"My clothes fit better, I'm more confident, and my mental health has improved!"
How many months’ progress do your pictures represent? What were your stats for each picture?
Pictures represent 6 months (three ‘phases’) worth of progress.
From 65.5 kg (144.4 lb) to 56.5 kg (127.4 lb). I lost 9 kg (19.8 lb).
From approximately 27-29% body fat to approximately 18-20% body fat. Decreased by approximately 9% body fat.
What has happened so far on the program?
So far I’ve been on a cut for 6 months and I’ve lost 9 kg (19.8 lb) and approximately 9% body fat. I stuck to my macros 95% of the time and had the occasional cheat day.
Across my major lifts, I began bench pressing at 25 kg at 8 reps and moved up to 30 kg at 8 reps by the end of phase 3 (5kg/11 lb increase).
My squat started at 20 kg (44 lb) in phase 1 for 10 reps and went up to 35 kg (77 lb) for 10 reps at the end of phase 3 (15kg/33 lb increase).
My deadlift started at 25kg (55 lb) for 10 reps in phase 1 and went up to 42.5 kg (93.7 lb) at the end of phase 3 (17.5kg/38 lb increase).
My military press started at 18kg (39.6 lb) for 8 reps and progressed to 22.5kg (49.6 lb) for 8 reps by the end of phase 3 (4.5kg/10 lb increase).
Summary: I lost 9kg (19.8 lb) and 9% body fat. Increased 5 kg/11 lb on bench press, 15kg/ 33 lb increase on squat, 17.5kg/38 lb on deadlift and 4.5kg/10 lb increase on military press. It’s worth noting I was an absolute weight lifting beginner and had to find my starting weight slowly.
I was also at a 20% deficit the whole time. Perhaps my lifts didn’t start as heavy as they could have, but I got into the groove slowly. I don’t know if these ‘gains’ are impressive or not, but the aesthetic results speak for themselves! I know that right now, I can’t lift any heavier. So perhaps when I reach my weight goal (54 kg/119 lb) and start maintenance or bulking I will dedicate some thought to achieving some major lift PRs.
What workout split from the book did you use?
The 4-day split in phase 1 and 2. The 5-day split in last two weeks of phase 2 and all of phase 3.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
I come from a running background so switching to a predominantly weight lifting routine was a scary leap. I was worried that I would gain or maintain fat and that I’d hate weight lifting compared to running.
However, despite these worries, I wanted to give it an honest attempt. Running myself into the ground every day left me feeling exhausted, injured, burnt out, and ravenously hungry for food. Because I was using the same macros guide as I was while doing Thinner Leaner Stronger, I was losing weight–however, it was not sustainable at all.
Turns out I had a hidden love for weight lifting. I work out at home because I don’t enjoy the gym and I find it more sustainable to exercise at home. I compared a progress picture of me at 57 kg on a running program and me at 57 kg on Thinner Leaner Stronger and the muscle definition is ridiculous. I much prefer the way my body looks when I’m lifting rather than running.
What do you like most about the program?
It was so sustainable and satisfying. Results were slightly slower than running my ass off every day but the results were far superior. I felt better and less burnt out. Even being on a cut didn’t seem unsustainable.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
My diet didn’t change but it felt a lot more sustainable and I gained valuable information and advice from Thinner Leaner Stronger that I didn’t know before.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
My clothes fit better. I’m more confident in photographs. I smile more. Due to the sustainable routine, I do actually have more energy. I really don’t begrudge getting up at 5 am to workout.
It has also translated into other areas of my life. I’m less lazy. I watch less TV, I sleep less (that’s a good thing–it was not uncommon for me to sleep 10 hours then take a nap before falling asleep on the sofa), my work is more productive, my meal prep is enjoyable and no longer a chore, my house is cleaner and my mental health has improved massively. Totally due to a sustainable routine.
I absolutely love the continued progress, too. I’m more proactive and I actively enjoy meal prep, getting up early, and being less lazy because I know I’m making progress! A sustainable, enjoyable routine has lead to progress, which has lead to confidence and happiness. That in turn has made me more proactive and has taken me full circle back to even more progress!
Who would you recommend this program to and why?
Everyone. There is no “would I recommend?” I do. To everyone who listens. And to those who don’t… I’m offering those people to borrow my book or use their free Audible book to get Thinner Leaner Stronger! Just give it a go and see if you like it–what have you got to lose?
My main why is that it’s actually SUSTAINABLE. You don’t feel like “Oh god I have to work out again tonight.” Rather, you feel like “Booooo it’s a rest day, I wish I could do an 8-day a week split! ;)” If people don’t seem convinced, I whip my abs out or show them which way the beach is 😉
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Sticking to your macros is essential. If you’re not making the progress you want, think about your macros. I should add that I was quite strict with my macros and I stuck to them every day apart from 15 days out of 180 days (6 months) where I went a bit crazy due to birthdays or occasions where I had ‘cheat days’.
I’m talking totally unregulated and untracked food intake. In an ideal world, I’d like to get this under control to cheat meals rather than cheat days. But I like the way I feel after a cheat day (bloated, sick, and sluggish). It reminds me why I like to stick to my macros 95% of the time!
I should also add I use a complete whey protein powder (from bulk powders UK) and this seems to be working fine. It’s hard to know when you’re cutting if one whey protein is better than another because I have other variables that could affect my weight loss (calorie deficit, cardio amount, etc.). When I’m bulking or maintaining I will be interested to see how other protein powders affect my progress. I will of course be trying Legion Whey+ 🙂
I could also mention I use Huel for lunch. It’s basically a meal replacement shake with a 40:40:20% of protein, carb, and fat. It’s a lazy way to ensure I have a healthy lunch. I eat regular food the rest of the time. Also, I do eat a vegetarian diet. I’m not saying my progress is due to this at all–I’m saying I can gain muscle and get enough healthy protein DESPITE following a vegetarian diet!
Did you use any Legion supplements?
Not yet! But I’ve just ordered some Phoenix, Forge, and Pulse! I’m excited to see how Phoenix and Forge help me now that I’m at the stage of losing only small amounts of stubborn fat.
As for Pulse, I had to buy some after someone in the MFL Facebook group said, ”Does anyone else feel like they could punch through a brick wall after one scoop of Pulse?” I thought “Damn, I’ve got to give that a try!”
I also ordered a Legion shirt and bottle so I can feel part of the team all the way over here in the UK!
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