As I have previously mentioned, I will be competing in an NPC sanctioned physique competition on April 11, 2015. While the schedule & workouts that are laid out within the Body Beast program are great, I’ve been doing them for close to 2 years now and feel like I need something new to keep things fresh. I also need to focus on areas of my own physique where I know need improved, specifically my chest, back, and shoulders.
I have approximately 13 weeks left to prep for this contest in April, quite a bit of time to make some of those improvements. What I have learned while going through the Body Beast program several times along with other resources has been a tremendous help and I feel like the combination of that knowledge and this new training schedule, I’ll be able to see some additional progress leading up to the competition.
Bye Bye Beachbody?
Does this mean I am abandoning all of my Beachbody workouts? No, quite the contrary. As you will see with the schedules/workouts below, I am incorporating a lot of the same exercises you would find in the Body Beast program itself and I’ll be utilizing the other Beachbody programs that I own for my Ab and Cardio training. Having the vast library of workouts to choose from here is one thing that I love about the variety of programs that Beachbody offers. Here are just a few of the programs that I plan to incorporate into this schedule.
However, when it comes to a pure body building program, Body Beast is currently the only option, so I chose to create my own schedule pulling from resources online as reference.
The program will span 10 weeks (I just wrapped up week 2) from beginning to end, which will leave me with 4 weeks to really dial in my nutrition and conditioning for the event. The one thing that will be different with this schedule/program is the number of reps and sets for each exercise. With Body Beast several of the sets used similar rep counts in a pyramid structure (15, 12, 8), whereas this program/schedule most of the exercises will utilize the same rep count throughout the specific routine – they will vary from phase to phase, but within each phase they are based on a high-low range; 8-12, 5-7 or even just 3 reps!
Once thing that is quite different here and applicable to me with respect to my weak-point training is that each body part will be trained 8 times during the first phase, twice over a 7 day period. I’ll be alternating with “heavy” and “light” days on those areas over the course of 7 days.
Another big difference here: Rest!
The standard Body Beast schedule only includes 1 day of rest (no lifting) over the course of 7 days and the rest days were always different from week to week, which always annoyed me a little… With this schedule, there are 3 days off from lifting, which I feel like was one of my limiting factors in the past with muscle gain. I wasn’t over-training, but rather not training in line with my goals, which was to add muscle mass to my frame. The additional rest will be a little tough since I am so used to it, but in the end, I think it will be an advantage for my growth.
Phase 1 – Hypertrophy – 4 Weeks
The first phase is mostly about building the muscle – very, very similar to the BUILD phase of Body Beast. The key difference here is you will be hitting 2 warm-up sets and 3 working sets, but never going to failure on any given set. You’ll be making increases in your weight each week, but only if you were able to hit all of the prescribed reps the previous week.
You will also notice that the weight that you are lifting doesn’t change for each working set. You will establish your working weight by finding your 10 rep max. This means 10 reps with good form without the need of a spotter, that’s your 10 rep max. From there, the rest is just simple math.
Phase 2 – Basic Strength – 3 Weeks
In Phase 2 the focus shifts to building strength! While in the first phase you should have been increasing your weight each week to the point where you would have exceeded your 10 rep max from the beginning, in Phase 2 will be continuing the ramp up the weight, with less reps. Using where you left off in Phase 1 with your weight, you’ll be hitting the same routines and ideally the same exercises from Phase 1. There are couple of “choice” exercises in the schedule and you’ll want to continue to utilize those same exercises here in Phase 2 in order to keep things straight with weight.
Phase 2 also introduces a 6th set into the routine, a drop set. The drop set will be important to maintain the increased muscle mass you’ve added in Phase 1. Previously, I didn’t have a “plan” for drop sets, I just kinda used a weight that was a little lower than my working weight, but you will notice that with each and every set, there is a formula as to how much you want to lift. This allows for planned progression and ensure that you are pushing yourself to maximum capabilities. While the drop set amount may seem easy, if you really focus on the concentric/negative motion of the exercise, you’ll find that it may not be as easy as you think.
Be sure to check the notes for Phase 2 as the recommended rep count will vary from exercise to exercise here.
Phase 3 – Power – 3 Weeks
In Phase 3 we are going for all out power! More weight for less reps, while still incorporating the drop set at the end. You should be starting with weight that is quite a bit heavier than your original 10 rep max by now – a pretty awesome feeling!
Again the rep count will change here from exercise to exercise, so be sure to check the notes on the worksheet for specifics.
Routine Pace and Workout Time
One challenge that you will have is maintaining the pace. As stated on the worksheets, you want to keep your rest period in between sets consistently between 50-80 seconds. This is applicable between exercises as well, but not as important. If you maintain that pace, these workouts should take you about 60-75 minutes to complete. These are a little bit longer than the BULK routines from the Body Beast program, but pretty close to what you get from the BUILD routines. Keep in mind, most of the BULK routines of Body Beast are working a single muscle group, whereas here you will be working multiple each and every workout.
If you want to be able to complete the above program and have success, you will have to track your progress. This program is all about seeing results each and every week. In the past, you may have just simply moved up in weight here or there and with no real plan for doing so. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of that and almost guarantee that you will increase muscle mass and certainly get stronger over the course of 10 weeks. In fact, by the end of the 10 weeks, if you have been hitting all of your reps and scheduled increases, you should see your power lifting moves (bench, squat and deadlift) increase by a range of 20-25%!
I have created a set of detailed worksheets for each phase/week of this program and you can download and print them out to help you keep track along the way.
I am really looking forward to giving this 10-week program a try and see how I progress with it. I will continue to post progress photos/updates here and on my other social media channels. So you can follow me in this journey – I really appreciate the support!
This is the first time I have created something on my own with respect to workouts and a schedule, so it may be a colossal failure, though I think it is a pretty solid plan. I will also be creating another post in the future with how I will approach the final 4 weeks leading up to the competition in April and how my nutrition and/or training might change in those final 4 weeks. A lot of that will depend on how these next 8 weeks go. I’ll be monitoring and tracking as best as I can so that I know that I am moving towards my goals.
Need a Coach?
If you need to find someone that will hold you accountable, answer your questions, help you, and PUSH YOU for the entire duration of your workout! Luckily for you, that’s what me and my team are here for. If you don’t have a coach yet and want one, I’d love to be your coach and help you through a fitness program. I am available to help you reach your goals!