“My body transformation is one of the things I’m most proud of in my life.”
How many months’ progress do your pictures represent? What were your stats for each picture?
The pictures represent a 36-month progression. In the beginning, I was 140 lbs, I’d estimate 8-10% body fat. In the afters, I’m 215 lbs, around 15% body fat.
What has happened so far on the program?
Because my primary goal was to gain mass, I bulked as much as possible for the majority of those 36 months. I would cut each summer for about 8-10 weeks to give my digestive system a break and to get beach prepped. But as soon as the weather changed I would go back on a clean, lean bulk. My total weight gain from start to finish was a 75 lbs increase.
In terms of strength progression, these are the improvements I’ve made:
Bench 1RM: start-95 lbs, current-275 lbs.
Squat 1RM: start-115 lbs, current 375 lbs.
Deadlift 1RM: start-200 lbs, current 425 lbs.
Military press 1RM: start-85 lbs, current: 175 lbs
What workout split from the book did you use?
5-day split was my bread and butter, but I would occasionally use the 3-day split on busy weeks or holidays.
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
I almost didn’t start because I had little confidence in my ability to improve. I had tried weightlifting and gaining weight before but I had no idea what I was doing. My form was crap, my rep ranges were all wrong, I was doing ‘bro exercises’ and not compound lifts, etc. I’d put on a few pounds from doing stupid stuff like drinking a gallon of milk a day, and then lose it all in a few weeks. I was a ‘hard gainer’ my whole life, I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain an ounce. So, I was pessimistic that something would actually work.
What do you like most about the program?
What I liked most about the Bigger Leaner Stronger program and concepts is that it was engineered for people like me. And when I say ‘people like me’ I’m talking about people that aren’t naturally genetically gifted to be big and muscular. Not that those people wouldn’t also benefit, but Mike was relatable because he didn’t wake up looking like Arnold or stare at a weight and gain 20 lbs of mass.
I’ve met a lot of those guys and I thought that’s what you needed to have in order to look good. I also like that this wasn’t your typical “eat big to get big” type program. Mike isn’t asking you to throw away anything that didn’t come from the earth and eat boiled chicken and brown rice 12 times a day. This was sustainable and allowed for you to live your life while maintaining reasonable discipline.
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
I would say the simplicity and sustainability of this program are what set it apart. Your life isn’t over when you start this program. You aren’t waving goodbye to your favorite foods, or canceling all your commitments to spend hours in the gym. Mike makes it easy enough for anyone to follow while still getting good results.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
I wanted to say “I’ve never been more confident” but the truth is that I had never actually been confident at all. This is the first time that I am. I was extremely self-conscious about how skinny I was, I was made fun of a lot, and bullied even as an adult. Now, I get constant compliments instead. I’m referred to as “the jacked guy” instead of “the stick figure.”
Aside from body confidence, my mental health is night and day different. I could feel the hormonal changes happening inside my brain as I continued to improve my fitness. I was happier, more energetic, and more motivated. Lifting unleashed a fire inside of me that had been dormant since college. My body transformation is one of the things I’m most proud of in my life.
Who would you recommend this program to and why?
Beginners will benefit from this the most, particularly those that are ‘hard gainers’ like me. That said, I’d recommend it to anyone, really.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If you’re reading this and getting in better shape is always something you’ve wanted to do, but you feel like your attempts haven’t gotten the results you wanted, it’s probably because you’re not working smart enough. My work ethic was never the problem. The problem was I didn’t know what I was doing. You can achieve what you dream of, but you have to have a method to your madness.
Mike’s books and articles are fantastic resources for you to equip yourself to not waste any of your efforts. Get educated first, and learn to use your brain before your biceps, and you’ll be on your way to the kind of transformation I achieved.
Did you use any Legion supplements?
Pulse was/is a pivotal part of my supplement regimen. I never used pre-workout because I thought it was a scam to just get you hype, but I noticed a considerable difference in my lifts and focus after starting Pulse. And because I’m sensitive to stimulants and workout at night, I use stim-free. I also used Recharge to get creatine in, and Phoenix when I would do cuts pre-summer. Whey+ is also top-notch.
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