Calling all New Beginners (and pre BFL starting a new challenge)

  • Welcome to the Body For Life Forum!

    Please scroll down for some blogs by previous BFL Champ Mike Harris to help get you organised...

    You've made a great choice! If you are starting a challenge soon and want a big group of people for support (new and many experienced), please come to the thread called

    "Calling All Lifers! january 6th Game Day" - The core group started on the 6th, but more started each week after that date and in between too! Here's the Link!

    (note: the 136 on the end of the link here was the "current page" at time of posting.. after clicking on the link, scroll down to the bottom of the page and see if there are more page numbers to the right....

    We will cheer you on and make sure you finish what you started, celebrate your wins, educate if needed on any questions regarding the program, help out if you have mishaps and most importantly EASE YOUR MIND when things don't seem to happen how you thought... we will tell you if it's NORMAL! 

    Please don't be afraid because you "don't know anyone" and you see people being really friendly... we all started out that way one day... after a post of your own you will be recognised and encouraged to feel part of "Team Renegade" as soon as possible by one of the group.

    Of course that applies to any thread that catches your eye - just jump in and comment!

    Please don't be discouraged if no one replys to a question, just keep trying (it's easy to miss people with so many threads)

    You can start your own personal transformation record by clicking on the "My Transformation" category and then "New Thread" on right side - you can use this like a diary and keep track of your thoughts, food, hiccups etc....  it maybe good to look back on down the track!

    All the best and hope to see you around!

    Determination beats Excitement Every Time!
    by: Michael Harris  2/18/2007

    "Woo hoo! Here we go!"

    That is the forum message people often post at the beginning of their challenges. If I have seen it once I’ve seen it a hundred times, and it’s obvious that they are very excited about what they are about to do. However, I’ve also noticed that many of the people who post such a message are never heard from again! Why? Here’s a part of a post I did several months ago that might explain why.

    When you begin a long-term relationship or marriage, it’s almost always with romance, right? Call it "love," or "infatuation" or "excitement" or whatever you want, it begins with that giddiness, that pit of the stomach kind of feeling that really keeps you awake at night! But, to get through that relationship, to keep it alive, you need determination. On those days when he leaves the shower full of hair, the towel on the floor, and forgets to put the toilet seat back down, romance just isn’t what keeps the relationship on keel. And on those days when you find out the hard way that she shaved her legs with your razor again, guys, it’s not romance that comes to mind for sure! But a bit of determination will keep everything going even under those circumstances.

    Trust me—a BFL challenge is a lot like a marriage! I’ve done 7 of them—challenges that is. They all may start with excitement, but by the end of the first week of your first challenge, you’ll be wondering why you ever started, whether the headaches will ever go away, whether you’ll ever sleep at night, and whether your budget and sanity can keep up with all this! By week 8 you’ll be ready to kill the first person who says "Feel like chicken tonight?" In those moments, and there are many of them, there won’t be any stinking excitement--but if you have determination—you’ll get through!

    Make no mistake. You will end with excitement, IF, and ONLY IF, you’re one of the 3 to 5% of those who actually start and complete and send in a completed challenge entry. But, it will be determination and preparation that did that for you.

    What is the evidence of determination? Before photos taken, developed and placed in the front of your workout journal and on your refrigerator! A workout and diet journal carefully filled out honestly! Well thought out goals that are down in writing. A calendar that sets aside time for every workout, and that has every workout date crossed out because you did them. A shopping list, and clean cupboards and refrigerator that don’t have shelves filled with "trigger foods" that can derail you. If you let excitement get you started before you’re ready, a lack of preparation and determination will derail your challenge before you’re half way through!

    So, "woo hoo!" all you want, but if you don’t have the determination and preparation, "woo hoo!" will soon enough turn into "Boo hoo!" as one more noble experiment in your life turns sour in no time at all.

    Ready, FIre, AIm?
    by: Michael Harris  8/28/2007

     A challenge is hard enough if you are prepared, and is darned near impossible if you’re not. So, here are my top ten things that people really MUST do or avoid if they are to have a chance at being a winner. Anyone can win--if they do it right. I’m living proof of that!

    1. READ THE BOOK COMPLETELY! This is Body for Life of course, and the book is key. The website and the guestbook and the blogs are helpful, but they are no substitute for reading the book.

    2. READ THE BOOK CAREFULLY! This is not a race to see how quickly you can read the book. Skimming it has led to people embarrassing themselves with statements such as, "I know the book recommends the Myoplex bars" when in fact the book was published before the bars were ever created.

    3. PLAN THOROUGHLY! Don’t allow something to come up to derail your efforts. If you know you’re going on vacation, or that you’ll have trouble dealing with Halloween candy, or whatever, then plan for it NOW. If you don’t it will come along anyway, and you are much less likely to know how to deal with it when it does.

    4. PREPARE THOROUGHLY! Yes, there’s a difference. Planning is coming up with the actions you will take; Preparation is mustering the resources to take those actions. You must, on a weekly basis, do your shopping and meal prep for that week, set out when and where you will work out and eat, and anticipate any deviations from those events.

    5. EXECUTE CAREFULLY! This is where you actually take the actions, and you should do so in a way that guarantees effective use of each day.

    6. NEVER MISS A WORKOUT! You only have 18 opportunities during each challenge to work out a certain muscle group. A missed workout is missing over 5% of your opportunity to change your appearance.

    7. NEVER SKIP A MEAL! Newcomers are always tempted to eat less than 6 meals a day. There is a specific purpose to the several small meals, controlling insulin levels, and if you mess with mother nature on this by skipping, she’ll mess with you!

    8. BE PATIENT! This is not Atkins, or any other quick weight loss scheme. BFL helps you both gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, and since muscle tissue is more dense than fat, you will look smaller before the scales tell you that you’re getting smaller. Week 8 is when things really start to pop!

    9. BE POSITIVE! Don’t whine, blame others, or wallow in self-pity during your challenge. It is hard enough to do with a positive outlook, and nearly impossible without one!

    10. ACT YOUR WAY TO BETTER THINKING! Take the steps you need, even if you don’t feel like it and are unmotivated. Motivation follows action, not vice versa. Do the right thing, and later on you’ll feel like continuing to do it. Above all, have fun! See you at the finish line!

    It really comes down to trust and obedience!

    Posted 1/7/08


    New Body For Life Trainees ask lots of questions. And they should. This is a "strange" program for most of us. It's unique and different to eat 6 small meals a day, an to exercise for only about 4 hours a week or less and to still see terrific changes.


    Most of the questions are in the nature of "How" and "What." Questions such as, "how do I know if I'm eating the right amount of food?" Or, "How long before I see results?"  The "what" questions are along the lines of "What is the right way to do this exercise?" Or, "What if I want to move free day?"


    Where it gets sticky is when the questions start with "why." Things like, "Why do we only have 20 minute cardio sessions--I'm used to a lot more?"  Or, "Why should I do this just by the book since I read somewhere that all the champions did lots more and different kinds of workouts than in the book?"


    The reason these questions pose a real problem is that they show a lack of trust on the part of the newbie. They show an actual suspicion that the person thinks they are being given less than the best way to do this plan, and that someone is holding out on them. Or, even worse, the questions tend to indicate that the trainee thinks that he or she knows better how to do a transformation than Bill Phillips, who spent ten years actually developing this plan for public presentation!


    I can't blame anyone for wanting to ultimately customize their fitness program. I have done it myself,in order to accommodate several physical problems from injuries. But, I STRONGLY SUGGEST that doing that first twelve weeks BY THE BOOK is the best way to ensure that your challenge is the best it can be.  To be sure, some champions used techniques different than the book. However, for many of them the book had not even been written. As for the rest--those who did things differently--there is really no good way of knowing whether they would have actually done better had they followed the book. And for most of us, doing the challenges by the book was the right way to do it. We found the 60 minutes of cardio to be plenty, provided it was done with the intensity that it deserved. And we found the exercise worked spectacularly if it was done with intensity, with regularity, and combined with the strictness of the diet.


    I have made a lot of mistakes while doing body for life. My first mistake was doing the challenge for the shallowest of reasons. The one that I repeated often was tinkering with the diet, trying to get along with different types of foods and supplements, and trying to get by with fewer than six meals. But always, I came back to the basics, because they worked the best. 


    It really all comes down to trust. Either you trust that this plan works, or you don't. And if you don't have that level of trust and confidence, chances are excellent that you won't have the strength of will to stick with the challenge long enough to see if it really works, and you won't really have disciplined and systematic approach, the wholehearted commitment, that it takes to make it really work.


    Ask all the whats and hows you want. But, go light on the whys until you've really done that twelve weeks the way it should be done. After all, if the other things you thinking about substituting worked well, you'd already be fit, wouldn't you?

    Newbies: By – Catrina-BFLDanGRus-Cat!!!!! for this:


    #1. Most Important: READ THE ORIGINAL BFL BOOK..(and follow it)

    #2. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

    #3. Eat 6 (not 5, not 4, but 6).. well portioned, appropriately spaced out meals (every 2-3 hours).

    #4. A meal: Includes a portion of carbs, a portion of proteins, and a portion of veggies w/at least 2 meals. Use the authorized foods list in the original book for the best results.

    #5. Carbs: a portion is the size of YOUR fist (see item number 17 below).

    #6. Proteins: a portion is the size and thickness of your palm (hand minus the fingers).

    #7. Veggies: a portion will fit into your cupped hand. Always refer to the "List in the book - some "veggies" are considered "carbs" in the BFL eating plan ie: corn, starches like potatoes, pumpkin, carrots , fruit etc

    #8. Water: Drink 10-12 cups (at least 80 oz) of water per day.

    #9. Pics:Take before pics (front view, side view, back view). Women, best if you can wear a 2 piece swim suit. Men, you can wear shorts (no shirt) and make sure the shorts aren’t so long that they cover your thighs

    #10 Measurements: Get your measurements done in the beginning: weight—once every 4 weeks ONLY if you are addicted to the scale…others might do once per week, neck, biceps, forearms, boobs, below boobs, waist, bellybutton, pooch, hips, thighs, calves, body fat percentage.

    #11. Follow up Pics: Take pics again once every four weeks wearing the same suit and doing the same front/side/back shots. Don’t forget to face the same way in your side shot each week

    #12. Follow up Measurements: Redo measurements once a week (ONLY WEIGH once every four weeks if you are a scale addict).

    #14. COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Come to Forum often (if not daily) to get questions answered and for support.

    #15. Self Honesty Be honest with yourself, cheating is hurting you and no one else.

    #16. Training: Do 3 days of HIIT cardio and 3 days of strength training (alternating between cardio and strength days) as according to the original book

    #17. Fist Measurement: - To figure out fist size, just fill a large measuring cup brimful with water, put it in a pan, insert fist to the beginning of the wrist, and then pour the displaced water into an empty measuring cup. That’s your fist! You can just eyeball and estimate with proteins I think. Most guys have a palm of the hand about the size of 5 to 6 ounce half of a chicken breast, Women about 3 - 4 ounce.

    Some common traps:

    Peanut butter– This is not unauthorized, but it is probably best left for your free day due to high fat

    Bananas– These are high in carbs; you should use 1/2 a banana at a time for a carb portion if mixing in with pure whey protein to make your own shake

    Diet drinks– I hear that diet drinks are not unauthorized, however, try to drink more water instead because some of the diet drinks (soda, pop, whatever you call it) may dehydrate you, also the sweetener makes your body spike like normal sugar and makes you want to eat/drink more.

    ADDING EXTRA HIIT CARDIO: - Not a good idea - the more cardio you do, the fitter you get, the lower your RMR Resting Metablic Rate is - which means you burn less fat at rest - do the cardio as written - three, 20 minute High Intensity Interval Training sessions per week.

    You can do activities that you normally would, have a life, but doing extra workouts is not good. Your body needs time to rest.

    Rest:Speaking of rest, get ample sleep. I believe 8 hours is the recommended amount.

    INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE! - BFL asks us to drink at least 80oz…if you are doing that, try taking it up to 128oz—that equals one gallon. ;)

    Set reminders on your Cell phone and work computer to eat (and drink water if you have to)!

    Take a multi-vitamin. :)

    Don’t forget about your INNER TRANSFORMATION and the LAW OF RECIPROCATION! 


  • Thanks for this encouraging post. It'll definetley help people who are starting out. I started on 1/6 and I'm looking and feeling much better compared to back then. And I know that I'm gonna continue to make great gains and better results both physicaly and mentally.  

  • Where is the group?

  • Hey there Jean_Bauigue! good for you! We have to help an many people as we can.. the early days, weeks are crucial that they stay connected and being part of a team will help for sure!

    CWORDS! - Just click on Community and Forum,all the recent posts will come up from all the different category's, or you can click on "Getting Started", then all the recent posts in that category only will be listed.

    Or click on this link!


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    C'mon over and be accountable!



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  • My name is Tricia. I am 2 weeks into my challenge. This is my second challenge, I completed one 12 years ago right before I had my second baby. I fell off the wagon right away with a very difficult pregnancy. I can't believe it took me this long to get started again. It is amazing how much better I feel after just 2 weeks on this life changing program! I took 2 week photos today and the difference is amazing already! I am excited to keep going and excited to actually share it with someone who understands via these forums!

  • Hi Tricia!

    Well done for getting back to it! Yes, 2 weeks and it's awesome how much better we feel! I've just done 3 weeks in C4 and going strong.  Please come and join our great Team Renegade on the following thread - the majority of us understand where you have been, where you have succeeded and what that felt like and where you are now - it's awesome! Cheers!


  • When is the next start date for the 12-week challenge? I thought it was tomorrow (2/11), but now I see that was last year's start date :) I want to start now so if there isn't another challenge for a few weeks, can I start in the most recent one that just started? I think it was February 3rd.

  • Copied this from another post...

    It looks like you will be in the second round this year as Feb 10th (still today in America - it's the 11th here already in Oz) is the last day to enter for round one...

    The 2014 Challenge dates are as follows:

    February 10, 2014 - May 5, 2014

    April 7, 2014 - June 30, 2014

    June 9, 2014 - September 1, 2014

    August 25, 2014 - November 17, 2014

    That being said, the dates don't matter! Think of it like rolling admission to college. The dates are only for BFL to organize the entries. If you started today (6th Feb), you'd be in round 1. Heck, if you started 1 day after the last day to enter last year, again... round 1. If you start August 26th, then you'll be in round 1 for next year.

    The prizes have not been listed, though I'm sure will go up soon.  For 2013 the prizes were 5k, a PowerBlocks set, and paid back for all the EAS supplements you used during the challenge.  

    The real prize is YOU.  Healthy, thriving, fit, happier, YOU.  


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