I’m writing this six weeks after the program ended. It is still hard to comprehend how much happened during this summer. I’ve learned so much, changed a lot, and it is still far from over. The focus [of Project Rockstar] lies on transforming us into the best masculine versions of ourselves we can be and the instructors did an amazing job in guiding us to get closer to this ultimate goal. Everyone came from different backgrounds and different starting points, yet everyone has made huge strides into becoming a better person.
After PR I can say I feel lighter. I feel like what others think of me doesn’t matter that much anymore. I know my worth, know what my goals are and that I can achieve them. It’s just a matter of being my best self and putting in the effort. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without PR, that’s for sure. I feel blessed I had the opportunity to take part in this life-changing program. It’s an experience that changed the course of my life by a lot, and it will only show more and more as I keep living a life fueled by rockstar! By far the best decision I’ve ever made in my life!
For years I followed and read the journals/reviews about Project Rockstar. I often imagined what it would be like to take part in this program. How motivational, inspirational, kick in the butt it had to be for everyone. And yet I couldn’t apply because of other commitments, or at least this was my story. And then 2016 rolled around and I knew I had the opportunity to take the summer off, so I soon started working on my application, gathered whatever information I could, and worked hard to make it stand out. I sent in my application on the last day, had several interviews, and in the beginning of April I found out I got accepted and the fitness program would start the following Monday. The word that best describes my feeling at the moment is surreal. For me it was surreal that after years of reading the awesome stories the last rockstars wrote, I was now going to be the guy in them, writing these stories. My life was going to be divided in two, before and after the summer of 2016.
The fitness program was our first contact with Project Rockstar. First I ordered some of the stuff we would need for the transformation, like a body fat reader, lots of tupperware, and a few other things. We were then put into different groups based on pictures and measurements we sent in. In the beginning I was in the loser group, then gainer and lastly the hard gainer group to put on some muscle mass. For most of my life I considered myself a skinny fat guy. Someone that looks skinny but doesn’t have muscles so the body fat percentage is “high”. I was at around 17% body fat when the program started.
The program itself was incredibly intense. The time commitment is enormous. Weightlifting roughly five times a week, yoga/stretching or similar on the other days, and up to 50 minutes of cardio every day. I spent roughly 2-3 hours every day for twelve weeks doing this fitness program, and this is not counting all the cooking we did. Weekly we sent in our measurements, blog entry and body shots. It was great to write blog entries and have pictures, so we could see our progress mentally and physically. If the scale didn’t show progress, the body shots usually would, and vice versa. Sam Badger was the instructor in charge of helping us with the transformation, giving us feedback on how we are doing and tailoring the program to each one of us. It’s invaluable to have someone looking out for you in this way.
The fitness program taught me so much it’s hard to put it into words. How the body works, what are good foods to eat and why, what is bad and why, what is a realistic progression for myself, how to get where you want to be, what is essential, etc. The most important thing I learned during this physical and mental transformation is that so much is based on your mindset. Your attitude, your thoughts, how you feel everyday, what you are capable of, your beliefs, your limiting beliefs, what you think you can handle, what you can really handle, all of that is something that once you are aware of it, you can change and control it. It doesn’t happen overnight, nor during a year, it can take a lifetime to master, but it definitely pays off.
By the end of the program I was in the best shape of my life by far and ready to take on the summer.
Oh my god, where do I start? Vegas is insane, it’s like a parallel universe. And being there during PR adds a whole other dimension to it. I made sure to print the first day of the program into my memory so I could recall later on how far we came. The first night out at XS Nightswim, awkward dudes walking around like headless chickens. Haha, it’s crazy to think how far each and every one of us came.
First we had the 10-day, which was packed with information. This is the only part of the program where we get theory about game. Later we would have different seminars, debrief the last night and practice, practice, practice. This constant practice followed by feedback during the night and debrief the next day is what by far helps the most during the whole program.
What stood out to me is how natural everything felt. No wonder they call it “Simplified Natural”. No canned routines or a single way to go from A to B. We learned what matters in interactions, what to pay attention to, and then it’s about being your best self.
The inner game part of the program was incredible. Everyone has their own issues, and one by one we went through them all with some coaching. Stuff that people didn’t even know they had in them, bugging them for years or even decades. It made a big difference, a positive one.
There were a lot of highlights during the Vegas part of the program. Shooting guns, sky diving, circle of vulnerability, final party at the mansion, seminars about game, inner game, fashion, entrepreneurship, masculinity, and then of course all the crazy days and nights going out. I catch myself almost every night remembering and reliving some of the craziest moments of our trip, with a huge grin on my face.
For the first part of our break we decided to go to Hvar, Croatia. We had amazing weather, the people were amazing, and the parties as well. It was a much-needed break to catch up on some sleep, internalize some of the teachings, and bond with the guys.
It was the first time we were out on our own, without the pressure of having instructors there. This was our first test on how coming back to our normal lives could be. It’s on us to keep the momentum going and keep improving ourselves.
Overall Hvar was splendid. People were beautiful. The beaches had turquoise water. The islands are gorgeous. Great place to relax and have a great time.
Our next stop was Prague, Czech Republic. Charming, old European town. I’ve been here before with friends, but it’s not the same when you are with rockstars. One of our guys got us a hotel in the middle of the city and we soon set out to check the city.
This was a bit closer to how coming back to our lives would be than Hvar. Here there aren’t big parties going on every night, it’s not purely a vacation city. Less tourists than Vegas and Hvar as well, so we adjusted to that as well. It’s great to have this progression and adjusting again and again.
Two of the key moments of PR happened in Vegas: Circle of Truth and Circle of Appreciation. In the first week we had Circle of Truth. It took twelve hours, where everyone gave everyone negative/constructive. Everyone had to face some uncomfortable truths. Some guys got it lighter; some probably had the worst day in their entire lives. Or the best day in their lives, depends on how you frame it. It’s incredible to get to know how others perceive us, how our actions and words affect others around us. It’s enlightening to say the least.
By the end of the Sweden leg of the program, we had our final circle, the Circle of Appreciation. This was the time to say how someone positively affected us, what positive qualities and attributes the person has. It again took twelve hours and was also very emotional.
A focus during the time we spent in Stockholm was on partying and having a great time with friends, instead of being out and in your head thinking about game the whole night. We still had debrief and seminars during the day, with alumni jumping in to teach us about topics they could help us with.
By the end of Stockholm, it was amazing to stop and reflect on how far everyone has come. It’s harder to notice when we live with each other every day, and sometimes we take this progress for granted, but once you see each case individually and compare it to how our lives would have been outside of PR, it’s absurd how much change there has been.
The lead instructors were Sterling and Vici. It baffles me how knowledgeable Sterling is about social dynamics. When analyzing a person, most people can only say the actions someone is doing wrong, but he understands the why behind it and also the actions you need to take to fix it. It sounds simple, but is far from it. Vici is a very down to earth guy. He has this skill to give you feedback in the simplest terms and point out the obvious, which makes it easier to implement.
And we had a lot of instructors in the core team: Jasper (the king of memes and flowcharts), Sam Badger (relentless about inner game), Mav (high energy like a tornado), Vybe (lots of great analogies during debrief), and Alswede (our Swedish fashion specialist). Venture was not an official instructor (besides the 10-day), but was involved here and there dropping some golden nuggets.
Above all, all the instructors were genuinely interested in helping us. They were humble and supporting, sometimes harsh when needed, but always with our best interests in mind. They all put so much time and effort into this program, giving it their best, offering 1-on-1 talks on the side about anything you might be struggling with, and being these beacons of inspiration.
I’m writing this six weeks after the program ended. It is still hard to comprehend how much happened during this summer. I’ve learned so much, changed a lot, and it is still far from over. The focus lies on transforming us into the best masculine versions of ourselves we can be and the instructors did an amazing job in guiding us to get closer to this ultimate goal. Everyone came from different backgrounds and different starting points, yet everyone has made huge strides into becoming a better person.
After PR I can say I feel lighter. I feel like what others think of me doesn’t matter that much anymore. I know my worth, know what my goals are and that I can achieve them. It’s just a matter of being my best self and putting in the effort. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without PR, that’s for sure.
The friendships made during PR are invaluable. It’s not something that ends once the summer is over. Rockstars and instructors travel together, we keep in touch and support each other wherever we can. It is an amazing atmosphere. It is also shown by the high number of alumni that come back each year to be around and help out. I’ll definitely make a huge effort on my part to be back next year.
I feel blessed I had the opportunity to take part in this life-changing program. I’m hugely thankful to everyone involved during PR2016, the instructors, alumni, guests and rockstars. It’s an experience that changed the course of my life by a lot, and it will only show more and more as I keep living a life fueled by rockstar! By far the best decision I’ve ever made in my life!