Body Beast Cardio

Sagi Kalev
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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Sorry, that's Annoying ERIC in my first paragraph (I get it right later in the review;))



The only straight cardio workout in the Body Beast series, Beast:Cardio has Sagi and two backgrounders doing high-intensity interval training. The workout clocks in at 30 minutes, including 2 minutes each of warmup and cooldown/stretch. The moves are simple. Some use weights and some are high impact; you could modify the impact if you know good substitutions, but no modifications are shown. You will need a couple of sets of dumbbells, light and medium weights to start.

The format is the usual: Sagi and his two backups, this time Annoying Ed and Nick, in a gym-style setting. Music is background noise only, which gets louder during an exercise and quieter when you're resting and Sagi is demonstrating the next move. There is a countdown timer for the workout and a timer for each move as well. There is also a graphic that lets you know the next move in the workout. There are 12 exercises, and Sagi increases intensity by adding static holds to many of the moves. Most moves are done for 60-90 seconds, with anywhere from 30-60 secondsí rest until you start up again. Sagi does very little of the workout beyond demonstrating; he spends most of the time walking around and yelling at/encouraging Eric and Nick and letting us all know how much time is left for a particular move.

The workout in order:

Warmup: moves include running in place, sumo squats, alternating reverse lunges, hip circle openers; if youíve done a Body Beast legs workout, youíre familiar with the warmup

Squat to overhead press for 20 seconds, hold down in squat for 10 seconds (3 rounds) - uses dumbbells

One minute fast toe taps

Squat to squat jump for 20 seconds, hold down in squat for 10 seconds (3 rounds)

Mountain climbers to renegade rows to plank hold: do 20 seconds each (2 rounds) - uses dumbbells

Sumo squat to sumo hold: do 20 seconds squats, 10 seconds hold (3 rounds) - uses one dumbbell

Weighted burpee with stretch: rest hands on dumbbells during burpees and bring dumbbells up with you when you stand. 30 seconds burpees, then go into plank, lift one leg and extend opposite arms and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat burpees for 30 seconds and do plank stretch with other arm and leg.

Plyo pushups: 20 seconds of pushups pushing upper body off the ground, then hold in lowered pushup position for 10 seconds (3 rounds)

Sumo jump: keeping legs bent and butt down, jump into a wide stance and back in without coming up between reps. One minute.

Squat to upright row and hold: do 20 seconds of squats and an upright row when you stand up between squats; then 10 seconds of holding your weights in an upright row (3 rounds) - weighted exercises

Alternating lunge jump and hold: step forward into a lunge, jump to switch legs and keep jumping/alternating for 20 seconds. Hold in a deep lunge for 10 seconds, then alternate lunge jumps for another 20. Hold the opposite leg forward in a deep lunge for 10 seconds.

Plank up and downs: start in plank with hands under shoulders. Go down to your forearm on one side, then the other, then raise back up to your hand on one side, then the other. Go for 20 seconds, then hold in forearm plank for 10 seconds. (3 rounds total).

Plank twist and sprint: start in plank with hands under shoulders. Do 4 alternating reps bringing knee to same-side elbow, 4 reps twisting and bringing knee to opposite elbow, then stand up and run in place as fast as you can for 20 seconds (3 rounds total)

Cooldown and stretch

I was expecting this workout to be as challenging to my heart and endurance as the Beast weights work is to my muscles, but it is not. Itís a solid intermediate-plus workout and you can push yourself with speed, going deeper (squats, lunges), higher (jumps) and/or heavier (weights) to make it advanced. Because itís not killer hard, I felt energized rather than spent at the end.

What I liked: moves are simple and there is adequate rest time between. Moves are varied; youíre never doing interminable sets of anything. Workout is a short, complete HiiT session.

What I didnít like: there are lots of wrist-intensive moves; I used my High Step topper to elevate the burpees and plyo pushups to make them easier on my wrists. Annoying Eric is back with his yips and yells and terrible form. I think Sagi has given up on correcting him and just lets him squat away with his neck and upper body moving all around.

Instructor Comments:
Sagi YELLS A LOT IN THIS WORKOUT. He is encouraging but very shout-y, much more so than in any other Beast workout. He is in jaw-dropping shape but does very little of the workout himself, beyond demonstrating the move to come.