"I am so much more confident with my body! I went clothes shopping and about 90% of all the clothes I tried on looked fantastic!"
What has happened so far on the program?
I’m 30 years old and in about 7 months I went from 262 lbs down to 210 lbs!
Basically the whole 7 months has been a cut for me. I have always had terrible food addictions so managing my calories was very important. I tracked every single calorie during this time, even the bad stuff!
Using Mikes TDEE calculator, I worked out at the very beginning of the cut what calories I needed in order to lose weight and gain some muscle.
By monitoring my weight and body fat, I changed the calories as my TDEE was changing at the end of each month. I worked on a 20-25% deficit the whole time. If 25% felt like I was starving my body then I would scale back to 20% when necessary.
As far as my routine goes, I followed the 5 day split in the book.
For cardio, in the beginning I was running, skipping (jump rope) and using the StairMaster for cardio everyday for 20 minutes (fasted). But I found that as I got deeper into the program running and skipping were giving me some knee problems, which was affecting my squats.
So I cut out running and skipping completely by month 5. I just feel now that longevity is very important when trying to lose body fat over a long period of time.
I workout out using the progressive overload technique that Mike teaches in Bigger Leaner Stronger. Generally with most lifts, if I could do 4 clean reps then that was perfect. However, if I was hitting 6 reps consistently then I knew it was time to up the weight.
Strength wise I have made some gains while cutting too. Nothing crazy, but still progress considering I have been on a calorie deficit.
I have added an extra 18 lbs to my overall dumbbell chest press, an extra 22 pounds to my squat and an extra 22 pounds to my military press.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
I’m not a big reader, so I actually listed to the audio book version of Bigger Leaner Stronger, which was great! I would listen to it on the way to the gym and apply the principles when I got there.
What do you like most about the program?
I think for me personally I found the diet and nutrition aspect of the program particularly useful. Before this program I would literally just hope for the best in terms of calories.
If I was not losing enough weight on previous programs, I would usually eat less and do more cardio, which would mean my weights would usually get sacrificed. However, knowing exactly what my TDEE is using Mikes TDEE calculator helped me out so so much.
I now know exactly how many calories I should have to cut.
I also followed Mikes advice of 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat, which I feel works absolutely perfect for me as I feel so much better mentally and physically with a high carbs diet.
The fact I could have high carbs and still lose body fat was a foreign concept to me (and probably most other people in the gym).
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
In terms of other programs I have tried, this program suits my style as I was already doing a 5 by 5 program.
So with the small adaption of 4 reps being fine and 6 being too easy, the weights side of the program was easy to adapt.
I have always believed that if you were natural, you then needed to train for strength to keep and improve your gains.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
I am so much more confident with my body! I went clothes shopping the week before my after-picture and about 90% of all the clothes I tried on looked fantastic!
Usually 90% of the clothes I try on would look terrible when I was at the 262 lbs weight. My energy levels and recovery times are definitely higher and my mood is a lot better too.
I do suffer with light anxiety and this program definitely helped me regulate it more efficiently.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to see some results for their efforts.
I can’t tell you the amount of people who go to the gym and work as hard or even harder than I do, but see no results for it due to incorrect nutrition.
Also, the amount of people who do tons and tons of cardio but look terrible would also benefit from this book, as they would realize that a resistance program is also important. So basically anyone who doesn’t understand:
1. How many calories they should be having.
2. How much cardio they should be doing.
3. What kind of resistance training they should be doing.
If someone is looking to create a natural-looking, strong, sexy and lean physique then this program is for them.
I do feel when “cutting” you need to plan months in advance. I remember seeing Jordan’s transformation and I messaged Mike to ask how long a cut like that would take and he said about 6 months, so I used that as my benchmark.
I try to log everything where possible; I think it’s so important to log your calories.
Do exercises and cardio that are going to allow you stay injury free or minimize your risk while trying to cut.
Cutting generally takes time so you need to make sure your body is going to take minimal time off.
For example I switched from a wide grip pull up position to a underhand position because the wide grip was hurting my shoulders.
It’s important to understand the numbers before you begin your program. Finding out what your TDEE is and how many calories you need to have to cut is very important.
I have not been ill once during my whole cut! And my joints feel great!