The Five Phases of the RNT Transformation Journey

The Five Phases of the RNT Transformation Journey

Before starting this journey, a switch will have flipped for you at some point. A trigger. A reason to spark a change. It can happen in a split second, or it can build up over months and years. But it’s important to recognise there will always be a reason you’re embarking on this journey. Your ‘why’.

It could one of a number of reasons, which aren’t limited to:

– Improving your self confidence

– Battling old insecurities, anxiety and/or depression

– Offsetting future health issues

– Creating generational health

– Recovering from a bad break up

– Feel, look and perform at your best

The ‘why’ could be anything. What’s important to note is that it’s rarely only a physical reason. Especially when you take it to the next level and explore your ‘why behind your why’. That’s when it becomes interesting, and you start to see how the physical is only the vehicle to a total and all-encompassing transformation. You begin to discover how it’s the foundation and spring board to propel forward in all areas of your life.

In order to experience these life changing ‘vehicle’ benefits, you need to start by mastering your body, and with that comes a sequence of phases you need to go through in order to get to where you want to be and beyond.

These phases can all be uncovered in depth in our article series on the Five Phases of a Transformation Journey here:

Phase One: Cleaning the Palate

Phase Two: The Process

Phase Three: Consolidation

Phase Four: Investment

Phase Five: Reward

In this article, you’ll experience the linking of the phases in the journey, so tie up your shoe laces, put on your backpack and grab your water bottle, it’s time for an adventure!

Phase One: Cleaning Your Palate (2-3 weeks) 

You’ve taken the hardest step. The first step. The step which sends a message to your brain that you’re on a path of change, discovery and improvement. To begin, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed at the task at hand.

You need to complete X amount of steps a day (8-10,000), you need to train X amount of times a week (3-4x), you need to drink X amount of water (3-4 litres) and you need to follow X meal plan (fit for your lifestyle).

It can feel daunting, and you’re questioning whether this is the right journey for you. Doubt starts to creep in. Your mind goes into overdrive while thinking about how you’re going to fit this around your busy lifestyle. Deep down however, you know you need to climb this tricky first rock up this mountain.

In order to do so, you need to create a strategy, system and structure that works for you. It doesn’t need to be perfect. While formulating these 3 S’s, you utilise the power of limiting decision fatigue and creating non-negotiables to make it as simple and seamless as possible. Imperfect action.

The overwhelm and doubt starts to get pushed to the back of your mind. As you solidify your 3 S’s and regain control of your day, you begin to start walking up the mountain faster and with more ease while navigating around tricky rocks.

Small wins accumulate, and with that comes heightened motivation, enjoyment and confidence. You know you’re on the right path. It’s time to climb.

Phase Two: The Process (10-30+ weeks)

Everyone’s climb to the top will always be different. No journey is ever the same. What may take one person 16 weeks may take you 32 weeks. There’s no right or wrong, and as long as you focus on running your own race, you’ll be on the right path to plant the flag at the top when the time is right. The key at this stage is not to think about the top, and how impossible of a feat it may seem. Your only focus at this point should be on the process, and putting one foot in front of each other to take the next step forward.

It’s not going always going to be easy. It’s going to be up and down. You’re going to encounter sharp hills and small downturns. You’re going to have to climb big rocks, small rocks, sharp rocks, edgy rocks; rocks of all shapes and sizes.

During this phase you’re going to experience very distinct feelings that will vary in their lengths. The motivation from the initial results of phase one will allow you to continue pushing forward for a good stretch of time and distance. But after the novelty of the climb wears off, your motivation starts to dip. You may trip up on a rock and start wondering what this is all for. The doubts from earlier will start to creep in.

‘Will I ever get there?’

‘How long do I have?

‘Have I even changed position?’

This is completely normal. All you need to do is look up, turn around, and see how far you’ve come. Reconnect with your reason for starting this climb. And then go again. Embrace it, put your head down, and lean into the climb. Trust the process.

Once you’ve re-established your journey, you start to gather momentum. You make real headway in your climb and start to cover a lot of ground. You pick up the pace and your mind starts thinking it’s easy. You think you’re almost there, and that’s when it hits you. A sharp thorn coming out of an edgy rock. You fall over. Complacency kicks in. You take the wrong turning.

Your non-negotiables begin to slip. You start thinking you can you do it with untied laces and your backpack over one shoulder. You begin to self justify your behaviours. And it’s at this point you use your self awareness to ground you while helping you realise you’re not quite there yet. You need to reconnect with yourself before the final push.

Just like the perceived difficulty at the start of the climb, the final push at the end to the top is similar. You’re tired, running low on water and fear creeps in. Fear of failure and success simultaneously. The ultimate paradox. But a paradox you want to grind right through. And so you push. You fight through the opposing devils on your shoulders. You retie your laces, take a swig of water, put your head down, and grind.

You climb faster than ever. You find energy you never had. You’re able to dig deeper than you ever imagined. You should be beat, but the opportunity to plant your flag at the top trumps everything.

Transformation Checkpoint 

You’ve made it. Top of the mountain.

You’ve reached your first goal. You plant your flag, mark your checkpoint, and absorb the incredible panoramic views from the top.

You’re in the shape of your life. Finally.

You look great. You feel great.

You’ve conquered many of your demons. You’ve battled many of your insecurities.

What next?

How do you hold on to this sense of accomplishment? How can you feel and look even better? How do you now stay in the shape of your life, for life?

The answer lies in the critical period of the next phase, which gives you a safe passage home.

Phase Three: Consolidation Phase (4-8 weeks)

At the top of a mountain, you’ve got a few options.

You can stay at the top, and milk it for what it’s worth, before realising there’s limited oxygen at the top – i.e. the perpetual dieter.

Or you can attempt to try find the fastest route home, accept all risk, and end up falling down every 100m. The injuries accumulate, and by the time you’re back to the bottom you wished you never even started the climb. You’re in worse shape than you started, both physically and mentally.

Or you can take the safe passage home. The road less taken. It’s not the fastest, the smoothest or the easiest. But it’s the safest. It’s the path that’ll bring you back in one piece, and will allow you to maintain the same feeling and shape as you had at the top. You may have a few scuffs, but no long term injuries or surgeries required.

A well executed Consolidation phase will prime you for bigger and better things. You’ve climbed one mountain, and now you start thinking about the next one. The more challenging, steeper and dangerous one. The next mountain to conquer.

At the same time, you maintain the fitness and tenacity to climb the mountain you’ve just completed. You don’t end up at square one and lose it all.

This is when you begin to realise the power of the physical. You’ve begun to master your physical, and now you have the confidence to master anything. The physical was once out of your comfort zone, and now you want to push yourself into other new and uncomfortable areas of your life.

It’s time to prepare for the next summit.

Phase Four: Investment Phase (12-48 months)

At this point in your journey, you have two choices that typically run along a continuum.

You have the Lifestyle Solution, which at its purest form would be the ability to climb the same mountain you’ve already conquered but with no slips, trips or dips. It’s the equivalent of maintaining your results so far, which is a goal and significant undertaking in itself. It’s about refining and building on your strategy, structure and systems so that when life gets in the way, and you come across the next obscure big rock, you have the solutions to work around it seamlessly.

On the other end of the spectrum you have the Muscle Builder. If you’re a pure Muscle Builder, you’ll want to push yourself out of your comfort zone with a bigger and more challenging mountain to climb. But you know in order to do so, you need to be stronger, more resilient and have the tools necessary to overcome harder obstacles. At the same time, you may forget exactly how to climb the accomplished mountain (‘embracing the fluff’), but you know you’re preparing for bigger challenges to come (having more muscle and being leaner in the future).

Both require lots of deep work, and both will run on a continuum. You’ll likely find yourself somewhere in the middle. You want to be able to repeatedly climb the previous mountain with ease, but you also want to train for future harder summits. The slow, lean build. This approach can satisfy both ends of the spectrum, and is a highly popular choice. For the real rewards to come in the next phase, you’ll want to be at the very least half way along the continuum. A true Lifestyle Solution at this stage will lead to little improvement in your body, so this goal in its pure form should only be chase for those of you completely content in your physique.

During this period of your journey, you may feel like changes in your state aren’t happening as quickly. Or that it’s simply about repetition over time. While ruthless consistency is a critical component, this is also the time to focus on optimisation. The habits are engrained, the systems are built, and you have the strategic and structural framework in place. You now want to tinker and shift gears to focus on areas such as sleep, stress and digestion. It’s where you learn autoregulation. It’s where you learn how to forge the master key to your physique.

A successful Investment period will arm you with everything you need to climb any mountain, old or new, and be able to do so in an efficient manner. It’s building the physique you’re after backed by a simple lifestyle solution to keep it.

Phase Five: The Reward Phase (8-24 weeks & Beyond) 

The promised land. These are the green pastures everyone would like to teleport to from the beginning, but very few actually ever walk these lands because of a failed Consolidation period (and so you repeatedly injure yourself on the way down), or because of insufficient time spend in the Investment period (and so you never develop the tools to repeat old mountains with ease, or climb new and harder ones).

The Reward phase by definition is essentially the final path to being in the shape of your life, for life. You’ll mark it by undergoing another climb. This time it’ll be harder, steeper and require you to dig deeper than ever before. Your demons will be louder than ever, and your body will have to learn to embrace every part of this journey. This is what you’ve been preparing months and years for. The chance to enjoy the fruits of your labour is within your grasp.

Lifestyle Checkpoint

As you take the final step to this summit, you experience views out of this world. Green pastures all around and incredible views of the ocean while the sun blazes on you. Truly breath taking.

You’ve blown past your previous best shape by a mile.

Your life is completely different to when you first embarked on the journey all those months and years ago.

Your why has evolved. Your outlook is different. And you’re inspired to continue improving.

After taking in the views and breathing in the air, you plan your next move.

You know that the first step is to consolidate and create a safe passage home, but you’re now blessed with endless opportunities on where to take it next.

Do you embark on another aggressive muscle building phase to build your physique even more?

Do you want to climb even bigger mountains?

Or are you now happy with this summit, and you now want the solutions in place to repeatedly climb it with ease?

Or do you want to explore new types of terrains, new ways of climbing, and new activities?

The goals are endless here. The Reward phase is a platform to go in any direction you like, and once you’ve reached the Lifestyle Checkpoint, there is no right or wrong. What’s critical to remember is that there will always be harder rocks to climb, sharper thorns to knock you down, and narrower gaps to slide through. New challenges in life will always be presented, and there will always be ways to build on what you have to make you more durable, bulletproof and flexible so you have the right lifestyle solution for you, no matter your goal.

Your Next Readings… 

The journey presented here is merely an overview spoken in the analogy of climbing mountains. The next step now for you will be dive into the relevant phase you’re in with more detail. The links to each are below, along with when you may want to read or re-read each article:

Phase One: Cleaning the Palate

First 1-3 weeks of your journey, start of Consolidation phase, ‘tidy up’ periods of muscle building, and any time you feel like the control of your day is slipping.

Phase Two: The Process

Weeks 3-30+ of your journey during your first fat loss period, and can be revisited any time you embark on a fat loss phase (i.e. start of Reward phase).  

Phase Three: Consolidation

For 3-6 weeks straight after any fat loss goal is reached. To be read 4 weeks prior to end fat loss goal is reached.

Phase Four: Investment

For 6 to 12 months after a Consolidation phase, or when deciding during fat loss period how to approach your next goal.

Phase Five: Reward

After period of Investment is up, and you want to know your options and best course of action once you’ve reaped the rewards.

A Podcast To Listen To…

Episode 67: Five Phases Of Your Transformation Journey


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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.