3 Perfect Techniques to Jump-Start Your Transformation

At Bodybuilding.com, we've seen—and published—thousands of inspiring fitness before-and-after stories over the last 21 years. They all make an immediate impression, but a few seem to stand out and age better than others. Declan "Farmer Fit" McGovern is one of those.

In 2018, Declan entered the Bodybuilding.com Transformation Challenge, with coaching help from acclaimed Australian strength coach Vince Ozalp. His goal was to transform his life, of course, but also to win the contest and use the money for fertility treatments to help he and his wife have another child.

Fast forward a few months, and Declan had completely transformed his body and won the challenge. Fast forward two years, and he's not only still athletic and active, he's also crushed a few Spartan races, watched his four-year-old son do the same in Spartan Kids, and even seen a second son join the family.

Now that's a transformation we can get behind—and a training approach we can proudly put forward for others to follow. Ozalp's training approach that helped Declan is now available in BodyFit Elite in a three-volume program titled Your Transformation Starts Here, Vols 1-3. 

All three six-week volumes making up Your Transformation Starts Here are structured around a few key techniques that progress systematically over time, building up your overall strength, conditioning, and the intenstiy you can handle inside the gym and out of it. Here's why they, and this complete 18-week training experience, could be the perfect fit for you.

Technique 1: Resistance Training Circuits

Circuits—where you perform four or more exercises in a row, then repeat them—are a time-tested way to burn extra fat and create time-efficient workouts.

But here's something important that often gets overlooked in circuit training: It doesn't have to feel like a race for your life or leave you gasping for air at the end of each round. It can also consist of a few well-chosen exercises stitched together in a way that helps spread the fatigue around your body, allowing you to do more work, burn more calories, and add more muscle where you need it.

In Your Transformation Starts Here, you'll mix bodyweight and dumbbell moves in circuits with little rest between movements, but in which you can pace yourself as needed. If you're accustomed to dreading exercise, this could be just what you need.

Technique 2: Walking

I've been the host of the Bodybuilding.com Podcast for nearly 100 episodes, and I've heard plenty of stories about the right and wrong ways to transform in that time. One of the episodes that continues to come to mind in the "right" column was with "Possible Pat" Brocco. At his biggest, Pat was over 600 pounds and was fearing for his future.

So, what did he do? He walked. In fact, he walked the 2 miles to his nearest grocery store three times a day to buy food. That wasn't "the secret" to his eventual 350-pound weight loss, but it was definitely what got it started on the right foot (so to speak). Strength coaches like Charles Staley, creator of Bodybuilding.com's Total-Body Strong program, also swear by walking. In fact, Staley writes in that program that walking and full-body weight training just might be all the "cardio" you need.

Walking was a major part of Declan's transformation, as well—as it is in the Transformation Starts Here program. You'll alternate brief "speed walks" on Tuesdays with longer walks at a brisk but sustainable pace on Thursdays and Saturdays. This can be your secret weapon not only for fat loss, but also for better recovery between workouts—and simply feeling better overall.

Want to upgrade your walking? Simple: Do it outside. In Your Transformation Starts Here, the active rest walking is always designated as trail walking. You don't have to be on a trail, per se—after all, not all of us have the Australian outback in our backyard—but walking in the sunshine is highly recommended. Fresh air and vitamin D are solid allies no matter where you are in your fitness journey.

Technique 3: Get Down on the Ground

Crawling may seem like something you outgrew a long time ago—like, once you could walk instead. But plenty of smart coaches swear that having adults perform crawl variations as part of exercise can help make everything else they do in training, and in life, stronger and safer. Elite athletes in sports like soccer and American football have been crawling in their training for years—and now it's your turn.

What makes crawling so special? For one, it trains the contralateral "gait" pattern of the opposite arm and leg, increasing overall coordination and body awareness. If that's a bit too academic, there's also this: It works the shoulders, core, back, and legs all at once, and teaches them all to play together nicely. In Your Transformation Starts Here, you'll be alternating bear crawls with planks, and—spoiler alert—it won't just be for easy little 10-20-second intervals. Think more like 30-60 seconds. This will be sneaky hard, but also unbelievably effective.

Ready to see what else is in store? Check out Your Transformation Starts Here: Volume 1 in BodyFit Elite!