There are zillions (okay, maybe millions) of workout plans out there for literally every fitness goal imaginable — mass, strength, agility, sport-specific, fat loss, etc.
But they’re either too simple, too time-consuming, too specific, or too intense.
You’re either forced to settle for a “close enough” routine or tweak the entire program to match your goals and training experience (at that point, you’re better off DIYing your own).
Bill Phillips’ Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer is supposedly a tamer, more generic approach to getting in shape, regardless of your gym experience.
Let’s take a closer look!
Before You Read More, Let Me Say…
Hey, my name’s Kyle and I’m the founder of Noob Gains.
Nice to meet you! 🙂
I’m jumping in here at the beginning to basically spoil the review… ready?
We rated Bill Phillips’ Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer 8.0 out of 10.
That’s pretty good!
While Back to Fit is a high-quality program that can help you lose some fat and build some muscle, it’s not what we typically recommend to guys who want to build an impressive-looking body.
What do we recommend?
Well, if you want to transform your body without training more than 3 days per week…
Without eating 6 or more meals throughout the day…
All while enjoying your favorite foods…
Then we recommend Superhero X12 by Fit Mole.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
First off, Back to Fit wants you to live in the gym doing 6 workouts a week.
Sure, you’re bound to see some results, but at what cost?
Personally, I’d rather spend more time watching Netflix instead of getting on a first name basis with the guy at the front counter.
On the other hand, Superhero X12 shows you how to get a great body with only 3 workouts per week.
Inside, you’ll discover how you can stimulate plenty of muscle growth and lose body fat in only a few hour-long sessions.
|Feature||Superhero X12||Back to Fit|
|Flexible Meal Plan|
|Private Facebook Group|
|2-Day Workout Option|
If you want to do more, you can. But you’ll find out that it’s not necessary to get in great shape!
Second, Back to Fit is only made for beginners.
You probably read that and thought, “But Kyle, I’m a beginner. What’s the problem?”
Here’s the problem – Once you’ve passed the beginner stage, you have nowhere to go.
Superhero X12 has muscle-building workouts for both noobs and intermediates.
This way, you can make an easy transition from one training style to the next as soon as you’ve maxed out your beginner gains.
Finally, Back to Fit recommends you eat 6 small meals per day.
Bodybuilders have said for decades that you need to “eat multiple small meals throughout the day to build muscle”.
But guess what? The science doesn’t back this up.
For instance, evidence suggests it doesn’t really matter if you have protein coming in every 2-3 hours, and muscle maintenance is also unaffected by meal frequency.
Do you want to spend your free time portioning brown rice and packing tupperware containers? I didn’t think so!
Superhero X12 shows you how to build muscle by eating as many meals as you want and including your favorite foods every day.
Do you know why young guys just like you are getting noticeable results on SX12?
It’s because the nutrition plan is easy to follow over the long term and doesn’t turn your meals into a chore.
You don’t have to force down bland, tasteless meals 6 times a day. You can eat your favorite foods when you want to eat them.
To sum up, these are the reasons why Superhero X12 is another great workout option:
- You can spend less time in the gym by training only 3 days per week
- Workout for the long term with both beginner and intermediate programs
- Enjoy the process by eating the way that fits best with your lifestyle
But don’t take my word for it. I’m just a random internet person.
Check out Superhero X12 for yourself.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
About the Creator – Bill Phillips
Bill Phillips has one of the most recognizable faces in the entire fitness industry (we just can’t pinpoint who he is or why). He also has one of the most problematic backstories we’ve ever seen.
The 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron shined the spotlight on the professional bodybuilding world as industry elites like Arnold Schwarzenegger prepared for the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition.
The flick drew national attention to what was affectionately known as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding” amongst insiders: the notorious Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California.
wannabe aspiring bodybuilder Bill Phillips followed in those very same footsteps.
Down to the regular steroid use.
Except he didn’t go on to a Mr. Olympia title like Lee Labrada.
Despite packing on 30 pounds of lean mass with the help of anabolic steroids (he was a very staunch advocate for PEDs), Phillips’ dreams didn’t quite pan out as imagined.
He began his “back-up plan,” returning to school to major in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, later reserving his slot in the history books with accomplishments like:
- Publishing newsletters and articles teaching bodybuilders how to use — and even smuggle — anabolic steroids (controversy #1)
- Developing supplements with MET-RX (Phillips’ endorsement was riddled with controversy after word leaked out that he was actually a business partner) – 1991
- Serving as the performance nutrition expert for the Denver Broncos during their back-to-back Super Bowl victories – 1997 & 1998
- Releasing New York Times’ Best Sellers, including six million copies sold of Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength (who isn’t an NYT Best Seller these days?)
- Receiving the distinct honor of induction into the Fitness Hall of Fame, alongside industry legends like Jillian Michaels and Arnold Schwarzenegger
The steroid persistence was a blemish on Phillips’ character. In the 25-ish years since then, he’s redeemed his reputation by donating more than $5 million to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
What is the Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer?
At first glance, we’d say it’s “extremely misleading,” but not in the sense that Bill Phillips spews false promises or anything shady.
(More like, “his marketing team really agreed to the name ‘Back to Fit’ and videos of him walking through a meadow-like it’s the start of some new-age AARP commercial?”)
Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer is a simple strength/circuit training routine designed to improve:
- Cardiovascular & heart health
- Energy levels
Phillips describes it as a routine built upon “proven methodology” that helps even the least active people find the willpower to move. It’s not a plan to get military combat fit, but if you’re looking for inspiration to get back to the bodybuilding grind, look no further!
He’s also a realist when he says, “you’ll build a body that’s unique to your current age.” While you might not walk away looking like a spitting image of shredded Jim Stoppani, you’ll look and feel better.
That’s all that matters in those early days as you build confidence!
Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer Details & Features
If you’re a BodyFit member, you already have complete access to Bill Phillips’ Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer program.
Now, here’s a more in-depth look at the program:
And, while we hate to be absolute buzzkills, there’s no fun way to ease into a six-day-a-week program, especially if you’re truly starting from square one, as Phillips suggests.
Throughout the next 12 weeks, your often-tiring schedule will look like this:
- Upper-body circuit
- Lower-body circuit
- Upper-body circuit
- Lower-body circuit
Let’s take a closer look at the circuit and cardio workouts to avoid any unpleasant surprises!
The circuit-training workouts all follow a similar pattern, though the exercises from one workout to the next won’t always be the same.
You’ll knock at ten reps of one exercise and jump right into the next one without resting (that’s where the whole “circuit” thing comes into play).
Some exercises you might see include:
- Barbell curls
- Leg extensions
- Decline barbell bench presses
- Feet-elevated push-ups
- Hack squats
- Kettlebell one-legged deadlifts
- Cuban presses
After each completed circuit, you’ll rest for two minutes before hopping in for four more rounds.
What’s neat about the BodyFit platform is that you can click on the exercise to see a demo video or variation tips. If you’re unsure about the proper form, don’t be afraid to click around!
(Perhaps) unfortunately, Back to Fit’s cardio workouts are simply high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions in disguise: 2-minute walk, 2-minute jog, 1-minute run, and repeat (x5).
That’s 25 minutes of cardio twice a week.
(Is the treadmill your mortal enemy? Swap out the treadmill for an elliptical, recumbent bike, battle ropes, jump rope, whatever — it doesn’t matter as long as there’s a change in intensity!)
DEGOL Skipping Rope with Ball Bearings
This skipping rope runs smooth and fast thanks to quality-designed ball bearings and the rope is coated with PVC to avoid wear and tear through hundreds of workouts. Plus, the ergonomic handles feel very comfortable in your palms.
The Training Guidelines section explains the logic behind the routine and how to guarantee success. You can either watch the painfully long 15-minute video is not as entertaining as Buff Dudes’ Journey for the Goblet of Gains so reading so hopefully these Cliff Notes help you out:
A few takeaways:
- Choose a weight where the last few reps are a challenge (not to failure!).
- Dedicate 1–2 seconds to each phase of the lift.
- Add more weight during the next weekend once sets become too easy.
- Warm-up for 5–10 minutes with some light cardio.
- Don’t do more cardio, even if you’re trying to lose more weight (hard disagree, but OK).
- Actually, rest on your rest days.
Unless you’re a complete gym newbie, you probably already knew all of these things.
If you have almost eight minutes to spare, Bill Phillips posted a video explaining the nutrition plan behind this program. Otherwise, you can read more about it if you scroll down the page.
This amount of detail might seem a little much, but it’s a welcome change compared to other Bodyfit programs like The Bizzy Diet.
He emphasizes four key pieces:
- Foods: Eating the recommended, nutrient-rich foods
- Amounts: Keeping your portions under control (both calorie and macro-wise)
- Combinations: Sticking to meals that combine proteins, fats, and carbs
- Times: Squeezing a meal in every three hours or so
Phillips also lists some of his favorite nutritious foods, from cucumber and quinoa to chicken breast and crab.
There are even two sample six-meal diet plans — one for men, another for women — to help you in the kitchen as you completely overhaul your diet!
Bill Phillips can’t visit the grocery store and cook six meals a day for you. But he does include 12 recipes for dishes like chicken Pomodoro, Bill’s perfect pot roast, and breakfast burritos.
If you’re hesitant to wing some random “healthy” recipe you discovered online, these recipes are a great place to start. Each shows the ingredients, time to cook, nutrients, and directions!
Bill Phillips recommends supplements to maximize your results on your journey toward a more aesthetic physique. (Oddly enough, there’s no mention of steroids anywhere?)
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
Phillips backs each with dosage recommendations while answering the question, “why?”
Okay, we get the vibe that Bill Phillips really loves making videos.
If you’re still curious about the guy behind the routine, you’ll find two “bonus” videos in this section, including one about how he bounced back from surgery.
Not sure why this was necessary to include.
5 Worthwhile Benefits of Back to Fit
- Even though Bill Phillips proudly advocated for performance-enhancing drugs, this program recommends legitimate supplements. For example, creatine can enhance your strength by an additional 8% (2003), while many theorize that BCAAs can encourage quicker muscle recovery and lessen soreness (2018) — more research is required.
- There’s a nutritional guide with 12 recipes included. In a nation where 80% of adults don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables, even the barebones Back to Fit guide can help plan out a somewhat healthier diet.
- It really does come from methods that work: resistance-based circuit training. A 2017 review study discovered that 6–12-week programs featuring 20–30-minute sessions are best for boosting endurance (maximum oxygen uptake). Meanwhile, lifting at 30–60% of your 1RM is ideal for boosting max bench press. This program fits these standards nicely.
- Training each muscle group twice a week is ideal for hypertrophy, according to a 2016 review. Not only can Back to Fit improve your heart health and endurance, but it can also bolster your strength and mass gains … which is exactly what Phillips promises.
- The BodyFit platform is easy to navigate, has an app for both iPhone and Android devices, and allows you to track your workouts. Just fire up the app and begin exercising!
3 Negatives of Back to Fit
- It’s more of a beginner program than anything. If you’re hoping to pack on serious mass, load 50 pounds onto your squat, or run your fastest 5K yet, you might be sorely disappointed by the end of this program. But it’s a great start for true noobs!
- Bill Phillips actually discourages you from infusing more cardio into the routine if you’re hoping to drop extra weight, insisting that the twice-a-week strategy is enough. Almost every legitimate organization recommends 150 minutes of cardio per week to maximize heart health and encourage weight loss — 50 minutes is just ⅓ of that.
- Six days of circuit training and cardio a week is a huge leap for somebody with zero training experience (or someone jumping in after years away). While Phillips does recommend starting slow and using lighter weights, you’re better off starting with a full-body program a few days per week.
Wrapping Up This Bill Phillips Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer Review
Bill Phillips’ Back to Fit 12-Week Trainer is a solid program for legitimate fitness newbies looking to get into shape (or get back into shape after sidelining training in the name of adulting).
It’s a complete 12-week workout plan that features both cardio and resistance training and even some nutritional and supplement guidance. So you’re bound to see results across the board!
But it’s far from a perfect program, it requires drive and grit in those early days, and it might not be enough for somebody looking to develop a truly aesthetic physique in three months.
Back to Fit is definitely worth a try if you’re a newbie!
Rating: 8.0 out of 10
But Here’s What We Recommend
Like I said earlier, Back to Fit is a good program, but we typically recommend Superhero X12 for guys that want to build a lean and muscular physique.
Remember, Back to Fit requires you to workout 6 days a week.
Superhero X12 shows you how to change your body with only 3 workouts per week.
Back to Fit is a beginners-only program.
Superhero X12 gives you all the tools you need to make beginner gains and then progress as an intermediate too.
Finally, Back to Fit makes you follow the typical bodybuilder-style of eating 6 small meals per day.
With Superhero X12, you can eat as many meals per day as you want, and enjoy your favorite foods along the way.
Want to learn more?
Click here to check out Superhero X12.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One