Bob’s Transformation – Week 12

Bob's Transformation

Week 12 – Day 1


AM: 25 Min LISS


  • Sit ups: 10 Reps x 3 sets
  • Ab Rollouts: 10 Reps x 3 sets
  • Lying Leg Raises: 10 Reps x 3 sets

Used the ski machine today for the full 25 min LISS really enjoyed it. It felt good on my severely “dommed” (is that a word?) legs! Then to the mat for ab stuff.

It’s good to try different things. I’m usually not a fan of cross trainers etc except for injury management and recovery. However, if the legs were very “dommed” this falls into that category so was probably a good choice.

Since I have started the sit ups have come along nicely. Since I got my back injury in 2010 sit ups were always a nuisance and I have found them hard to master again. But this morning I realized that they have come along very nicely. No tucking my feet under a bar or anything this time. Finished all the sets. I think hanging upside down sit ups next… maybe not. TRX ab rollouts again using Sean advice tucking hips and keeping core strong I wasn’t able to go as low but I felt it a lot more with no pressure on my back. Lying leg raises are leg raises. Great start to the week. Already a better week than last. my body feels so much fresher.

Often back pain is caused by an underlying weakness in the core or glutes. We naturally take short cuts when exercising as the body tries to find the easiest way to do what we are asking. This may be easier, but is seldom safest. That is why technique and form is so important. You have stuck to lighter weights, less reps and top form and hence why you’ve been able to build the sit-ups up to this point. Well done.

PM: Chest and Back

10 Sets 8 – 12 Reps of:

Chin Ups

I didn’t want to go too light even though there were a lot of reps. So I used the supporting weight I would usually use for this rep range and finished the first 2 sets before increasing the weight after failing 3rd set at 8. Only adding a little weight every time I reached failure until I finished all sets.

Good decision Bob. What you’ve learned over the last 12 weeks is to make your sessions workable for you. You know what you are capable of, yet still push yourself. This in itself is a skill. Well done.

Inverted Rows
Dumbbell Press

Using the TRX I didn’t manage a full set after the dips and chin ups. But even after failure I took a few seconds to get my breath back and continued until I reached full reps. Dumbbell press was easier than I thought. My chest was fatigued massively and I didn’t lower the weight either making it tough but I did finish without making the sets into mini sets.

Good work Bob. Another addition to your fitness tool kit: a strong mind. You have most certainly increased your strength of mind and ability to push on through the session as well as trying to better yourself each time and outdo what you did before (without being stupid with weights or reps). Again, well done.

Day 2


AM: 25 Min LISS


  • Sit Ups: 10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Rollout: 10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Incline Reverse Crunch: 10 Reps x 3 Sets

I ran today on the treadmill with the incline, at 6 mph. I’m glad because my lack of running hasn’t made much difference. Abs were good using the reverse dragon flag crunch instead of the reverse crunch. I’m really enjoying these abs exercises.

Very pleased with this Bob. Both the running and abs. Nice to know running doesn’t phase you and to hear you say you enjoy the abs, especially after the comments above, is so good. Brilliant work.

PM: Legs

Complex sets, (something I had to google). Like a super duper set 90 seconds rest between sets.

1 Complex set 3 Rotations same barbell weight

  • Front Squats 8 – 12 Reps
  • Barbell Lunges 20 – 24 Reps
  • Back Squats 8 – 12 Reps
  • Jump Squats Failure

I used the fixed barbell for this, as I moved to a different part of the gym. Started out quite well and although tough, finished before failure for the first rotation. Second was a lot more difficult. I enjoyed keeping moving and going from one exercise to another. Third was most difficult especially the jump squats.

The complexes are always tough. The idea being to really test your fitness. The fitness you’ve worked hard to build up over the last 11 weeks. By the sounds of it, you nailed the first round without trouble. Could you have done this 12 weeks ago? I doubt it. Strength, endurance and mindset are all on a different level. You should be proud.

2 Complex sets 3 Rotations dumbbells in hand same weight

  • Step Ups 8 – 12 Reps
  • Side Step Ups 8 – 12 Reps Each Leg
  • Walking Lunges 20 – 24 Reps
  • Split Squats 8 – 12 Reps Each Leg

Wasn’t too sure what weight to carry due to the effort being in my legs instead of my arms. I found after the first set it was maybe too heavy. But I kept it to keep the intensity up. Side steps felt like a cool down I did them onto the jump boxes. I failed across the board 3rd set second rotation.

Again, well done. You wouldn’t have been doing this 12 weeks ago. It sounds like you started heavy, but made it work. All learning! You’ll know for next time you want to do a complex.

Day 4


AM: 25 Min LISS


  • Sit ups: 10 Reps x 3 sets
  • Ab Rollouts: 10 Reps x 3 sets
  • Lying Leg Raises: 10 Reps x 3 sets


Giant Sets 3 sets

  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 8 – 12 Reps
  • Upright Row 8 – 12 Reps
  • Incline Lateral Raises 8 – 12 Reps
  • Prone Incline Reverse Flyes 8 – 12 Reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press Failure (Same weight as the first set)

Seated shoulder presses have improved but not by a great deal since starting. Although they have changed shape and become more defined. Failed 3rd set right across the set. Failing the shoulder presses at 6 last set and just squeezed that out.

As I’ve said time and time again to people, unless you are specifically training for strength, how much you can lift is largely irrelevant (unless it inspires you to train). Your motivation was aesthetic so the fact that the shoulders look more defined is a goal nailed. Good work.

  • Close Grip Chin Ups failure
  • Barbell Curls 8 – 12 Reps
  • Standing Hammer Curls 8 – 12 Reps
  • Incline Curls 8 – 12 Reps
  • Barbell Curls Failure (Same weight as the second set)

Chin ups made this set impossible. Barbell curls were at failure first set. Hammer curls pretty much the same. Incline curls were ridiculous. Biceps pumped and squeezing them on the positive side of the movement was tough. Barbell curls to failure, slower than the tempo laid out to squeeze 4 more out.

This is meant to be hard. The idea of stating 8-12reps is to ensure you don’t choose a weight too heavy. It should be quite light here due to the chin-ups before.

Not an easy set and by the sounds of it, you made it work. Again, 12 weeks ago? Not a chance.

  • Dips 8 – 12 Reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press 8 – 12 Reps
  • Tricep Dumbbell Extensions 8 – 12 Reps
  • Bench Dips 8 – 12 Reps
  • Dips Failure

Dips were good! My arms were tired and I kept leaning forward a bit too much. Perhaps I wasn’t getting the bend in the arms but reached the reps! My form was bad though for the 3rd set. But I reached 5 before giving in. Bench press was good throughout. Still strange how a light weight can hurt so much! But it really hits the tris hard. Extensions suffered as a result of the bench press. But overall a great set. A great workout.

Again, not easy and not meant to be. Well done for making it work, for getting through it and… for enjoying it! If you enjoy the training. The challenge, it can make it SO much better. Again, feel proud Bob. Well done.

Day 5


AM: 25 Min LISS


  • Sit Ups 10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Rollout 10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Incline Reverse Crunch 10 Reps x 3 Sets


  • Squats 10 Sets 10 Reps 1 Minute rest between sets.
  • Deadlifts 10 Sets 10 Reps 1 Minute rest between sets.
  • Leg Extensions 10 Sets 10 Reps 1 Minute rest between sets.
  • Leg Curls 10 Sets 10 Reps 1 Minute rest between sets.

It’s surprising how 10 sets of 10 reps isn’t scary anymore, more of a challenge. Squats at the same weight for the rep range with 1 minute rest between sets. Was rough going. But made it started failing after the 4th set to be expected. But finishing the sets.

This shows your mindset. Brilliant. And well done for getting through it.

Deadlifts were too heavy. I felt it in my back after the 3rd set. But persevered.

This isn’t meant to be heavy. Next time, if the back hurts, re-assess. Stop, check form and if necessary, drop the weight. Well done for getting through it, just be careful!

Leg Extensions and leg curls were great. As I said before sit down exercises are my fave!

Hahaha! I find the leg extensions horrendous. I need to jump out of the seat after each set.

Day 6 Chest and Back


Incline Dumbbell Press 10 Sets 10 Reps
Pull Ups 10 Sets 10 Reps
Pec Flyes 12 – 15 Reps (2 rest pause sets)
Straight Arm Pulldown 10 Sets 10 Reps (2 rest pause sets)

All reps completed for the first set. Pec flyes I went slightly higher this time with the rest pause managing to get 4 more but the weight was too much. I didn’t feel it as much in my chest like I did with the lighter weight but I only did this to make it more difficult.

Sometimes you have to concentrate on squeezing the relevant muscles to get the feeling and to make it harder. Still, well done for getting through it! Tough session.

And that’s it! Stay tuned for a final summary, coming soon…

Bob Manser - Author

I am currently doing a 12 week transformation with the help of Sean Lerwill. I'm 27, overweight and overworked. Trying to change the fact that my hair is thinning more than my waist line.