In our previous article we explained how to create your own personal Body Transformation Challenge as a great way to create structure and motivation toward achieving a personal health and fitness goal.
In this article, we take things further and explain how to run a body transformation competition with a group of people. This approach not only adds a healthy dose of competition but also gives you a support network of others going through the same process as you, with the same objectives in mind. There’s so much more to learn by training in a group and seeing how other people respond and adapt to their own methods and choices.
Finally, if you need a little more convincing on why transformation competitions work so well, studies have shown (1) that sharing your goals is a strong motivator for success due to people’s reluctance not to fail in front of others. Oh, and they can be fun to do!
What is a Body Transformation Competition?
This is where two or more people join together for a set period of time to train towards a common goal, usually involving fat loss or muscle building. Each person documents their starting body stats (for example, body weight, height, body fat % and any progress pictures etc) and tracks their progress throughout the comp. At the end of the process, competitors compare statistics to their starting position and each other, and a winner is declared based on the most successful transformation.
When setting up a transformation contest, the first place to start is to decide what kind of competition you’re going to run.
Selecting a Transformation Challenge Type
You can, of course, have an open challenge, where a group of people declare their goals (which may be different, e.g. weight loss vs muscle building) and collectively track progress as a means of support and group learning. However, the most effective groups are those that are training towards the same goal and supporting one another during the transformation.
If you’re running a competitive challenge it’s going to be important that you create a competition based on a group working toward the same goal and if possible, split by gender. Here are the most popular challenge types we’d suggest;
|Transformation Competition Type
|Fat Loss Competition
A group for anyone that has a significant amount of fat that they’d like to lose.
A group for people who don’t have as much fat to lose but would like to reduce down to lower body fat percentage ranges, or go through a body recomposition (also known as a "recomp" - to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time).
|A group of people who have the goal to build muscle and put on mass.
Decide on Competition Timings
Now you need to decide on the timings of your competition and how long it will run for. We’ve included a sample table below with some of the dates to think about. You must make sure that the duration is long enough to see real changes in the body and we wouldn’t recommend anything less than 30 days.
January 1st 2018
March 31st 2018
|March 14th 2018 15:00 UTC
Other Things to Think About
- How will you sign people up to the challenge? We would recommend having a competition administrator who owns a simple spreadsheet to record player details and body statistics (we’ve included a sample table in the next section). Players can send their stats and progress photos at various checkpoints during the challenge.
- Where will people record their progress and body results? It’s essential to keep the progress tracking quick and simple. Our own body tracking app (called Fitstream dont you know) is a great way to track progress and is available on iOS and Android.
- How will you communicate with the group during the challenge? Consider setting up an email list to send out regular updates to the group and keep them informed of key dates and milestones.
- How will you decide on the winner? Competition winners can be decided by group vote from people in the challenge or via an independent panel.
- Will there be any prizes? As if being stronger and sexier at the end of the process wasn’t prize enough! You can consider having a tangible prize can help keep the competition competitive. We’ve seen groups asking for an “entry fee” which is then pooled and awarded to the winners.
Invite People to the Challenge
It’s now time to recruit your competitors! Put your challenge out there and see who wants to join you on your transformation mission.
You might be running an office challenge, or friends and family group or even with a bunch of strangers online. It really doesn’t matter, but the more people you have, the bigger your support network and potential to learn from others.
Whoever you’re approaching, build up your recruitment list and sign-up those names and email addresses before the competition start date. We’ve included a sample table of data below that you may want to collect from your competitors;
|Name / ID
It's match day so let's get things underway. A good place to start is by sharing the competition rules with the group -
Competition Rules and Etiquette
- Keep it civil! This is intended as a positive competition to inspire healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes. No trash talk or bullying allowed.
- Help and encourage your fellow competitors.
- Abide by the deadlines set by the Competition Admin, if you’re late, it doesn’t count.
Everyone must submit their initial stats like the following within 24 hours of the competition starting -
Progress Pictures: Attach 3 or 4 progress pictures (front, back and side shot of the whole body) whilst holding a note with the date and your competition name written on. See progress picture guidelines below.
Progress Pictures Guidelines
We’ve written an article on how to take the best progress pictures to track your progress, but here’s a quick overview on transformation competition photos.
- Take photos in an unflexed and relaxed state with arms by your side (no posing allowed!)
- Ensure the whole body is in shot
- Take clear photos in good lighting with no Photoshop trickery! (although basic editing such as cropping, resizing or applying changes to hide your identity are fine).
- Wear underwear or a bathing suit and avoid baggy clothes
If you’re using a journaling system like Fitstream to track progress it’s useful if the group checks in and adds public progress posts for the group to see. Useful posts include;
- Regular measurements
- Progress pictures
- Photos of meals or posting recipes
- Workout journals
- Personal bests and record achievements
- Research and findings
- Book and article recommendations
Public journals help to keep momentum during the competition and benefit the group with knowledge sharing. The following articles should help inspire your journaling -
Transforming your body is not easy. It requires dedication, focus and a strong will to bring about real change. It can be useful to give the following transformation pointers to your competitors to help them get started -
- Consistency is the key to success, focus on building healthy habits and routines to ensure consistent training and eating in line with your goals.
- Dedication is essential. Change isn’t easy and you will experience discomfort as your body craves the food and training levels it was previously used to. It will pass, but in the mean time you need to suck it up!
- Track progress regularly. Weigh yourself, take body measurements and progress pictures, record food intake. This keeps you focused on your goal and helps you to understand how your body is changing over time.
- Read, research and learn. Search for transformation stories that will mimic your own and read articles, listen to podcasts and watch videos or other content that will help to support your goals.
- Pick a tried-and-tested program and stick with it.
Our beginner’s guide to fitness is be a useful read if you're just starting out.
Body transformation contents are highly motivational methods of changing your lifestyle. They offer the opportunity to connect with people looking to make similar changes to their physique, be it weight loss or muscle building, and learn from each other's mistakes and successes.
The competitions don’t take much to setup but the results can be astounding, so we highly recommend them. If you need any advice or have any other questions about running these comps feel free to email us or connect on Facebook.
- M. Deutsch and H. B. Gerard (1955). ‘A Study of Normative and Information Social Influences Upon Individual Judgement’. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, pages 629-36.