PartDesign Body

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PartDesign Body

Menu location

Part Design → Create body



Default shortcut


Introduced in version See also

Std Part, feature editing


A PartDesign Body is the base element to create solids shapes with the PartDesign Workbench. It can contain sketches, datums objects, and PartDesign Features that help in building a single contiguous solid.

The Body provides an Origin object which includes local X, Y, and Z axes, and standard planes. These elements can be used as references to attach sketches and primitive objects.

Since the Body is supposed to be a single contiguous solid, it can be moved entirely as a unit, without moving the individual features. Multiple bodies can be placed inside Std Parts in order to create assemblies.

Left: the tree view showing the features that sequentially produce the final shape of the object. Right: the final object visible in the 3D view.


If no previous solid is selected:

  1. Press the Body button. An empty Body is created and automatically becomes active.
  2. Now you can press New sketch to create a sketch in the Body that can be used with Pad.
  3. Alternatively, add a primitive PartDesign Feature, for example, Additive box.

If a solid object is selected:

  1. Press the Body button. A new Body is created containing a single Base Feature. This Base Feature element is a simple reference to another object previously created or imported into the document. See Base Feature for more information. An existing Body or PartDesign Feature cannot be selected when pressing Body.


  • If no Body currently exists when New sketch is pressed, a new Body will be automatically created. If a Body already exists, it has to be made active before using New sketch.
  • Double-click the Body in the tree view or open the context menu (right-click) and select Toggle active body to activate or deactivate the Body. If another Body is active, it will be deactivated. See active status for more information.


A PartDesign Body (PartDesign::Body class) is derived from a Part Feature (Part::Feature class), therefore it shares all the latter’s properties.

In addition to the properties described in Part Feature, the PartDesign Body has the following properties in the property editor.



  • DataTip (Link): the PartDesign Feature defined as “Tip”, which is usually the last feature created in the Body. The Tip indicates the final shape of the Body, which is shown in the 3D view when ViewDisplay Mode Body is set to Tip. See Tip for more information.
  • DataBase Feature (Link): an external shape used as the first PartDesign Feature in the Body. It is usually set when dragging a solid object into an empty Body. If no solid is imported in this way, this property will be empty. See Base Feature for more information.
  • DataPlacement (Placement): the position of the object in the 3D view. The placement is defined by a Base point (vector), and a Rotation (axis and angle). See Placement.
  • DataGroup (LinkList): a list with the PartDesign Features in the Body.

Hidden properties Data

  • DataOrigin (Link): the App Origin object that is the positional reference for all elements listed in DataGroup.
  • Data_ Group Touched (Bool): whether the group is touched or not.

Also the hidden properties described in Part Feature.



  • ViewDisplay Mode Body (Enumeration): sets the display mode specifically for the Body with one of two types.
    • Through (default) exposes all objects inside the Body, that is, sketches, PartDesign Features, datum objects, etc. This mode allows visualizing partial operations done inside the Body, and thus it is the recommended mode when adding and editing features. Select the specific feature, and the set ViewVisibility to True or press the Space bar on the keyboard.
    • Tip exposes only the final shape of the Body, which is defined by the DataTip property. Everything else, including sketches, partial features, datums, etc., is not displayed, even if they are visible in the tree view. This mode is recommended when the Body does not need to be modified further, so a fixed shape is shown. This mode is also recommended when you wish to select the sub-elements (vertices, edges, and faces) of the final shape to use with other workbenches’ tools.

Body concept

Single contiguous solid

A PartDesign Body is intended to model a single contiguous solid. The meaning of “contiguous” is an element made in one piece, with no moving parts, or disconnected solids. Examples of contiguous solids are those that are manufactured from a single piece of raw material by a process of casting, cutting, or milling. For example, a nut, a washer, and a bolt each consists of a single solid piece of steel with no moving parts, so each can be modelled by a PartDesign Body. Objects that are created by welding two pieces can also be modelled by a single Body as long as the weld joint is not intended to break apart.

Once these contiguous solids are put together in some type of arrangement, then they become an “assembly”. In an assembly, the objects are not fused together, but they are simply “stacked” or placed next to each other, and remain individual parts.

Left: three individual contiguous solids, each of them modelled by a PartDesign Body. Right: the individual Bodies put together in an assembly.

Feature editing

A PartDesign Body is intended to work by creating an initial solid, either from a sketch or from a primitive shape, and then modifying it through “features” to add or remove material from the previous shape. For a full explanation go to feature editing.

A PartDesign Body will perform an automatic fusion (union) of the solid elements inside of it. This means that (1) partial solids should be touching when created, and (2) disconnected solids are not allowed.

Left: two individual solids that intersect each other. Right: a single PartDesign Body with two additive features; they are automatically fused together, so instead of intersecting, they form a single contiguous solid.

Left: two disconnected solids; this isn’t a valid PartDesign Body. Right: two touching solids; this results in a valid PartDesign Body. The newer feature should always contact or intersect the previous feature so that it is fused to it, and becomes a single contiguous solid.

Note: other CAD programs like Catia allow discontiguous solids in the same “Body”. As of v0.19, FreeCAD does not allow this. There has been discussions in the FreeCAD forum about lifting this restriction but no concrete decision has been made. If you’d like to know more or present different points of view, please discuss in the forum.

Detailed explanation of the properties

Active status

An open document can contain multiple Bodies. To add a new feature to a specific Body, it needs to be made active. An active body will be displayed in the tree view with the background color specified by the Active container value in the preferences editor (by default, light blue). An active body will also be shown in bold text.

To activate or de-activate a Body:

  • Double click on it on the tree view, or
  • Open the context menu (right click) and select Toggle active body.

Activating a Body automatically switches to the PartDesign Workbench. Only a single Body can be active at a time.

Document with two PartDesign Bodies, of which the second one is active.


The Origin consists of the three standard axes (X, Y, Z) and three standard planes (XY, XZ and YZ). Sketches and other objects can be attached to these elements when creating them.

  1. Create the Body.
  2. If the Body is selected in the tree view, press New sketch; the task panel will open to allow selecting one of the planes.
  3. If the Body is not selected, select the Origin instead and make it visible in the 3D view by pressing the Space bar in the keyboard. Also expand the Origin object to see the axes and planes.
  4. Select one of the planes, either in the tree view or in the 3D view, then press New sketch. The sketch will be created on the chosen plane.

The same process can be used when creating auxiliary datum geometry like PartDesign Lines, PartDesign Planes, and PartDesign CoordinateSystems.

Note: the Origin is an App Origin object (App::Origin class), while the axes and planes are objects of type App::Line and App::Plane respectively. Each of these elements can be hidden and unhidden individually with the Space bar; this is useful to choose the correct reference when creating other objects.

Note 2: all elements inside the Body are referenced to the Body’s Origin which means that the Body can be moved and rotated in reference to the global coordinate system without affecting the placement of the elements inside.

Left: PartDesign Body Origin in the tree view. Right: representation of the Origin elements in the 3D view.

Base Feature

The Base Feature is the first PartDesign Feature in the Body when the Body is based on another solid shape. This solid can be created by any workbench, or imported from an external file, for example, a STEP file.

PartDesign Bodies, each of them with a single Base Feature, which are taken from previously created solids.

To create the Base Feature:

  1. select a solid shape external to any Body, and
  2. press Body; this will create a new Body with a single Base Feature.

Note: you can’t select an existing Body, or any of its features, when pressing Body.

If you already have a Body, you can create the Base Feature in this way:

  • in the tree view, pick an object, and drag and drop it inside the Body, or
  • in the property editor, edit the value of DataBase Feature by pressing the ellipsis …, and choosing an object from the list. In this case you can choose an existing Body to be the Base Feature.

Note: dragging and dropping only works for Bodies which don’t have a Base Feature already.

Note 2: if the Body already has several features, when you drag and drop the external solid, the Base Feature will be created at the beginning of the list of features, that is, it will be added to the beginning of the DataGroup property.

The Base Feature is entirely optional; it is only present when including an object from outside the Body. If no external solid is included, you can still build your shape using sketches, pads, primitive objects, and other PartDesign Features. In this case the DataBase Feature property remains empty.

Left: PartDesign Body with a Base Feature that is taken from an external solid object, and many subsequent PartDesign Features on top. Right: Body which doesn’t have an explicit Base Feature.


The Tip is the PartDesign Feature that is exposed outside the Body; that is, if another tool from any workbench (for example, Part SimpleCopy or Part Cut) needs to use the shape of the Body, it will use the shape of the Tip. Said in another way, the Tip is the final representation of the Body as if the parametric history didn’t exist.

Left: PartDesign Body with full parametric history including intermediate features. Right: the Tip is the final shape that can be exported from the Body, while omitting the model’s history.

The Tip is automatically set to the last feature created in the Body. Nevertheless, it can also be set to any of the intermediate features by opening the tree view context menu (right-click) and choosing Set tip, or by changing the Body’s DataTip value in the property editor.

Changing the Tip in effect rolls back its history, making it possible to add features that should have been added earlier. It also exposes a different shape to external tools.

In the tree view, the Tip of the Body is recognized by the PartDesign Feature that has an icon overlay consisting of a white arrow inside a green circle.

Two PartDesign Bodies, each of them with PartDesign Features. The Tip is the last feature in them, and is marked with an overlay symbol.

Interaction with other workbenches

By default, PartDesign Features inside a Body are selectable, as this is required to edit and add more features with the PartDesign Workbench tools. Nevertheless, selecting the individual features to use them with tools from other workbenches, like Part and Draft, is not advised, as the results may be unexpected; if this is done, in the report view an error message may appear, Links go out of the allowed scope.

Therefore, for interactions with other workbenches, only the Body itself should be selected in the tree view. In cases where it is necessary to select specific sub-elements of the Body (vertices, edges, and faces), the Body’s ViewDisplay Mode Body property should be switched to Tip. When this mode is enabled, access to objects under the Body (features, datums, sketches) is disabled, and everything but the Body’s Tip will be hidden in the 3D view.

Once the sub-elements have been used with other workbenches, ViewDisplay Mode Body can be set back to Through.

Left: when “Display Mode Body” is set to Through it is possible to select and perform operations with the individual PartDesign Features; in general, this is not recommended. Right: when “Display Mode Body” is set to Tip all selections and operations done on the Body will be done on the Tip, making sure only the final shape of the Body is exposed.

Visibility management

The Body’s visibility supersedes the visibility of any object it contains. If the Body is hidden, the objects it contains will be hidden as well, even if their individual ViewVisibility property is set to True.

Multiple Sketches may be visible at one time, but only one PartDesign Feature (solid result) can be visible at a time. Selecting a hidden feature and pressing the Space bar in the keyboard will make it visible, and automatically hide the previously visible feature.

PartDesign Body: multiple Sketches may be visible simultaneously, but only one solid PartDesign Feature may be visible at one time, whether it is the Tip or not.


PartDesign Features, just like planar objects, can be attached to different planes, usually the standard planes defined by the Body’s Origin, or to custom PartDesign Planes.

Sketches are normally attached to a plane when they are created. In similar way, primitive features can also be attached. Attaching these objects to a plane allows them to be moved within the Body by changing their DataAttachment Offset property. For more information on the attachment modes see Part Attachment.

A PartDesign Feature that is not attached will be shown with a red overlay symbol next to their icon in the tree view.

PartDesign Body: PartDesign Features that are not attached to a plane or coordinate system will be shown with an overlay symbol next to their icon in the tree view.


A PartDesign Body is formally an instance of the class PartDesign::Body, whose parent is Part Feature (Part::Feature class) through the intermediate Part::BodyBase class, and is augmented with an Origin extension.

Simplified diagram of the relationships between the core objects in the program. The PartDesign::Body object is intended to build parametric 3D solids, and thus is derived from the basic Part::Feature object, and has an Origin to control the placement of the features used inside of it.


See also: FreeCAD Scripting Basics, and scripted objects.

See Part Feature for the general information on adding objects to the document

A PartDesign Body is created with the addObject() method of the document. Once a Body exists, PartDesign Features can be added to it with the addObject() or addObjects() methods of this Body.

import FreeCAD as App doc = App.newDocument() obj = App.ActiveDocument.addObject(“PartDesign::Body”, “Body”) obj.Label = “Custom label” feat1 = App.ActiveDocument.addObject(“PartDesign::AdditiveBox”, “Box”) feat2 = App.ActiveDocument.addObject(“PartDesign::AdditiveCylinder”, “Cylinder”) obj.addObjects() App.ActiveDocument.recompute()

In a document that has many Bodies, the active Body can be set using the setActiveObject method of the ActiveView. The first argument is the fixed string “pdbody”, and the second argument is the Body object that should be made active.

import FreeCAD as App import FreeCADGui as Gui doc = App.newDocument() obj1 = App.ActiveDocument.addObject(“PartDesign::Body”, “Body”) obj2 = App.ActiveDocument.addObject(“PartDesign::Body”, “Body”) Gui.ActiveDocument.ActiveView.setActiveObject(“pdbody”, obj1) App.ActiveDocument.recompute() Previous: Group Next: Create sketch PartDesign

  • Structure tools: Std Part, Std Group
  • Helper tools: Body, New sketch, Edit sketch, Map sketch
  • Modeling tools
    • Datum tools: Create a datum point, Create a datum line, Create a datum plane, Create a local coordinate system, Create a shape binder, Create a clone
    • Additive tools: Pad, Revolution, Additive loft, Additive pipe, Additive box, Additive cone, Additive cylinder, Additive ellipsoid, Additive prism, Additive sphere, Additive torus, Additive wedge
    • Subtractive tools: Pocket, Hole, Groove, Subtractive loft, Subtractive pipe, Subtractive box, Subtractive cone, Subtractive cylinder, Subtractive ellipsoid, Subtractive prism, Subtractive sphere, Subtractive torus, ‎Subtractive wedge
  • Transformation tools: Mirrored, Linear Pattern, Polar Pattern, Create MultiTransform
  • Dress-up tools: Fillet, Chamfer, Draft, Thickness
  • Boolean: Boolean operation
  • Extras: Migrate, Shaft design wizard, Involute gear
  • Contextual Menu tools: Set tip, Move object to other body, Move object after other object

User documentation

  • Scripting: Introduction to Python, FreeCAD scripting tutorial, FreeCAD Scripting Basics, How to install macros, Gui Command, Units Modules: Builtin modules, Workbench creation, Installing more workbenches Meshes: Mesh Scripting, Mesh Module Parts: The Part Module, Topological data scripting, PythonOCC, Mesh to Part Coin scenegraph: The Coin/Inventor scenegraph, Pivy Qt interface: PySide, Using the FreeCAD GUI, Dialog creation Parametric objects: Scripted objects Other: Code snippets, Line drawing function, Embedding FreeCAD, FreeCAD vector math library, Power users hub, Python, Macros, FreeCAD Scripting Basics, Topological data scripting
  • Deprecated workbenches: Complete, Drawing

This article is part of our package looking at the benefits of exercise. Have a look at our interactive body map on the risks of inactivity.

For most of us, heading into a gym can lead to confusion about what exercises to do. If you want to change the shape of your body, can selecting certain exercises really work?

Once we reach adulthood, our bone structure and proportions are largely fixed. Essentially, the length of your collar bones versus the size of your pelvis, and the length of your body compared to the length of your legs are big factors in determining proportions and aesthetic beauty.

However, we can use exercise to enhance our body shape and appearance, as well as increase muscle and bone strength.

Fat and muscle

We cannot physiologically change fat to muscle. For example, although doing lots of repetitions squeezing your knees together on a hip adductor machine creates a feeling of using this muscle group, it will not burn the fat deposits off the targeted area. What will occur is that with training, the muscles become stronger and larger, which may be contrary to what many women may be trying to achieve in attempting to sculpt leaner-looking legs.

Another example is trying to burn off excessive abdominal fat, which increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. No amount of crunches will burn off abdominal fat directly.

Increased physical activity in general, exercise and good nutrition are key to losing fat. Although there’s no way to induce spot reduction in fat that is stored under the skin, moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular training is very effective in reducing fat. This includes running, skipping, cycling and boxing.

We’ve all heard women say: “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look muscly.” But it’s really not that easy to put on significant muscle mass. Many bodybuilders will attest to the amount of work and overfeeding required to promote muscle growth. So the idea that weight training will make women bulky is a fallacy.

Training specific muscles

If you train specific muscles, these will increase in mass. So targeting specific muscle groups, as body builders do, can shape your body.

If you only do repetitive cardio exercise in the gym on equipment such as treadmills, a cross trainer or an exercise bike, only the large muscle groups you use to move will get stronger and increase in size.

So running on a treadmill may make your bottom (gluteus maximus), hamstrings, quadriceps (front thighs) and calf muscles bigger; and using a cross trainer will work the same leg muscles, as well as target the muscles in the chest, back and shoulders that push and pull.

Whereas attending a bootcamp-style class, or doing compound exercises (like squats or dead lifts that work lots of different muscles) where the types of exercises are more varied will stimulate a larger number of muscle groups.

Dumb-bell flies make the shoulders bigger, making you look more athletic. from

To look more athletic, train the shoulders (deltoid muscles) so they broaden compared to the pelvis. This creates a more V-shaped body.

Examples of weight-training exercises that work the deltoid muscles include shoulder presses (lifting weights from shoulder to above the head) and seated dumb-bell flies (lifting weights from the midline of one’s body in an arc to shoulder height).

Dead lifts are compound exercises – meaning they work lots of muscles. from

In order to have longer-looking, shapely legs, over-emphasise training the hamstring and bottom (gluteus maximus) muscles, and de-emphasise training the quads and adductor groups (front of thigh).

This will give less width and more depth to the thighs. Examples of exercises that shape the thighs include hamstring curls (bringing the heels to the bottom by bending the knees) and stiff-legged barbell dead lifts (bending at the hip to lower weights down the front of the legs).

Inclined chest presses work the top of the chest, which is often ignored. from

In order to have more fullness in the chest, inclined chest presses (pushing weights from the chest level) and pec flies (moving in an arc at chest level) will emphasise the upper chest muscles.

These are often neglected because they’re not as naturally strong as the chest muscles lower down near the sternum which are used in common weight-training exercises like bench pressing.

Training back and abdominal muscles that form the corset around the torso is important in providing a stable base from which our bodies move, and supports the natural curves of the spine, improving our posture and body shape.

A simple, effective exercise is lying rotations. Lie face up and bend the hips and knees to 90 degrees and keep the knees together. With arms outstretched to 90 degrees and on the floor, slowly allow the knees to rotate towards one of the outstretched hands, then stop just before reaching the hand and repeat on the other side.

Put your knees up in the air and rotate them from side to side to strengthen your core. from

Form is key

What is important is training with good form. Our bodies are wired to avoid discomfort, so it’s easy to use larger muscle groups or momentum to lift weights. This can be counter-productive as the muscle groups being used may not be the targeted ones in any particular exercise.

An example of this is using the back muscles in creating momentum from repeated backward bends in performing dumb-bell or barbell bicep curls. A much more targeted way of performing this exercise is to maintain the natural curves of the spine by supporting the back, either on a bench or against a wall.

Stretching matters

Stretching will prevent any unwanted loss of range of motion in joints due to muscle tightness. Exercises such as yoga and pilates, as well as general stretching, are great at keeping us supple and lithe.

Yoga, pilates and even martial arts nurture the practice of movement patterns through each joint’s range of motion. If efficiency of movement is a pleasure to the eye, then there is much to be said about developing grace in order to enhance aesthetic beauty.

How to Body Recomp

If you want to learn exactly how to successfully achieve a body recomposition with science-backed methods, then you need to read this article.

Common belief has us convinced that building muscle and losing fat simultaneously, also known as body recomposition, isn’t feasible for most natural lifters.

You’ll often hear that you’re stuck with one of two options:

“Either you eat at a caloric surplus in order to build muscle or eat at a deficit in order to lose fat.”

But based on my own experience and a review of dozens of body recomposition studies, this simply isn’t the case. Building muscle and losing fat at the same time is definitely possible, it just comes with a catch. Body recomposition protocols are typically more effective if:

  1. You’re a beginner. Meaning that you’re within your first year of proper and consistent training.
  2. You’re detrained. Meaning that you’ve taken at least a couple months off from training OR you’ve never really trained or eaten properly and consistently.
  3. You have quite a high body fat (for example over 25%).
  4. You’re an intermediate lifter ready for a “slow cut”.

Keep in mind that if you’re a more intermediate lifter, body recomposition can still occur in some cases but at a much slower rate. And mainly only if you’re at a higher body fat % and willing to perform a slow cut.

Body Fat Percentage

This is the method I’ve personally used to help me maintain (and even build) my muscle while dropping body fat despite having years of lifting experience. Although this is a slow process, it’s an effective strategy to achieve a body recomposition in more trained individuals.

But regardless of which category you fall under, in order to successfully achieve a body recomposition, there’s a few key points that you need to implement correctly and that’s what I’ll be covering in this video.

Step 1: Eat at a slight caloric deficit

In order to successfully build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, the first step Is to eat at a slight caloric deficit. Higher deficits will maximize more fat loss but will counteract muscle gain as a consequence. Therefore, you need to set up your caloric deficit so that you’re able to lose some fat while enabling muscle gain.

One 2011 study by Garthe and colleagues showed that even elite trained athletes were able to gain muscle while losing fat over a 9 week period. They achieved this by performing a slow cut, meaning that they aimed to lose a maximum of 0.7% of their bodyweight per week.

Example of Body Recomposition

This means that for a 165 lb individual, they’d aim to lose a maximum of around 1 lb per week. For most people, this equates to a maximum daily caloric deficit of around 500 calories.

Simply meaning that you’re eating a maximum of 500 calories below your maintenance everyday. I’d argue that the more trained you are, the smaller this deficit should be. Beginners and detrained individuals will be able to get away with a higher deficit (e.g. 500 calories) and still achieve a body recomposition.

And keep in mind that your weight might actually stay the same (or even increase) throughout the process. This happens because you’re losing fat but gaining an equal amount of muscle simultaneously.

This mainly occurs if you’re a beginner or detrained and have a greater ability to build muscle while losing fat. But regardless of what your weight is doing, make sure it isn’t dropping too fast and maintain your slight deficit throughout the process.

Step 2 = Maintain a high protein intake

Adequate protein intake is essential for a body recomposition in order to maintain a positive nitrogen balance despite being in a caloric deficit. This ensures that your muscles still have what they need for growth.

Generally, research shows that anything over around 0.8g/lb of bodyweight is unnecessary in terms of muscle growth and maintenance.

However, in studies where subjects were able to achieve a successful body recomposition, they were often intaking around 2.4 to even 3.4 g of protein / kg of bodyweight. This is equivalent to roughly 1g to 1.6g/lb of bodyweight.

In fact, one 2018 study by Schoenfeld and colleagues even showed that every single subject on a high protein muscle building diet of a little over 1g/lb of bodyweight gained muscle while losing a kilogram of fat. Whereas the subjects in the low protein group (~0.4g/lb of bodyweight) still lost 1 kg of fat but many of them also lost muscle with it or didn’t see any muscle gain. The results can be seen in the graph below.

Schoenfeld Study

Based on this it’s clear that body recomp is more likely to occur with a high protein science based diet.

However, protein intake is (and will likely always be) a grey area. Although the previous studies I mentioned found superior results with a higher protein intake over the recommended 0.8g/lb of bodyweight, the lower protein groups in these studies were all below this recommendation.

Thus, future studies need to compare a protein intake of 0.8g/lb of bodyweight with an intake above this to see if a higher intake really does promote body recomposition.

But although the exact protein intake that is optimal for a body recomposition is relatively unclear at the moment, I think the literature suggests that intaking 0.8 to 1g per pound of bodyweight and maybe even more is ideal. I’d personally suggest experimenting with it and seeing how your body responds!

Step 3 = Progress in the gym

The third tip is to ensure that you’re progressing in the gym. Your muscles need a stimulus to grow, and we provide that through resistance training.

As a beginner or detrained lifter, this is relatively easy to do since you’re able to gain strength quickly in the gym. So stick to a solid training program and ensure that you’re progressively overloading it throughout the weeks which can be done by increasing reps or the weight lifted in your exercises.

On the other hand, the more training experience you have, the harder this will be to do. But given that you’re utilizing only a small deficit with adequate protein, your body still has the energy and positive nitrogen balance it needs to progress in the gym.

This has been shown in several studies on elite gymnasts, aspiring physique competitors, and football players who were already squatting over 380 lbs and benching over 280lbs when starting their body recomposition! They were all able to drop body fat while gaining some muscle and strength – meaning that body recomposition in trained individuals is definitely possible and common!

The key for more advanced individuals though is sticking to steps 1 and 2 AND properly setting up your training program in a way that allows consistent progression. This simply means that you’re following a structured (possibly periodized) program, integrating deloads, and using a progression scheme that prevents you from reaching plateaus.

This is something I’ll cover in more depth in a future article. For now, check out some of my science-based workouts to get an idea of what kinds of exercises you should be incorporating.

Body Recomposition Takeaways

So to sum the article up, in order to successfully achieve a body recomposition, you want to implement the following 3 steps:

  1. Maintain a slight caloric deficit that allows a maximum of 0.7% weight loss per week. Just keep in mind that weight loss might not occur especially in beginners/detrained individuals.
  2. Intake adequate protein of at least 0.8-1g per lb of bodyweight. I’d also suggest experimenting with higher intakes. This might provide additional body recomposition benefits in some individuals. And no, high protein intakes are not harmful for you.
  3. Stick to a solid training program that focuses on progressive overload and consistent progression.

Limitations Of Body Recomp

With that being said, I also want to mention the limitations of body recomp:

  1. It’s clear that the closer you are to your genetic potential, the less drastic your body recomposition will be and it may not occur at all.
  2. The same applies for how lean you are. The leaner you are, the less likely you are to recomp since your body has less fat to utilize for energy.
  3. This isn’t an effective strategy for hardgainers or those with a low body fat and need to put on a lot of size. In this case you should focus on lean bulking by eating at a slight surplus in order to maximize muscle and strength gains.

Despite these limitations, I’d suggest utilizing the above tips I discussed and seeing how your body responds. I’ve personally experienced a lot of success with it despite my years of training, and I’ve applied the same approach to several clients of mine with great success. The only way to find out if this will work for you is to try it out!

YouTube Video

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this article! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions down below. And give me a follow on Instagram , Facebook , and Youtube where I’ll be posting informative content on a more regular basis. Cheers!

Body Recomposition: How to Build Muscle While Losing Fat

3 Types of People Who Should Recomp (& How to Do It Right)

People tend to fall into one of two extremes when it comes to recomp.

There are those who know little or nothing about fitness. They often have wildly unrealistic expectations, believing that with the right program, they can simultaneously lose twenty pounds of fat while gaining 20 pounds of muscle in a single month.

Conversely, the people who understand exercise physiology often take the opposite approach, and insist that recomp is bullshit. These people will usually insist that it’s physically impossible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.

Technically, depending on what you mean by “at the same time,” this second group is right. Your body can never be in both an anabolic and catabolic state at any given moment. However, it’s entirely possible to alternate between the two.

First off, you can lose fat for part of the day and gain muscle for part of the day via intermittent fasting and intelligent post-workout refeeding.

This method alone, however, will produce glacially slow progress.

So, let’s not even talk about that.

The other thing you can do is practice your muscle-building skills a few days a week, and your fat-burning skills a few days a week. If you do this right, and, in particular, if your macro calculations are on point, you can produce some pretty respectable results.

That said, recomping usually produces slower results than alternating bulk and cut phases.

So, why would you do it?

Well, first off, it produces steadier results, rather than the two steps forward, one step back progress that can often be seen with the bulk/cut model. Second, it’s a great cure for yo-yo dieting.

While anyone can benefit from recomp, there are a few specific types of people who tend to do better with it rather than simply alternating bulking and cutting. I’ll provide specific recommendations for those groups, but let’s first go over the basics of body recomp.

Recomp Effectively

The first rule of recomp is to eat a caloric surplus on workout days and a caloric deficit on non-workout days.

The second rule of recomp is eat a caloric surplus on workout days and a caloric deficit on non-workout days.

Got it?

Roman explains how to calculate your calorie and macro needs in this article; he recommends a 100 calorie surplus on workout days and 500 calorie deficit on non-workout days, but treat those numbers as a starting point. Not gaining strength or mass? Add another one or two hundred calories on workout days. Not losing fat? Cut a couple hundred more calories on non-workout days- ideally from carbs.

The third rule of recomp is to lift weights three or four times a week. Don’t lift more than four days a week. Remember, you’re eating a caloric surplus on your workout days, so working out more often would turn this recomp into a bulk.

Note that you don’t have to perform each workout exactly once a week. You can have a four-way split and work out three times a week, or have a five-way split and workout three or four times a week.

The fourth rule of recomp is that every exercise other than weightlifting is optional and thusly doesn’t count as a workout day. A little jogging or playing soccer with your friends, can be great ways to burn some extra calories on non-workout days, but they don’t earn you the right to eat more.

The fifth rule is to utilize some form of intermittent fasting. Personally I’m a fan of daily 16/8 fasting, plus a 24-hour fasts the day after a cheat day, but find a fasting protocol that works with your body and your schedule.

The sixth rule is to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Sleeping helps with both fat loss and muscle growth. It’s a win-win, so make sure you nail this.

Those are the basics.

Now let’s look at the three types of people who can benefit from recomp.

1. You’re Skinny-Fat

Being skinny-fat is tough. When you try to cut, you end up losing muscle along with fat. When you try to bulk, you end up gaining fat along with your new muscle. It’s a heartbreaking, Sisyphean ordeal. Thankfully, recomping offers a solution.

When breaking out of the skinny-fat trap, patience is the name of the game. The rapid cut/bulk mindset will only lead to yo-yo dieting, so keep your daily caloric surpluses under two hundred calories and your deficits under six hundred.

While you are losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time, losing fat is the more important of the two. Your goal is to get your body fat percentage down, since being leaner means you’ll look better and have better nutrient partitioning.

Focus on strong deficits and low-carb dieting on non-workout days. If you can also gain a little lean mass, view that as the icing on the cake.

And if you’re skinny-fat, don’t use cheat days to start out with. You’re not lean enough to automatically deserve one. Instead, allow yourself one cheat meal per week; dinner on Saturday nights tend to be when most people have this.

If you initially show strong fat loss, start getting leaner, and your progress slows dramatically after a while, that’s when you add in a cheat day once every two weeks. This will serve to up-regulate hormones like leptin and thyroid hormone and keep your metabolism high.

But don’t add a cheat day until you need it and you know you’re doing everything else right. Don’t bump the frequency up to once a week until you’ve broken out of the skinny-fat zone and have gotten lean.

Make your workouts whole-body. Working your entire body each time will give you the strongest metabolic effect, which is ideal for kick-starting fat loss. Just make sure not to overwork your legs. Don’t push them to failure.

Keep rest times short. Again, this maximizes the metabolic impact of your workouts.

2. You’re Close to Your Final Form

The second group who can benefit from a recomp is those who are both fairly lean, and have almost as much muscle as their body can naturally have. If you’re in this group, you only need to lose a few pounds of fat and gain a few pounds of muscle, and you’ll be in the best (drug-free) shape that you could possibly be in.

Ironically, being in great shape puts you in a similar bind to the skinny-fat trainee. Because your body can only gain muscle very slowly at this point, it’s easy for a large caloric surplus to spill over into fat gain. And because your body doesn’t have much fat left to lose, it’ll be resistant to losing any more; it will try its best to lose muscle because evolution has designed our bodies first and foremost to avoid starvation.

If you’re in this group, your prescription differs from that of the skinny-fat trainee in a few key ways.

First off, you should have a cheat day every week. You’re lean enough to benefit from it, and you’ve proven that you can follow a diet well enough to warrant a cheat day. So, enjoy that cheat day; you’ve earned it.

Second, compared to the skinny-fat trainee, your diet should be tilted a bit more towards muscle growth. Since you’re lean, you have great nutrient partitioning, so you can eat a little more on workout days without gaining fat. Your caloric surplus on workout days might be several hundred, rather than just one hundred.

Third, your workouts should probably be split-body, or else each workout should focus on a few body parts while minimally working others. There are a few reasons for this. First off, you probably tend to push yourself harder than newer trainees. That means each muscle needs more time to recover. Moreover, muscle naturally takes longer to recover as they grow larger, since some of the bodily resources they draw won’t have grown as much as the muscles themselves. And third, since you’re prioritizing muscle growth a bit more highly, the added metabolic boost from a full-body workout is less important.

Finally, switch up your workouts every 2-3 months. The better shape you’re in, the faster you adapt to an exercise program, and that’s when progress stalls. You don’t want to program-hop, but you do want to follow an intelligent progression that keeps the training effect going strong. Your best options here are to either hire a coach, or follow a program designed for this specific purpose, such as the Omega Body Blueprint.

3. You Just Want to Maintain For Now

There are going to be some periods of your life when you don’t have the time, energy, or stability to follow an aggressive fitness program. That’s OK.

The final category of people who would benefit from a recomp program are people who don’t necessarily want to recomp, but merely want to maintain what they have while making fitness a lower priority in their lives. In this case, instead of losing fat and gaining muscle, the goal is to merely not gain fat and not lose muscle.

A recomp-like program is ideal for physique maintenance since it maintains insulin sensitivity, provides adequate stimulus to preserve muscle mass, and doesn’t require a particularly difficult diet. If you’re in this category, you can take things a bit easier than the other two groups, but you still need to make sure you’re following the program, and in particular that you don’t overeat and get fat.

Rule number one: keep the workouts time-efficient. That means three or maybe even just two workouts a week, with each one clocking in at 20-30 minutes. If you only work out twice a week, it has to be full-body. Also, even though you’re “taking it easy,” you want to push yourself pretty hard during these workouts, allowing higher intensity to partially substitute for the lower volume.

Rule number two: make heavy use of intermittent fasting. The hormonal benefits of intermittent fasting are going to be extra useful since you’re not working out as often. The 16/8 or even 19/5 schedules are ideal for maintenance phases, since restricting your eating to a shorter window each day makes it easier to limit caloric intake. Feast-fast can also be useful if you’re prone to fat gain, but only if you’re earning that cheat day.

Rule number three: determine your diet based on your natural tendency, not your goal. In other words, if you get fat easily, keep calories and carbs low. If you’re naturally skinny and had to struggle for every ounce of muscle, bump up the calories a bit, especially on workout days.

Rule four: Have a weekly cheat day, as long as you’re following your diet. Since you’re de-prioritizing fitness for a while, you can go ahead and enjoy a weekly cheat day without worrying about whether it’s exactly ideal for you given your goals and current body fat percentage. However, you do still have to not be overeating the other six days of the week- otherwise, you’ll just get fat.

Finally, remember that you can never truly stay the same. You’re always gaining or losing fat. You’re always gaining or losing muscle. And if you’re not trying hard enough to make progress, you’ll probably backslide, at least a little bit. A good recomp program can limit the damage, but it won’t freeze your body in place. So go into maintenance mode for a few months if you have to, but understand that after a while, you’ll need to re-focus on fitness and put in the effort to make some gainz.

Bottom Line

Recomping is a great way to gradually gain muscle and lose fat, while avoiding yo-yo dieting. If you have the patience and the ability to hit some fairly precise macro targets, and have had trouble with bulk/cut cycles in the past, recomping is going to be your best option to help you achieve your goals.

About the Author

John Fawkes provides sexification services to discerning bros and swolemaidens. He is one of America’s foremost experts on body recomposition, Dungeons and Dragons, and cooking with protein powder. Check out his free 7-day body recomp course, and his ebook, 12 Techniques for Greater Gainz.

What Is Body Re-Composition?

Imagine if you were able to train and eat in a way which allows you to decrease your body fat mass and increase your muscle mass at the same time. Sounds too good to be true right? Well continue reading below, i’m going to teach you exactly how to start using Body Recomposition and why you need to be implementing these key techniques right now.

To understand body recomposition, we need to first understand body composition, so what is body composition? Body composition is effectively the percentage of body fat, bone mass, skeletal muscle, organs (brain, kidney, liver, heart, ect.) and water.

But, to understand body composition in a more simple way, we can divide this into two categories:

  • Body Fat (all fat types)
  • Lean Body Mass (everything which is not fat)

Many fitness guru’s in the industry will describe lean body mass (LBM) as only skeletal muscle, which is not very accurate.

Lean body mass is the remaining tissues inside the human body which doesn’t fall into the body fat category.

Body Recomposition can be described as the manipulation of body composition, specifically focusing on changing the quantity & proportion of body fat & muscle mass.

For this reason, if your goal is to have an athletic, lean and toned physique, you would want to be focusing your training and nutrition around body recomposition.

Recomposition is designed for women who are wanting to take their physiques to the next level beyond mediocrity of a typical weight loss fitness plan. An effective recomposition program will involve the following:

  • Sports Nutrition Prescription (supplements & diet)
  • Measured Resistance-based Weights Training (Strength & Hypertrophy)
  • Planned Manipulation of Body Fat & Lean Muscle Mass Ratio

A typical weight loss fitness plan will involve:

  • Flexibility
  • Cardiovascular / Oxygen Uptake
  • Heart Rate Measure

As you can see body recomposition has quite a different focus with most weight loss fitness programs, it requires a high level of discipline and accuracy with evidence based techniques. You can find results from body recomposition here.

What Type of Training Is Best For Body Recomposition?

The best type of training you will want to be focusing on is resistance based training. And you want to be incorporating compound weighted exercises for the most effective results especially when training the lower body for women.

With a strong focus on resistance based training you also need to be incorporating the correct advanced training techniques and allowing enough time for optimizing recovery.

I would recommend starting with the following routine, keep in mind if you are just starting out with weighted resistance training, make sure you take the time to learn the correct form and technique to avoid any injuries.

  • Monday – Legs (Posterior): Barbell Squats, Stiff-Legged-Deadlifts, Barbell Deadlifts, Leg Press (high feet position), Lying Leg Curls (machine), Seated Calf Raise (machine)
  • Tuesday – Shoulders / Arms: Standing Military Press, Dumbbell Lateral Raise, Triceps Pushdown, Rear Delt Raise, Bench Dips, Seated Dumbbell Curl, Barbell Curl
  • Wednesday – Chest / Back: Bench Press, Incline Dumbbell Chest Flys, Wide Grip Lat Pulldown, Bent Over Barbell Row, Straight-Arm Pulldown
  • Thursday – Lower Body (Anterior): Barbell Front Squats, Walking Dumbbell Lunges, Leg Press (low feet position), Hack Squats, Leg Extensions
  • Friday – Abs / Core: Russian Twist, Air Bike, Hanging Leg Raise, Plank, Cable Crunch, Toe Touchers, Swiss Ball Crunch
  • Saturday – HIIT: Hill Sprints (1 minute 100% Intensity, 30 seconds 30% intensity) 15 minute session
  • Sunday – Rest

I also recommend training with three key phases to be transitioned every 4-6 weeks:

The following program can be used if you aren’t 100% sure where to get started with technique and form.

How To Optimize Your Nutrition For Recomposition

Sports nutrition techniques and prescription should be designed and planned carefully for predefined & measurable body composition results. Prescribed diet and supplement intake will involve the most fundamental keys for effective recomposition.

Quite simply, if you don’t put a focus on your nutrition, you won’t receive the results you are wanting, especially when focusing on body recomposition.

I would recommend having your calories either equal to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) or slightly lower in the beginning stages. You can also slowly increase your calories starting at <300 (below TDEE), and increasing by 50kcal’s until you reach maintenance levels.

Cycling your calories is also an important key for recomposition which will involve alternating high, moderate and low calorie days. Lower calorie days will be lower in carbohydrates and higher in fats. High to moderate calories days will be higher in carbohydrates and slightly lower in fats.

By cycling your calories and carbohydrates throughout the week, you will be able to effectively target fat loss and put a strong focus on building muscle mass with higher calorie / carb intake days.

Out of all the macronutrients, protein will be the most important for ensuring proper muscle repair for lean muscle mass gains. You will want to be focusing on a daily target protein intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg body weight. Regardless of your high & low days, you need to be keeping protein consistent. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) and will be utilized the most efficiently out of any other macronutrient.

You can find out the 3 key evidence based supplements I recommend with dosage details here.

So Why Should Women Start A Body Recomposition Program?

The main reason why body recomposition is so important for women compared to your typical crash dieting weight-loss program, is because it teaches women that higher calories, carbs and weight-training aren’t evil like it’s made out in the media. They are beneficial for positive body composition changes, but also leading to a sustainable physique transformation.

One of the most detrimental problems with weight-loss programs is when the scale goes down, the weight being lost isn’t always only fat. Weight-loss programs typically teach women to decrease their calories far too low, this causes lean muscle mass to decrease with body fat, as well as potentially irreversible metabolic damage. The end result is the dreaded “skinny-fat” look, added to this problem is the high amount of focus with cardiovascular exercise. Resistance-based exercise tells your body to retain & grow lean muscle mass. Too much cardio with a large calorie deficit will cause your body to use muscle mass for energy. This happens when your glycogen stores are depleted and no glucose is available, so your body starts to break down its own muscle tissue to release amino acids. These amino acids are sent to your liver, where they are converted to glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis.

For older women, it becomes even more crucial to be implementing body recomposition. Women generally have smaller bones than men, and when estrogen levels decrease around the time of menopause, the risk of osteoporosis becomes much higher. Resistance-based weight training and optimizing key macronutrients like protein & carbs, allows women to increase lean muscle mass as well as increasing strength & bone density.

If you’re not sure how to get started & wanting a step by step plan with my support, definitely check out the 28 Day Mind & Body Challenge which is specifically designed for women interested in developing a strong mindset & a strong healthy body!

The original 10 Body-for-LIFE champions with Bill Phillips

I tried to do the Body-for-LIFE challenge when I was eighteen. I lasted about a month before I went back to binging on beer and pizza. Tried it again a couple times in my twenties with the same result. Each time, I stuck with the program for less than a month.

It’s a strict program. If you go to websites that grade diets and health programs, it is usually near the bottom–mainly because it is so demanding that only a fraction of the people who start actually make it the full three months. Well, I recently decided to do the program one last time. If I fuck it up this time, I guess I’ll just resign myself to being a fat POS forever. Wish me luck.

Anyway, for now, at the start of the program, I’m reading Bill Phillips’ book, watching some of the videos he made, even leafing through some of my old issues of Muscle Media. My favorite of these is the video that documented the very first Body-for-LIFE challenge: Body of Work. It takes you into the lives of the 10 winners of that challenge. And their stories are very inspiring. But, as I wander down EAS memory lain, I keep wondering: Where are they now?

Well, I decided to find out.

The original 10 champions were Abb Ansley, Meredith Brown, Porter Freeman, Lynn Lingenfelter, Drew Avery, Everett Herbert, Anthony Ellis, Jeff Seidman, Ralph Zangara and Brad Wadlow.

Where are they now?

Abb Ansley

I had a hard time finding anything on this guy. Looks like he’s a consultant in Denver and still big into healthy living. He’s also still married (sorry, ladies).

Meredith Brown

According to her LinkedIn account, she’s ‘Managing Director’ of something but has the business listed as ‘confidential’. According to a discussion forum comment on the Body-for-LIFE website, nobody, including the other winners, has heard from her since the awards ceremony for the 1997 challenge.

Porter Freeman

Porter, as most folks know, stuck around at EAS longer than the other winners. I remember when I used to buy Muscle Media issues back in the day he had an advice column in there. Like Drew (below), he has his own website which he uses to promote his books (Finally Fit at 50 and A Bite of the Bait Ain’t Worth the Pain of the Hook) and offer his services as an inspirational speaker.

Lynn Lingenfelter

Lynn, unfortunately, isn’t doing so well. According to a 2013 blog post to his wife’s healthy-living website, he was recently diagnosed with a rare and incurable brain disease. This is the guy who won in the “inspirational” category after getting his body and life together after being shot in the back by a friend and recovering from that only to learn that he got HIV from a blood transfusion. Ouch. Lynn lives in Orlando, Florida now. That’s actually not too far from me. Lynn, wanna grab a drink some time, buddy?

Drew Avery

Drew seems to be eking out a living as a fitness consultant of some sort. He has his own website which he uses to hawk various bodybuilding supplements and services. He has definitely at least maintained if not improved his fitness.

Everett Herbert

Everett was over 50 when he completed the challenge in 1997. So, no surprise that he doesn’t have much of an internet presence. As best as I can tell, he’s retired and spends his days riding his Harley and playing with the grandkids (sorry about Facebook stalking you, Ev).

Anthony Ellis

Anthony seems to be doing well. He’s definitely stayed the course with his fitness. He, like several others on this list, has his own website which caters to skinny guys who want to bulk up. However, his website doesn’t look particularly well executed. For example, an annoying pop-up tells you to enter your email address to learn how Mr. Ellis “Packed On Over 300 Pounds Of Muscle in 3 Months”–three hundred? Really? I think you mean 30, dude. Spellcheck, anyone? That said, his website, while shoddy, does provide some useful info (if you can find it amid all the requests for your credit card number).

Jeff Seidman

Jeff seems to be doing quite well for himself (considering he was a valet when he entered the challenge in ’97). He owns HIPERFIT, a Miami Beach gym that is structured around principles very similar to those described in Bill Phillips’ Body-for-LIFE book. Good for you, Jeff.

Ralph Zangara

I found absolutely nothing on this guy. Sorry. He was a cop when he took the challenge. I’m guessing he stayed a cop. I’m surprised by this one. He was very assertive in the Body of Work video. I really thought he, of all the winners, would figure out a way to make a living off of fitness.

Update: In July 2014, a local newspaper published an article on “overpaid” local government employees. In the top 10 was Lt. Ralph S. Zangara of the Buffalo Police Department who had made over $183,000 in FY13. If that’s our Ralph, I’d say he’s done pretty well for himself. Maybe if more cops were compensated like Ralph, police forces could recruit and retain quality professionals and we wouldn’t have so many nuckle-dragging assholes with badges crippling and killing unarmed civilians.

Brad Wadlow

Could’t find much on Brad. He was a personal trainer and had his own website at one time, but it doesn’t exist anymore and he doesn’t seem to have an internet presence at this point.

To sum up

Here’s how I think these 10 Body-for-LIFE champs are fairing in the, shall we say, Continuing Life Challenge:

  • Abb Ansley
    • Fitness: Maintained
    • Personal: Maintained
  • Meredith Brown
    • Fitness: No idea
    • Personal: No ide
  • Porter Freeman
    • Fitness: Better than at the end of the challenge (taking age into consideration)
    • Personal: No idea
  • Lynn Lingenfelter
    • Fitness: Worse (but, considering his health problems, better than most of us would be doing in his shoes)
    • Personal: Better. He’s married now. How many HIV-positive folks swing that? He’s also promoting various fitness challenges and products via social media.
  • Drew Avery
    • Fitness: Better
    • Personal: Better (seems to be making it as a fitness consultant)
  • Everett Herbert
    • Fitness: Maintained (as best as I can tell)
    • Personal: Better. This man looks super happy.
  • Anthony Ellis
    • Fitness: Better. He’s ripped.
    • Personal: Better. Really, I don’t know what he was doing before the challenge, but it looks like he’s managed to make a living promoting fitness. Sounds good to me.
  • Jeff Seidman
    • Fitness: Better
    • Personal: Better. He went from being single and working as a valet to being married and owning his own gym by the beach. I think he, of the 10, is the Continuing Life Challenge winner. Woot.
  • Ralph Zangara
    • Fitness: No idea
    • Personal: With an annual income of nearly $200k, I’d say he’s doing pretty good–especially for a cop.
  • Brad Wadlow
    • Fitness: Maintained… maybe. Presumably if he’s working as a personal trainer, he’s at least maintained his fitness.
    • Personal: No idea

So that’s it. If you know something about these folks’ whereabouts and activities, let me know or leave it in the comments. If you’re doing the BFL challenge, I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading.

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One of the latest books that I’ve read is Champions Body For Life by Art Carey, which is a follow-up book to Bill Phillip’s famous Body For Life Challenge.

The Champions Body For Life book is the story of two Body For Life Challengers: Alexa Adair and Mark Unger, both winners of the Body For Life Challenge. The book documents their experience and journey to transforming their bodies over the course of 90 days, which was very inspirational.

You get to see and hear about all of the challenges, setbacks, doubts, concerns, worries, and successes that Alexa and Mark experience over the 90 days. It shares what they ate, their workout program, and the mindset that is required to go through a successful transformation.

I picked up this book, because I’m always looking for that added edge to put me over the top. I always understand that the inner game is the most important aspect to achieving anything, and what better way to learn how to transform your body by MODELLING others who’ve been successful at it?

I loved this book, because I could relate to a lot of what Alexa and Mark went through in changing their bodies. More importantly, the self-esteem and confidence that they gained as a direct result of their transformation. In my opinion, the confidence, self-esteem and pride far outweighs the “sexy abs” and everything else.

“It’s easier to wake up early and work out than it is to look in the mirror each day and not like what you see.”
– Jayne Cox, 2003 Couples Champion

One thing that Champions Body For Life mentions is the first to transforming your body is making a clear DECISION that you will do whatever it takes to change your body. In the book, they called it “The Decisive Moment”.

For many, this is that point where you hit ROCK BOTTOM – you’ve had enough and you’re committed to do what it takes. Without that strong commitment, it’s too easy to waiver and go back to where you used to be.

“If improving your life and your health are that important to you, you’ll find the time and make it flow with the groove of your life.”
– Kitara Wilson, 2006 Couples Champion

In the book, Alexa and Mark share what their “Decisive Moment” was and that point where they hit threshold. Once they made their decision, the rest of the transformation was easy. The hardest part was making that commitment.

Every week after that, you’re reading journal entries of what the Body For Life challengers are going through. You are not only reading along with their journey, but you feel like you’re on the journey with them, as you are transforming YOUR BODY at the same time.

“I was sure that if these people could do it, so could I.”
– Bill Yeager, 2001 Runner-up

Champions Body For Life provided a lot of inspiration and motivation for me to take my body to the next level. The book also shares dozens of Before and After pictures of other Body For Life champions, along with short stories of how their lives have changed.

The book covers so much more than that – specifically, it goes into what to eat, workout routines, how to perform certain exercises, and has a weekly tracking system to ensure that you’re making progress. This book covers everything you need to make your physical transformation a reality.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you’re looking to improve or transform your physical body, then Champions Body For Life is a simple, easy program to follow to make it happen.

(2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

“When you gain control of your body, you will gain control of your life. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change. Focus on progress, not perfection.”

-Bill Phillips, Author of Body for Life

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Body for Life was written almost 20-years ago, but I still believe it is one of the best fitness and self-improvement books ever written. If you want to transform your body and your life, the book’s program will deliver.

Is the program perfect? No, but it is still better than 99% of the current programs in circulation. The most common criticism of the program is its simplicity, but I think too many people make getting in shape overly complicated. Do I agree with every aspect of the program? No. I would have to disagree with a few of the book’s assertions, based on the extensive research I conducted during the writing of my book, The Fat Loss Habit, but these are mostly minor flaws. We shouldn’t devote major time to minor things, so let’s focus on why the program is so effective.

Five Reasons why the Body for Life is still a fantastic program.

  1. The program teaches us “How to cross the abyss.”
  2. The program emphasizes strength training.
  3. The program sponsors a fitness competition that creates a sense of urgency.
  4. The program is simple and effective, with an emphasis on effort and progress.
  5. The program provides all the tools you’ll need to monitor your consistency and progress.

#1 The Program Teaches You How to Cross the Abyss

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.” Bill Phillips

The book begins by asking you if you have made a real decision to change. After training thousands of people, Bill struggled to understand why some people made amazing transformations and other’s didn’t. They were all given the same information and tools; so what was missing?

He concluded that what was missing was the person’s ability to “cross the abyss.” Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied. No program will work unless we do the work. Crossing the abyss is when we execute the program. That is why my book focuses on forming healthy habits. We form habits; then they form us.

To help us cross the abyss, he recommends we:

  • Make a decision to change.
  • Identify our reasons to change and write them down.
  • Focus on our future vision.
  • Identify OLD patterns of behavior that may hold us back.
  • Identify NEW patterns of behavior that will help us achieve our goals.
  • Set goals and review our progress daily.

He provides tools for recording your goals and progress on the Body for Life website. We fail to act when our reason for changing isn’t strong enough. If our reason isn’t big enough, our excuses will be.

“Before even considering an exercise and nutrition program, I recommend that the person put on some swim trunks and have somebody take a photo of them. Then take a good look and ask yourself: Is this who I really am? If you don’t see yourself as that, you have the opportunity to change it. But you need to change your mindset.” Bill Phillips

Learn more, Focus on your WHY – It is so much more important than your WHAT & HOW

#2 The program emphasizes strength training.

“If you start an aerobic exercise program shaped like a pear, the most likely result is you wind up looking like a smaller pear – which is fine if that’s what you want. But that’s not what I would call a transformation.” Bill Phillips

When Bill Phillips wrote his book, the mainstream fitness industry was still overemphasizing cardio training over strength training. He was one of the first to popularize High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) over slow, steady-state,” fat burning zone,” cardio training. He understood that cardio alone doesn’t reshape your body. He emphasizes strength training as the best way to transform your body and rev-up your metabolism.

He explains that looking good isn’t a number on a scale. It is a product of our body composition, our ratio of muscle to fat. The best way to improve our body composition is a combination of strength training and cardio training, with an emphasis on strength training.

#3 The program sponsors a fitness competition that creates a sense of urgency

“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Jim Rohn.

To help people cross the Abyss, EAS sports and performance nutrition sponsors the Body for Life competition. In my book, it is one of the three body transformation contests I recommend people participate in to create the necessary sense of urgency around their goals. If you are like me, you had always gotten in your best condition when you had an event or competition you were preparing for. A goal needs to have a deadline. A deadline helps create a sense of urgency. Deadlines help establish priorities and prevent procrastination.

#4 The program is simple and effective, with an emphasis on effort and progress.

“Focus on progress, not perfection.” Bill Phillips

Some have criticized the program because of its simplicity, but I feel that it is one of its greatest strengths. While planning missions in the military I was taught to keep our plans as simple as possible. We were taught the acronym KISS, “Keep it simple, stupid.” Simple plans are easier to execute. Complexity is the enemy of execution.

It isn’t the complexity of your program that produces results. Complexity is no substitute for effort. Many people endlessly search for better workout programs with the belief that it will help them achieve better results.

Their time and effort would better be spent pouring more energy into setting new personal records following a simple program, like the Body for Life program, or my program, which you can .

The training logs help you track your food intake and workout performance. The program emphasizes setting new personal records, which he calls “High Point” training. Strength training isn’t an endurance sport. Your goal is to get stronger. Getting stronger is the foundation of progressive overload.

The cardio training emphasizes intensity over duration. The HIIT cardio training sessions are relatively short, 20-minutes, with a few one minute’s sprints. This type of training has been proven highly effective at promoting fat loss as well as building cardiorespiratory capacity.

“FOOD is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and EXERCISE is the most potent yet underutilized antidepressant.” Bill Phillips

The program’s diet is also very simple. Instead of counting calories, you count portions. This is a great approach for people that hate to count calories. When he wrote his book, we didn’t have smartphones, with Apps like MyFitnessPal, which make food logging a lot easier so I can not fault him for this approach.

The program uses simple rules of thumb to determine portion sizes; a portion of protein is roughly the size of your palm, and a portion of carbohydrates is what will fit in your cupped hand. Portion control is very effective for people that are overweight or for people on a maintenance diet, but I recommend people who want to take all the guesswork out of achieving a strong lean body log their food. Learn more, If You Aren’t Logging Your Food You’re Flying Blind.

#5 The program provides all the tools you’ll need to monitor your consistency and progress.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. There is a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.” Bill Phillips

The program provides all the tools you’ll need to set goals and track your progress. These tools are missing from most programs. The Body for Life offers these tools FREE through their website like we do on ours.

“What gets measured gets managed. If you want it, measure it. If you can’t measure it, forget it.” Peter Drucker

Reading an excellent self-improvement book will NOT change your life. Consistently applying its principles WILL change your life. These tools help to bridge the gap, “cross the abyss,” between knowledge and action. Tracking our consistency will make us more consistent. Monitoring an activity increases our awareness of it, and modifies our behavior. Awareness is the beginning of transformation.

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“Most people are in favor of the change, as long as they can continue to do things the same as they always have.” Bill Phillips

Change your habits, change your life!

Learn more Why Creating a Sense of Urgency is so Important.

I encourage you to visit his website,

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Book Available on AMAZON [PaperbackKindleAudible Audiobook

Are you ready to reboot and reset your relationship with food and exercise? Most programs focus on the mechanics of weight loss but fail to adequately address the psychology of change required. Most people know more than enough about nutrition and exercise to lose weight, but fail to act. This book takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger.

The Fat Loss Habit: Creating Routines that Make Willpower and Fat Loss Automatic takes a new approach to getting leaner, fitter, and stronger. The program uses high-impact change strategies that make the process of adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. The nutrition and workout program, like the change techniques, have all been proven effective, and are all backed by research and scientific studies.


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, WWE® Superstar, John Cena, unveils a groundbreaking weight loss program for the U.S. with which users have already lost a total of over 4.2 million pounds around the world. Built on the three key pillars of NUTRITION, EXERCISE and, most importantly, MOTIVATION, 10 Weeks BodyChange is a simple, effective, and natural way to shed the extra pounds and kick start a healthier lifestyle in the new year.

In this innovative 10-week program, Cena takes a personal approach, showing up at each “BodyChanger’s” house several times a week via online videos. Not only will the wrestling legend and fitness buff lead and teach users through preparing healthy recipe options, but he will also guide them step-by-step through each workout, providing the ultimate motivation day after day.

“After my father was diagnosed with multiple health issues due to being overweight, I was motivated to create an easy and effective regimen that would help him lose weight without compromising his lifestyle completely,” says Cena. “That’s when I discovered a program in Europe that has already helped thousands of people lose weight in a fast and healthy way. I brought this proven formula to the U.S. and combined it with my experience as a professional athlete and knowledge from my degree in Movement Studies Exercise Science. The result was the 10 Weeks BodyChange program. It helped my dad lose 46 pounds, and now I am excited to share it with other people who want to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s Change Time!”

Subscribing to the nutrition plan is the cornerstone to 10 Weeks BodyChange. According to Cena, it is crucial to losing weight, but that doesn’t mean starving yourself and counting calories every day. As part of the program, Cena will share the proprietary nutrition plan he developed along with advice from expert nutritionists which users will follow for 6 days a week to help them lose weight. And for one day a week, all “BodyChangers” are encouraged to indulge in a “Load Day” and eat and drink whatever they like to help prevent any cravings.

10 Weeks BodyChange is NOT about lifting lots of weights or spending hours in the gym. The workout sessions are twice a week for 20 minutes each. Led by Cena as their personal coach, each is an efficient, full-body workout that focuses on weight loss. Appropriate for all fitness levels, the moves start low-impact and then become progressively more challenging through the 10 weeks to really drive results.

Staying motivated is often the biggest challenge in successfully losing weight. The unique advantage of 10 Weeks BodyChange, is that users receives the content in their email on a weekly basis so that it is easy to stay motivated and engaged. Unlike with a DVD program, users do not get lost with vast amounts of content but wait in anticipation for each week’s new content. And with Cena as their personal coach every step of the way, the users have a very intimate and motivating experience. He actually participates in every cooking and workout video, so the user is never doing it alone. Each member also has access to BodyChange’s SuccessTool, where progress can be tracked throughout the 10 weeks.

10 Weeks BodyChange has already launched in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Brazil. To learn more about the program, members can sign up for free at A complete personalized platform for 10 weeks costs $99 and arrives instantly through individuals’ online accounts.

Body transformation 6 months

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