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Body for Life Exposed
by Justin Leonard
Written on March 9, 2002

Question: What do you think of the Body for Life program by Bill Phillips?

Answer: Body for Life has several good points and is an excellent way to begin your training endeavors if you're just starting out. The following article will highlight information that you may not know about Body for Life.

Background Info

The Body for Life Challenge is a 12-week program/contest in which participants are required to document their progress in writing (workout logs, essays, etc.) and with photos.

The author, Bill Phillips, is also the founder of the supplement company Experimental & Applied Sciences, Inc. (EAS) and the newsstand bodybuilding magazine, Muscle Media (formerly Muscle Media 2000).

"Drug-free" Participation

While on the Body for Life Challenge, contestants must stay drug-free and only use EAS supplements. The finalist must undergo drug testing via polygraph and urinalysis.

The problem is that the urine tests are given months, or maybe up to a year after the contest is over. This makes it very easy for someone to use almost any illegal substance they want without getting caught.

Additionally, the contestants can use androstene, which usually comes up positive [as a steroid] in a drug test. How can they really tell if someone is using a banned substance or not? Only a blood test can decipher between andro and an anabolic steroid.

Body for Life Supplements

Bill Phillips has many convinced that EAS supplements are the only way to go. He even has a passage in his book, and I paraphrase, studies show that most people need supplements. What study was this? Maybe a multivitamin here and there, but I don't think they mean protein powders, creatine, andro, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Speaking of CLA (olive oil in a bottle)... Phillips pushes this virtually ineffective supplement as a purported fat burner. It has been shown to benefit only extremely lean athletes such as marathon runners and swimmers. Most people WILL NOT benefit from CLA supplementation.

Supplements can help, but aren't necessarily needed. You can still live 100 years or more without them. I will point out that some products made by EAS can be extremely helpful as an addition to your diet.

Bill Phillips: Marketing genius?

As previously stated, EAS and Muscle Media were in existence prior to Body for Life being published. To promote Body for Life, Phillips ran what was known as a Body of Work promotional. This cleverly planned marketing strategy involved giving away a free video tape, audio tape, supplement manual, and workout brochure for free, in exchange for a charitable donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

By getting charity involved and donating money, you get free publicity, increased product sales as a result of the additional publicity, and if you own a company, a corporate tax write-off from the donations.

Is Body for Life really a number one seller?

I said it once and I'll say it again... Body for Life works! But don't be fooled. The term "number one" means absolutely nothing. Only so many copies of a book need to be sold before it's considered a number one seller.

This may or may not apply to Body for Life , but the larger of companies have enough money to buy over a half million or more copies of their own book to make it a number one seller. (Read the last sentence again!)

So when you walk into Borders Books or Barnes and Noble and see the best sellers' shelf, you're basically looking at a big advertisement billboard.

Not that all authors or companies buy their own book to get listed on the best sellers' list, but I believe many do.


Body for Life, which by the way comes complete with EAS supplement coupons when you buy the book, is a great way to begin a fitness program. The nutritional advice is ideal and is not too demanding. The workouts are well detailed and don't take long to complete. Longevity is promoted in Body for Life, which most fad diets seem to lack.

Most who try the program will see results. For many, the results are attributed directly to an initial increase in physical activity as well as improved nutrition habits. But it's important to note that very few will notice results as dramatic as in the Body for Life advertisements.

Lastly, don't be fooled into thinking that EAS supplements are the best quality or the only option when you're on the program. Very few supplements in general are effective... And most importantly... don't buy into the marketing hype.

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