Body Beast – Build & Bulk Phase Review

9 weeks down, 3 to go!

Not going to lie – I was really intimidated by this program. It’s packed full of testosterone and Sagi – “the Beast” – can be overwhelmingly cheesy at times…but you learn to love him after just a couple workouts. The amount of food required to support a heavy lifting routine is also very different than other Beachbody programs like 21 Day Fix, Hammer & Chisel, and Shift Shop. For people like me who love meal plans like Shift Shop that cut the carbs, the Body Beast meal plan is daunting. For example, the containers I needed to eat during the Build/Bulk phases were:

4 red (protein), 5 green (vegetables), 5 purple (fruit), 1 blue (healthy fat), 1 orange (seeds/dressings), 4 tsp (oils/nut butters), and (drumroll please) – 9 yellows (carbs).

At the start of Body Beast, I weighed in at 171lbs. During these last 8 weeks, I’ve been focusing on perfecting my form, increasing my weights, and – yes – consuming enough calories to facilitate muscule growth. In the weightlifting world, this is often referred to as “bulking,” and it does involve some weight gain. In preparation for the program, we heard a lot about “fluff” – a.k.a. seeing the number on the scale go up instead of down, which is a scary thought when you’re used to kicking your own ass in order to see that number go down.

However, gaining weight does not necessarily mean gaining fat. While a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weight the same, muscle takes up less space than fat. During these first 8 weeks of Body Beast, I have gained 7lbs. I’m now hovering right around 178lbs. However, I’ve lost five inches and my pant size has remained the same, so I’m not concerned with the number on the scale right now.

I will say that during the first two weeks on Body Beast I relied heavily on bread and grains to check off my yellow containers (all nine of them). After completing 2 rounds of Shift Shop, I can tell you that my body likes a limited or grain-free diet. So I decided to experiment to see how limiting grains affects my progress/performance. I reduced the amount of breads/pastas I was consuming, and focused on eating from the ‘top of the food lists.’ That means I ate a lot of potatoes, berries, leafy greens (like spinach), broccoli, and eggs. My weight didn’t drop, but I did feel less bloated and I would say I had more energy.

Time for some honesty. If you’re anything like me, having so many yellow containers in your meal plan will cause 2 things to happen:

  1. You will use the number of yellows to justify way too many treat swaps.
  2. You will get so sick of potatoes that by the end of the bulk phase you won’t even want to look at a potato.

So yes, maybe I wouldn’t have gained 7lbs if I had truly cut out all alcohol/chocolate from my diet…but life is about balance, and Body Beast is a long program (12 weeks!). I don’t know if I would have been able to stick with it if I didn’t allow myself some wiggle room for having a glass of wine or a couple pieces of chocolate every once in a while. That being said, I didn’t skip a single workout and have been consistently increasing my weights – I am so much stronger than I was at the start of this program! Here’s just a quick peek at my weight diary, showing the weights that I’ve been using for the different workouts:

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You can see that I’ve actually gone down on my weights this week – that’s because I’ve been focusing a lot more on form over weight. I want to avoid injury!

Now we have moved on to the “Beast” phase of Body Beast. We’ve been referring to this as the “Lean” phase. Supposedly this is where we will all magically lean out, lose weight, and become chiseled superstars. In order to facilitate this, the meal plan has changed – now I’m eating the following containers every day:

3 green, 3 purple, 2 yellow, 1 blue, 1 orange, 6 red, 2 tsp

You can see that we’ve cut carbs and increased protein. I’m only one day into this phase…but I already feel different. Eating so much protein makes me feel so full! I ate dinner at 8:30 and still wasn’t very hungry!

The pictures below show how my body has changed from the summer (when I was doing Shift Shop) to now, after 8 weeks of Body Beast. I’m looking forward to leaning out and seeing more changes over the next four weeks!

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Your fitmiss in progress –
Jennie

 

 

Meal Plan Monday #1

Another week, another meal plan! This time, I’m sharing my plan with all of you.

As part of my May Challenge Group, I am following the 21 Day Fix food portion guide. If you want to learn more about this program, contact me here or via my coach website. At my current weight (171lb), I am in the 1500-1799 bracket. That corresponds to the following number of containers: 4 green, 4 red, 3 purple, 3 yellow, 1 blue, 1 orange, 4 tsp.

I know some people are super strict on this meal plan. I do allow treat modifications sometimes (you will see that on the days I swap 1 yellow for wine). I will also sometimes swap 1-2 yellows for a “super treat” (my husband likes to get doughnuts on Sundays). Often, I go over the number of allotted green containers because I put veggies in my shakes – I don’t stress about that at all. The hardest part for me is consuming enough protein – if I don’t make the conscious effort to have a protein as part of a snack, I will be short.

meal plan week 1

On Wednesday, I will share some of this week’s recipes.

Let me know in the comments what you are eating this week!

Have a beautiful Monday –
xo – Fitmiss in Progress – Jennie

 

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I will be taking some time to detail the workouts that I completed this week. Right now, I am aiming to complete the ChaLEAN Extreme 30 Day Burn Phase, so my strength training is focused on that program’s workouts. If you would like me to help you figure out what the best workout program would be for you, just let me know! May’s Challenge Group has already begun – but June is right around the corner. If you would like more information on how to join, please let me know either with a comment below or an email to fitmissjennie@gmail.com!  🙂

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Just a few screenshots from my Apple Watch this week!

Saturday
9:30AM – 35:58 min Burn Circuit 1 – I decided to try the first ChaLEAN Extreme workout before my official Challenge Start Date. I didn’t know what to expect – and this workout did not disappoint. Heavy weights + slow, controlled reps = serious burn! I made sure to write down the weights used, and especially admitted to myself when I could have used a heavier weight.
10:10AM- 32:38 min Indoor Cycle – 20 min Tabata Ride with Jessica King (from Monday 5/1/17 @ 2:30PM), plus extra time to get to 15 miles. Damn that woman makes me laugh. She’s so crazy, but in a fun way! 
Sunday
8:45AM – 45:07 min Indoor Cycle – 30 min HIIT Ride with Robin Arzon (from Wednesday 5/3/17 @ 1:30PM). Robin’s smile is infectious. I love her shorter rides. I finished this ride on my own with 15 minutes of speed work to get up to 20 miles. 
Monday
6:00AM – 38:20 min Burn Circuit 1. Monday was officially Day 1 of my second Challenge Group – and my first as a coach! I increased my weights per my “test workout” on Saturday. I need to work on slowing down my reps. 
Tuesday
6:00AM – 47:45 min Indoor Cycle. While Day 2 is a rest day on ChaLEAN Extreme, I love my Peloton classes. This one was a 45 minute Hip-Hop class with Ally Love (from Monday 5/8/17 @ 8:00AM). She is my favorite Peloton instructor, by far. She chooses the best music and her workouts always give me a high calorie burn. 20 miles complete!
Wednesday
6:00AM – 38:31 min Burn Circuit 2 – this one was harder, mentally, than Burn Circuit 1. Again, my primary goal moving forward will be slowing down my reps and avoiding swinging my weights to create momentum – that does not generate the resistance necessary to see Extreme results! 
Thursday
6:00AM – 46:54 min Burn Intervals. When Chalene said she was going to use 5lb weights, I laughed and thought…this is going to be too easy! Well, by the end of the workout I was sweating and wishing the weights were lighter. This is a great cardio-strength hybrid workout, and breaks the usual low rep pattern. 
Friday
6:00AM – 33:46 min Burn Circuit 3. I think this one was my least favorite of the Burn Circuits. I have to be super careful with lunges since I have a bad knee, so programs that are lunge-heavy tend to turn me off. I will say that I did a much better time slowing down and controlling my reps this time, so that’s a success!
6:00PM – 45:00 min Indoor Cycle

Highest calorie burn – Tuesday’s Peloton class with Ally Love (451 calories/103BPM)
Lowest calorie burn – Wednesday’s Burn Circuit 2 and Friday’s Burn Circuit 3 (both were 200 calories/~90BPM)
Favorite workout – Tuesday’s Peloton class with Ally Love 🙂
Least Favorite workout – Burn Circuit 2. I was tired and didn’t feel like workout out. I got through it, but not with perfect form.

Goals for Next Week
1. Take a rest day – a real rest day! I’ve been doing “something” every day, and I need to give my body a day to recover.
2. Work on slowing down my reps and controlling my form, especially with the heavy weight/low rep combination.
3. 3 indoor cycles – average 15 miles each.

Treat Yourself Thursday – Horchata Shake

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Today was just one of those days. You know the kind – a stressful day at work; a tough day at home with the kids; the day you find out you need to spend an unexpected amount on a car repair; the day you eat an entire box of Tastycake cupcakes because you just can’t seem to stop yourself.

Treating yourself after a hard day isn’t the worst thing in the world – though, of course, viewing food as a reward could be problematic and lead to an unhealthy relationship with food in general (though that is a post for another day). So today, after my own stressful day, I found myself with some calories (and 21 Day Fix containers!) to spare for a treat.

I’ve been a fan of horchata – a delicious, spiced agua fresca made with rice, almonds, or other nuts – ever since experiencing a horchata latte at an airport a few years ago. For a while, I purchased these cartons of horchata-flavored rice milk to make the lattes at home – but there is a considerable amount of sugar in this dairy-free milk, and I’ve come to enjoy unsweetened vanilla almond milk over the sweetened versions.

This almond and vanilla flavored treat is sure to cool you down after a rough day! I hope you enjoy this first installment of Treat Yourself Thursday and that you come back tomorrow for Fitness Friday, where I will be reviewing the workouts I completed this week!

Horchata Shake Recipe
Serving Size: 1
21 Day Fix Containers: 1/2 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue
Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
8 fl. ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Optional 8 fl. ounces water – add this if you enjoy a thinner shake
1 serving/1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology or Vegan Vanilla Shakeology
1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, to taste
1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, to taste
2-3 drops liquid Stevia – either sweet cream or caramel flavor
12 almonds or 3 tbsp. slivered/sliced almonds

Directions
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until well combined. Pour into a glass, and enjoy!

Notes
If I were going to adapt this recipe for my breakfast shake, I would make the following changes: increase the amount of almond milk to 16oz and add a frozen banana and 1-2 big handfuls of spinach. This would change the 21 Day Fix containers to 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 Purple, 1 Green.

Recipe adapted from BeachBody on Demand.