Do Successful BFL'ers Do More Exercise Than Prescribed?

  • I'm afraid to ask this, but I can't find questions/answers in the forum (no search box?).  I am starting week 4 and doing/feeling great!  In reading posts from those who have successfully completed the 12 weeks, it seems that I occasionally find comments that they bumped up cardio to 30 / 40 minutes or spend longer in the gym (I have no links on hand to reference this).  I've read that we should not do more than prescribed by the program, but to focus on the quality of the session.  I agree and am doing that. 

    I guess I'm a little paranoid about not getting results despite the fact that I am sticking to the program 100%.  Does anyone have any insight into the exercise part of the program - do we really reach these amazing goals by sticking to the exercise program as it was written? 

    Go, Becca, Go!  Tri Tri Again!  

  • I have the same concern/question... on the website John Hussman talks about Champions that have bumped up many aspects of the workouts, and changed things up a bit.  I plan to stick with the recommendation for the first week or two and see how I feel.  I'm used to 45 mins of cardio DAILY! With no results! lol. So... this is a new way of thinking for me. Actually, one of my goals is to be realistic and not so hard on myself with the workouts.  I'm the worst for that.

    Anyhow... I hope someone can chime-in with answers for us.



  • True!  I trained for races last year (half / full marathons) and did not lose one pound!  I am at the week three and have stuck to the program 100%.  So far, no results that I can see, but I'm not worried about it.  I know I am doing what I am supposed to do and giving it my all.  Hopefully I'll get that week 8 miracle.  LOL  

    Go, Becca, Go!  Tri Tri Again!  

  • I did BFL years ago when I was getting ready to start Officer Training School and had fantastic results!  I don't recall how much weight I dropped, but I was already pretty small so I was in it for the strength and endurance....and just maybe 10 lbs of actual weight loss.  But at the end of the 12 weeks, I LOOKED like I'd dropped 20 lbs.  I did exactly the amount of cardio prescribed and no more (I really don't like the cardio part).  ;-)  

    My second experience with the program was a little different in that I had a good deal more weight to lose, only actually lost about 10 lbs by the scale, but people were asking me if I'd lost 30lbs.  That scale is just a big fat liar!  Lol  ;-)  What I did differently the second time was that I did NO cardio at all.  I was in Iraq in the middle of the summer.  It was way too hot to run outside...even at night.  The cardio machines at the gym were usually very busy, but even in there with A/C, it was just too hot.  And like I said, I don't really like cardio so I did alot of research online about lifting only to lose wieght and found a great deal of good information that led me to experiment with splitting my lifting routine into 6 days (hitting each body part 2xs per week) and doing no cardio sessions.  It worked very well, and I really liked the amount of strength and firm muscle I gained while dropping quit a lot of fat.  Since that time, I've read alot about extended cardio actually hindering weight loss.  

    Anyway, that doesn't really answer your question, but maybe it'll help you find the right mix for you knowing that it's possible to get great results even with LESS cardio.  (That said, a really heavy lifting routine...particularly lower body....does give a good cardio workout as well....if you are lifing heavy enough.  So maybe I was actually getting both cardio and weight workouts all in one.  I was lifing as heavy as I could tolerate and pushing the limit at each workout.)

  • Oh, and the first time, I didn't start seeing any results (other than weight GAIN and tighter clothes) until right around that magic 8 week mark.  The second time, I started seeing results around the 4 week mark.  I don't know if that represents a correlation with the change in routine or not.  This time, I'm doing my weights like I did the sencond time, but I will have to do some cardio as well since I'm expected to run regularly for PT.

    But I believe the program works (and has worked for me) just as written.  And just because  ppl have had success by tweaking things doesn't mean they wouldnt have had the same success if they'd done it as written.  There are lots of Champions in the book who following the program as written and it obviously worked for them.  

    It's so easy to stress and want to change things  when you arent seeing the results yet.  Just hang in there. The results are coming!!!  :-)

  • Great feedback kaykay!  Thank you!!  Needless to say, I am going to stick to the program 100%.  This is my first go-round, so I am going to do as told.  

    Go, Becca, Go!  Tri Tri Again!  

  • Heeeey, Tri-Tri-Again, found you here. Great question and good call to do as you are told in your first round. I always say that trying out too many things at the same time doesn't get you anywhere, rather confuses you. So do one thing and do it well. For my first round I stuck to the program 100%, but also noticed that others who were seasoned were doing more then prescribed by this program. For me change is very necessary to keep me motivated personally. I know others can stick to the same program and not get bored. But challenge 2 I changed things up and did Insanity and P90X for Cardio which is obviously longer workouts and lifted also 3x a week. Yes, I continued to see great results. But now in Challenge 3 I am doing HIIT DAILY!!!! For 20 minutes and it feels awesome! I am consistently dropping weight as you can see on MFP. And I am following a new lifting routine. So, yes... this program says HIIT only 3x a week, but then again there are so many programs and they all have their own opinions and researches done to prove it. So, like you said... stick to this 100% to get your results. And later if you want to, change things up. But no need to create confusion mentally and try to follow too many advices and opinions at the same time. Again, good call and you seem to be doing fantastic.


  • Thanks for the insight Kaykay. Good luck to you Tri.

    I am also going to stick to the plan as well.

  • I have to weigh in that I did the program in 1999 and started at 155, which at that time was the heaviest I had ever been.  I was already frustrated around week 3 from not losing any weight, but had managed to go down 3 dress sizes.  By the end I was at 124 lbs.  I did NOTHING BUT the prescribed program, and didn't skimp on my free days.  About week 5, I had a leg injury and couldn't even exercise to the full extent for weeks, and I still saw those results.  I stuck with the eating program and did what I could.  So that is why I am coming back again, 10 lbs. heavier than my heaviest weight, and 14 years older.  However, I will say that I did not look ripped or anything.  I couldn't blame the program, though since I had that injury and my workouts suffered.  I was very pleased with that weight loss, and felt better than I had ever felt in my life!

  • It's 90% food isn't it? I  think I remember  seeing a photo of a woman on here and shed been injured and could hardly work out at all but had still achieved astounding results from the diet alone. She'd put up before and after pics and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

  • Wise words from the above challengers! Just keep doing what you are doing and BELIEVE! They say we lose weight equally over all parts of our bodies, so if there is a bigger layer of fat on my belly than on my biceps, guess what is going to be visible/noticable first! Have you heard the "paper towel" theory? Imagine a roll of paper towels...tearing off the first sheet doesn't make much difference...nor does the first 20 or thirty sheets at first. But near the end of the roll, taking just one sheet off makes a big difference in the size of the roll. Kinda like the way we lose fat tissue on this program- after 20 or 30 sheets are removed, your biceps may start to look more defined...but it may take 79 or 80 or 84 sheets for those abs to appear. Just gotta keep on keeping on with the program as written. Sometimes adding more exercise can lead to injury from NOT letting the muscles rest and recover as they should...good luck!

  • I hate cardio, me too! LOL so I keep it to 20 min. First time at the program.

  • Greetings .i do agree with BobbyA on the risk of overdoing it.  The paper towel analogy is a good one.  Any fine tuning I have done on problem areas I usually limit to cardio days and vary and limit those as well so as not to overtrain. SOme of the symptoms of overtraining include:  excessive soreness or injury,   frequent colds or illnesses, severe headaches same or next day, possible restlessness at night/trouble sleeping correctly are some of the more common ones. Keep MOving Forward !!