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Body For Life

body for life fitness nutritionI know I have posted on BFL before but I am re-reading it again this time for my BFL Fitness Challenge that I’m doing for the wives in our squadron!!! As I was re-reading it last night, I realized that I didn’t do a great Book Review or “Cliffs Notes” post (as my BFF calls my book posts) so I thought I would b/c there are some GREAT “cliffs notes” pages in his book that give an idea of what you’ll get if you buy this book. I plan to get used copies for each girl who participates in the BFL Challenge…they’re as low as $4 online at!!! You can’t beat that!

Life I said before about BFL, it has all you need! It gives you the motivation to do it through the stories and before and after pics, then it teaches you a bit about how to get your head in the game. Next, you learn the tools of nutrition and exercise! It’s so easy and it is for beginners and experienced athletes. This book is fantastic….and you can even do the workouts from home if you have some dumbbells and a treadmill or can run outside. The cardio is only TWENTY MINUTES!

This book is how I started my LOVE for fitness, nutrition and health and I hope that it can give others the tools they need to start on the path to a healthy and fit BODY FOR LIFE!!!

Preface: Real-World Proof
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. You can. It’s up to you. Decide to do it and follow through.”Forward: The PromiseNo matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change.

Part I: The Breakthrough

This section is great because it shares stories that you can relate to that will motivate you to begin the work it takes. I just picked one at random….You can see hundreds of BFL Before and Afters here…

Part II: Crossing the Abyss
This is the section that mentally prepares you for the challenge. In sports psychology (I know very little) I learned that there are stages we go through when deciding to start a fitness regime. One of those phases is preparing yourself mentally that you can and will do this! Bill Phillips is a straight shooter and I think all of us need that when it comes to getting real with ourselves about what we’re doing and what we are capable of doing!

There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

  • Make the decison to change.
  • Identify your reasons to change and write them down.
  • Focus on your future vision.
  • Dream of what you would like to achieve within 12 weeks.
  • Transform five of those dreams into goals by giving them a deadline, a way to measure them, and writing them down.
  • Identify three unauthorized patterns of action that may hold you back and write them down.
  • Identify three new patterns of action that will help you reach your goals and write them down.
  • Read what you’ve writen first thing in the morning and again at night each and every day during your 12-week Program.
Part III: Separating Myth From Fact

He goes into enough detail in the book to give you a great deal of info on each of the following….

  • Myth: Aerobics is better for shaping up than weight training.
  • Fact: To transform your physique, you must train with weights.
  • Myth: If you exercise, it doesn’t matter what you eat.
  • Fact: If you exercise, it matters even more what you eat.
  • Myth: If women lift weights, they’ll get “bulky.”
  • Fact: Resistence exercise helps women create lean, toned bodies.
  • Myth: Weight training is only for young athletes.
  • Fact: People of all ages should be weight training.
  • Myth: Muscles grow while you’re working out.
  • Fact: Muscles grow whiel you’re resting and recuperating.
  • Myth: A certain number of sets and reps gets the job done.
  • Fact: High-intensity effort produces the best results.
  • Myth: Eating right means three “square meals: a day.
  • Fact: Eating six nutritious meals a day is the right way!
  • Myth: People who overeat lack willpower.
  • Fact: Overeating is a natural instinct.
  • Myth: High-carbohydrate, low-fat diets work best.
  • Fact: People are becoming fat from a “carb overdose”
  • Myth: You have to count every calorie you eat.
  • Fact: You should count “portions,” not calories.
  • Myth: If you “eat right,” you don’t need to take supplements.
  • Fact: Studies show many of us do need to take supplements.
  • Myth: You need to drink water only when you are thirsty.
  • Fact: Your body needs more water than it’s telling you.
  • Myth: You have to eat “perfectly” all the time.
  • Fact: There’s no such thing as eating “perfectly.”
Part IV: The Training-for-LIFE Experience

The following tracking forms can be found on the body for life website.
  • Weight train, intensely, for no more than 46 minutes, three times per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perform 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (I don’t think that’s absolutely necessary -FITori), three times per week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Take Sunday off – it’s your free day.
  • Alternate training the major muscles of the upper body and lower body. For example, the first week, train upper body on Monday, lower body on Wednesday, and upper body on Friday. The second week, train lower body on Monday, upper body on Wednesday, and lower body on Friday. (See chart above).
  • Perform two exercises for each major muscle group of the upper body, which includes: chest, shoulders, back, triceps, and biceps; and for the lower body: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Train the abdominal muscles after lower body.
  • Select one exercise for each muscle group and conduct five sets, starting with a set of 12 reps, then increasing the weight and doing 10 reps, adding more weight and doing eight reps, adding more weight for six reps. Then reduce the weight, do 12 more reps, and immediately go to another set of 12 reps of another exercise for that muscle group.
  • On all lifts, use a cadence of two seconds (say “I am building my Body-for-LIFE”) to lower the weight and one second (say “Body-for-LIFE”) to lift it, and “hold” in the top and bottom positions for a count of “one.”
  • For each muscle group, rest for one minute between the first four sets. Then complete the final two sets with no rest in between. Wait two minutes before moving on to your next muscle group. Complete this pattern five times for the upper body training experience and four times for the lower body training experience.
  • Follow the Intensity Index pattern and push yourself to reach higher every week.
  • Always plan your training beforehand. Plan what time you’re going to exerices, which particular exercises youl’l be doing, how much weight youll be lifting, and how long it will take you to complete the session. Also, keep accurate records using the Training-for-LIFE Experience Daily Progress Reports (as shown above and found on the link above as well).
Part V: The Eating-for-LIFE Method
When you nourish your body with pure energy, you transfor from the inside out.

  • Eat six small meals a day, one every two to three hours.
  • Eat a portion of protein and carbohydrates with each meal.
  • Add a portion of vegetables to a t least two meals daily.
  • A portion is the amount of an authorized food approximately the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist.
  • Consume one tablespoon of unsaturated oil daily or three portions of salmon per week.
  • Drink at least 10 cups of water a day.
  • Use performance-nutrition shakes if necessary to mkae sure you’re consuming optimal levels of required nutrients.
  • Plan your meals in advance, adn record what you eat, using the Eating-for-LIFE Method Daily Progress Reports (shown above and available at the link provided above).
  • Plan your grocery list.
  • Once a week, on your free day, eat whatever you want.
Part VI: Staying on Course
Life, the ultimate challenge, is not a race to the finish but rather a process of continual growth.

  • Expect adversity and be prepared to transform obstacles into energy.
  • Honor self-promises by finishing what you start.
  • Harness the power of positive pressure by embracing challenges.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection in order to build confidence.
  • Practice the Universal Law of Reciprocation by giving unselfishly.
  • Let our Body-for-LIFE Support Team help you succeed.

Afteword: The Gateway
The Dream: Change the world…one life at a time.
The Goal: Transform one million Bodies-for-LIFE by 12/31/01.

Appendix A: Questions and Answers

Appendix B: Terms and Jargon

Appendix C: Exercise Guide
This is an exceptional guide to exercises. You can get an exercise ball and a set of dumbbells and do this workout completely at home, with a few occasional gym visits to change it up if needed. This book gives you ALL of the info you need!!!

Appendix D: Daily Progress Reports

Appendix E: Real-Life Success Stories


Becca - I have some friends that have read/participated in this and they believe it to be the most comprehensive, complete and easy to follow program ever! I looked through it pretty thoroughly once and think it looks great as well. Nice post, Tori.

Tori - Thank you! I'm doing a fitness challenge for the wives in my husband's squadron. I think it's the best program if you know nothing or if you are an athlete. I think it is a great start to teach a beginning how to start a program! It's great! It's how I got my start and I love this book because of that! Thanks Becca!!

Melissa Cunningham - GREAT post Tori!! I had almost forgotten the Body for Life was the first fitness book i ever read!! i really needed to re-read some of the things you posted to get my head more "in the game" thank you for the great post!

Tearose - I LOVE Body For Life Its how I lost my first 70 lbs. 😀 Great Post!

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