"The confidence boost I have received from improving my physique and health has been immense!"
What has happened so far on the program?
I am 29 years old and in 1.5 years I went from weighing 175 lbs at 16% body fat, down to 165 lbs at 8% body fat and gained considerable strength on my lifts.
My deadlift went from 325 lbs up to 475 lbs.
My squat went from 215 lbs up to 285 lbs.
My bench went from 205 lbs up to 235 lbs.
My military press went from 135 lbs up to 165 lbs.
You can’t tell from the first picture, but I would go to the gym often. Bigger Leaner Stronger put together the pieces of the puzzle in a way that was easy to understand, producing undeniable results for me.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
I had heard that BLS had nutrition as one of its core themes. Without a doubt, the concept of counting calories and macros seemed excessive and absurd to me.
I thought “oh there’s no way I’m going to do that, that is for weirdos who are incapable of enjoying life because they’re too busy counting rice kernels.” Wrong. That type of thinking is what kept me stuck in my very average body, despite regular gym use.
Getting the nutrition part down skyrocketed my gains. Mike made it clear the important roles that macronutrients play, including the science behind them. We are literally a product of what we put into our bodies.
Once Mike mentioned the Myfitnesspal app, I realized that counting calories wasn’t a burden, it was actually fun. Hitting my targets dead-on gave me a great sense of accomplishment.
What do you like most about the program?
Prior to BLS, the concept of bulking and cutting made no sense to me. Why couldn’t I just maintain? Mike made it perfectly clear and backed everything up with science.
Muscle is only efficiently built when in a caloric surplus and carbs translate into better gym performance, allowing you to progressively overload and gain size and strength. But you can’t bulk forever, you eventually need to cut the fat that you’ve gained.
I pick a date of significance that I want to cut for (usually a beach outing, or maybe Vegas 🙂 ) and I go on a cut diet to achieve a caloric deficit and lose fat, but retain the muscle that I worked hard to build.
Mike made it clear to me that the bodies you see in magazines are the product of multiple bulks and cuts, with each one achieving better results than the preceding one.
I get excited as I’m entering a cut or bulk as I know I can transform my body through knowledge, discipline and hard work.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
Before doing BLS, I would do a typical push day then a typical pull day. I’d target the 8-12 rep range that I heard from magazines was the optimal range to build muscle. Sadly I skipped leg day like millions of uninformed bros out there.
I would often alternate push/pull every other day, not giving the muscles enough time to rest. I wouldn’t log my sets and reps, and I would try to use memory.
I would never cook and my diet was mainly fast food and beer. Now I do Mike’s recommended 5 day weekly split, with 2 rest days (although I double up on Mondays and Wednesdays with afternoon lifts then bootcamp and hockey respectively in the evenings).
I go to the grocery store and cook meals now so that I can properly plan and count macros and I eat out only once a week. Getting the nutrition part down skyrocketed my gains.
The top 3 things I learned and implemented from BLS were:
1. LIFT HEAVY (primarily compound lifts, 4-6 reps around ~85% 1RM).
2. LOG YOUR FOOD (using Myfitnesspal to ensure you hit your macro goals).
3. LOG YOUR LIFTS (challenge yourself to beat last week’s numbers).
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
The confidence boost I have received from improving my physique and health has been immense. Friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time reached out for advice on how to get big and lean.
Job performance goes up when you’re feeling healthy and happy, and putting the right nutrients in your body. You become more confident and assertive in relationships, and become a more goal-oriented person in general.
BLS teaches you the right way to do things and it truly improves all aspects of your life.
The diet and workout discipline I have learned through BLS has carried over to general life goals. Within the last year I found a better paying job, bought a new car, and bought my first home.
With my own life more or less in order, I now want to focus on helping others achieve their goals, and may eventually explore a personal trainer certification.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I recommend this program to all of my friends and family. Many of them have tried it and have achieved their goals.
They ask me advice and I usually have the answer from all the knowledge and science that BLS has ingrained in me, and if not, I just look it up.
I find it fun to calculate a friend’s BMR, obtain his TDEE, and recommend a cut or bulk diet down to the exact macro.
Several of my friends achieved their goal of getting six pack abs for the summer. I preach the BLS fundamentals every chance I get, because it works!
Mike is excellent about personally answering questions via email, twitter etc.
I’ve sent him videos of my deadlift to critique when I’ve been stuck at plateaus and he gave me tips like keeping the chest up and the neck neutral (which I was not doing).
Since his feedback, I increased my deadlift max to 475 lbs. Somehow Mike manages to answer everyone’s questions, I’ve never seen any author of a book that’s sold over 200,000 copies do that.
It really shows that he cares and enjoys helping people. Because of the knowledge he’s armed me with, I completely transformed by body, and now I’m able to inform and coach others on the way to transform their physique and increase their confidence.
I also used Legion Pulse before every time I lifted.