Body Beast: Beast Total Body

Sagi Kalev
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Total Body Workouts

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Part of the Body Beast set, this is a total body circuit workout. After a brief warmup, Sagi guides two backgrounders - Nick with the baseball cap, and Pretty Boy Brian - through four circuits. Each circuit comprises two upper body exercises, one lower body exercise and an abs/core exercise. You do 15 reps per exercise, do each circuit twice, take a water break, then move to the next circuit. You will need dumbbells, a mat, a bench and a pullup bar or substitute, like a door attachment.

Sagi's warmup is under two minutes long, as is the case with the entire Beast set (jog in place, arm circles, getting up and down from plank a few times, then more jogging). After that you will start your four-exercise circuits:

Circuit 1 - pullups, pushups, squats, crunches
Circuit 2 - incline bench press, bent-over row, reverse alternating lunge, plank twist-twist (get into plank, then alternate bringing each knee in towards the opposite armpit/upper torso)
Circuit 3 - 1-1-2 military press (left arm, right arm, then together), single arm posterior delt raise, deadlift, Russian twist with weight
Circuit 4 - bicep curl up/hammer curl down, single arm triceps kickback, calf raise, side forearm plank

With such a high number of reps per exercise, most instructors would bill this as an endurance-building workout, but Sagi encourages you to go heavier on your second set of each exercise, which seems to push it more towards strength building. If you started with a good 15-rep low/moderate weights, increasing it for another set of 15 is challenging to do with good form, and both backgrounders have to drop their weights and finish out sets with no weights on more than one occasion. It will take a couple of times through this workout to find the right weights. When I go up to a moderate-heavy weight on my second set, I hit failure by the end.

Sagi gives a water break of about a minute between circuits, and occasionally a 20-second break between the second and third exercises in a circuit, but usually there's just enough time to put down weights and set up for the next exercise before you're moving again. Curiously, although I break a sweat, I do not get my heartrate up high enough to get any real cardio boost from this workout, despite Sagi's promise in his intro that you'll be sweating hard and getting a cardio benefit from Total Body.

There is a countdown timer, a counter for your reps, and a graphic that gives you the name of each exercise. Sagi is an erratic counter; he doesn't miss any reps but his tempo is all over the place. The music is generic background, veering towards metal, but not really noticeable once you're into the workout.

After the last circuit, there is a too-short stretch of under two minutes that hits shoulders, back, calves and hip flexors/quads briefly.

I like the basic exercises in this workout, the pacing and how you hit all the muscles in 35 minutes. I don't like the music much, and the warmup and cooldown are way too short.

Instructor Comments:
Sagi is a little more low-key than in some of the other Beast workouts - he doesn't insult his backgrounders as much, and there is less of "let's get beastie" talk. He demonstrates each exercise with good form, but does less than half of the workout; most of the time he is walking around to check Nick's form and Brian's form and encourage/lightly bully them into lifting heavier.