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How Pete Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 20 Pounds and 5% Body Fat


"Bigger Leaner Stronger program created significant/positive impacts on my health!"

Pete's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 3 Months
Progress Image After

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

The pictures represent 3 months of progress starting with the baseline photo that was taken when I started the program and then 3 months from the program start date.

The baseline photostats are weight: 180 pounds – bodyfat percentage – 17% Waistline – 35 – 1/2″

The 3-month photostats are: weight: 160 pounds – bodyfat percentage – 12% Waistline – 32 – 1/8″

What has happened so far on the program?

I cut for 12 weeks and lost 20 pounds, roughly 5% body fat, and 3 – 3/8″ on my waistline. I worked very hard on meal planning properly and following the weightlifting side of the program. I am not new to weightlifting so I wanted to ensure that my strength remained/increased a little bit thru the cut, which I ultimately succeeded at.

My strength was maintained on squat but increased on deadlift and bench press (for example on deadlift: started at 95 pounds and at end of cut was pulling 185 pounds).

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?

There were two items that made me nervous about being able to start/stay on the program in its entirety. One was the nutritional side of training. I have always struggled with understanding dieting and being able to stick to a plan. The other item was the fact that I had to incorporate deadlifts and squats (three ACL surgeries to my right knee) into my training (neglected these for years).

I had never deadlifted before with any type of seriousness and I suck at squatting. I’m glad I decided to not let these items stop me from starting the program. I love deadlifting right now but I still suck at squats but slowly progressing upwards.

Before I found Bigger Leaner Stronger, I was actually looking for a formal program to try especially regarding the nutritional side of training. My wife is in top shape and I really needed to change things up on my end not just for aesthetic value but for general health and well being (more on that later).

I came upon a Mike Matthews web-based article on building your chest. After reading the article, I researched the book (Bigger Leaner Stronger 3rd edition) and chose to buy it. I was able to read it quickly and I made my mental commitment to try the program in its entirety and jumped right in at the gym and in the kitchen (thanks to my wife for helping with cooking these different recipes).

What do you like most about the program?

What drew me to the program was the way Mr. Matthews authors his material. The program is easy to follow and the way it is written/laid out makes you want to get up and get going. The most important thing I like about the program is that it is a “program”. It is a blueprint – you have something to follow that works, you don’t have to create all on your own nor should you be altering anything in the program that much, although I do like to create my own meal plans.

I was very surprised at how fast results were achieved. I lost 10 pounds and 1 – 1/2″ on my waistline in 4 weeks. The description and implementation of progressive overload is key and I really like this type of weightlifting. Lift heavy – lift lower reps – get bigger/stronger. I like how the compound movements are described (deadlifts, bench, squat) and implemented into the program.

It makes you ready to want to try it. Now that I understand what flexible eating is I will never change from it. I always thought you had to eat all vegetables, all salads, etc. if you really wanted to see changes. That’s all junk. Of course, you need these items in your fridge but there is so much more to get out of flexible eating and you will see that once you get on the program and you do some of your own research on foods.

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

I have never tried any formal program before so I have no basis of comparison to that. However, when comparing this program to the individual who creates their own workouts (me in the past) there is no comparison. You simply can’t beat this blueprint if you follow it correctly and push yourself.

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

I was on blood pressure medication for high BP, during this cut phase I had to get off it (with my doctor’s approval) because my BP was getting too low. Basically, the changes I made in my eating regimen and in the gym based on being on the Bigger Leaner Stronger program were creating significant/positive impacts on my health so much so that when coupled with my BP meds I was bottoming out on my BP.

I don’t think there is any greater fitness achievement one can ask for than to be able to ditch a med based on changes to your dieting and physical activity regimens. Prior to starting the program, I had issues with restless sleep at night, feeling bloated prior to bedtime (out of control meal portions), and snoring. Currently, I sleep more sound, don’t feel bloated at all, and my wife tells me she can’t remember the last time I snored.

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

Anyone – any age. The core concepts/principles apply to everyone. You don’t have to squat 500 pounds to be successful at this game. You don’t have to eat like a rabbit either. I am truly a believer now that weight loss/body composition changes are attainable to all and when you break it all down it really isn’t that hard to understand or implement. The understanding and implementation of the program is easy, the want to do it and the will power/drive to stick to it is the challenging part.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I was very aggressive in the implementation of the program, meaning I didn’t ease right into the calorie deficit (cut phase). I followed Mr. Matthews formulas for obtaining your BMR/TDEE/calorie targets/macronutrient targets, etc. and I went for it. I didn’t stray from my meal plans that were based on the targets above and I rarely cheated and when I did I followed the book layout for doing so.

I’m glad I did. I was seeing awesome gains in just 1 week of starting. Regarding the weightlifting side of the program: I am not a newbie to the gym – been lifting for years although you probably wouldn’t know it by my baseline photo but one of the biggest outcomes of getting on this program is that I went back to the basics.

Meaning, I went back to understanding what proper form is on ALL exercises and I decided to focus on my form and not worry about what weight I was lifting because if you are doing it wrong you are going to hurt yourself and lose out on the gains that proper form provides to you. Get your form correct and the weight amounts you lift will go up.

This is how I persevered thru starting to do deadlifts and squats in this program. I was intimidated about how to use proper form and the potential for getting hurt doing these so I re-read Mr. Matthews book sections on these items multiple times, watched the videos on Mr. Matthews’ website and on others and I took the time to do it right.

I still suck at squats (getting better though) but my deadlifts have gone thru the roof. In closing, I hope someone takes some positives from my story and gives this program a try. If you decide to go for it, then decide to stick to it and give it a chance and you will see the results come. My story is far from over as I have many other goals to achieve and I’m looking forward to the next steps.

Did you use any Legion supplements?

Whey+ Protein and Pulse. I use Mr. Matthews “Stacked” app for tracking my workouts.

Readers' Ratings

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