"At 39 years old, I feel like I am finally on the right patch to achieving this dream."
What has happened so far on the program?
I am a new man. I weighed approximately 200 lbs in the before and estimate my BF% close to 19 %. My after picture I weighed 188 lbs and my BF% was probably 14%. As a background, I started my fat loss plan back in November 2013 at 250 lbs. I am in the home stretch and noticed this last little bit is taking the longest.
I have lost a significant amount of fat and have done what I can to minimize muscle loss. Prior to reading Bigger Leaner Stronger I think I had my calories too low and lost more lean mass than I should. Once I adopted Mike’s principles, I have noticed a dramatic change.
Some of my lifts have declined slightly such as Bench Press and overhead Dumbbell presses. I started incorporating basic compound movements again into my workouts and its worked wonders. My deadlift, squats, and standing military press numbers are increasing each month.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
There was no hesitation at all. I had already been on a mission to lose weight/fat which I started back in November 2013. While educating myself on the topic of fat loss I came across a couple of articles written by Mike Matthews and immediately had a connection with what he was saying. I downloaded Bigger Leaner Stronger and modified what I was doing. I went back the basics. Mike made it sound so simple and it was. As far as programs in the past, I tried Atkins a long time ago and hated it. I always felt tired and weak, and never looked lean.
What do you like most about the program?
“Keep is Simple Stupid” is a fantastic saying to workout by. I keep my workouts within an hour. I do heavy basic compound movements with my rep range within 4-6 reps. I only do 3-4 different exercises per major body part and then throw in a few core exercises at the end.
As far as diet, I think I had an advantage because I already knew about the concept of caloric deficit. It was just a matter of finding that magic calorie number to shoot for.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
I guess I am an educated weightlifter and never really fell prey to the gimmicky workouts and magic pill solutions. I did my own thing for a while, but reading Mike’s books and articles has really allowed me to hone my diet and workouts. I hate calling it diet since its really a “lifestyle change.” The way I eat now is super clean and healthy. I stay away from processed junk and just stick to whole foods. I will occasionally splurge on a cheat meal, but overall the diet is easy. Its not work whatsoever. I enjoy eating the way I do because I know its healthy.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
Its amazing the impact has had on me. I feel and look like a different person. Everyday I look in the mirror and think to myself, “Am I dreaming? Is this really me?” I have never looked the way I do now. I grew up admiring physiques of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Robbie Robinson, etc. and always wanted to look like them. At 39 years old, I feel like I am finally on the right patch to achieving this dream.
I have more energy, my confidence is through the roof, and I really feel like I can tackle any challenge. I have found this new desire to just help people want to lose weight. I want them to ask me how I did it. I want to educate them so they can achieve the same results. It’s just amazing the impact this has all had on me…and I’m just getting warmed up! I can’t wait to see what I am like a year from now!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The key is you have to want this. Really want it. You need to visualize in your mind what you want and promise YOURSELF you are going to do this. You have to push through obstacles along the way to achieve your goal. Your number one obstacle really is yourself. As soon as you realize this, you need to follow these principles and adopt them as your own.
You will soon see it is 80% diet and 20% workout. Both require 100% effort because if you fail on one side, you will bring down the other. I came up with a list of about 20 things I do that I sent out to my friends and co-workers. For the sake of this article, I can sum it all up in a few phrases:
1. Find out your metabolic rate (activity multiplier included) and eat 15-20% less.
2. Count your calories using a food scale and phone app…its so easy.
3. Workout hard, basic movement, 4-6 reps, 10-12 working sets, 45-60 minutes.
4. Be smart when timing your meals (breakfast, pre workout, post workout, etc).
5. Rest (get enough sleep, don’t do hours of cardio on top of strength training ).
6. BE PATIENT- this is not a 6 week plan. It’s going to take as long as it takes.