Official 2018 T-ransformation Announcement Thread

Mark your calendars, prep your meals, and grab your lifting belt. The T-ransformation is on again.

What: A physique challenge. Start in some kind of shape on January 1, end up in even better shape by June 1.

At the end, forum members will vote for the lifter who made the most visually significant progress in six months. There are no age divisions, weight classes, male/female categories, or other sub-groups. Just before and after comparisons with no context needed or asked.

It’s about best transformation, not best finished product, so it’s open to the judges’ interpretation. Is going from ‘beer belly’ to ‘slight ab definition’ a more drastic transformation than improving from ‘slight ab definition’ to ‘shredded’? Maybe, maybe not.

This year, there will also be a Most Improved category comparing the lifters who completed last year’s T-ransformation challenge to their shape at the end of this year’s. Because regardless of anything else, the only person we ever seriously compete with is ourselves. It’s super-cliche, but it’s super-true.

June 2018-you should be in better shape than June 2017-you whether you’re doing the contest or not. Lifters who went after it hard in 2017 have the potential to be rewarded for long-term progress if/when they surpass their previous condition.

Where: The T Nation forums. And in your gym. And in your kitchen.

Keep your own Training Log for tracking progress, discussing your plan, and (of course) some friendly trash-talking with other challengers. Keep an eye here in this official thread and over in the T-ransformation 2018 discussion thread for more info and probably more trash-talking. Fine-tune your diet with advice in the Supplements & Nutrition forum.

When: Begins January 1, ends June 1.

“Before” pics must be submitted no later than 11:59pm EST January 1. “After” pics can be submitted anytime you think you’re finished, but no later than 11:59pm EST June 1.

Judging is based on how you look on January 1 compared to whenever you declare yourself done (no later than June 1). That’s 21-and-a-half weeks. Competitive bodybuilders often spend 16 weeks or less getting shredded for a contest, so it’s definitely enough time to make gigantic progress when you dial in your training and nutrition with a good plan, regardless of your current condition.

Why: Fortune and glory, kid.

Prizes up for grabs include bragging rights, a moderate level of T Nation fame, a large level of self-respect and well-earned pride, and a to-be-determined reward from Biotest. (Last year’s top finishers got credit to the store to put to good use. If we buckle down and let them know we’re serious about attacking the challenge, they may be open to bumping it up a bit.)

The winner will be decided on the forum by simple voting at the end, but understand that any awards and accolades really aren’t the point. Spending a good chunk of the year being laser-focused attacking one specific goal is the point, and it’s something most of us just don’t do on our own. If you won’t push yourself to get in serious shape unless you’re trying to win a quarter-million dollars, your priorities are out of whack and you’ll more than likely fall off the proverbial wagon.

How: Train hard, eat right, see results… just like you should’ve been doing long before this contest.

The training and nutrition details are entirely up to you. This challenge is a chance to step up your programming and be goal-focused for a few months to really push for your best ever condition.

You want to dirty bulk from November to Jan 1 for “better” before and then crackdown on the diet until June? Try it, just know that you’ll be paying for that extra fat with sweat equity later on. You want to hire a contest prep coach and treat this like a mock bodybuilding show? Your call, and you get to skip the tanning and posing at the end, so that’s a plus.

Remember that it’s a transformation challenge, not just a fat loss challenge. If you’re a 160-pound skinny-fat dude whose goal is to be 175 with abs, you’re in. Ladies, you’re definitely part of the gang too. If you’re 150 pounds with a “post-baby belly” and want to drop the fat, don’t think this challenge is only for guys who want biceps veins and quad striations. Join in.

The point is simply to make major improvements in our physiques. Sorry powerlifters, strength levels and gym performance aren’t factors here. (Maybe another time, we’ll see.)

Additional Details:

Progress Pics - The only mandatory pic is a “front relaxed” with arms at your sides, wearing a beach outfit (shirtless in shorts for the guys, two piece outfit or shorts and sports bra for the ladies). That’s the only pose that will be voted on. If you want to include additional pics to showcase your physique, no problem, but only the front relaxed will be considered official in terms of judging “before and after progress.”

Bodybuilding poses like double biceps, lat spreads, or most muscular aren’t necessary and aren’t really the best way to monitor progress anyway. But, admittedly, they look pretty cool if you can pull them off.

You do not have to post your face in pics. You can crop it out or obscure using photo-editing software (hiding your identity is the only type of acceptable “Photoshopping” allowed in pics).

Training Logs - Keeping a regularly-updated training log on the forum is highly, highly suggested. You don’t necessarily need to post the full details of your training/diet and you’re not required to post update pics along the way, but it’s the best way to get useful feedback as you go along while also tracking your own progress.

It’s also worth noting that during the 2017 challenge, most people who didn’t keep a log didn’t end up finishing the challenge. So don’t underestimate the accountability and motivation found in keeping a log.

“Most Improved” - Being the second annual challenge gives us the opportunity to assess improvement through a full year’s training rather than just cracking down for a six-month challenge and slacking as soon as it ends. Lifters who completed both the 2017 and 2018 T-ransformations will also be entered in the Most Improved category for the chance to be rewarded for their long-term progress.


Based on the previous thread about it, we’ve got 20 folks already say they’re in:
@anon50325502 @littlesleeper @raoh1990 @Lonnie123 @flipcollar @isdatnutty @Yogi1 @Basement_Gainz @azwildcats @lord_humongous @kleinhound @calebsmitty @Frank_C @duketheslaya @planetcybertron @boombalatti @anzel @cdmac24 @hugh_gilly and me.

And we’ve got 8 maybes:
@SkyzykS @JFG @maverick88 @DoubleDuce @dicksharpe @kd13 @brady888 and @MarkKO

Looking forward to plenty more joining in and following through start to finish.


A reminder of what we did with the 2017 T-ransformation:

Members eligible for the Most Improved category, based on their completion of the 2017 challenge:
@trevorlpt (the defending champ) @littlesleeper @BOTSLAYER @HeraWynn1 @MarkKO @flipcollar @DoubleDuce @Lonnie123 @Basement_Gainz @Benanything @dchris @furo @jboy99 @kd13 @lord_humongous @anon50325502 and @yonkey


I think I’ll throw my name on that maybe list, I should have a good idea if I’ll commit by mid-December

1 Like

Nice. I like that Biotest is stepping up and getting behind this! It sounds so official :smiley:



@DoubleDuce just for reference.

1 Like

Soooo, this category is for the best improvement from our finishing point, correct?

Fuck, better put down that Pumpkin Pie…

*Nevermind, I read the announcement again.

OK, that’s piqued my interest. I’ll play.


@Chris_Colucci - as with the 2017 challenge, do we need to name our logs specifically with “T-ransformation 2018” in the title? I’ve created one that was intended for my first run at 5/3/1 but I could change the name/add T-ransformation to it if it makes it easier for you guys to track.

For Most Improved, take a look at your “after” pic from June 2017. That’s the fucker you have to beat by June 2018.


You don’t have to. I think a couple of guys didn’t in 2017 and just used their regular logs.

As long as you tag the thread with t-ransformation2018, they can be found all together.

1 Like

Awesome work Chris, I’ll be bringing the pain again this year as I have let myself slip quite a bit

1 Like

Won’t be participating, will be enlisting sometime in early 2018. Will be following along though.


I’m in. Trying to get to a reasonable state of looking like a lifter, so I’m happy joining in


Alright, I’m in as well.

This should be interesting. I’m not really decided on a strategy yet. I’ve never really done a deliberate cut and I’ve never even really counted my macros or anything like that. Usually I just make sure I hit a certain minimum on protein and avoid sugary stuff. I did track my calories for about four weeks earlier this year though, just to see how many calories I need for maintenance, that should come in useful at the beginning. Don’t know if I should cut for the whole five months, as I’m already relatively lean and feel like I could make some noticable improvements in muscle mass in relatively little time once I start training exclusively for hypertrophy for basically the first time. We’ll see.

1 Like

which branch?

Sounds interesting, I’m a maybe

1 Like

That’s one of the pluses of having a heads up this far out from the start date. You can map out the best use of the 21 weeks. It basically depends on where you actually are right now. You might want to toss up a pic and/or stats either here, in Rate My Physique, or open up a new training log to get the ball rolling.

As it stands now, I’m considering sticking with my current plan (started just two weeks ago) until Feb 1 and then start the cut. Hoping to get more done in 16 weeks than I did in 31 last year… but actually seeing it written out like that, yeah no, maybe not the best route.

My goal is to do a lean “gain”. Unfortunately, I’m fatter than I’d like now so I’m actually cutting the rest of the year. I need to take a couple steps back so I can make sure I move forward properly. There’s a chance my BEFORE pic might look better than my AFTER. I’m going to attempt to add mass very slowly for the first 4 months and then cut the last month. I won’t be doing a photo shoot prep—just shooting for some abs and definition.

@dicksharpe does that help you see that not everyone will be dropping pounds of fat for the competition? Just try to map out a plan that will result in a better version of you.

I’m trying to achieve a better me and I decided not to sacrifice myself for the sake of the competition. I’d show a better transformation if I continued gaining weight til Jan 1 but I think I’ll be better off in the long run with my approach to start lean.