Effectiveness of BFL workouts

by Khushboo on February 20, 2012

Happy Monday, All!  I say “happy” because today is/was a public holiday in Mumbai ;)!  As I’ve been discussing Body for Life recently and will continue to do so as I truck along the next 8 weeks, I thought it’d be a good idea to discuss the workouts. For now I am going to cover the the weight-lifting portion of the plan and why I believe I’m seeing results, both in terms of inch loss & strength gains.

My workout week typically looks follows:

  • Monday: 20 Minutes HIIT cardio
  • Tuesday: Upper (Lower) Body
  • Wednesday: Lower (Upper) Body
  • Thursday: 20-Minutes HIIT Cardio
  • Friday: Upper (Lower) Body
  • Saturday: 20-Minutes HIIT Cardio
  • Sunday: Rest

Whether I’m training my upper or lower body, the workout is divided into major muscle groups:

  • Upper Body: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps
  • Lower Body: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves Abs

For each major muscle group, I choose 2 exercises and perform a total of 6 sets in the following format:

As you can see, the upper & lower body workouts incorporate pyramid training, whereby you start with a lighter weight for a higher number of repetitions and for each set, you increase the weight and decrease the reps. Starting light gives the muscles, joints and connective tissue a chance to warm up.  Also by gradually upping your weights and overloading your muscles, you can effectively hit your “high points” & exhaust the muscle fibres.

Even though BFL is only a 12-week program, this is definitely a style of training I am going to continue to follow. Rather than stick to the standard “3 sets of 15”, the changes in weights, reps and intensity keeps things fresh…and also continues to keep my body on its toes (I’m sucha tease ;))!

  • Low weights/high reps = ideal for muscle endurance
  • High weighs/low reps= contributes to strength gains

For those who do want to incorporate this style of weight training into their workouts, three things I suggest are:

  1. Do not compromise your form for heavier weights or more reps: For the sake of injury prevention, form should always be the primary concern.
  2. Keep an exercise log to record your weights in order to track your progress and to remind yourself whether you need to increase/decrease the weights in your next workout.
  3. Choose a weight heavy enough that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps:  If you are not making that ugly face by the last rep, you can probably lift a bit heavier.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexandra February 20, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I’m so glad BFL is going so well for you, that’s so exciting! 🙂 I know you’re gonna be a gym beast by the time it’s done, you rock sista!
Enjoy your holiday today!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

Thanks Alexandra…I feel pretty beastly already (in a good way haha)!


Pooja Mirpuri February 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

This sounds like such a great program, so it’s 3 times a week cardio, 3 times a week weights? Has your overall daily workout time decreased?


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

Yep- 3 times cardio, 3 times weights! Even though I’m going to the gym more days overall, my actual daily workout time has definitely decreased! Especially on the cardio days, I can be in and out of the gym within 30 minutes…not too shabby for someone who used to spend at least 45 minutes there to ensure I got in a good workout!


Kat February 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I really like the layout of this training program! Ive heard of BFL before, but I dont have access to a gym so I always figured I couldnt do it. I love the pyramid style though. It is totally different from anything Ive done before, which is a breath of fresh air!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

That’s one of the few problems with BFL- it can only be done with access to a variety of weights…not ideal if you’re not a gym-goer!


Parita @ myinnershakti February 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I was actually thinking about maintenance for programs like BFL and LiveFit. I didn’t know if there was a plan for that. Thanks for sharing! I need to invest in some heavier weights…I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

To be honest, I have no idea what/if there is a maintenance plan…I do plan to continue lifting weights regularly and sticking to shorter, HIIT sessions of cardio rather than longer, moderate intensity cardio! As for the food, my style of eating hasn’t changed too much to worry about not being able to stick to it even after the 12 weeks!


Ameena February 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

You are a star for sticking with this program! I know it’s amazing…I’ve seen others’ results. But I just don’t have the stamina. Or knees. 🙁


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

Thanks Ameena…gotta put your knees first!


Prathiba @ Vehemently Vegan February 21, 2012 at 1:46 am

I’m glad to hear that BFL is going well! Props to you for sticking with it!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:11 am



Nada (One Arab Vegan) February 21, 2012 at 3:53 am

Totally agree with you on keeping your body on it’s toes – I find I stop getting results when I continue to do the exact same thing week in week out, so variation is definitely key. As regimented as my HM training is I don’t think I could do something like this so well done for sticking to it!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

Thanks Nada- every time the regimented part of it starts to get annoying, I remind myself it’s only temporary…I can suck it up for 12 weeks 😀


Tessa at Amazing Assett February 21, 2012 at 5:22 am

I love hearing about this… I am so so glad it is doing wonders for you! So awesome that you have been sticking to it too, great job girl


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Tessa!


ritika February 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

i am mostly been a cardio person, loads of walking, some running and clocking lots of minutes on the cross trainer, yupe that’s about it. but i am intrigued by BFL… do you think i should warm up to it, or just get into it head on?


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the various weight-lifting exercises and then get onto it!


onehealthymunchkin February 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

That pyramid style of training sounds really neat – I’ve never tried that before! It sounds like it’s such a great way to work up to heavier weights though.

I’m so glad you’re loving this program! It sounds like it’s been really working for you! 🙂


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

I won’t lie…even though it’s only 6 reps, I feel badass lifting weights which are otherwise out of my reach!


Ali Mc February 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm

this is so exciting. I really want to jump on the BFL train. I am just so weak. Gotta start slow and build up so I can do that weight 🙂 glad it’s going so well for you!!!!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:43 am

It seemed daunting to me at first too but once I started doing it, the program was a lot easier than expected!


honeywhatscooking February 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm

happy shivratri! I know about the holiday since I’m in India. 🙂 OMG, I was watching one of the Indian channels and I saw Divya Bharti, you look a lot like her. Do you get that at all?

You’re awesome for doing this… I give you so much credit, I have no will power for this. 🙁


Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

Ditto about the Divya Bharti reference!!

Thanks for the training plan, off to see if I have enough courage to add on more weights 😀

And so happy it’s going so well for you, sweetie 🙂 Happy Shivratri!!!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

I just did a quick Google search of Divya Bharti and I don’t see the resemblance haha! Happy Shivratri to you too!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

Until you mentioned her, I had never even heard of her…is she a Bollywood actress?


Tina @ Best Body Fitness February 22, 2012 at 12:12 am

I think BFL has a great program and I love pyramids and mixing things up. always have to keep the body challenged!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

Exactly, don’t give your body a chance to adapt!


Alyse February 22, 2012 at 6:26 am

That’s such a great tip to not compromise your form for heavier weights or more reps! Getting injured is a high price to pay for trying to push yourself beyond your limits.

Congrats on your continued success with BFL!!


Khushboo Thadani February 22, 2012 at 10:40 am

Definitely…and even if you’re lifting heavy weights, it makes no difference as long as the form is good!


Jenna@HealthyTrends February 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Sounds like such a great program! I’m so glad it working out for you, makes me wanna try it! Keep up the hard work


Khushboo Thadani February 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

Thanks! I’m really enjoying it!


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