Transformation Techniques - Definitions

Looking to shed some excess fat, and pack on some muscle?

We received some fantastic feedback following Jason's Gymchat (#207), cheers. Much appreciated.

Jason's kindly agreed to contribute a series of articles looking at this fascinating area in even more detail. The first of these is below.



Each week, I'll cover a different aspect of the transformation process: What it is, How to do it, plus a bunch of other tips, tricks, techniques and workout ideas to make the the process as quick and straight forward as possible.

A transformation will mean different things to different people. Some will want to lose the love handles, belly, or man boobs. Others will want a bigger chest, bigger arms, or get toned legs and butt. We'll cover all that.

By the end of the series, you'll know everything you need to transform your physique and get the body you want and deserve.


To kick things off we're going to start at square one.

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What Exactly Is A Body Transformation?

This may seem like an absurd question with an obvious answer. You may even think I'm out to lunch for asking such a thing. After all, the word is thrown around all the time. It's not like it's an uncommon term.

You may not even care what it is.

All you want is to know is how to go from fat to fit. Or boney to buff.

I understand where you're coming from. But I do think this question needs answering before we can begin.

Not only will it give you an idea of what's in store, it'll give you an idea of how I approach fitness.

The most basic definition of a transformation is:

a change.

For most it involves weight loss. For some it's weight gain. For others it's a combination of building muscle and burning fat. But the bottom line is, the body has to change. Like a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon. (Sorry guys. Couldn't think of a more masculine analogy.) Your before and after pictures need to look different. We need to see there's been a change.

While that's true, I think it's incomplete as a definition.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines transformation as such:

  • to change the outward form or appearance of

  • to change in composition or structure

  • to change in character or condition: convert

Looking at the definition reveals that there's more to a transformation than what first comes to mind.

For most, the focus revolves around the first part of the definition... to change the outward appearance.

Diet programs tend to deal with this. They change the outward appearance. They're designed to reduce calories so the body burns fat for fuel, and you lose weight.

Throwing a workout program or a trainer into the mix usually ensures that the second component of the transformation is included. That's a change in composition.

Training and exercise give the body form and shape. This is what really makes you look your best.

What's often overlooked and missed is the third and most important component of the transformation. As the definition states, that's the change in character or mental condition.

If there is going to be lasting change - a body you can love for life - this is a critical element that needs to be included.

As the series progresses, I'm going to dig into each one of these aspects of transformation. I'm going to start with the changing character first, because the mental aspect of the transformation process is the most important.

From there, we'll move on to nutrition. Then end with the final component, the training and workout regimen.

See you next week
Jason, CSCS

Jason Paris

Jason Paris, CSCS is an Atlanta-based strength and conditioning coach and runs Fitness Doctrine, a site dedicated to helping you making your own physical & mental transformation.

Jason can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

And of course in Gymchats 207 & 236. Fantastic.

Like this? Check out :

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10 Questions with Strongman Mike Gill.

Time to dive a little deeper.

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(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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