Sept. 3rd BFL-Start...Who's with me?

  • For those who were new to BFL and have completed their first 12 weeks here's something to consider before moving on:

    Getting the Most out of Your Time Between Transformation Challenges
    by: Michael Harris  3/18/2007

    Are you planning another challenge after finishing the one you’re in now?  If so, the material that follows should be of some interest and some help to you.  It seems like roughly one-half of those who start and complete a 12 week transformation challenge are planning on going into another one in order to get into the shape that they want.

    The first thing I want to ask you--actually I’m begging you--is to NOT GO IMMEDIATELY from one challenge right into the next one without a break.  Here’s why.  Whether you really feel like it or not, a transformation challenge takes a toll on you.  The early rising, strenuous exercising and relatively strict dieting are good for you--but over 12 weeks time they can also wear you out.  You deserve AND NEED a week or more of rest before you get back into the gym.  Think about this: If you go right from one challenge to another, what you’re really doing is taking a 24 week challenge.  That’s nearly 6 months, and it’s longer than most should be doing.  Most second and subsequent challenges that occur without a break between tend to be very unproductive and unhappy experiences.  They also tend to be more often plagued by injuries, illnesses and overtraining effects.

    My favorite fitness author, Albuquerque attorney Clarence Bass, coined the phrase "active rest."  That’s what you need to do between challenges.  What you need to do, for at least one week and preferably two, is to stay clear out of the gym and away from the weight lifting routine entirely.  And don’t worry about losing muscle mass, you won’t.  The phenomenon called muscle memory will put you right back into the groove very quickly once you are rested.  In fact, you might actually pick up some muscle mass due to the well-deserved rest.  Your joints will thank you for it too.

    Instead of lifting weights, do one or two of your favorite non-resistance training types of exercises.  I do lots of calisthenics such as pushups, pullups, and squat jumps.  I also do some bike riding or stair climbing.  I take very long walks with my dog.  Others enjoy things like swimming, mountain climbing, hiking, or even chopping wood and heavy gardening activity.  This gets you out of the old groove, works different areas of your body, and still gives you plenty of fat-burning and fitness forming activity.

    As for the diet, stick with the six meals a day.  But, add in a bit of red meat if you are inclined, and experiment with some non-typical foods.  This might be a good time to try a little of that natural peanut butter you’ve been craving.  I eat a fair amount of non-tropical fruits and berries as carb portions during my rest periods.  And I eat some lean red meat which has lots of creatine in it.  Don’t make your two weeks off a two week free day or you’ll regret it.

    Consider your two weeks active rest a working vacation.  You’ll be amazed at your renewed strength, your enthusiastic outlook, and your youthful appearance following your time off.  If you don’t do it, you’ll feel like you’re dragging a 100 pound anchor around with you for the next twelve weeks.  Which one sounds like the best bet to you?

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • For those who are ready to go the maintaining route, here is something for you:

    After the Challenge–What Then?
    by: Michael Harris 3/19/2007

    So, your results were good, and you’re looking forward to living a "normal life" now. Only one thing is bothering you–you’re not sure what that is going to look like. You are also more than a little worried about your ability to hold onto this newfound you, right?

    First, the "good news." It never takes as much effort and suffering to maintain good health as it does to get it back. You won’t have to work out quite as hard, nor will you have to eat quite as strictly to maintain your physique. Now, the bad news–you’ll have to figure out how to do it on your own!
    Continuing to eat the six smaller meals a day helps make your new life easier. Since the whole purpose of eating six small meals a day is to stabilize insulin levels and blood sugar levels, which minimizes cravings, mood swings, and fat formation, it makes sense to keep that up. If you lost weight and burned fat while on the six small meals regimen, and you are now at or below the weight you want to be, then you’ll need to add a bit to each meal. Eating 42 meals a week, you really only need to adjust upward about 50 to 100 calories to stop the weight loss cycle. As an example, if your "meal" is a Myoplex, all you would need to do is add about 3/4 of a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to the shake and you would add about 100 calories to that meal. Just an ounce more meat or a slightly larger carb would accomplish the same things. So, whatever you do, don’t go back to eating plates full of food at each opportunity. Make very small dietary adjustments, or you’ll be trying to catch up with the gigantic swings that can take place!
    You’ll know when you get there with the diet. It will feel right. The key is to still stay away from the "trigger foods" that cause you issues, and to allow for the usual free day excesses as well. Sugary snacks should probably always be strictly a free day activity for all of us.

    And what about exercise? Once again, you’ll need to find your plateau. I am sixty now, so I recover more slowly than most of you would. So, what I do in maintenance stage is work each body part every 6 or 7 days, and that takes about 30 to 40 minutes four days a week. Now, that means an extra workout day a week, but that’s not a problem since I work out at home. For me, working out each muscle group one day a week nicely maintains both mass and injury-free joints if I’m careful. I really don’t think anyone who is happy with their body needs to work out with weights more than a couple of hours a week, but if you enjoy it, and you still want to try to add mass, go for it! As far as cardio, I still do the 3 HIIT sessions a week, early in the morning on an empty stomach, and that will never change.

    May I emphasize once again, because this does take trial and error, that the key is "small adjustments" so you don’t have huge swings. You will know that things are basically staying the way you want them by your weekly weigh ins and waist measurements, and if either gets more than 3 pounds or 1/2 inch out of where you want it, then make those adjustments and see what happens next week. Get your checkup regularly and keep tabs on those blood lipid levels.

    Don’t let the maintenance phase get you down. It’s no different than owning and operating an auto. Checking the tires, the fluid levels and the operating systems are part of that responsibility, as are the same kinds of things with your body. This IS Body for LIFE, remember?


    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • KimC - Awesome job...submit that packet lady!!!

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • primo0458 - You also did a great job and should submit a packet.  In fact, everyone should submit one even you don't think it's a winner.  You never know and you have that since of accomplishment for having done the entire process.  Just my 2 cents. :-)

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Thanks for the info, Sharon.  When I click on   "edit profile" I can add text only.  No film strip, no photo icon.  No icons at all.  Must be something wrong with my computer?  It's weird, because I can read the forums and see everyone else's photos, etc.  Oh well.  Clare

  • *waves* Hi everyone! I know I haven't been on in a long time. I've been so busy with being at the gym I just haven't been on the computer much. I do read the replies etc via my iPhone though!

    I completed the challenge. Some days I didn't think I'd make it. I'm glad I stuck with it. I can't wait to do another. I have a long way to go BUT I am SO happy with what I have accomplished so far! This is just the beginning.

    I have reduced 22 inches off of my frame so far- thighs, arms, abdomen and hips; only a negligible amount from my chest and calves. The main thing is that I *FEEL* awesome. *happy dances*

    This is worth repeating- I can't wait for the next challenge. Can't wait!

    I have some real life before images in my profile ( clothed- i didn't want to scare anyone lol ) I have to get my after pics up! In my before images I was wearing a size 22 pants... I am currently wearing a size 12. A 12!!! For me this is super awesome lol!!


  • I'm working on the packet now, just trying to pick my optional photo.

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments on my pics.

  • Kim- awesome job! Wow! You should be so proud of yourself  :) lol my goal is to be even half of what your 'before' photo is!

  • Here are my pics:

    went from 231 Lbs at 25%BF to 200.6 Lbs at 18% BF



    Today's Mighty Oak is yesterdays Nut that held its Ground!

  • just wanted to check in and see hows everyone been doing since weve finishing this challenge!

    from 177lbs, im now at 187lbs. getting leaner and bigger every week, more veins are showing and my abs are starting to be more visible.

    i started going on another 12 week cut diet/training this monday. i hope i get good results like i got from my first challenge

    hope everyone had a great holidays and a prosperous New Years!!!