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How Derek Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 30 Pounds and 8% Body Fat

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"I saw amazing results and have a newfound sense of confidence!"

Derek's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 12 Months

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

The photos provided represent 12 months of progress–from July 2016 to July 2017.

My starting body fat percentage was approximately 20% and after the program I ended around 12%. I was 200 lb in my before picture and 170 lb in my after.

What has happened so far on the program?

After using the Bigger Leaner Stronger fundamentals for over a year, I’ve lost 30 lb of fat and have made significant strength gains on almost all of my lifts. I was already doing many of Mike’s recommended exercises for arms, shoulders, and chest and was able to increase all my lifts by about 25% using his recommended rep ranges.

My most significant area of improvement was in squats and deadlifts. Having a surgically repaired knee and nagging lower back issue, the idea of doing squats and deadlifts scared me. However, after starting light and learning proper technique, I improved my deadlift 1RM from 205 to 330 and back squat from 185 to 275 while losing 30 lb in the process!

Whenever I lost weight in the past, I usually also lost strength. But by maintaining the intensity in my workouts and sticking to a high protein diet (and eating my carbs around lifting sessions), I was still able to make fantastic gains while being in a deficit.

What workout split from the book did you use?

I had success with the 5-day split when I first started Bigger Leaner Stronger, but within a few months of increasing the intensity of my workouts, I was unable to recover in a timely fashion. So I ended up increasing the amount of rest days and changed to a modified 3-day split of chest/shoulders/ triceps, back/biceps, and legs.

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

What could have kept me from starting this program is the same thing that keeps me from believing most fitness professionals–what is their purpose in fitness and how do they live their life?

My goal in fitness, or anything in life for that matter, is to align myself with individuals with similar goals and values. Fitness is a massively large business and I believe most people don’t follow the proper blueprint for their specific goals.

I live a sober lifestyle and it was important to me to be a part of a drug-free program that would boost my overall health and confidence. After reading Mike’s thoughts about the fitness world–especially the unregulated supplement industry–I knew we shared similar goals and values.

What do you like most about the program?

The program was not easy, but it was simple! I don’t mind hard work and suffering as long as I’m on the right path. There is nothing more frustrating than suffering through a program only to see no results!

After seeing significant results in only 6 weeks, I knew I was on the right path and it was no longer something I had to get through but something I loved! It’s important to love the process or you’ll never stay consistent.

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

I never dieted much, but when I did it was usually very low-carb. I found myself losing muscle mass and unable to maintain energy during training sessions. Bigger Leaner Stronger keeps things basic with no gimmicks or hacks. Burn more calories than you consume. Period.

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

Meeting my fitness goals was very empowering and resulted in a new high. I found that committing to real change and achieving this goal created a new confidence that bled into all other areas of my life. Knowing you can progress to that level, and can do it whenever you want, is very fulfilling.

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

I would recommend Bigger Leaner Stronger to someone who is new to the fitness world or someone who is an experienced lifter who has plateaued. It’s an excellent program to get you back on track!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

In the Bigger Leaner Stronger program, please pay special attention to chapter 2, “The Inner Game.” In my opinion, this is by far the most important section of the book!

At the time I started this program I told myself I will succeed with this transformation no matter what. In fact, “No matter what” was the mantra I would repeat to myself over and over again when I had nothing left. Once you mentally commit and KNOW you’re going to accomplish this goal, the rest is easy.

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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