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Personal Trainer Transformation Guide: Getting In Shape!

This manual will teach you everything you must do to have a great body.

Body Statistics

To ensure that you are making progress you will need to keep track of your body statistics. This includes measuring your body fat and taking tape measurements from your arms, legs, torso, etc.

For example, lets say that you have a 15-inch bicep and you measured your body fat at 10%. If you measure your bicep 1 week later and it is still exactly 15 inches, you might be disappointed, but if your body fat has gone down to 9% that muscle is now bigger and there is less body fat. This will make your arm look more defined.

To measure your body fat, you will be using the Parillo method. This is a nine-point body fat measurement method. You will be using the body fat pincher.


To use the Parilloiii Method to determine your body fat percentage, enter your nine skin fold measurements (in millimeters) plus your weight, then press "Calculate".

Enter Your Skin Fold
Measurements Below:
Body Weight:
Chest: mm Units:
Right Tricep: mm

Right Bicep: mm
Suprailiac: mm
Lower Back: mm Results:
Subscapular: mm

Body Fat =

Pounds Of Fat =

Lean Body Mass =



Stomach: mm
Right Calf: mm
Thigh mm

Pictures and instructions that describe this process will be provided later. This will help you keep track of your body fat percentage so you can determine if you are losing body fat, gaining muscle, etc.

Click here to read about the different body fat testing procedures!

Your Workout Schedule

Monday-Saturday will be the days you will exercise. This will include three days of aerobics and three days of weight training. The following is an outline of your weekly schedule:

    Monday: Weight training at the time you have scheduled.
    Tuesday: Aerobics before you eat anything that morning.
    Wednesday: Weight training at the time you have scheduled.
    Thursday: Aerobics before you eat anything that morning.
    Friday: Weight training at the time you have scheduled.
    Saturday: Aerobics before you eat anything that morning.
    Sunday: No workout but you should still be dieting unless it is your free day.

Compound Exercises:

These exercises stimulate the most responsive muscle growth. They place the most stress on your body and usually require many muscles to perform the movement. For the best results use free weights with these exercises. If you use a machine for these exercises some of the supporting muscles will not be fatigued and you will not get the maximum results from your efforts.

Compound Exercises Include:

  • Bench Press
  • Military Press
  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Pull Ups
  • Bar Dips
  • Pull Ups are a great example of how a compound exercise can use many different muscles. Although this movement is often classified as a lower/upper back exercise, to achieve this movement you need to use your legs for balance and support and much of the upper body to complete the lift. This in turn stimulates the best results for your efforts.

    These exercises require so many muscles, it would be almost impossible for any machine to match the stress and fatigue that compound exercises place on your body. This is where the best results will be seen.

    You want to do these exercises at the very beginning of your workout. If you want to see noticeable results from your lifting program, you must do compound exercises. Perform these at the beginning of your workout. They are a key factor in building muscle, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain weight, these are essential to helping your body get the best workout.

Avoiding Plateaus:

A plateau is a point in your 12-week program where you are doing everything you're supposed to do, but you stop seeing gains in strength and you do not feel like you are making any progress. Many people get to a plateau and quit…this is a mistake! You have been doing your workout anywhere from 5 weeks or longer and your body has become accustomed to your workout.

You will reach a plateau sooner or later, I guarantee it. If you experience this, you simply have to change your workout. Find a workout that is different than the one you are using and switch, or change your workout parameters. If you like your workout and do not want to switch, change a few things around. Use a close grip when you are on the bench press rather than regular grip. You will begin to see results and muscle gains again.

Although you can combat the affects of plateaus by changing your workout, you can also avoid them. Here are a few ways to avoid reaching a plateau:

  • Change exercises (as mentioned above)
  • Change your workout tempo
  • Change the amount of repetitions and/or sets
  • Rearrange your workout so your exercises are in a different order

You can use one or a combination of all of these to avoid plateaus.

Rest is also another key factor in combating plateaus. Long-term rest is just as important as short-term rest. You will exercise in 12-week increments with a 1-2 week rest between each of them. This means that you will exercise for 12 weeks and then take 1-2 weeks off before going back to the gym to allow your body time to rest. You will feel rested and motivated to go back to the gym after these breaks. We also recommend taking a full 12-week period off every year.

Your muscles develop microscopic tears that never fully heal unless you are resting for a long period of time. A 12-week break will let your body fully heal and you will see noticeable gains after this break.

You Should Follow A Schedule Similar To This:

  • Exercise January - March, then takes a one-week rest.
  • Exercise 2nd week in April - 2nd week in August, and then take a one-week rest.
  • Exercise 4th week in August - 4th week in November, then take 12 weeks off.
  • Repeat the process which would now begin the following March (12 weeks later).

    This is an example of what your schedule might look like. If you want to see results your body needs these breaks. You cannot simply keep working your muscles or you will hit plateaus & possibly over train.

    We are just asking you to try this program for one 12-week period, so don't worry about planning out your whole year right now. Let's just focus on the next 12 weeks.


Your muscles need to be more than just fatigued to make gains; they need to be worked until failure.

This means doing your repetitions until your muscles fatigue to the point that they can no longer lift the weight or perform the exercise. Most experts agree that training to failure is the best way to stimulate the greatest amount of muscle fibers. The more muscle fibers that you can stimulate during a workout will yield the best results.


    There are many ways to train to failure, here are some examples:

    • Forced Reps: Do your reps until you can no longer lift the weight on your own and then having a spotter help you with the last.

Forced Reps Video:

    • Negative Reps: Focus on letting the weight down rather than focusing on lifting the weight. If you were doing bench press, a negative rep would be lowering the bar as slowly as possible and then having your partner help you lift the weight up. You can train to failure here by doing negative reps until you can no longer hold the weight. These can also be performed after positive failure.

Negative Reps Video:

    • Rest-Pause: If you do not have a spotter you can perform these. Lift the weight until failure, put it down and take a short pause. Pick up the weight and perform 2-3 more reps.
Negative Reps Video:

      You will get the most out of your workout if you train with maximum effort. You will get stronger and your gains will come quicker as a result of training to failure.

Grouping Your Workouts:

Some exercises use more than one muscle group to achieve the movement in a particular lift. Bench press for example uses your chest muscles, your triceps, and your shoulders. So wouldn't it make sense to do these three muscle all on the same day?

Yes, your training program will incorporate this by training particular groups of muscles together. Grouping is just what it sounds like, you take certain muscle groups and you train them on the same day. Dips are also another example of an exercise that uses the triceps and the chest to achieve the movement in the lift. Here is an example of how I use grouping:

  • Group 1 - Chest, shoulders, and triceps
  • Group 2 - Back, biceps, and lats
  • Group 3 - Lower body (legs)

Resting is essential to the full development of your muscles; by grouping your workout you only have to train with weights 3 days a week. This saves time and helps your body recover so your gains are at a maximum.

Focus On Quality, Rather Than Quantity

To get the best results from your workout I do not recommend spending 3 hours a day in the gym. You only need to work each major muscle group once every 4-7 days. So to get the best out of your workout, you must keep your workout shorter than 75 minutes. Mine range anywhere from 20-60 minutes. But don't let these numbers deceive you, although you do get to spend the majority of the day away from the gym; the time that you do spend there should be very intense.

Your intensity should be measured by the amount of effort you can give on any given exercise. If you give your maximum effort, you will start to see results with less time at the gym. I am not asking you to go to the local track and run a six-minute mile, just to give the maximum of your effort. When you are exercising you will be training on intervals, these intervals will have different levels of difficultly. It will start out easy and then work up to something that is hard for you. If it is hard for you, then you are starting to push yourself.

The best and easiest way to fatigue you muscles is through interval training. Interval training consists of warming up and then working up to an exercise that is very difficult for you. Interval training is discussed more thoroughly below.

Your Maximum Effort:

You and I are two completely different people and our maximum efforts are different. So when I refer to your maximum effort, it means exactly that, the most reps you can do or the hardest you train with aerobics. It's what is hard for you.

Don't worry about being the best in the gym or trying to impress people. Focus on yourself and what you know your limits are. This will lead you to success in life and with this program.

Aerobics Interval Training:
A Six Step Process.

For the best results, you must do aerobic activity in the morning on an empty stomach. You should not eat 8 hours before aerobic exercise, so the morning is clearly the best time to perform this activity.

If you do not want to exercise first thing in the morning, you would be forced not to eat all day and this would obviously create some bad eating habits. So right when your eyes open in the morning, put on your shoes and start your aerobic training. This will get your blood flowing in the morning and also help you have a better day. You will be alert and have energy.

The following would be an example of one of your (3) weekly aerobic sessions. Lets say you decided to take a jog on Tuesday morning for your aerobic exercise. However, if jogging were extremely hard for you, Tuesday morning would start with a walk instead of a jog; whatever is challenging to you. This is how it will look:

  • Interval 1: Warm up with a light jog for 2 minutes until your blood starts to flow.
  • Interval 2: Pick up the pace to the point where you are breathing a little - maintain for 1 minute.
  • Interval 3: Increase your pace slightly. Your breathing should steadily increase and you will begin to feel your muscles getting warm, this means you have got the blood flowing- maintain for 1 minute.
  • Interval 4: Again, increase your pace slightly. At this points you should be breathing fairly heavy, maintain here and push through it - sustain this pace for 1 minute.
  • Interval 5: Increase your pace again. This should be an extremely fast pace for you and continuing at this pace will be a challenge. Remember that you are working out intensely to get results- maintain for 1 minute. Now start back at Interval 2. Do this process 4 times.
  • * Note: During your fourth cycle you should try to push through your comfort zone while performing interval 5. This is where you will improve. Push as hard as you can.

  • Interval 6: Decrease your pace to a light jog for the last two minutes.

You should repeat steps two through five until you have done this process a total of four times. The 4th time you reach Interval 5 it should be harder than the previous 3. Try to push through your comfort zone and this is where you will make your gains. The last two minutes of the 20-minute aerobic activity should be a slow pace as described in step six- the final step.

I use interval training while riding a bike, jogging, using a stair climber, or while using a rowing machine. Some days you will be able to push harder than others, so keep a strong mind and strive for improvement and you will get it. Our bodies are much more capable than we think they are. You will only have to do this two times a week and then you will have the remainder of the day to do whatever you want.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Here Is An Example Of One Of My Aerobic Sessions.

When you begin your aerobic sessions, refer back to this page for the format you should follow.

Interval Weight Training

You will be training with weight Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is mandatory that you train with weights. So there are two options:

  • Buy a membership to a local gym (I recommend this option).
  • Buy weights and setup a gym at your house.

Having a membership to a gym is much more productive. It gives you a chance to get out of the house, they have many different aerobic options, and they have a much better selection of weights than you could have with a gym at home.

When you are training with weights you will be training in intervals similar to the aerobic exercise. Here is an example of what you will be doing after week 4; let's say we started with bench press:

  • Interval 1: Warm-up with 15 reps using a fairly light weight. This set should not be very challenging; it is just to get the blood flowing and your muscles warmed up. Take a one-minute rest.
  • Interval 2: Add some weight. This set should be fairly easy also. Perform 15 reps and take a one-minute rest.
  • Interval 3: Increase the weight. It should be too heavy to perform ten reps, but challenging at 12 reps. Take a one-minute rest.
  • Interval 4: Add even more weight. This weight should be challenging at 10 reps. Take a one-minute rest.
  • Interval 5: Add more weight. You should only be able to do 8 reps here. Since this is your last set, focus on making this the most difficult. Try to do 8 reps with as much weight as you can.

As you can see, this is much like the Aerobic Interval Training that was outlined previously. The only difference is it is with weight training.

Example Week:

Workout #1
Exercises Warm-up Set - 15 Reps Work Set - 15 Work Set - 15 Work Set - 15
Bench Press 100 lbs 135 lbs 135 lbs 135 lbs
Shoulder Press 50 lbs 65 lbs 65 lbs 65 lbs
Tricep BB Extensions 25 lbs 50 lbs 50 lbs 50 lbs
Decline Crunches 21 20 22
print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Workout 1.

Workout #3
Exercises Warm-up Set- 15 Reps Work Set- 15 Work Set- 15 Work Set- 15
Leg Press 100 lbs 225 lbs 225 lbs 225 lbs
Deadlift 50 lbs 140 lbs 140 lbs 140 lbs
Leg Extension 25 lbs 55 lbs 55 lbs 55 lbs
Calf Raise 50 lbs 100 lbs 100 lbs 100 lbs
print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Workout 3.

Workout #5
Exercises Warm-up Set- 15 Reps Work Set- 15 Work Set- 15 Work Set- 15
Bicep Barbell Curl 100 lbs 135 lbs 135 lbs 135 lbs
Upright Row 50 lbs 65 lbs 65 lbs 65 lbs
*Lat Pulldowns 25 lbs 50 lbs 50 lbs 50 lbs
Side Crunch 26 25 25
print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Workout 5.


    • *Reverse grip on lat pulldowns
    • Use the stairclimber for your cardio exercise.
    • Take a one minute rest between sets
    • Workout #2 - 20 Minutes of Cardio Interval Training
    • Workout #4 - 20 Minutes of Cardio Interval Training
    • Workout #6 - 20 Minutes of Cardio Interval Training

      If you want to gain muscle and lose fat, you must train with weights. Follow the exercise schedule that is provided along with eating foods from the food index and you will see results.

Time Constraints

Too often I see people wasting hours of their time in the gym; training for long hours will not get you better results. It is the quality of the workout that counts, not how long you are in the gym.

Keep your workout shorter than 75 minutes.

There have been numerous studies that show energy levels hit their highest levels after 60 minutes and then rapidly begin to drop. People that spend half the day at the gym are not making their best possible gains. Spending to many hours at the gym can increase the risk of injury and cause possible muscle loss.

Signs Of Overtraining

Being precise with your workouts and dieting is the key to weight loss, its not "more is better" or "less is better," its about precision. If you train too hard your body will not have time to recuperate and you may not see results.

If you do not give your muscles enough time to rest there are a few things you will notice:

  • A decrease in strength.
  • A decrease in energy.
  • This will all result in a decrease in motivation.

Do not train a muscle group more than once every 4-7 days, or you will be setting yourself up for burnout. Muscles are not made in the gym; they are made while resting.

Overtraining is not completely dependent on how frequently you workout. I have trained six days a week without overtraining. Here are some factors that can also affect your body:

  • Sleep & Rest: If you don't allow your body enough sleep and rest, it cannot recuperate from the stress you put it under while working out.

  • Nutrition: If you do not provide your body with enough food it will not have enough nutrients to repair the tissues in your muscles.

  • Water: Perhaps the most overlooked nutrient of them all. If your body is dehydrated it can cause an overtraining effect.


This is where you can really make any workout successful, keep motivated, keep motivated, and most importantly, keep motivated. Motivation will take you through just about anything in life. If you think you can do it, you can.

Many people believe that it would be impossible for them to have a body that they are comfortable with or that they can flaunt. These people have already defeated themselves, if you believe in yourself you will be able to accomplish anything. Here is a quote that changed my perspective on how I approach situations:

"If it isn't impossible, it isn't worth doing."

This is not a misprint; if you believe in yourself and give 100% effort you can do anything. If someone tells you that it's impossible, prove him or her wrong.

My point here is this:

  • Stay motivated
  • Have dreams
  • See how following a few correct techniques can get you the results you want.

We have provided you with very useful tools to help you on your way to achieving your fitness goals, now its up to you to follow them.

Getting In Shape Overview:

  • Tracking your body statistics is way to see your results on paper and to ensure that you are making progress.
  • Mon, Wed, & Fri will be your weight training days.
  • Tues, Thurs, Sat will be your aerobic training days.
  • Compound exercises still give you the best results and must be incorporated into your weight training if you want to get results.
  • Avoid plateaus by changing the tempo of your workout, the number of repetitions, or rearrange the order of your workout.
  • If you push yourself until your muscles fail, your body can only adapt by improving strength and efficiency.
  • You maximum effort is the most you can do.
  • Exercise with intervals to get the best results.
  • Keep workouts shorter than 75 minutes

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