Wednesday, August 15, 2012
To Beast Or Not To Beast
Body Beast, Beachbody’s new bodybuilding program, can be an effective part of a training program for people with many different goals. This is an excerpt from an article I’m working on for the Beachbody newsletter, which will cover all considerations for those who want to use Body Beast but don’t have an end goal of becoming a bodybuilder. Today’s post is to point out the major differences in Beast vs our other exercise programs so you’ll have a clearer idea of how to work it into your training. I'm posting this now to create some discussion about what you’d like to see covered in the larger article so it becomes go-to reference point for everything Beast.
Make Beast Its Own Training Block
The best way to use Beast is alone, as a phase targeting hypertrophy (muscle growth), in the scope of your larger program. You can also mix it in with workouts from other programs but this will end up diluting both Beast and the other program’s effectiveness. Here’s an explanation of why.
“Power and endurance. Ne’er the twain shall meet.” – Dr. Fred Hatfield, powerlifting champion and fitness trainer
What Dr. Hatfield is talking about is periodization. Physical components should be trained separately for best results when that is possible. There are many good reasons to combine them, mostly time efficiency, which is why almost every Beachbody program does it, but every time you mix a training style with another it detracts from the effect you could get by training one thing at a time. That compromise is acceptable for most of us, most of the time, but if gaining muscle is your priority you’ll be best served by utilizing the specificity Beast offers.
Beast is a mass program. By contrast P90X targets all areas of performance: anaerobic endurance, muscle cell motor unit recruitment, proprioceptive awareness, static strength, functional strength, stability, balance, aerobic efficiency, mobility as well as hypertrophy.
this is not insanity
While some of those other physiological components will likely improve during Beast as a by-product of daily exercise, it’s not the focus of the program. In P90X, as you know, you can gain muscle mass. But all that other training puts a limit on it. Beast’s more targeted schedule eliminates those “distractions” to hypertrophy, making it a better program for muscle building.
Therefore, when you want to gain some muscle size you’re best option is to do a phase or two of Beast by itself, targeting muscle growth, and then use your favorite program to bring the rest of your physiological parameters back up to speed...