How to do a Complete Body Transformation in 12 Months  (The 33 Steps)

Making a complete body transformation - the 33 steps | Rowlett Transformation CenterIt’s easier to do complete body transformation than it is just to lose 20lbs.

I’m talking really easy.
Losing 20lbs is just work; feels like a job.
Transforming your body has some level of impact on your life

Here’s the step by step process of making a complete body transformation

Note: You can likely change some of these steps, not all have to be in a particular order. I’m not a self-proclaimed guru; I’ve just done it enough time in this format that has worked for my members.

Planning and Mindset

1. Get clear about exactly what you want and when.
Saying that you want to get healthy or look better isn’t enough. Be specific, give specifics. Writing it down is even better because if you can put it into words then you are one step closer.

2. Accept that you will never find the time, but you will need to make time.
The harsh truth is that you made time to get out of shape so then the opposite is true that you will have to make the time to get in shape.

3. Don’t get set on a particular diet or workout program.
While it’s important to understand that having a diet and exercise program is vital, you may have to change if your program isn’t working.

Don’t think that because it worked for your best friend, it will work for you. Not everyone needs low carb; not everyone needs HIIT training, not everyone needs high reps. Be flexible and keep lots of variety in your workouts until you find something that provides YOUR body with results.

4. Eliminate all ‘trigger’ foods.
These are foods that you have a difficult time controlling yourself with; these can be healthy, not all trigger foods are bad.

From my experience nuts, seeds, nut butters tend to be most.

5. Understand that not everyone is going to support you.
Yes sure, in the beginning, some say they will… until it interrupts THEIR life.

When you no longer want to eat out, drink, or stay up all hours with them. They will feel lonely and want to bring you back into their world and if you resist some forms of peer pressure will happen that will test your willpower.

Know this will happen and know that it’s ok to stand your ground and decline.

Be strong, because ultimately, they will look to you for their strength when they follow in your footsteps.

6. Always include some activity that you enjoy in each workout.
In the beginning, working out will feel like work so add some form of activity that no longer feels like work with a movement you’re interested in, or you’re more inclined to be good with.

For me and my workouts, it’s gymnastics, calisthenics, and strength.

What you will discover when you do this your workouts will naturally gravitate helping you be better at what you enjoy; when that happens change seems overnight.

7. What kind of life do you want?
A question that most people ignore when transforming their bodies because the answer will change the speed of your transformation.

The further or faster you want to go will determine how much of your day to day life will need to change.

8. Focus on one habit at a time.
When you try to change multiple aspects of your life, you can feel overwhelmed, in the beginning, focus on just ONE, and with the other aspects just make the best decisions possible.

Remember this isn’t a 30-day diet, this is changing your life.

9. Figure out which piece of the fitness puzzle you’re weak on…

Nutrition/Meal Prep/Cardio/Weight Training/Planning and Programming. Find someone else to help you with 1-2 of your weaknesses

This is critical…

When you’re starting your either good at one to two, most aren’t good at all in the beginning.

If you are good at Nutrition/Meal Prep and have no one for the Panning, Programs/Weight Training, you’ll could end up looking skinny but not fit

If you are good at Panning Programs/Weight Training but not with Nutrition, you’ll have some muscle but not be lean enough to show it.

10. Decide where you are going to go.
This could be a gym, a private studio, a group class even your garage.

Transforming your body happens where ever you are willing to do the work.

Now you have a lot of planning… it’s on to the next part… which is action.

11. Find a weight training program you can follow for at least three preferably four days a week.
You’ll need to build a good level of strength to eventually get your body strong enough to lift the weights you’re going to need to lift to see the results you want.

I’d suggest our 21-day blueprint as a backbone for this 

12. Build a support system or join a community or group of people who are undergoing the same journey as you.

It will get lonely somedays but when you find a place (gym, fitness center, studio, even online) where you can connect with others who can relate the journey doesn’t seem so desolate.

13. Get a guide up your mountain.
If it weren’t for a few key people in my life, like mentors and coaches, I would never have any sort of momentum.

Invest in knowledge, learn from others, this will cut your learning curve and accelerate your transformation.

Last year alone I worked with at least several coaches that I wanted to know better of what they did know.

The result? I was in the best shape of my life at 35 vs. 25 when I was in training for Cirque du Soleil.

Remember… that fitness isn’t this unique game… we typically all have the same problems, just with our own perspective.

14. Measure more than just a scale
The scale is like an evil ex… they poke you just right when you feel you’re doing well.

Track your progress with pictures, how your clothes fit, body fat (we use the InBody here at RTC). But never use just a scale.

15. Sweat every day.
Not each day needs to be a killer workout, some days you need a bit of downtime, but this doesn’t mean you have to do nothing.

-Take a brisk walk
-Play a sport
-Play with your kids
-Hot yoga
-Have sex

Sweat and move, this will help keep you on pace with your progress and help your body feel better.

16. Get Strong…
… especially in the beginning

I’ve never heard anyone tell me they were ‘too strong.’

4 times a week have 1-2 strength exercises in your workouts. Strength is never a weakness.

17. More work less rest
Keep your rest periods between sets as short as possible but as long as you need to complete the workout.

Power programs will need longer rest (2-5min between sets), but most other programs will suffice with 60sec, or less, between sets.

18. Full reps.
Lousy form equals achy joints, and crappy reps equal crappy muscles.

Form and technique trump all with muscular development.

19. Back and abs in every workout
Your midline, abs, core, doesn’t matter what you call it needs to be trained each day in some fashion

-Static holds

The same principle should apply to your entire back with variations of rows and pull-ups/downs.

20. Sickness and health
You will get sick, it will happen, and powering through a workout with the flu doesn’t make your progress better…

… it will stall your progress.

Rule of thumb. Anything above the neck you’re okay (head colds), anything below the new (body aches, stomach bug, fever) stay home.

21. Progressive Overload
Each week you should strive to do more than you did last week.

This can be with either one more rep, one more set, 5 more pounds or even 1-second faster, doesn’t matter. Pick one.

Get better.

Your body has no reason to change if you’re doing the same numbers as you did last week.

22. Train for competition.
Having SOMETHING specific to train for several times a year will radically accelerate your transformation.

Most at one point in time have fallen into the trap of week to week, month to month, workouts with very little progress to show for it.

When you have an event to train for (5K, half marathon, obstacle course race, your local gyms competition, etc…), you will be less likely to miss workouts and meals.

At the end of the competition, your body will look very different than when you started.

23. Changing focus
Every 4-6 weeks switch to a new focus.

This could be:

– Strength
– Muscle building
– Bodyweight
– Gymnastics
– Endurance

All complement one another in some way; strength allows you to lift more weight for your muscle-building; gymnastics helps your strength, endurance helps your recovery between sets.

24. Get limber
Majority of joint injuries, unless a blunt trauma, are caused by overly tight muscles pulling on the joint.

It is very common to see people that are too tight to do the big exercises they need to do to see the results they want to see

Before each workout foam roll, after each workout stretch.

There will be one time that you don’t, and you’ll end up getting injured; don’t let this year be that one time.

25. Cardio
Cardio is not an afterthought; it has a cornerstone in body transformation.

4 Days a week with 2-3 days of HIIT training and 1-2 days of steady-state.

HIIT should last no more than 20min and steady-state between 30-40min.


26. Learn how to cook
Food is the number one culprit for getting out of shape, and it comes down to taste.

Most likely you were never shown how to make healthy food taste good.

Each week learn one new recipe and make it several times. After a month of doing this, you’ll have had practice with 4 new healthy meals, and you’ll notice your taste buds will start to change.

27. Falling off the wagon
If you have a food bender, it’s not the end of the world.

Your day, week, month or year isn’t ruined.

Pick back up where you left off, one day of bad eating won’t derail your progress.

28. Sugar
Some sugar on a daily basis is perfectly okay, preferably after a hard workout. Excessive sugar at every meal will cause radical blood sugar shifts, and this can lead to excessive food cravings.

29. Meal prepping.
You don’t have to meal prep, but it does make your life easier.

Meal prepping does not have to be a Sunday ritual of 5 days of meals. Think differently.

Meal prep can be done from 1-3 days at a time.

Me, personally, I prepare my meals on Sunday and Wednesday.

30. Eat to feel better
Eat foods that help your body feel better; foods that don’t leave you feeling gassy, bloated, puffy, or lethargic.

When you feel good your day is better when you feel bad your day can go to hell.

31. Breakfast isn’t necessary
Contrary to what most are told breakfast is not the most important meal of the day, but it does set the tone for the rest of the day.

32. The big three supplements
Most people need the following supplements:

– Multivitamin/mineral
– Fish oil
– Probiotic

After those three get your blood work done so, you can discover precisely what YOUR body needs; this will save you money in the long run with the trial and error of supplement choosing.

33. Have weekly cheat meals.
Cheat meals are more of a psychological reward than physical.

Have your cheat meals are on workout days, not rest days at a restaurant with these guidelines

– Eat to feel full not stuffed
– Don’t feel you have to eat bad
– Limit yourself to 90min
– Don’t take food home

Dining at the restaurant ensures that you don’t snack or graze on leftovers, also when you’re home you are back on routine.

If you’re in the Dallas area I recommend Seasons 52 as a start for your weekly cheat meal. You’re welcome.


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Enjoy the transformation life.
It’s fun.


In Health and Awesomeness,

Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

P.S. – If you are ready to start your transformation CLICK HERE and let’s chat.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future content.



If I had to start over

Knowing what I know now… if I had to start over, make a total body transformation, lose at least 20lbs, gain/keep some muscle, and wanted

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