"I am, without a doubt, more confident."
What has happened so far on the program?
Initially I lost 8 lbs on my first cutting phase, which started in April. I went from 128 lbs to 120 lbs. Then on my second cutting phase I dropped down to 118 lbs and went back up to 123 lbs. I thought that was a little strange because the scale told me I gained weight but my body told me that I’m much leaner and stronger. I figured during my second cutting phase I went through a recomp (or I’ve been recomping the whole time but the visible changes were more noticeable this time). I also noticed a huge increase in strength. Before I switched to dumbbells, my barbell bench press working weight was around 85 lbs. When I first started lifting, my working weight was 55 lbs. When I first started lifting, I remember trying to squat 95 lbs and there was no possible way for me to squat past 90 degrees with that weight. But now, I squat with 95 lbs past 90 degrees and can max out at 5 reps. My starting weight for my Deadlifts was 75 lbs, but now my working weight is 125 lbs. So consistent increase in strength all around and I typically stay at a weight until I’m certain I have good form and I can push out the number of reps Mike recommends on his program before going up in weight.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
The fact that I would have to invest in a gym membership and physically leave the house to go to the gym and workout almost deterred me. Prior to lifting weights, I worked out in the comfort of my home doing P90X, Insanity and Insanity: The Asylum. It was convenient, but ultimately did not give me the results that Mike’s program has given me. I was pushed a little out of my comfort zone by having to go to a gym. Also, I had the terrible mindset of “oh I don’t wanna look bulky,” but after reading many of Mike’s articles, I was pretty eager to start the Thinner Leaner Stronger program. His program is straightforward and not intimidating whatsoever.
What do you like most about the program?
The majority of the program was easy. The easy part was going to the gym and getting the workouts done. For me, as with many people I’m sure, the hardest part was getting the diet right. Fortunately, Mike lays it out perfectly in Thinner Leaner Stronger. Basically preparing me for things I might run across in finding the right balance in my macros and how to deal with it. I’m impatient and I wanted to see results ASAP, but Mike makes it clear that with consistency and persistence, the results will come and they absolutely did. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and I feel both sexy and feminine.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried home workout programs from Beachbody. I did P90X, Insanity and Insanity: The Asylum over the course of almost 2 years. At the time I was just getting into the whole fitness thing. However, those workouts are intense and doing them 6 days a week really wore me out physically and mentally. The dieting portion was also frustrating because they’re not very accurate. They gave me a generalized idea and I just winged the diet without really keeping track of macros. If there was any weight training involved, they recommended women lift light weights and work at a high rep range– the complete opposite of what Mike says and the basics of lifting weights. I’ve gotten far better results by going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. My longest gym workout is 45 minutes tops. In Thinner Leaner Stronger everything is broken down to the very basics of proper nutrition and Mike makes it very easy for you to customize your own dietary needs. The workouts from Thinner Leaner Stronger are as intense as you make them but I never get mentally or physically drained by them.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
I am, without a doubt, more confident. I have plenty of energy on days when I’m not overwhelmed by work (my job is physically demanding, I stay on my feet for about 10 hours) and school. As I’ve progressed I’ve learned a lot of things about myself. We are often time too critical of ourselves and having to unlearn that is difficult (I still struggle from time to time). There’s a lot of self-discipline and a huge test of willpower involved as well. I’m a pretty busy person and I’m all about managing my time efficiently. Mike’s Thinner Leaner Stronger program allows me to do that and still get my workouts in.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s totally normal to feel discouraged every once in a while. I’ll browse on Instagram too often and see all these IFBB Pros and NPC bikini competitors and I’ll be like “What? They started out way worse than me and transformed their body into THAT in 6 months?!” But then I remind myself that they have completely different goals than I do. They also have different bodies (some people are just complete freaks of nature and that’s totally cool!). My word of advice is DO NOT compare yourself to someone else’s progress. It’s totally cool to have an ideal body type that you want to strive for, but don’t get discouraged just because someone reached their goal faster than you. Also, it’s important to keep track of what you eat, but don’t stress over every single macro or if you had two cheat meals instead of one. I have a lifelong goal of being fit and healthy and I know the body type that I want won’t happen overnight–I’m taking my time getting there. I’m not going to sacrifice a relaxing evening with my boyfriend or not eat at a wedding just because it doesn’t fit in my macros. Yes, it’s important to stay on track, but don’t lose your mind if you wander a little. Find a balance between both that makes you happy and also gets you the results that you want.