The dictionary’s definition of TRANSFORM is to “change completely the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved”.
And I say ‘transformation success’ as a loose term as some people want to shed fat (lose weight), some want to add lean muscle (gain weight) and then there are those at this stage... ‘not bothered’ about weight but want to “become fitter, healthier and tone up a bit” Basically what you look like in the mirror, rather than the number on a scale.
However, getting to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth can be a bit of a mine-field.
Especially, since there are so many ‘peddlers’ of misinformation (or parts of misinformation) in the diet and fitness industry.
Some focus on just nutrition and say “follow this diet to produce the body of your dreams you don’t even need to exercise!” Then you’ve got the latest exercise gadget people...
“You can eat whatever you want as long as you follow this new form of training program and the fat will instantly melt away”.
I must say, occasionally somebody does ‘combine the two’... Diet AND Exercise. So we are getting halfway there…
Then there are the out and out complete sellers of miss-truths... THE MAGIC PILL BRIGADE!
'take these tablets, eat pizza, watch T.V. all day, go to bed and wake up slim'!
YES, I know I’m exaggerating but to some degree it’s more or less what they are promising AND what they want you to believe.
So what is to be believed and what isn’t?
There are 5 True, Essential Secrets of Body Transformation A true successful ‘Body Transformation Program’ has these 5 Key Ingredients:
1. Nutrition (diet)
3. Supplementation (This is NOT magic pills!)
5. Mind (mental clarity)
At this stage, one of the questions you are probably asking yourself at is 'well if all these other people are full of B.S. what makes you so different'? AND if that is the question you are asking yourself... that IS EXACTLY what you should be doing. I actually encourage it and here’s why.
I am the co-creator of the world’s leading Kettlebell 'Group Fitness System Kettlercise®'. I was also a presenter on ITV’s first ever series of ‘Fat Families’. I was the man that first put Kettlebells on National T.V. and worked as Advisor, Presenter on several articles in the National Media: ITV, Daily Mail, BBC Radio to name a few. I have literally put ‘my money where my mouth is’ AND stood up and done this ‘stuff’ with hundreds of clients just like you and to some degree I still do. I hope that answers the question. If not, I’ll prove it as you continue reading.
1. The First Key to Transformation Success
The first Key we’ll talk about is Exercise.
Not because I think it’s the most important, but because I have to start somewhere, right? Remember its only 1 of 5 Key Ingredients.
The other week, the mainstream press were running articles on the ’new idea’ that exercise could be the key to curing the World’s obesity and cardiovascular epidemic.
So here’s a few of the key points they mentioned:
1. Weight gain increases the chances of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancer.
2. Experts think that exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle and NOT restricting calories.
3. As little as 20 minutes a day of brisk walking lowers the risk of heart disease by 30%-40%.
4. Regular activity should also include weights as resistance exercises
So far there’s nothing of ‘ground breaking’ news there.
In a recent editorial in the ‘Journal of Cardiology’ Professors from ‘The Charles E. Schmeit College of Medicine’ at Florida Atlantic University evaluated the evidence. Professor C. Hennekens one of the Co-authors said, 'If physical activity were a pill then perhaps more people would take it'.
If Exercise were a Pill... would you take it?
Most people have great difficulty achieving and maintaining weight loss solely by restricting calories, therefore modern ‘inactive lifestyles’ seem to be as important as diet in etiology and obesity. The authors note that regular physical activity should include ‘resistance training’ (lifting weights).
The maintenance or increase in lean body mass (muscle) derived from lifting weights promotes an increase in the calories you can burn at rest which significantly adds to control of body weight.
As well as helping to get body weight under control the authors point out important beneficial effects beyond body weight including: blood pressure, heart attacks, certain types of cancer, strokes and diabetes as well as arthritis, mood, energy, sleep and sex life.
You need a structured exercise program that caters for the level and anility where you are now and can be progressed as you get fitter and stronger. Think our ‘Lean-In-14’ Program goes from Beginner to Advanced. I’m not trying to sell it to you I’m giving it to you as an example (when I am trying to sell to you I’ll normally tell you first).
But back to the example; the ‘Beginner’ program. It starts very steady but can be adjusted easily by using a lighter or a heavier kettlebell depending on your own ability. Then as you progress, you can do the same in the ‘Intermediate’ section and again in the ‘Advanced’ part.
Most people go off like a bull at a gate wanting to kill themselves in the first minute, then after 2 days when they can’t see those six pack abs in the mirror: QUIT.
Take your time in the early days in any training program... It will pay off in the coming weeks.
We’ve already covered some of the most obvious health aspects of exercise earlier, but for what we are talking about with regards to Body Transformation remember these 6 points:
1. It Burns Calories
2. It Shapes Muscle
3. Releases Happy Hormones; Endorphin's
4. Regulates Hormones
5. Strengthens Bones and Tendons
6. Aids Sleep
2. The Second of The 5 Keys... The 'D' Word!
Diet... The Dreaded 'D' Word!
So, the dreaded ‘D’ word... Diet. Which again, has been hijacked and turned into something it isn’t by 'savvy marketers'.
It’s now a word that brings fear into many a person’s life, mainly as a result of the ‘magic pills and potions’ sellers of various degrees, who have spent
bucket loads of cash telling people it is something to fear.
I’ve even heard fitness professionals say 'I don’t believe in diets'.
Let’s look at what it means.
According to the Oxford dictionary it is ‘The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats’.
Now obviously it’s been translated over time to now mean: “A special course of food to which a person restricts themselves either to lose weight or for medical reasons”.
With all the misinformation and the play on words like restricting yourself (putting the emphasis on restricting) who is going to like it?
So let’s put it in some sort of context, if you habitually eat foods that are not conducive to body transformation like Pizzas, high calorie takeaways and a gazillion other things you’re never ever going to change, no matter what your own internal opinion is.
The body doesn’t know 'opinions' and unfortunately doesn’t care. All it knows is that if it takes too much fuel in it needs to store the ‘spare stuff’ as fat, just in case you might need it later. There are little tricks to help (slightly) but none to any noticeable degree.
Changing to foods that are conducive to body transformation on a regular basis are the only options you have. I’m being blunt and you might not like it but it’s the truth, the whole truth. It also doesn’t mean that it needs to be awful either.
I once had a client who had heard great things about me. To book an initial consultation with me isn't cheap, even in the early days they weren’t. For me to meet with you assess your current situation, design your exercise and nutritional program it could be several thousands of pounds, but I was known for getting results when everything else had failed.
Let me call the client Brian. He was in his 60s carrying about 70 lbs of excess baggage. His doctor had condemned him and he had serious medical problems. As we started the consultation Brain said:
“I’ll do whatever you want but don’t ask me to give up pies as I can’t do it”.
At which point I replied:
“Well, thanks for coming Brain unfortunately there is nothing I can do for you. You're screwed, looks like the Doc’s right! Don’t worry about paying me today please tell my assistant on the way out”.
As you can imagine that came as a slight shock to Brian, and you could have heard a pin drop in my office especially when I just looked at him straight in the eye and smiled.
Brian then broke down in tears on the spot and as much as I deliberately shocked him, I had to get him to realise that his opinion didn’t matter and this was freakin’ serious, and that if he continued on the same habitual path there are consequences, which are happening now, not tomorrow… or the day after, but right now.
Your position may be different than Brian’s but you’re not going to get a different result by doing the things you’ve always done. Don’t be frightened or put off by a word, it’s only a word especially now you know what it means.
As for Brian, he took massive action and although he didn’t quite lose 70lbs he did enough to reverse some of the challenges he was facing and as far as I’m aware is still going strong in his seventies. He still probably eats the occasional pie every now and then but not habitually.
3. THE BIG ONE! Number 3 of 5 Keys to Body Transformation
The brain (or mind), I would suggest is the Number 1 key factor of all of the 5 key ingredients to body transformation success and it’s THE most overlooked and I would go as far to say rarely even considered as a factor to achieving the body you desire.
‘A person convinced against their will is of the same opinion still’ to quote a phrase which translates to forcing yourself against your own desires will lead to failure. I’ll explain more in a minute.
Most of the human race hates change and will go to bizarre lengths to ‘fight it’ which is even more weird. The universe is in constant change all the time and whether you like it or not you’re changing right now. Cells are growing and dying. You’re getting older second by second, minute by minute hour by hour. Weather changes, seasons, economy, towns, politics, trees, plants; we are surrounded by a sea of change. It’s how the universe works, always has done and always will do.
You need to get ‘mental clarity’ on the reason or reasons you WANT to change to take you from where you are now to where you want to be. (Notice I didn’t say ‘need to’ change they are two separate things in this context until they both meet).
This is essential so grab a piece of paper and start to make a list.
• Why do you want to change?
• What difference will it make in your life?
• How will you feel?
• How differently will people treat you?
• What will you look like?
• What will you wear?
• What will you do differently?
I’m not getting ‘happy clappy’ but it is important as these reasons are what will guide you when your mind is trying to tell you to give up, when people say “go on just have one you deserve it”.
How about this: ‘life’s for living you might die tomorrow’. And they would be right. A happy fulfilled life is something I want for you and that dying tomorrow thing, that only works out if you actually do die tomorrow and I don’t want that to happen to either of us.
If we accept that change is inevitable would it not make sense to change for the better, as doing nothing will make things even worse.
Once you’ve got your list you now need to move and take massive action. Don’t dwell on it “nothing happens til’ something moves”. Get moving!
4. Are you missing out? The 4th Principal of Success
Before we delve into the 4th Success Principal let me just share a quick story (you’ll see why shortly). Let me tell you about the Tale of the Two Woodcutters…
Deep in the forest lived two woodcutters, who both believed they were the fastest woodcutters in the country. They would regularly come across each other whilst out in the forest and share tales of extraordinary success on how many trees they had cut down and how much better they were than the other.
Till one day Luke, the first woodcutter said ‘Listen, I know I can cut down more trees in one day than you.’
The second woodcutter Joe said ‘not a chance I am the hardest, fastest working woodcutter you have ever seen.’
They both decided they would have a contest from sun rise to sunset. The winner would be the person with the most trees cut down. The day of the contest arrived, all the locals had come out to see them. As the sun rose both men set to work. About two hours in, Joe looked up to see how Luke was doing in the distance… Luke was sat down.
‘He must have burnt out early’ as a sly smile crept across Joes face.
Then every time Joe looked up he could see Luke just sitting there… ‘I’ve got him’ he thought.
As the sunset both men came to count each other’s work, Joe had cut down an astonishing amount of trees but Luke had done nearly twice as much.
Joe was amazed: ‘I don’t get it’ he said to Luke, ‘How could you cut down so many trees? every time I looked up you were sat down’.
Luke said it might have looked like I was just sat there doing nothing, but I was actually sharpening my axe.
With Success Principal #4, You have to take time out to rest and recuperate. It is as much a part of the training program as actually doing the exercise. If you don’t get enough sleep, get away from the stresses of life and take some down time and give the body time to repair. Otherwise, your adrenal glands will become so overworked you can actually start to gain fat.
Take time out to sharpen the axe and recharge the batteries. Then go again.
5. Number 5 of the Five Secrets to Body Transformation
We started this journey together with looking at the #5 Essential Secrets to Body Transformation Success.
So far we've covered...
And now for the next one... Supplements.
There is a lot written out there in the diet and fitness industry on supplements. Some things are great and some are just total BS just marketed to sell more junk. Let me clear up any 'confusion'.
There is no magic pill or powder currently available that you can take that will simply melt fat by using that product alone without either exercising and/or changing your current food intake protocol. If there was I would have been telling you of 'this new just discovered ancient secret found in some far off land that will rock your world overnight and you can buy it here for just 3 easy payments of xxxx'. But as you can see I'm NOT!
Here's (in my experience) what some Supplements will do:
They can speed up the process when mixed with the four other success principals.
They can help repair health issues that I believe stop the transformation process, like leaky gut syndrome, adrenal fatigue and hormonal issues.
They can replace meals if you are needing to grab something on the go.
They can help hitting the required protein intake that's required before training, during training and after training
They can help if you are deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, fat's or other amino acids etc.
They can add variety to the Nutritional Program.
They are convenient
They aid Rest and Recovery.
They stimulate the brain and the body prior to and during exercise.
In my line of work I feel they are essential, and as I use them every day within client programs... It's as simple as that for the following reasons:
If I had to enter a competition on body transformation and had two people of the same build, age, sex, weight or in all factors they were exactly the same AND if the only difference in the competition was that I could use supplements and the other person couldn't. I would win every time and even more so if there was a time constraint.
I could go on and give you real specifics about what to use, when to use it and 101 different variations but it's probably outside what we are talking about at the moment. I do write regular blog articles where I do dig into this in a more in-depth way.