on the treadmill and recumbent bike to trim the fat. I added some heavy bench presses to my routine to get my chest and tris building again. I started going hard on the pull-ups to failure, which is a killer. Sometimes I add some bodyweight routines, like Chinese push-ups, plyo squats, and hanging leg lifts to change the way I work my muscles. There’s a great list of seven ways to break through a plateau here – it’s a good read. I’ve also started using whole-body movements like a full clean and press to get lots of muscles moving at the same time.

      Remember that plateaus can be mental as well – sometimes we forget that. Don’t fall victim to the mental trap of “I don’t want to fail on my sets”. If you want to lift big, you have to accept that when you boost the weights you WILL and SHOULD fail at your reps with the extra weight. If you up the weight and only hit 13 of your 15 reps, don’t think you need a lower weight. Stick with that same weight until you get those 15 reps — then boost the weight again. Sometimes it also helps if you have a partner who can load up a bar with a weight you can handle, but without telling you what’s on it. That way you don’t get stuck thinking “I can only 5-rep 180lbs on the bench”, when your partner actually put 185lbs on there. It’s a great way to bust through a mental plateau.

      Good luck!

      1. Alright, thanks Chris! That’s a pretty interesting read. That list of ways to break a plateau. I’ll def use them. Also, how do you do your BB routine for that long? Do you just start over with the build phase when your done or just keep doing the bulk phase but changing your workouts? I would like to keep doing BB for quite awhile too.

        1. Hey Justin!

          I just start over with Body Beast when I’m done the Beast (third) phase; I swap in other slightly different lifts to keep things interesting. For instance, I have started doing heavy bench presses with my straight barbell instead of dumbbell presses; this lets me load up the weight to really work the chest and tris. I also use the straight bar for a lot of my standing curls. I’ve started using my incline bench as a poor-man’s preacher bench for isolated curls as well. Basically, I browse through categories of exercises that are similar to what I’d do anyway in BB and swap them around to keep things fresh. Lately I’ve started adding more biceps work (a short biceps workout daily) and a custom abs workout almost daily as I find those two areas lag behind the rest of my body.

          Don’t be afraid to experiment – there are a ton of exercises and workouts that you can incorporate into BB – find some fun moves that challenge you and that you find keep the gains going.

          Good luck!

          1. Thanks a lot Chris! That pretty much answers all my questions. I just wanted to make sure that I’m doing everything the right way before I spend the next few years and have it be a waste of time if I only had to change a few things. I really wish I would have started working out years ago. I wouldn’t call myself a “fat” person, but I have the typical love handles and muffin top that I’m sick of looking at. I am starting to see a big difference in my shoulders and the love handles are slowly going away. At least that’s what people tell me. Lol. Anyways, thanks again for all the help!

          2. Hey Justin! Great to hear your’re progressing – and glad I could help. Remember to get enough nutrition to build the muscles, but you need to eat clean and eat lean to SHOW OFF the muscles you’re built – and the abs are usually the last thing to show through!

  30. Great reviews!
    You motivated me to start Body Beast.
    My only issue is that I practice kickboxing 4 days weekly for 45 minute sessions.
    I can cut those down to 2 days that will maintain my technique and cardio while I follow Body Beast.
    Where during the weekly BB schedule can I do them?
    Keep in mind that those 2 days will be in addition to the Beast cardio.
    I want to make sure I get adequate rest and don’t over train.
    Any input appreciated.

    1. Hey John!

      Here’s what I would suggest: add an extra day to the Body Beast Schedule after your Back workout day. Make this kickboxing Day 1. Do kickboxing day 2 on the same day as Beast Cardio/Beast Abs. Add an extra rest day to the schedule after your Cardio/Abs/kickboxing day to give yourself some extra rest.

      But don’t be limited to my suggestion – there is NOTHING sacred about ANY workout regimen. Tweak the program as you need; I routinely cut out Leg Day as I do a lot of biking and running, and I just can’t do that stuff after Leg Day. I take an extra rest day when needed; and in fact, I took the last two weeks off as I had a really demanding schedule both in and outside of work where my sleep had to be #1 priority. Tomorrow, though, I’ll be back on the Beast wagon, lifting things up and putting them down.

      Once you start integrating the two regimens, you’ll know yourself what needs to be tweaked – and an extra rest day is NOT going to do you any harm. It might take a bit longer to finish the program, but it’s a road trip, not a race. Good luck. Please come back and tell me how you’ve worked the two around each other – I know my readers would love to know!

  31. First off, I do not know how anyone not in reasonably decent condition will not die from this routine! It is a KILLER! Especially the cardio and legs work outs, in that order. Lord, is the cardio workout a form of medieval torture! But it does its job and you feel like you’re high at the end.

    Nevertheless, while the restof the routine is really doing wonderfully, I am STILL having an issue with a nice lil’ bit of pizza dough around the ol’ navel. I cannot get rid of the damned thing. Everything else, upper abs, obliques are responding nicely, but that godforesaken island right smack dab around the belly button just will not disappear. Any suggestions, tips…….that was most prime objective in trying this system out. Building but also LOSING…….building is not the problem…it’s the slimming part. And everything else is slimming well, except THAT space…..and it makes me very sad 🙁

    1. Hey Mike!

      Sorry for the delay – I didn’t get notified on this comment for some reason.

      BEAST LEGS SUCKS BALLS. But in the best way possible. 🙂

      Here’s bodybuilding’s worst-kept secret – the abs are the last to show through. You need to reach a really low-body-fat percentage to get the abs to pop – and to get that little bit of padding to go away.

      What phase are you in right now? You will see most of your fat loss in the final Beast phase where your macros change to 40/30/30, and you are getting close to a state of near-ketosis (where your body continually burns fat in the absence of sufficient carbs). I fight with the same issue – the arms, chest, back, legs look great, but those damn abs!!! I’ve also added a 10-minute ab routine to most of my workout days to help that area along in terms of muscle growth, but I know until I shave off another 10 lbs of fat I won’t see them. Summer is coming soon…hopefully they’ll make an appearance then!

      1. Thanks for the response and the clarification. that makes me fell the tiniest bit better. I am in the final week of phase 2. Adn actually, the godforsaken leg workout is tonight! However, the one that really is just modern torture, far worse than waterboarding is the cardio. There’s just one too many exercises in that that set you over the edge from really worked out to just plain beaten and grinded into teh earth! And dammit if Sagi (whom would expect) and the two models with him hardly take breaks more thana minute! HOW the hell are any of these people not just dropping and passing out???? I am grabbing the windowsill opening the window and gasping and just hoping I don’t have a heart attack!!! And be sure, I’m in very good condition! So, after these two horrendous sessions, I expect to at least not see any blech in my middle. I don’t care about abs showing. I don’t think that will EVER happen, that just doesn’t happen in my father’s side fo the family, and they are all atheletes.

        Anyway……If you say to hold out to the 3rd phase, I will take that on good account. I am going to be honest………….I have no idea what you’re talking about related to 40/30/30 ketosis…….I am awful at reading lots of stuff, being a visual learner. And I am not participating in the diet part of the system, knowing full well that that would most likely only help my problem. But, with all this hard work, I feel I should be able to get at least reasonably good results with just eating a well balanced and mindful diet……OKOK…I do cheat a LITTLE bit on the weekends..but not a lot! Hey, I”m Italian and I LOVE to eat…….but i’m not talking Lasagna…….I only even have a starch with dinner one or two days, dessert is a treat maybe every few weeks, and then it’s something small.

        ahhh those days when I could, as my mother would say, “eat piles of food” while working out and not dealing wtih this goddamned issue. It’s just so gross. It ruins everything else that’s working just great. you just want to take a knife and cut it the hell out!!! And I have thought about just getting it sucked out. BTW – before I did this system I did succumb to the hype of “freezing” fat. Ah……..it doesn’t work……………….and this from someone who works out five days a week. What people who are physical must be thinking………….. IT’s as a good plastic surgeon once told me, vood doo. $1500!!! And it worked somewhat for about three months if that………. DOWN with belly flab!!!

        But if you have any good tips on making this work better, I’d love it.

        THANKS!

        1. Hey Mike! I always get a kick out of reading your responses! 😀

          Successful bodybuilding happens when three things come together in perfect harmony: your workouts, your diet, and your mind. I know you have the right mind to succeed on this program, especially if you’re finishing the cardio workouts :), and I know you’re sticking to the workout schedule. But my friend, you will not believe the difference in your body when you start to pay attention to your diet and get your macros (i.e your carbs, your protein, and your fat) intake to the right levels. Have a read through the food plans that Sagi lays out in the program; giving your body the right type of fuel as well as the right MIX of fuels at the right TIME is critical to (a) building muscles that pop, and (b) SHEDDING the FAT. Your body will burn fat automatically, but you need to get your diet lined up first. I denied this for years as well, but once I started Body Beast and stuck to the plan, I saw changes that years of running, biking, and bodyweight exercise NEVER gave me. Give it a try – I think you might be surprised!

  32. Hey Chris,
    I’ve just started the Beast Phase (Tempo Chest/Tris today) and well, I LOVE it. I can see how TUT will make those muscles pop. To those of you not there yet, be patient and enjoy the “burn”, its wonderful. Question: I re-calculated my stats/BF etc and my calorie intake is 1500 (as actually at 1583, but he tells you to round down to the nearest whole), which falls below his lowest on his chart. So, I’ve made my adjustments as follows: 17 pro; 4 veg; 1 carb; 1 starch; 1 legume; 2 fat. Sound right? I’m struggling to get the 1500 tho. Without the added carbs, I’m coming up about 100-110 cals short. My proteins are: egg whites, chicken, shake and the odd salmon. Thoughts on how to increase cals but stay within my macronutrient portion limits?

    Thanks, I love this site.

    1. Hey Leanne!

      The burn is wonderful, isn’t it? 😀

      That sounds about right for your macro mix; Beast phase is tricky nutrient-wise since it’s lower-carb. Are you adding dextrose or another carb to your port-workout shake? That’s an easy way to get a quick 100 calories in and promote muscle building. You can sneak in an extra 100 calories to your shake by adding a bit of extra protein (1/2 scoop would be another 60 cal) and some fat (1 tsp of liquid coconut oil, 40 cal). That won’t throw your macros off too much.

      If you wanted to bump up the calories in your food, add an additional protein or two and add 1/2 to 1 whole fat. I can’t recall what the calorie equivalents of that is at the moment but I think that should get you close to another 100 calories and still stay close to the ideal macro mix to shed the fat. Let me know how you make out!

      1. Thanks for the quick reply Chris.
        So I re-adjusted a bit and am getting closer to the 1500. I workout @ 5:30 a.m., so upon waking I have a protein shake (130 cals, with 1/2 scoop BCAA’s & 1/3 scoop creatine). For post I have 1 scoop P90X Results with 1/2 scoop BCAA, 1 scoop L-Glutamine & 1 scoop creatine). From there its food for breakfast, lunch & dinner with a morning shake and afternoon shake as snacks. I add egg whites as necessary to get my macros up to count. Before bed (or a treat if you will) a gluten free protein pancake (which is made with 1 cup of the pancake mix and 1 cup of GF vanillla protein powder & 1 cup GF usana meal replacement (similar to shakeology — makes about 20 in a batch – they are fantastic tasting and come out at about 63 cals ea).
        For my fat, I’m doing 1 portion natrual PB (cuz I love that stuff) at lunch and 1 portion avacado with dinner. And to be honest, the odd time I pop 2 – 4 fresh raspberries cause I MISS FRUIT!
        This is a fantastic site and glad I found it and you. Its great to connect with others doing the same program and know you are not alone.
        BTW…I agree with Mike the cardio is stupid, bulk legs is ridiculous and when he gets to the tempo back/bis, well…insane! I feel like I have monkey arms after that, BUT…my tiny little arms seem to be showing a bit of a bicep and its hard as a rock…just gotta shed that little layer of fat off. Keep it up peeps, its great! I’ll be doing this again and again and again…or a variation thereof. Plus, Sagi is too funny – his anecdotes make my morning “)

        1. Hey Leanne!

          The Beast phase doesn’t last forever – you’ll be able to have fruit again soon! 😀
          It sounds like you have things well under control – hang in there with the Beast phase and you’ll see some amazing results!

          1. Hey Chris,
            Just checking in. I am on my last week of the Lean Program Beast Phase. Here’s what I’ve noticed so far. I gotta eat a LOT of protein, but I’m making my diet work, so no issues there. A few more shakes than I would like, but its working. I’ve lost about 7-8 lbs on the scale and about 4% BF so far (which puts me at 5′ 3″, 127 lbs. and 18.8% BF). I notice my muscles aren’t as big as I initially thought they might be, but I’ve increased my weight all along, so they are growing, just slowly. On a positive note, I can do one (maybe two haven’t tried yet) chin up unassisted. Which for some may be “ah pfftt, that’s easy”, but I’m a little person with little arms, so for me this is a huge step forward! I realize results will be and should be slow in order to maintain, so the plan is to repeat the program at least 3 more times.
            I have a couple questions:
            1. I was doing the Lean program since I felt I had some fat to shed off. After completing, in my opinion, I still think I have a bit left, but not much. Should I be doing the Huge Beast next time to build up those muscles more? I don’t see much cardio in the bulk phase of this one, but I workout at lunch too for cardio, so will still be getting an intense cardio 1 – 3 x per week – is this ok?
            2. I am going on vacation in August, so I am 6 weeks from there after I finish this week. I was going to go with 3 weeks build, 1 week bulk and 2 weeks beast. To allow me to lean out again before vacation. What do you think? Good or bad?
            Thanks a bunch Chris, I really appreciate your insight and this site is awesome. Never thought I’d like or need it, but its great to connect with those doing the same as you and getting excellent tips and advice.
            Leanne

          2. Leanne! What’s up, my friend??

            Great progress on Body Beast do far; muscles never grow as fast as you’d like. If your body fat % is down and your weight is up then that means you’re building muscle! Chin-ups are hard for some people – one or two is nothing to sneeze at. Don’t be afraid to do them assisted; place your toes on a stool or other low platform and use it to leverage yourself up when your arms just can’t lift you any more. Cheat reps are still better than no reps – and 10 assisted chinups soon lead to 4-5 unassisted.

            1. I think it’s fine to go for Huge Beast – as long as you can keep the cardio at 3x/week. I did Lean Beast with 30min cardio 6x/week to shed fat. It’s important on Huge to watch your nutrition – don’t let it get away from you and build up fat where you don’t want it.

            2. To lean out before vacation, I’d try three weeks on Build/Bulk (whichever you enjoy more) and three weeks on Beast. Getting that lean look in six weeks is PRIMARILY about nutrition and less about what workouts you do. So the “cut” phase at the end is really what will show off the physique. Challenge yourself – bump up the weights if you can. Six weeks isn’t a long time, but if you push youself (safely) and stay really strict with the nutrition, you will still see some changes. Good luck! 🙂

          3. Hey Chris,
            Yes, I do use the RAGE assist bands to do the workouts and I agree, it is best to use them cause they still work your muscles. I mean that I can now do 1 unassisted where before this program I couldn’t do any unassisted, so that is big progress for me!
            I may stick with the Lean program and go with 2 weeks Build, 1 week Bulk and 3 weeks Beast – just for the holiday prep. Yes, I know the nutrition routine and I’m eating 95-98% clean – everyone around me wonders how I can do that without cheating. I say, well, when you see the results you get, its kinda easy. And for those of you just starting out, let me tell you, once you start eating well and supplementing properly, well your tummy just doesn’t do well with the crappy food anymore. Which is a very good thing for your body and health.
            Thanks again for the tips and I’ll let you know how it goes!

  33. Many thanks for that awesome post, Chris!
    I’m from Moscow and I’m a huge Body Beast fan either! I have been doing this workout for about 8 months and till today I was pretty happy with my results.
    If you don’t mind, I have some questions that worries me about Body Beast:
    1) did you track your calorie burn progress every workout?
    2) how did you organize your daily meal plan (like, most calories in the morning and less – in the evening)?
    3) do you think the Body Beast portion chart shows exact information about daily calorie intake?
    4) how much water should you drink every day?
    Thank you one more time, Chris!
    Take care!
    G.

    1. Hey Gregory! Nice to see some representation from across the ocean! 🙂

      Here’s my answers to your questions:

      1) I tracked it about half of the time – I use a Polar FT4 sensor to track my calorie burn. I find a lot of the time that my burn is less than the 600 calories advertised, but I usually add extra steady state cardio to help with burning extra calories.

      2) I usually structure my eating as follows: fasted cardio in the morning, then a protein/carb/fat mix for breakfast. I then have a protein bar for my first snack, then a protein/carb/fat mix for lunch. By this point I’ve consumed about 75% of my calories for the day. I then have a fruit (carb) snack in the afternoon, a small protein/carb/fat mix for supper, then a protein shake post-workout. I need to bulk up my calories early in the day because otherwise I am STARVING by suppertime. I don’t eat from about 7:30 pm until about 8:30 am the next morning, and I like waking up hungry. It took me a few months to figure out the best mix for me – how do you currently structure your meals?

      3) I don’t think the portion chart is exact when it comes to calories. I track my food intake using MyFitnessPal, and I make sure my calorie target is +/- 5% (approx. 1900-2100 calories per day when I’m trying to shed fat) and that my macros are on target. Other than that, I only use the Body Beast charts as a guideline.

      4) Drink as much water as you need! Somedays I drink 1L/day, other days I drink about 4L/day. I try to drink more in the morning, because too much water later in the day gives me stomach issues.

      Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with the rest of your Body Beast plan!

  34. Hi Chris….was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes…..any negative issues with the diet if i start Body Beast?

    1. Hey Doug – I’d always recommend discussing that with your doctor. The Body Beast diet works in two phases – one to add mass (and fat) to your body through a mix of carbs/protein/fat, and then a second phase to strip away fat with a lower-carb diet. I don’t think this is appropriate for someone battling Type II, but the good news you don’t have to follow the diet plan to take advantage of Body Beast! Follow the diet plan given to you by your doctor or practitioner, then work your way through the Body Beast workouts. You will still build muscle, shed fat, and reap the benefits of anaerobic training which should help with the insulin resistance.

      I wish you luck – but make sure to discuss your diet with a medical expert, and don’t be afraid to cut back a little or take a break if you feel the program is not working for you!

  35. Hi Chris,
    I am 39 years old. I am 4″11 weighing at about 165-170. My weight is pretty evenly distributed around my body. I am about to purchase Body Beast. I would really like some directions on how I should approach this. I use to work out in my teens and early twenties. Children and married life has really set in. I have worked out some over the years just not consistently and my eating habits are pitiful. I still am evenly proportioned I would like to lose some weight but still keep my curvy physique. With me starting this how many days of cardio would you suggest? Would you recommend be starting those supplements you suggested right from the beginning? What size weights would you suggest that I start out with? Also how many calories should I consume?
    Thanks for any help you can offer Sincerely Ronnie

    1. Hey Ronnie! I would suggest you get your hands on a copy of Body Beast; there is a TON of information in there on calorie consumption, cardio scheduling, meal planning (which should help with the pitiful eating habits) and how to properly supplement with the creatine/protein. They also suggest ranges of weights to start with, but if you’re fairly average in your athletic ability, start with a good set of 5-30lb weights, or a quick-change set of weights that go from 2.5 to 20 lbs. Follow the plan and it won’t let you down.

  36. Hiya Chris
    Iam new to the whole weight training, iam doing my second week of chalean extreme…. I do have body beast and plan to do it I just wanted to build my muscles up first as I have nothing, what I wanted to as you is can women take body building supplements that are designed for men, I also don’t understand how u workout the calorie intake and stuff like that boggles my mind
    Many thanks

    1. Hey Debbie. If you keep your supplements simple, then men’s and womens’s supplements are the same. Just as you don’t see steak and eggs for women, or milk and bread just for men. A lot of people get really scientific about the calorie intake, but you don’t have to be obsessed by it. Eat as the ChaLean plan dictates or the Body Beast plan dictates, and then adjust it up or down. Tired and hungry all the time? Bump up the calories a little. Not losing as fast as you want? Bump the calories down a little. Leave it that way for a week, then re-asses the situations. Hope that helps – if not, write back!

      1. Hey Chris! Great article! I’m a little iffy about thw supplements! I’m okay with the protein powders, but not sure about the creatine and the rest. I’m breastfeeding which is why. Any tips or advice on supplements? TIA!

        1. Hey April! Creatine is generally recognized as safe, but both of my children were breastfed and I’ll echo my wife’s sentiments here: if you wouldn’t feed it to your child, don’t eat it yourself. A lot of infant formula contains hydrolyzed whey as an ingredient; it’s pretty safe. The creatine can wait if you’re on the fence about it, and the dextrose is only good for post-recovery. You can easily replace it with orange juice or another sweet drink that you enjoy. Good luck! Best to your baby!

  37. Hi Chris – I have about 48% body fat still after losing 53 lbs I have the body beast program and want to start. But I am so confused with the nutrition side..also, should I even attempt this since I still have SO MUCH body fat?? I get up at 4 am to get to work by 6:45 am to start my shift, then don’t get home until 7-7:30 pm. So my workouts would be done by 8:30 then to bed. My day is exhausting as I am a nurse and on my feet and dog tired when I get home. I truly need some guidance with this program! HELP..I want to be an AFTER not a BEFORE anymore..LOL !

    1. Hey Janice!

      Hopefully you’ve launched with Body Beast already – the fat loss component of this program comes from boosting your metabolic rate. More muscle mass = more calories burned. Don’t be afraid to eat on the plan; its macros are tailored to help you shed fat and build muscle. Good luck! And congrats on the 53 lbs!!!!!!

  38. Hi Chris

    Hopefully you are still active on this page to answer a few questions 🙂 First of all, thanks for the awesome review and it is so refreshing to see it from a non beachbody coach’s perspective. Love the beachbody programs but to date have not completed a single one. I have come to realize i just don’t like cardio but i like weight training (body weight or free weights)and can hopefully see myself continuing with this body beast (in week 2 now). Also all the stuff on nutrition is overwhelming for me to understand or monitor.

    I am a female, 5ft 4 inches tall and weigh 115 pounds and have about 24% body fat. I dont think i need to lose or gain weight but i think i need to reduce my body fat %. My goal is to reduce the belly pooch or skinny fat and since there is no miracle spot reduction techniques, i know i need to incorporate an overall good workout plan and nutrition. I am vegetarian by diet and i eat moderately clean ( no fries, no soda and that kind of stuff but give in to sugary stuff like chocolates once or twice a week). So here are a few things on which i would appreciate your advise

    – Is body beast a good fit for my goal? Do i need to incorporate cardio? Will it help accelerate my results or it makes no difference? The only form of cardio i can see myself doing is body combat or body attack offered by lesmills in group classes but i barely get through them. i can do the usual treadmill/elliptical but i may not push myself beyond 3-4mph.
    -If i have to do cardio, can i do body beast in the morning and cardio in the evening? I usually have no stamina left after a sagi session.
    -Is it ok to do body beast first thing in the morning without food. I go to the gym at about 6:15am and really have no appetite to eat so early in the morning. However, i do tend to get a bit dizzy while lifting weights but i have a protein smoothie soon after my workout.
    -Regarding nutrition, here is what i generally have with no supplements. Do you think this is good enough. Breakfast – Smoothie Fruit/almond milk with vega one nutritional shake/protein powder, Lunch/Dinner – Rice or tortilla with some legumes and vegetables. Snacks -plain corn, peanuts, yogurt, sandwich with fat free cheese/ omelette with yolk or smoothie .
    -in your opinion is it ok to have the yolk of the eggs.
    -Do you think i should add any supplements for fueling my workouts?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    1. Hi May! To answer your questions:

      – Yes, I think Body Beast is a good fit for your goal of tightening up all around. You don’t need to incorporate cardio; if you wanted to ditch the Beast Cardio altogether then go for it. One thing that’s worked for me is 5-10 minutes of light cardio before a Body Beast session. It gets me warmed up and loosened up for the workout. I don’t think you need any more cardio than that.

      – You can do Beast without eating first thing in the morning; I do all the time. BUT If you’re a bit dizzy during the workout you might need a few carbs before or during your workout if you feel you need them. I’m not a fan of juice, but it can be a quick source of carbs before and during workout to avoid dizziness from pushing yourself so hard. Try that and see if it helps.

      – Your nutrition plan seem to be pretty solid. You should record a few sample days’ worth of your eating and plug that into a calculator such as the MyFitnessPal food tracker to see what your macro breakdown is for protein, carbs, and fats to make sure you’re keeping things balanced. If you want, shoot me an email with a few sample menus (including portions) and I’ll calculate it for you. chris@bodymoment.org

      – Yes! Eat the yolk!! It’s a source of good fats and other nutrients. To give my breakfast a protein boost, I mix 1/4 cup egg whites (from a carton) with two whole eggs. It’s really filling, tastes great, and helps me reach my protein goals for the day.

      – Supplements are definitely a matter of choice. I think your choice of the Vega One nutritional shake is an excellent one; unless you feel you’re really in need of another supplement, I’d leave things as they are. Just make sure you’re hitting those macros as best as you can and keep up with the protein shakes.

      Thanks for stopping by, May! I love helping readers with their goals.

      1. Thanks for your reply Chris. A couple of follow up questions
        -Is there any supplements other than proteins that i can mix with water to give me the necessary fuel during my workout?
        -How do i calculate the portions sizes? I just eat enough such that i feel hungry in 2-3 hours. Would definitely appreciate your help in calculating the macros ( not sure what macro breakdown means exactly but i am interested in following nutrition to the best i can to aim for those flat abs in the next 4-5 months)

        1. Hi again May!

          The only other thing I might suggest is to drink some carbohydrats pre-workout; fruit juice, dextrose, or even Gatorade will give you extra carbs to fuel your workout. Pre-workout mixes like C4 or Pre-Jym contain a lot of caffeine, so if you’re caffeine-sensitive like me then there’s no real reason to use them.
          Here’s a really good article on the basics of managing macronutrients – the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in what you eat. You’ll need to track what you eat for a few days to figure out your macros. Something like MyFitnessPal is really useful; all you do is plug in the food you ate, how much of it, and it will sum up your eating for a day and tell you what percentage of your diet is fat, carbs, and protein. Or, just stick that information (what you ate and how much) in an email and I’ll do it for you, if that’s easier!

          1. Thanks for your reply Chris. Appreciate it. Will look into the macronutrient stuff and shoot you an email soon!

  39. Hi cris, So i am very proud to say i have completed the lean program and i feel great! My starting weight was 246 lbs and im down to 215 lbs. I have achieve this weight lost too cause i have added 30 minutes of cardio after each work out expect on cardio dvd days. Also i have been keeping my diet eating as clean as i can! Maybe a cheat food on the weekends. I have only being drinking one scoop of gold standard whey protein after my work outs mixed with a scoop of dextrose. But on the last beast phase of the lean program i have being drinking 2 scoops of protein first thing in the morning and 2 scoop of protein with a tsp of micronized creatine after my work outs. Now im on my first week of the huge phase. I still want to drop at least 20-30 pounds more so im still doing 30 minutes cardio after my work outs. I want my muscle mass to increase so i was wondering should i boost up my creatine intake more instead of one tsp. should i add creatine to my morning shakes or just to my post work out shakes. I want to start showing more muscle mass while im shedding weight. Im a male 5’7 current weight 215 lbs. Gold weight 180-190 but with muscle mass! Thanks for your help

    1. Hey David! Congrats for completing Lean – and a big high-five on the weight loss!

      Should you boost your creatine use? That depends if you’re a vegetarian. Read through this article to get a sense of how much creatine you should be taking; in your case, they suggest 8-10 grams per day for maintenance; that’s 2 teaspoons per day. It doesn’t really matter when you take the creatine (despite what a lot of people tell you online) – you’re working to keep your creatine stores topped-off. Put one tsp of creatine in your morning shake and one tsp in your post-workout shake.

      If you still want to increase your muscle mass even as you slim down, a good guideline is to aim for 1.5 to 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight – so at 215lbs (98kg) and if you’re lifting heavy, you should be looking for about 200g of protein per day. You’re getting about 100g of protein from your shakes (~25g per scoop times 4) so the other 100g should come from your diet.

      Thanks – and good luck!

  40. hey there, nice writeup.

    Question, I’m a bit confused on the whole 4:1 carb to protein that everybody (and beachbody) seem to promote. In your replacement post-workout shake above, are you putting in a 80gr of dextrose to 20gr of protein (the 4:1 ratio)? You mention that beachbody changed the Fuel Shot from two scoops down to one. This makes it closer to a 2:1 carb to protein, right? Why was this changed, when everyone under the sun keeps saying 4:1 ratio?

    Also, have you considered using maladextrose along with the Dextrose? I’ve read that the Fuel Shot is a mix of both carb products. Plain Dextrose by itself is crazy sweet, so maybe the maladextrose helps ween down the sweetness ?..? not sure, just taking a guess.

    thanks,
    King A

    1. Hey! Thanks for this – this is a REALLY good question.

      The 4:1 ratio has been around for a long time; I’m hesitating to call it a myth, but it’s it’s especially popular with runners, cyclists and other endurance athletes who need to replenish glucose levels FAST. But when you’re trying to build lean muscle mass, the story is a bit different.

      Here’s a great primer on how the recovery process works and the role that carbs in post-workout nutrition play. But later studies (detailed in this excellent article here) show that protein uptake is not improved by the presence of carbs.
      So then, why consume carbs post-workout?

      For one, I consume a pretty low-carb diet; I workout in the morning and don’t consume any carbs as part of my breakfast (eggs and egg whites). So since I wake up in a fasted state, eat protein then go lift, I need something to help fuel my metabolic processes faster than fat or protein can – hence the 50g of carbs in my shake. Otherwise I find my blood sugar goes too low and then I’m woozy for a while. Plus Beachbody workouts tend to be quite hard-core, so there’s a need to get some blood glucose replenished so people don’t faint and keel over all the time. Carbs post-workout also may promote the uptake of supplements like creatine and carnitine.

      So you’ll find advice all over the place for 5:1 ratios, to 4:1 ratios, to 2:1 (the one I use), all the way down to zero carbs post workout. I find the 2:1 ratio is enough to keep me level-headed without promoting weight gain.

      As to the maltodextrin, it’s a slightly slower digested carb which theoretically fuels you for longer, so lots of people (including Beachbody) use a 50:50 dextrose / maltodextrin mix. On the whole, I don’t find the maltodextrin is really necessary as I don’t carb crash any more; I’ve used mixes of both and I don’t find any difference. But your mileage may vary – experiment to find what works for you.

      Cheers!

      1. Awesome! thank you for the info and quick reply.

        Also, i read your take on the Suma being somewhat worthless. Some people are promoting the (Nature’s Way Suma) as an alternative which can be found on Amazon for a pretty decent deal. Do you think there’s any benefit to this?

        Lastly, I’m roughly 150lbs and lean. I’m trying to put on Mass with Body Beast. Do you think the 2:1 carb to protein ratio at 50gr:25gr w/10gb of Creatine is adequate for a post workout shake? I’m really upping my meals, but would like to maximize the benefits of the post workout shake.

        thanks again,
        King A

        1. I don’t think the Suma has any place in most workout regimens; the money is better spent on better proteins, food, or pre-workout, in my opinion.

          Shoot for 3:1 or 4:1 carb to protein if you’re trying to put on mass. Have you looked into mass gainer protein sources? A lot of guys looking to gain mass have seen a lot of success with these.

      2. Ahh… one more question (I should have included this in my last post/question)… What do you think about using Gatorade powder in place of the Dextrose? I found some other’s doing this as part of their P90X replacement drink. I tried it with the ON Whey Vanilla powder and it tastes great! I guess my question is,,, Are there any pluses/minuses with using Gatorade powder? Is it an appropriate replacement for dextrose?

        1. Gatorade as a post-recovery is fine. I like the dextrose since it has no real flavor, but the sucrose in the Gatorade will work just fine as a post-workout carb! Good luck!

  41. Hey Chris thanks for the post. I just started my journey with Body Beast. I’m 40 years old 5’10 242 lbs. I completed the insanity program 3 years ago and had great results down to 217. I am no stranger to lifting but haven’t done it seriously in a long time. I am super pumped about the program. I have a couple of questions though. How much water should I be drinking, What should my diet look like on rest days (confused about a post workout snack on rest days), and finally the NOW dextrose from BB.com, am I correct in calculating the amount. I am coming up with 1/3 of cup to reach the 45-50 g. This makes my shakes super sweet. Thanks again for the information

    1. Hey Richard!

      Welcome to Body Beast – it’s one heck of a program. Here are some quick answers to your questions:

      1. Drink as much water as you feel comfortable. Some days, that’s only about 32oz for me (1 liter), other days I can chug down around a gallon of water. Protip: I like a really thin shake post-workout, so I use about 20oz of water with my ON whey post-workout; it’s really easy for me to gulp and I just counted 20oz of water towards my daily totals. Done and done.

      2. Your diet should look basically the same on rest days. Have the same post-workout snack if you like; if you find you don’t need it, don’t have it. I find I like to keep my eating consistent, so if you feel hungry then answer that need with a post-workout snack even on rest days.

      3. The dextrose is hella sweet. Yes, you have the correct calculations – about 1/3 cup (or the same size scoop from your protein powder) is about 50g of dextrose = 50g of carbs. This satisfies the 2:1 ration for carbs to protein in your post-workout shake. Do you need that much? Hmm, maybe not. Sometimes (when I’m cutting) I knock it back to 1/2 scoop and I don’t notice any difference. When I eliminate it entirely I notice I’m more susceptible to DOMS and I feel a bit more drained in the hour to two hours post workout.

      Thanks for stopping by – and don’t be afraid to leave more comments here or hit me up at chris@bodymoment.org with any more questions!

      1. Thanks for the info. One more question if you don’t mind. The beast calculations for my nutrition puts me at 3400 calories. I’m eating straight out of the book, even using some of the recipes. I am struggling to get the required calories in. I usually hit 3000 to 3100. And it’s all I can do to eat that. I’m keeping track of macros on my fitress pal and they are always really close to the 50 25 25. But I’m eating all the time. Like 7 8 times a day. Do you have any tips for me. Thanks

        1. Hey Richard:

          Eating at that calorie range is really tough if you’re not used to it. I have two thoughts on eating at a high calorie range:

          1. You can make your own “gainer shakes” that meet the 2:1:1 macro of the BB first two phases that can help get the calories into your body. 1/2 scoop of whey, 1/2 tbsp flax oil, 1/4 c rolled oats, 1 tbsp dextrose or alternatively table sugar. Enough water to blend, throw that in your vitamix or whatever you got, blend the heck out of it, and chug. 215 calories, roughly 50/25/25. Kinda hacky but gets the calories in there.

          2. If you’re having problems eating all the food – then maybe you can get by on less. Everyone says “Bro! Ya gotta eat to get GAINS!!!!” but there’s a lot of unnecessary concern over protein sparing and catabolic states and other confounding factors. Let’s be honest – most guys start Body Beast to shed weight and build muscle. Unless you’re already ripped as hell at 5’10” and 242, at 3000 calories a day and 2:1:1 ratio, you’re getting enough protein to build muscle. Menno Henselmans has a great article on this. If you’re feeling stuffed and full at 3000, go back to where you feel comfortable.

          Hope that helps – let me know what you think!

  42. Hi Chris,

    I found your review and site, been reading through the comments posted over the last year or so as I prepare to start Body Beast. A little about where I am. In 2013 I changed my diet and exercise, starting we P90X, and I lost about 40-50 pounds. I am currently 39, 6’3″ and usually hovering between 230 and 240 at around 30% BF. I get up at 4AM 4-5 days a week, and if I miss a weekday, I do a make up on the weekend. Currently I am doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid. Resistance M-W-F with P90X and Insanity in between, working on the hour long Intervals, etc.

    My diet is fair. I wake up with a preworkout consisting of BCAA, Axiom (or other), and Waxybolic carbs. While that is going into my system, I make my post workout smoothie for the resistance days. 1 scoop Protein, Glutamine, Chia Seed, 2 cups raw spinach, 1/2 avacado, 1 banana, some plain yogurt, and strawberries. I added it up, its about 900 calories. The rest of the day, I snack on raw nuts, occasionally a protein bar, and I try to have 3 ~500 calorie meals. My total calorie intake for a day is about 3000.

    I want some feedback on my post workout. I know it is a lot of calories, but I do try to balance a lot of protein, carbs and fat into this big meal early in the morning. One of the issue I have, even though it is thick and filling, I am super hungry in about 3 hours. Should I cut things out and spread the calories across the day better, or keep my calories loaded in the morning?

    Looking forward to starting Body Beast in the next few weeks. Just trying to do some due diligence ahead of time to maximize my success.

    1. Hey Mike! Congrats on the weight loss and sticking to your programs!

      Great question on the hunger. There’s a couple of things I’d suggest here:

      1. What kind of protein are you using in the smoothie? Whey, casein, a mixture of both, or a plant-based protein? Whey will be absorbed faster post-workout but casein will likely give you a fuller feeling, longer. You can also do a 1:1 ratio of one scoop each at the expense of another 150 calories or so to get the benefits of whey and casein.

      2. You could make a choice to drop the calories from the banana (I’m guessing about 100 cals) and replace them with straight fat – coconut oil (which tastes really great) or flax oil (which tastes, well, flax-y) or some other fat or oil of your choice. If you’re using waxy maize in your pre-workout you probably don’t need carbs quite so much in your post-workout nutrition. Substituting fat for the carbs potentially will stave off the hunger longer. I’ve recently gone low-carb myself and I’m amazed at how long I can go between meals now on about 90% fat and protein in my diet and less than 10% carbs.

      3. You could also time-shift some of your nutrition around – can you wait a little longer after your workout to have the post-workout shake, like a half-hour or so? That might buy you the time to get to your next meal without feeling hungry. If you can’t wait that long, then I might say boost the calories of your post-workout to a point where you don’t feel hungry – you might find this is only another 100 or 200 calories or so.

      Also – how is your hunger at night? Could you shift some calories back earlier in the day, or do you find you need your meals and snacks at night?

      1. Hi Chris,

        I am currently using Intek Protein Evolution. As stated by their website:

        INTEK PROTEIN EVOLUTION is a delicious gourmet-style blend of cross-flow micro-filtered protein, including: Whey Isolate, Whey Concentrate, Potassium Caseinate, Micellar Casein and Egg Albumin.

        In the past I used one called Nutracore Lean Active 7, which is a Whey Isolate, but my go-to store stopped carrying it. I am open to recommendations for different protein sources (especially since I am down to 10 scoops or less in the container).

        One thing I have tried is to add rolled oats into the mix as well, but if you are saying that fat may help stave off hunger better than carbs, I will re-think that one.

        When it comes to timing, I could push back drinking the shake for 30 minutes. The reason I get up so early is I have 3 kids to get ready for school, so my deadline to complete my workout is between 6 and 6:30. I could wait until after kids are ready to head out the door, instead of before my shower. I was going on the advice from the post workout ads on P90X that tell you to drink your protein within an hour of finishing a workout, but I can push it to the back half of that hour or later.

        Hunger at night usually isn’t an issue. We prepare dinner between 5:30 and 6:30 and are done by 7:15 on most nights. One problem I have is my wife’s sweet tooth. She doesn’t like to have her dessert alone. We are working on that one too. In all, I do try to eat a little heavier during the day and lighter in the evening.

        My main question is, will a schedule like this work with Body Beast? If I could make 1 or 2 small tweaks, what would work best. Making a big change at this point may be a lot more difficult to manage with a family lifestyle.

        -Mike

        1. Hey Mike!

          The Intek sounds like an excellent mix of proteins – I’d stick with it if you enjoy that product. No real need to change. Also, pushing nutrition to earlier in the day is a fairly acceptable approach; the old adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” has a lot of truth to it.

          The “protein uptake window” of an hour is sort of a fuzzy measurement; if you’re maintaining a daily protein intake of about 130-160g per day at your current weight (and if your BF % is correct) then you’re probably preserving enough protein stores to build muscle. I usually wake up at 6:30, eat my egg-based breakfast at 7, get one kid out the door at 7:30, get my wife out the door at 7:45, the other kid lets himself out at about 8:00, I’m working out from about 7:45 or so until 8:30, throw myself together to get to work for 9:00, and don’t have my post-workout until nearly 9:30 by the time I get a moment to drink it. Don’t stress too much on the timing.

          Your schedule will work just fine on Body Beast; although the program comes with a lot of schedules and guidelines, it boils down to some simple guidelines: Keep your macros in-line with the suggested ratios, eat clean (yeah, the sweet tooth used to be a big problem for me too, now we enjoy a square or two of dark chocolate with our tea after supper), follow the schedule, give yourself rest days, and lift heavy.

          By “lift heavy”, I mean if you’re not hitting failure on the last rep or two of a set, then you’re not lifting heavy enough. A lot of people ask me “How can I go up in weight on my lifts?” and I give them a strange look, and say “Uh, by going up in weight on your lifts.” See, a lot of people think they’re lifting too heavy if they get to rep 7 out of 8 and fail. But that’s exactly how the program is supposed to work. I would just write an “F” beside a lift on my sheet if I failed to hit all reps. I kept repeating that lift with the same weight, until I DIDN’T fail – then I upped the weights on the next round so I’d hit failure again.

          A lot of guys complain that there is SO MUCH FOOD to eat on Body Beast that they can’t get it all in. I say if you’re not hungry, don’t eat; if you are hungry, then eat. You will eventually settle into a sweet spot with caloric intake. Some guys start losing body fat right away; for others, it takes time. Body Beast follows a pseudo bulk-cut cycle, but if you want you can jump to the Beast phase for eating which puts your macros at about 40/30/30. That approach works for some, not for others – you really won’t know until you get into a few weeks of Body Beast.

          Don’t overplan your strategy for a new program like Body Beast – give it a month or so, then figure out if anything’s not working, then change ONE THING and give it another month. Sometimes physique and results take years to achieve – but if you keep second-guessing yourself and changing everything at once you won’t ever figure out what works and what doesn’t.

          Feel free to hit me up if you have questions at any point during the program – chris -at- bodymoment.org is the way to get it to me. Thanks for the great questions!

  43. Chris,

    Thanks so much for putting so much time into a really good, non-biased review of the Body Beast program. This is VERY helpful and a wealth of knowledge.

    I recently completed Master’s H&C for 90 days and lost 20 pounds. I’ve got about 20-25 to go if I were to really care about the scale, but similarly to others here in the forum, it’s more about size. I went from a 14 to a 10 and ideally I’d like to get to a 4 or 6. On MH&C, I was on eating plan A which put me in the calorie range of 1,200-1,499 per day. I most certainly had some “treat” meals throughout the program and still got great results.

    Moving onto BB, I started this program on Monday, May 2 and I came in at just over 2,100 calories/day which has me pushed up to the 2,200 caloric range. I bought comparable supplements for the base shake, fuel shot and happen to have the BB creatine because I won it as a prize during one of my H&C group challenges. My concerns are that I see so much conflicting information regarding using meal plans from other programs when doing BB vs. doing the BB program caloric plan and foods. I do not want to gain fat or get bigger. My primary goal is to lose inches and know that weight will shed with inches lost. How clothes fit is way more important than a number on a scale.

    My questions are the following:

    1) Should I indeed be eating 2,200 calories per day and get results? I know this will potentially shift from Build to Bulk to Beast. Should I consider switching to a different program’s meal plan, or am I just psyching myself out here.

    2) Do I really need the Fuel Shot? In my case I subbed out the Fuel shot for CytoCarb2 and use roughly 3.5 scoops of it in my shake. Will this put weight on me, or keep unnecessary inches on me?

    3) In lieu of the Base Shake, I subbed it for True Athlete’s Natural Whey Protein in Vanilla. Two scoops = 20 g. protein so I use a little more than 2 to get the 25 g. needed in base shake. It is sweetened with Stevia and is hormone free. Frankly it reminds me of instant vanilla pudding. LOL.

    4) I am interested in any other thoughts you may have that would help me reach my goal of inches lost primary goal; scale number secondary goal.

    Thanks so much for being such a great and unbiased advocate for others who are doing this program.

    Sincerely,

    Noelle

    1. Hey Noelle! There’s some fantastic questions in there – I’ll do my best to answer them. Congrats on the progress so far with H&C!

      1. The H&C food plan is very much related to the 21DF plan and the PiYo plan and the Cize plan….etc. They’re designed for caloric deficit to promote initial weight loss of 5-10lbs (depending on your starting weight) and a slow but steady weight loss after that. But – the weight loss could be fat and water loss, OR it could also be lean muscle tissue that is lost. It’s hard to tell. But the scale goes down and people are happy.
      So – should you eat the 2100-2200 calories a day and following the Body Beast eating plan? Yes – unless you find your body fat composition is not changing. If this is the case, then try one of two things AFTER you’ve done the program for about a month: (1) drop to a lower calorie bracket, or (2) go right to Beast phase eating mode where your macro mix is 40/30/30 instead of 50/25/25. That puts less emphasis on the carbs in your diet and more emphasis on the fats and proteins, which is designed to burn off fat while preserving muscle. Heck, I am currently on a macro mix of about 10/40/40 (yep, low-carb) and I’m taking the fat off while building some muscle.

      2. Lots of people will tell you “OMG YOU NEED THE CARBS POST WORKOUT ARGHBLARGHLARGH” but if someone isn’t seeing the fat burn they want, I suggest that post-workout carbs be the first thing to go. If you’re light-headed after working out – take them. If you’re really, really sore the next day after working out – take them. If you’re neither of these, and the fat is being stubborn, lay off the carbs in the post-workout shake.

      3. Your shake is a perfect substitute for the Base Shake – all that counts is getting the protein into you post-workout.

      4. If your goal is truly inches lost, the first thing I suggest is to COMPLETELY separate the two concepts of building muscle and stripping fat (you seem to be on this path already. Congratulations). Approach them differently. Muscle retention and/or building is really about stressing the muscles to failure and eating enough protein. Fat loss is driven primarily through diet. Our bodies flip back and forth between carb-burning and fat-burning processes all the time, all day long, but diet can coax the body more to the fat-burning side. You can do this by being in a strict caloric deficit of all macronutrients all the time (a la the 21DF container system and 1200-1400 calories a day) at the risk of losing lean muscle, but fat loss can also happen on a higher-calorie diet that is higher in fats and proteins than in carbs, which will help you maintain muscle tissue.
      So the short answer to inches lost is this: Stress the muscles by lifting and feed them with protein. This should slightly raise your base metabolic rate. Eat to a rough 40/30/30 ratio, staying within your calorie range (40% carbs, lower if you like, maybe 30/35/35 works for you?) so the muscle mass is maintained, carbs are less-available, and your body stays in fat-burning mode longer. If after a month the clothes aren’t fitting looser, shoot for a slightly lower calorie bracket. Go for another month, then tweak. Do it for another month, then tweak. Some people see linear progress, others plateau for a bit, lose a bunch, then plateau again, etc, etc.

      I’ve spoken to people who follow the 21DF container plan and do Body Beast – and they end up wrecked. Tired, fatigued, messed-up sleep. They simply aren’t putting enough in their bodies to fuel the different needs of Body Beast. Cardio and resistance workouts are a much different beast – you can recover from those quickly. High-level muscle stress takes longer to recover from – hence the rest days – and the 21DF containers just don’t give your body enough of what it needs to recover. But then some people use the containers, lift light, and lose a bunch of weight. I like to err on the side of caution, so I eat to fuel and listen to my body.

      Above all, don’t overthink it and don’t overanalyze your progress. Work out because you like it, eat to keep yourself healthy, give your body a month to adjust to any change you make in the program, and just keep at it. And when you have a question? Email me at chris@bodymoment.org and I’ll do my best to help!

      1. Chris…

        This was incredibly fantastic and I greatly appreciate the insight and general movement of “stay the course”. I’m a nerd when it comes to following something but I really like your thoughts on potential tweaks after a full month on the program. Regarding the 2,220 calorie bracket, it’s almost hard for me to get in that much food but I’m trying.

        When I did H&C, I definitely felt more hunger pangs compared to BB, and I completely get it when it comes to the theory of caloric deficit for H&C. I’ve never really done something like BB before so this is a bit new for me. I’m not unaccustomed to lifting heavy nor am I worried about “bulking” and frankly that idea makes me laugh. However, what I am unaccustomed to is lifting heavy and eating and fueling for it. I had always worked out with a trainer who kept me in a caloric deficit with a high protein diet that was low in fat and carbs and I think that wrecked me two fold… It wrecked my body and how I thought about food. Prior to any BB program, I wouldn’t DARE eat rice, sweet potatoes or quinoa. They felt like the devil and I was deprived for sure. It’s nice however to feel myself changing my thinking patterns on food and how I eat.

        The only other thing I didn’t mention above is that I will be adding in additional cardio which is spin 2x/week for 45 mins. It’s more or less the only cardio I’ve got left and going for me because I’m one injury away from a partial knee replacement on my left. My osteoarthritis tolerates spin well and like the calorie burn. Any other cardio I do is done very judiciously because I know that jumping and pounding in that joint is a no-go for me.

        Thanks again and I’ll definitely keep you posted. If I have additional questions, I’ll be sure to ask.

        Have a great weekend!

        N.

  44. Thank you for beimg so generous with your time and advice. You explain this stuff in a way that is easy to comprehend

    1. Mary, thanks for your kind words. Programs like this can look complicated at the outset, but they boil down to a lot of simple concepts when you strip away the pomp and circumstance.

  45. Hey Chris, GREAT article! I’m going to start Body Beast next month and do it in the morning and Tai Cheng in the evenings. THANK YOU soooooooo much for the alternative supplement stack recommendation! I’m definitely going to be using your stack, but I’m also going to add NO3 Chrome along with it. I’ll keep you posted of my results.

    Best Regards,
    Terry

    1. Terry – welcome to the Beast club! Love that you like the stack – don’t be afraid to keep tweaking the stack to your own tastes! Love to see what stack you end up with, and what your impressions are on Body Beast. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  46. Hey Chris! Let me honest and say that I stumbled unto your page here by accident as I was googling a review on the meal plan for Body Beast and what you have written here is much more then what I expected.

    I am a 28 year old male, married and I too have two little mouths to feed so I know the struggle with keeping up with the house responsibilities and supplementation.
    I’m currently 156 pounds and have been working out every day since last year when I weighed 250.
    I started with the P90X program but I was confused on the meal plan so I scrapped it and used another meal guide from a different source darebee.com, after I finished P90X I then went onto INSANITY and graduated from that and then my wife purchased ASYLUM VOL 1 & 2 for Christmas. I havent tried them out yet as I want to focus on building more muscle.

    Anywho…my question is this, seeing as how carbohydrates are very important for this workout what are your opinions in using CARBION from Allmax? I’ve been using it as in intra-workout with my INSANITY workouts and it has delivered great results in terms of stamina and endurance. But would something like this work with Body Beast??

    And if so, should I keep it as an intra work out or use it as part of my post workout regimen?

    1. Hey Antonio! Thanks for stumbling in! 😀

      SUPER BIG high five for the weight loss. That’s incredible! Darebee is an awesome resource, isn’t it?

      There’s nothing wrong with Allmax CARBION; I like the approach they take with the medium-to-slow digesting carb complexes for a sustained energy release. I guess the question is: “Do I want to pay as much for my carb complex as I do my protein?”

      There’s a reason that most stacks include dextrose or maltodextrin as the post-workout recovery carb: it’s hella cheap. It’s also a fast-absorbing carb, so for all those weekend warriors out there who tackle the Body Beast workout and nearly kill themselves in the process, they pound back 50g of dex in their post workout shake and they feel much better. Which makes sense; most people in the Western World are carb-sensitized and ride dozens of ups and downs each day because carbs make them feel good, and running out of stored glycogen makes them feel terrible.

      The thing with the Body Beast workouts is they aren’t that long; to appeal to a mass audience, they fit right in to the 45-60 minute mark. And you’re going to find that they are FAR less strenuous than anything Shaun T put out! So given your Insanity conditioning, I don’t think you need an intra-workout, unless you’re the kind of mofo that is gonna grab the 75 lb dumbbells for the incline press and crank ’em out. If you go REALLY hard in Beast and your muscles are DYING afterwards, use the CARBION as you’ve been doing as an intra, or alternately drop some fast carbs in your post – dex, CARBION, Pixy Stix, or POOJ (plain old orange juice). The CARBION also has the electrolytes in there which is nice to have.

      So I guess it depends how you are going to approach Beast – are you gonna go all out and leave it all on the bench? Then keep on with the CARBION as an intra. Are you gonna be a weekend warrior and casual about your workouts? Go cheap and use the dex in your post.

      Just to go a bit further to answer “Will this work with Body Beast?” – EVERYTHING will work with Body Beast. It depends on your goal. Some people do well on the 50/25/25 macro split to bulk, while sometimes people do well on the 40/30/30 macro split if they want to lose more fat at the expense of some muscle growth. I’ve done Beast eating 3000 calories a day, 1400 calories a day, with dex, without dex, with creatine, without creatine, with preworkout, without preworkout, and somehow, SOMEHOW I’ve still seen progress all this time. At this time I’m working my way through a new pilot workout program we’re soft launching in the fall and I’m doing a 20/40/40 split (low carb, no carbs post)…and building muscle again. (Want to get updates as we build the program? Email me at chris@bodymoment.org and I’ll shoot you some details).

      One caution for you – if you find you’re gaining unwanted fat mass as you work through Beast, think about cutting back on the carbs; I’m not sure how much CARBION you’re taking as an intra but if you are putting on fat faster than you’d like then you might need to adjust your carb ratio if you’re consuming slower-digesting carbs as your intra.

      Hope that helps – let me know if I can help out with anything else!

      1. Thanks for the speedy reply! And yes, it has been a hard road I’ve traveled down so far but I’m dedicated to keep going in regards to my weight loss and body transformation.

        You also asked how I plan to approach Body Beast and my answer to you is that I’m going to approach this workout like I did INSANITY. 100% every day, every workout. Just like I did with P90 and INSANITY. The only thing that will change is that I will definitely will be following this meal plan as close as possible to maximize my gains.

        And as for the carbs in the CARBION its only 50g per scoop. That’s all I use as my intra-workout along with some BCAA’s (should’ve mentioned that earlier), as well my diet is pretty clean. I’ve been using a 40/30/30 split (protein, carbs, fats), on a 1900 calorie deficit. I find that the extra protein keeps me motoring all day thanks to all the cardio conditioning.

        I will definitely be keeping better track of my macros and workouts with Body Beast as my goal is to build more lean mass and then tackle the ASYLUM back to back and by later this year try one of the hybrid workouts. If I need anything else I will definitely stay in touch! And feel free to send me updates from the program you are building as well.

        Thanks so much!

  47. Great review! I am 34 years old, 5’3 and 137lbs, hoping to drop 15-20 pounds. I’ve been doing BB for 2 weeks and LOVE it. My question is, I’d love to incorporate some more cardio in the first two phases. How much cardio would be a safe amount to include, without overstressing my system and botching results? I haven’t lost any weight yet but I feel amazing and I can see that I’m developing muscle tone. I know I need to dial in closer on the nutrition portion as well and that will help as well.

    1. Hey Rita!

      Let me suggest this to you – dial in your nutrition first, then look at adding the cardio. See how your body adapts to being on the Beast diet first – sometimes people find it’s a lot of food, especially if they’ve been used to the 21DF container system. Once you have the diet down pat, see if you feel like adding cardio. There are two schools of thought on cardio while on a lifting program. One side counts cardio as a “freebie”, since it doesn’t stress your muscles and doesn’t interfere with recovery. The other side suggests that excessive cardio can drive up your cortisol levels and impede weight loss.

      What do I think? Hmm. Well, when I was doing Beast, I did about 20 to 30 minutes of steady-state (not HIIT) cardio about 3-4 times a week along with my BB workouts. But in the last year, I haven’t done much cardio, really cranked down on my diet and and I’m seeing the last few pounds disappear. I enjoy cardio for getting my heart rate up and working on my endurance, but I don’t rely on it to drop the pounds.

      There’s also the option of cardio acceleration – you’ll notice that on the videos Sagi struts around the gym between sets, running his mouth with the other pretty boys in the gym. But in that space of time (1 minute to 3 minutes between some lifts, if I recall correctly) you could be doing cardio acceleration – running in place, doing jumping jacks, burpees, kettlebell swings, ANYTHING but sitting on the bench. This effectively gives you around 10-12 minutes of focused cardio in your Beast workout – WITHOUT having to spend additional time outside the workout window.

      Check out this great page from Dr. Jim Stoppani talking about cardio acceleration, and how to interweave it in your workouts. I’m using cardio acceleration in the new series we’re developing behind the scenes here at Body Moment and it’s giving me great results.

      Do you have cardio workouts that you already love? What are they?

  48. Hi Chris,

    I started the program and have been through my first week. So far so good, I am enjoying it even though I don’t have all the “right” equipment. There is soreness, but the right kind, and not too different than I am used to.

    My new question is in regard to pacing within the workout itself. A habit I picked up from working out to Mr Horton was take breaks. I also have PowerBlocks, and those can take some time to adjust. So, when I start to get too winded or my heartrate is up above 150, I have a tendency to hit the pause button, then when my heartrate is back down to the 120 range, I start back up. The end result of this is that a 45 minute workout extends to 1 hour 15 minutes.

    I don’t mind taking the extra time, but what is higher priority, keep up the pace, or per your previous advice, lift heavy?

    With the extra time, I can usually match the guys in the video, if I back off on the weight, I am sure I would be able to match the pace, but I don’t think I would get the same result.

    Thanks for the pointers

    1. Aaaaaand, I just noticed the post above mine. I guess I should add a caveat that I take longer breaks, an additional 30 seconds up to 2 minutes because I am basically out of breath and need to back off. I would like to give the cardioacceleration a try, but the workout is already pretty fast paced, so that would mean dropping the weight down for sure.

      What are your thoughts?

      1. Please tell me that you’re taking some kind of pauses during the cardio routine. I do not know how anyone could get through that in time with the DVD. I take longer breaks than a minute and I’m still ready to collapse at the end.

        1. Oh, man, Beast Cardio is terrible. I had to take breaks and it was really hard to hit all the reps. Honestly I think they threw that in there for all the bros who said “Man, I barely exert myself on this Beast program”. Gotta give the people some way to get their sweat on!

      2. Mike,

        If you’re out of breath, don’t add in the cardio acceleration. You’re getting your HR up to 150 already which is approximately 85% MHR for a 40-year old (no idea of your age, so I picked on LOL) so I don’t see a need to incorporate CA at this point. Save CA for a period when you want to cut your BF% back.

    2. Hey Mike!

      Glad to have you on board with the program. I also appreciate Tony telling us “That’s what the pause button is for!”

      Interesting to see that you’re monitoring your heart rate during the workout. Is that a physician-mandated thing, or is it for your own benefit?

      The question of whether to go heavy and shoot for reps, or go lighter and shoot for time, is a long-standing debate. It really depends on what your goals are (which sounds like a wishy-washy explanation, but let me elaborate).

      To maintain the tempo, (which is great if your goal is fat-shedding at the expense of a little muscle) I might suggest shooting for failure on the last set of an exercise only. Take a standard 15-12-8 drop set as an example. Stay light on the 15 rep set so you can complete it without issue. Bring the weights up to a challenging level for the 12 reps, but easy enough that you still have a bit of gas in the tank at the end. Then, when you hit the 8-rep set, go all out, pick a weight you can probably do for 6, maybe 7, on a really good day 8 reps, to challenge the muscle and break it down. If you find yourself really winded during the 15-rep and 12-rep and you feel this is holding you back, I would back off on those weights and leave the heavy lift for the 8-rep and treat the 15/12 sets as build-up to the main event.

      But, if you don’t mind taking the extra time, and your goal is to build muscle and strength, go for the heavy. Without a doubt, this is the best way to build muscle. Before I invested in a set of good rubber-coated hex dumbbells, I was racing against the clock to swap weights on and off and could never keep up with the short breaks, which was discouraging. But I learned to respect the breaks and take the time, because that let me continue to lift heavy all the way through the workout. Now I blow through lots of lifting routines with only 45-60 seconds of rest between sets, but it took me a while to get here.

      As a nice alternative that fits somewhere in the middle, pick a challenging weight and see if you can hit about 80% of the reps, and continue improving on the tempo until you can match the guys in the video. Take the 15-12-8 drop set again as an example. Can you find a weight combo that gets you to 12-10-8 reps without burning you out? Great! Keep that up until your endurance hits a level where you can match the 15-12-8 tempo, and THEN move the weights up. I used to do this as I moved on with Body Beast – it let me tackle the heavier weights without feeling bound to hit that 15-rep mark (because honestly, your muscles can’t count to 15. There’s nothing magic about 15, or 8, or 30, or any number. Lots of hardcore lifters never count reps, they just pick their weight and lift till they can’t lift no more.)

      Bottom line – are you challenging your muscles to failure? Are you feeding your muscles? Are you resting your muscles? Then let your experience be your teacher, and tweak the program if you need to. I always tell people to get through a month of a program before they tweak, but you’re fairly advanced with your background in P90X and Insanity so tweak the Beast a little if you need. But don’t overdo it – pick one thing to tweak, then try that for a while. If you change too many things, you’ll just end up with a mess of a program that will get you nowhere.

      Good luck – let me know how you make out!

  49. The new abs routine:

    I recently requested a replacement DVD for the BodyBeast cardio/ab routines. The new DVD actually has a brand new abs routine on it that in no way but one is a repeat of the first version. Any comments on this? Was there a reason Sagi decided to change this part of the system? This second version seems to be more focused on toning as opposed to full-out crunching exercises. Although I like this one well enough, learning the movements properly is a bit harder, since Sagi is not demonstrating them himself and is moving rather quickly in his instruction. The one exercise I really thought was effective in the first version was the hand weight to chest and then twist up behind you to point it to the ceiling from a locked, held position. It was a killer but great for obliques.

    1. Mike – Not sure as to why they changed up the abs; I haven’t seen this version yet. Can you share some of the moves with us?

  50. hey chris, I am 15 years old and weigh 162 lbs. I have love handles, man boobs, and a big gut and i want to change. Do you thing body beast would help me shred fat and get lean?

    1. That’s exactly what Body Beast was designed to do, my friend – build muscle and shed fat. Although I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with lifting weights at 15, modify the eating plan to fit your needs as a growing teenager – not the needs of a 30-year-old man. I’m assuming your eating habits aren’t as clean as they should be, so focusing on eating a healthy, balanced diet while working through the Body Beast program is a good idea. Don’t worry too much about calorie counts at this point – eat enough to support your growing frame, and enough to support your lifting efforts. Also, don’t worry about obsessing with macros and such – a relatively balanced diet will work out to about 50% carbs, 25% fat and 25% protein.

      At this age, I want to encourage you to focus on working out because it keeps you active – not because you want to change your body. Love your body, no matter what shape it’s in, and lift to form a healthy foundation for your adult life. You also need to commit to the healthy eating part – that alone has the best result for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight – no matter what that weight is.

      Good luck! Let me know how you get along.

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