Everything you wanted to know about Beastanetics

Beastanetics: Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the story behind Beastanetics?
In September 2009, Beastanetics creator, Tim Haft, met Rick Stock, a personal trainer employed by the United States Army. Rick introduced Tim to Tabata, an aggressive style of interval training developed in Japan, which features eight, 20-second work sets, each followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Tim began to research Tabata and was sufficiently impressed by the studies he found that he decided to experiment with the concept, eventually conducting extensive tests on a wide range of high-intensity, body-weight exercises. In the spring of 2010 Beastanetics was born and shortly thereafter Tim taught the first Beastanetics class at Google in New York City. Since then Beastanetics classes have been held at Etsy, St. Joseph’s College, the 14th Street Y, Matrix, Astoria Park, Bushwick Inlet Park, The Cobra Club, and McCarren Park.
Who is Tim Haft?
Beastanetics creator, Tim Haft, has been providing fitness coaching to groups and individuals since 1998. Tim is certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise, as a running coach by USA Track & Field, and as a stability ball instructor by Resist-A-Ball. Tim has conducted fitness workshops for coaches, trainers, fitness instructors, athletes, and physical educators in more than 15 states.
What is Tabata?
The Tabata protocol was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata in Japan in the mid-1990s. The protocol was specifically designed to boost aerobic capacity and was initially used exclusively with elite athletes. The original protocol calls for 8, 20-second work sets performed at maximum intensity, with each set followed by 10 seconds of recovery.
How long is a Beastanetics class?
Each class is roughly one hour.
What happens in a typical class?
Beast begins with a thorough warm-up to ensure you’re prepared for the tough work to follow. You’ll typically be performing four sets of six high-intensity exercises, which emphasize power, stamina, strength, speed, and agility. Each set is followed by a brief recovery period. You’ll also complete a series of functional calisthenics designed to challenge the muscular endurance of your upper body, lower body, and core. And finally, the class concludes with a relaxing cooldown.
What results can I expect?
Provided you attend class consistently and work hard, you can expect to improve your stamina, power, strength, speed, and agility. With proper diet, sleep, and rest, you can expect to burn fat, improve muscle tone, and lose weight.
How many calories will I burn?
That’s a good question, but difficult to answer, and perhaps not so relevant. Beastanetics is not designed as a weight loss program, although it will raise your metabolism and increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption EPOC). Keep in mind that the most intense portion of the workout is only 10-12 minutes! To determine precise caloric expenditure you would need to factor in your weight, the intensity at which you’re working, and the duration of the work sets.
What do students have to say about the class?
“After a horrifically long date with peanut butter cup ice cream, cat lady-esque isolation and *awesome*sedentary lethargia, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Beastenatics on a whim, but with enough social media stalking to know everyone’s favorite color and choice sweatrag headgear (bandanas). And the fact was, I knew Tim, and trusted he knew his stuff backwards and forwards (and later I found – sideways (carioca) and upways (star jumps). I was sold, cracking the High Intensity Interval Training secret code was intriguing enough for me, who cares how much I sucked in my gym-bunny outfit – at least I got my butt there. Every. Session. And it worked. Propelling bodies through space has catapulted me to pursue other athletic endeavors that aren’t fantasy-based! I can for-sure glide into my favorite jeans! I’m addicted to endorphins (in the morning!?), which is a feat in and of itself!  And I like the people that I work out with. Like a lot. For once. If there were a language to Beastanetics, it would start with morning chirps, slight growls upon the initial discovery of the exponential insanity of the workout, an “all clear” hoot and holler from our fearless leader Tim – then progressively grueling grunts, gasps for air and then satisfied punctuated purrs when it’s all over. Like that. Because Beastanetics is all about narrowly escaping the saber-toothed tiger and making awesome friends in the treehouse chanting nanana boo boo. It’s what the cool kids are all tweeting about, but what the beasts are actually down and dirty doing. Come be initiated. P.S. Oh yeah I really hated the flutter kick pilates things, but that’s about it.”
—Beth R., 32, Interactive Project Manager

“I started Beastanetics in April 2011 after Joe Katz challenged me to do it. I was afraid since he’s in much better shape than I am — and he finds the workout tough. However, after our mutual friend Judy kept saying how much she was looking forward to it on Facebook, I decided to give it a try. Also, I have great faith in Tim Haft since I knew him from Punk Rope; he is a fantastic instructor. Beastanetics is the hardest class I’ve ever taken because you’re gasping for air the whole time. Some moves are easier than others — for one set, all you may be doing is running, but the upcoming set is burpees — and twenty seconds are not enough to catch your breath. Although Tim makes it clear that everyone goes at his or her own pace, you still want to challenge yourself by not pausing. Thankfully, the class gets easier — but never easy — as it gets harder, when the rest intervals shorten. I directly credit the class for increased aerobic capacity, as I completed two 5Ks and a duathlon without any formal training and without any other fitness class. Although I didn’t lose any weight, I definitely saw an increase of muscle mass (Tim once noticed everyone’s “bulging thighs,” and I took it as a compliment). There’s only two things I don’t like about the class: it makes me late for work, and the cleanliness of McCarren Park’s turf is questionable.”
—Sherry Wasserman, 25, publishing professional

“After sitting on my ass for the past year, I decided to start exercising again. I heard about a program called Beastanetics. It sounded way out of my comfort zone and fitness level, but I signed up before I could talk myself out of it. I’m so glad I did. It’s the most intense exercise program I’ve ever done and during the first week I thought I might die. I came home after each class and immediately curled into a sweaty ball in my bed. By the second week death no longer seemed imminent, but over the seven weeks, it never got “easy.” Tim Haft is an excellent teacher, encouraging and motivating and ass-kicking when he needs to be. He makes corrections in form without making you feel totally uncoordinated. I am seriously dreading the end of class because I know how hard it is to find an exercise program that is challenging, enjoyable, and effective. I highly recommend Beastanetics to anyone, regardless of their fitness/fatness level.”
—Judy McGuire

“The class is great and I have NEVER challenged myself like this in my life. You’ve reshaped my body and attitude and I’m forever grateful.”
—Bengey Asse

“I love how the workout is always challenging and how it can be adapted to anyone’s fitness level or even to old, nagging injuries. This class has improved my mood during the week, and I’ve really enjoyed being around such a fun group of people.”
—Amy Shui

“Sometimes you just want a fast workout that makes you feel as accomplished as spending hours in the gym….well now there’s Beastanetics! Not only does it have an amazingly cool name that will make your friends fear your strength, it provides you a great workout in a short amount of time. It is hard, there’s no doubt about that, but the intervals make it bearable. And Tim is always there to cheer us on! I find that having the intervals also makes me push myself harder. I know I only have to go for 20 seconds at a time, so why not go for 5 extra burpees? Thanks for helping me get in shape (even though for 20 seconds at a time I’m not so happy about it)!”
—Jacqueline Materia

“Beastanetics is awesome. I enjoy it and have seen good results from doing it. Tim Haft, the dude in charge, has designed a really great program. It’s a modified version of the Tabata Training Protocols, which are a form of HIIT (High-intensity interval training). Look them up if you’re interested in the science. Basically, you work your ass off for a short period of time…and I mean really work. No joke. This is more effective than “moderate” exercising over a long period. You WILL see results. You will also find it surprisingly enjoyable, Tim is a cool guy and a great motivator. Its also outdoors, which is awesome. Basically, if you want to get it shape, you should check it out!”
—Joe Katz

“Looking for a serious workout but you’re short on time and don’t want to join a gym?  Look no further. This class WILL change how you look and feel. Warm ups then 4 reps of 6 sets of high intensity drills; each set is 20 seconds drill, 20 seconds rest, 20 seconds drill, etc – a set is completed in less than 3 minutes. After the drills there’s 3 sets of core exercises and then stretches. The whole class is done in about 40 minutes and there is no mistaking that I have just gotten a major workout. It’s a fun bunch, so I’ve also usually had some laughs despite not really being a morning person. Lastly, I appreciate that it’s not a screamo trainer routine because, seriously, who needs that? No one is there to slack off and we challenge ourselves and each other to push that extra bit. Tim is a solid, experienced trainer with advanced knowledge of physiology, he’s committed to his students and he pays close attention to proper execution of these exercises to maximize effectiveness and minimize joint stress.”
—Jeff Wood

“All of my previous experience with group exercise has left me feeling like a major under-achiever. Beastanetics has changed that. I look forward to each class and with each class I get stronger and faster. I’ve never seen such a dramatic change in my physical and mental health before. I highly recommend it.”
—Lynda Whyte

I’m fairly new to exercise. Will it be okay for me to do Beastanetics?
That depends on a number of factors. While we are happy to offer certain modifications to make Beastanetics as safe for you as possible, it is a high-intensity, high-impact class and therefore is not suitable for everybody. If in doubt, contact us.
I have a bad back, knee, hip, etc? Can I still do Beastanetics?
If you have an injury, it’s always best to check with your physician before beginning any new physical activity, especially a vigorous one like Beastanetics.
What type of shoes should I wear to class?
This is the source of endless debate, however we prefer a flexible, flat-soled sneaker such as a wrestling shoe, martial arts shoe, indoor soccer shoe, or “minimal” shoe, especially if you’re doing Beastanetics on a softer surface, such as artificial turf. That said, footwear is extremely subjective so it’s best to wear what works for you.
How do I keep my assets from bouncing?
A good sports bra is highly recommended for ladies doing Beastanetics. If you don’t have a good sporting goods store near you, check out the selection at Title Nine.