Just spoke with Lynn Lingenfelter, Body-of-WORK Champion over the phone. Very inspiring, but what he did may surprise you....

  • First of all, let me say Lynn is one stand up individual. I appreciate his honesty, may BFL champs have never spoke about the challenge/program like he has. Lynn's story is very inspirational and you can find part 2 of his story on youtube, the interview done by Bill Phillips on his newest venture, t.com. Some of what Lynn discloses with me, we/I have thought could be true, but I had never found a champion to actually speak it.

    Ok here we go....

    Due to the question of anabolics being used in the film like Jeff Seidman, Brad Wadlow, I asked Lynn if he ever used...NO, was his reply.

    The BFL program was watered down into what the book BFL came to be, Bill did this to appeal to the masses. Lynn hit the gym 7 days a week. It was a bodybuilder split. Chest one day, Back the other etc. Weight training session were a minimum 1.5 hours and he said some sessions reached the 3 hour mark. All sets were heavy, and he took long enough rest periods to be able to continue to lift heavy and give MAXIMUM effort for each set, Lynn stresses this point.

    Cardio was split up into 2 sessions. Early in the morning he did 18 minutes of HIIT, and never a second longer. Then his weight training workouts were done later in the evening and at the end of the weight sessions, Lynn would do 60 minutes of low intensity cardio. He defines it as the fat burning zone. Its faster than walking, but you are not huffing and puffing. Sounds to me like a jog would best describe the pace. So HIIT in the AM and LISS in the evening post-weights.

    Nutrition is where Lynn was so strict and his results showed it. Lynn ate 9 meals a day. No, that it not a typo. His lean protein was almost always chicken. Carbs were always brown rice or potato, and of course he had a Myoplex shake 3 times a day. I asked him for his macros cause a lot of people like to fine tune nutrition in a gram by gram basis. His ratios were 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats...Lynn said he ate more fat than most did...his fat sources came from oils and nuts. As far as grams go, Lynn didn't really give a gram goal for carbs or fats, but protein he did 2grams per lb of bw. Now Lynn and I spoke about supplements, Myoplex in particular...if anyone wants the details about this part of the conversation, please email me.

    Free Day, Lynn only took 1 free day. He had caramel popcorn on week 10.

    And for the final weeks he changed his diet to what is called ABC, Anabolic Burst Cycling. If anyone ever read muscle media back in the day, you will remember this. It's 4 week phase consisting of 2 weeks of a calorie surplus, followed by 2 weeks of s strict deficit. It's a very short cycle of bulking and cutting. He atrributes his after photo to this because he felt the need to change it up at the end for his final photo.

    Sleep. Much of what I have been listening to up to this point has been very informative and inspiring but this part caught me way off guard. Lynn said he slept 12-14 hours a day. I had to ask him again and he confimed it. He attribues much of his success in the weight room to sleep, "it's very anabolic" he claims. He mentions there is no way he could've hit the weights as hard as he did if it hadn't been for the amount of sleep he had.

    According to Lynn, you must believe that you can do it, "get your mind in the right place and believe that you can and you will."

    This is the majority of our conversation, I have been inspired by Lynn's story back then and even today, this man truly is a champ.

    Now what I don't want to happen with this thread is people coming in here arguing and debating what he did and if he was right or not. Like 6 meals v 9 meals or hiit v liss etc.

    I wanted to post this so everyone doing BFL realizes what kind of effort it took for him to become a champ and what I have listed here doesnt even mention the obstacles that life threw at him!

    Also and I believe I speak mainly to the men, but to some women too :)....anyone who looks at these incredible after pics needs to realize that what was written in the book BFL, was for the masses. And you get out what you put in. None of the champs from the ORIGINAL TEN have ever done just 3 weight training sessions and just 3, 20 min cardio sessions. The closest I have ever read about was Porter Freeman but he did an upper/lower split twice a week, hitting each muscle twice a week, etc. Understand that following the BFL book will get you great results, but there is a reason why we do not see the huge difference in the before and afters like we saw from the original ten champs. At least this is my opinion.

    Well there ya have it, my conversation with Lynn, hopefully others will be inspired throughout their challenges!

    Good Luck,


  • [youtube]hoG4KIt8qVo[/youtube]

  • i am very surprised at the lack of responses here...i was very inspired by this

  • Thanks charlie I always wondered i always had that thought in the back of my head..Thanks for the post!

  • As I am reading this, it's obvious this has nothing to do with the BFL program. This an intense body-building program that uses the same body building principles used in BFL. Ah well... i always knew they did more just looking at their pictures.. but this much more is a very different program, and regardless of his astounding resultsand transformation, and with all due respect to his great achievement and the struggles he'd been through, it's obvious he didn't have a life at that stage. Between 12 hours of sleep and 3 hours in the gym, when did he take care of his family, job, commitments? I am very glad Bill Philips wrote the program the way he did. Not all of us want to be champions and from the post below not all champions did what he did.

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Charlie

    Here is my opinion of your post

    Firstly I admire and respect Lynn Lingenfelter, and I dont dismiss or disagree with what he did to transform his body ,I have his book thrive high and its a great read, where I do disagree with you is where suggest that the exercise component laid out in BFL is watered down and not good enough to make a transformation like lynns or the original champions.I agree to an extent that  it appeals to the masses with the fact that the workouts are brief but you have got to take these points into consideration

    1, lynn was only 16% bodyfat in his before photo ,most people that do bodyforlife are much more out of shape than that

    2.the original champions had between 12 to 18 weeks to transform, not just 12 weeks

    3.alot of the original champions had a background in training including lynn, alot if not most people starting bfl have never done this type of thing before, they dont know how to push themselves with real intensity

    I wholehearthedly believe with all my heart that the exercise component in bodyforlife exactly as laid out can give you the type of transformation the orignal champions got but heres why i think many people dont

    1.abuse of the freeday

    2.portions too big for the 6 good eating days

    3. not training hard enough

    Have you heard of a former champion called Jerry Braam, he did BFL exactly as laid out in the book and he got one of those jaw dropping transformations you speak of

    One last thing that backs up my points is that you have often spoke about a guy you know called Chris Krugger you transformed his body into unbelieveable shape using principles that are very similar to the exercise laid out in BFL, I have watched his videos and the thing he mentions alot it he only does max 4 hours of training a week

    This is just my opinion but the key to making this a long life habbit is brief intense workouts

  • I'm sure there are some who will find Lynn's experience inspiring, like you did, Charlie. But I can see where others might find it daunting, maybe even discouraging, and for that reason I am glad that BFL was adapted "for the masses." Even without the uber-spectacular results of the original champions, the program can be life-changing.

    Isn't Lynn Lingenfelter the young man who was injured in a hunting accident? That's a great recovery story in itself. I'm thrilled to hear he is still doing well.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • Lynn's story is inspirational and encouraging.  It proves that we all still have time to make a difference.  He and I have shared just a few short emails.  We certainly haven't communicated to this extent.  I thought most of what came out was somewhat known to those of us who have searched for the information.  It certainly matches that what's said by other previous original Champions and those from later who have had more particularly amazing results. 

    This put those original Championship contests in a concise format.  I believe it will inspire those who are looking for that kind of program and be ignored or simply informational for those seeking something more mainstream. 

    There's no reason for someone to be discouraged.  We get in life what we put in and the reality is that if we want a bodybuilders body then we need to workout, eat and live in a way that supports that. 

    This information is a benchmark.  It's not the one I'm choosing, but one nonetheless.  At the opposite spectrum we have the Eating for Life cookbook and a loose version of the BFL program.  There's actually nothing wrong with either, but you get what you put in so at least know what you want so you know what to put in.  You will not get Lynn's results with Eating for Life and just going through the motions for 12 weeks!

    BFL is watered down for the masses, but as written, really will give amazing results, if worked hard. 

    If you do what Lynn did then you will be more cut.  That's not sustainable to me.  It doesn't interest me.  That's not the point. 

    If you follow the Eating for Life cookbook then you will lose less, be less cut and simply have a good diet and plan to look better. 

    If you use the menu plan on the site then you are adding gallons of water to the plan, metaphorically.

    Know your goals and follow something that supports them.  None are "wrong", just wrong for some people. 

    I am curious to know about basic calorie count for Lynn.  Some want to bulk up and don't eat enough.  Others eat enough, but don't have the workouts that support it, so it really just prevents progress.  There are many factors at play here.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • @ruby - this was how bill was during body of work...it was for bodybuilders. You might want to watch lynn's story in the link i provided above. Lynn had a huning accident, then contracted hiv....he even admits he was very depressed about life, so this was his opportunity to change that, and change he sure did. Over the phone he admits he had no life, he ate, slept and worked out, he doesnt deny it.

    @mark - doesnt matter if you disagree, this is not a do you agree or disagree with me post. This is a champion telling you how he did it. When this was going oin there was no body for life. And as for the jerry braam comment, I know Jerry was by the book, i have spoke with him several times. Jerry never  got as big as lynn or the other original ten contestants.  You see being real lean, like jerry was, is an illusion in that because of your muscularity you will appear bigger. Go compare Jerry's pic to Lynn's or better yet go compare it to Abb Ansley's who had no workout experience before.

    @sara - I think its great that bfl was adapted to the masses, it has turned a lot of people's lives around for the better.

    This is just my opinion, but since the original ten, there have only been a couple spectacular after pics. This is not to take away from anyone who has become champ, all who have been named champ without a doubt deserve to be champ. With that said, I think there is something said for people like Lynn who literally did whatever it took to turn his life around.

    My thread was meant to inspire this board and also to give another view for those who might not be satisfied with their current routine. Look at how much Lynn dedicated to this. How much more can you committ to your own goals? I'm not saying to do what Lynn did, rather dig down and get the drive that he had. That's what makes us great.

    I know several BFL winners have gone on to bodybuilding backgrounds. And for anyone who enjoys working out, enjoys the change and has any interest in bodybuilding, well, here is a template to use.

    While I know that BFL now is not about bodybuilding, it has guided many to that path.

  • @jessica - lynn never specified in grams his food, but he told me he ate 2g of protein per lb/bw. I'm assuming in the 350-400g range.

  • Charlie- Thank you so much for the post. I enjoyed it immensely.  How is he doing? I always wondered what he was up to, if he managed the HIV well, and if he was happy...

    How is it that you had an opportunity to talk to him? I'm just curious and very happy for you that you had that chance!

  • @john - Bill Phillips with his new site held a conference here in Dallas a couple years ago, I was actually in line at an omellette bar and i turned around and saw lynn with his children. Was pretty cool as I saw Shawn Phillips and Everett Herbert another one of the original ten as well. I have spoke with Lynn via facebook a couple times, he gave me his cell and I gave him a call and just had a great talk with him.

    For me what really hit home was his honesty in what he did. There was no concealment to adhere to "what is in the book" and I admire his honesty in doing so. First thing out of Lynn's mouth was, "Do you believe you can do it?" I said of course! anyone can and I could tell form there on out that his thinking lined up with his actions. He really understands how this whole thing is so much about the mental, it's an aspect that can slip very easily.

    And the reason why I do appreciate his honesty and his time is that I have spoke with several champs about what they did, how they did it ,etc. Emily Alvers, Tracy Jefferies, Jerry Braam and their responses were always by the book. Which is perfectly fine.

    I have also had conversations with people such as Andrew Crouch who had a huge fat loss transformation. I saw some of his pics up on facebook where his wife was advertising how body for life really works. Come to find out when I had a conversation with Andrew, I asked him about the workouts and the hiit....and he said, dude, look how much fat I had to lose, I had to do a lot more cardio than what the book says.

    Scott LaPierre is another one. If you google "How I won the 2003 Body-for-LIFE contest" you will come upon a 3 page article where he describes in detail how he did it. And there is nothing in his article that even remotely resembles the book.

    I admire all of these people, and it is obvious that there are many ways to rome, I just like there to be a great deal of honesty. It didn't set well with me how Andrew's wife was talking about her husbands results, when I had just spoke with the man himself telling me he did more than prescribed in the book.

    I believe what I am trying to get at is just that if you follow what the book says verbatim, you can have a fit body while maintaining a healthy lifestyle to look and feel your best.

    However, if you want to get big, or add 30 lbs of muscle to your frame or get shredded for a photo shoot, then you need to understand you are going to have to alter your way of going about it. This means knowing how many grams of pro/cho/fat you are taking, different split routines and more cardio.

    BFL is absolutely a great way to stay fit for life and it teaches everyone the fundamentals, I just don't want someone to have the desire to get contest ripped or have greater aspirations than what the book will deliver and feel like the contestant themselves has failed. Which if anyone gives just 12 weeks a try is anything but a failure.

    To all the BFL Family,


  • Charlie- Thank you for the follow up information.  Its quite interesting and informative!