How do I start a body transformation from scratch?

How do I start a body transformation from scratch? 1

How do I start a body transformation from scratch?

Click here to watch the video “How to start a body transformation from scratch – for the novice”

 

I get ask by many guys how they should start out on this road of transforming their body.

They know what their end-goal is looking like, but the process just sounds and look very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been into bodybuilding before.

So with this article let me help you to get it off the ground.

I am assuming you are starting from ground zero…very unfit coach potato with little to no weight training experience.

NOTE – FOR THOSE THAT WANT THE SAME SYSTEM I AM USING, HAVE A LOOK AT OPTION E (ADVANCED SYSTEM II) HERE: GERT LOUW’S TRAINING SYSTEM AND DIET CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU

Gert Louw at age 52:

 

Sure if you got the money, you can get yourself a personal trainer who will then guide you through the process – however, choose well, not all personal trainers are equal. In the very least, if his body does not look like your end goal body, stay away! You do not want someone with theoretical knowledge, u want someone who has the knowledge AND reached success!

But alas, most of us are not so fortunate to be able to afford a personal trainer.

The good news is that in the early steps (first couple of months) a personal trainer is really not a critical part. (and then after these first few months all you really need is a dedicated training partner with the same goals and dedication as you!)

The critical part is the fact that you have made the decision to change your life and to what degree you are ready to sacrifice your comfort levels to reach this success.

I don’t know you, but for this one time, tell yourself you’ve made this decision and gonna stick to it no matter what. Then be a MAN and show some dedication and perseverance!

OK, this is now week one, tomorrow is Monday and you want  to START!

Consider this…

CORRECT DIETING DETERMINES 80% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT AND INTENSE TRAINING (AND NOT OVERTRAINING) DETERMINES 17.5% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT SUPPLEMENTATION DETERMINES 2.5% OF YOUR TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

 

So, for now, forget about supplements and only focus on the correct diet and training. Supplements you should only consider once you have the training and diet well under your control.

 

WANT SOMETHING MORE ADVANCED & FULLY CUSTOMIZED?  The program I am following for the past 6 years, available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. before-and-after-dec2016Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

How to approach the training:

MONTH 1

Train 4 days a week for first month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On these days train with weights (resistance exercises) for not longer than 30 minutes.

During each training session do the following:

  • One exercise for biceps
  • One exercise for triceps
  • One exercise for pecs/chest
  • One exercise for shoulders
  • One exercise for back
  • One exercise for upper legs
  • One exercise for calves
  • One exercise for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 12 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to comfortably do the 12 reps.

Each 7 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

 

MONTH 2

Train 4 days a week for the 2nd month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On each of these days train with weights for not longer than 40 minutes.

On each of the following day you must do:

MONDAYS

  • Three exercises for biceps
  • Three exercises for triceps

TUESDAYS

  • Three exercises for shoulders
  • Three exercises for trapezuims

THUSDAYS

  • Three exercises for pecs/chest
  • Three exercises for back

FRIDAY

  • Three exercises for upper legs
  • Two exercises for calves
  • Two exercises for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 10 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to just-just complete the 10 reps.

Each 14 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

How do I start a body transformation from scratch? 2

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Stay with the same program but from month 3 start to increase the weight size to allow you to achieve muscle failure on the 8th rep in each set in your routine. From here onwards do only 8 reps per set and you MUST not be able to do 1 more rep after the 8th rep due to muscle failure! However (!), at this point I highly advise you signup to the ADVANCED SYSTEM II for a SERIOUS body transformation: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

This is the KEY PRINCIPLE for muscle growth…failure on the last rep of each set!

But for those guys very tight on money who cannot afford the ADVANCED SYSTEM II, fear not. Here is a very basic but still surprisingly effective transformation training regime that will cost you nothing, just maybe a donation please? : http://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-program/

 

Regarding the execution of exercises and which exercises to choose:

Always do the compound exercises fist in a training session…this simply means it is an exercise that involved the most possible amount of muscles: bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlift, barbell bicep curls. These are the core group exercises that sparks growth.

Look around in the gym, ask trainers and talk to those who got the muscles to show you on how to correctly execute an exercise – 99% of the guys would be very friendly showing you the ropes.

 

The DIET

This is a much simpler aspect and a basic plan can be laid down rather easily. Just remember….you will NOT grow if you do not eat for growth. You need to eat small balanced meals every 3-4 hours from waking up to the point of going to bed. The period just before and after training is also very important.

 

Diet

One thing I realized – I will not grow if I do not get my diet sorted correctly. Diet makes up easily 80% of muscle Building Phase success. I did not believe that in the past and paid hard penalties for wasted effort!

My diet is not a diet to lose weight without training. My diet will work great to lose unwanted weight but only with a dedicated and serious training routine.

This is just a sample. It can help you get started and may just be all you need to achieve success. However, each of us are different and body types and sizes vary…so if you have concerns, do more homework or best yet, see a sports doctor or dietician to design a muscle-building diet for you. However, I had GREAT success by following this basic diet structure.

 

Here an example of my typical dieting routine:

(note: 40g of whey protein shake can easily be exchanged with 6 eggs whites or 150g tuna in brine or 150g chicken fillet, etc…)

 

MEAL 1: UPON WAKING

whey protein

1 scoop (20g)

casein protein w/ water 1 scoop (20g)

 

MEAL 2:

oats w/ fat-free milk 1 bowl

honey 2 tbsp

 

MEAL 3:

egg whites 4

whey protein w/ 400ml water 1 scoop (20g)

apple 1 medium

 

MEAL 4 – 45min before training

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

 

MEAL 5: POST WORKOUT

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

banana 1 medium

 

MEAL 6:

casein protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

1 apple

 

MEAL 7:

steak chicken, or fish 150g

veggies or salad w/ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large serving

 

MEAL 8: BEFORE BED

500g of fat free cottage cheese

2 tablespoons salt free/sugar-free peanut butter

 

Here is a more advanced diet approach for a shredded look: 

Click here to view video: “Advanced cutting diet for a shredded look” 

 

More Diet Info:

Meal 1:
For extra calcium and protein, I sometimes mixed my shake with fat-free milk. However, water is cheaper. I never drank concentrated shakes. I used at least 400ml of water/fat-free milk.

Meal 2:
Oats and muscle-building go perfect together as a morning meal. Oats release their energy slowly throughout the day, so I won’t feel drained or experience hunger pangs. Substitutions: none really, nothing comes close to oats. Sometimes I used cinnamon over my oats. Be careful of the calorie count and do not exceed the calorie count of the oats.

Meal 3:
The 50g at this meal was a solid food protein. I was weary of bananas. They are excellent directly after working out, but due to their quick releasing energy, I want to avoid them at any other time. Substitutions: 50g protein = 4 medium size egg whites / small piece of chicken fillet/fish or beef fillet.

By small is meant about half a fist size. Although the yellow of an egg is healthy, the amount of calories it has due to its fat content makes it unsuitable for muscle-building purposes. At most I took one yellow and mixed it in with the 4 whites. But as stated, it’s best without.

Meal 4:
This I took immediately before working out. Substitutions: None

Post Workout:
Note this is the ONLY time I ate a banana. My body requires immediate energy after workout and a banana is excellent in providing it. Substitutions: The whey and glutamine cannot be substituted. However, the banana can be replaced by 200ml fruit juice, any flavor. Apple works great. But, a banana stays the number one choice.

Meal 6:
Substitutions: None

Meal 7:
Small evening meal with no starches, only veggies/salad and protein (fillet, chicken or fish – 150g). No butter and limited salt with veggies/salad. I used a liberal (2 spoons) amounts of extra virgin olive oil with salad/veggies.

Meal 8:
Substitutions: Although the casein protein powder is preferred, I sometimes ate 250g fat-free cottage cheese.

General Diet Points:

  • I did not eat starches after 6 p.m. That means no rice, pasta, bread, rusks, potato, etc.
  • The protein portion in the evening was a solid food and is typically the size of my fist in volume.
  • All the protein portions were fat-free. I chose chicken fillet, beef fillet or fish.
  • I was careful to use sauces over protein. It adds a lot of unwanted calories. I rather use herbs and spices liberally and things like squeezed lemon juice, basic gravy sauce. I also tried to cook the chicken in orange juice for a tangy change.
  • I allowed myself a large salad portion. But we are only talking basic salad here, no fancy stuff. Only green leafs, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, seeds, very little nuts and some parmesan shavings allowed. I used 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil over salad. For a something different, I also used balsamic vinegar to taste. It goes especially nice with the olive oil.
  • Cooked and raw veggies were allowed.
  • Butter and salt were a taboo for me. However, over veggies I used a tablespoon of butter for taste purposes.

Critical Diet Points I Adhered Too:

  • I tried staying away from diet carbonated drinks and too much coffee (only 2 cups daily with fat-free milk and no sugar). Both these items act as a mild diuretic and means I will have to drink even more water to replace the water lost as a result. Plus the sweeteners used in diet carbonated drinks are questionable!
  • I NEVER skipped a meal. This is the #1 enemy for Building Phase muscles.
  • I never ate more than the suggested amounts, otherwise I would gain fat.
  • I never ate less than the suggested amounts or I would struggle to build muscle.
  • I ate my meals even if I felt full!
  • My meals were spaced between 3-4 hours apart.
  • I used NO alcohol during the week and weekends only one glass of wine or one beer per day. Alcohol is a big enemy of dieting and building muscles. Cutting it out completely is the best option.
  • I do NOT smoke. I cannot be successful at building muscles and continue smoking, the two oppose each other.
  • Sweets and chocolate: Sorry, I had none of these.
  • Cheat meal? Once per week (only one meal). I never stuffed myself (important), but had a sit-down meal and ate whatever my taste buds felt like including my favorite dessert.

Why did I use two different proteins powders?

  • Whey isolate is a quick releasing protein powder and perfect to use when my body requires an immediate uptake of protein.
  • Casein protein is used when I need a slow uptake of protein, such as while I am sleeping.
  • I tried to use trusted local (South African) supplements when I can, simply because they are cheaper than the imported ones.

Why so many shakes?

  • Well, simply to make my life easier. I did not have the time to stand for hours at night preparing the next day meals. But know this, solid protein sources are always preferred to protein shakes if you can manage the time. But I was careful not to replace my existing solid meals with shakes. The human body was not designed to live on liquids alone.

So after completing this 3 month intro approach you are now ready to start with a real serious body transformation system. CLICK the following link to get the ball rolling and signup for the customised and highly acclaimed ADVANCED SYSTEM II for the over 40 guy: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

How do I start a body transformation from scratch? 3

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Please help me keeping the site on air and free. Through many of the life uplifting posts I have helped many people facing and overcoming dark moments in their life. By sponsoring this site you help them too!

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Conclusion

Remember – Each one who has reached body transformation success holds some truth. Use these recipes but keep on educating yourself and starting to mould it to make it your own unique winning recipe that suites you best.
Never change more than one aspect at a time before verifying that it works and only then introduce another change.

It is a battle of the mind and wills…but we each has but ONE life to live…and we need to make it the BEST life we can!
Don’t wake up like me at 41 and start making a difference…if u are young, use that opportunity and never live with any regrets about wasted opportunities! But that being said, even if you are 60, you can still transform to kick many a lazy 25 y/o’s ass! Time is precious…never let it slip you by.

 

gertxb

 

I wish u MUCH success!

Gert Louw

Author: gertlouw

In the deepest south of South Africa you will find me. Dwelling in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. I live close to God and try to follow in the footsteps of Christ as led the Holy Spirit. I am a fitness freak right now…but struggle with the cardio – my body just not built for much cardio! The weights I LOVE throwing around! The battle against the weights and intense strength required, is really my cup of tea! I am one of those LOUD guys in gym while training, that’s why I train when as little as possible people around…lol! Starting now with my building phase (3 months) and me and my training partner is really pushing each other to new heights. He is more cardio orientated than me so he is currently KILLING ME! SO 6-PACK, I AM WAITING…SHOW ME HOW DEEP YOUR CUTS CAN GO! Other passions include Karate and Judo and wrestling (and off course surfing for many years). Karate I did for many years, Judo 4 yrs and for a short period kickboxing until I was knocked silly one time with blood all over and teeth protruding through my lip, but if I have to choose over, I would choose wrestling…simply because of the brutal power against power game with your opponent. Love it. Love my home theatre hobby, making youtube videos and spending time with family! Can’t wait for 4K projectors to hit mainstream! For those interested, this blog is my database of all my fitness and transformation knowledge. And NO (!) I am not getting any money for it, not selling anything on it and neither do I promote anything on it or getting sponsored by anybody. My blog is simply where I want to help other guys living a healthier life and become the best they can be, inside and out and ultimately it is my legacy I want to leave my one and only son – now 7 y/o and already eager to get his 6-pack! I started my healthy living after a very close call with death at age 40 and since then fighting against severe kidney and liver damage. Don’t like talking about it, but this is now 10 years after I was given 2 years to live. After much hardship one of my main aims now is to assist other guys with healthy living and transforming themselves inside and out. I don’t know how much grace will still be given me, but I live now every moment to be the best I can be. To be the best bodybuilder I can be, the best father, best husband and best friend to those whom my paths crosses. I want to live a life worth living and not just do what excites me or pleases me. Living with grace everyday, death becomes a closer reality. This is how I view it: ~DEATH~ A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to Leave the examination room and said, ‘Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side..’ Very quietly, the doctor said, ‘I don’t know..’ ‘You don’t know? You’re, a Christian man, and don’t know what’s on the other side?’ The doctor was holding the handle of the door; On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining, And as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, ‘Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside.. He knew nothing except that his master was here, And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, But I do know one thing… I know my Master is there and that is enough.’ Feel free to contact me directly if you wish. Reading this far, the last bit important info on me you need to know, is that my anchor in life is Jesus Christ. Please bear in mind, English is my 2nd language and as a result their might be spelling, grammatical and other language errors in my blog – I do apologise for this! Wish you all many blessings. Gert Louw

24 thoughts on “How do I start a body transformation from scratch?

  1. Wonderful article. Thank you for sharing . I’m 27 year old and I would like to do the transformation. I’m a fan of yours channel on YouTube. Hope to see myself result.

    Cheers,
    Leapheng from Cambodia

  2. Hello Gert, I hope you can reply to this question? I’m 48 years old and am very active. My job requires long hours of physical work as I am a tree trimmer. I have been trying to get muscle mass but I can’t gain weight. When I was 40yrs old I took a steroid I ordered on line, (capsule form) and I wasn’t educated on the process and how to stop it so I shot down my testosterone and had to take trt patches. For like 7yers. I am off them now. I would like to know what kind of safe steroids I could use and any information on how to do it? If this is possible I would even pay you for your advice? Thank you and God bless you, Alfred Salazar.

    1. Alfred, steroids, especially the “wrong” ones can mess a man around terribly. They are after all hormones and applying hormones in the wrong fashion always spells disaster. Obviously best approach is always to steer completely clear. But for those that want to venture this route, I have written the following article that also discuss a “safe” cycle. However you MUST always ask your doctor to monitor your health with bloodwork while on cycle (kidney, liver, blood thickness, blood pressure, cholesterol). He does not have to agree or like what you are doing but he is obliged to do as you ask to ensure your health stays on track. Doctors specialising in treating athletes and sports injuries are general more open with these kind of things. Here is the link to the article: https://gertlouw.com/2013/01/31/to-steroid-or-not/

  3. i just prayed for Somone who was natural, humble and honnesty it his or her Way of doing things.. (I am just starting-41 years old ) and with in minuts i was at Your page 😀 how wonderfull is that?! i love how prayers Work ❤️ I am a vegan/ vegetarian and I need some help knowing what to do instead of egg and meat ( I get insane pain in my body when I eat meat-or milk)
    I do kettlebell training is that ok?
    well I hope you are all well and thriving – thank you from my heart ❤️
    love Micha from Denmark

    1. Micha – agree how awesome is that! I had my own fair share of amazing adventures with prayer – God is great is all I can say.
      Ok about kettleball…it can provide a fair conditioning to the body but for the body to truly look great it required a significant amount of muscle. Only muscle gives shape. And the problem is muscle must be stimulated for growth in a particular way – low reps to failure. This cannot be done with kettleballs or similar training methods. This MUST be done with free weights.
      About the vegan diet – not a problem, the nutritionist I use specialise in this area and has help many vegan dieters to reach muscle growth success.
      So if you are interested – the ADVANCED SYSTEM II will provide a total solution including a customized vegan diet. More at this link about it: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me
      Either way…wish u much success my friend and stay close to the Lord!
      Gert Louw
      http://www.gertlouw.com

  4. So delighted to stumble on your youtube video and find your website. I must have done searches for fitness at 50 or some such and youtube was paying attention. In this case big brother helped. Your website provides exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Can’t wait to follow your recommendations. And also delighted to hear you put work, family and church(!) first. Blessings.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Rob. My site is specifically there to help people that have reached ground zero in their life and want to change…body and soul.
      I hope you get all the info you need from it, you might not be at that ground zero but that makes it all the better starting point and is a big blessing…
      Contact me anytime.
      Wish you MUCH success.
      Gert Louw

  5. Hi Gert,
    Thanks for your blog. I’m from Pretoria and recently I stopped the excuse of being too old and decided I’m determined to get back into shape. I frequently hit the gym in my younger years and stopped at the age of 45 years. I’m now 53, I’m using your routine suggested and would like to ask your advice. Can you perhaps suggest a natural substitute, other than whey protein powder. In light of the fact that I had a kidney transplant 14 years ago, I’m a little dubious about chucking any ol substance down my gullet. The same would apply to the L-Glutamine.
    Thanks and regards

    Pete.

    1. Pete , sorry I only get back to you now…been a bit crazy this side! Always good to hook up with locals! I myself have serious kidney issues and my kidneys are only functioning at about 40% (attacked 10 years ago – long story!). So I am also very carefull regarding kidney friendly supps and food and habits. Whey protein is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. Whey is regarded as being very safe AS LONG as one use a decent amount of water with it. This is where the problems lies. People generally gobble down concentrated proteins (whey and optherwise) without sufficient water and that put severe pressure on the kidneys. But if you us 40g whey with min 500ml water then it is a healthy ratio. Stay completely clear from creatine!
      L-Glutamine is also very safe in small quantities and with sufficient water for the kidneys.
      What I usually suggest when one is experiencing pressure on the kidneys is to lower en half the protein intake and up the water intake to at least 6L water per day.
      But if you feel strong on taking in something completely natural, then egg white could be a replacement. The key here is that you need to consume a protein (full protein) that will be quickly absorped and that contains absolutley zero fat (I am refferring to the meal immediately after training). Hope this helps?

  6. Hi Gert

    I am a male – 57 years young
    I am a District Manager here in Atlantic Canada and travel 5 days a week and stay 4 nights a week in hotels.

    I was very fortunate to find your utube video

    I need to begin my journey into body building at the age of 57
    I am determined and fully focused on redeveloping my 7 month pregnant body
    Yes, I am the typical 57 year old sales rep you see every day with the pot belly – I am determined to change that.
    I do not drink alcohol, never did.

    I have tried going to gyms, but there are no chain gyms in every city I stay in here in Atlantic Canada, but I did join the YMCA only to be bullied out of using the equipment by the regular gym users and I got totally discouraged with gyms.
    As I said, I am totally focused on my journey, so I thought for some time, how can I accomplish my goal without a gym and workout in my hotel room at night.
    I came to the conclusion that I need to be in control of my journey myself and have purchased Powerblock dumbbell set (45lbs each = 90lbs).

    I have review the web on bumbell workouts, but there are hundreds and they are all saying different things, too confusing to make a successful journey at my age.
    I know that a 20 year old and a 57 year old body is 100% different and I cannot find an online program for us older guys?
    I am 6ft and 240lbs
    I look 7 months pregnant – typical old guy belly

    I am driving approx 6-7 hours per day and meeting with distributors and head office category managers, so there is nothing in fiscal exercise with my career, so the belly just came with age and work lifestyle.

    I am so thankful I found your web site and will be following your “How do I start a body transformation from scratch?”

    I was just wondering about a diet program for a male 6ft who is 240lbs (overweight by at least 50lbs) working out beginning with your How do I start a body transformation from scratch program?

    Thanks in advance for your time to read this request

    Randy
    New Brunswick Canada

    1. Randy – sorry for the late reply…this hectic busy this side!
      Age is just a number bud…I find that out more and more.
      Staying so often in hotels can make the diet (and training) part challenging but not impossible.
      Haven’t trained for a long while as well as the pot belly means u have a significant amount of internal fat – fat around the organs and under the stomach muscles.
      That takes a bit time to get under control but very possible. You will see u will first loose skin fat and lastly u will start loosing the internal fat.
      You might get discourage with the pot belly being persistnt but stick it out….it WILL disappear.
      I disagree, bodybuilders must be mindfull of beginners and rather help them and encourage them by being upset about them being in the way…anyway that is what I do at gym.
      The powerblock dumbell set, GREAT idea…but how the hell do u weigh it in on an airplane?
      Do not get to stressed out about contradicting info regarding exercises.
      Just choose a exercise for a muscle group and make sure you perfecting the technique and then just do it.
      After 2 weeks choose a different one and so keep cycling between different exercises. That keeps the body guessing and is excellent for growth.
      When you start becoming an expert you can then start focussing on some core muscle building exercises.
      Do NOT let people influence you…stay focussed and just DOT IT!
      People don’t want other people to reach success because that makes them feel bad or inadequate about themselves.
      TAKE CONTROL!
      Don;t worry about experience.
      The following article I’ve written might help u getting it off the ground: http://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/ …ok see u already a step ahead of me! Great stuff!
      Admiring good physiques is a great motivator…it is one of my primary ones since it makes me incredibly jealous seeing guys that looks better than me!
      The best approach finding a serious bodybuilding diet coach is getting in contact with the top local bodybuilders that take part in competitions and they will be able to tell you who coach them. Since they reach such success it gives you the surety that their coach really knows what he/she is doing.
      Keep pushing the limits my friend and truly wish u SUCCESS!
      God bless.
      Gert

      1. Hi, if I may, for all those travelers, this is what I did and it worked for me.

        I used to have this problem travelling. I started physical training just over 5 years ago. I was younger than Randy – 40, but in the same shape. Maybe worse.

        I was a heavy smoker, drinker and overweight, high stress business, all the excuses in the world… and I travelled a lot on business. Which places more demands on schedule, life, and in general makes a training schedule more difficult to adhere to.

        But one day, I found myself gravely I’ll, at a doctors office with my wife being told about many possibilities of the outcomes of tests they were running.

        That very day my life changed. If I could’ve only gone back in time 20 years…

        I spent a year – stopped smoking, drinking and changed my diet. Then started on a treadmill for 20 minute walks and built up from there.

        Back to my point, travelling was tough. Hard to keep up with proper nutrition and difficult to stay on a regimented program in a gym. So, I started with calisthenics. All the simple ones that could be done in your room, and walking, eventually running outside. Pushups, sit-ups, flutter kicks, pull or chin ups where I had a bar to use. Body weight squats, lunges up and down the hallway. Yes, some of the looks you will get… but, the heck with them. Let them laugh on their way outside to smoke!

        Eventually, my hotels went from being booked by who had a bar/restaurant to which ones that had a gym. Most hotel chains have small gyms/facilities. Treadmill, couple of machines, and a full rack of dumbbells. That’s when I started using free weights. And quickly there after I had a full rack, barbells, weights, treadmills, etc at home.

        It can be done.

        Great website by the way.

  7. Hello Gert,

    Russ here from the USA. First off Thank you for taking the time to share all of this great knowledge.

    Approximately 7 years ago I was in what I considered to be very good shape. I mostly weight trained but I did a bit of cardio as well. I really haven’t worked out much in the past 7 years as I was busy with everything from family, work and even other hobbies. Now that my kids are in college and my wife and I are “empty nesters” I have the time and the drive to get back in shape.

    I am 42 years old and I think I’m about 25-30 pounds overweight. I just started (today) to follow your “How do I start a body transformation from scratch?”

    My question is should I follow this introduction to the “T” or do you think that with my background in lifting albeit 7 years ago that there are any fast forwarding, or skipping to your Total Body Transformation Program sooner?

    One other thing I had a question about is I’m following your meal plan above. Is this meal plan what you would suggest for even someone in the first month of the “How do I start a body transformation from scratch?”?

    Kind regards,

    Russ

    1. Russ,

      Good to hear from u Russ!
      Great that you already posess a lot a knowledge.
      The key to the sliding in phase is to allow the body to adapt from a zero training environment to a regular body punishing environment. The tendons especially need to strengthen back up again. This will take some time. You will be VERY eager to fasten the pace (believe me I know how difficult that holding back is) but too fast a pace might set you back severely with a tendon injury. Rather stick to your sliding in program 100% and allow the body to strengthen up again for what is to come.
      After the 3 months sliding in I then think u should be ready for a much more focussed program and that is where you can then start applying your skills.
      Regarding the meal plan question, maybe first check this out and then come back to me if you still have a diet question: http://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/

      Wish u success!
      Gert

  8. Thanks Gert….

    Love your article. Not out of shape but want to make a change now…..at 41. Thanks again.

    Jay

  9. Hi Gert,

    I found your blog while reading some spam ads about that ridiculous drug that stole your pic. In a way, maybe you should thank them for giving you the extra traffic 😛

    I think your blog is by far the most inspiring one I have ever read. I am 41 years old. I started training when I was 6 months before I turned 40. I have a fast metabolism and I almost never exercise in my life. Reason I started was because back then, my body feel like I was 50 yrs old!!!
    And I was a bit worry about passing the 40 mark. It turned out well. I gained 10% of my bodyweight. Not big like you. I am in almost exact same phrase as when you began to have some muscle tone. (I can’t see the pic that you post on my web browser. But I remember you have a collage with before and after, It was pic number 2)

    Originally, my question was about nutrition for people like me with fast metabolism. However, after reading your blog, I abused protein drink like the way you do and I’ve been trying very, very hard to eat at least the amount of protein that I need for my body weight. I realized that even to achieve that is not the easiest. EG, if you eat fatty food, forget about it. Not that I don’t want to. My tummy can only take this much food in a day!!!

    So my strategy is to find food with high protein which is not too stuffy. EG, I would eat 2/3 cups of Greek Yogurt before I go to bed(thats an extra 15g). Do you think I am on the right path?

    I was never an athlete. For cardio, I can only swim for about 30 mins no matter I work out of not.
    Do you think I should keep swimming? My idea is, since my body is not even the condition of an athlete(or should I say an average person who is in shape?), I assume that whatever I am doing right now is only to get my body ready to push further.

    Although I see some results and I am actually content with my body. I find it very difficult to complete all the exercises for each body part for each session (8 reps to fail). Also I am still working on perfecting my form. I am trying a routine that I use free weights to complete as many sets of 8 to fail as I can. If I can’t, I use machine so that I can push as FAR as I want without worrying about hurting myself. Do you think I am doing this correctly?

    Regardless, I am so happy to know that people at your age can have such a nice body. I see a ray of lights in my situation. It is just a matter of time until my metabolism slows down.

    Thanks again for sharing you story,
    Vic

    1. Hey Vic,
      You are correct, my blog get a LOT of extra traffic because of the scammers I busted…but I am just so glad the word is getting out there.
      Thand for the feedback on my blog bud – truly appreciated.
      So u pretty much started at the same age as me…wish u MUCH success my friend. The fact is it can be done and if you persevere enough, the results will come!
      But it sounds like u are focussed and making some good gains.
      Regarding the Greek Yoghurt before bed…
      Since u have a fast metabolism, your body need more calories than the average guy. For guys who struggle to loose fat I will not recomment Yoghurt before bedtime due to the rather high calorie content. But for your bodytype it might be a good choice. You can alternate that with fat-free cottage cheese.
      Regarding the swimming…
      It all depends on what your endgoal is. If your endgoal is a muscled physique, then you must remember that excessive cardio is a muscle killer. I built my physique with very little cardio although I ams starting out now with about 15 min cardio per day (mild cardio).
      You will need to find your own balance. Swimming will give you a athletic look but 30 min per day is a bit much if your target is max muscles.
      Regarding muscle failure….
      The idea is that you do not just fail on the last set you do of 8 reps but that you must fail in EVERY set you do on about the 6-8th rep. Regular muscle failure ignites growth.

      So the bottom line is, u must decide what your endgoal is and then adjust your cardio/swimming/weights workouts accordingly.
      Keep on reaching higher buddy!
      Wish u MUCH success and contact me any time you need some motivation.
      Gert

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