Body For Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength

Body For Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength

by Bill Phillips


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Body For Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength by Bill Phillips

Mention the name Bill Phillips to any of the people he's helped transform and you will see their faces light up with appreciation and respect. These people include:

  • Hundreds of thousands of men and women who read his magazine for guidance and straightforward information about exercise, nutrition, and living with strength.

  • Elite professional athletes, among them John Elway, Karl Malone, Mike Piazza, and Terrell Davis have turned to Phillips for clear–cut information to enhance their energy and performance.

  • People once plagued by obesity, alcoholism, and life–threatening ailments who accepted a personal challenge from Bill Phillips and, with his help, have regained control of their bodies and their lives.

    When you begin to apply the information in this book, you will be proving to yourself that astounding changes are within your grasp too. And, you will discover Body–for–LIFE is much more than a book about physical fitness it's a gateway to a new and better life, a life of rewarding and fulfilling moments, perhaps more spectacular than you've ever dared to dream before.

    Within 12 weeks, you too are going to know not believe, but know : that the transformation you've created with your body is merely an example of the power you have to transform everything else in your world.

    In language that is vivid and down–to–earth, Bill Phillips guides you, step by step, through the integrated Body–for–LIFE Program, which reveals:

  • How to lose fat and increase your strength by exercising less, not more;

  • How to tap into an endless source of energy by living with the Power MindsetTM;

  • How to create more time for everything meaningful in your life;

  • How to trade hours of aerobics for minutes of weight training with dramatic results;

  • How to make continual progress by using the High–Point TechniqueTM;

  • How to feed your muscles while starving fat with the Nutrition–for–LIFE MethodTM;

  • How thousands of ordinary people have now become extraordinary and how you can, too;

  • How to gain control of your body and life, once and for all.

    The principles of the Body–for–LIFE Program are surprisingly simple but remarkably powerful. So allow yourself to experience the force of the information in this book, allow yourself to take your mind, your body, your life to a higher point than you may have ever dreamed you could. All in as little as 12 weeks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060193393
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/10/1999
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 98,524
Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Bill Phillips is the founder and editor in chief of Muscle Media® magazine and the creator of EAS (Experimental and Applied Sciences). Michael D'Orso is the coauthor of Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement and Winning With Integrity: How to Get What You Want Without Selling Your Soul.

Read an Excerpt

The Breakthrough

When you gain control of your body
you will gain control of your LIFE.

A couple of years ago, I attended a fitness convention in Atlanta. It's one of only a few industry trade shows I attend, and therefore, it's one of the only times I come face-to-face with a large number of my readers at once. During the course of that weekend, hundreds of men and women who introduced themselves as avid followers of my magazine came up to shake my hand and chat. What struck me most about the entire experience--what absolutely floored me--was how strikingly out of shape many of these people were.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed meeting all these folks, many of whom had been reading my work for years. I even recognized a lot of their names. That weekend I think I met about 600 of my students. Maybe 80 of them looked fit and strong, but the others, who had been receiving the same information on exercise and nutrition, looked like . . . well, like they never had the opportunity to learn about how to get in top shape before.
On the flight home, I agonized over what I experienced that weekend. I knew then and there that in order to become a better teacher, I had to create a solution that would help these people not just get the facts but apply them. I knew I could help these people. I knew it was my responsibility.
Anyone who knows me at all or is familiar with me through my writing understands I firmly believe that a strong, healthy mind resides in a strong, healthy body. That, my friends, is a fact. When I see men and women who are out of shape, I see lives not fully lived. I see lost potential. I see people who need someone to help them realize they can look and feel better. That's what I see.
You simply cannot escape this reality: Your body is the epicenter of your universe. You go nowhere without it. It is truly the temple of your mind and your soul. If it is sagging, softening, and aging rapidly, other aspects of your life will soon follow suit.
I just don't believe that anyone in this world sets out on a journey to become fat and unhealthy, just as no one decides to become lonely or poor. What happens is, somewhere along the line, slowly and gradually, without even being aware of it, we give up. We give up our values and our dreams one at a time. When people let go of their bodies, it is, quite simply, the beginning of the end.
The night I got home from that trip, I couldn't stop thinking about it. What could I do to help these people apply their knowledge? I asked myself that question over and over again. I couldn't sleep. Then, finally, at about 1:15 in the morning, it hit me: They need a challenge. A competition. An incentive and the ultimate trophy--my blood-red Lamborghini Diablo.
I recalled how dreaming about someday owning that car helped me back when I was struggling to build my business--it helped me stay focused on my future and lifted my desire when I needed it most. I thought maybe it could do the same for the people I wanted to help--that it could be their driving force too. So, the next day, I put that Lamborghini up as the "Grand Prize" in the most unique self-improvement contest ever.
No one had ever tried issuing a challenge like this before, but something told me I had to do it, even though some people (including my dad, who's also my business advisor) let me know they thought the idea was crazy.
But I experienced something like the voice that whispered to Ray Kinsella in the baseball movie Field of Dreams: My instincts told me if I built it, they would come.
And did they ever...
More than 54,000 people from all walks of life signed up. Cops, cooks, and corporate CEO. Parents and grandparents (more than a few great--grandparents). Men and women who had never lifted a weight in their lives and a few seasoned gym rats who had been trying to build better bodies for years. The entries cascaded in, each individual accepting my challenge.
There were 10 categories, so young and old, men and women alike could till compete and have a chance to win. They were required to take 'before and after' photos and write an essay describing their experience and the impact it had on their lives overall. A team of judges, including myself, worked day and night scoring each competitor based on how much they improved their physiques, combined with how well they expressed the experience through their essays.
There - in those essays - was where my expectations and imagination essays were blown away. I hoped that giving people an incentive and challenging them to apply the knowledge I offered them would help them improve their bodies. And it did.
But that's not all. These people were getting physically fit, and they were getting their lives back in shape. It was, and still is, one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. Accepting this challenge rekindled the flame of desire for tens of thousands, and it broke down walls that were keeping people from moving forward in all areas of their lives.
Many of the men and women who accepted my challenge reported that this Program literally saved their lives. Their risk of heart disease (the number-one killer in America today) was drastically lowered, as well as the risk of being afflicted with other illnesses. such as diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Beyond even that, the psychological and emotional changes reported by these men and women were (and are) stunning. They described off-the-chart leaps in self-confidence, self-respect, and empowerment. They discovered that taking control of their bodies broke down barriers all around them. People were more attracted to them. They got better jobs.

What People are Saying About This

Russell Simpson

After completing the 12-week program, I not only achieved my physical goals, I rediscovered passion in my life. This became the primary driving force behind my success. I've become the person I've always wanted to be.
— (Russell Simpson, M.D., age 47 Physician; Huntsville, Alabama)

John Elway

I admire Bill Phillips because he believes so much in what he's doing, and he's helped so many people, including me. The time I've spent with Bill over the last couple years has been tremendous for me. I feel better mentally and physically. I believe the more his message gets out, the better off everybody's going to be.
— (John Elway, Two-Time NFL World Champion)

Fred and Renee Scurti

When we discovered Bill Phillips, we realized we had been confronted with a simple decision, 'Change our lives or dig our own grave with a fork and knife.' After a few weeks on the program, our bodies were changing, but more than that, our relationship, our lives were changing.
— (Fred and Renee Scurti, ages 38 and 35, Sales Manager and Homemaker; Parker, Colorado)

Christy Hammons

When I first read about Bill's program, I felt a sense of hope I hadn't felt before. I was inspired to take the first crucial step--I decided to change. Within weeks, I felt better, I looked better, and people started to notice. After 12 weeks, I lost 30 pounds, 3 inches off my waist, 4 inches off my hips, and dropped 3 sizes. My life couldn't be better. I'm not settling for mediocrity ever again.
— (Christy Hammons, Age 24 Accountant; Lexington, Kentucky)

Hank Johnson

While going through Bill Phillips' program, the physical changes I experienced were just the 'tip of the iceberg' for the changes in my mind-set. It empowered me and opened my eyes to the possibilities of change in all areas of my life.
— (Hank Johnson, Age 39 NASA Space Shuttle Engineer; Cape Canaveral, Florida)


A Q&A with the Author:

1) What gave you the impetus to write the book?

It seems to me we're living in a time of "extreme capitalism," where the marketplace rules as never before. We're living in a time when almost everything (news, politics, advertising, the computer revolution) is a form of entertainment. And we're obviously living in a time when the culture generally, thanks to technology and the aging of the baby boomers and the end of the Cold War and feminism and a hundred other reasons, is in a state of thrilling, terrifying flux and newness. All those seemed rich, ripe terrains on which to stake out a big, realistic, funny, social novel. I hadn't seen contemporary business or a certain kind of modern marriage drawn very knowingly or interestingly in fiction, and I thought I might be able to do an entertaining job of it.

2) Set in the not so distant future, Turn of the Century has many futuristic inventions and events — such as computer games that incorporate biofeedback, minty-flavored Prozac for kids, civil war in Mexico. What new developments from the book do you think we'll actually see?

Of the three "inventions" you mention, one—the mint-flavored Prozac for children—-actually exists. I am thrilled that reviewers and reporters (you're not the first) assume some of the actual things in the book are fictional, and vice-versa. I think practically everything in the book could come to pass, and may. In fact, some of my inventions in earlier drafts did come to pass before I was finished, and I edited them out.

3) As a writer for The New Yorker and Time magazine, editor in chief of New York magazine, and co-creatorof Spy magazine, you've been writing and editing for years, but this is your first novel. How does writing fiction compare to nonfiction?

After 20 years of adhering scrupulously to facts, fiction-writing was discombobulating at first—I felt giddy, like gravity had changed, or as if I were committing adultery. In the end, I find writing fiction (and a 659-page book, as opposed to a 1000 or 10,000 word magazine piece) both vastly more difficult and more fun than writing non-fiction. But without those years of writing and editing week after week, I wouldn't have had the confidence in my craft to attempt a novel—nor, I don't think, the experiences worth transmuting into fiction.

4) What research did you do to be able to so realistically depict the business lives of your characters who work in television, the computer industry (both software executives and hackers), Wall Street ...?

I have some professional experience in television and online, but only some, so as I was beginning the book I spent weeks doing research in Seattle and Los Angeles and on Wall Street, hanging around with friends in the software and TV and financial businesses as they did they jobs, and asking lots and lots of stupid questions.

5) Where did you grow up? Your young children could live to see the turn of the next century — How do you think their experience and their adult lives will differ from yours?

I grew up in Omaha. And the distinct possibility that my daughters will live in the 22nd century is a fact I regularly astonish myself with. I can't pretend to have any idea what that world will be like. Well, I can pretend—in fact, at one point, this novel had an epilogue set on New Year's Eve 2099, with two of the three children in the book reminiscing about their lives and the 21st century. I do have a hunch that a hundred and two hundred years from now, the current epoch—1960-2010, say—will look pivotal.

6) Real people mingle with fictional characters in your novel. Does anyone in the book have a real-life counterpart (if you can tell us) and are you concerned about whether people will see themselves, rightly or wrongly, as the models for your characters?

In general, I am not one for doctrines, but I did begin this book with a doctrine about reality and invention—that is, I endeavored either to concoct wholly fictional people (and places and companies and TV shows and movies and inventions), or to use real people (and places and companies and TV shows and movies and inventions) as themselves. This is not a roman a clef, thinly veiled or otherwise. That said, I will confess that my good friend Jim Cramer, the financial writer and stock trader, bears a certain strong genetic resemblance to the character Ben Gould.

7) Turn of the Century highlights the cultural differences between New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Do you think these and other American places will come to resemble each other more in the faster-paced, more technologically-driven future, or will they maintain their distinct characters?

I think they will maintain their distinct characters, even as they become, in places, more alike. I think it's places like Omaha and Minneapolis and Houston and Atlanta that are more quickly becoming more alike—as well as more like NewYork, Seattle, and Los Angeles. And I think Washington (D.C., not State) is as close to irrelevant to the national life as it has been in this century.

copyright Kurt Andersen 1999


It's time to pay attention to fitness expert Bill Phillips! Each year Phillips issues a challenge through his Muscle Media magazine for people to transform their physiques. Hundreds of thousands have responded and have become extraordinary role models. Now, with Body For Life: 12 Weeks To Mental And Physical Strength, Phillips brings his challenge to you. The promise? Lose pounds of unwanted fat, build strong, toned muscles, and improve your overall health.

Customer Reviews

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Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to address what appears to be the most common misconception being spread about this wonderful book and program. 1) Bill Phillips never insists that you must use his supplements to see good results. He DOES present them as good alternatives to REAL, WHOLE FOOD when you don't have time for food. True, he doesn't give any other options as alternatives, but real food is always an option. I am following the book to the letter, not using any supplements (beyond a few vitamins) and seeing great results. In just under 4 weeks, I've lost 16 pounds of fat and gained 3 pounds of muscle. I work out at home, spent less than $100 on my 'home gym' (several sets of dumbbells) and feel great. It works if you follow it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book to learn something about weight training after a friend gave me her weight training system. I had about 10lbs to lose but mostly wanted to get back some muscle and get toned. I purchased the book on Sunday and finished it Sunday night. I started the 12 week program on Monday. The program works. It is easy to follow. I lost all my weight and went down from a size 4 to a size 2. Although I never stepped foot into a gym or had any weight training knowledge, the book gave me all the skills I needed to get a better, stronger body. Great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
About 80% of this book was a motivational pep-rally, which at times slowed the movement of the book. I understand that physical lifestyle changes are mostly mental changes, but for guys like myself who have already 'Crossed the Abyss' the constant motivational pep-talk kinda got a little boring. However, I got some great tips from the book concerning physical training and the proper foods to eat. By the way, Phillips' Myoplex Bars are the best health bars that I've ever had. Other than the motivational over-tone the only other reason why I'm giving this book only 4 stars is because Phillips' bases alot of his theories on the Theory of Evolution which I reject. However, his beliefs do not affect the reality of the program. It works. I've seen several people have amazing results. Give it a shot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you read this book and have any desire to better your life by gaining control of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually and socially, you'll love this easy to follow program. It's the first time I have found a book so concise and by following it to the letter you'll be in better shape than ever. The foods ar easy to prepare and the exercises are easy to follow. In just 12 weeks I have lost 22 lbs and dropped from a size 10-12 to a 4-6. I'm 56 and if I can do it you can too. It helped me become organized and goal oriented and it has changed my life in such a positive way, I WOULD RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO GAIN CONTROL NOT ONLY OF THIER WEIGHT BUT THEIR LIFE AS A WHOLE. I THINK YOU'LL GIVE IT 5 STARS TOO. Kandi Rasmussen (Utah)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I followed the workout regimen for 12 weeks. I used BFL and Weight Watchers for my diet. After 12 weeks I had lost 58 pounds, from 302 to 244. Now at 5 months, I am down to 214. As you can see, I did not do just Body For Life, but it was a very good way to begin. Biggest lesson: always try to do a little bit better every time you work out. You will be surprised what you can accomplish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the secret to a long and healthy life, in 12 weeks you can transform your body, your mind, and your life. Bill Phillips is a GURU who had idea that were way ahead of their time, going on it's 12yrs the Body for Life plan is STILL one of the best ways to get yourself in perfect mental and physical health. It has helped change my life and if you read this book it could change yours. Most importantly, it is a fairly easy read, I read it my first time in 1 night.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This plan may not be for you, but it's just what I needed. I'm 47 years old, I was 20+ lbs over weight, tired all the time. The book lays out a plan that if followed works. Plain and simple. This plan is just the beginning of a lifelong healthy lifestyle that already has me feeling so good I'm always looking forward to tomorrow!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book can and will provide you with lot of motivation. Only problem with this book is that it's full with author's supplement company marketing plugs. It's not needed to eat meal replacement shakes, and it's better if you can eat a real self cooked meal. Plus sides are motivation, no calorie counting (easier for beginner), and simple to construct programs. If you¿re looking to lose a few pounds, and get in better shape this is a good book to start with, just cut the marketing fluff out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading most of the reviews, you'll see a few reviews that are down on the program... This program really works, if you give it your all. You don¿t have to be a hard-core gym goer, I work out at home with my husband. I have seen nothing but good results with this program. He does mention his products, (but so what, everyone is selling something) its your choice to use them or not... If you commit to the 12-week program you will see changes in your body that your eyes wont believe. You¿ll never regret it, ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book that has all of the elements needed to make drastic changes that take effect fast (12 weeks) and that last forever. Everything is well written and easy to understand. Great photos help with exercises, and it is nice to see examples of people who have succeeded. Excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is like magic. He gives you a workout and a diet plan! It's all right there! I've been doing this for almost 3 years and have lost over 100 lbs! Believe it and give it a try. I read where some people don't like this book....Don't listen to the naysayers...follow your own path.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book! I came across "Body for Life" by accident one day while reading some reviews on other fitness books. I'm happy to report that I've been on this program now for 7 weeks, and I have already lost 10 pounds and 12 inches, and an amazing amount of body fat! Neighbors stop me on the street to ask what I am doing, and I am inspiring others to follow this program just because of the results I'm getting! I of course never expected to look like those on the cover of the book in 12 weeks, but I know that if I continue doing this... and this is FOR LIFE, I will eventually come to look like those in the cover of this book! This book has literally SAVED MY LIFE, and I owe it all to Bill Phillips and his wonderful program, as well as all the support I continually get from EAS! I was really desperate to lose more weight after coming to a plateau on another weight loss program, so desperate I would do anything to lose it, and I had considered having gastric surgery. I really didn't want to take drastic measures and undergo surgery to lose weight. BFL has shown me that I can do it, and I have the will and the power within myself, and this book has shown me the way! If you're really struggling to lose weight and get fit, this book is for you, because it really does work. Those who say it doesn't work are not trying hard enough! My advice is that don't set such high expectations for yourself. Set small ones along the way. As long as you are doing this program correctly, you will get great results, and everyone is different. Some of us may need several 12 week programs to get the results we want, but keep in mind that you will get there! Don't let anything ever deter you from your ultimate goal. Remember, the key is to focus on progress, not perfection. Go for it! P.S.- I also recommend the CD's because they're really motivating and inspiring. It's nice to hear Bill's voice encouraging you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been on the program for 8 weeks. I have lost 13 pounds of weight, and about twice that in FAT. I am 54 years old and have a better body than I have had in my entire life!! This is a great program for those who need a regimen that will walk them step by step with specific plans and guidance. Good exercises, simple meal plans. Not hard to follow if you want to change your life. Do it now. You won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Say you're out of shape not motivated? Say you've tried fad diets and popular video exercise tapes and it didn't do you much good? Well, it's time you gave 'Body For Life' a try. It works. I have seen the results. A good friend tried the program and asked me to take his before and after photos. He looked like a different person. The thing that makes the program work is the fact that it is diverse-- it is part diet, part aerobic excercise, and part muscle building exercise. It's a total health program. My friend was a 42 year old bachelor when he started the routine. He lost a lot of weight, and built a lot of muscle. He looked like a 29 year old kid when he was finished-- but more than that, he gained energy and self confidence. Two months after he started the program, he met a beautiful young woman. They fell in love, got engaged, got married, and now they are expecting their first child. I believe in this program, and I am now applying it to my own life even though I am not entering the competition.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Changing Your Body and Your Life Bill Phillips believes with his heart and soul that this program will change your life. Body for LIFE describes a twelve-week rigorous program that will get you started on becoming a better you. The book starts with three real life stories of people who started the program in the worst physical shape of their life. They followed the workout schedule of 45 minutes of weights three days a week, and alternating 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week. Along with the six small meals a day, six days a week. They were allowed to eat lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fish. On the seventh day of the week, they got to rest. After the first twelve weeks they saw tremendous results in not only their bodies, but their lifestyles as well. Although the twelve-week program described is designed to help you improve physical fitness, it also improves your quality of living. Phillip’s message to all his readers is that getting in shape cannot just be a temporary thing. Yes, doing the twelve-week program is a great start but it is just that, a start. You have to continue working hard for the rest of your life. The success stories come from the people that went beyond the minimum time period described and that is what changed their lives. When you continue to work out, you not only look healthier but you feel healthier too. You start to feel like you’re on top of the world because your physical shape improves. I liked that the book included the success stories because it gave you hope that this isn’t just another one of those workout plans that work for a short period of time but eventually stops affecting your body. I liked that this plan worked for a lifetime if you stuck to it. One thing I didn’t like was that the amount of cardio time stated wasn’t as much as the American College of Sports Medicine recommends. They recommend 30 minutes a day where as Phillips recommends 20 minutes a day. I’m just not sure how you can get away with doing less cardio. Someone who is going from sitting on the couch eating chips, to wanting to be in shape would find this book intriguing. It is a plan that can help you go from “flab to fab” over a period of time. If you are already is the best shape of your life, you may not find this book as helpful. It gets people started at changing their life and then helps them continue to do so, but if you’ve already changed your life before the book then this wouldn’t do as much change in your life. It would keep you in shape, but you would not see the dramatic results that are described. Bill Phillips has written multiple books including Eating for LIFE, Body for LIFE for Women and Champions Body for LIFE. All three of these books continue talking about a lifestyle that changes your entire life. I would recommend “Body for LIFE” to people who want to change the way they are seen, and the way they see themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to help some one get started in there quest for being fit, easy to read and understand. highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mustanggirl More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. It gives you all of the information you need to begin a healthy eating and workout program. The concept covered in the book really works. The book shows you how to work smarter not harder! This is the way to get healthy and live healthy!!
Mona12 More than 1 year ago
I don't have that much weight to loose, only about 5 to 10 Lbs depending on how I want to look. Even before I was pregnant, I was never toned, always have little belly. Since I gave birth 17 months ago, I still have my sorta before pregnancy look but a little worst since my belly accumulate more fat. I was pretty desperate to find a way to get rid of this once and for all without having to hire a personal trainer. A month or two ago I went to Hawaii and ran into someone who has an amazing body, ones like those celebrity. I had to ask her how she got that. She told me The body for life. I went on my iphone and google it right away. I've read so many other books, did so many research and tried all but somehow they are all too hard to stick with. This one somehow make lots of sense and believe it or not, it's not that hard to stick with especially eating which was my problem. The plan helps me stay full and hydrate all day. The workout eventhough they want you to do almost everyday, but it's not confused and doesn't take too much time. I bought this book for my family also and we are doing body for life at the same time. So far so good!!!
PacoFB More than 1 year ago
This guideline for a lifestyle is quite good. It soley depends on what you are trying to accomplish with a health and body training. The recommendations are presented so that all can understand and follow without difficulty. aI do recommend that you consult with a personal trainer while implementing your activities program as well as any changes that you may make regarding eating habits.
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