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How Bart Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Gain 7 Pounds of Lean Mass in Just 10 Months

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"I feel much better than I've felt in a while, I feel energetic, and my joints feel great!"

Bart's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 2 Months
Progress Image 8 Months
Progress Image 10 Months

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

I started in March 2018 at 184 lbs and 7.1% body fat. Currently, I am 191 lbs at 6.7% body fat. With Bigger Leaner Stronger I was able to gain over 6.5 pounds of lean mass in 10 months.

I have always worked out without any gaps in fitness, so for me at this age I assumed that going downhill slowly was just going to be part of the game. After reading Bigger Leaner Stronger and implementing the training, I started immediately noticing some strength gains in the compound lifts, and what followed was a solid run of incremental lean mass gain.

What has happened so far on the program?

I was already right at 7% body fat when I got the book in February 2018. I immediately implemented the training program and started reverse dieting. The reverse dieting program was new to me, and I was able to pack on 6.5 pounds of lean mass.

The crazy part is that I actually started losing more fat while reverse dieting and got down to around 6% body fat at one point during the summer before it started going the other way. Currently, I am back up to around 6.7% body fat and I was able to get 6.5 pounds of lean mass through the reverse dieting phase.

What workout split from the book did you use?

I used the 3-day split.

What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?

Nothing. I flipped through my wife’s copy of Thinner Leaner Stronger at one point and immediately got online to see if there was a male version of the book. Mike makes so much sense and backs it up with research and facts. It was such fun and a welcome change from all of the ‘bro’ science available right now from other authors.

What do you like most about the program?

I like the volume. In hindsight, I believe I was over-training and under-eating. Mike simplifies many of the calculations by making them weight based.

I just drew a line in the sand at one point and decided to go ‘all in’ with the program. I even have a deload week now, which is something I had never done before. I believe deloading has increased my ability to add muscle mass and further prevent over-training in my 40’s.

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

Bigger Leaner Stronger is nearly an auto-pilot program for me. I used to constantly try and calculate my numbers and fuss about my warm-up sets and reps, trying to perfect it. Now, I use the warm-up routine (12/10/4/1) straight out of the book.

I created a chart in excel and hung it on the wall. We can all easily see our numbers and load the bar between sets. Knowing when to go up in weight is simple week over a week also because we just stay at the same weight until we get six, then follow the Bigger Leaner Stronger rules to progress.

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

I feel much better right now than I’ve felt in a while. I used to notice being tired and achy at sub 8 percent body fat, but now I am sub 7% and I feel energetic and my joints feel great. At one point I was nearly down to 6% body fat and still felt really good.

The other aspect I love is that I used to do a really lazy/dirty bulk each year and would get up to around 11 to 12% body fat. After that, I would work my way back down to 7%, and as I aged it got to the point where I wouldn’t ever net any muscle mass. With Bigger Leaner Stronger, I was able to maintain a lean physique during the reverse dieting phase and felt amazing!

This next year I’m going to push reverse dieting a little further and add even more calories slowly and allow my bodyfat to move up just a little further to see if I can net just a little more lean mass. I’m super excited to see where this next year takes me with Bigger Leaner Stronger!

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

I recommend this program to everyone. It is simple and really hard to mess it up. It is like having personal training with you.

All you do is follow the rules for calories and lifting. When you get six reps, you move up. If you can’t get four reps, you move down… It just takes the emotion out and allows me to focus on the lifts themselves.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?


Did you use any Legion supplements?


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Want to become a success story too? Here's how he did it

The program that made this transformation possible:

The meal plan that makes building muscle and losing fat easy and enjoyable:

Mike Matthews is a bestselling fitness author of Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef, as well the founder of Legion Athletics.

His simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy has sold over a million books and helped thousands of people build their best bodies ever, and his work has been featured in many popular outlets including Esquire, Men’s Health, Elle, Women’s Health, Muscle & Strength, and more, as well as on FOX and ABC.

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