Today marks the start of the week where I keep saying “It’s my last ___________ as a 23-year old”. Just for the record, today is the last Monday that I’ll ever put up a post as a 23-year old :)! Birthdays aside, I wanted to discuss my experience on Body for Life (BFL). Although it took me slightly longer than the 12 weeks due to traveling, I finally finished the plan without skipping a single workout- 72 workouts, done & dusted!
Three weeks into the plan, I shared my thoughts about it. Now that it’s over, here’s my overall take on BFL
- Plenty of online help: I’m guilty of having not read the actual book. All the information was fortunately available on the site, and in ample detail.
- Short workouts: Each week was broken down into 3 x 46-minute strength and 3 x 20-minute HIIT cardio sessions. I always rounded up my HIIT sessions with another 15-20 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio.
- Well-rounded plan: The upper and lower body workouts target each major muscle group, and the HIIT workouts were short, yet effective.
- No complicated moves/machines involved: The plan can be carried out anywhere as long as you have a set of dumbbells of varying weights.
- Pyramid structure: During both the cardio & weight training sessions, I kept varying the intensity (i.e. speed/rep #) which meant there was little room for boredom.
- Repetitive workouts: If the workout structure evolved over the 12 weeks and incorporated new exercises, I don’t think my interest would have slowly waned towards the end.
- Too few rest days: Each workout left my body exhausted which is a great feeling, but not 6 days a week. Ideally 1 of the 6 sessions could have been replaced with a low-intensity workout.
- Pyramid structure: I know I listed it as a pro but on the flip side, it was a pain to keep going back for a different set of dumbbells between each set.
Much of why I embarked on this 12-week program was down to vanity. Although I did lose a couple of inches, it wasn’t anywhere close to the transformation that I saw online of other BFL’ers. Had I followed the the eating part of the plan completely, I know my results would have been better. In terms of fitness, I am lifting heavier than when I started. Not much heavier, but I’ve made enough progress to have made the plan worth my while. Despite cutting back my cardio to shorter & faster sessions, I have also noticed a huge improvement in my endurance.
Aside from physical differences, BFL has changed my outlook to working out completely. Prior to the plan, I was the ultimate cardio queen and felt that every workout had to be a at least 50 minutes long. I’ve come to realize that I can get in a great workout in under 30 minutes. In addition to that, weight training has become a vital component of my workouts. As I have finally found an enjoyment in it, and know that my body responds well to weight training, I am going to continue with lifting weights 3 times and cardio 2-3 times a week.
Would I suggest Body for Life? Although I can’t speak about the eating part, I would highly recommend BFL. If you’re looking for a consistent fitness plan which completely lays out your workouts and challenges you without taking up too much of your time, Body for Life is worth a try!