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Now that you've learned the principles of the Lean Body Nutrition Plan and you know what your workouts will look like, you're ready to make the decision and start your 12 Week Lean Body challenge. Before you start day one there are a couple of things to take care of.
Bodyfat Testing Guide
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You need to decide on your goals for the next 12 weeks and then write them down. It's critically important to write down your goals because it makes them real.
Here's A Tip: Pick Realistic Goals.
I can tell you right now that by following the Lean Body program for 12 weeks; you can expect to lose 2 to 3 pounds of fat per week safely. Losing any more weight than that would put your body into starvation mode or cause you to lose muscle.
Instead, you'll be building muscle to replace the body fat that you burn off, giving more overall strength and shape to your body. I know you'll like the results when you see them.
Tracking Your Progress
You're going to track your progress starting now. Start by taking a before photo, something that will show you where you started on Day 1 so you can visually see the differences at the end of week 12.
Here are some tips on taking your before photo:
- Take your picture in comfortable yet shape revealing clothing like a sports bra and shorts for women and gym shorts for men.
- You can also just use your bathing suit.
- Take 3 photos - One from the front, one from the side and one from the back.
- Try to get clear photos in good light so that you can really see the difference as the weeks progress.
- You can even take these progress pictures throughout the 12 weeks. Keeping a visual record of your transformation is really going to show you the results you're getting and keep you motivated.
- Take progress pictures once a week at most.
Taking Your Measurements
You'll also need to start off your Lean Body Challenge by taking body measurements. This means you'll be measuring your body fat, using body fat calipers You'll be using a scale to weigh yourself and calculate how much lean muscle mass you are gaining and how much body fat you are burning. And you'll be using a tape measure on your arms, upper thighs, calves, waist, chest and shoulders to track the changes in your body from week to week.
To measure your body fat, you'll need to get a set of body fat calipers - but you can find a variety of inexpensive body fat calipers on Bodybuilding.com, if you don't already have them. It's important to measure your body fat and your total weight on the same day of every week.
Taking your measurements every Monday morning can help you stay motivated by starting the week off with positive feedback from your program.
To calculate how much of your body is fat and how much is lean muscle, you can take your body fat index, which you'll get from your fat calipers, and multiply that by your body weight.
You'll want to write down your measurements in a chart where you can see the changes from week to week. You can download and print a blank chart from the page below. If measuring your body fat seems daunting, most gym staff or personal trainers will be able to assist you in this.
Also make sure to write down the weights that you are training with for every workout. Your strength is going to increase as you progress with your workouts and you'll have to use heavier weights as time goes by. But it's really going to help you stay motivated if you can see it on paper.
Another great resource to use during your 12 week Lean Body Challenge is BodySpace - you can sign up for a free BodySpace account on Bodybuilding.com. You'll be instantly connected to thousands of people who are making their fitness goals a reality. With the BodySpace community, you'll have instant support from other people doing this challenge with you. You can get feedback on your progress, keep track of your workouts, and record your body measurements online.
Preparing for Week 1
Now, there's not much left to do before you start Day 1 of your Lean Body Challenge. Remember to plan for your lean body meals, and schedule a time to do your first workout.
You can find all of these charts to download and print on the page below. Don't forget to also check out your week 1 meal plan and our recipes guide.