5 Lessons from 5 Transformation Challenges

Hear from Greg McCoy and Yuri Diogenes on what they’ve learned after two years and five Transformation Challenges, and check out their top tips on how to mentally prepare yourself for a transformation.


For almost two years, the …destination Transformation Challenge has evolved from the simple idea of helping people achieve their fitness goals. At the beginning, our goal was to give people the tools and guidance they needed to improve their physique. In the process, we’ve built a solid community where the participants help each other before, during, and after each challenge. This fully aligns with a …destination mantra: provide the tools and create a community that shares common goals.

The intent of this post is to highlight the top five lessons we learned from the first five Transformation Challenges. The list that follows is not in order of importance. All five are based on experience we gained over the course of nearly two years with this program.

1. Motivation is important, but discipline and consistency show results.

In a 12 week challenge, we noticed many participants were on fire during the first few weeks. However, some started to falter after the third week. This is when we noticed posts about not missing workouts and meals, and a general sense of frustration. This happens with some people who seek immediate results. The transformation challenge isn’t about a quick fix. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re always going to walk away feeling disappointed. Motivation is important, but you’ll need to learn the discipline required to get to the gym, even when the day gets long and your body wants to quit. There are no days off; the key is embracing that!

2. Following the plan works!

Sure, the internet is amazing. You can find answers for a lot of questions. But if you’re going to invest fifty bucks to participate in the Transformation Challenge, make sure you follow the guidelines. Read the eBook entirely, preferably multiple times. One behavior that we noticed throughout these challenges was a trend of competitors using the internet to look for ways to cut corners. You’ll realize this isn’t a sustainable strategy when you invest six weeks in a “miracle plan” and see no results.

Religiously follow the plan, and consistently execute each step of the plan. Don’t go off the rails because you read that someone lost a ton of weight in a month with some eccentric diet. Remember: it isn’t about losing weight; it’s about getting in better condition and achieving a better physique. Think of it this way: you may only end up five pounds lighter, but if you replace fat with muscle you’ll be transforming no matter what the scale says.

3. Embrace the evil progress picture.

Every single challenge there’s someone that hates to take progress pictures. We fully understand that feeling and your desire for privacy. That said, the progress pictures are absolutely necessary for both you and the judges. Studies have shown that publicly sharing your progress can actually help motivate you to accomplish your goals. Most importantly: never be ashamed of what you are or what you were. When you join the Transformation Challenge, you are entering a community of people that once walked the same path you’re on now. There’s no place for judgment here, and you’ll feel amazing when you start feeling the support of the people around you. It’s contagious! Don’t be afraid of progress pictures. Don’t be embarrassed by what your body looks like today. Think of what it could look like next week and the week after that.

4. Manage your expectations.

It’s important to manage expectations while preparing your mind for the transformation challenge. Don’t be afraid to dream big, but remember to be realistic. It’s impossible to transform from obese and sedentary to looking like a magazine cover in one challenge. The disappointment of unfulfilled expectations can kill your motivation and diminish your enjoyment of the great results you’ll surely experience. Losing 20 pounds is only disappointing if you were expecting to lose 50. Remember what we said about the scale lying to you about the real progress you’re making? Understand that a long term change takes a change in lifestyle. We do not preach a 12 week crash diet that you’ll abandon when the challenge is over. We aim to influence your habits and change your appearance in the process. Give yourself credit for every small win, and build momentum over time.

5. Never forget that you are the catalyst for change.

This is a fantastic environment in which to change your lifestyle. The Transformation Challenge includes all the essentials and most of the amenities you need. You have a diet, you have a training plan, you have a clear goal with a definitive timeline. You’re part of a community of support where you have access to top professionals who are willing to answer your questions.

But remember: none of this works if you don’t take the initiative.

We can provide all the tools, but you must understand that it’s up to you to put in the work. It’s against the law for us to come drag you to the gym. Look in the mirror and know that the person looking back at you is the person that’s going to make this happen. Believe in yourself, learn to use the tools we give you, and make it happen.

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