I was deep into the #VaghelaGrind during the preparation for my September 2019 photoshoot when I realised it was time. Time to start writing my first book.
2020 marks ten years as a coach, and ten years since I first had the idea of writing a book one day. To see it come to fruition is a special moment, and one I whole-heartedly know wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support team I have around me. This book, Transform Your Body Transform Your Life, is not only my creation.
The list of people to thank deserves an article in itself, which I’ve saved for the Acknowledgements section of the book. In brief, I’d like to thank my publishing team at Rethink Press, all the test readers, my team, our clients and my family. Your support, guidance and feedback along the way has been invaluable.
Writing my first book has been one hell of a ride, and it draws close parallels to an abbreviated version of the RNT Transformation Journey itself.
In this two-part series, I want to dive into why and how I wrote this book, which I’ve also recorded as a combined podcast you can listen to here:
My Personal Why
Ever since I first discovered the joy and flow of writing, I’ve wanted to write a book. I remember telling my parents almost ten years ago that by the time I’m thirty, I’ll have a book in my hands. Mission accomplished.
I’ve started a few books over the years. One about four years ago all about cooking, and another in the early days of RNT. Neither of them gripped me though. It felt forced with no uncontrollable need to put the work out in the world.
This book was different. I remember the moment distinctly. I was half way through a brutal cardio session with only a matter of weeks before a photoshoot. This was an unplugged session, and ideas were flowing like crazy. I was thinking about the next challenge after the shoot was over. The only answer that kept coming to me was, ‘write the book’. What book? I had no idea at that point. All I kept hearing was ‘write the book’.
A few days later, on the 4th August, I started my journal entry with:
“All I can think about right now is writing this book.”
So I set my challenge for the final quarter to write the first draft of the book. I was well into my goal of #12in12 countries to visit in 2019, and thought it was a good idea to tie writing the book with another trip. I had my sights set on some obscure location in Vietnam to lock myself away and write. But then the shoot happened, I’d travelled around the US for 2 weeks, and the appeal of travelling beyond 10 trips in the years fizzled out. I just wanted to write.
The topic for the book felt natural. Earlier in 2019 we’d formalised the five phases of the RNT Transformation Journey to a level we’d not done before. With so much to discuss, discover and dive into for each phase, writing the blueprint of the predictable journey any transformation goes through, all in one place, was exciting. The more I thought about it, the more I realised just how important this was. It quickly changed from a nice milestone to achieve, to a book I must write. A book our genre needs.
Transform Your Body Transform Your Life was written to mark the start of a paradigm shift.
Why Our Industry Needs This Book
The biggest problem we face in the health and fitness industry is the quick fix, short-term mentality geared towards only being in the shape of your life. That’s why you see so many 4 week blitzes, 8 week shape ups, and 12 week plans coming out every single day.
While these plans can produce great results in the short term, what about the long term? What are you supposed to do once you get into shape? How can you translate a short- term change into a long-term transformation?
That’s where this new book comes in. It’s been written to teach you how to not only get into the shape of your life, but learn how to stay there and continue to improve long term.
The why behind my why goes deeper, and links closely to my experiences in bodybuilding and as a personal trainer. In fact, when I reflect on my first ten years in this industry, it’s a tale of two parts.
When I started coaching others in 2010, all I ever cared about was helping people get into the best shape possible. That all changed in 2014 after competing in my first bodybuilding show. I felt the highs of being in the shape of your life, and the lows of rebounding, yo-yoing and ruining all of your hard work in a short space of time.
My experience in 2014 stung hard, and it triggered deep reflection and introspection as to why it happened. I realised that all I’d ever cared about was the process of getting into shape. Both in myself and my clients. I never once thought about what came next, or how to translate the short-term change into a long-term transformation.
This was a lightbulb moment in my career. In the time I got myself back on track, I started paying attention to the differences between those who get into shape, and those who stay in shape.
I learnt it was never about the diet plan, training programme or supplement protocol. In the first five years of my career, that’s all I cared about. It worked for a short-term change, but I learned that for long-term transformation, it needed to go deeper.
I discovered that being lean and healthy for life meant a fundamental internal rewiring. You can’t only change what you put in your mouth, or how you train. You need to shift your entire identity, behaviour and mindset. You need to live by rules. It becomes more than just the physical. You need to think and act differently.
This was the birth of what we now know as the five phases of the RNT Transformation Journey, which is a step-by-step approach to enable you to get into the shape of your life, for life.
My 2014 moment was the trigger to change my approach, thought process and coaching methods. It sparked the formulation of the five phases, and in the past three years since starting RNT, they’ve gone from being ‘loose’ phases, to a crystallised, failproof methodology. If you follow it step by step, it’s impossible to go wrong. That’s why as soon as the seed to write a book was planted, there was only ever one topic to write about. The five phases. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I made for years, both in myself and my clients.
Why The Book Is Part Of Our Mission
Our mission in the world is to help regular, busy people use the physical as the vehicle to transform their lives. This book is part of that mission. For anyone who goes through the five phases, the benefits experienced always transcend the physical.
By mastering your body and rewiring your behaviour, identity and mindset, your life will transform. You’ll be more confident, focused and in control. You’ll feel, look and perform at your best. You’ll no longer have to worry about endless dieting, rebounding or yo-yoing. You’ll begin to push yourself to do more in all areas of life; with your relationships, your career, and all aspects of your health.
The benefits of this journey are more than just the physical. The physical is the vehicle. And this book is written to act as the perfect guide along the journey. It’ll question your actions, thought processes, and unlock a whole new level of self-awareness. The book will help you take a step closer to self-mastery.
Finding The Intersection
When my three why’s clicked together, this book became way more than only about me. I write to satisfy my creative appetite, but also to serve as a vehicle to transform others.
Finding this sweet spot has never been easier than when writing this book. I’ve been able to stay in my flow for extended periods of time while knowing it’s serving a bigger purpose.
It’s going to help our clients understand and derive even more benefit from the journey. It’s going to share with the genre we work within that there is a paradigm shift happening: getting into shape is not enough. It’s going to serve as part of our mission, and be the guide for people to master their mind and body to be in the shape of their life, for life.
The intersection has been found. It’s now time to create impact.
In part two, I’m going to discuss the journey of writing Transform Your Body Transform Your Life. What a journey it’s been!
Akash Vaghela has spent 10+ years transforming bodies and lives around the world, and in May 2017, founded RNT Fitness to serve this purpose. His vision is to see a world transformed, where ambitious high performers experience the power of the physical as the vehicle to unlock their real potential. He’s the author of the Amazon best-sellilng book Transform Your Body Transform Your Life, which explains his unique and proven five-phase methodology, is host of the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, has been featured in the likes of Men’s Health and BBC, whilst regularly speaking across the world on all things transformation.