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Wow! These 12 weeks went by way too fast. I can’t believe I’m already at the end of the Body for Life program! So how did it go? If you check out the final stats you can see more details, but here’s a summary:

My fat percentage went from 18.1% to 10.2%. That equates to around 14 lbs of fat loss. Slightly over 1 lb a week (a healthy rate of loss). So why did my actual weight only go down 1.6 lbs? Well, I gained over 12 lbs. of lean muscle! I think that is why it’s so important that if you include weight training in your exercise program, that you don’t judge your progress by loss of body weight alone. You have to take into consideration the whole picture — fat loss AND lean muscle gain.

So how close did I come to my goal? If you remember from the Body for Life Goal-Edition Post, I set the goal to weigh 160 lbs having 8.5% body fat, which is 146 lbs of lean muscle weight. I ended up within 5 lbs of the lean muscle goal and about 2% off from the body-fat percentage one. All in all not bad considering the hiccups that I had in the program.

My final thoughts? I have to say I really like the Body for Life program. As I stated in my original Body for Life post, my intention for trying out this 12-week experiment was to discover a health & fitness routine that worked for me and which I could continue with it throughout my life. So is it a keeper? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to others? Most Definitely. Just try it out for one month and see if it has a place in your life. If you struggle with keeping commitments or getting started read this article to learn how you can take small steps in achieving your goals.

As a side note, a few women have asked me if weight lifting is good for them too. They were under the impression that they would get bulky if they lifted weights. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. If you would compare 1 lb of fat to 1 lb of muscle, you’ll notice that fat takes up quite a bit more space. Due to a muscle’s density, it appears to be actually slimmer and leaner than the same amount of weight in fat would look. An added benefit as well is that the more muscle you have, the higher your base metabolic rate (what you’ll burn just lying around all day) is going to be. It takes more energy for your body to support the added muscle. So unless you’re taking male hormones (as many feMALE body-builders take ;) ), you needn’t worry about getting huge.

So with that being said, I plan on continuing with this program. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up post in 12 weeks from now to explain and show you my continuing progress. If you would like more information about the Body for Life program, check out Bill Phillips book, Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength.

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