Body Transformation – Introduction
After an unexpected 6-month body transformation, I went from a 50-inch waist to a 32-inch waist for the first time in my adult life.
I couldn’t believe how simple it was.
I’ll tell you the main tricks here so you don’t have to waste more time figuring out how you can do the same.
Going from fat to fit is a process, and regardless of your age or how unfit you are currently, you can transform your body with time, dedication, and effort.
This article reveals the steps you need to take to lose fat, gain muscle, and get fit.
Table of Contents
- Body Transformation – Introduction
- Compound exercises
- Fitness activities
- Sample workout schedule
- Body transformation FAQ
- Body Transformation – Wrapping up
Nutrition for Body Transformation
Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning: you are what you eat.
So, if you want to be lean, healthy, and fit, your diet needs to support those goals.
The food on your plate will directly determine your results.
A successful body transformation combines fat loss and muscle maintenance or gain.
To achieve these goals, you need to a) create a slight calorie deficit and b) consume plenty of protein.
This calorie shortage creates the perfect environment for a successful body transformation.
But what does this mean?
First, to burn fat, either you need to consume fewer calories than your body needs or burn more calories than you do today.
Your body has no choice but to start burning fat for fuel when faced with this energy shortfall.
This shortfall is called a calorie deficit.
Think of this as spending more money than you earn.
Your fat stores are your savings, and you’ve got to spend them to get leaner!
The trick to creating an effective calorie deficit is lowering your intake by about 500 calories below maintenance, which is sustainable and won’t leave you feeling too hungry.
Also, a 500 calorie per day deficit should not cause muscle loss – more on that later.
Even better, burn hundreds of calories more per day through exercise.
For example, if you weigh around 195.7 pounds, the average weight of men in the US, you can burn over 500 calories in an hour-long deadlift workout routine.
But, how do you determine how many calories you need to eat a day?
The easiest way is to use an online Basal Metabolic Rate calculator or BMR.
Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your current weight.
Subtract 500 from this number, and that’s how many calories you should consume to burn fat.
Eating fewer calories WILL produce faster fat loss, but you’ll probably be so hungry that you soon quit your diet.
Also, too big a deficit can cause muscle loss, which you want to avoid.
While you don’t need to count calories to create a calorie deficit, you’ll probably find it easier if you do.
As the saying goes, if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Use a food tracking app like myfitnesspal.com to make this otherwise tedious task more manageable.
Once you’ve determined how many calories you need to eat per day to burn fat, you need to start thinking about your macros or the amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you eat per day.
Think of this as your fuel mix.
The right mixture will make sure you make the best possible progress.
The first food group you need to focus on is protein.
Your body needs protein for muscle preservation, repair, and growth.
Protein is also filling and increases your metabolic rate for faster fat burning.
Aim to consume around one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
One gram of protein contains four calories.
The next thing to consider is your fat intake.
Contrary to what many people think, fat is not bad for you, and it won’t automatically make you fat.
Ironically, eating fat can help you lose fat, providing you don’t consume too much.
However, because fat is very calorie-dense, a little goes a long way, so for body transformation purposes, limit your intake to around 0.3 to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight.
One gram of fat contains nine calories.
As far as carbohydrates go, you need carbs to fuel your workouts.
Carbs are also your primary source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Low-carb diets can be good for fat loss, but they usually aren’t sustainable and can leave you lacking energy.
One gram of carbs contains four calories.
After protein and fat, carbs should make up your remaining caloric intake, equating to a moderate carb intake, perfect for long-term fat loss.
Let’s see how all that information breaks down for someone with a BMR of 2,500 calories per day and a man who weighs 200 lbs:
Sample Macros for a 200-pound man
- Calorie intake for fat loss = 2,000 calories
- Protein intake 200 grams (800 calories)
- Fat intake 75 grams (675 calories)
- Carbohydrate intake 130 grams (520 calories)
Eat real food
In terms of food, you should do your utmost to eat healthily, focusing mainly on natural produce like lean proteins and fresh vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed fats.
You can still enjoy the occasional treat or a less healthy meal if you stay within your target macros.
But you’ll get the best results, feel healthier, and have more energy if at least 80% of the food you eat is high in nutrients and low in sugar, salt, additives, and chemicals.
If you genuinely want to see a body transformation, you have to change your current unhealthy lifestyle, which likely depends on fast food for meals and junk food for snacks.
Besides substituting real food for processed food, you also need to get up from the chair, sofa, or lazy boy and start moving.
If you want to see great results, you must eat differently and do different exercises than what you do today.
As Albert Einstein said regarding the definition of insanity– “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”
A healthier lifestyle is the only way to achieve the physical transformation you want.
Providing you follow the nutritional advice outlined above, you should start losing fat at roughly one pound per week.
But you’ll make even faster progress if you combine healthy eating with exercise.
Exercise burns calories and can also help preserve or even build muscle mass, so you look better as that unwanted fat comes off.
Any workout or physical activity will burn more calories for faster fat loss, but strength training is arguably best for affecting your muscles.
That means lifting weights.
Your body operates on a “use it or lose it” system.
If you don’t use your muscles, your body will whittle them away, leaving you weak and skinny.
This muscle loss is even faster when you are following a lower-calorie diet.
Lifting weights ensures that your body has a reason to maintain your muscle mass.
Combined with your high protein intake, lifting weights will preserve or even increase your muscle size and strength.
You will look better with some extra muscle, but muscle tissue also burns calories, and the more of it you’ve got, the better your transformation results will be.
To see great results, you only need to lift weights 3-4 times per week when using weightlifting.
When you set out to change your body, the type of exercises you choose are critical to your success.
Many exercisers think that isolation exercises – like bicep curls, triceps press downs, or leg extensions – are the best way to get your desired results.
But in reality, compound exercises are much more effective for body transformation.
- Compound exercises simultaneously target multiple muscle groups, burning more calories and producing faster results.
- Because they activate more muscle fibers, compound exercises are better for muscle growth (hypertrophy), strength gains, cardiovascular health, coordination, and bone density.
- You can get a great workout with just a few compound movements, or even one, such as the deadlift.
For this reason, compound exercises are ideal for body transformation and overall fitness, as they allow you to achieve more in a shorter amount of time.
Therefore, your focus should be on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pushups, pull-ups, rows, lunges, overhead presses, and cleans.
Do your best to maintain or even increase your training weights from one week to another.
Squats are another great compound movement for body transformation because you can use minimal equipment – just your bodyweight, a weight plate, kettlebell, or dumbbells – making them perfect for home workouts.
Because squats work the largest muscles in the body, such as the glutes, squats are a strength training staple for athletes.
The glutes are responsible for hip extension, which is necessary for many athletic activities such as running, jumping, and climbing.
They also work your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles.
You squat every day regularly, whether sitting down on your couch or getting into your car.
However, when you lose the mobility to squat, you can no longer do these basic tasks effortlessly.
Struggling with this fundamental movement can be bad news because not being able to squat can make it challenging to do things like get up from a chair or climb stairs.
In addition, research has shown that a lack of squatting mobility may increase your risk of developing knee and hip problems down the road.
Therefore, squats are a foundational movement, a functional exercise that mimics your everyday activities, making them an ideal choice for body transformation.
See 20 Greatest Benefits of Squats; King of Free Weight Training for more details on a squat body transformation.
There are many reasons why pushups are a fantastic exercise for body transformation.
First, pushups are a compound exercise, which means they also work multiple muscles at once.
This benefit makes them an efficient way to burn calories and tone your body.
Second, pushups are versatile- you can do them anywhere – all you need is a floor!
Third, they are affordable- you don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to do them.
Finally, they are easy to learn and can be modified to fit any fitness level.
If you’re looking to change your body, add some pushups to your routine!
See 100 Pushups a Day: 30 Lessons that Will Make You Fit – 30 benefits and tips I’ve learned about doing pushups at age 65.
I did them, so you didn’t have to.
But after reading, you might start doing pushups to change your body too!
Amazin bench press benefits and massive muscles worked is why the bench press is one of the most popular exercises in the gym.
It’s such a popular exercise that Monday is known as National Bench Press Day in gyms worldwide!
The bench is a staple of bodybuilding training and one of the three big lifts contested in the sport of powerlifting.
Also, the traditional bench press is one of the exercises used by the NFL to assess new players.
So, what makes this exercise so good, and how do you do it?
Read on at 10 Bench Press Benefits; Muscles Worked, Variations + How-To!
Whatever your body transformation or fitness goals are, pull-ups will help you get there faster.
They’re a time-efficient upper body exercise that works for almost every muscle group in your torso.
Pair them with pushups, and you have an incredibly effective upper body strength workout with just two moves!
Pull-ups aren’t easy, though, so many exercisers don’t do them or even try them.
But, once mastered, the mighty pull-up is one of the most effective exercises you can do.
Learn more about 10 Amazing Ways of Pull-Ups Change Your Body + How-To and Muscles Worked.
Also, see Chin Up Muscles Worked: How to Build Your Arm & Back Strength.
If you’re looking to change your body, you need to add barbell rows to your workout routine.
This compound weightlifting exercise is super productive because it works so many muscles simultaneously.
Rowing with a barbell targets your back, arms, shoulders, and abs.
The best part is that you can see results quickly.
In just a few weeks, you’ll notice a change in the way your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror.
So why wait?
Add barbell rows to your routine today!
Read on how these 5 Spectacular Barbell Row Benefits Will Help You Build a Stronger Body.
When it comes to body transformation, lunges are a powerhouse exercise.
They work many muscles in your body, including your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Lunges also help improve your balance, stability, fix muscle imbalances, and are relatively safe compared to squats.
But if you are wondering which one is better for you in the battle of squats vs. lunges, see the following article for the pros, cons, and final winner:
Lunges vs. Squats: Which Is Better for Your Strength and Fitness?
Deadlifts are an excellent exercise for body transformation because they target multiple muscle groups at once with minimal equipment.
So, you can easily set up your own home gym deadlift studio.
They are also a functional exercise, meaning they help you perform everyday activities more easily, like safely lifting an object from the floor.
Also, deadlifts are an excellent way to build and strengthen your often neglected posterior chain.
Imagine only training the front of your body.
Isn’t that what many exercisers do by working chest, shoulders, biceps, and leg extensions?
But what about all those muscles you cannot see in the mirror at the gym, such as your;
- erector spinae,
- latissimus dorsi,
- trapezius, and
- rhomboid muscles.
Fortunately, the deadlift will come to the rescue for these largely neglected posterior chain muscles.
As a result, you can work your entire body, back and front, with just two compound exercises like the deadlift, a pull exercise, and the pushup or bench press push exercise.
See 27 Sensational Ways How Deadlifts Change Your Body to dive deeper into a deadlift body transformation.
My deadlift transformation
For many years I did the typical routine in my local Y, hoping it would help me put an end to my out-of-control obesity.
It consisted of walking on the treadmill and doing several sets of dumbbell curls and triceps pushdowns.
One day, I read about the deadlift exercise, where you lift a weight from the floor to your hips.
Unlike an isolation exercise like the dumbbell curl, a compound exercise simultaneously targets many major muscle groups.
I thought, “why should I waste time doing curls that only work your biceps when I can do the deadlift that works your entire body?”
Not long after that eureka moment, I stayed in the Y later in the evening so I would not feel embarrassed trying out the deadlift.
As a 55-year-old overweight man, I felt self-conscious about trying the deadlift and the fear of hurting my already vulnerable back.
After 45 minutes of experimenting with the barbell deadlift, I left the gym.
I could barely walk and move the next week, but I felt great!
Results of Real Food + Deadlifts
Six months after substituting:
- real food, deadlifts, and pushups, for
- junk food, dumbbell curls, and triceps press downs,
- I magically dropped 75 pounds.
That was my eureka moment when I realized that despite being over 50, you can change your body with clean eating and compound weight training.
As a result, I launched this site, The Fit Apprentice®, to give you the tools you need to get fit.
It turns out that going to the Y that evening in 2012 to try the deadlift was one of the best decisions I ever made!
If you are struggling to hit your weight loss goals, I hope you don’t wait too long before deciding to change things up.
For example, be open to eating clean as well as trying a new exercise routine like this deadlift workout routine for a new path on your fitness journey.
You don’t need to lift the heaviest weight in history to get lean and strong faster than you think possible.
All you need is to consistently follow a deadlift program with weights you can handle plus eat clean.
Read more of my story at From Fat to Fit at 56; About Rich “Hashi Mashi’s” Weight Loss Transformation.
Rich “Hashi Mashi” Deadlifting at 64
Not sure where to start?
Well, that sure is a lot of compound exercises.
But how do you put them together into a workout to fuel your body transformation?
I’ve got you covered.
With the proper nutrition and consistency, any of the following types of workouts can transform your body faster than you might think possible.
Here are some of my favorites:
Beginner Bodyweight Workout
Bodyweight strength training, also known as calisthenics, has always been popular.
After all, people have been working out for centuries, but gyms and training equipment are both much more recent developments.
Some exercisers mistakenly consider that bodyweight exercises are not all that effective, but the reality is quite different.
When you want to transform your body by losing weight, getting fit, increasing your strength, or even building muscle mass, you can achieve your goals with bodyweight training and with a workout that takes about 30 minutes.
Read on at The Best Beginner Bodyweight Workout Plan in Only 30 Minutes for this body transformation workout.
The 3×5 workout routine is a strength training program designed by American Powerlifter and Coach Mark Rippetoe.
The program is simple, consisting of three exercises performed five times each, using squats, bench presses, overhead presses, cleans, and the mighty deadlift.
As you would expect by now, the exercises are all compound movements that will help you increase your overall strength and muscle mass.
This routine can be performed at home with minimal equipment or in a gym.
3×5 is a great way to start your strength training journey.
See the 3×5 Workout: The Only Strength Training Program You’ll Ever Need for more details + a Free PDF of the plan to track your progress.
A powerbuilding program is a mix of weightlifting and bodybuilding exercises that will help you get big and strong.
This type of program is great for athletes who want to improve their performance in their sport, as well as people who just want to look and feel better.
A powerbuilding program can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or experienced lifter.
See this Beginner Powerbuilding Program: Big & Strong Workout + Free PDF to dive deeper into this great routine.
Weight Lift for Weight Loss Program
Weightlifting has consistently been shown to be an effective way to lose weight.
One of the reasons weightlifting is so successful for weight loss is because it builds muscle.
And muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re at rest.
So, by increasing your muscle mass, you increase your metabolism and burn more calories, even when you’re not working out!
How great is that?
Another benefit is that weightlifting can also help keep your blood sugar stable, which can prevent cravings and make it easier to stick to your eating plan.
Finally, the best news is that all you need for this weightlift for weight loss workout is a weight bench and a pair of dumbbells!
Learn How To Weight Lift for Weight Loss at Home or in the gym to kick off your body transformation.
Beginner Barbell Deadlift Program
While you can undoubtedly see body transformations with programs that involve a variety of exercises, you might not have enough time for a long workout.
Can you still get great results from focusing on just one or two exercises?
The answer is yes; you can definitely see results with a deadlift-only program.
How is that possible?
The reason is, as mentioned above that deadlifts are a total-body compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and spinal erectors.
And the best part is that you don’t need too much gear – you can set up a home deadlift studio with a minimal amount of deadlift equipment.
So, if you’re looking for an exercise that can help you transform your body quickly and efficiently, a 12-week deadlift program may be the answer.
It was for me!
And if you want to add one exercise for the front of your body, throw in pushups on your off deadlift days.
Because they are excellent for developing muscular strength and endurance in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs.
When performed together, deadlifts and pushups provide a full-body workout that can help you achieve all of your fitness goals.
See the Barbell Deadlift Program for Beginners in Fitness or Powerlifting for more details.
12-Week Body Transformation Workout at Home with Dumbbells
If you want to get the best results and truly remodel your physique, you need to challenge it.
That means getting out of your lazy boy zone and committing to a new, immersive training and nutrition plan.
A 12-week body transformation workout plan at home is an excellent place to start.
12 weeks is long enough to deliver fantastic results, but not so long that you are too discouraged to even begin.
The aim of this program is that in only 3 months, you could be looking at a whole new you!
Read on at the 12-Week Body Transformation Workout Plan in the comfort of your own home with only a pair of adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, and a bench!
As for cardio, fitness activities like running, cycling, swimming, and rowing are all effective calorie burners that can contribute to your daily calorie deficit.
You don’t need to do a ton of cardiovascular exercise to shed that unwanted fat, but 20-30 minutes 3-5 times a week will help speed up your body transformation.
You can do high-intensity interval training aka HIIT workouts or low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio as preferred.
While interval training might be a little more time-efficient, there really isn’t all that much in it.
Certainly not enough to worry about, anyway!
If you feel you need to do more cardio than this, you probably need to revisit your calorie deficit and tighten up your diet.
NEPA – Body Transformation Secret Weapon
The final thing you need to do to speed up your body transformation is NEPA, which is short for non-exercise physical activity.
This is any type of movement that isn’t part of your workout routine.
The more NEPA you accumulate each day, the faster you’ll burn fat and shape up.
Examples of NEPA include:
- Cycling for transport
- Playing sports with your kids
- Washing your car by hand
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
Anything that gets you up off your butt and moving for a few minutes counts as NEPA.
So, try to accumulate an hour or so of NEPA per day.
One way to do this is by walking 10,000 steps per day.
You don’t need to do your NEPA in one go.
In fact, it’s better if you spread it throughout your day, using it to break up long periods of sitting.
So long as you move more and sit less, you should find transforming your body is much easier regardless of what NEPA activities you choose.
While weightlifting is an excellent activity for body transformation, there are many other activities that can also help you achieve your body transformation goals.
Running, rowing, swimming, and even yoga can all help you to lose weight and tone your body.
Plus, each of these activities has its own set of health benefits that make them worth trying out.
So if you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness level and get in shape, you don’t limit have to limit yourself to just weightlifting!
Here is a list of popular fitness activities that can transform your body faster than you ever thought possible:
- 12 Incredible Ways How Running Changes Your Body and Life
- 8 Best Assault Bike Benefits + 7 Workouts for Body Transformation
- 7 Spectacular Ways How Swimming Changes Your Body
- Yoga and Strength Training Are Perfect Partners; Here’s Why!
- 7 Incredible Cycling Effects On Body Transformation
- 13 Remarkable Ways How Rowing Changes Your Physique
- Spin Class Body Transformation: 9 Results You Can Expect To See
- 8 Amazing Ways How Rock Climbing Changes Your Body
- Is Roller Skating a Good Exercise for Weight Loss + Getting Fit?
- Yoga Body Transformation: How To Completely Reshape Your Physique
- CrossFit Body Transformation: 8 Great Changes You Can Expect
- 5 Sensational Ways How Rucking Changes Your Body
- Kickboxing Body Transformation: 6 Greatest Effects On Your Physique
- 7 Magnificent Ways How Burpees Change Your Body
- 11 Dazzling Ways How Kettlebell Training Changes Your Body
Sample Workout Schedule
Not sure where to start with your body transformation workout schedule?
Here’s an example of what your week could look like:
The Fit Apprentice Full Body Transformation Workout Plan
The Ultimate Body Transformation Guide – FAQs
Got a question about body transformation?
Here are some answers!
#1. How long does a body transformation take?
Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that I just can’t answer.
It all depends on your current fitness levels, how much fat/weight you need to lose, and your determination and motivation.
That said, most people should be able to lose an average of two pounds per week, so if you need to lose 50 pounds, assume it’ll take you about 25 weeks to do it.
That should give you an idea of how long your body transformation could take.
However, if you work hard and don’t miss workouts or cheat on your diet, you could make faster progress than this.
#2. Can I transform my body in my 50s?
The math of body transformation works for everyone regardless of age.
So long as you create a calorie deficit, your body has to use fat for fuel.
Lift weights to preserve muscle mass and do cardio to speed up the process and get fitter.
Age is not a barrier to a successful body transformation.
If I could go from hopelessly fat to getting fit after 50 in one year, so can you!
#3. What supplements do I need to take?
You don’t need to take any supplements to achieve a successful body transformation.
Eating healthily and exercising are all you need.
But, some supplements may help because they give you energy, speed up recovery, or otherwise provide a small performance or progress boost.
While you don’t NEED these supplements, any of these products may be helpful:
- Whey protein powder
- Amino acids
- Essential fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Testosterone booster
4. Can I transform my body just by dieting or just working out?
The best way to transform your body is by combining diet and exercise.
This is like 1+1=3!
Dieting alone means constant hunger, and you’ll probably lose muscle.
Exercise alone means having to work out longer and harder and never taking a day off.
Doing both means your diet and workout schedule will be much more sustainable and forgiving.
5. Are body transformations safe?
Providing you avoid extreme diets and ultra-intense workouts, body transformations are very safe.
After all, we’re talking about eating healthily and regular moderate exercise.
In fact, losing fat and gaining muscle are both very good for your health and will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and a whole host of other diseases and illnesses.
That said, if you are currently significantly overweight, are sedentary, or have any chronic medical condition, it’s worth speaking to your doctor before you begin to make sure they approve of your new diet and exercise program.
6. Can I do a body transformation at home?
Contrary to what many people think, you don’t need to work out in a gym to lose fat or burn muscle.
Bodyweight exercises are every bit as effective as state-of-the-art machines.
So, don’t think that home workouts are any less effective than going to the gym.
As clever as your body is, it can’t easily tell the difference between doing chest presses on a $20,000 machine or pushups in your garage.
See 7 Exercises To Do Everyday to Change Your Body + Workout for a daily routine you can use to transform your physique.
The Ultimate Body Transformation Guide – Wrapping Up
There is no better time to start your body transformation than now.
Don’t put it off until next week or next month.
Every day you delay means it’ll take you longer to get in shape.
Make your next meal a healthy meal and try and have a workout or go for a walk.
Just ten minutes is a great place to start.
Body transformations take time but remember that every healthy meal and Workout will take you one step closer to your fitness goals.
Use the information in this article to create a leaner, more toned, stronger, healthier you!
So, no more delays – start today!
- How Deadlifts Change Your Body in 27 Powerful Ways
- 7 Deadlift Fat Loss Results You Need to Know
- 12 Sensational Ways How Running Changes Your Body and Life
- The Best Diet to Get Ripped and Lean at Home + Meal Plan
- 7 Spectacular Ways How Swimming Changes Your Physique
- 13 Remarkable Ways How Rowing Changes Your Body & Life