"I am much more confident in talking to people and found myself to be much more outgoing. My body feels like it can do anything."
What has happened so far on the program?
I’m 18 years old and started at 132 lbs at around 13-14% bf and in the course of a year I gained around 20 lbs of muscle while losing body fat too.
In Asian culture it’s considered disrespectful to deny one’s cooking as it’s usually interpreted as distaste for the food, even if it’s for the sake of getting in shape.
Because of this, I basically dirty bulked my way through senior year as my parents were completely against the idea of anything related to dieting.
I gained weight quite rapidly; around two to three pounds a week. I definitely gained more excess fat than I should have and I’m starting to see why it’s much better to bulk with a much smaller calorie surplus.
Wrestling season had also hindered my process significantly due to extreme amounts of cardio and sprinting while losing a bunch of water weight in order to make weight for tournaments.
I went back into bulking right after season and gained around 10 pounds and plateaued around 162 lbs (I’m 5’4 by the way).
Over the summer my parents finally submitted to my fitness lifestyle and allowed me to follow a set meal plan I created myself. I then cut for about 6 weeks down to 153 lbs while maintaining all my strength.
My main lifts have all gone up pretty rapidly and I was putting on an extra 10 lbs to each lift almost every 2 or 3 weeks.
My bench went up to 225 for 6 reps, my deadlift went up to 325 for 5 reps, my squat went up to 315 for 5 reps, and my shoulder press is 145 lbs for 5 reps.
All my weight is mostly in my legs (I have thunder-thighs due to my genetics) so my shoulder press is definitely lacking in relation to my body weight.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
To be honest I never bought the book until I was starting to see some results from the workouts on the MFL website and I definitely had my doubts at first.
My major doubt was not being able to get the pump I was used to. In fact, Bigger Leaner Stronger seemed almost too easy compared to my previous experiences with workout programs and school sports.
How was I going to be a member of the swole patrol if my muscles weren’t about to explode from all the lactic acid accumulation? This was the first time I was introduced to the concept of overtraining.
I had witnessed the deceiving newbie gains creep into my scrawny frame through programs such as P90x (which is all high rep dumbbell muscle pump) and even worse was Insanity.
They’re great programs don’t get me wrong, but only if one’s main goal is to achieve a mediocre physique through copious amounts of cardio.
Swimming and wrestling had also instilled this mentality that I have to work until I’m faced with the possibility of death from overexertion.
All the previous programs had helped me lose a lot of fat (I was very chubby in middle school) so I was pretty content for a while especially because I developed a slight hint of abdominal definition.
It really wasn’t until senior year that I realized that abs on a skinny guy are like tits on a fat girl – they don’t count.
So that’s why I decided to start the program with blind faith (and with good reason) because everything Mike covers in his articles is backed up by reputable studies. None of which are tainted by bro-science (there’s a reason why it’s initialed BS).
What do you like most about the program?
The results I achieved doing this program is far beyond anything I would have ever gotten doing anything else.
I truly believe that BLS is the most efficient program out on the market for natural weight lifters trying to perfect their physique, especially for the ridiculously low cost of 7 dollars.
I love how the book is straight to the point without any fluff or BS and that everything you do on the program is thoroughly explained through reputable studies.
Even though the workouts aren’t easy in the slightest, they go by very fast so anyone can definitely squeeze in this program into their busy schedules.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
I’ve tried P90x and Insanity at home which gave me a taste of improvement in my physique, but none of these programs could compare to the results I achieved through BLS.
I had plateaued during my journey with P90x and I didn’t get any leaner nor had I gotten any bigger. I desperately responded by partaking in “body recomposition” diets.
The most notable was the ketogenic diet which did place me in a calorie deficit but I was absolutely miserable. I lost a lot of weight but also a lot of muscle in the process.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
Once I got into the groove, doing BLS workouts became a great way to jump-start my day. In fact, working out in the mornings became a necessity to ensure that I was functioning optimally for the day.
I am much more confident in talking to people and found myself to be much more outgoing. Activities that I never would have even thought of doing before suddenly became quite accessible as my body feels like it can do anything, such as rock climbing, surfing, hiking, etc.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Like anything in life, the most important thing when following this program is to make it a habit. The first two weeks are always the toughest for anything, but when you stick to it after that period it becomes second nature.
Most of the time you will actually feel better after working out. I have also adopted a mindset that makes me enjoy dieting rather than hate it.
I used to eat compulsively just because I was bored. I viewed it as a positive trade-off for a better looking body, not something that restricts me. In fact it set me free as I find myself looking for more activities to keep my mind off food and I actually found myself doing more throughout the day.
BLS has also spilled into other aspects of my life. It has taught me very valuable life lessons, and the most important one is that great things always take time.
You have to put in the effort day in and day out and, instead of focusing on building the Great Wall of China overnight, I realized that I should be more focused on laying each individual brick as perfectly as possible day by day. Eventually you will come out with a wall.
I also learned to be more cautious when consuming other products in other parts of my life. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Last but not least is to just jump into it and do it. Things that are set in motion usually stay in motion-just put blind faith into the program and eventually results will come.
Although I don’t really do fasted HIIT as much as I should, I use FORGE before activities such as hiking in the mornings or rock climbing and it works just as well to prevent muscle breakdown.
Legion PHOENIX also helps a lot with curbing cravings which is a godsend during cuts.