The title alone is 20% edgy, 30% motivational, and 50% “New Year, New Me” Pinterest board.
But this Dymatize-branded program is also among the most noob-friendly routines on BodyFit.
Bodybuilding.com hypes it up as a permanent life-changer if you “trust the process.”
With Transformed, that means barreling through 4–5 strength training sessions and 2–3 cardio bursts per week while also committing to a balanced diet and handful of supplements.
But is it really the key to more mass and torched fat?
Learn more about Dymatize Transformed: 12 Weeks to Your Best Self below!
About the Creators – The Dymatize Transformed Coaches
Bodybuilding.com tapped an “elite squad of athletes” to serve as your coaches throughout the next 12 weeks. That “star-studded” trainer line-up includes trainers like:
- Castle actress, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert Alicia Ziegler
- U.S. Air Force meteorologist and NFL hopeful Geremy Satcher
- ACSM personal trainer and NPC bikini contestant Charlotte Oldbury
- Men’s Classic Physique competitor and Swole and Strong creator Mike Hildebrandt
- NPC bikini competitor and aspiring fitness model Elspeth Dana
- U.S. Air Force staff sergeant and IFBB professional bodybuilder Robert Timms
Chef Patrick Stark and his gnarly mohawk also make appearances in the plan’s nutrition videos, demystifying concepts like cutting onions tear-free and baking sweet potatoes in the microwave.
If you’re tired of the same-old lunkhead trainers, Dymatize Transformed is certainly more inviting to BodyFit newcomers. But what in the world is this Flintstones-sounding routine anyway?
What is Dymatize Transformed: 12 Weeks to Your Best Self?
(It seems like Dymatize and BodyFit quietly severed ties on this program; it’s now simply “Transformed: 12 Weeks to Your Best Self.”)
The Transformed: 12 Weeks to Your Best Self program is a beginner-friendly program with somewhat of a quadruple-threat approach:
- A nutrient-dense 40/40/20 diet
- Three “essential” and four “optional performance-booster” supplements
- 4–5 strength and hypertrophy-focused resistance training sessions per week
- 2–3 fat-shredding HIIT or steady-state cardio workouts every week
BodyFit (or the mysterious “Contributing Writer”) describes this program as a “complete transformation journey” that’ll revitalize your whole physique and inspire life-long healthy habits.
We’ll cover the program in more detail in a moment!
Dymatize Transformed Details & Features
(BodyFit also stylizes this program as “TRANSformeD.” It’s a modern-day graphic design blunder, but the random non-capitalized “forme” is supposed to read “for me.”)
Now that we’ve gotten that settled, let’s dig deeper into the Transformed program.
The program’s “Main Page” is a quick skim that’ll help you decide whether this program is right for you. Here’s what you’ll discover in this back-to-basics tab:
Weeks 1–6 Schedule
On May 17, 2008, at 1:11 PM, the Bodybuilding.com forums erupted in chaos when a user asked a seemingly simple question: “Is it safe to do a full-body workout every other day?”
Now, the question itself didn’t spark uproar as much as the debate over how many days are in a week (we think it’s seven). But the answer is yes, every other day full-body workouts are safe!
They might even be better for growth in well-trained men, according to 2015 research. (The full-body group developed thicker forearms and near-equal strength gains as the split group.)
The Transformed program begins light with
- Monday: Full-Body
- Tuesday: Cardio
- Wednesday: Full-Body
- Thursday: Cardio
- Friday: Full-Body
- Saturday: Bonus Workout
- Sunday: Rest
Similar to what we found in our Goblet of Gains review, workouts morph and change as the weeks go on.
Weeks 1–3 are almost entirely strength-based. So training sessions feature three sets per exercise, 8–10 reps per set, and about 60 seconds of rest between sets.
During weeks 4–6, you’ll crank the volume into overdrive. Expect 3–4 sets per exercise, 8–10 reps per set (continued from week three), and slightly longer rest at 60–120 seconds.
Weeks 7–12 Schedule
Once you’re comfortably settled into the Transformed program by week seven, you’ll transition into “the big leagues”: a mildly lopsided push-pull-legs (PPL) routine.
Weeks 7–12 look like this:
- Monday: Lower-Body
- Tuesday: Push & Cardio
- Wednesday: Cardio
- Thursday: Lower-Body
- Friday: Pull & Cardio
- Saturday: Bonus Workout
- Sunday: Rest
As if an extra lower-body session per week didn’t already trigger a collective sigh, phase two also sneaks an extra cardio day into your weekly line-up.
(This 2019 study suggests 48–72 hours between workouts to support muscle recovery and maximal strength. So the almost daily hammering of your lower half might leave you weak.)
The Transformed program is also noob-friendly in that it doesn’t require any fancy or downright bizarre equipment. You’re ready for week 1, workout 1 if you have access to:
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Version 2
Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Rapidly switch from one exercise to the next. You don’t need multiple dumbbells cluttering up your home gym.
If your home gym is still a work in progress, you can also swap in exercise alternatives with the BodyFit app exercise database.
The Main Page also breaks down how long you can expect to be in the gym (<60 minutes) and whether the program includes videos (yes, dozens, in fact).
But whoever “Contributing Writer” is also making a few post-program recommendations.
The Workout Schedule tab is essentially the blueprint for the next 12 weeks of training. Just click “Week 1 of 12” and then “Day 1” to kickstart your three-month fitness journey.
Most workout pages also include some advice — like mastering portion control — or a video tip — such as building a pre-workout ritual fit for you.
Here’s a closer look at your upcoming Transformed workouts:
Sample Phase 1 Workout
- Warm-up: 10 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio
- Back squat
- Walking lunge
- Incline dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell fly
- Lat pulldown
- Seated row
During weeks 1–3, the emphasis is on building foundational strength with about equal focus on all areas of the body: two lower-body, two push, and two pull exercises (as seen above).
Sample Phase 2 Workout
- Warm-up: 10 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio
- Barbell deadlift
- Dumbbell reverse lunge
- Leg press
- Superset: Barbell Bulgarian split squat & lying leg curl
- Seated calf raise
Weeks 7–12 also strays a little further from “traditional” resistance training by infusing slow negatives, drop sets, and supersets.
Research from Strava reveals something you knew in your gut all along: about half of your fitness comrades hate or hardly tolerate running.
So if pounding the pavement (or treadmill belt) sounds like sheer torture, you also have a few other cardio alternatives — the stair climber, elliptical, upright bike, or literally anything else.
On cardio days, you can also choose between:
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT): The creators recommend eight rounds of 20–30-second bursts at 85% of your maximum effort, followed by another 20–30 seconds at 40–50% effort. The benefits of HIIT are two-fold, according to a 2011 study: ~2.5kg drop in subcutaneous fat in 12 weeks and 10–18% boosts in VO2max.
- Lower-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS): Or hop onto your favorite aerobic gear for a 40-minute grind at 60% of your maximum effort. In 2009, researchers concluded that somewhere between 60.2% and 80% of your maximum heart rate is the so-called “fat burning” zone. However, cycling is a safer choice if you buy into the theory that running decreases lower-body strength and mass — as this 2012 meta-analysis suggests.
So if your quads are still revolting after a torturous leg day, LISS might be more soothing (or help with recovery). On the other hand, when you’re low on time, HIIT is a more logical choice.
Each week also includes a so-called “Bonus Workout” on Saturday. These calisthenics-focused training sessions might look like this:
- Exercise ball leg curls
- Elbow planks
- Box jumps
- Repeat for six circuits
There’s also a separate “Bonus Workouts” tab in the module if you want to swap in a different bonus workout and add a little flavor to your workout.
The Training Guidelines tab answers any lingering questions about the training half of 12 Weeks to Your Best Self. (We mentioned most of this section’s details earlier in this post.)
A few key takeaways worth underlining include:
- Rest days are legitimate rest days, not “active” rest days.
- Most workouts last about 45–50 minutes.
- Continue cranking out reps until the last few reps are challenging.
- The routine relies on basic fat-burning and muscle-building principles.
- Even the PPL routine wind-down focuses mostly on multi-joint exercises.
Don’t let your ego fool you on the last one.
Research shows that multi-joint and single-joint exercises offer similar upper-body strength (10.4% vs. 11.87%) and mass boosts (6.10% vs. 5.83%) in beginners.
But does the Transformed program actually include “state-of-the-art protocols for fat loss” like the video implies? That sounds like an uppity form of clickbait, so we’d say “probably not.”
The Nutrition Plan tab attempts to dispel any negativity that naturally comes along with the word “diet” (and America’s tendency to fail miserably when attempting to slim down).
To do so, the Transformed Nutrition Plan includes:
- Calculating Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE): Most BodyFit and Beachbody programs depend on totally unscientific (and often flat-out bizarre) methods to calculate your daily caloric intake. In a completely unexpected twist, Transformed requires you to calculate your TDEE and subtract 15–20% to shed 1–2 pounds per week. Hallelujah.
- Macronutrients 101: The creators suggest a 40/40/20 macro split: 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20% fat. You’ll also convert that breakdown to grams to learn exactly how many grams of proteins, carbs, and fats your body needs per day to thrive.
- How to Turn Food Into Macros: How many grams of protein are in an ounce of chicken or ground beef? One fist-sized portion of carbs equals how many grams? The guide will explain all of that (and more) as you build your nutritional knowledge from square one.
- Grocery-Shopping Tips: Paired with a 16-minute shopping trip video, this section explains the healthiest foods to satisfy each macronutrient need. Load your cart with fresh produce, frozen vegetables, lean meat cuts, nut butters, and water. Avoid alcohol and diet sodas whenever possible.
- Sub-Hour Meal Prep: Chef Patrick Stark demonstrates how to prepare four days’ worth of meals in under an hour. An electronic food scale and meal-prep-friendly Tupperware will come in handy for keeping your meals fresh and well-portioned.
The Nutrition Plan section is already more detailed than plenty of other BodyFit programs we’ve seen. Calculate your TDEE and macronutrient needs, and build your diet around those figures.
In the most bizarre plot twist since The Sixth Sense, the former “Dymatize Transformed” supplements section doesn’t recommend a single Dymatize sports nutrition supplement.
But that’s only because it’s almost a carbon copy of at least a handful of other BodyFit programs, including those from Lee Labrada, Steve Cook, and Mike O’Hearn (womp, womp).
It’s nothing new, my friends.
The supplement recommendations for this routine (and who knows how many other BodyFit programs) include:
|Supplement||What It Does|
|100% Whey Protein||Supports muscle growth and recovery post-workout|
|Multivitamin||Can potentially fill any minor nutritional deficiencies in from your diet (NIH)|
|Fish Oil||May lessen delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) by 33–42% post-workout (2017)|
|Pre-Workout||When high in caffeine and taken before training, can boost reps on the bench press by 11.6% and leg press by 19.1% (2015)|
|Creatine||Proven to boost performance by 14%, strength by 8%, and bench performance by 16–43% when used regularly (2003)|
|BCAAs||Decreases muscle soreness 48 and 72 hours post-exercise (2018)|
|Protein Bars||Can increase lean body mass by ~2% with daily consumption over nine weeks (2004)|
By total coincidence, every supplement recommended also comes from the Bodybuilding.com signature brand.
Swolverine Whey Protein Isolate
This is one of our top recommended whey protein powders because of it’s high protein content per serving, extreme deliciousness, and the fact that all Swolverine products are sourced from GMP-certified facilities
The Bonus Workouts section includes nine additional workouts that you can either tack onto the end of a workout (if you still have some fuel in the tank) or swap in for a built-in bonus workout.
Here, you’ll find:
- Five bonus workouts designed for weeks 1–6
- Four bonus workouts meant for weeks 7–12
- Two bonus “ab circuits”
These bonus workouts are awesome for those who enjoy having full control over their training. Or for anyone wanting to cherry-pick which exercises they do on any given day.
The Bonus Videos tab is a collection of videos — some ridiculously long — that could help you survive the next 12 weeks. In this section, you’ll discover videos like:
- Athlete Round Table (40:06)
- Grocery Shopping Basics (15:59)
- Meal Prep Under an Hour (22:03)
- How to Blanch Veggies (3:08)
- Microwave Meal-Prep Tips (3:19)
- Must-Have Knife Skills (4:49)
- Egg Cooking Tips (3:54)
If watching strangers in the produce section shop for groceries or listening to trainers chit-chat while sitting on boxes sounds like a box office hit, these videos are worth a watch.
But skipping the videos won’t make or break your results.
8 Beginner-Friendly Benefits of Dymatize Transformed
- It’s both beginner and intermediate-friendly.
- The nutrition guide is actually helpful and one of the few on the BodyFit platform that use scientific methods to calculate caloric intake (TDEE).
- There’s plenty of room for customization: HIIT vs. LISS, bonus workouts, and choice in cardio equipment.
- It’s a little cardio-heavy if you’re bulking, but it can help you lose weight and build mass.
- The chosen cardio methods can both burn fat and improve endurance.
- The resistance training workouts are ideal for strength: 60–120 seconds of rest between sets, 8–10 reps per set, and 3–4 sets per exercise.
- Each workout offers a useful bit of advice via a small text passage or brief video (i.e., blanching veggies or how to do a good morning properly).
- The Transformed program features five coaches, adding a little variety to your workouts.
3 Negatives of Dymatize Transformed
- The supplements guide is almost an exact replica of others from big-name BodyFit stars, like Steve Cook and Mike O’Hearn.
- There’s no reason for two leg workouts per week while short-changing the upper-body push and pull muscles.
- Almost every day will feel like leg day when you’re basically alternating between leg workouts and cardio days.
Wrapping Up This Dymatize Transformed Review
The Dymatize Transformed: 12 Weeks to Your Best Self program is — to be completely honest — a great start for anyone returning to the gym for the first time in years (or … ever).
It doesn’t require an insane time commitment, it follows the science, and it allows for a little wiggle room on the customization front.
Its cons aren’t dealbreakers either.
Dymatize Transformed is a bit leg-heavy and repetitive supplements-wise. But all in all, it’s an awesome way to ease into the “bro” life and pack on those coveted noob gains.