Burn the Fat 2011 Summer Body Transformation Challenge ("The Big Burn"): Men's Top 3
The Burn The Fat 98-Day summer body transformation challenge has come to an end and the judges have made their decisions... we have our top 3 male finalists and our overall winner!
We can't say it enough times: Every person who finished this challenge deserves to be called a winner. To make it through the intense training, to eat clean, report weekly progress and post before and after results for 14 weeks straight - in the middle of the summer when most people are lazin' and relaxin' on vacation - is an epic achievement.
But only three men can stand on the awards podium to claim the top 3 spots and only one man can be crowned the overall Burn the Fat challenge champion.
How were these incredibly difficult decisions made?
The Burn the Fat challenge is different than a bodybuilding competition. When you compete onstage for bodybuilding or physique, the one man with the absolute best body on stage the one day of the contest wins. It doesn't matter how you looked before relative to how you look on the day of the contest.
In our body transformation challenge contest, the winner was chosen based on personal improvement in photos and body composition numbers between day 1 and day 98. In this regard, everyone had an equal chance to win because everyone has the ability to improve, relative to his starting point.
A LOT of weight was lost during this challenge. However, the Burn The Fat Challenge was not a weight loss contest. The person with the most weight loss could win this contest, but achieving the largest weight loss is no guarantee of winning.
The personal improvement we were looking for was the change in body composition - that means, BODY FAT burned (or even muscle gained) - and it had to show in the photos.
In addition to the visual improvement and change in body composition numbers, essays counted for one-third of the score. Because the decisions were so close this year, the essays were instrumental in helping us with tie-breakers.
We were looking for essays that inspired, motivated and stirred up emotions, filled with lessons learned and interesting success strategies, which also reflected the spirit of the challenge and the spirit of Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle.
Based on our criteria, we believe we have chosen worthy champions that embody everything this challenge stands for.
So without further ado, here are the top 3 male finalists, including our overall winner...
Second runner-up (3rd place): Jerrod Looney
Jerrod Looney's before and after photos show a body transformation so dramatic, it's almost like some kind of optical illusion that confuses your brain and forces you to keep staring at it until you figure out what the heck you're really looking at!
In his before photos, Jerrod doesn't look like he works out at all, and possibly had never worked out before (forgive us Big J, for saying it!). He just looked like a regular Joe (Jerrod) with a bulging belly. There was no hint that there might be a muscular structure simply hiding underneath a layer of fat. We see guys like that all the time - "endo-mesomorphs" - you can tell they've trained before, it's usually just that life got in the way and fat accumulated on top. Not an all-bad place to start. With a foundation already built, we often predict big things from the endo-meso's when they resume the bodybuilding lifestyle.
Jerrod's before picture gave us no such clues. He simply exploded with muscle, surprising everyone (pleasantly) and getting noticed immediately by the judges at the half way mark. Even by day 49, he looked so jacked in his pictures, it looked like he was ready for a match with John Cena on Monday Night Raw - a huge muscular freak! (By the way, "freak" or "genetic freak" is a compliment in the muscle building world... in case ya didn't know).
Where did such a surprising transformation come from? It was only after reading Jerrod's essay that we started to figure it out: He was a "stealth mesomorph!" When he was younger, he was a star athlete: a champion sprinter, all-league running back and starting guard. After an injury and then a decade of beer, cigarettes and watching TV, even the well-oiled machine of an athlete's body can get rusty.
On top of the body composition going downhill, when everything started to hurt, he finally realized he had to do something or he'd be in real trouble in another 10 years, and wouldn't even be able to do normal father-son stuff. So he accepted the invite to the Burn the Fat Challenge and the results are now in the record books.
Did he really gain 30 pounds of lean mass and drop 41 pound of fat in 14 weeks? It doesn't surprise us that some people were asking if those types of numbers are even possible. So let's get it out there not just for Jerrod, but for the sake of all our challengers who posted extraordinary numbers: we always keep in mind the possibility of body composition testing error.
A plastic "accu"-measure skinfold caliper is only so accurate, so we have no way to confirm the accuracy of any contestant's body fat measurement. Even a moderate error with an el-cheapo caliper and it can skew LBM numbers by a large margin. And most BFFMers are well aware that body fat impedance scales can be pretty wonky. That's why we have the "congruency clause" in our judging which simply means we take self-reported body fat and LBM with a grain of salt - from every contestant. We trust that everyone took the most accurate measurement they could but if a testing error is made, or if the body composition testing method is plus or minus several percent in accuracy at best, it doesn't matter due to the proactive clause in our judging.
But whether he made a record breaking body-recomposition or body fat self-testing is simply an imperfect science, and even if Jerrod has a strength athlete's mesomorph genes and the benefit of muscle memory, it doesn't diminish these results. Any way you judge it - even by photos and essay alone - he's a champ. One thing we can say for SURE is that we were amazed with Jerrod's visual transformation, and without a doubt, he lost a TON OF body fat and gained a TON of muscle - the pictures say it all and they show the progress from every angle. Furthermore, our judges loved his thoughtful and inspiring essay.
We noticed Jerrod was benching 325 for 2, squatting 415 for 5 and cranking out 17 pullups at over 200 lbs bodyweight. Um, yeah there's some genetic talent there, but genetics alone never gets you there. Combine that however, with a great attitude, extraordinary effort and discipline, and that's when you see extraordinary transformations like Jerrod's. Congratulations Jerrod, you earned it and we are impressed!
First runner-up (2nd place): Josh Carter
Josh Carter, a businessman and father of six, has always been fitness conscious. In fact, he says he has a passion for fitness. When you look at his before pictures, you may not see any abs (yet), but he doesn't look out of shape. You can see some arm and shoulder muscles and the pecs are there too. He looks like a regular guy who does some casual working out.
In the after picture, he has utterly TRANSFORMED! The pecs are now chiseled, the shoulders broader, the arms are cut and vascular and yes - that's a full 6 pack of abs... count the rows on that washboard and you might have to call it an 8 pack!
The kind of results Josh posted weren't the kind where you have to stare and squint at the photos to notice and appreciate the small changes between before and after. Our judges DO have trained eyes for that. But no, these are the kind of results that jump out, grab you by the collar and smack you in the face! You can't not notice them!
After 98 days of focused training and good nutrition, Josh looks like a professional fitness model. If you think I'm just saying that to be nice or consolatory (since this is the 2nd place award), think again. I showed Josh's photos to the editor at Men's Fitness Magazine. He said Josh looks great! See! Even the head honcho at one of the world's largest fitness magazine agrees (who knows Josh, maybe they'll call you!)
Heck, even his face looks different. He looks like such a changed man that you'd be forgiven if you were a doubter who thought it wasn't the same guy. The chin and round cheeks are gone, replaced with that chiseled-jaw GQ look.
We see all kinds of guys enter this contest and achieve different levels of results: From already lean to ripped, from average to lean, from overweight to average or from obese to just a little overweight. It looks to us like Josh skipped a category and leapfrogged from average all the way to ripped! That's like a double body transformation!
By the numbers, Josh posted an incredible body re-composition:
Weight: 160 before, 157.2 after (-2.8 lbs)
Body fat: 13.8% before, 5.0% after (-8.8% as per 3 point caliper reading)
Lean body mass: 138 before, 149.4 after (+11.4 lbs)
That is one AWESOME shift from fat to muscle - a "Holy Grail" of a body transformation if we've ever seen one. The next time you get overly concerned with scale weight, mull over the fact that Josh's body weight only changed 2.8 pounds during the 98 day challenge. If that doesn't make the idea of BODY COMPOSITION change click for you, nothing will.
Be sure to read Josh's winning essay - there are some good success strategies in there and some great tips for other guys who are dads and family men. Speaking of which, Josh is one half of one heck of a fit couple. His wife Paulette WON the best 49 day body transformation photos award and placed high in the women's top 10 competition (we aren't revealing score-cards, but let's just say she gave the top 3 a run for their money).
And the moment of truth you've all been waiting for...
The Overall Winner (1st place) is... Scott Holmes!
If there's any disadvantage for regular people hanging out in the Burn the Fat Inner Circle or participating in the Burn the Fat challenge contests it's this: Our champions like Scott Holmes - the overall men's winner - are taking away all your excuses.
Too old to lose fat or gain muscle? Excuse busted.
The Men's Overall winner of the 2011 Burn the Fat summer challenge just turned 50 years young. What a way to celebrate your 50th birthday!
What was absolutely STRIKING about Scott's before and after photos was not just the large loss in belly fat and overall body fat percentage, or even the measured increase in lean body mass (increase from 166 lbs lean to 175.3 lbs lean) it was the visual impact of the muscle gain. Scott didn't just get leaner, uncovering muscle below, he built up big round muscle bellies that you usually only see on seasoned bodybuilders - younger ones at that.
Joint pain? Surgery? Excuse busted.
Scott entered this contest coming right off of shoulder surgery. He chose to see it as an advantage rather than a liability. He said it was actually a motivator AND an injury recovery tool, since intelligent training would actually speed up the rehabilitation process. Wow! Now THAT is what you call positive mental attitude!
"I, like others, have had many physical adversities going into the 2011 summer challenge," said Scott, "But all paled in comparison to my own mind and will power."
Scott's essay stands as a testament to the power of self confidence. He is not self confident today because he found out he was the winner. He is the winner because he was self confident. He saw himself as a winner right from the very start so he acted like a winner. By acting like a winner, and thinking like a winner, he became a winner. In the end, he expressed it not as arrogance, but as the dignified assurance of a champion.
Scott gives great credit to his support system for helping him succeed. He thanks his wife of 27 years for all her support and names many of his Inner Circle friends as instrumental in his success. He insisted repeatedly that "The 5th element" (social support) was the key, not just mental attitude, nutrition, cardio or weight training (the other 4 key elements in body transformation). He even insisted that anyone who hasn't read "The 5th Element" needs to do so (Good advice Scott! We recommend reading that too!)
The over 40 crowd has always kicked butt in all the Burn the Fat Challenges since the first one four seasons ago. Last year's overall winner was in his 40's and we saw many great success stories in the 50-60 group as well. This year we're seeing the 50+ crowd kick it with finishers all the way up to age 70+!
The paradigm of what aging means in terms of physical / bodily consequences is shifting in what could be a society and economy-changing way and our Burn the Fat champions and finishers here are right at the forefront of this movement with our 50-year young overall champ.
Thanks to the pioneers in each generation who laugh at society's pessimistic and small ideas of what normal aging means, and push back so called age limitations further and further - men like Scott Holmes - MORE MEN will follow in their path. Before you know it, men and women in their 60's and beyond will be doing it too.
Hey Scott, you know what that is, pictured below? It's your beach! Enjoy showing off your new body in Maui - you've earned it champ! Congratulations! But try not to flex too close to the 20-something year old guys... you might embarrass them.
CONGRATULATIONS Jerrod, Josh and Scott! YOU? The Next Body Transformation
Stay tuned burners, there is more contest coverage on the way. We will be back with more, including profiles of the entire field of top 10 finalists...
If you're a current Inner Circle member, please go visit Jerrod, Josh and Scott's journal threads, wish them a warm congratulations and tell them what you think!
To visit Jerrod's journal, CLICK HERE
To visit Josh's journal, CLICK HERE
To Visit Scott's journal CLICK HERE
Yes - YOU could be the next Burn the Fat Challenge Champion. If you follow the same success strategies that our Burn the fat champions did....
Each of our champions had their own unique approach, but there are 5 success strategies they ALL had in common, and we can give you 4 of them!
1. Proven Program. All of our champions used Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle - most importantly, they were using strategies for improving body composition - that means fat loss, not just weight loss.
2. Positive Association/ Support. All of our champions participated in a support forum using the power of association with like minded people
3. Accountability System. All of our champions used an accountability system - "keeping score" by tracking results weekly, and posting the results for others to see
4. Rewards/External Motivation. All of our champions achieved their transformation during one of our official Burn the Fat body transformation challenge competitions and the prizes/rewards were pretty "juicy."
And What's Number 5?
5. Hard Work. All of our champions worked their butts off. No "magic pills" here. As Thomas Edison once said, "There is no substitute for hard work." None.
If you will provide the hard work, we'll provide the rest. If you're not a current member of the Inner Circle family yet, we invite you to become a part of our growing community.
Get the support, motivation and accountability you need to
make YOUR body transformation a reality!
Click on the links below to learn more about Inner Circle membership... and we look forward to meeting you on the members-only forums... and seeing you at the next Burn The Fat Challenge!
Not a full member yet? CLICK HERE to learn more about the Inner Circle
CLICK HERE to browse around the member's area home page portal
CLICK HERE to join the inner circle today
CLICK HERE for BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE - The official program of the Burn The Fat Challenge
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