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How Brennan Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Gain 23 Pounds of Muscle


"What I've achieved with my body totally increased my confidence, energy, and productivity levels."

Brennan's Progress

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How many months’ progress do your pictures represent? What were your stats for each picture?

There is a 1 year and 3-month difference between pictures.

June 24, 2015 – 130 lbs at 10-13% body fat.

September 24, 2016 – 153 lbs at 10-13% body.

What has happened so far on the program?

I bulked the entire time being so skinny before, I really needed to put on quite a bit of weight. I gained around 23 lbs of muscle on beginner gains with little body fat percentage gain during the transformation.

The biggest strength gain I made during the transformation was going from being able to deadlift only the bar at first, all the way to 315 lbs for my one rep max while weighing only 152 lbs.

Here’s a video of the lift:

What workout split from the book did you use?

5-day split.

What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?

Nothing actually kept me from buying the book. My friend Lawrence recommended me to follow Mike’s content. I realized after watching some of his YouTube videos and reading articles on the MuscleForLife website that I should get the Bigger Leaner Stronger book.

What do you like most about the program?

I liked the no BS approach that Mike has to fitness in general. Everything in the program made sense with science which made it easy to follow and understand. This goes for both the diet changes I made and the workout routines.

How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?

It’s really the only program I’ve ever followed after the first beginner workout I found on a health site.

Which, funny enough, the full-body split is basically what Mike recommends anyway for total beginners.

How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?

What I’ve achieved with my body totally increased my confidence, energy, and productivity levels. Before I was not as eager to go outside and talk to people. Before I was a hermit that stayed inside all the time and played video games.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that, and I still enjoy doing that from time to time). You just have to understand the balance between different aspects of your life.

As a whole, I went on an overall life improvement path that stemmed from working out and improving my health.

In addition to the workouts, I also started to learn more about entrepreneurship and starting a business. This is something that listening to the Legion podcast helped with. From there I learned more about different books to read, and general self-improvement beyond the gym.

I had always started little side businesses such as tutoring kids in math, and being a DJ for local birthday parties and events. Yet, from the podcast, I learned how much of a grander scale I could reach if I started something online.

From there on out I was determined to learn and implement many of the skills talked about on the Legion podcast.

Its been a bumpy path along the whole way starting different things and feeling out other niches or paths to follow. During the journey, there have been some failures and some successes of course. Yet that seed was planted from the knowledge I got from Mike, and the whole team at Legion.

Over time, it led me to the point I’m at now with my own blog Survival Tech Shop, a site focused around outdoors and sporting goods.

You can read more here:

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

I would recommend this program to anyone who’s been skinny their whole life and wants to make a change.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Start small.

At first, before going all out in the gym I began with going outside and walking my dogs.

Something so simple as hiking, or walking, can really help to get yourself prepared to start using your body more.

I used to sit inside all day for hours without moving a muscle.

One article I also found quite helpful for hiking with my dogs was from Beyond The Treat…

You can read it here:

From that point forward I had set in stone something to get active. I did not try to go out and run a marathon, instead, it was an achievable bite-size task and a habit was set in place.

Did you use any Legion supplements?

I did not use any Legion supplements, however, I would like to try some in the future! I would say some quality whey protein would be my best recommendation if you’re looking to buy any supplements. It’s really more like food, and it adds so much extra protein into your diet.

To this day I still make protein shakes with whey to get all my calories and protein in. Believe me, once you calculate how many calories you need to eat if you’re tall and skinny, you’ll realize it’s the best way to get food down easy and be able to hit your goals.

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