Author: Leo Costa
Intermediate – Advanced
Format: E-Book (Electronic Delivery)
|Skip down to the “Bottom Line”|
The first thing one should know about this bodybuilding program (written by Leo Costa and a Dr. R.L. Horine) is that it is not for beginners. I would even hesitate to recommend it for intermediates.
Very experienced trainers, however, may find some value in it.
The premise of this ebook is that bodybuilders have become so concerned about overtraining that they are actually undertraining. And with their undertraining, they are getting sub-optimal results.
The authors concede that the high intensity, low volume training programs that typify the bulk of the training advice given to hardgainers (such as the base recommendations of this site) do work. However, they contend that such training only works for a limited amount of time.
Just how much time the high intensity, low-volume training programs work for is not something that is addressed. In my experience, they work for a long time. Long enough to take the average trainer with average goals as far as he wants to go.
But it is certainly true that the farther you go, the closer you get to your genetic potential, the more challenging it is to elicit muscle gains.
“Big Beyond Belief” teaches what is termed as “Bulgarian training” methods. The top recommendation is to do 2 workouts per day for 6 days a week (I’m not sure how they justify using the industry standard marketing line “less time in the gym” on the sales page). There is also a one workout per day program and a 4-day a week program for those that can’t dedicate that much gym time.
The basic idea is to train instinctively, to listen to the body and vary intensity and volume to keep yourself from chronic overtraining. In other words, to train right up to the point where your workouts are most effective and then ease off to avoid getting into trouble.
That may be possible for the experienced, hardcore trainer. But it is impractical for the average trainer. Putting this program into the hands of the average trainer is akin to handing a packet of matches to a two-year old. Bad things are going to happen.
As someone who opens up his in-box and routinely finds…
“I’ve been lifting every day for the past 5 weeks and while I made some gains at first, I now seem to be losing muscle and strength. Any ideas?”
…I can tell you that bad things do happen when the inexperienced meet high-volume training.
For the experienced hardcore trainer, however, Leo Costa has produced a nice read. Here I am referencing the guy who lives and breathes muscle growth, who measures his dedicated training experience in years not days, weeks or months, who has already made significant gains with his bodybuilding training.
Another option for those interested in this type of training is Nick Nilsson’s stuff. Nilsson lists Costa as one of his influences and it is apparent in his programs. He does, however, in my opinion, do a much better making the training methods practical for the average trainer (see my reviews of Mad Scientist Muscle and Muscle Explosion).
“Big Beyond Belief” also provides tips and ideas regarding diet. There are some interesting thoughts on recovery and all other aspects of muscle growth. It is written with the experienced bodybuilder in mind. It is well-written and well-presented for this audience. It does not attempt to be a beginner’s guide.
The only advertised bonus at the time of this review is a program supposedly designed for the U.S. Navy Seals. It’s fairly interesting.
3 of 5 Stars: Again, “Big Beyond Belief” isn’t for beginners. But hardcore trainers may get something out of it.
Similar Bodybuilding Programs
That May Be Better Options