"I lost 19.5 lbs and only worked out 3 days a week."
What has happened so far on the program?
At 42 I’ve gotten to the lowest bodyfat level I have been, and understand so much more about nutrition and workouts. Previously I had pretty much “winged it” and stayed at a similar weight and had a similar body composition for years.
I gained 15 lbs over a 6 month period before my cut, where I mostly consumed maintenance calories on rest days and about 20% over maintenance on gym days.
During my 4 month cut I lost 19.5 lbs and only worked out 3 days a week with the following split:
Mon – Chest and Triceps
Wed – Back and Biceps
Fri – Legs and Shoulders
This worked for me because my nearest quality gym is over 30 mins away and I didn’t have enough time to go any more days.
I also added in 3 x 20 mins of HIIT on a recumbent bike for my cut. This added up to around 4-6 hours exercise in total per week. I think this was the right amount for me to achieve my goals.
My strength has increased dramatically using the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.
Before I started on the program, I had been working out for almost 10 years on and off, but had only increased in strength very slowly and then plateaued. I still barely looked like I lifted at all.
I then switched to the 4-6 rep range as detailed in BLS and noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of weight I could lift.
Here are some of my numbers after starting on the BLS program:
Dumbbell incline press – 55lb to 80lb (6 reps)
Squats – 130lbs to 290lbs (6 reps)
Weighted dips – 20lbs to 110lbs (6 reps)
Barbell curl – 65lbs to 90lbs (6 reps)
Dumbbell shoulder press – 40lbs to 62lbs (6 reps)
I also improved my form on many of the big lifts, which initially meant that I lowered my best weight, but I soon came back and beat it with good form.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
Nothing stopped me from buying the book. I saw it as a “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” book when I was browsing Amazon and thought it would be worth reading.
I have only tried abbreviated programs from typical bodybuilding and fitness magazines in the past and I had made little to no progress with those.
What do you like most about the program?
I like the detailed explanation of how to cut, bulk or maintain with nutrition. This combined with the regular articles on Muscle for Life and the podcast allowed me to make small adjustments as I went to make sure that my cut would work.
Sticking to the diet was easier than expected as I slowly adjusted down.
I had switched to mostly nutrient dense foods that I liked before my diet. This made it easier when it came to reducing calories as I reduced the amount of everything I ate rather than removing foods completely.
By the end of the diet I was just under my BMR of 1700, but still able to eat a few small pieces of chocolate and a small slice of almond butter on toast every day.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
I had never tried a proper diet program before; I had just guessed at what I was eating and occasionally chose “healthier” options.
I didn’t have enough knowledge before I read BLS to diet correctly, so I am glad I didn’t try any of the fad diets that became popular over the last few years. I’m sure they wouldn’t have worked without the understanding I have now.
The workout program in BLS worked much better for me due to the recommended 4-6 rep range for most exercises.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
I feel more confident and happier.
I feel that I have a much better understanding of how the body works and fitness in general. Previously I knew about calories and macros but know I really understand them enough to make better choices to help me with my body goals.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would recommend Mike Matthews, Muscle for Life and Bigger Leaner Stronger (or Thinner Leaner Stronger) to anyone. I had spent 10 years in the gym and I only now feel that I am truly starting to get something out of it.
Thanks Mike and the MFL/Legion team!