How Ivan Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Gain 5 Pounds of Lean Mass

Share On

"As soon as I started BLS, I progressed so fast people couldn’t believe it. People that have been lifting for a couple of years were asking me for advice!"

Ivan's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 11 Months

What has happened so far on the program?

I am 30 yrs old and in 11 months I went from 142 lbs to 147 lbs, while dropping fat and gaining a ton of strength!

I had one month of going to the gym in the first picture and that day started the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

The first month, before starting the program, wasn’t bad. I lost a couple pounds and started seeing my abs, but my muscles were far away from being impressive.

As soon as I started the BLS program, well, I progressed so fast that people couldn’t believe it.

People that have been going to the gym for a couple of years were asking me for advice, and it felt great to be able to give good advice that actually works and is backed by science.

My current benchmarks for the big lifts are as follows (1RM):

Deadlift- 462 lbs

Bench press- 282 lbs

Over head press- 211 lbs

Squat- 363 lbs

All of them from 0 because, before starting the program, I only used machines.

I tend to bulk for three months and then cut for one month if the BF level is near 14%.

So, in the last picture, I was on my third bulking cycle. I cut exactly as Mike proposed and ate the high amount of protein.

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

You can pretty much say I was a blank canvas when I started the BLS program and, as soon as I saw the good reviews on Amazon, I bought the book.

What do you like most about the program?

The best thing about the program is that it is 100% science based. Mike really knows what he’s talking about.

It makes it easier finding all the answers in one place and not believing every myth and false info you see on the internet.

Also, it really shows what works for us natural lifters. On the Internet you can’t really know what has worked for someone else, because he may simply be not telling you he’s juicing too.

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

I haven’t tried any other programs, except the default program the gym offered for the first month. It was really bad, as you can imagine. BLS is a hell of a good program.

As for the diet in BLS, the Muscle for Life macronutrient calculator is my go to source for recalculating my macros.

I learned the IIFYM way of dieting too and it’s great. It really works and of course I eat all my veggies, not just empty macros.

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

Well, I’m way more confident. I don’t feel backaches anymore, nor does my neck hurt.

When bulking I have a lot of energy but on cuts I’ll be honest, my energy falls a lot. It’s part of the process though.

One bad thing is that I’m more hedonistic too. 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d recommend this book to everybody because it really works.

The pros outweigh the cons, and it is really just a matter of starting. Once you do, it gets easier every day.

I’m currently using Legion Recharge and Pulse, and my wife that is on the Thinner Leaner Stronger program is using the Legion Phoenix fat burner as well as the Recharge.


Readers' Ratings

No Ratings

Your Rating?

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.

If you enjoyed this article, get weekly updates. It's free.

100% Privacy. We don't rent or share our email lists.

More from Legion


Many companies offer a money-back guarantee because they know the majority of dissatisfied customers aren’t going to go through the hassle of actually returning the product to get their money back. We don’t play these games because we don’t have to, the quality of our products makes it unnecessary.

If you order any of our supplements for the first time and don’t like it, you can keep it. Just notify us and we’ll give you a full refund on the spot. No complicated forms and no return necessary.

To protect ourselves from fraud, the It’s-On-Us guarantee is only valid for first time purchases of a product, and redeemable up to three months after purchase. If you bought more than one bottle of a supplement on your first purchase and don’t like it, we would ask that you send the unopened bottles back to us for a refund because we can put them back into our sellable inventory.


Many companies use shipping and handling fees to increase their profit margins, but here at Legion, we hate profits so our shipping is 100% free!

Okay, we do dig on profits, but we also do offer 100% free shipping to everywhere in the world because it makes people you like happy, and that makes us happy.

So, if you live in the United States, your order ships free regardless of order size, and if you live anywhere else, your order ships free when it’s over $99.

Why the restriction on international orders?

Unfortunately shipping outside of the US is very expensive and if we didn't require a minimum order size, we'd lose a lot of money. That said, most customers spend about $100 with us each time they shop, so this setup is a win-win.

Fact Checked

Our scientific review board of nutritionists, dietitians, molecular biologists, doctors, and other accredited experts is responsible for reviewing every article, podcast, and video we produce to ensure they’re evidence based, accurate, trustworthy, and current.

Thanks to their connections, credentials, and academic experience, this team of MDs, PhDs, and other professionals has access to a wealth of research published in the largest and most prestigious journals in the world.

This allows them to not only review individual studies but also analyze the overall weight of the evidence on any and all topics related to diet, exercise, supplementation, and more.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, misleading, out-of-date, or anything less than factual, please let us know in the comments section of the article in question.

Evidence Based

We follow a detailed, rigorous, multi-step process to create content that meets the highest standards of clarity, practicality, and scientific integrity.

First, our research associates provide our editorial team with accurate, up-to-date, proven scientific evidence.

Then, our editorial team uses this research to draft articles and outlines for podcasts and videos.

Finally, our scientific review board reviews the content to ensure all key information and claims are backed by high-quality scientific research and explained simply and precisely.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, misleading, out-of-date, or anything less than factual, please let us know in the comments section of the article in question.