Who is the Beastmode program for?
The Beastmode program is for anyone wanting to build muscle and increase strength within a structured and challenging ten weeks that incorporate staple compound movements, variety, and fun!
This program can be made your own in so many ways:
- Hip thrust with a barbell
- Perform pull-ups or cable pull-downs instead of pullovers
- Use bodyweight instead of dumbbells
- Your own cardio instead of HIIT
- Chest press on a bench instead of a mat
Whatever equipment you have access to, you can use it!
If you are new to lifting weights, the Ultimate Beginner program is a structured, 6-week program that provides a calm and inviting atmosphere to guide you through the most common movements performed with weights as resistance. It is also great for someone who has been training for a while and wants to learn more about gaining more out of their training; it is packed with tips, cues, Caroline’s own learning experience, variations, modifications and insights into progression. A great precursor to Beastmode!
Is there a printable Beastmode calendar?
We get it – sometimes it's easier to have a physical copy to stick on your fridge to track your progress. Not to worry, we've got you covered!
We have two versions of the Beastmode program calendar available for download: one in full colour, perfect for digital use, and one in black and white, which is great for printing and saves on ink. Click on the links below to get started and choose the version that suits you best. Happy printing!
How long are the workouts in the Beastmode program?
The Beastmode workouts are 30-40 minutes in duration.
Do the workouts include a warm-up?
There is an appropriate suggested warm-up that will appear before the workout commences. Once complete, the brief will appear, where Caroline will provide a quick introduction and overview of the workout itself.
Of course, many of us have our own preferences for warming up, but you can certainly use these warm-ups as inspiration and spend longer in certain areas to warm up if needed!
Do the workouts include a cool-down?
Yes, a gentle cool down is provided. However, please feel free to relax on your mat for as long as you wish!
Note that Caroline uses the time spent cooling down not necessarily to increase flexibility but more to relax, reflect upon what her body has accomplished, and bring the body closer to that sense of homeostasis.
What equipment do I need?
- A pair of dumbbells (ideally a heavier pair and a lighter pair)
- A mat
- A chair (mainly for hip thrusts, decline push-ups, dips & Bulgarian lunges)
- A yoga block
Note: It is possible to complete this program with no chair or yoga block if preferred. Here are some suggestions for alternatives:
- Hip thrusts / glute bridges on a mat
- Decline push-ups / standard push-ups or pike push-ups
- Dips / tricep push-ups / tricep press
- Bulgarian lunges / regular lunges
Can I use different equipment?
Absolutely! Here are some awesome alternatives if you can gain access to other equipment:
- Tricep push-down instead of a dumbbell tricep exercise
- Pull-ups on pull-up bar instead of a pullover
- Lat pull-down instead of a pullover
- Smith machine squat instead of a dumbbell squat
- Leg press instead of a dumbbell squat
- Landmine / viking press instead of dumbbell shoulder press
- Leg extension instead of a heel-elevated squat
- Barbell chest press instead of dumbbells
- Cable flyes instead of dumbbell flyes
- Cable rope frontal raise instead of dumbbell frontal raises
- Landmine row instead of a dumbbell bent over row
What is the best way to schedule the workouts?
The workouts are based on five workouts per week across ten weeks. The Beastmode calendar can be seen in the app and shows a suggested schedule for the sessions, however, this can be altered to suit your preference, energy levels and life commitments.
The calendar will show the workouts as follows:
- Monday: lower body
- Tuesday: upper body
- Wednesday: lower body
- Thursday: rest / active rest day
- Friday: full body
- Saturday: rest / active rest day
- Sunday: HIIT / cardio
Again, this is simply a suggestion! You can even complete four workouts per week, for example, and train for two days, then rest for two days and so on. You can even fit in a run on a Sunday if you like, as opposed to the HIIT / cardio session if you enjoy running.
What should I do if I miss a day?
Simply carry on where you left off!
There will likely be times when we need to manoeuvre our training days, so feel free to change to suit your schedule and energy levels.
I prefer not to do any jumping. What should I do when the HIIT workout involves jumping?
There is no jumping within the upper body, lower body and full body workouts, as per nearly all of Caroline's workouts.
A few of the HIIT workouts within the Beastmode program involve jumping. You can absolutely modify to perform the exercise without the jumping portion. It is important not to jump if you aren’t comfortable with it, so just amend it to suit you!
You can perform your own cardio-based workout, of course! If low intensity, this might be perfect for those days of training.
Can I access all 50 workouts immediately?
Yes, you can access the entire Beastmode program straight away.
Where can I find out what weights Caroline is using for reference?
Caroline will detail the weights she uses during the introduction, where she talks and gives an overview of the structure and tips for the workout. Also, in the description box below the workout, you will see the weights that Caroline uses in written format.
Remember, this is simply for a guide and context. So, if you usually go slightly heavier or lighter than Caroline, it helps you select the weights you might want at hand!
You may also notice that Caroline doesn't always select the same weight. For example, lunges may vary in weight from 2 x 20kg dumbbells, 2 x 15kg dumbbells or 2 x 10kg dumbbells. This depends on many factors, including what comes before or after the exercise, the duration of sets, rest periods and how she feels on that day.
What should I do if my weight feels too light?
You can pay more attention to moving through as large of a range of movement as comfortable for you and slowing down the eccentric!
You can even pause at the bottom of the movement, such as a squat, to help eliminate any momentum. Or pause at the top of a row before slowly releasing!
Investing in heavier dumbbells can really bring benefits over time. Investment in yourself is an incredible gift.
If you are new to training, many movements will take time to practise, though you may notice that you want heavier dumbbells quite quickly!
Is it OK to exercise at a different pace to Caroline on-screen?
Absolutely perfect… this is your workout. You may have lighter dumbbells than you wish, so you can perform more reps, of course. It is better to perform push-ups, for example, slower but deeper! All at your own pace! The movements are performed at a slow pace, always with control. Please never feel pressured to rush. Stop, take a moment to reset, then carry on anytime you feel you need to.
Throughout every single workout, work at a pace to suit you. The timer is simply a guide, so stop when you feel you really need to, particularly if form is being affected.
And in fact, Caroline will usually have the mentality of performing 'as few reps' during a set to make each rep count; even though time focused, it is anything but fast-paced, rather the opposite.
I cannot carry out the exercise without stopping at points before the timer beeps. What does this mean?
If you push yourself and train hard, not managing to last 40 seconds, for example, can be a positive! These workouts are time-based. Always focus on quality, not quantity! Caroline regularly pauses. Even though she could perform more reps, the next rep might not be the very best it could be and taking those few seconds to reset is worth it.
I am unable to do a movement within the workout. What should I do instead?
There will be times when you prefer to not do a certain exercise and simply perform an alternative. It is so important to adapt it to you. For example, forward stepping lunges can be performed rear stepping if the knees prefer.
If you cannot do push-ups with your knees off the floor now, try doing push-ups with your hands on a chair. Over time aim to place hands on a lower surface such as a box/yoga block, then finally, the floor. However, with push-ups, quality is better than quantity to progress, so even when you do reach the level of push-ups on the floor, if you are doing one or two during the time period, perfect! Simply stop, take a second and see if you can do another one or two; this is better than, say, 20 on the knees!
My knees hurt during lunges and squats. What should I do?
Different issues, including weak glute muscles, restricted ankle mobility, or incorrect form can cause knee pain.
Strengthening the entire hip area, including the glutes, will allow extra support in a squat and lunge position.
For the full range of motion of the squat, mobility of the ankle joint is important. Using bands and body weight increases the flexibility of the calf muscles and leg, as well as post-injury or surgery stiffness.
Incorrect form is often the reason for stress on the knees. Practise bodyweight squats to perfect the technique and focus on control of movement.
For a standard squat, feet slightly wider than hips, toes slightly pointed outwards (approx. 15 degrees). Keep your gaze straight ahead. Feet firmly on the floor, and toes should be able to wiggle!
Brace your core, inhale and push your hips back as if to sit down whilst keeping your chest open and up the entire time. As you are lowering, focus on knees staying in line with feet, not allowing knees to cave in but also not pushing them wider than feet.
Lower slowly, aiming for your hips to be lower than your knees.
Exhale to rise, maintaining alignment of knees with feet and squeeze glutes at the top.
During lunges, keep the chest open, chin up, brace the core, and front knee in line with the front foot. The back knee should also be inline and point to the floor in the bottom position, and both knees should be approximately 90 degrees. You may need to adjust your stance to the distance between your feet.
Practise bodyweight only and use a mirror to check for your alignment.
If you experience tightness of the quads or hip flexors, it may be down to a lack of flexibility, ensure more time is spent warming up and stretching before beginning and reduce the range of motion of the lunge.
We always recommend seeking advice from a physiotherapist.
My lower back is aggravated during Romanian deadlifts or bent-over rows. Should I perform them?
Both of these exercises will help strengthen your back but, if not performed correctly, can cause injury. Correct form is crucial.
Practice bodyweight or holding something very light such as small bottles of water.
During both movements, the back must stay long and flat.
During Romanian deadlifts, only lower to where it is comfortable and where you can maintain a flat back whilst feeling stretch in your hamstrings.
During a bent-over row, prevent any momentum; lift and lower at the same pace.
I feel still and have aches post-workout. Is this normal?
DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is common, particularly when the body is exposed to a new stimulus.
It is common to feel discomfort following a workout, lasting up to 3 days.
Symptoms can range from muscle tenderness to severe rehabilitating pain, all depending on the type of activity, if new or returning from time off, intensity, duration of exercise and amount of eccentric activities (such as lowering the weight or even running).
There are many hypotheses related to why novice and seasoned athletes experience this experience; ‘lactic acid, muscle spasm, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation and enzyme efflux theories. However, integrating two or more theories is likely to explain muscle soreness.¹
When we exercise, we place a stimulus on the body that essentially causes trauma... doesn’t exactly sound the best, I know! But this micro-trauma helps promote adaptation within the body, so we are better equipped to deal with the exercise next time.
Progressively transition into a new exercise/training modality, particularly if new to it or after long periods of inactivity.
Sufficient protein at main meals (approx. 25g or more) and carbohydrates will promote tissue healing and recovery.
Foods high in antioxidants can also combat inflammation and promote recovery.
Incorporating recovery techniques such as massage, compression, or foam rolling can help reduce the soreness and pain associated with DOMS or even just gentle movement!
Depending on the level of discomfort, you may wish to refrain from exercise or training for a few days, but it is a good idea to still move your body, even lower intensity. You can also continue to train to focus on those muscle groups that aren’t as sore.
Keep an eye on your body and the duration of discomfort. It is advised to seek medical attention should it last longer than seven days, your urine changes and is abnormally dark in colour, or you have severe swelling in your arms or legs.
And should you not experience DOMS post-workout, it’s great too! It doesn't mean that it wasn’t an awesome session or you didn’t train hard enough!
Will this 10-week program help to reduce body fat and build muscle?
This program is a full-body resistance training program with lots of different training methods to develop the skill of applying resistance to place a load on the muscles. This, when combined with correct nutrition, sufficient sleep, rest, and movement outside of exercise specific can contribute to the reduction of fat loss if this is your goal.
If you train intensely and focused, consume sufficient protein throughout the day, alongside adequate calories (if in deficit, this should be minimal), perform the repetitions (particularly the compound lifts), lift heavy (of course, this is different for everyone, and most of us are not in a typical gym setting, but you can still make those weights feel heavier with this program and perform each movement the best you can and a full range of motion), give it your all on the burnouts at the end, incorporate cardio / non-exercise activity, get plenty of sleep and taking those active/rest days will all contribute to building strength, seeing changes in your body composition and help you feel simply amazing!
Having realistic expectations with this and any program you embark on is important. Firstly, what you put in is what you get out of it!
If you aim to become stronger but don’t focus on the lowering portion of the movement or want to lose body fat but not move through the day aside from the workout alone, these are examples of how you could be hindering your progress.
Consider a realistic timetable and schedule for your training and any extras such as that daily walk, prepping food or weekly cycle session outdoors.
If wanting to build muscle and increase your body weight or lose body fat, the training is the same! It comes down to the energy balance, which means primarily considering your nutrition.
Also, be realistic with the expectations of yourself… there will be days when you are fired up and have so much energy that that 10kg feels so much lighter, but then there’ll be days when you simply could think of nothing worse than lifting a dumbbell or holding a plank! I would suggest for those days when you are feeling lethargic, go for a walk, do a stretch session, even low-impact cardio and resume the next day! Though we are all different, many of us come around as soon as we begin and get into it!
Will ab-specific workouts help reduce fat around my tummy? Will the leg workout slim my legs?
Simply put, no, you cannot spot reduce; however, exercise will contribute to energy burned. Ab-specific exercises help strengthen the muscles in that and surrounding areas.
I am new to weight training or this intensity of training. The scales are saying I weigh heavier.
Initially, a new training program will put stress on the muscle fibres, causing micro-trauma and some inflammation. This initial response can lead to temporary water retention, but this is temporary.
Ensure to listen to your body during the workouts and give your muscles rest days. Stepping on the scales will not take into consideration muscle mass and growth, hormones, fluid retention, and females’ menstrual cycles. Check out the Article section for more information on this!
I am still the same weight on the scales, but I have definitely lost body fat.
1 kg of fat weighs the same as 1 kg of muscle, but muscle takes up much less space than fat. It is possible to weigh the exact same as someone else or even heavier yet be ‘leaner’ than that person at the same height!
Is there cardio within this program?
For many years, cardio was considered 30 minutes on the cross trainer or a walk; however, weight/resistance training also benefits the heart, which is basically what cardio relates to, being any activity that requires the heart rate to be elevated and sustained.
Squat to press, push-ups, HIIT with dumbbells, circuits and complexes…. will all elevate the heart rate. Resistance training is cardio!
How do I implement progressive overload?
Progressive overload comes in many formats, not just slowly increasing the weight you use (whilst maintaining correct form) but also those training variables that I love, including repetitions, giant sets, slower eccentrics and isometrics and many more!
If you are relatively new to resistance training, you can find you could lift that it heavier. However, I would stress to always be careful. It has taken Caroline years to progress to the weight she uses, and have never injured herself as she focused rather than solely on the weight but also on the importance of not ego lifting. In fact, it could take Caroline up to a year before she increases her weight for certain exercises; however, this is due to the fact she has been resistance training for many years! It isn’t exclusively about going heavier either, as Caroline reiterates the importance of using the muscle(s), squeezing the muscles as opposed to simply ‘getting the weight up’!
If you are new to training, though, increases in strength can be at a faster pace, so the need for investing in new dumbbells may appear!
Simply note down the weights you used for that specific workout on that day within the note box below the workout. Should you revisit that workout or program, you may want to increase the weight or remain the same but perform more reps or even improve on the quality of the reps (my favourite!).
Remember that when it feels particularly challenging, that's ok! We are seeking a challenge to the muscle to gain adaptations. This will promote muscle building, stronger bones and many other benefits to our overall health and longevity.
1.Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L. Delayed onset muscle soreness : treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):145-64. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200333020-00005. PMID: 12617692.