Web site is for my personal
Body-for-life Challenge is
Kelly is a 37 year old, married, mother of one. She is married to radio guy, Rockett. They now have their own web radio show dedicated to fitness and the Body-for-Life challenge. If you get a chance check it out at www.radioplex.com/yourperfectbody
Kelly was awarded top prize in the nationally sponsored transformation challenge. The challenge consisted of over 200,000 participants. For her incredible transformation she was awarded an edorsment contract, $10,000, a 1998 Corvette, along with several other prizes.
I saw Kelly's photos
and found her transformation incredibly inspiring. I encourage everyone
to read her story and her articles in Muscle Media magazine and tune in
every thursday to her husband's show at radioplex.
As you can see from Kelly's pictures, she made an unbelievable transformation. I find her story and pictures to be motivating and inspiring. There is no reason why anyone cannot finish the challenge. Just ask Kelly. For exercise, nutrition, and other input from Kelly Adair, write to her c/o Muscle Media at 555 Corporate Circle, Golden, CO 80401.
I have been asked quite frequently about how I accomplished my transformation as a 1998 Co-Champion in the EAS Physique Transformation Challenge. I will attempt to summarize my training, nutrition, and supplementation program for you as briefly I as can but still try to give you sooulme of the finer detail. I would like to point out that the Body-for-Life program did not exist when I took Bill's Challenge last year (unfortunately) so we were all kind of on our own relative to our training programs. I think you will find though, as you read this, that my program contained much of the fabric of Body-for-Life that I picked up through reading Muscle Media, Bill's editorials and from other sources. I would encourage most people to EXACTLY follow the Body-for-Life program as outlined in Bill's book as it is proven to work for most everyone and it is Bill's accumulation of the common denominators of success as well as the addition of his own vast knowledge all in one convenient source. This year I have had the pleasure of coaching many people following the book to a tee who have achieved incredible 12 weeks results with it.
I started lifting weights when I was 16 years old and became hooked on the positive physical and mental aspects of it long ago. The gym was always my sanctuary where I could relieve my mind of the everyday stress and pick myself up no matter how bad my day was. After graduating from college I began to focus more on my career and family then the gym and I turned into a "recreational lifter" going to the gym on the average of 3-4 times per week. I always thought that I looked ok, but it certainly didn't seem like I was making progress in hindsight, I had been on a 15 year maintenance plan.
Bill's Challenge was introduced to me by my brother-in-law who showed me some of the 1997 before and after pictures and asked me what I thought. In looking at the incredible transformations that were made in such a short period of time, I must admit I questioned whether or not they were real. Almost all of the people on the poster looked better than I did and I had been lifting weights for 20 years! At that point in time I made a conscious commitment to change and the Challenge became the perfect "excuse" for me to give it my all. I had not spent countless hours in the gym just to have an "average" physique, rather, I wanted one that stood out in the crowd I wanted to transform, just like all of the people in those photos. But how was I going to achieve this, when I had not achieved it in 20 years? The before pictures and my initial bodyfat reading of close to 16% were sobering reality for me I certainly had to do something different. Outlined below are the changes I made in my training and my way of living. Goal Setting & Visualization- After reading Bill write about it countless times , I finally sat down and wrote out specific goals for my 12 week program. I never before realized just how powerful this process was and it became my roadmap to success.
My initial goals
were as follows:
I taped these goals into the front of my training log (something I never had kept before) and I looked at them before my workouts and before bedtime every day. I became very interested in the mental aspects of muscle development and started reading books related to self-hypnosis and visualization. After lots of practice I actually became quite good at putting myself into a relaxed state and visualizing what I wanted to look like. I used Shawn Phillip's photo on the cover of the Body of Work video as my main source of visualization and inspiration. I would imagine my head on his body and having those incredible abs. I believe that this goal setting process, the internalization of those goals through affirmation, and the visualization and of what I wanted to look like were very significant factors in my transformation.
A typical day's meals
on my program looked something like this:
My breakfasts were almost always egg whites and oatmeal or cream of rice. I used the generic egg substitutes (99% egg whites) sprayed pam in a fry pan and scrambled them and then topped with picante sauce. As for the oatmeal, I would use 1 cup of the regular oatmeal in a bowl with one cup of non-fat milk, put in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes and top with a little cinnamon and equal and a tad more milk its great! For lunches and dinners, I would typically buy a big bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and barbecue them on the grill while the rice and broccoli were steaming. I used three portion tupperware trays and put a chicken breast or other lean meat in one compartment, cup of rice or potatoes in another, and a cup of vegetables in the third thus getting a completely balanced meal. Alternatively, I would create a rice bowl by putting a cup of rice in a tupperware bowl, then cover with a sliced chicken breast and broccoli. You can then use a teriyaki or other sauce to flavor to your liking.
I always viewed the Myoplex shakes as food rather than supplements and they certainly were much more convenient than eating a chicken breast and potato every three hours. You don't have to do 3 shakes a day, rather, you could do 2 and 4 regular meals,.but the important thing is that you get your 6 meals in every day and/or feed your body every two to three hours. I found that by eating the 6 meals a day my energy levels were greatly increased and I was rarely hungry. Additionally, the Myoplex shakes seemed to satisfy my sweet tooth. I would typically mix ice, 16oz water, Myoplex deluxe, a scoop of Betagen, and a scoop of Phosphagen HP and pre-blend at home and carry in a 32oz tupperware container....if not, they actually shake up quite well in the tupperware jugs if necessary. I found it always good to have some extra Myoplex laying around....I had some in my car, in my gym bag, and at the office in case I couldn't get a regular meal in or was short on food. Additionally, I sometimes substituted the Myoplex Deluxe bars instead of the shakes if it was inconvenient to use the shakes or eat a regular meal at work or on the road. Besides the Myoplex Deluxe, Phosphagen HP, and Betagen the other supplements I used on my program were Phen-Free, 30 minutes before my cardio sessions to accelerate fat burning and one serving of Cytovol (which is primarily glutamine) just before bedtime to reduce any catabolic effect that might happen in my sleep.
As noted later, my metabolism started to race in the last part of my program and I increased my calorie level to try gain additional lean mass primarily by adding either a couple of bagels to my diet or by adding uncooked oatmeal to my Myoplex shakes. Tip: In my opinion the two best cooking machines ever made that will cut your cooking time down substantially are a George Foreman grill (extra extra large cooks 6 chicken breasts in five minutes) -$100 & a rice/veggie steamer - $50-60. Every serious BFLer should own them (along with a blender, of course)
My workouts consisted of cardio and abs in the morning before breakfast about 3 times a week and weights later in the day 4-5 days per week. Cardio for me was 20-30 minutes on the Step Mill or the Life Cycle typically using high intensity interval training or a pre-set fat burning cycle (in my opinion the StepMill is definitely the most intense cardio machine in the gym). The morning cardio in a semi-fasted state was something that I had never done before and man did it burn the fat for me (in fact, I needed to pull back on the cardio in the last four weeks and focus more on gaining muscle).
For my abs, I would do circuit training using 6-8 consecutive exercises right after cardio training which included lying leg crunches (15-20reps), leg raises (15-20reps), side leg raises (each side 15-20reps), seated leg crunches (15-20reps), back hyper extensions (20reps) and half sit-ups with my legs on a bench (25-30reps). I would repeat this circuit three times after every cardio session which typically took me about 15 minutes. I always found that working my abs when I was hot and sweaty after my cardio workout and on an empty stomach worked exceptionally well. I was able to totally focus and contract the abs much more so than at other times during the day. I also came across a book titled "3 minute abs" that had some very efficient and effective routines that I used for supplemental ab training. As it only took three minutes a day I found it was easy to fit in, and besides, remember I wanted abs like Shawn's and I would do whatever it took to get them! I would typically do my weight training later in the day, 4-5 times per week, usually going two days on, one day off, two days on, one or two days off. One of the keys for me was to really slow the tempo of my training down and focus on very strict form.
I would typically count to two or three on the way down, one on the bottom, and two to three on the way up. Although, this required reducing the weights I used I knew it was effective because I was I began getting a great "pump" and was always sore for the next few days afterward. I switched my routines about every three weeks incorporating different exercises and using a lot of drop sets and supersets (a drop set is doing the same exercise over with no rest and a 20% decrease in the weight while a superset is doing one different exercise immediately after the other) as well as varying the body parts I was training together (ie splits). By training more intensely for shorter periods of time my body really started to respond (and it really cut down the time in the gym) and every time I switched up my routines I experienced a new type of muscle soreness.
As I knew I had a lot of fat to lose, I decided to focus on a faster paced (one minute or less between sets), higher repetition (10-15) routine in the first portion of my program until I got myself down in the 10% bodyfat range. The split described below of chest/shoulders/triceps, back/biceps, and legs was one of my favorites. Other splits I used during the program were chest/back, shoulders/hamstrings, biceps/triceps, and calves/quads. Additionally, I threw in a couple weeks of German volume training which consists of doing one exercise for 10 sets of ten as an additional shock to the body (this program is described in the back of the Supplement Review Guide) and some of Bills heart and soul routines featured in Muscle Media. (the leg routine is the one that I loved to hate and usually caused me to limp home).
Because of the constant variety I used in my training, it is difficult to describe all of the routines I used, but below is a routine that worked well for me in my fat burning phase:
By the end of my eighth week, I had reduced my bodyfat from 16% to around 9% losing about 15lbs of fat and gaining about 5lbs of muscle, and although my abs were starting to pop, I was starting to feel a little thin. I decided at this point to re-structure my program so as to focus more on gaining lean mass and hopefully to continue to burn fat. The two principal changes I made at this point were to reduce my cardio from three sessions a week to two and to incorporate heavier weights and lower repetitions into my program. After lifting for eight weeks the other way, it was certainly a shock to my body and made me quite sore. I went as absolute heavy as I could go to get the reps and still maintain my form and increased the weight with each additional set (in BFL language that is going for 9's and 10's on every set) Additionally, I increased my intervals between sets to 90-120 seconds, and kicked my calories up by about 500 per day.
Here is a sample routine/split from my muscle building stage:
Again, the weights used in this stage of the program were the most I could handle and still maintain proper form and get the reps in. The key is focus and intensity by keeping complete control over the weight in the lowering and raising of the weight. I usually spent a few minutes before my workout and visualized the exercises and intensity that I wanted to achieve to mentally prepare myself for my workout.
Six days out from my photos I began a three day carbohydrate depletion period followed by a three day carb up period. My photos were on a Saturday so on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday preceding I cut the number of carbs in half from what I had been eating and replaced them with protein (keeping the calorie level about the same), then on Wednesday I doubled my maintenance level carbs and on Thursday and Friday consumed about 150% of my maintenance carbs. For example, if I was eating a cup of rice at every meal, during the depletion stage I would eat * cup, and during the carb up period would eat 2 cups (or 1 * cups on Thursday and Friday) adjusting the protein intake to keep the calorie level constant. You tend to flatten out when you deplete, but then bounce back from the carbs as your muscles suck up the glycogen increasing your vascularity and muscle fullness to "peak" for your photos. This process is not exact and everyone responds to it differently but the method described is a conservative approach and worked well for me. I would not recommend the depletion/carb up period unless your bodyfat is under 10% for men or 15% for women.
To eliminate excess water, about 48 hours out from my shoot I reduced my sodium intake by eliminating sauces, egg whites, and other high sodium items from my diet. I drank normal quantities of water (for me about 140oz a day) up until the night before the shoot and then the day of the shoot sipped water only when thirsty. EAS just came out with a new product call NWB which I am anxious to try out to help eliminate water in the last week.
The day of the shoot I woke up nervous, but hard and tight and ate a light breakfast. I hired a professional photographer to shoot the photos down on a local beach. My bodyfat reading came in at 6.5% translating to 20lbs of fat lost and 10lbs of lean mass gained which actually exceeded the initial goals that I had set for myself. I can't tell you how great it felt after the "after" photos were taken I knew that I given it my all and I certainly felt like I was winner by accomplishing what I had set out to do, regardless of how I had done in the Challenge. Twelve weeks of hard work had paid off and it was tremendously satisfying to know that I had achieved my goals. To celebrate our success, my wife and I had planned a trip to Hawaii several weeks after finishing the program .it was something we had looked forward to and we had a spectacular time. It was kind of our own reward for seeing the program through and doing our best.
the 12 weeks
Deciding to take the Transformation Challenge was definitely one of the best decisions of my life and this past year has been incredible. I can honestly say that nothing but good things have happened to me since I completed the Challenge in July 1998. The most powerful thing about Body-for-Life is how it changes your life beyond just the physical changes. Your whole perspective changes due to your new found self confidence and positive attitude. Also, when you complete the program, you will become an inspiration to all those around you and you will inspire others in your circle of influence to change their lives for the better. It is hard to describe the self-satisfaction and fulfillment that I have received by reaching out and helping others from family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends and even people I have never met it is truly what life is all about and it certainly has added a whole new dimension to mine. I have found that sharing the success of someone that you have helped is every bit as satisfying as enjoying your own success!
I know I covered a lot here briefly. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and I will be glad to answer them for you. Best of luck to you in your own transformation journey in creating your Body-for-Life I think you will find it to be very exciting and something which will change your life in more ways than you ever thought possible. Take care and I wish you the best in health!
Your BFL friend,
Scott R. Nelson