"Without a doubt this transformation has made me more confident in my appearance."
What has happened so far on the program?
I started my journey about 4 years ago using Bigger Leaner Stronger and went from 270 lbs down to 167 lbs at 8% body fat.
The first picture I was 270 lbs at 23 years old, the second I had cut down to 150 lbs at 24 years old, the third picture I was about 190 lbs (after bulking) at 25 years old, and the last picture I was 167 lbs at 27 years old.
In the beginning of my transformation I determined what I needed to eat to be in a calorie deficit without being too rigid. I mostly focused on making healthy food choices that were more nutrient dense and filling.
Most of my training was done at home because I was too embarrassed to be at the gym. A lot of my training was done with body weight movements because I figured I should be able to move my own weight before worrying too much about progressive overload.
Within a few months I purchased some free weight equipment and began my relationship with weight training. This is about when I found Bigger Leaner Stronger. I read the book cover to cover and was hooked.
That first year and half of cardio and weight training I lost about 120 pounds. However, all of that weight loss within a relatively short period of time did result in some loose skin. I was determined to get as lean as possible in order to reduce the appearance of the skin.
When I got down to 150 pounds and about 8% body fat, the skin was still there so I decided to start a bulk. This was a new experience for me because I had been dieting for so long. I was nervous and elated all at once.
I took advantage of the higher calories and lifted as heavy as possible. The first year of following BLS I had taken my bench from less than 100 pounds for a few reps to being able to get 185 for 4-6 reps.
My squat went from 135 pounds for some reps to 225 for 4-6 reps. And my deadlift went from 185 pounds for a few reps to 275 for 4-6 reps.
There was considerable progress but I wanted to be so much stronger. Over the year of bulking (with the occasional mini cut) I took my bench to 215 for 4-6 reps, squat to 275 for 4-6 reps and deadlift to 335 for 4-6 reps.
I was pretty stoked with my progress so I continued to move further with the bulking (with mini cuts) and as of now I can bench 245 for 4-6 reps, squat 335 for 4-6 reps and deadlift 385 for 4-6 reps.
When I recently tested my 1rm for each they were:
Squat: 390 lbs.
Bench: 290 lbs.
Deadlift: 455 lbs.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
What do you like most about the program?
The training splits in BLS and BBLS resonated well with me and was not difficult to adhere to. I have also implemented training routines from Layne Norton (PH3 and PHAT Training Protocols).
All share the same fundamental ideas of heavy strength training, progressive overload, as well as accessory movements (i.e. bicep curls, lat pull-downs, side delt raises)
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
Without a doubt this transformation has made me more confident in my appearance, and has led me to seek a position within this field to help others make the same changes.
I also believe that because of my issues with loose skin (which I still have) that I can help offer a perspective that many other fitness coaches/experts do not have.
It is a reality for a lot of people who lose massive amounts of weight in relatively short periods of time.
It has also given me the confidence to open up about being homosexual and I attribute it to me meeting my fiancé, of whom I had met soon after losing the weight.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I highly recommend this program, and more importantly the message that Mike Matthews promotes, to anyone looking to embark on their own journey. I have pointed many of my friends towards his website and supplement line.
When I first found Mike Matthews and Muscleforlife.com, Legion did not exist yet. So I looked to his recommendation on quality supplements, and found a lot of good products.
As soon as Legion hit the market with Pulse, I new I was going to have my one stop shop for supplements. Now my favorite stack is Pulse, Forge, Phoenix, Recharge, Triton, and Triumph (mixed and matched depending whether I am bulking or cutting).