I’ve been following my Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2.0 program for over two years now (I was tinkering with the programming for about a year before I released the second edition of the book), and I just finished another macrocycle of training with a flourish.

At the end of each 4-month macrocycle, the program calls for rep max testing on several primary exercises, and here’s how it went this time at a body weight of 193 to 195 pounds:

  • Flat bench: 265 x 3 for an estimated 1RM of 280 pounds. I started this macrocycle at an estimated 1RM of 270 pounds.
  • Deadlift: 420 x 5 for an estimated 1RM of 470 pounds. I started this macrocycle at an estimated 1RM of 450 pounds.
  • Seated military press: 165 x 5 for an estimated 1RM of 180 pounds. I started this macrocycle at an estimated 1RM of 175 pounds.
  • Safety bar squat: 260 x 8 for an estimated 1RM of 320 pounds. I started this macrocycle at an estimated 1RM of 280 pounds.
  • Incline bench press: 230 x 3 for an estimated 1RM of 240 pounds. I started this macrocycle at an estimated 1RM of 240 pounds.

Surprisingly, after a couple of years of BBLS 2.0 now, this was one of my most productive macrocycles yet, yielding absolute PRs (pure poundage) on the deadlift and safety bar squat and touching on a relative (to body weight) PR on the flat bench press.

That also puts me within striking distance of the “3-4-5” gold strength standard for natural weightlifters (3 plates on the bench, 4 on the squat, and 5 on the deadlift). Gods willing, I may be able to hit the hat trick within the next year or so.

So, what explains the burst of progress in this macrocycle? 

Legion’s supplements, natch. 

Please give us all your money (and all the money you can borrow) so I can honor and manifest my core gift of Internet profiteering before eventually fleeing the country to lean into aligning my passions and balancing my energetics.

Moving on.

The primary factors that made this macrocycle so productive are just . . . consistency and patience.

*dodges salvo of rotten kumquats*

LISTEN. I DON’T MAKE THE RULES. I DON’T ENFORCE REALITY. THEM’S JUST THE BREAKS.

The reason I did so well is I only missed a couple of workouts in the entire macrocycle (and they were on a deload week); I ate 2,800-to-3,000 calories and 180-to-200 grams of protein every 

day as well as oodles of nutritious carbs and fats (fruits, veg, whole grains, nuts, and the like) 5-to-6-days per week; and I got 7.5-to-8 hours of sleep at least 80% of the last 120-something nights.

Think of it like this: 

When baking, what happens if you forget the leavener? Or if you use too much sugar? Or not enough fat? You’re in a bad way because you need all of the right components in the right quantities to create a righteous batch of confections. 

Likewise, the recipe for gaining muscle and strength becomes more exacting as you approach your genetic limits. It goes from mom’s banana bread to rainbow baked Alaska, and if you fail to account for humidity or the age of your baking soda, you get a slushy puddle of half-rotten tree sap. You must be meticulous to make the grade. 

So remember: The passport to gains is always found in refining the fundamentals, not ferreting around the fringes. Energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient balance, not intermittent fasting, keto, or supplements. Volume, intensity, and progressive overload, not reverse pyramid sets, supersets, or super-slow sets. Sleep hygiene, rest days, and deloads, not stimulants, piss and vinegar, and mulishness.

Oh, and if you’d like to give the Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger 2.0 program a whirl, you can check it out here

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