I want you to look at this day as something special. It's the seventh day of your beginner's program to get back in shape, change your body, and transform your life. All signs say this should be the end of us working together. There's no deception, and I haven't written a Day 8. Even if this is the last time we work together, Day 7 is still just the beginning.
We designed this guide with two main goals:
- To build a better foundation that could help you make smarter decisions and feel like you could be successful—because you can. I've seen it happen many, many times. You can change your body. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like. If you want to lose 10 pounds or 100, become a little stronger or pack on 20 pounds of mass, this is where it all starts.
- To offer a clear vision that will lead you to your destination. This wasn't designed to be temporary, only to lead you to fend for yourself. Just the opposite: This is your introduction and acceptance into the world of fitness. There's no need to feel like a stranger anymore, even though you still have much to learn. You're part of this way of life, regardless of whether you breathe it 24 hours per day, or just during the 60 minutes when you bust your ass in the gym.
The problem with most guides is that they are designed for a finite period of time. But the lessons you've learned here are not trends. They are the fundamental elements of a sustainable program. Behaviors change, adjustments provide results, and these ideas won't go stale or be replaced as fast as you can say "iPod."
This is the beginning of a new mindset. This is the end of frustrated endings, plateaus, gained weight, and lack of direction. Where you go from here completely depends on you. How far you can go depends on the support from your team. Bodybuilding.com offers that support. If you learned from our approach, then you know you always need a plan to be successful. Set goals. Write those goals down. You need a guide to lead you where you want to go.
When you find the right people to work with, great things happen. You've been with us for the last seven days. We welcome you to stay longer. Bodybuilding.com has helped transform tens of millions of lives. It's not just a health and fitness site. It's a living, breathing community dedicated to your changing ideas of what your body can be.
Choose your program wisely
Within this site, you can find a number of programs that will take care of you for the next 12 weeks, 16 weeks, or longer. No matter what your goal, there's an option for you. So here comes the tough part.
What do you want to improve?
Do you want to gain muscle? Do you want to shred fat? Do you want to become as strong and powerful as a tank or look like a cover model? Do you want it all? There's no shortage of goals. Your job, to begin with, is to select just one goal.
Don't get greedy and seek out multiple goals. Don't try out three different workout programs, four different diets, and eight different supplements all at once. The reason behind everything you accomplished the past six days was to help you have a better understanding of what works and why. We were building a BS-filter that allows you to comprehend the fitness world.
Now it's time to take on new teachers, new mentors, and new workouts that will give you what you need. Here's what you can expect, in general, from these types of plans:
Fat-loss programs aren't much different than muscle-gaining or strength programs, but there are two areas where you feel a change: conditioning and diet.
When you try to lose fat, more cardio and more high-intensity interval work becomes part of the protocol to help you burn more calories each day. On the diet side, you will eat less to help you drop weight.
A well-designed program will make sure your drop isn't too severe—and that you eat foods like protein, veggies, and fats that will keep you full and help you hold onto your muscle. For many people, this is the hardest mental aspect. Prepare for the challenge, rely on your community, and every change you see will reinforce your hard work and make you want to push even harder.
Fat-loss programs are great for anyone, but they might be your best bet if you consider yourself extremely overweight and have 50 or more pounds to lose.
If you love being sore, muscle-gaining programs are usually where you'll "feel" the difference, yet soreness is not an indicator of a great workout. When your primary goal is gaining size, the techniques used tend to add a lot of volume and time under tension (two techniques that will sometimes make it hard for you to move the next day).
These will be accompanied by the feeling of muscle growth and the reawakening of muscles you didn't know existed. If you've been out of the gym for a while, these programs can sometimes be the most enjoyable, because gains can come fast.
If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, a fat-loss program might be your best place to start. That said, muscle gain programs are great for people who are naturally leaner, or don't have a significant amount of fat to lose.
Guys just love strength. The programs that help you add serious weight to your squat, deadlift, and bench press have great all-around benefits for your body. Lifting heavy weights helps you build muscle and burn fat. It's almost a two-for-one deal in that you can accomplish multiple goals at the same time.
These programs tend to have lower frequency and require tremendous focus and intensity to move more weight and allow your body to recover. For many beginners, a basic strength-training program is the best protocol because it's designed with a simple goal: Become stronger.
Once you're stronger, use more advanced techniques to attain more benefits. You are able to use more weight, which yields more pronounced results.
The road ahead
Whatever direction you choose, research the program, the coach, and what the training and diet will do to your body. Realize there are many options available. You can focus on certain body parts, such as building bigger biceps. Focus on one goal and once you reach it, transition to a new focus.
If you ever feel yourself falling off the wagon, go back to your foundational list. It's here to help you, to guide you, and always keep you on track. Print it. Put it in your pocket, on your fridge.
I can promise you one thing: Losing your way, slipping up, and getting frustrated is normal. I've done it more times than I'd like to admit, but I'm still here because I never let a natural fall deter me from my goal. It happens. When it does, make sure you muster everything in your power to stay on track.
1. Write down your daily goals
2. Sleep 7-8 hours
3. Drink at least 6 glasses of water
4. Include protein in each of your meals
5. Eat veggies at every meal
6. Track your fitness and diet
7. Go for a 20-minute walk
8. Avoid crap foods
9. Foam roll
10. Make a protein shake
11. Find a training partner or join a community
12. Pick your program and stay focused
This is your foundation. In time, it'll probably look so simple that you'll laugh and remember back to this introductory period when you decided to take that first step. The future you will use your experience to guiding others to the world of fitness.
You just realized that you wanted to change your life by improving how you look and feel. The lessons will look basic, but you'll realize that these truths can help anyone, because they work.
Your already took your first step. This is the beginning of a journey that never ends. Remember, success creates more success. By starting this challenge, your life-changing ways have already begun.
Make it count. Make change permanent.