How Dan Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 45 Pounds and 11% Body Fat

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"The quality of my life has improved, my energy has increased, sleep quality has improved, and my joints ache less!"

Dan's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 1 Year
Progress Image 2 Years

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

My progress was 24 months from the first picture taken on the beach (June 2016), to the second beach picture (June 2017), to the third beach picture (June 2018).

My body fat percentage was 18-19% in the 2016 photo, 9-10% in the 2017 photo, and 7-8% in the 2018 photo.

What has happened so far on the program?

I turned 50 years old in May 2016, weighed 235 lb, (18-19% body fat) at 6’2”, had a daughter who was 19 and two sons who were 12 and 14, and realized that I needed to make some serious changes if I were to be more actively involved in these important years in their lives.

So, the first week of June 2016, a close friend told me about Muscle for Life. I purchased a customized meal plan the next day and began Mike’s Bigger Leaner Stronger program the following week (using The Year One Challenge for Men).

I began a cut in mid-June 2016. I’d alternate between cutting for 3 months and maintaining for a month for the next 12 months. When June 2017 arrived, I weighed 190 lb at 9-10% body fat. I had gained significant strength on all my compound lifts but saw the biggest improvement on the deadlift, since it was a lift I had never even tried before.

In August 2017, I began the same cut (3-months)/maintenance (1-month) process that I did the previous 12 months. My strength has continued to improve, although not as quickly as it did in those first 12 months.

But, as of June 2018 (I’m now 52 years old!), and I am stronger now than I was both in June 2016 and in June 2017. Plus, my body fat percentage is now 7-8%.

I’m really in the best shape of my life aside of me being a 4-year college basketball player in the 1980s. When I was 20 years old, I had a 42” vertical leap as a 6’2” guard. Now, at 52 years old (and having worked Mike’s program for 2 years), although my vertical is a shadow of what it was 30 years ago, I can at least now grab the rim with two hands!

What workout split from the book did you use?

I did the 5-day split for the first 6 months and then had to move to the 4-day split because of my work schedule. I’ve been using the 4-day split ever since.

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

Mike’s program was recommended to me by a close friend. If I had not seen his transformation with my own eyes, I’m almost certain I would not have tried it.

I had become fairly cynical about the newest, best, cutting-edge fitness/training programs that were being marketed to me. So, I wasn’t about to try a new one. No way.

But when I saw with my own eyes, a program that worked for a close friend, I knew I had to give Bigger Leaner Stronger a long-term try, and I’m not about to stop using it now!

What do you like most about the program?

It’s not rocket science. Lifting heavy, focusing on the compound lifts, and tracking your macros and caloric intake are the holy grail. What I love most about Mike’s program is that it became a lifestyle for me, and it became fairly easy, quickly.

During my first 12-months on Mike’s program, I also became a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, so I’ve been able to help quite a few people achieve fitness goals they did not think possible. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have now as a personal trainer to “pay it forward.”

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

The short answer: it works. It just simply works. To be frank, it took me a month or so to get used to resting 3-4 minutes between lifts. In all my previous years in the gym, I was so used to feeling more and more “pumped” as the workout progressed. But I wasn’t feeling any “pump” with the long rest periods between lifts. ‘

But when I really started seeing strength and size gains in months 2 and 3, as well as more muscle definition because of a decrease in body fat, I no longer cared about “feeling the muscle-pump!” I now cared more about the science than I did about the feeling.

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

The quality of my life has improved significantly. My energy has increased, sleep quality has improved, and my joints (especially my knees and hips) ache a whole lot less! And, most importantly, my optimism about life as a whole is significantly better.

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

I recommend Mike’s program frequently, mainly to people who feel stuck and frustrated with the carousel of programs they’ve tried that have not produced the results for which they have hoped.

Once they’ve heard my story and a 30,000 foot look at Bigger Leaner Stronger, they are usually eager to give it a go. I thoroughly enjoy seeing their joy as they begin seeing the kind of results the program produces.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Think long-term. The results you’re looking for will happen over time if you stick with the program. Slow and steady wins the game.

Did you use any Legion supplements?

I’ve used Pulse (pre-workout), Recharge (post-workout), Phoenix (fat burner), and Forge (pre-workout fat burner). Loved them all!

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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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