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How Matt Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Gain 11 Pounds of Lean Mass


"I'm always so upbeat because I truly feel like I am living my best life"

Matt's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image After

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

The first picture was taken in June of 2018 (right before I started the Bigger Leaner Stronger training program), and the second picture was taken in June of 2019 (a year on the program, or some variation of it).

In the first picture, I weighed 144 lbs and in the second picture, I weighed 155 lbs. Every weigh-in was taken first thing in the morning after using the bathroom, which I found to give me the most consistent/accurate estimation- especially when I was attempting my first bulk!

What has happened so far on the program?

In the summer of 2018, I bulked 4 lbs over the course of two months. I’d go far enough to say that I was a “hard gainer”, so putting on this quality weight felt absolutely amazing. I went from 144 lbs to 148 lbs, training 5 days a week, and MAN did my body responded.

After that when college started, I was maintaining until mid-December, and then I began another bulk. I bulked up to 153 lbs relatively lean and maintained until May. I am now currently bulking while training 5 days a week under the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

My strength has gone through the roof. When I started, my one rep max’s were “No Bueno”. I could barely bench 135 lbs with abysmal form, I squatted 155 lbs, and I deadlifted 225 lbs.

After this year of knowledgeably training and progressively overloading, I can now bench 195 lbs with good form, squat 235 lbs for reps and depth, and deadlift 315 lbs with clean form.

What workout split from the book did you use?

I have done the 5-day workout split weeks 1-8 and 9-17 from Bigger Leaner Stronger. I found that training Monday-Friday was the easiest to form a routine with.

Get home after work, eat a pre-workout meal, and then smash your workout for the day! Plus, resting on the weekends was very convenient for me. Do whatever works best for your own schedule!

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

Lack of knowledge. If someone told me about this book when I first got into weightlifting, I would have been STOKED. If you want to get into fitness, this is the stepping stone that will change your life.

What do you like most about the program?

I love training for strength. I was genuinely surprised to leave the gym after a workout from Bigger Leaner Stronger and not feel an overwhelming sense of fatigue like I normally did.

I used to train only for a “pump” and I was cemented with the mentality that if you didn’t feel a burn, your muscles wouldn’t grow. With that being said, training for strength is a new type of challenge that you will absolutely fall in love with.

Progressing with heavier weights you would never think to touch before can certainly be intimidating, but well worth it. The results came unbelievably quick once I started doing so! I fill out all my shirts now and generally feel much more confident. 😀

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

The only other program I have tried outside of ones I create for myself was a chest focused program by a scientific-based fitness Youtuber named Jeff Nippard (highly recommend his channel if you enjoy Mike’s content).

Similar to the Bigger Leaner Stronger program, Jeff’s focused on progressive overload with heavier weight and lower rep ranges. It was also highly effective for gaining strength.

The workouts of both programs emphasized heavy compound weight lifting (as that seems to be the key to reshaping one’s physique), and they both got me serious results!

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

This is such a fun question to answer. Every single area of my life has improved.

Confidence skyrockets: your clothes fit better, people find you more attractive, and you worry less about what others tend to think of you. You feel like you can accomplish anything, and your only secret was consistency and proper knowledge!

And the coolest thing about this feeling? It becomes contagious. People love surrounding themselves with motivated, ambitious individuals, even if they do not share the same passion.

When people see where you’ve started and seen where you have gone, they start to think “Wow I want to do something like that”. They will get inspired by you and it doesn’t just pertain to fitness!

And then, the cycle continues. Now you are surrounded by people who are equally, if not more ambitious than you are. And this contagious mentality continues to spread. 🙂

Overall, I am really happy- all the time. People always joke that my levels of positivity are a little bit extreme, but I’m always so upbeat because I truly feel like I am living my best life. 😀

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

Anyone who says to me “I want to get into fitness”. I can explain tracking numbers and progressively overloading well enough, but I cannot support it with 200+ scientific studies like Mike does!

Bigger Leaner Stronger has evidence to back up the reasoning of why strength training works! The book kick starts your fitness journey with the fastest most effective way to build muscle. It is the Magic Conch of fitness if you will (LOL props if you get the SpongeBob reference).

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“The moment you stop running away from the truth, you wake up” (I absolutely love this quote- I have it written down in my phone)
-Mike Matthews

The truth is you can completely change your body if you want to. Whether you’re an ectomorph, overweight, “thick-boned”, a “hard-gainer”, or whatever you think your unique genetic problem is, YOU are the only thing stopping yourself from achieving the best body of your life.

Mike Matthews gives you all the tools needed to take the first step of changing your body in the most efficient way possible. All you need to do is read his book and channel that desire to drive you to succeed!!!

You can do it. 🙂

Did you use any Legion supplements?

No, I do not but I may experiment in the future!

Readers' Ratings

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Want to become a success story too? Here's how he did it

The program that made this transformation possible:

The meal plan that makes building muscle and losing fat easy and enjoyable:

Mike Matthews is the founder and CEO of Legion as well as a bestselling fitness author of several books, including Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef.

His simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy has sold over a million books and helped thousands of people build their best bodies ever, and his work has been featured in many popular outlets including Esquire, Men’s Health, Elle, Women’s Health, Muscle & Strength, and more, as well as on FOX and ABC.

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