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How Did Jodie Marsh become a Bodybuilder in 8 Weeks?

Bodybuilding got some rare national press coverage last week when the Daily Mail ran a story on Jodie Marsh’s amazing transformation from page three pin-up to stage-worthy bodybuilder. The images shocked many who were accustomed to Marsh’s buxom charms, since the lads-mag center fold had stripped down to an impressive 10% body fat and added some appreciable muscle.

It is widely believed that that Marsh made a miraculous transformation in just 8 weeks, and while this does hold some truth, it doesn’t tell the whole story. In an interview with BBC Radio 1 yesterday, Marsh revealed something other than her assets for once, conceding that her assent to female Adonis was all part of a TV show charting her transformation, due to be aired in January 2012.


Jodie Marsh flexing and posing on This Morning
Image credit:


Those of you who keep your ear to the fitness press will in fact be aware that Marsh began a love affair with fitness some years ago, even appearing in a feature in the UK edition of Muscle & Fitness. That’s right Marsh is no stranger to the gym, but as she reported today, her bodybuilding show was the culmination of and 8-week program that saw her eat to put on pounds of fat (she was already svelte – almost competition shape – beforehand).


Jodie Marsh on Swiss Ball in Muscle & Fitness
Jodie featured in Muscle & Fitness a few years back


The question on everyone’s lips is, how did Marsh make this amazing transformation? Her previous years of experience in the gym no doubt helped, but going from overweight to championship body building competitor in 8 weeks to no mean feat; so what were her secrets?

As with most of my posts, I’m going to disappoint you from the start. There were no secrets, but for those of you craving a list of take-away bullet points, here you are;

  • Ultra-strict diet

Diet is important in any fitness plan but if you have 8 weeks to get stage ready, there is no room for even one cheat meal. Marsh subsisted almost solely on protein shakes (being a veggie), this isn’t the ideal sports nutrition for bodybuilding, but Marsh got everything else right and made it work for her.

Marsh would have been training almost everyday, again 8 weeks is little more than the blink of an eye in fitness terms so she would have had to make full use of every day.

  • Desire

When asked how she did coped mentally, she said because she ‘wanted it’. If you have any hope of getting anywhere near Marsh’s condition, you too need to want it. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time.

  • Experience

As mentioned, Marsh had a good few training years behind her. Without the experience and knowledge gained from this (and plenty of advice from a good Fitness Consultant) it’s unlikely she would have been on stage. You need to take time to read up on how to reach your goals and put the gym time in to build a base level of cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.

These four pillars of training apply to EVERYONE and you’d do well to take the Jodie Marsh approach.

Catch the TV show charting Marsh’s journey in January next year.

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4 thoughts on “How Did Jodie Marsh become a Bodybuilder in 8 Weeks?

  1. Hi i have been a gym bunny for as long as i can remember, but am not really seeing that good results.
    i am of on holiday in soon and am desperate to look a lot more leaner than i do i want to shift at least 7 pounds. i want to do it healthy and like jodie love veg dont like eating meat that much but like fish. i do drink wine socially ,could this be the reason that i stay the same?im totally commited and would welcome your views.
    these are a list of the classes i do at the gym
    combat,pump ,spin, zumba,core, balance, attack i go every day except weekends and work out 1/2 hours a day ,and i give 100%.

    1. Gina,

      Thanks for the comment.

      If you want to look leaner, your goal should be to shift fat, not just weight (as this includes muscle).

      Diet is absolutely crucial, you need to stick to lean meats, fish, vegetables and healthy fats.

      As for training, throw some resistance work (weights) into your weekly schedule, this will burn more calories, and help build muscle which will give you a better shape and elevate your metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more calories all day long, even when you’re at rest.

  2. She did an amazing job in just 8 weeks and I believe only a few people can achieve that kind of body in that small amount of time. I also dream of getting a ripped body but I think it will take a tremendous amount of disciple and of course strict compliance to the program and diet. I am amazed by her body and how she did it. I agree that there is no secret or miracle here but simply hard work.

  3. Meg,

    What I was trying to get across in the post was that Jodie didn’t do it ALL in 8 weeks, she was already in pretty good shape before she started this strict diet and training program. For an untrained individual it would be virtually impossible to achieve Marsh’s physique in 8 weeks.

    Looking like she did in contest shape takes YEARS of hard work and dedication

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