Body Beast Build Back And Biceps: Workout Review

There are two different training options with the Body Beast system: Huge Beast and Lean Beast. The main difference is there’s more cardio in the Lean Beast training schedule. I decided to go down the Huge Beast route, as my months of working through the Insanity training system have really leaned me down and I’m ready to slap some more size on my body now.

So this is day 3 of the Body Beast: Build system and I’m into a back and biceps session.

As I’ve mentioned before, I really do enjoy back workouts. I always have. Back in the mid-1990s when I was working out with a soon-to-be NABBA Junior Mr Universe, we were slamming some serious poundage in our ‘big back attack’ sessions.

Body Beast Back and Biceps is a tough workout. At 50 minutes it does take a lot of effort and determination to power through. It’s time for me to dig deep!

For this Body Beast workout session you’re going to need the following equipment:

  • Bench (or stability ball)
  • Chin-Up Bar (or bands with door attachment)
  • Weights (I use my Orbus adjustable dumbbells)
  • Curl bar (optional, I use my adjustable dumbbells instead)

“Are you ready to Beast Up?”

As with all Body Beast workouts, we start with a very quick warm-up, this one is just under 3 minutes of jogging, arm circles, deadlifts, walking into a plank, deadlifts, bent over rows, reverse flys, and some more jogging. It’s one of the more comprehensive warm ups from the Body Beast programme, but I still feel like it’s not enough.

I guess I’m still in Insanity workout mode, where the warm-ups last for more than 10 minutes.

Drop Set: Deadlifts

We dive straight in with 4 sets of deadlift, which really blasts the entire back. We’re doing sets of 15, 12, 8 and then a drop set of 8, with lighter weight straight after the first 8.

This is a solid exercise that I enjoy. You need perfect form to ensure you stay safe and don’t injure that back.

Round 1: 15 reps

Round 2: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 3: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set (quickly): decrease weight: 8 reps

Pull-Over And Pull-Up Superset

We continue down the path of pain with supersets of pull-overs and pull-ups, three sets in total.

For the pull-overs, lay crossways on a bench with a single dumbbell at arm’s length above your head and lower it down behind you without bending your arms excessively.


For the pull-ups I turned to my over-the-door chin up bar. These are wide pull-ups, which I used to have no problem grinding out. Times have changed.

It’s been a long time since my original gym rat days and after just a few reps I need to enlist a little help from my legs to take some of the weight off. The door frame is low enough for me to rest one of my feet on the floor for some extra cheat support. I make it as tough as I possibly can, while still managing to carve out the required 10 reps. Every session I will try to use my legs less and less, until I can manage that full 10 reps unassisted.

Superset 1: pull-overs: 15 reps

Superset 1: pull-ups: 10 reps

Superset 2: pull-overs: increase weight: 12 reps

Superset 2: pull-ups: 10 reps

Superset 3: pull-overs: increase weight: 8 reps

Superset 3 drop set: pull-overs: decrease weight: 8 reps

Superset 3 finale: pull-ups: 10 reps

After this workout block my back is feeling crazy charged with blood. Thankyou Body Beast!


“This is a Beasty back. This is mean. This is machine. That is what I’m talking about!”

Giant Set: Bar Row, One-Arm Row And Reverse Fly

This is the first giant set of the session. Giant sets are a combination of three exercises in quick succession with hardly any rest in between. So, you do a set of 15 reps with light weight of a barbell row, followed immediately with no rest by a set of 15 reps with light weight of one-arm rowing, followed immediately with no rest by a set of 15 reps of reverse fly. Then you get a brief rest before hitting the giant set twice more.

This is a tough set to get through, but just keep digging deep and squeezing out the last of the nasties. This session will really make your back grow into a huge pair of bat wings!

Starting with the bar row, in a neutral stance, bend your knees and pull the bar towards your chest. As I don’t have a bar, I use my dumbbells for this exercise.

Then straight on to the one-arm row, holding the bench for stability and with your legs in a lunge stance for balance. Pull the weight up into your stomach.

For the reverse fly, sit on the edge of the bench leaning forward so your chest is parallel with the ground. With the weights starting behind your knees, lift your arms out to the sides creating the reverse fly.

Make sure you do all these three exercises in quick succession – this is going to make your muscles burn. A lot!

Giant Set 1: bar row: 15 reps

Giant Set 1: one-arm row: 15 reps

Giant Set 1: reverse fly: 15 reps

Giant Set 2: bar row: increase weight: 12 reps

Giant Set 2: one-arm row: increase weight: 12 reps

Giant Set 2: reverse fly: increase weight: 12 reps

Giant Set 3: bar row: increase weight: 8 reps

Giant Set 3: one-arm row: increase weight: 8 reps

Giant Set 3: reverse fly: increase weight: 8 reps

Close Grip Chin-Up

Now we’re moving away from back territory and into the world of biceps building. Let’s get Beasty with the biceps!

Using my over-the-door chin up bar again, but changing the grip to a close grip, it’s time to grind out as many reps as possible in a 30 second bicep destruction session. These really are painful and I needed to rest one of my feet on the floor again for some extra cheat support.

Set 1: 30 seconds: maximum reps

Set 2: 30 seconds: maximum reps

Set 3: 8 seconds: maximum reps

Drop Set: Seated Bicep Curl

Sit on the edge of your bench and curl your dumbbells into your shoulder, rotating the weight as you lift.  When at the top, squeeze the biceps.

Set 1: 15 reps

Set 2: increase weight: 12 reps

Set 3: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set: decrease weight: 8 reps


“Focus. This is the gun show.”

1, 1, 2 Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a solid biceps exercise, really allowing you to feel that blood burning in your arms. The thing is, with the 1, 1, 2 hammer curl, you’re really going to work that bicep ridiculously hard.

Seated on the edge of your bench, curl each weight in a hammer motion. Go for one arm and then the other, followed by both at the same time. That’s what the 1, 1, 2 is all about. And it seems to take forever. And it hurts. A lot.

Set 1: 15 reps

Set 2: increase weight: 12 reps

Set 3: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop Set: Barbell Curl

We’re reaching the end of this Body Beast session now, with the barbell curl the last weightlifting exercise.

I don’t have a barbell, so I use my dumbbells instead. With feet shoulder-width apart, curl the bar to your shoulders, and back down. Make sure you squeeze and get the maximum value out of this drop set.

Set 1: 15 reps

Set 2: increase weight: 12 reps

Set 3: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set: decrease weight: 8 reps

“I’m building a house here. It’s feeling like that. That’s a high-rise.”

Airplane Cobra

For this one, lay on your stomach, raise your chest off the floor and move your arms to the side slowly while keeping them straight and off the ground. This is a great exercise to build strength in your lower back.

Set 1: 30 seconds: maximum reps

Set 2: 30 seconds: maximum reps

Cool Down

Just under 2 minutes of cooldown for this Body Beast workout, all focused on stretching out the lats and biceps. I always think that the cooldown sessions are just way too quick in the Body Beast programme. Even though I’m used to the long cardio cooldown sessions of Insanity training and perhaps a bit biased at the moment, 2 minutes does seem far too little cool down time, even for a weights-based workout. What do you think?

And to end, Sagi throws another of his kickass quotes at us:

“I smell getting huge. Let’s go get some food!!!”

The Verdict

This is not one of my favourite Body Beast workout sessions. It is a total Beast and it certainly hurts, which is great. I love the back session, but I just think there is too much biceps work. It’s a relatively small muscle and it could easily be overworked. The volume of exercises and reps that we’re throwing at it feels a little like vanity. That aside, the workout journey is all about consistent, incremental improvement. So we all just gotta keep going and keep gaining!!

I’m so glad I bought a set of Orbus adjustable dumbbells or I would have been running around grabbing weights all the time, undoing dumbbell collars, spending too much time between sets and having to pause the video. It’s great that I was just able to get stuck in and focus on the workout.

Did You Find This Post Useful?

Have you done this workout? Let me know how you got on, I’d love to hear from you. What was your favourite exercise and was there anything that got the better of you? Do you think there’s too much biceps work in this session? Get in touch and tell me your story.

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