"For the first time in my life, I got significantly stronger when I cut."
What has happened so far on the program?
I’m 26 years old and dropped 47 pounds in 4 months of Mike’s Bigger Leaner Stronger program.
I did a cut for the majority of my transformation going from 210 lbs to 163 lbs and I am now starting a bulk in which I am two weeks into it and have gained 5 lbs, (163-168 lbs, around 8-9% body fat).
My bench press max has increased from 240 to 265 lbs, my squat has gone from 250 lbs to 320 lbs, my deadlift has gone from 295 lbs to 365 lbs, and my military press has gone from 145 lbs to 175 lbs.
For the first time in my life, I got significantly stronger when I cut. I was so cut averse before because of how much weaker I would get when I tried to cut previous to this program so learning to cut the correct way has been such a blessing.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
There definitely have been a LOT of other programs I have tried that did not work the way I expected. I got bigger, a little bit stronger but was not getting the definition I desired.
The other programs I tried were designed to have me blow up slowly while not really noticing it, if that makes sense. When I realized that I had blown up, I felt gross and almost like a fraud.
I had been studying for my personal training certification and could not in good conscience train people looking the way I did. I went online and came across an article on Muscleforlife.com and explored the site.
What shocked me was how transparent the website was and how backed by science it was. I am naturally a skeptical person, so I did my research on the company. The reviews from the book were amazing. When I saw the reviews, without hesitation I got the book and the rest is history.
What do you like most about the program?
Strength week is my favorite week of the program. I love how much it challenges me mentally and I look forward to using it as an assessment of sorts. When you get to that working set of deadlifts, man, your whole body is sore and you gotta really will that weight up. However, strength week is a week that reminds you of how far you have come as well.
Overall the program was a lot simpler than I expected. I think anyone who has worked in just about any industry has heard the acronym KISS (keep it simple stupid).
I have learned that physiologically speaking, science backs up that same notion in terms of reaching one’s fitness goals. I was expecting some weird lifts, lots of integrated lifting cardio, but this book really is proof of the simplicity of what it takes to get the body that one desires to have.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
I will admit I was a bit skeptical of the whole lift heavy while you cut advice from the book, which goes against all “conventional” wisdom. I had done several programs which included trying to do as many reps as you could in a minute, drop sets, even one in which you did 10 sets of 10 for each exercise.
The result was always a plateau or my body being burnt out after the workout and taking forever to recover.
The diet plans from my previous programs were kind of a joke too. They all had a one-size fits all type of assumption to them that caused me to have major fat gain (as you can tell from the pics).
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
I am much more confident and my friends are constantly asking me to go to lift with them and set them up on a program and diet. That has been awesome to me!
I have been much more productive at work and made several steps to starting my own life coaching business with an emphasis in fitness.
In addition, the learning when to strategically cheat on the diet has given me the strength to better prioritize those things that matter in my life professionally when a distraction pops up.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Honestly, I would recommend to anyone that is able to lift safely. I think anyone that is willing to put forth the work and wants to maximize his or her potential will benefit highly from this program. For me I had always had the work ethic to achieve it, I just needed the knowledge. This is just the beginning, and I am far from done.
I’d also tell people to have fun doing it! Push yourself, be patient, trust the process, get a food scale, get the proper measuring cups, and find out what you are capable of accomplishing. Also keep yourself informed. The website offers a lot of free content and I have learned that Legion and Muscleforlife are companies of integrity and transparency that really want you to succeed.