The rules of body transformations
By Coach Fahad Maniar
Body transformations are all the rage these days with before and after photos saturating social media and fitness companies all promising to deliver you incredible results in a life changing 8, 12, 16 or insert the number of weeks here, week challenge.
Don’t get me wrong, body transformations are possible, in fact, we’ll show you some of our clients before and afters later on in this blog post but I think it’s really important that you know the ins and outs of successful body transformations before you embark on one.
I’ve come up with the following 10 commandments of body transformations. If you miss even one of these steps, you may sabotage your chances of achieving the results you wish so take heed!
1. Thou shall set a goal
It goes without saying but you need to have clearly set goals. And setting a goal isn’t just a case of writing down some vague goal like, “I’ll have a six pack in 8 weeks” – You’re going to want to set SMART goals. But setting a goal is only half of the process. You need to know where you are now. Get in touch with a coach who can assess exactly where you are now and tell you honestly what you can achieve in the time frame you have set.
For example, if a client comes into our studio and wants to take us on with our 90-day challenge but they’re at 30% body fat, there’s no way we can promise them a six pack by the end of 90 days. What we can achieve would be a more modest goal of getting the foundations right whilst getting their body fat lower and help them achieve better habits and fitness levels.
For more info on goal setting, check out our blog post on How to get motivated for fitness!
2. Thou shall get absolutely real and tell the truth!
This is where I see most people go wrong. So often I get people telling me that they want to achieve phenomenal results – I mean, don’t we all? Everyone wants to be a badass and get badass results until they realise what the badass people with the badass results did to get to where they are. The road ahead to create an epic body transformation like Team Fighting Fit memberHolly below isn’t easy.
You’ve got to follow the plan to the letter. Be strict with your diet, make sure you’re training hard, doing what your coach is telling you to do and be absolutely accountable (see below).
[Holly transformed her body with us but she put in some serious effort!]
A good coach will outline exactly how to get the results you want and be brutally honest with you as to what it will take to achieve it. It is now up to you to be 100% freaking honest with yourself as to whether this is something you’re willing to commit to. Now, look! If you can’t 100% commit to the plan then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, we readjust your goal to something that you are willing to do.
What’s categorically unacceptable is when a client tells us that they’re willing to go all out and then after the first week or two, give up because it’s too hard and then either give up or worse, blame us!
3. Thou shall make it an event
If you’ve got 90 days to accomplish your goal then have an event at the end of the 90 days to work towards. Let me tell you a quick secret of why fighters get in such great shape (or any athlete for that matter) – They have an event to work towards. They have a date aka a deadline which gives them added positive stress to do the work regardless of whether or not they want to.
This could be a competition, a wedding, a holiday or if you haven’t got anything like that planned, you could just book a photoshoot but trust me when I say, having something to aim for at the end of the transformation period will make adhering to the plan so much easier!
4. Thou shall make the body transformation your highest priority
Over the next 6, 8, 12 or however many weeks you’ve planned for your transformation challenge, NOTHING is more important than your training and nutrition plan. If you have a hectic social life, it’s going to need to be put on hold. If you’re constantly eating out or entertaining clients, you’re going to either have to stop or have the discipline to not indulge but guess what, if you tell people that you can’t eat junk or that you can’t miss the gym because you’re on a strict plan for x weeks, people will usually respect that and think, whoa, you’re a total badass and hold you in high regard for the commitment you’re showing!
Of course, there are events in our lives that are very important. Rushing your kids to the hospital or a family bereavement will obviously come before going to the gym but they (hopefully) don’t happen very often – it’s the lifestyle things you habitually do that will interfere with your plan that need to be put on hiatus.
5. Thou shall train each session with intensity
Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of training. When it comes to the workouts, you’re no longer exercising but training. You’re going to put everything you have in every workout. Sure, there will be days where you just don’t feel like going to the gym and there will be days where you are at the gym and just feel like pants but you have to soldier in in spite of how you feel.
Your workouts are going to leave you sore and you are going to perform every rep of every set to the max, I’m talking eye popping out of your skull intensity. When it comes to cardio, unless it’s steady state recovery or warm up, you’ll be doing a lot of high-intensity training. The same rule applies, you’re going to go “All in” with your cardio too!
You may feel like puking up, heck you may even puke but this is the price you promised yourself you’d pay!
6. Thou shall not deviate from your diet plan
Right, most people get the training. They know that it’s going to be uncomfortable and that’s something you can get to terms with but for some reason, getting to terms with a strict diet is a lot harder for people to swallow (pardon the pun).
If you’re going for a strict challenge then your diet is going to have to be on point. You’re going to have to plan and prep ahead of time according to a plan orprotocol.
If your coach has allowed cheat meals during the plan then even the cheat meals will need to be done in accordance with the protocol.
Diet is as much as 70% of the equation but it’s also where most people go wrong. We all have emotional links to food. After all, we need to eat to survive, we don’t need to work out to survive so the body has linked strong chemical reward systems with eating and as hard as it may be, you’re now going to be eating for your goals, not for your taste buds.
It might sound horrible and it might sound like you’re not going to have any more fun in life but trust me when I say this, you will get used to healthy food to the point that when you eat unhealthy foods, you will really not like it! And yes, it’s not easy resisting the junk, the cakes and the fast food sometimes but the resistance is worth it, this is what makes athletes a tough breed!
[Prepping your meals ahead of time is going to be imperative during the transformation process]
7. Thou shall count calories and macros
Staying with food for the 7th commandment. You’re going to have to pay strict attention to calories and macros. Your coach will provide you with the calories they want you to be hitting as well as the macros you should be hitting.
This means you’re going to want to make sure you’re measuring and tracking your intake. Apps like my fitness pal will definitely help you but one thing that makes it easier is to keep your diet simple and revolving around fewer food choices. This doesn’t mean it the same thing every day, but it means having fewer choices for proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Of course, spices and herbs add variety so food doesn’t need to be boring.
8. Thou shall not be an ask hole
If you’ve hired a coach (I would have actually made hiring a coach a commandment in all honesty because it’s very hard to do it without a coach but not impossible) then listen to them! Follow them! if they’re honestly a bad coach, don’t pay them and find a coach that knows their stuff!
But if you’ve hired a coach that knows their stuff and has gotten results with other clients then do what they tell you to do. Don’t ask for their advice then go around on the internet or looking for the advice of others.
Doing this will confuse you and annoy the hell out of you and your coach. You’ve paid your coach for a reason, do what they say – remember, they want you to get the results too because their reputation relies on you achieving your body transformation ergo, a good coach won’t give you bad advice.
9. Thou shall rest
One of my clients has a saying, rest is key – This is probably because he misses too many sessions when he gets busy but there is a grain of wisdom to his joke.
Again, this has to do with lifestyle. Coach Martin Rooney was very strong with us in the Training For Warriors coaching program to get 8 hours of sleep. In fact, today I saw a Tweet about how the best supplement for fat loss and muscle growth is good sleep, so don’t go to GNC, go to bed!
If you’re up late watching Netflix or surfing the internet, switch it off and get your 7-8 hours of sleep! You’re training hard and eating clean so you’re going to need good amounts of sleep for recovery but also, from a hormonal point of view, when you have deep sleep, you’ll ramp up your muscle building and fat burning hormones!
10. Thou shall not rebound (Or at least understand it so you can minimise it)
What do you think most people do after a period of super strict dieting? Imagine, you’ve dieted hard, trained hard and your event is over (photo shoot, competition or whatever…) – It’s time to let your hair down and have a treat, right? I mean you’ve been super strict up until now? It’s time to gorge on an extra large pizza, fries, cookie dough and ice cream with full sugar coke!
The rebound is something very real that happens (I’ve even experienced it myself after a fight). This is where you let one meal become two.. become three etc..
And soon enough, all the hard work you’ve put in goes to pot!
One of the things we’re big on at Team Fighting Fit is not rushing the process. Whilst we do help you get a body transformation, we do it in stages. It’s important to build layers of good habits so that once you do achieve your goal, you are more able to maintain fitness and health.
But even if you do do a strict competition style diet for a transformation,
Post-transformation diet and training, you need to do something called a reverse diet. This is where you slowly introduce calories back into your diet and carbohydrates or the foods you’ve been deprived off and easing off your training. This process too has to be controlled otherwise you’ll suffer the ill effects of the rebound which can take a toll both physically and mentally.
[Just some of our many client results – Do you want to be the next before and after star?]