"I weighed 200 pounds and about 20% body fat. Currently I weigh 170 pounds at 10% body fat."
What has happened so far on the program?
At the first picture I weighed 200 pounds and I’d estimate about 20% body fat. Currently I weigh 170 pounds at maybe 10 or 11% body fat.
I started the program cutting, following the protocol laid out in the Bigger Leaner Stronger book. I cut for about 12 weeks and was down to maybe 185 pounds and 14 or 15% body fat. I then did a little 5 or 6 week reverse diet to restart my metabolism, I don’t know if this was necessary, but I went for it and I think it worked pretty well. Then after that I cut again, down to my current body weight and body fat percentage. I’m planning on reverse dieting through January and flipping to a bulk in February.
Of course all of my big lifts went up during the course of this program. Bench press from 185 to 225 for a set of 4, squat from 205 to 245, deadlift from 205 to 285, and military press from 50 pound dumbbells to 75 pound dumbbells. Pretty great strength gains for having cut for 6 months, I definitely enjoyed my newbie gains. Looking forward to the strength gains that bulking will have in store for me.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
Nothing almost stopped me from buying the book. I found Muscle for Life when I was looking online for a good shoulder workout, and started reading Mike’s philosophy for training and diet, and I got pretty hooked. I played football in high school, so I was very willing to lift heavy.
The results that I saw up on the site were more than enough to motivate me to do it. Also, Mike’s transformation was really cool because it showed how great of shape you can get by following a fairly simple plan.
What do you like most about the program?
I love the flexibility and the results. I’m a college student, I’m very social and I have a fairly demanding academic schedule as a pre-med student. Being able to just follow certain calorie numbers every day was a little tricky at first, but after a few weeks I found foods that I liked the most, that tasted the best and were incredibly satiating, and it all just got easy.
I also found that I was the happiest when I got to go to bed happily satiated so I would always backload my day with a big dinner. Additionally, the progress is fast, not ridiculously, but enough that I saw very motivating changes every week.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
For lifting, the only program I’d ever done before was football lifting, and I did that for three or four years in high school. When I came to college, I lifted primarily arms and abs during freshman year and really didn’t see any results.
I didn’t know how to eat or lift to maximize results, so Mike Matthews’ program completely changed the game for me.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
The biggest thing I”ve noticed is that I really haven’t gotten sick since the beginning of the program. I think reducing my body fat and increasing muscle mass has caused some nice benefits with my immune system.
Also, for the first time in my life I feel totally comfortable having my shirt off in public.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Find a way to make the dieting as enjoyable as possible for you. This means that if you really like big meals then eat less throughout the day and have a big dinner, or if you love breakfast food then go ahead and give breakfast some extra calories.
Fitness should enhance your life, not take away from it, so the journey should be as enjoyable as possible. It won’t be easy at first, but if you give it a month or so and give great effort you will be good to go.