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In this episode, I interview Maariana, who used my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to radically  transform not only her physique, but also her career and life.

Before finding her way to me and my work through her boyfriend, she had fallen into just about every health and fitness trap out there—excessive cardio, very lightweight lifting, inadequate protein intake, and on and on.

Despite working at it very hard for very long, the best she was able to accomplish was a “skinny fat” physique that left her constantly hungry, tired, and frustrated.

Bigger Leaner Stronger changed all of that.

Through the magical wonders of heavy compound weightlifting, proper meal planning, and effective supplementation, Maariana has gained a bunch of muscle and strength while still being able to fit into the types of clothes she was wearing in college.

What’s more, Maariana is a professional opera singer and Bigger Leaner Stronger has made quite a difference there, too. She’s more confident and less nervous on stage and has even noticed improvements in her singing capabilities.

So, in part one of this interview, Maariana and I discuss her story and some of the key lessons she learned along the way, including how she dealt with gym intimidation, how to travel the world without gaining weight, and much more.

Now, why part one of two?

As you’ll find out, as we were wrapping up our interview, Maariana shared a whopper: soon after starting Bigger Leaner Stronger, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew this going into the interview but as she hadn’t mentioned it up until that point, I thought she didn’t want to talk about it.

Well, it turns out she did, and it also turns out she has a neurobiology degree and abiding passion for self-improvement, and so we then went on to have a whole new discussion along those lines.

All in all, our conversation clocked in at around 3 hours, so I figured it’s probably better to break it up into two parts.

So, here’s part one, and part two will follow in the next week or so.

Time Stamps

6:09 – What was your diet and fitness like before Bigger Leaner Stronger?

17:46 – What were your numbers before and after Bigger Leaner Stronger?

46:41 – Was it intimidating for you to start weightlifting?

35:50 – How do you fit in exercise when you travel?

42:53 – Is Triumph for men and women?

47:33 – How long did it take you to get from 30% body fat to 20% body fat?

54:00 – Did you run into any hunger problems while cutting?

Mentioned on the show: 

Legion VIP one-on-one coaching

Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews


Maariana’s website

Maariana’s app

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!