confilicting advice.

  • ok, iv'e been visiting here for a little while now. and so far it been good, but recently reading some comments, i see advice contrary to the body for life.

    but what really got me was 1 person suggesting that previous champions did'nt actually follow body for life.

    now i go by results and for someone to even suggest the results i see are not through following body for life, alarm bells go off.

    i just don't need at this stage in my life people making body for life an inferior plan to what they might consider a better way.

    when you face the abyss and see a bridge, don't go burning it for others.

    thanks to all the supporters,


    My success is your success.

  • Howdy Jeff!  

    The original champions did the program without the book because it wasn't written then, but apart from that, most would have done it by the book I believe....  anyways, regardless...

    Here! Here! on the rest of it... this is afterall the "Body For Life" website, if you can't express support for questions regarding the aspects of this program because you've moved on....  refrain from commenting, ALL you are doing is putting more doubt and fear into the minds of those that have made that momentous decision to DO IT!

    Jeff, here's some more blogs for New people from Mike Harris on opinions, training, trusting the program and a quick check list.. Cheers mate!

    Why So Many Opinions??

    by: Michael Harris  7/30/2007

    On the guestbook you will see day after day and exchange of opinions concerning what works and what doesn’t.

    Some claim great results by doing a different type of workout than the one recommended by the book. Others claim that a vegetarian diet is the best, or that eating only fruits for carbs works best. Others say that starchy carbs work best, and that eating those carbs at certain times of the day works best.

    THen, there are the very frustrated people, who are claiming that they are doing absolutely by the book and seeing no results at all! HOW CAN ALL THIS BE THE CASE????

    Well, as to the last one, the people who are claiming that they are doing everything by the book and are seeing no results at all, two things are possible. One is that they aren’t paying attention. Often, these same people will do some measurements and find that they have lost many inches, even though the scales haven’t moved. That is common because in BFL gaining muscle, which weighs much more than fat in the same volume, is part of the process. So, they are looking leaner but relying on the wrong measurement--weight. And as the process goes along, the weight will come off, too.

    For the rest of those who really aren’t getting results, it’s one of two things. Either they have confused this diet with one of the quick to lose, quick to put back on types of diets, and are just too impatient, or they are eating more calories than they think they are.

    What about those debates about what works best?! How can both possibly be right about what carbs are best or what type of workout produces the best results? The adaptation response tells us all we need to know. The adaptation response simply means that an exercise that you’ve never done before, or haven’t done for a long time, will produce muscle growth if you do it hard enough and long enough. Soon, your body will adjust to that exercise and quit growing. The body is programmed biologically to be in homeostasis, a condition of stability. Without that programming, a body might otherwise grow uncontrollably, something you occasionally see in steroid consumers.

    As for the dieting, changing approaches may work well for a short time. Using all fruits and veggies instead of starchy carbs can drop scale pounds for a few weeks, but it comes at a price. Workout strength will drop and muscle mass loss will occur. Eating no carbs at all, and raising the amounts of protein and fat consumed can also have a radical effect on fat loss as well. This weight loss comes at a cost, and that is cravings for carbs, and loss of muscle mass.

    If the diet has quit working for you, one of three things has happened. You may have inadvertently began eating more than you think. This often happens as the challenge progresses, because you get hungrier, and because the common human tendency is to always consume a bit more food than we think we are. Strict measuring and journaling is needed to reverse these trends. Another possibility is that free day has gone from free to insane. It is entirely possible to eat enough on one day to destroy the results of an entire week. The last possibility is that you are approaching your set point weight, and this may require carbohydrate manipulation to get over the hump. Here, your best bet is to keep starchy carbs in the diet--you’ve gotta have energy or this won’t work. But consume them during the early part of the day and around workouts, so they’ll be burned off instead of put on in the form of fat.

    by: Michael Harris  8/29/2007

    Once you register and you begin your challenge, one thing you really need to do is keep your enthusiasm in line with your body condition. If you have laid out of exercise for much of the last year, and if you are more than 25 pounds overweight, you will likely need to begin a bit more slowly than you would like, both in cardio and in resistance training. If you don’t, then you’re greatly increasing your odds of a training injury that will at least affect your challenge outcomes, and may possibly even take you clear out of the exercise business for a while.

    Overweight and under conditioned trainees who start right out running instead of walking fast on a treadmill or on the pavement often develop shin splints, knee or hip joint pain, back pain and sometimes even heel spurs or arch problems. Some of these, especially the heel spurs and the joint problems, can delay the effectiveness of your challenge in a significant way.

    So, what do you do? Well, for starters, our de-conditioned trainees can always use the elliptical or a good upright or recumbent stationary bike to get their cardio in. This takes care of the joint pounding problems and still gives you a heck of a workout. Walking on a treadmill, and increasing the incline and the speed a bit, but still keeping it slow enough that you’re not running, can also give you a great cardio workout without risk of injury.

    For weight training, the same thing applies. Don’t try lifting weights you can’t control. Injuries to shoulders, elbows and wrists often result. Rather than hoisting or throwing up the "big" weights, use ones you can control, and simply slow down both the up and down strokes, especially the downstroke (eccentric) and you’ll still get a killer workout without frying your joints. Be especially careful of overhead pressing if you have had shoulder or neck problems. This is probably one of the areas where a machine rather than free weights would be a good place to start. You really don’t want to blow a cervical disc or tear a rotator cuff, and overhead lifting is an area where those things can happen if you don’t play it safe.

    Don’t underestimate gym safety. Strong shoes can save broken toes when those weight discs slip. Gym chalk can keep a weight in your hand when the grip gets weak, and a weight belt is never a bad idea if you’re doing squats or deadlifts with significant weights. And just one last thought. Leave the "exotic" exercises alone for the first challenge. Just because everyone else is trying to do Bulgarian Split Squats, that doesn’t mean that it’s a good exercise for you. Stick with the book--the champions did!

    There’s plenty of time to emulate Arnold Schwarzenegger during your 12 week challenge, if you’re around that long. To be sure you ARE around that long, be safe rather than sorry, by getting in condition before you get hurt. The road crossing the abyss is littered with the wreckage of those who got hurt during their challenge and had to sit out the exercise part. Don’t be that guy!

    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! 


  • Jeff ~

    Debs provided you pure gems of wisdom!

    I've answered you on the other threads.  

    Most all the pictures you've seen are of people who did the BFL plan precisely as written in the book.  It's not a con.  It's not even a con that the original 5 did a somewhat different lifting plan, because BFL didn't even exist then.  They were following Bill's magazine.  The thing with their plan, and why their results were more dramatic than some you've seen the past 10 years is that they were ultra strict.  The followed the eating plan in the book, but didn't try and justify things like Special K cereal.  They were hardcore.  It was BFL... the strictest form.  

    You've got this.  Stick with us, and we are sure sticking with you!


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

  • Thanks to all of you for supporting and providing the info above to all of us out here and especially all the new folks who may have their doubts about following the program and the results of the past. WTG folks!!

  • Jeff just do BFL as it is written. My point in telling you what I did was simply to point out that if you are trying to get shredded, the people who achieved that condition trained like a bodybuilder. Body part splits, lots of cardio, meticulous attention to their food, weighing it etc. then what happened is bill Phillips being the marketing genius that he is, took the BASICS of bodybuilding and condensed it down for everyday people to fit into their own lives/schedule. A balanced workout routine, 3 days weights, 3 days cardio with balanced meals throughout the day will get you in great shape. It is my opinion that as a man you can get down to 8-10% bodyfat following BFL. if you wanna get shredded into competition levels like a bodybuilder would, in the 3-6% Bodyfat you will need to go above and beyond in all 3 areas, nutrition/weights/cardio than what BFL says.

    So go do BFL. it will get you into the best shape of your life, and just like I said in another thread, if for some reason it isn't working for you, send me an email, I will personally help you.

  • Thank you charlie, i appreciate that, this crossing the abyss is quite a journey.

    My success is your success.

  • LOL at the poster above. Peanut butter isn't authorized. Let's get real. You think you can only have foods that bill Phillips says to? That's just silly. I ate turkey breast tenderloin today. This isn't authorized lol pb is good. You need fats. This one tbsp a day thing from bfl is garbage. You need waaaaaay more than that.

  • LOL is the stuff of teenaged girls and really doesn't have a place here in that context.  

    Never did anyone say you can only have foods that Bill Phillips authorized.  It's a matter of applying the logic.  

    It's essential we consume fats, and that includes healthy saturated fats.  That being said, peanut butter is a crappy option, and for many, slippery slope.  Let's get real... it just doesn't have much redeeming value.

    I'm outspoken about my views on fats, having blogged on the top, and our need for more than the 1 tablespoon, though it shows a total ignorance about fats to think that PB is the way to go when it comes to fats consumption.  BFL was written in the 90's, and yes, since we've learned a lot more about fats.  That being said, going completely off the program and making it different, well... makes it different.  

    There's a framework to consider and since 1 tablespoon wouldn't even begin to constitute 20%, it's simply a silly assertion.  

    AND... oh the irony that the snarky reply was in this thread, of all threads.  

    This isn't about Charlie's ego.  This is about helping people build their Body-for-LIFE!  

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

  • Just my 2p's worth or should it be 2 cents, after following this plan for nearly 3 weeks now, I don't think I'm going to wreck my progress with peanut butter & cheesecake, after reading a lot of old posts especially from mike Harris, it's clear to do body for life you have to stick with the plan. Now when I hit 12 weeks and I'm really not happy with my results i will certainly take Charlie up on his offer. But I'm actually getting used to going without the nice things like sugar & fat.

    My success is your success.

  • I LOVE the quotation, Jeff!  

    Yes.  Stick with the plan.  Do remember that fats are good and ESSENTIAL, though in the context I assume you meant all the extra that doesn't help.  Please take fish oil, (unless on blood thinners).  Have some egg yolk, enjoy avocado, and certainly allow good quality oils into your diet.  ...but you know what I mean.  Keep going, buddy!  

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

  • Thank you for your reading on that Jessica.  Bill does mention other nuts in his book (like walnuts) as lower fat alternatives if I remember right. It is also in many of the earlier EAS manuals of which I have one or two as well.

  • The reason I give the advice I do, is because this is not the best way to get your best body.

  • Well let's just say, this is not the best way for Charlie to get his best body.

    And at the moment it's working for me, so I'm going to carry on.

    Just because it differs from some other plans doesn't mean it's not the best way, it just means it works for some.

    i suppose its a bit like a mercedes dealer going into a bmw dealership & telling prospective buyers to not bother with the bmw, beacause its just not that good.

    My success is your success.

  • Keep it up jeff

  • oh i am keeping it up & i dropped my bodyfat percentage by 6% in the 1st 4 weeks, by this rate i can get by body fat down to around 10 percent, which is just about where i plan to be.

    but you can't just say this is not the best way to get the best body. that is just your opinion.

    My success is your success.