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Body Beast-BUILD Review and Results

August 6, 2012 –

There is so much to talk about with Body Beast. It is the first program from Beachbody that is a program 100% targeted at muscle mass. There are 3 phases to the program and I have completed the first phase (called BUILD). This phase is only 3 weeks long, but I am quite surprised at my results so far…more on that later.

“You just haven’t done the right program yet!”

When I met Sagi Kalev at the 2012 Summit in June, I had the opportunity to tell him that I had a real challenge gaining muscle mass. I had done X, X2, Insanity, Asylum, you name it. “I am just a hard gainer”, I concluded.

Sagi’s answer back was simple.

“You are NOT a hard gainer. You just haven’t done the right program yet!”.

He asked that I  commit for 90 days and I will gain at least 10 lbs of muscle mass. And he wanted to see the pictures! Alright Sagi, you have my commitment. :)


As I said, the first phase of the program is called BUILD. As usual, I created my ULTIMATE worksheets so you can download them HERE to see the calendar.

So I made two major modifications from the standard template.

1) Abs is only once per week. I added (2) additional Ab workouts. Maybe it is that P90X is engrained in my head, but I just feel abs should be done 3 times per week.

2) If you look at the calendar, you will quickly notice there is no recovery / yoga day. Again. I think this is my P90X blood coming out in my me, but I am die hard believer in Yoga at least once per week. So while there is a rest day on the Beast calender, I am doing Yoga.

There are optional TEMPO workouts that you can also buy with the program. You will notice in the calender you can change the BUILD workouts for Chest/Tris and Back/Bis to the corresponding TEMPO workouts. And since you do each of those workouts 4 times in the BUILD phase, I alternated BUILD and TEMPO to do each of them twice.

The last thing I added on was a couple of days of an extra bicep / forearm workout based off on 1-on-1, Vol. 1 “Just Arms”.

So here is the calendar I followed for the first 21 days.

Make no mistake, these are hard core weight lifting routines. I will do a separate review on the workouts, but the consensus is “Yeah Baby!” My only real complaint is that the warm-up and cool-downs are somewhat pathetic. So I simply add my own warm-up before the start and extend the cool-down pass the end. Easy enough to fix. :)

Nutrition / Supplements

Beast Supplements and Beast Nutrition go hand in hand, especially in a muscle mass programs. In fact, Sagi says this is just as important (if not more) than the workouts. And this really applies to any program. It is what you do for the 23 hours of the day you aren’t working out that will yield the best results.

You can read all about the 4 Supplements that come with Body Beast HERE. My goal is to follow the program as close to design as possible. However, I have learned a thing or two about my body since first picking up P90X in December 2009.

The first step in any program is figuring out your Caloric Intake. “The Book of Beast” walks you through the calculations and recommended that I add 20% to my CIM. CIM is your Caloric Intake to Maintain Weight. My CIM was 2700 calories. so they recommend a 20% increase to 3250 to BUILD up. Well, I know myself pretty well and my CIM seems to be more around 3300-3500. Given I hve just come off The Ultimate Reset and I was at my lowest weight in some time, I decided to add 20% to what my true CIM is and hence targeted 4000-4200 calories!

Another challenge for me was that I wanted to stay Vegan throughout the program. I am okay with the Whey Protein in the Base Shake and Fuel Shot supplements, but wanted to avoid dairy elsewhere. Unlike P90X2, The Beast has no Vegan option in the meal plan. They recommend a macronutrient ratio breakdown if 25% Protein. 50% Carbohydrates, and 25% Fat. This actually plays in my favor with one exception. Consuming 4,000+ calories on a vegan diet AND nailing these macronutrient ratios is very challenging. Although there is plenty of protein in the plant world, it is challenging to find foods high in protein and low in carbs. So while I consume 200+ grams of  protein a day, my carbs would  way exceed where they need to be. Well, this is were supplements come in.

I have been using SunWarrior Plant-Based Protein since Fall 2011. This is a great source of protein with low carbs. So as I created my Baseline Meal Plan in My Fitness Pal, I was able to use the portions outline in the Book of Beast along with some personal tweaking to get pretty close! So this was what I created for my BUILD plan on Day 1.

As with all nutritional plans, there are meant to be tweaked. Having a starting point is crucial to get off the block, but twaeking along the way is where the rubber meets the road. So I have been tweaking, especially in the last couple of weeks, which would technically be the BULK phase.

Just to be crystal clear on supplements here is what my daily routine consisted of.


1) (2) Suma Root Capsules

2) PWO Cocktail consisting of:

– 12 oz water

– 2 scoops of Energy & Endurance PWO

– 1 TBSP of Maca Powder

– 0.3 Scoops of  Fuel Shot.

Intra Workout

I have never used an intra workout, but have wanted to try one out. Well, what better time to try one than The Beast! The plan above does NOT have an intra workout drink. I started using one in Week2.

– 16 oz Water + 12 ice cubes

– 1 Scoop UPS Labs Unflavored Modern BCAA 

– 1 Scoop P90X Results & Recovery

Post Workout

– 16 oz Water + 12 ice cubes

– 1 Scoop Base Shake

– 1 Scoop Fuel Shot

– 2 Scoops of M.A.X. Creatine

– 1/2 Whole Orange

So here are My Fitness Pal results for the first 3 weeks. I had put int a goal of 4,000 calories. I know alot of people try and  hit their calories and macronutrient ratios on the head. As anal as I am, I do get overly concerned if I have some variation. In my opinion, the QUALITY of food is the most important thing. I listen to my body and tweak accordingly.


My Results (so far)

Since the (3) Beast Phases are not symmetrical, I had the question of whether I take pictures in between phases or on Day 30, 60, 90? Well, I went with in between phases for this program. So my first set of results is for 3 weeks. And it has been a pretty incredible ride. Even with the amount of calories I was consuming, I was not sure how much muscle mass I would put on. Well, I am happy to report, that the results have been great. 8 lbs in 3 weeks! And my body fat has held!

I have already started to slow down on the weight gain in Phase 2 so I dont expect to gain at the same rate oas this first phase. However, it shows that even for a hard gainer like me, this program is working! (Now if it would only help with my tan.)

What’s Next?

I am already two weeks into the next phase, called BULK. This phase is 6 weeks long and the workouts (except for Beast | Abs) are all different form the BUILD Phase. Here is a quick preview of Day 34 after I finished BULK | Chest and an extra bicep / forearm workout based off on 1-on-1, Vol. 1 “Just Arms”.

As you know, Body Beast’s tagline is “Whatever It Takes”. You better believe that is exactly what attitude I am taking. Let’s Beast Up!


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4 Responses to “Body Beast-BUILD Review and Results”

  1. Brian says:

    Mike – awesome update and congrats on the lean muscle gain. I’m real interested in trying this program but have a few questions – in general how much weight do you need in dumbells (Ive got dumbells up 2 65lbs)and are you using an EZ Curl Bar or modifying with dumbells – if you’re using the EZ Curl bar is it making a significant difference over dumbells?

    • Coach Mike Coach Mike says:

      Thanks Brian!

      1) I have BowFlex 1090s that go up to 90 lbs. Honestly, before this program I dont think i ever picked up anything higher than 55lbs. But I with exercises like shoulder shrugs and pull-overs, I have dialed it up to 70 or 75. But 65 should be fine and get you going. If you need more than 65, it is a high class problem in my opinion. :)

      2) There are specific exercises where the primary movement is with an EZ Curl Bar. They do have a guy modifying with dumbbells, but I think it is well worth the investment. I have been pretty happy with the quality of the BB Bar and he does use it alot throughout the program.

      3) From a barbell weight perspective, I used my weights I bought with Les Mills. I have found I use a wide range of weights. I own a set of 25s, 3 sets of 10s, 2 sets of 5s, and 2 sets of 2.5s. Now I had originally bought this much weight so my wife and i could do Les Mills Pump together. Well, I am glad I did. I would suggest at least 2 set of 10s and a set of 5s. I bought a third set of 10s when it became very common for my progressive sets to go from 20->40->60. So just stacking or peeling off a 10 on each side.

      4) Unsolicited, but I just wanted to let you know that the best deal is really the Beast Challenge Pack. That is if you plan on using Beast Supplements.

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