Proper fitness training will take a big ‘ol toll on your body, and unless you are prepared, you might be heavin’ and breathin’ a lot. In fact, rushing into a too intense training plan might actually lead to injury – and this is why Amoila Cesar designed the 4 Weeks of Prep.
But is it really going to prepare you? Let’s see.
Table of Contents
About the Creator – Amoila Jamil Cesar
Amoila Cesar had a pretty hard upbringing, raised by a single mom with his seven siblings. As a middle child, Amoila had to work pretty hard for whatever he wanted, and his first passion was actually music. At the mere age of 8, he was already playing both the violin and viola.
His interest in fitness started ‘round when he was 13 years old. He embraced training and the life changes that it brought upon him, and he actually moved in with a friend’s family, as the friend was also quite into fitness.
Amoila turned out to be a standout basketball player in high school, and in college, he actually received his first NASM CPT training certification. He then went on to graduate with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Exercise Science and Radio Television.
Amoila quickly moved to California and started working as a personal trainer. There, he began coaching more higher-level individuals as well.
Soon, he was coaching big names like:
- Two Chainz
- August Alsina
- Jack Osbourne
- Demarcus Cousins
- Elfrid Payton
Amoila now not only coaches clients but also designs online programs (including the relatively decent 645 Program) that focus on the six fundamentals of fitness: strength, hypertrophy, endurance, power, agility, and mobility.
This is actually what “The Work” is based on, which is what “The Prep” prepares you for. But has it worked? And how exactly does a program look that only prepares you for another?
Beachbody’s 4 Weeks of the Prep Overview
Upon opening the program, you do definitely get the sense that the 4 Weeks of Prep serves as a stepping stone for another – but they still want you to track progress. This is a phenomenal choice since when we measure progress, we stay motivated and on track.
- Fitness level: Intermediate
- Duration: 4 Weeks
- Workouts per week: 5 – 6 workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 30 – 40 minutes
- Equipment needed: Minimal equipment
- Goal: Build muscle and lose weight
The workouts are repeated week to week. However, they are notably different in their construction, reps, and set schemes.
Well, I say reps and sets, but as with every other Beachbody program I have come across, these exercises will be time-based. So you will do a movement for a period of time, rest, and then continue with another.
One thing that caught my eye is the promise that this program will help you “gain muscle and torch fat.” This is a very bold claim, as building muscle while losing fat is one of the hardest things to do. It is possible, but the program (and nutrition plan) has to be pretty on point.
Oh, one more thing!
To continue building muscle, you need to keep exposing the muscle to harder and harder workouts so that it adjusts. Simply put – if there is no reason for muscles to adapt (i.e., more load or more volume), they simply won’t.
Now that we know what needs to be in a good workout, let’s see if this one actually has those attributes.
4 Weeks of the Prep Details
You will be doing 5 workouts per week, with one “Range & Repair” option available for Sundays, if you wish. This is a pretty high-volume approach… and this is the Prep program?
The “Normal” Workouts
As mentioned earlier, these workouts won’t be your typical 5 sets of 10 on an incline. And while you will be using dumbbells, bands, and strength slides, you’re going to be doing high-intensity training all day, every day.
A week on the Prep would look like this:
|Thursday||Endurance & Agility|
|Saturday||Full Body Tempo|
|Sunday||Range & Repair|
The workouts will be based around super-setting movements with one another to elicit muscle growth. This could look something like this:
- Burpees for 45 seconds
- Plank for 60 seconds
- Rest for 15 seconds
This is a pretty common method used for at-home workouts or workouts with very little equipment (although it’s not entirely equipment-free like Bodyweight Bootcamp). The drawback of this is that, compared to traditional gym methods, it is hard to progress week to week.
That said, it is advised that you have dumbbells that vary in weight so that you could overload a bit.
The workouts are definitely achievable. In fact, Amoila is doing every workout with you on the video! This means every single exercise is instructed clearly, and you can pause and rewind if you are struggling with any of them.
This is great – but what if you want a bit more… is there another level?
Yes. Yes, there is.
4 Weeks of Explicit…
Okay, so maybe I lied a little. The Explicit is actually just the same workouts… with language that maybe isn’t great for the little ones.
Seems weird, right? Well, there’s maybe something to it.
A study done in 2020 found that using certain swear words like “f#ck” could increase pain tolerance by almost 20% when compared to other words. Now, 20% may not sound like an awful lot, but if you consistently did 20% better than your peers and you both followed the same program, the results could be insane.
The Prep Before and After Results
There are some pretty impressive pictures online from people who have made a lot of progress using The Prep. That said, there is also an abundance of people on Reddit who say that it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.
Basically, they say that unless “The Work” seems like a massively intimidating thing for you to do, there’s no need to even do The Prep. You can – of course – still do it to build some muscle and potentially lose some fat.
But just know that, according to online users, “The 80” seems like a better overall option. In fact, some people even combine the two…
3 Pros of the 4 Weeks of Prep
- The workouts change: Compared to some other “weekly” programs you can find on Beachbody, this one has the added benefit of changing from week to week. Not only will this give the muscle more reason to adapt and grow, but it should keep the workouts interesting and fresh.
- They do it with you: All the Beachbody programs have the benefit of having a coach there who does the entire workout alongside you. Not only is this great for encouragement, but is also good, as they can explain the form of a movement to a T.
- “Some” nutrition guide: They do provide you with a nutrition guide that will teach you the absolute basics of eating healthily. That said, it does seem like a ploy to just sell you a bunch of supplements since it is 75% advertising. Other Beachbody programs have better nutritional guides.
3 “The Prep” Cons
- No progression: While the workouts change from week to week, there is a very little progression from one week to the next – which was one of the major problems with Beachbody’s Transform 20, too. There is no real increase in resistance due to the nature of the resistance used, and the workouts do not increase in volume. Unfortunately, this could lead to stagnation of results the longer you use this training style.
- “Gain muscle and torch fat”: This was a term used in the intro to this program, and I mentioned before that it is hard to do this. This program will not result in both fat loss and muscle gain unless you are new to training or you have taken a significant amount of time off.
- Volume concerns: I realize the workouts are rather short (unlike T-MINUS 30, which required multiple workouts per day) and that the intensity isn’t all that high, but not all people can train four days in a row – and there’s no mention of managing volume. This could potentially put some at risk for overtraining, and a simple 3-paragraph piece on volume and recovery would’ve solved the problem.
Beachbody’s 4 Weeks of the Prep – Final Thoughts
The Prep is like various other Beachbody programs – okay, for the most part. They are not making any outlandish claims about it being sport-specific or changing your life, and we’ll ignore the whole “building muscle while losing fat” situation.
There are definitely some benefits to 4 Weeks of the Prep. Chief amongst them are:
- It’s extremely simple to follow.
- You have a coach to take you through the whole process.
- It can be done with minimal equipment at home.
This would make it a rather good training program for the masses. See, the people on social media have been exposed to such high-intensity training methods that the more they work, the harder the work needs to be for them to keep making progress.
If you are new to training, a plan like this will definitely help you build some muscle mass. That said, my big problem with this plan is that it’s a bit bland. They try to spice it up with big words (and swear words), but that doesn’t make a plan “great.”
A great plan is one that has progression, is fun, and is achievable.
You must want to get better week by week, and the lack of measuring performance in this plan limits that dramatically. Couple that with the lack of a nutrition plan, and the whole program loses a few points.
So the solution is rather simple. As long as you are tracking calories and macros and you have a way to actually measure your progress from week to week, you can see a significant increase in both fat loss and muscle gain.
This program succeeds in many areas but falls short in some crucial ones, unfortunately.
Rating: 3.0 out of 5