Five Pillars of Body Transformation Success

Five Pillars of Body Transformation Success

When we look through all the transformations we’ve helped clients achieve over the years, we’ve noticed that every single one was rooted by five key principles that guaranteed success:

  1. Planning and Preparation
  2. Accountability
  3. Positive Social Support
  4. A Meaningful Incentive
  5. The Big Deadline

In Craig Ballantyne’s book, ‘The Perfect Day Formula’, he calls these the five ‘pillars’ of success that apply to any endeavour you wish to improve in, whether that be in your business, relationships or in this case, your physique.

If you’re not achieving your physique goals, you’re likely missing one of the five pillars.

It’s great to set goals like ‘I want to get lean’ or ‘I want to be in the shape of my life’ or even ‘I want to get bigger’ – remember, this applies to muscle building just as much as fat loss.

The problem with these goals is they’re too vague, and not actionable enough.

If you start this month with the goal of getting lean, chances are you’ll fail by week 3.


The pillars aren’t set in place.

To transform your body, we need to set a clear goal, and then reverse engineer all the parts required to achieve it.

So let’s break these pillars down and lay out the blueprint to body transformation success.

  1. Planning and Preparation

Ben Franklin once said, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’.

The power of planning and preparation can’t be overstated.

To get into shape, you can’t wing it.

You need to plan and prepare everything beforehand.

Let’s start with your diet.

You need to know what you’re going to eat, how much, and when you’re going to eat everyday of the plan.

This is where most people trip up.

Especially if you’re busy and in a stressful job.

One of the reasons our client Shyam got out of shape in the first place was because he wasn’t prepping his meals, he was eating on the go and out of restaurants daily with no thought of his calorie intake.

Which is why his first step to transforming his body was to start batch cooking his meals ahead of time so he was always prepared and in control.

15 weeks of excellent planning and preparation later, and he looked like this:


How you batch cook is up to you. It can be for 1 day, 3 days, or for the whole week, like this epic meal prep by husband and wife, Anand and Gita:


Training is no different.

How many times have you walked into the gym with no plan?

One of the biggest reasons people don’t make progress is because they don’t plan their workouts ahead of time.

They’ll ‘mix it up’ or ‘go by feel’.

This might be fine if you’re an elite bodybuilder.

But if you’re an average person with normal genetics, you’ll end up spinning your wheels and looking the same.

You need to have a plan each time you walk in the gym. You need to know what you’re going to do and what numbers you’re aiming to beat.

Every time we’ve come away from this in our own training and tried to freestyle, we’ve both made zero progress.

Nothing beats the structure, planning and accountability of having a logbook.

One of the reasons our clients get so strong in a short period of time when they start working with us is because their body now has a structure to follow and grow upon.

The key takeaway here is that to achieve maximum results in minimum time, you need to plan and prepare for everything: training, diet, cardio, supplements and your sleep.

  1. Professional Accountability

If you want to stay on track with achieving your goals, you need to look to someone to hold you accountable for your actions and bring out the best in you.

Accountability can come in many forms, but by far the best is to hire a professional that fulfils the following criteria:

  • They have a proven track record in people with similar goals to you
  • They’ve achieved what you’re after in themselves, i.e. they practice what they preach

If you look at anyone successful, at some point they’ve had a coach, mentor or someone they’ve paid to learn off, improve, and hold themselves accountable to. Examples include Leonardio Di Caprio, Serena Williams, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, to name but a few.

A good coach will teach you not only what to do, but more importantly, holds you accountable to doing it.

This is why so many people accelerate their results just by the act of hiring someone. Even if they’re already highly knowledgeable on the specific topic themselves.

For example, for the last 6-7 years, both of us have used an online personal trainer – whether it be for one off consults or programs, or for extended periods of monthly coaching.

While we could write our own training and diet programs, the objective eye of having a coach means we give our body what it needs without any personal bias creeping in.

During Akash’s recent 20-week transformation, checking in with a coach on a weekly basis allowed him to gain professional feedback on his progress, as well as clear guidance on how to improve his choices, habits and results.

This is where the power of high level coaching comes into play. The value doesn’t necessarily lie in the diet and training programs you initially receive.

The real value comes in the professional accountability, and the access to an experienced eye that knows when and how to tweak the plan to guide you towards your goals.

  1. Positive Social Support

You may have heard the saying, ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with’.

A common trait I see in clients who are most successful in transforming their bodies is they surround themselves with the right people.

Their family, friends and colleagues are all in alignment with their goals, and provide positive support in helping them succeed.

Take Kedar for example. His goal is to build muscle and lose body fat on a vegetarian diet.

For many, this would be a difficult task, and one that would require a lot of planning and preparation.

So how does Kedar succeed?

He enrols his wife and best friends into the program too!

By taking lead and encouraging positive social support around him, he’s in the perfect position to work towards is goals.


No temptations or guilt-trips.

No negative comments.

Only positive support to help keep him on track when he feels like falling off the wagon.

That’s the power of your inner circle.

And that’s why our RNT private group on Facebook works so well. We created the group so that we can bring like-minded people with the same goals together into one place.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical to body transformation success.

Make people aware of your goals and tell them why it’s important to you.

You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this makes – you’ll face less social pressure and temptation, and instead gain positive support and accountability for when you’re feeling low.

  1. A Meaningful Incentive

The first question you need to ask yourself before embarking on any program is ‘why?’

Why are you doing this?

Why is it important?

Why is it really important to you?

If you want to transform your body, you need to have a big enough ‘why’ for doing what you’re doing.

What reward are you working towards that’ll take you through the tough times?

When you feel fatigued from the low calories and high training volume, but need to do your morning cardio, is your ‘why’ powerful enough to avoid hitting the snooze button?

When you’re at a work event and canapés are being passed around, is your why strong enough to say no?

How do you define your why?

It can be as simple as ‘I want to lose body fat before I go on my best friend’s hen do in Spain so I can feel confident in myself to wear sexy dresses and bikinis at the beach parties and clubs.’

Or it can be a little deeper, such as: ‘I want to build muscle, gain strength and lose body fat so I have endless energy to play with my kids in the garden again’.

What your why is doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know what it is, why it’s important to you, and that it’s powerful enough to keep your eye on the prize when the grind kicks in.

  1. The Big Deadline

Without a big deadline, we procrastinate.

Deadlines get us to take action. It signifies a light at the of the tunnel, and keeps us motivated to push harder to achieve what we want.

When we both recently competed in bodybuilding, our big deadline was the show. Everything we did was in preparation for that one day. During the really tough days, we’d think to ourselves, ’35 days to push, keep going!’

Having the deadline allowed us to stay on track and avoid all temptations.

This is exactly the same for all our most successful clients.

Saying ‘I want to lose some body fat’ means nothing. All you’ll do is put it off and drag it out.

Paying for a photo shoot in 16 weeks on the other hand – now we’re talking!

There’s nothing more unforgiving than being half naked in front of a camera. If you’re not ready, you’ll be exposed and embarrassed.

This worked great for our client Lee, who started last year with a big goal of getting as lean as he possibly could.

That alone wouldn’t be enough, so we decided on booking a photo shoot.

The reason a big deadline like a photo shoot works so well is it ties all of the other four pillars together.

You now must plan and prepare all your food for the day, or you won’t stay in the calorie deficit required to lose the necessary body fat to be ‘shoot lean’.

You’re now accountable to the camera. Whether or not you hire a coach, if you’re being photographed, that’ll keep you in check. Hiring a professional though can help provide an objective eye to make sure you’re on track with your timeframe, and guide you on how to look your best for your deadline.

You’ll need positive people around you to push and support you through the grind of a hard diet.

Beyond your initial ‘why’, you now have a powerful incentive of working hard to look great in front of the camera.

Lee applied all these pillars, worked the process and made this transformation for his photo shoot!


It doesn’t have to be a photo shoot. It could be a birthday, a wedding, a holiday or any significant date or event.

The key is setting a big enough deadline with meaningful consequences.

For example, if you don’t lose X amount of body fat by your wedding, you won’t fit into your dress.

That’s HUGE. And why women preparing for their weddings are often the most hard working, driven clients.

Tying it all together…

A successful body transformation goes much deeper than training plans, diet sheets, supplement stacks and cardio protocols.

They’re usually the easy bits.

What’s really important is how you set the five pillars in your life up.

And what we’ve found is that if we’re missing even one pillar, it can throw a curveball on the whole process.

Having all five in place is a guarantee for success. If you’re not achieving your body transformation goals, it’s time to evaluate whether you’re doing implementing the following:

  1. Planning and preparation on a daily basis
  2. Hiring a professional for accountability
  3. Surrounding yourself with positive social support
  4. Having a powerful ‘why’
  5. Creating a big deadline

At RNT, focusing on the five pillars has allowed us to produce consistent transformations, like you can see here.

If you’re ready to take the first step and knock down one of the pillars, get in touch with us and we’ll help tie the rest together and finally give you the body you’ve been after.

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Akash Vaghela

Akash Vaghela is the Founder of RNT Fitness, where his mission is to see a world where everyone experiences the power of a physical body transformation to act as a vehicle for the greater good in their lives. Akash has produced 200+ blogs, 100+ videos and hosts the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, which has amassed over 110,000 downloads in 90+ countries across 100+ episodes. Alongside this, he's been seen in Men's Health, BBC, T-Nation, Elite FTS and the PTDC, while also regularly speaking nationally and internationally on all things transformation.