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Body for Life vs. King, Thibadeau, Waterbury etc.

I was speaking with another trainer about programs used with favourable results. He reads and is familiar with progressive training info such as T-Mag, Ian King, Poliquin, Waterbury, Thibadeau, etc. however uses primarily “Body for Life” for training all his clients including more advanced(in training years) clients and himself. When I asked him why he doesn’t use the other above mentioned styles of training he responded that he has tried them for himself and his clients and time and time again he has seen much better results using the “Body For Life” system(results being mainly body composition and aesthetic appeal). He says that he might throw in a 3-week period of 5x5 or so inbetween 8-12 week BFL phases, but then return to the BFL program. I was curious if anyone else on this forum has experienced this same result? I know many here are not big fans of BFL because we feel it is too mainstream and we want the most up to date and progressive programs and info available, but are we maybe being a little too snobish with our noses held high? I have never used the BFL program myself(admittedly because of the snob factor) but would like to hear more from others who have successfully and failingly.

The BFL program is very generic. Nothing special about it at all, then again, newbies don’t need anything special.

I and many of my friends and family have used BFL with great success. The problem is not that the program cannot be used at various time in your training career - it can. It’s just that the book is written in such a way that it makes the reader think that they never have to use another weightlifting workout again.

This is fine for some - those that don’t really want to get a whole lot bigger, but won’t work for those who really want to advance in bodybuilding.

I still recommend BFL for newbies and those who need something spelled out for them to the exact detail.

Most of the “BFL” stuff consists of things BP was spouting during the waning years of the fallen empire of MM2K. Except for the funky workout program.

I guess you could say I “followed” it when it first came out and before it became so wildly popular. I say I guess, because I did tweak the workout routine.

Ended up losing about 17 lbs. of fat and gaining 5 lbs. of muscle.

Best things about it are the fact that BP incorporated 20 minute HIIT sessions, and used the palm of the hand, or fist, to roughly measure portions of carbs and proteins for each of the 5 to 6 daily meals (great for the lazy bastards who don’t want to count calories).

Overall, it’s a good generic program for people who want to drop some fat and get into reasonable shape without getting too complicated or technical. Further advances beyond that require looking into some of the more sophisticated programs offered here at T-Mag.

I’d be interested to read what Joel Marion has to say about the program, since he was, afterall, the 2001 Grand Champion in his age group.

I was going to say, though I’ve never tried BFL, maybe it produces body comp results quicker but does not incorporate mass gaining and strength training/conditioning. This is just fine for about 85% of the population. But the rest of us need a real challenge in our workout. We also want to be hooge and strong and BFL is not going to accomplish that.

I used Body for life(the dieting part) and had success with it at first. I then came to a standstill and starting reading up on calorie needs and good fats. After that my gains started again. I just found that the Body for Life was too general and didn’t stress things like calorie needs and good fats. They use the “palm” measuring tool which at 6 meals only comes out to about 150 grams of protein. And they don’t give any recommendations according to your weight. All in all, I think it is a good read for newbies though.

BFL is a great program for people who are new to the weight lifting scene. You have to remember, any program is going to be better than advanced couch sitting. BFL is not about bulking, its about weight loss. They try to keep it easy for the new people, because attention to detail (like a food log with protein,fat and carbs) require effort the average guy won’t make.

I am pissed off that this trainer uses BFL for his clients… Which leads me to believe that he is not looking out for his clients best intreast… Its lazyness on his part… Clients have certin needs whether its to lose weight, gain muscle, become quicker, etc… And the program design should be around the clients needs and wants…

Sure I’ll recommend BLF to a newbie who can’t afford Personal Training or needs a guideline to start out…

But if they are training w/ me… I write my own program design for my clients… that caters to there needs…

BFL is good for beginners or people who want everything spelled out for them. I did BFL when I first started training, and it was the first time I ever heard of HIIT.

I am reading King’s book, he is not too hard on the eye’s but his time at Twin Lab, working with Lorna V. went to his head.
When I finish his book I will let you know.

By King, I ment Brad, not Ian. I saw King in the subject, my mistake.


I don’t know if you’ll hear from Joel on this thread but he didn’t use the BFL program when he won. I believe he used the ABCDE diet, but I could be worng. I do remember him saying that he didn’t use the BFL program though.


Yup, I’d agree with most of the other posters here.

The key to success that is seen with BFL for the average untrained Joe is that everything is outlined- diet and a basic workout routine, for the prescribed period. Nothing is left to debate/chance. Some newbies take to this passionately. They don’t WANT to think or reason, just do and get results.

-Definately a better program for the individual looking for wt loss/toning, and general increase in fitness, vs muscle gain. But will work for anyone in an originally untrained state to some extent if followed correctly.

Loopfit -The reason I think you are questioning this approach, is because you are a T-forumite. Therefore you do think and question, and enjoy experimentation and variation. You need and EXPECT more from yourself and those you train with.

It’s a program with a specific function, and most of us have to admit (albeit reluctantly) that it performs that particular function well. SRS