How Darick Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 20 Pounds in Just 7 Months

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"This journey has been nothing short of amazing and life changing."

Darick's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 9 Months

What has happened so far on the program?

I had been lifting on and off since 2014 using BLS as a guideline or so but never really took it seriously until around January 2016. I decided that I needed a change and decided to start tracking my macros and planned my cut in March 2016.

I started at 158 lbs at probably around 17-18% body fat. I ended my cut in September and am bulking using a slightly modified version of Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger. I am currently one of the strongest guys in my weight class and everyone is surprised at my strength because I am a pretty small dude. I plan to compete in my first Men’s Physique show in April 2017 or September 2017.

My Stats-

Age: 20

Height: 5’ 7”

Weight Before Cut: 158.3 lbs.

Weight After Cut: 138.9 lbs.

2014 Max Bench: 115 lbs.

2014 Max Squat: 205 lbs.

2014 Max Deadlift: 165 lbs.

Current Max Bench: 215 lbs.

Current Max Squat: 305 lbs.

Current Max Deadlift: 325 lbs.


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

Nothing. Funny story- I was in Florida on vacation when I first bought BLS. And I passed through Clearwater about a day after I found out Mike had his office there so I was like “D’oh!”. But yeah nothing stopped me from getting with the program.


What do you like most about the program?

What I like most about the program that there is no bro science and BS behind all of the methodology. There is a reason why you do everything in the program.

It is great for people who want to get the most results for their time because BLS delivers fantastically on that: You can be in and out of the gym in less than an hour. For me, the gym is an integral part of my day so I don’t mind spending more time doing more volume but for the vast majority who don’t particularly enjoy the gym, this program is a godsend.

This program also teaches you the fundamentals of nutrition so you can apply what you learned instead of having to rely on coaching or paying someone else to do things for you. There is a lot of value here and from what I can see, Mike is one of few honest guys out there in the fitness industry.


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

I didn’t actually seriously try anything before BLS (keep in mind I am 20 years old) but I did do like Zyzz/Jeff Seid kinda workouts back in high school but clearly they didn’t do much because no one was ‘mirin my aesthetics. I had to tell people what their eyes couldn’t see- that I actually lifted.


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

This is the section I have been waiting to write for a long time. Bigger Leaner Stronger did nothing short of turning my life around. When I first picked up the book, I was 18 years old. I was kind of a loser who didn’t really seem to fit in. I was depressed over being dumped by my girlfriend and didn’t really know where I was going in life.

I was academically successful in first year of college but had pretty severe cases of social anxiety- I was visiting the psychologist’s office every week and felt like I had to hide it from my parents and the few friends I had because I didn’t want to be seen as weak.

Around the summer preceding my sophomore year just before my 19th birthday, I decided to take lifting seriously to improve my life because I was tired of feeling not good enough and not taking advantage of the opportunities I had.

I saw amazing gains in strength and muscle growth without even watching my diet for the first half a year on the program and in January 2016, I began to find a home and calling outside of the science lab-the gym. It was a fresh start for me and for the first time, I began to feel like I was alive and doing something for me that has genuinely positive impact.

I started my cut in March 2016 and while I didn’t get to 4% body fat or have the most shredded physique, I thought it was amazing and so did a lot of people. People began asking me for advice and I would do my best to help them the way Mike did for me.

Fast forward to the present, I am the head of a growing health and fitness club at my university where everyone can learn how to achieve their fitness goals surrounded by people with the same mindset and positivity.

Although chemistry is my first love when it comes to academics and my major, this program has changed my life to a point where my dream is to make it in the fitness industry and help as many people as I can. I believe everyone has their own unique story and situation and that everyone deserves to feel amazing about themselves.

I want to inspire people to do more, be more, and dream more, which is why if I am not studying for a chemistry exam and I am in the gym or writing meal plans and workout plans for people (for free too because I love it so much).

This journey has been nothing short of amazing and life changing, and I hope many others can find their passion as I have.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, absolutely!

I cannot emphasize the importance of using Mike’s calculators as a BASELINE for what your maintenance calories should be. I personally found his calculator overestimates the amount of food I should eat, as I discovered I have a naturally slow metabolism. Always use them as a guideline and adjust based on the scale.

Mike’s line of supplements are in my opinion, quite effective and would back any of the products I used without fail. But if you have to try one thing and one thing only, use the pre-workout PULSE. With the other stuff, you can say ”yeah it probably worked” but with the pre-workout, it is instant gratification because you feel a change in your mood and body within 20 minutes.

It is easy to get derailed by “aesthetic” YouTubers who do fancy workouts but do your best to stay true to yourself and the program and you WILL get results.

Don’t be afraid to hit Mike up on email; he is a really busy guy but he WILL reply and answer your questions.


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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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