Read the original BFL book!

  • Can't help noticing how many threads there are on the forum (usually by people who are unhappy with their results) talking about eating more calories, or less calories, doing cardio everyday, changing the eating and the workout schedule, etc., etc.........

    I don't have all of the answers by any means.  But I do know that BFL works AS WRITTEN.  And I also believe that the original book is much better than the BFL for Women, and the BFL Champions books.  Bill did a great job in the original book explaining why we need to eat correctly (and how) and why we will benefit from lifting weights (and again, how.)  I think sticking to the program is much easier when it's been thoroughly explained to you first, which it is in the original book.

    To me, if it's anyone's first challenge, it needs to be by-the-book, and I mean the first book.  Then modify or tweak to your hearts content once you have a full challenge completed.  But when people complain that they aren't seeing results, it's almost without fail that they will include in their story ways that they aren't actually following BFL.  And while I realize there are many ways to workout and see great results, BFL works VERY WELL for people who are very out of shape and who are relatively new to lifting weights.

    This post isn't meant to be critical, I just can't help feeling bad for anyone who isn't seeing the results they want, while they're tweaking and modifying the program.  If you really want to change, it takes sacrifice.  Tweaking the workouts and eating to make them "seem or feel better" may sound harmless on the surface, but the results will speak for themselves.  It's hard work getting from overweight and out of shape, into great shape.  You're going to feel uncomfortable.  You're going to have to make tough choices and stick to them.  You're going to have to leave your comfort zone and push yourself.

    Taking the easy road is how we all ended up fat and out of shape in the first place.  We all need to remember that when we tweak or modify to make things more enjoyable or easy.  Don't do it.  Read the book, follow the instructions, and give it your 10 effort everyday, whether it's eating or working out. 

    Best wishes to everyone using BFL - it works!

  • This is a great post and I agree.  I have not yet started back on the strict BFL program, but I'm going to in a couple of weeks and I have been reading these threads and noticed the same thing you mentioned, Dave.  The original book is GREAT and it works as written.  I did the full 12 weeks about 7 years ago and got lean, muscular, and cut by following it strictly as written.  You cannot tweak the program and then expect to have the same results that a strict following of it as it was originally written by Bill.  I say this based on my own personal experience with it and the results I got.  Even some of the "Eating for Life" book recipes are a little too lenient in comparison to the "rules" and sample meals as presented in the original book.  I view "Eating for Life" and some of the other books as "maintenance" phase items rather than "work" phase items, which are obviously in the original book.  

    There may be others who disagree, but, as I stated, I say all of this out of personal experience and a previous strict following of the original book.  Please feel free to discuss and/or post thoughts on any of this.  

    Thanks and hope everyone is having a great day!

  • I see the first book as the book that lays it all out.  If you haven't read it, you definitely need to read it.  Why count calories?  Use your hand to determine your portions, like Bill Phillips taught us.  I think the BFL Champions book is a great book to read during the challenge, to help with motivation.  It's a compilation of former Champions who are giving you different ideas, but ultimately, tell their story and the success they had with the BFL program.  This program works, as it was written by Bill Phillips.  Don't read too much into it.  If you don't see results right away, just stick with the program as it was originally laid out.  DaveND, are you from North Dakota?  I'm originally from Grand Forks, which is why I ask.


  • Mike,

     Not from North Dakota.  The ND is for Notre Dame!  Lifelong fan and my wife and I both work at ND home football games. I would agree too that the Champions book is great for motivation as you're doing your challenge.  Not a bad book by any means.  Seeing all of the tweaking and resulting disappointment with results just has me wondering how many people are missing out on the great instruction from the original book.


  • Agree!! I did the challenge in.2001, with the first book. Great results!

    Thanks for posting. I'm going to start another challenge next week to slim down before my wedding and I'm so excited because I know it will work!!

  • Congratulations on your wedding TPOP4, and good luck with your challenge!

  • Ah, Notre Dame.  My niece currently attends Notre Dame and plays in the band.  

    TPOP4, welcome back.  I was a 2001 BFL'r too.  Loved that t-shirt I received for finishing the challenge.  Working my tail off so I can proudly wear it again!!!    Congrats on your wedding!  

    I do think people need to worry less about their progress and just follow the book.  Some people do need suggestions, because they may be misunderstanding how to go about doing something, but I think a lot of people want to tweak the program more than it is meant to be tweaked.  Don't eat unauthorized foods, follow the gym routine to the best of your ability, use supplementation and eat 6 portioned meals a day, and you WILL see results.  Sorry folks, but get used to eating chicken, brown rice, and dry potatoes (I actually don't even eat potatoes, but love brown rice!).  

  • Very cool Mike.  What instrument does she play?  I work on the field right beside the band.  I watch the game from about 3 yards behind the back line of that end zone just to the band side of the goal post, and I interact with the band quite a bit.

  • She's the short Chinese girl who plays the trumpet.  She gets the Chinese from her Dad and the shortness from my side of the family.  LOL

  • This thread need to be pinned at the top for everyone to read before posting a new thread about "should I do more cardio?"

  • Shameless bump.  <g>

  • I love this post. It's straight and to the point. I'm on week 3 of my first challenge. I definitely have times where I feel 'oh i could modify this, that etc' but then I always think "will this get me to my goal?" I know very well that my deviations from other plans in the past have not fared well for me. I'm sticking to it and I'm feeling great! We never know how strong we really are until we try :)

  • Hi Dave,

    Spot on!!!

    After we spent 10, 20, 30, 40 plus years treating our bodies like we don't care then expect little effort or change to remedy our current situation in a few weeks by going through the motions rather than baring down and reaching for that 10 every time, there's no point in looking for positive results on the bare minimum.

    If we do follow the original book to a "T" then one might consider 12 weeks a very short time frame to make up for all the years of neglect. Rather than telling our selves at week three "I don't see any change". Why not reach for that 10 for 12 continuous weeks then look at the results.

    Great book by the way. It has given me a new outlook on my situation and by following the original book I see and feel the difference already. This alone is enough to push me farther. Can't help but think others would get the same results by taking your advise and following the layout as simple as it is. Trying to assess ones goals prior to reaching those goals is counter productive.



  • Great advice everyone - I bought the original book and plan to read it this week. I have the "champions" book but feel like more of the basics would help. Starting week 2 today.


  • Great stuff Houligan!  And you're right, 12 weeks of hitting 10's, then look at the results!