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Muscle & Strength’s 2011 Transformation Guide

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Reach your goals in 2011! This guide provides you with tools, articles, workouts and motivation to change your body and life! Get started today, and create the body of your dreams.

2011 Transformation Guide

Did you achieve your physique and fitness goals in 2010? Or did time slip away, leaving you frustrated?

2011 will be another chance to fulfill your dreams. It will be the year that you pack on muscle, lose weight, get in shape and carve out the physique of your dreams. But to achieve these dreams, you must plan and prepare. Without concrete goals, you may find yourself spinning your wheels as months fly off the calendar.

Getting off to a good start in 2011 is essential. Muscle & Strength has put together this transformation guide to serve as a tool and a reference point. Use the links on this page to learn. Do your homework, decide upon your goals, and make a plan.


Quick Jump To The Sub-Sections Of This Guide:

  1. Visualize The Perfect Body
  2. Define Your Goals For 2011
  3. Make A Plan for 2011
  4. Listing Of Transformation Goals
  5. Goal: Lose Fat In 2011
  6. Goal: Gain Weight And Muscle In 2011
  7. Goal: Get In Shape In 2011
  8. Goal: Improve Your Health And Life In 2011
  9. Goal: Improve Your Strength In 2011
  10. The Importance Of Keeping A Training Log
  11. Great Resources At Muscle & Strength
  12. What To Do If You Stray From Your Goals

What Supplements Are Right For Me?

Find out what other people are getting results with. These products work.

M&S Top Sellers List


Visualize the Perfect Body

Take a minute and close your eyes. Visualize the body and fitness lifestyle you want.

Maybe you want to have massive muscles and strength to match? Maybe you just want to have the perfect beach body – ripped with six pack abs, a great chest and arms? Or maybe you’ve lost control of your life, and simply want to lose weight and regain your health?

Wouldn’t it be nice to stop obsessing about the perfect body, and to finally have it? Wouldn’t it feel amazing to know that the journey is over, and you can now move on to other goals in your life? If you’re like most of us, you have spent hours visualizing the perfect body, and may feel like it’s a foolish dream.

No dream is foolish! It’s time to formulate a plan. It’s time to set concrete, carved in stone goals. Visualize a perfect body and fitness lifestyle. Next, write down the details. Details are essential, and will help you to properly formulate goals.

Goals for 2011

Make your goals specific!Goals are important, but they must be well thought out. It's simply not good enough to say, I want to look better. While this is an admirable goal, it's not an absolute. It's not specific enough! It is much easier to formulate a plan if your goal is: I want to lose 50 pounds in 2011. Make your goals specific!

Examples of Poor (Non-Specific) Goal Setting

  • I want to be muscular.
  • I want to be strong.
  • I want to lose weight.
  • I want to get in shape.
  • I want to have all eyes on me when I walk into the room.

Examples of Specific Goal Setting

  • I want to gain 15 pounds of muscle in 2011!
  • I want to improve my bench press by 50 pounds in 2011!
  • I want to lose 50 pounds and fit into my old jeans in 2011!
  • I want to be able to run 5 miles without stopping in 2011!
  • I want to see my abs in 2011!

A good goal must be challenging. A good goal must also be reasonable and achievable. To achieve your goals, you must be convinced that if you plan correctly, and work hard, that this goal is possible in 2011! Take some time and determine specific goals for the new year. Once you have a good set of specific goals, it’s time to make a plan.

Make a Plan for 2011

Having specific goals is not enough. You must also develop a plan of attack. With a decent step by step plan, your mind will begin to see that a long term goal is achievable, one step at a time. A good plan is like a road map. If you get off course, it points you in the right direction.

A good plan takes a larger goal and breaks it up into smaller goals, or milestones. Having a goal to lose 50 pounds in 2011 is great, but you will want to set smaller goals to help yourself stay focused. Examples of smaller goals might be: I want to lose a minimum of 3 pounds per month, or I want to eat healthy and clean at least six days a week. Specific, smaller goals create a plan of attack - something you can work at today to reach your ultimate goal!

Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is especially important for bodybuilding & fitness.

Without a plan, bad days become bad weeks, and bad weeks become bad months. You will have nothing to “stick to”. When you fall off course, you’ll have nothing concrete to aim for. When you have a bad day, which is a better goal: “Tomorrow I must eat 2500 calories and do 20 minutes of cardio", or "tomorrow I must eat better and exercise because I have to lose 50 pounds this year?”

The answer is obvious.

This guide will provide you with the proper tools to formulate a plan. But planning out your goals is not easy. It takes time. Once you have a solid, well thought out plan, you will feel highly motivated and ready for hit the ground running.

Transformation Goals

Now that you have specific goals for 2011, it’s time to take a deeper look at these goals. The following is a list of possible goals. To begin formulating your plan for 2011, you must determine which of these specific goals you are striving for.

Fat Loss, and Diet and Nutrition Goals

  • Substantial Weight Loss. You need to lose 50 or more pounds in 2011.
  • Moderate Weight Loss.  You need to lose 25 to 50 pounds in 2011.
  • Mild Weight Lose. You need to lose less then 25 pounds in 2011.
  • Cutting. You want to lose excess fat so that your existing musculature is more prominent. This goal also involves maintaining existing muscle.
  • Get Ripped. You want to lose excess fat with the goal of revealing your abs and overall bodily musculature. This goal also involves maintaining existing muscle.

Before formulating your plan for 2011, determine all specific goals.

Weight Gain and Muscle Gain Goals

  • Substantial Weight Gain. You are underweight, and want to gain 50 or more pounds in 2011. You want as much of this as possible to be muscle.
  • Moderate Weight Gain. You are underweight, and want to gain 25 to 50 pounds in 2011. You want as much of this as possible to be muscle.
  • Mild Weight Gain. You are underweight, and want to gain up to 25 pounds in 2011. You want as much of this as possible to be muscle.
  • Pack on Muscle. You want to add as much muscle as possible in 2011.
  • Tone Up. In 2011, you want to add 5 to 10 pounds of muscle to help you look more healthy and “toned.” Your goal isn’t to look like a bodybuilder.

Fitness and Conditioning Goals

  • Get In Good Shape. You want 20 minutes of cardio or a 2 mile run to feel relatively easy in 2011.
  • Get In Great Shape. You want 30 to 60 minutes of cardio, or a 5 to 10 mile run to feel easy in 2011.
  • Sport Specific Conditioning. You want to be in amazing shape for a specific sport or athletic endeavor in 2011.
  • Bodyweight Conditioning. You want to be “bodyweight” strong, able to do push ups, pull ups, and any number of other bodyweight exercises with ease in 2011.

General Health and Lifestyle Goals

  • Quit Smoking. You want to dump the “coffin nails” so you feel better and maximize your fitness efforts in 2011.
  • Curb Drinking. You want to curtail social drinking and partying so you feel – and sleep – better, maximizing your fitness goals in 2011.
  • Eat Better. You want to dump the junk food and improve your overall general health and longevity in 2011.
  • Get More Sleep. You want to get more sleep so you feel better, and have more energy during the day in 2011.
  • Reduce Your Stress. You want to relax and remove stress from your life so you feel better in 2011.

Strength Gain Goals

These goals are merely a sample. Many other health and fitness related goals exist. Perhaps you want to become a vegetarian in 2011? Or you want to compete in a bodybuilding competition in 2011?  If a specific goal is not listed in this transformation guide, take time and explore Muscle & Strength for information that might be of help. Also, it is a good idea to join the forum and ask for advice on achieving specific goals.

Transform Your Body: Lose Fat in 2011

2011 will be the year of success.Almost everyone you know wants to lose fat. It is estimated that Americans alone spend $35 billion a year of weight loss products. But while many try to lose fat, most people fail.

2011 will be the year of success. You will lose fat, achieve your goals, and transform your body. Muscle & Strength has all the information, tools and products you need to reach your fat loss goals in 2011!

Remember, the key to successful fat loss is planning, knowledge and consistency. Use the information on Muscle & Strength to equip yourself for success. Then execute your plan, and stick to it. This is how you will reach your goals.

Information About How To Lose Fat

I know you're keen to get started, but first you need to arm yourself with knowledge on how to exercise, diet, and supplement effectively. Grab a cup of coffee (low fat milk!) and check out these resources on Muscle & Strength:

For more information and articles check out the Fat Loss Articles Section and the Diet & Nutrition Articles section.

The Tools & Recipes You Need To For Support

Getting in the gym and going at it is great, but you'll need some additional tools and information to help keep you on track, measure your progress and mix things up a bit. We have everything you need to succeed right here. Follow the links below.

Now It's Time To Choose A Fat Loss Workout Routine

OK, now you're armed with the information, tools and recipes you need to reach your fat loss goals in 2011. Now it's time to choose a workout routine that's right for you. We've added some suggestions, along a link to all the fat loss workouts at M&S.

Supplements For Fat Loss

While supplements are not essential for fat loss, they can help you reach you goals faster. Supplements can give you the edge you need to curb appetite and power through a workout. Below is a list of fat loss supplements that can assist you in reaching your goals in 2011.

Thermogenic fat burners are the most popular type of fat burner on the market. They work by raising your core body temperature and metabolism, thus making your body burn more calories all day - even when you're resting! These products also contain herbal stimulants, which help you power through that tough cardio and mobilize fat cells for use as energy. These are a good choice for anyone looking to lose weight, especially if you lack the energy you need to train effectively. View all thermogenic fat burners.

Stimulant free fat burners are themogenics like the once mentioned above, just without any stimulants. These are ideal for people who are sensitive to caffeine or other stimulants, or people who train late in the evening and do not want to take a stimulant product close to bed time. View all stimulant free fat burners.

Appetite suppressants, as the name suggests, are designed to help curb your appetite. Appetite is a huge problem for most people trying to lose weight, and these products can help beat the urges you have to eat. Appetite suppressants can also be used in conjunction with thermogenic products for enhanced results. Just make sure that your appetite suppressant does not contain stimulants. View all appetite suppressants.

Energy boosters are for people who have trouble getting through a tough workout. If you feel like you're struggling after only a short time and need an extra boost, an energy booster could be the way to go. View all energy boosters.

Protein powders & MRPs are an essential staple for any weight loss plan. It's absolutely critical that you get enough protein when you're trying to burn fat, if you don't, your body will rob protein from your muscles and you will lose muscle mass and not fat! You want to keep your muscle, and to do that you need protein. Protein also helps speed up your metabolism which is an obvious benefit. Finally, you can use protein supplements and meal replacements between meals to help curb appetite. Most protein shakes only have 120 calories, which is much less than having a typical snack between meals. View all protein powders and meal replacements.

Putting It All Together

You have the information, tools and products you need to succeed. Now it's up to you to put a plan together and stick to it. Whenever you lose motivation, come back to this page a remember your plan. Consistency is the key, 2011 is your year!

Transform Your Body: Gain Weight And Build Muscle In 2011

It's time to tone, bulk up and pack on muscle mass! Don't waste time in 2011. Far too many people spin their wheels, and never get on the right track. If you want to gain weight and/or muscle, Muscle & Strength has the resources you need to succeed!

2011 will be the year of success. You will gain muscle, tone up, achieve your goals, and transform your body.

It's time to tone, bulk up and pack on muscle! Don't waste time.

Information & Articles On Weight Gain & Muscle Building

There's no point in pushing yourself at the gym if you're not going to see results! The first step to building rock hard muscle and increasing your body weight is not on the bench press; it's right here on Muscle & Strength. Knowledge. That's right, you need to arm yourself with knowledge if you want to succeed. Muscle & Strength is here to teach you how to build quality muscle using the right workout, eating plan and supplements. Check out these popular articles and guides on Muscle & Strength.

Information On Building A Diet Plan

Most people believe that training alone builds muscle size, but what you eat is just (if not more) important. Proper nutrition through diet and supplementation provides your body with the tools it needs to grow lean muscle tissue. Without the right nutritional building blocks, will will not reach your goals! It's that simple. Check out these resources to help you to build yourself a good diet:

For more information on building a diet plan check out the diet and nutrition articles section.

One of the most important tools you need to build your diet plan is the BMR calculator. This calculator helps you to determine the calories you need to maintain your bodyweight. You can then take this number and add around 500 calories per day. This is the amount of calories you need to consume each and every day in order to build muscle and gain weight. This is very important! You should work out how many calories you need before you start building your diet plan.

Train hard, but eat smart.Choosing Your Muscle Building Workout Routine

There are literally thousands of workout routines floating around on the Internet, or to be found in muscle magazines. So which one is right for you? Muscle & Strength has a huge workout routines database. Our workouts are categorized by goal so you can easily select a workout that will fit your schedule and needs. Here are 5 of the most popular muscle building workouts on M&S:

To view all the workouts check out our workout routines database. Remember, to build and maintain solid muscle mass you need to be consistent with your training. This means getting up and heading to the gym even when you're feeling tired and flat. If you can be consistent, you will build muscle and keep it! Make 2011 your year!

Editor's note: Also see our Exercise Videos section for instructions on how to complete over 600 exercises using the correct technique for the best results possible.

Supplements For Muscle Mass & Weight Gain

There are a huge array of products available that can help you build muscle mass quickly. Supplements can be used in conjunction with a solid diet and training program to reach your goals faster. Here's a list of the supplements we recommend you take a look at for muscle building:

Protein Powders

Protein is absolutely essential to building lean muscle. Without it, you will not grow! Protein powders give your body protein, and fast! They contain an optimal amounts of amino acids and fast digesting proteins that you need for growth. The best time to take protein is right after you train, when your body needs it most! View all protein powders or read more about protein in the Muscle & Strength Protein Supplement Guide.

Creatine

Creatine is the most popular and scientifically-backed muscle building supplement available. It will help you gain weight fast, increase your strength in the gym, and most importantly, build lean muscle mass. Creatine is one of the most effective products you'll ever use, and is classed as an "essential" muscle building product. View all creatine supplements or read the in-depth Muscle & Strength Creatine Supplement Guide.

Pre-Workout

Pre-workout supplements make this list because they help you bust through intense workouts, and to make great gains. Pre-workout products give you energy, increase blood flow, buffer lactic acid, and increase the absorption of other nutrients like creatine and protein. View all pre-workout products.

Weight Gainers

If you're not getting the calories you need to gain weight, it will not happen, no matter how hard or long you workout. Weight gainers are there to increase your daily calorie and protein intake. They range from 600 to 1200+ calories per serving, and can be taken in between meals to increase your overall daily protein and calories. View all weight gainers.

Carbohydrates

Carbs play a very important role in muscle building. They add essential nutrition and calories to your daily diet, spike insulin post-workout (this helps shuttle nutrients faster to muscle cells), and replace lost muscle glycogen which is depleted during training. View all carbohydrate supplements.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are the backbone of any nutritional plan. People who train hard have a higher requirement for most vitamins and minerals. When you train, you lose essential vitamins and minerals. For this reason, a regular supermarket multivitamin product simply won't cut it. You need a multivitamin designed for athletes. View all Multivitamins.

Testosterone Support (over 30's)

Like protein, testosterone is also essential for muscle growth. While most young males have plenty of testosterone needed for growth, men over 30 experience a loss of testosterone and may benefit from a testosterone support product. These products are designed to boost your testosterone levels, and optimize muscle growth. View all testosterone supplements.

More Information On Supplements

The information on muscle building supplements provided in this guide is only the tip of the iceberg. Muscle & Strength has plenty of supplement articles to help you reach your goals.

Putting It All Together

Now it's up to you to take what you have learned here and apply it to reach you goals. Write down your plan, choose a workout routine, plan your diet, choose your supplements, then execute! From here on it's up to you to stick to it. Consistency is the key. You can have the best plan in the world but it's useless if you don't stick it out! Make 2011 the year that you pack on some serious muscle and build the body of your dreams, a head turning physique! Stay focused!

Transform Your Body: Get In Shape In 2011

Look good AND feel good!Do your 2011 goals involve more than just fat loss and toning up? You want to not only look good, but also feel good. You want to be in the best shape of your life! Have no fear - Muscle & Strength has plenty of resources for you.

2011 will be the year of success. You will be in the best shape of your life, and achieve all your goals.

Get In Shape Features

Popular Conditioning Articles

Transform Your Body: Improve Your Health And Life In 2011

Being healthy and fit is about more then just exercise and diet. A holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle removes bad habits, and improves all aspects of health, with a focus on longevity.

2011 will be the year of success. You will quit smoking, get more sleep, reduce stress and achieve your goals.

Health and Longevity Features

Popular Articles on Healthy Eating

Transform Your Body: Improve Your Strength In 2011

You're tired of being weak. 2011 will be a year of change; a year where your bench press, squat and deadlift numbers jump through the roof. You will get strong, and no longer feel embarrassed about being one of the weaker lifters at the gym. By 2012, other gym rats will be asking you for your secrets.

2011 will be the year of success. You will gain strength, and achieve your goals.

Bust plateaus, build strength.

Strength Building Features

Popular Strength Building Articles

Strength Building Workout Routines

The Importance Of Keeping A Training Log

You've spent time visualizing, planning and researching your goals. Now it's time to change your life and put your plan into action. One of the best ways to keep yourself on track and motivated is by keeping a training log. A training log documents your workouts, cardio, supplements and dieting. You'll want to log which specific exercises you performed, along with how many reps and sets.

For cardio, notate how long you exercised, and what the intensity was. Most pieces of cardio equipment - treadmills, stairmasters, etc. - provide you with very specific workout information. If you do now know how to determine the duration and intensity of your cardio, ask a trainer at the gym.

You'll also want to periodically log your body stats: weight, bodyfat percentage, and body measurements (arms, chest, thighs, etc.). Logging this information will allow you to not only track your progress, but also to make necessary adjustments should your progress be slower then expected.

Another very important aspect in reaching your goals is food intake. At minimum, take time to log your daily calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Notate when you ate, how many calories you ate, and how much protein. At the end of the week, tally up your average caloric intake. This number can then be adjusted up or down, depending on your goals.

Lastly, you'll want to log your supplements. Often times, an individual will start 3 to 5 new supplements at the same time, and the distinction between what's working and what isn't becomes blurred. Try to add only one major supplement, such as creatine or nitric oxide, at a time. Log this supplement for 2 to 4 weeks, and detail your bodyweight composition and training. Take the guess work out of your supplementation!

The Muscle & Strength Forum is a great place to log your training, diet and supplements. When you log your progress in a community setting, you receive the added benefit of feedback. If something goes wrong, you can ask questions, and receive great advice.

The best laid plans can easily become regrets if you don't take the time and track your progress. Seeing how far you've come is a great motivator. Start a log today!

Great Resources At Muscle & Strength

Muscle & Strength has plenty of other great resources and tools to help you reach your goals in the coming year. We are always adding new and exciting features. 

The Muscle & Strength Podcast

Take Muscle & Strength along with you wherever you go, via your iPod or MP3 player! Reach your goals with the Muscle & Strength podcast series. These podcasts focus on building muscle, losing fat and will help you to stay motivated!

  • Doug Miller Podcast - Champion natural bodybuilder Doug Miller talks volume training, his use of high rep squats and deadlifts, and discusses the Core Nutritionals line of products.
  • Ashley Schutz Podcast - Ashley Schutz made an inspirational body and lifestyle transformation. In this podcast, Ashley talks about the diet and training changes that turned her life around.
  • Team Scivation Podcast - Team Scivation talk to Steve Shaw about the best ways to to achieve your goals fast. Get info from Marc, Derek and Rob on diet, training and supplementation!
  • Explore more great Muscle & Strength podcasts now!

Use the resources and tools on M&S to maximize your results.

For Women Only!

Muscle & Strength is working hard to help women achieve their physique and fitness goals! Achieve your goals today - check out the women's workouts section, and the articles for women. Here are just a few featured articles and workouts by top female authors.

Supplement Reviews

Want to know which products deliver? Cut through the hype and maximize your results by purchasing products that work! The Muscle & Strength supplement reviews section features no nonsense feedback from people like you and me.

  • Supplement Reviews By Brand - Browse all supplement reviews by brand. You can use the sorting function to sort by name, top rated, most recommended and most reviews.
  • Highest Rated Supplement Companies - Browse the best of the best. In this section, supplement companies are sorted by rating, allowing you to find the best products!
  • Most Recommend Supplements - The Muscle & Strength reviews section also allows reviewers to leave a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" with each of their reviews. Find out which supplement companies are the most recommended!
  • Most Reviewed Supplements - Want to know which supplement companies are creating a buzz? This list features the companies receiving the most reviews.

Exercise Video Database

Muscle & Strength features over 600 exercise videos. To get the maximum results out of any exercise you should use the correct technique. The best way to learn good technique is one on one, but since we can't get to every gym around the world we've got the next best thing, exercise instruction videos and pictures!

Each video is a demonstration of how to do the exercise using correct technique. There is also additional information, tips, pictures and links on the video pages to help you get the best results using the exercise. If you need help with any of these exercises just ask on our forum.

Bodypart exercises:

What To Do If Your Stray From Your Goals

What happens if you stray from your goals? What happens if you get off to a fast start, but life happens, and you fall back into your old diet and lifestyle habits? Don't wait until January 1st, 2012 to get started again! Read through this article, define your goals, develop a training and diet plan, and get after it!

Most people you know make resolutions to change. And most people fail. Why does this happen? Generally, people fail to achieve their goals because they chase after a "pie in the sky" dream without planning exactly how to achieve this goal. If you become one of these individuals, don't lose hope! Perhaps you developed a plan of attack that was too aggressive. Perhaps you set goals that weren't reasonable. Perhaps you tried to diet using a fad approach instead of changing your lifestyle.

You want to change! If you didn't, you wouldn't be reading this transformation guide. If you've lost hope or motivation, or don't know where to began, ask for help. There are plenty of individuals waiting to help you in the Muscle and Strength community.

Don't wait for tomorrow to come. Take control of your destiny today. Make today the day that started it all!

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