Subscribe & Save 10%
Free Shipping & Returns

How Stuart Used Bigger Leaner Stronger to Lose 8 Pounds and 7% Body Fat


"My confidence, energy, and attitude have all improved!"

Stuart's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 1 Year
Progress Image 2 Years

How many months’ progress do your pictures represent? What were your stats for each picture?

They represent 24 months.

In my before picture, I was 171.5 pounds and approximately 16-17% body fat.

In the second picture, I was 186.5 pounds and 18% body fat and ended up at 163.6 pounds and roughly 10-11% body fat in my after picture.

What has happened so far on the program?

When I first started lifting, I tried to bulk up but didn’t know about macros, calorie counting, myfitnesspal, progressive overload, etc. I ended up gaining 10 pounds and my posture improved tremendously, but I was still very weak. This phase happened from July 2015 to the beginning of 2017.

In 2016 I was at my heaviest (around 190 pounds), but I was still fat and weak and was not counting macros properly. I would occasionally be able to increase my lifts, but I usually ended up doing the same exact thing in the gym from week to week.

I also wasn’t going to an actual gym; I worked out in my apartment for a while and then graduated to the apartment gym before getting an actual gym membership. I almost quit a few times because of how frustrated I was. I didn’t have a scientific understanding around training, which I desperately needed.

That’s when I came across Mike Matthews and his work. He stressed focusing on progressive overload and working primarily in the 4-6 rep range. I learned that your body will not respond and build muscle unless you grow stronger. The premise is so basic, yet a lot of guys miss it. I see some of craziest stuff in the gym and it makes me cringe. I just want to hand them Bigger Leaner Stronger!

Mike also stressed that you cannot effectively bulk at 16% body fat. That was my main issue. I was shoveling down food, but my body didn’t respond because I wasn’t actually primed for a bulk. I was just skinny fat.

So, I decided to start over. I cut down from 180 pounds and 16% body fat to 159 pounds and about 10% body fat. I just recently got done cutting (it took me around 16 weeks).

My body now looks 100 times better at my lowest weight! Imagine that! As a tall, lanky guy, I thought I would look emaciated–but nothing could be further from the truth.

I started my cut eating around 3,200 calories and finished it eating about 1,600 calories. At that point, I couldn’t cut any longer. My strength went down (especially all my chest-related lifts) and I felt tired from the lack of carbs.

I then utilized reverse dieting and intermittent fasting, and as a result my strength has skyrocketed. From January 2017 until now, my deadlift increased from 90 to 250, my squat increased from 95 to 165, and my bench press increased from 95 to 150. I expect these numbers to go up even more as I move back into a bulk.

I stopped doing the military press since it was bothering the teres muscle in my shoulder at the top of the lift. When I stopped I was able to do 100 pounds for 5 reps. I now do landmine presses and they feel better on my shoulders.

What workout split from the book did you use?

The 3-day split: Chest/Shoulders, Back/Biceps, and Legs with HIIT thrown in 2 times per week.

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

Nothing. I knew Bigger Leaner Stronger was legit. I had done a lot of research prior to buying the program by listening to Mike’s podcast and other guys including Greg O’ Gallagher, Christopher Walker, Radu Antoniu, and Aesthetic Professional.

What do you like most about the program?

The program is based around science-backed research. That’s what really resonated with me. I’m the type of person that needs to get to the bottom of things.

Results wise, I’m pretty happy with my progress so far. I can actually see my serratus muscles, my chest is starting to round out more, and my back and lats are finally starting to develop.

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

There is no comparison. You go into the gym, lift heavy, and get out. I love the workouts because they truly elicit a response from your body. I now enjoy going the gym because I’m able to constantly push myself by getting that extra rep or increasing the weight.

A lot of people think you have to eat certain foods to lose weight or get abs. A lot of people also think you can’t get stronger in a cut. These are two of the biggest myths in the fitness industry!

It’s all about calories in, calories out, and some cardio. Also, 80-90% of your diet should be wholesome foods! I eat a lot of steak, potatoes, chicken, fish, bison, turkey, etc. and always try to get some veggies in as well. Cheating is okay, too! Just do it in moderation.

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

My confidence, energy, and attitude have all improved.

I swear, I could never understand why guys in the gym grunted and let out all kinds of weird noises. After lifting heavy and not screwing around, I now get it. I’m that guy now, just not as obnoxious. 😀

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

Anybody who is skinny fat, weak, confused, down in the dumps, or wants to do things the right way.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Building your body takes time, but it also takes knowledge, commitment, and some grit. Lifting in the 4-6 rep range is not for the faint of heart, let me assure you. Heavy weight lifting isn’t always flowers and rainbows, either.

Not everyone has the courage to step into a squat rack and give it their all, but everyone has the ability to learn how. If you’re reading this, don’t give up. Embrace the days where you feel like Thanos, because it isn’t always like that. Some days you’re going to feel weaker than others!

Remember this: it’s a marathon and not a sprint, just like most things in life that are worthwhile. Most importantly, have fun! Be loose, smile, and don’t ever take it too seriously.

Did you use any Legion supplements?

FORTIFY really helped with my joints! Legion has so many great supplement to try! 🙂

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 the founder and CEO of Legion as well as a bestselling fitness author of several books, including Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef.

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.

You May Also Like

Our Most Popular Evidence-Based Articles

Our 100% "It’s-On-Us" Money-Back Guarantee

No matter what you decide to buy, you're always protected by our ironclad, 100% money-back guarantee that works like this:

If you don't absolutely love our stuff for whatever reason, you get a prompt and courteous refund. No forms to fill out or hoops to jump through.

That means you can say "yes" now and decide later. You really have nothing to lose.

Free Worldwide Shipping & Returns

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 go in for happy customers, and free shipping works like gangbusters.

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 $199.

Why the restriction on international orders? Unfortunately, shipping abroad is very expensive, and if we didn’t require a minimum order size, we’d lose a lot of money.

That said, as most international customers spend about $200 with us each time they shop, this setup is a win-win.

And no matter what you decide to buy, you’re always protected by our ironclad, 100% money-back guarantee that works like this:

If you don’t absolutely love our stuff for whatever reason, you get a prompt and courteous refund. No forms to fill out or hoops to jump through.

That means you can say “yes” now and decide later. You really have nothing to lose.

Made in USA

Where your supplements are made matters, because rules and regulations regarding quality and purity differ from country to country.

And if you want to ensure the supplements you’re swallowing every day are safe and effective, you want products produced in the USA.

That’s why all of our supplements are made in America in NSF-certified and FDA-inspected facilities that operate in accordance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations.

We pay a premium to work with the best manufacturers in the country, but it’s the only way we can also produce the best all-natural sports supplements.

Lab Tested

Did you know that studies have shown that many supplements contain dangerously high levels of toxins like lead, arsenic, and cadmium?

Not ours.

Every ingredient of every supplement we produce is tested for heavy metals, microbes, allergens, and other contaminants to ensure they meet the strict purity standards set by the FDA.

Naturally Sweetened & Flavored

While artificial sweeteners may not be as dangerous as some people claim, studies suggest that regular consumption of these chemicals may indeed be harmful to our health and that more research is needed.

That’s why all of our supplements are naturally sweetened and flavored and contain no artificial food dyes, fillers, or other unnecessary junk.

Science-Backed Ingredients & Doses

Every ingredient in every supplement we offer is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research, and every dose is included at clinically effective levels.

That means everything in our products is based on published scientific studies demonstrating real benefits, not the restrictions of razor-thin production budgets and gluttonous profit margins.

So, while everyone claims to have the best supplements on the market, we can back it up with real science and real numbers.

Buy now, pay later.

Split your entire online purchase into 4 interest-free payments, over 6 weeks with no impact to your credit.

payment break down 25% today, 25% 2 weeks, 25% 4 weeks, 25% 6 weeks


2 weeks

4 weeks

6 weeks

Here's how to Sezzle

Step 1 - shop the store


Shop and add items to your cart as normal!

Step 2 - checkout at the store


Choose Sezzle at Checkout! You’ll be redirected to Sezzle to Sign Up or Log In to complete your order.

Step 3 - Select Sezzle and Sezzleit

Sezzle it

Your order will be shipped out right away* and your payments will be split up over 6 weeks.

*shipping times subject to merchant shipping policy

Download the App

Shop directory. Reschedule payments. Plus more!

Meal Plan Waiver

In consideration of being allowed to participate in the activities and programs offered by M4L, Inc. and to use its nutrition programs and supplement and training advice, in addition to the payment of any fee or charge, I do hereby waive, release and forever discharge and hold harmless M4L, Inc. and its consultants, officers, agents, and employees from any and all responsibility, liability, cost and expenses, including injuries or damages, resulting from my participation in any activities, or my use of any programs designed by M4L, Inc. I do also hereby release M4L, Inc. its consultants, officers, agents and employees from any responsibility or liability for any injury, damage or disorder (physical, metabolic, or otherwise) to myself, or in any way arising out of or connected with my participation in any activities with M4L, Inc.

I understand that M4L, Inc. and its consultants, officers, agents, and employees are not healthcare professionals. The services I have received from ML4, Inc do not provide or offer and are not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis, or treatment (“medical advice”). While ML4, Inc. believes that the information provided through our services and the site is current and reliable, ML4, Inc. cannot and does not make any such guarantee or warranty.

I hereby agree that before using our services, you will consult your physician or other health care provider for medical advice, particularly if you are at risk for problems arising from changes in your diet or lifestyle. The services provided by ML4, Inc. are not intended to be used by minors or individuals with health conditions that makes the kind of changes to diet or lifestyle suggested by our services unsafe or inappropriate. Furthermore, I hereby understand that ML4, Inc. shall have no obligation or responsibility to monitor my health status or health condition or to contact or alert any medical or emergency professional.

I understand and am aware that strength, flexibility, and aerobic exercise, including the use of equipment are a potentially hazardous activity. I also understand that fitness activities involve a risk of injury and even death, and that I am voluntarily participating in these activities and using equipment and machinery with knowledge of the dangers involved. I hereby agree to expressly assume and accept any and all risks of injury or death related to said fitness activities. In addition, I certify that I am 18 years of age or older.

I do hereby further declare myself to be physically sound and suffering from no condition, impairment, disease, infirmity or other illness that would affect nutrient metabolism or prevent my participation or use of equipment or machinery except as hereinafter stated. I do hereby acknowledge that M4L, Inc. has recommended to me that I obtain a physician’s approval for my participation in an exercise/fitness activity or in the use of exercise equipment and machinery. I also acknowledge that M4L, Inc. has recommended that I have a yearly or more frequent physical examination and consultation with my physician as to physical activity, exercise and use of exercise and training equipment so that I might have his/her recommendations concerning these fitness activities and equipment use. I acknowledge that I have either had a physical examination and been given my physician’s permission to participate, or that I have decided to participate in activity and use of equipment, machinery, and programs designed by M4L, Inc. without the approval of my physician and do hereby assume all responsibility for my participation and activities, and utilization of equipment and machinery in my activities.

I understand that all diet and training programs, nutrition and supplementation advice, and any and all other forms of information obtained from ML4, Inc. are not meant to treat or manage any health condition. I understand the need to consult with a healthcare provider prior to adjusting current lifestyle or eating habits or beginning any new diet and/or training plan.

In addition, I hereby represent and warrant that I am currently covered by an accident and health insurance policy. With my purchase of products or services from ML4, Inc., I understand that results of any sort are not guaranteed and agree not to hold M4L, Inc. staff liable for any outcomes or a lack thereof. With my purchase of any ML4, Inc. products or services, I understand that they are only guaranteed to work in software designed for a PC computer such as Microsoft Excel. I understand that I am purchasing having known that beforehand and understand that using any other application besides Microsoft Excel might result in the products not working with 100% functionality.


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.