Body Beast: Build LegsSagi Kalev
Year Released: 2012
Categories: Lower Body Strength
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A tough lower-body workout clocking it at 40 minutes (5 minutes total of warmup and cooldown/stretch, 35 minutes workout). Sagi leads two backgrounders in a series of standard leg exercises using dumbbells and a weight bench. An EZ bar is optional for one exercise but you could use a regular barbell or dumbbells. You can also use a High Step in place of the weight bench: you'll need it for step-ups, one-legged squats and as a seat for calf work. One backgrounders uses a stability ball in place of the bench for the one-leg squats and calf work.
After a brief warmup, you'll do a series of drop sets (15 reps, 12 reps, 8 reps) for most of the exercises. First comes sumo squats. There is a fourth set of 8 reps in this one so you feel the burn quickly. Following is a super set of maybe the toughest combination in the workout: alternating lunges followed by a step-up to a reverse lunge. Sagi takes very short breaks between sets - less than 30 seconds - so the 15 reps per leg of alternating lunges goes right into the first set of step-ups. You have just enough time to catch your breath and pick up new weights before you do your 12 reps. By the time you're on your 8 reps/highest weights in this super set, your legs will burn and your heart will be racing. Next is a giant set of squats, one-leg Bulgarian squats with the rear leg elevated on the bench/step, and deadlifts with the barbell held between split legs. I found this move very awkward and substituted regular straight-leg deadlifts at a slightly slower tempo than Sagi's. The final giant set combines single-leg calf raises, seated calf raises and an ab exercise. Unlike the rest of the workout, this giant set is timed instead of counting number of reps. Each exercise is done for 30 seconds and the set is repeated once. A short stretch - calf, quads, hip flexors but no hamstrings - completes the workout. I add on a longer warmup and stretch because the Body Beast ones are too short for me.
The set is a basic stripped-down gym look. Music is guitar/metal but just to fill up the silence; the music gives no beat or tempo to follow but provides a little background interest. Sagi demonstrates each exercise before it is performed.
A beginner could do this workout with very light weights, but it's really for intermediate and advanced because of the cardio effect working the big leg muscles with little rest between exercises.
Sagi gets his face a little close to the camera sometimes, but his musclehead persona is kind of endearing, or at least not distracting. He usually does one full set of each exercise, then spends a lot of time with the backgrounders, giving form tips and encouragement when they flag. Sagi's form and form tips are both excellent.