Tried Everything to Get Fit But
Nothing’s Worked?

Mike Matthews

Bestselling author and creator of Muscle For Life

Join Thousands of Women Just Like You That Are Building Lean Muscle, Losing Fat, and Getting Strong...

Doing Short, Intense Workouts That They Actually Look Forward To...

Eating Foods They Love Every Day...

And Without Wasting Absurd Amounts of Money on Personal Trainers or


Here are just a few of the thousands of women I've helped get thinner, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I want you to be next.

Here’s the deal:

Getting into awesome shape isn’t nearly as complicated as the fitness industry wants you to believe.

  • You don’t need to starve yourself with very-low-calorie diets to lose fat and keep it off. In fact, this is how you ruin your metabolism and ensure that any weight lost will come back with a vengeance.
  • You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars per month on the worthless supplements and fat loss pills that fitness models shill in advertisements.
  • You don’t need to constantly change up your exercise routines to “confuse” your muscles. I’m pretty sure that muscles lack cognitive abilities, so this approach is a good way to just confuse yourself instead.
  • You don’t need to toil away in the gym for a couple of hours per day doing tons of sets, supersets, drop sets, giant sets, etc. (As a matter of fact, this is a great way to stunt your gains and get nowhere.)
  • You don’t need to grind out hours and hours of boring cardio every week to shed ugly belly fat and love handles and get the body you desire. (How many flabby treadmillers have you come across over the years?)
  • You don’t need to completely abstain from “cheat” foods while bringing your body fat percentage down to ideal levels. To the contrary, if you cheat correctly, you can accelerate fat loss.

Those are just a few of the harmful lies and myths that keep women from ever achieving the lean, sexy, strong, and healthy bodies they truly desire.

And in this book you’re going to learn something most girls will never know...

The exact methods of diet and training that make losing 10 to 15 pounds of fat while building muscle a breeze…and it only takes a few months.

Before I dive into how, though, let me introduce myself.

Oh Look, Another ‘Guru’ Claiming He Has All the ‘Secrets’ of
Getting Ripped...

If that’s what you’re thinking, I totally understand.

In fact, your skepticism is good. It will protect you from the thieves, liars, and shysters that run rampant in this industry (and in some cases, run this industry).

But before you grab your pitchfork and come after me, allow me to introduce myself and explain why you should care about what I have to say.

I’m Mike

and while I could tout the 250,000+ books I’ve sold in the last two years or the 1,000,000+ visits my website gets every month...that’s not why you should listen to me.

You should listen to me because…

I’ve made every mistake in
the book and know
what works and what doesn’t

I don’t have outstanding genetics and wasn’t ripped my entire life. I was your normal skinny kid that got into weightlifting to impress girls, and I had no clue what I was doing at first.

Case in point?

Here’s me after nearly
2 years of lifting, with no extended breaks due to injury, illness, or otherwise

Sure, I had made some gains...but the type of gains you’d hope for after 2 years of lifting 5 to 6 days per week? Not so much.

Along the way, I made every mistake you could imagine:

  • I had no clue how to diet correctly (I thought it was all about “clean eating”)
  • I wasted ridiculous amounts of money on worthless supplements
  • I focused on long, high-rep “pump” workouts and sub-par exercises
  • I relied on ineffective exercises and neglected the most important ones
  • I chronically overtrained everything but legs (which I neglected, of course)
  • I did too much cardio--both too many sessions and for too long each session
  • I changed my workout routines regularly to really “confuse” my muscles
  • I didn’t track my progress correctly
  • And more...

In short, I did what you see most people doing every day, and paid the price in years of wasted time and effort.

Ironically, however, my past struggles have helped me tremendously in showing others how to get fit.

I’ve never used anabolic steroids or fat loss drugs, and here’s my “summer look” of about 7% body fat

I “really let myself go” in the winter and hang out around 9% body fat

I Stay Pretty Strong, Too...

Why am I showing you this though?
To brag? Hardly.

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time taking fitness advice from someone that doesn’t look the part. I want to follow people that have done exactly what I want to do, not people that just talk about doing it.

I don’t care how many degrees someone has or how smart they sound...if they haven’t achieved success with their own advice...or if they’re too lazy to do it...I’m skeptical.

So, the bottom line is I know exactly what it’s like to be stuck in a have no clue if I’m training boggle over how to eat to get deal with want to give up...and to have just about every other problem most people grapple with.

And now, having overcome these problems myself...I know with 100% certainty what it takes to put them all to rest and finally achieve the type of physique and strength most guys in the gym have always wanted.

I back my work up with scientifically
proven knowledge and principles

Fitness gurus and methodologies are a dime a dozen these days.

Everywhere you look there’s another BSer claiming to have found special “shortcuts” to getting muscular, lean, and strong. All for the low price of $97! Act now before it’s too late!

Trying to figure out who’s lying and who’s not is hard enough, let alone who isn’t lying and actually knows what they’re talking about.

Well, if you peruse my work, you’ll quickly see I’m a bit different.


I Don’t Claim to Have Discovered Anything Revolutionary

In fact, much of what I teach was known decades ago and has since become buried beneath all the bullcrap.

Some of what I teach seems “cutting edge” in terms of debunking long-standing fitness myths and mistakes, but these are hardly my discoveries. I’m just the messenger.

That is, I’m simplifying what we’ve learned from good scientific research and showing how the underlying principles can be practically used to build muscle, lose fat, get strong, and improve health.

And I’m not cherry-picking studies to sell my eBooks or supplements. I’m interested in knowing how things actually work, not how I can spin research to get rich.


I am Very Careful to Keep Everything I Teach Grounded in Sound Scientific Research

Whenever you hear someone make a claim about how to best build muscle, lose fat, get strong, or improve health, your first thought should be, “Is there scientific research to support that statement?”

I know that might sound overly skeptical and even cynical, it’s necessary if you’re to protect yourself from the staggering amount of bad advice in this industry.

Well, if you read any of my work, you’ll quickly notice that I cite a lot of scientific research in my writings. I don’t do this to try to impress--I do it because...

  • I myself want to make sure I understand things correctly and thus review a lot of scientific papers.
  • I don’t want you to just take my word--I want you to understand why and be able to review the research for yourself.
  • I want you to maintain a healthy skepticism and expect to see such scientific references.

    While being able to cite a bunch of science doesn’t necessarily mean someone knows what they’re talking about, it’s a good sign. And if someone cites no science in their work, watch out.

I Strive To Give You the Whole Picture, Not Just “My Way” of Getting Fit

The old “teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” cliche comes to mind here.

That is, I don’t want you to just blindly follow my advice or programs--I want you to gain a holistic understanding of the subjects of building muscle, losing fat, and getting strong. And I want you to enjoy the flexibility this type of understanding gives you.

Yes, there are certain things that aren’t negotiable: energy balance, macronutrient ratios, progressive overload, and the relationship between training intensity, volume, and frequency, for example. (And if all that sounds like gobbledygook to you, don’t worry--I explain it all in the book in simple, layman’s terms.)

But within that framework is a ton of wiggle room for making it fit your needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

When you know what you’re doing, you can eat foods you like, eat when you like, train anywhere from 3 to 6 times per week, rotate through each body part once or twice per week, and so forth.

While I do share with you exact methods that most people do best with, I want you to be able to intelligently modify them to best fit your circumstances.

I get real results with real people

If you’ve ever wondered how some of the transformations you see on the Internet are actually possible, you should know something:

Those crazy 3-month transformations you see all over the Internet are bullcrap.

In many cases, what you’re actually seeing is the result of...

  • Extensive training history that allowed for rapid re-gain of muscle.

    “Muscle memory” is very real and it generally takes about half the time to re-build muscle as it takes to build it from “scratch.”

    This applies equally to men and women. Women that were in great shape in the past are able to get back into great shape much faster than the first time around.
  • Drugs, including anabolic steroids and fat loss agents.

    Some people are a bit shocked to learn how prevalent drugs are in this world, not just with the professionals but with the everyday gymgoers as well. They’re extremely easy to get, and cycle advice is only a forum post away.

    Many people are also surprised how powerful the right cocktail of drugs actually is. When used properly (not necessarily safely, mind you, but effectively), steroids and cutting drugs can enable someone to do in 3 months what would normally take a year or longer.

Case in point? Here’s the 1-year, steroid-fueled transformation of Boston Lloyd, a bodybuilder that’s very open about his drug use:


As you can see, Boston had already been lifting for a couple of years and gained a lot of muscle (30 pounds, give or take) and got absolutely just under a year... and used a lot of drugs to do it.

So when you see something similar on the Net, just know what you’re looking at.

Now, that isn’t to say that all impressive transformations are frauds. Anyone can dramatically transform their body naturally...but it takes time.

Fortunately, when you know what you’re doing, the results are consistent and noticeable. For example, check out what Marsha was able to accomplish on my Thinner Leaner Stronger program in 7 months:


7 months

-10 pounds of fat

+ 6 pounds of muscle


Marsha lost 10 pounds of fat and added quite a bit of muscle and strength as well.

Here’s another reader success story that shows a bit more
fat loss--closer to 20 pounds:


8 months

- 20 pounds of fat


Pretty amazing, no?
Makes me proud! :)

I have scores and scores of such success stories, and I don’t just work with professional athletes or fitness models whose lives revolve around exercising, eating, and sleeping…


“I lost 10 pounds and gained 6 of muscle in 7 months!”

Marsha M.


“I lost 10% body fat and stronger than ever!”

Yvonne A.


“I lost 50 lbs in 7 months following Mike's books!”

Kelly O.


“I'm 30 and I've lost 35 pounds in 6 months!”


Load More

“It [Thinner, Leaner, Stronger] was the perfect book to educate and guide me.”

Chrissie R.


“TLS has been the best decision I ever made!”

Christie C.


“Honestly, I am just so so so happy to be at this point with my body!”

Ashley S.


“I went from 140lbs to 130lbs in 2 months!”

Cindy C.


“I have found new strength both physically and mentally!”



“Sometimes I look in the mirror and can't believe that is my body!!!”

Janel B.


“I've managed to gain so much more definition and muscle than I ever have.”

Alixia B.


“I think I could write a book about how this program has changed my life.”

Alexis E.

I work with normal, everyday people that are dedicated to getting fit but also have jobs, families, and social lives, and I show them how to find the balance needed to do it all.

Alright, enough about me.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m going to assume you’re interested in what this page is really about: the launch of my book...

Introducing the Expanded & Revised
Second Edition of

Thinner Leaner

The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body

Ben Greenfield

NYT bestselling author and founder of

Most people you see in the gym make little or no progress despite tons of frustrating time and effort. There’s way, way more to getting into the shape you dream of than just knowing how to train and eat properly.

In this book, you will indeed find nutrition and exercise advice, but you’ll also find out everything that the multi–billion dollar fitness industry doesn’t know or doesn’t want you to know. If you’re ready to make fast gains now, then Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

Mark Divine

Founder of SEALFIT and NYT bestselling author of The Way of the SEAL, Unbeatable Mind, and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT

Mike Mathew's book Thinner Leaner Stronger is a super well-researched and practical guide to strength training that quickly cuts through the massive amount of bullshit and misinformation put out by the strength training, bodybuilding, weight gain and weight loss industries.

I highly recommend adding this book to your library and referring to it frequently.

Christopher Walker

Author and Founder of and

Thinner Leaner Stronger is the single most thorough training and diet resource I've read. And by ‘thorough’ I mean all the information you need to know, and none of the info you don't.

It's like a fitness tome. Form, training plans, no-hype supplementation advice, diet, and lifting paradigms... everything's in here. It's affordable and accessible and 100% badass.

I've seen so many men and women go from being completely clueless (before reading) to being 100% empowered in their fitness journey after reading TLS. Mike's definitely on track to reach his goal to help a million people get fit, and this book is at the core.

Load More

Armi Legge

Author and Founder of

In his usual style, Mike breaks down the complexities of fat loss and muscle gain even better in the updated edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger.

The new material isn't fluff -- it's more of the same practical, effective advice that made the first edition so popular. You're missing out if you don't read it.

Greg O’Gallagher

Founder of

Mike Matthews has killed it in the second edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger.

He cuts to a depth most fitness writers rarely ever reach and he explores the inner workings of the mind and willpower in incredible detail, outlining strategies to become successful, not only on your fitness journey but any area of your life.

The book is worth it's weight in gold and I can't recommend it enough.

Chad Howse

Author and Founder of

When you read most fitness books, or books that are meant to be laid out in a series, you're left with a cliffhanger, something missing that leads you to want to buy what's next.

Thinner Leaner Stronger gives you everything, a complete road map to your ideal body with methods that not only make sense, but work, and work FAST.

Mike's killing it, and for good reason. This book is awesome. You should read it, and apply it immediately.

JC Deen

Author and Founder of

Mike always tells it like it is. While there's a ton of content to compliment on, my favorite part of Thinner Leaner stronger is this line from chapter ten: 'Become the master of your won’ts, wills, and wants, and you become the master of your destiny.'

I'm all about the success mindset and I love how Mike makes the mental stuff so easy to digest, and grasp. Without owning and controlling your mind, you'll never control your physique.

Rog Law

Author and Founder of

Mike’s original Thinner Leaner Stronger book is an excellent practical guide for achieving a great physique--I am a fan!

Mike gives away the keys to lean city in Thinner Leaner Stronger.

Armed with everything that you ever need to know about achieving the physique that up until this point you may have thought was impossible, it no longer becomes an issue of if you will look and feel fantastic, but when.

William Artamon

Founder of

This second edition comes with an even more thorough and comprehensive action plan for getting healthy and fit that is still easy to read, absorb and apply. The new content on self control and willpower is especially insightful and will help you unlock and achieve your full potential.

I published the first edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger in September 2012 and it has quickly become one of the most popular workout books out there, with over 50,000 copies already sold.

The bottom line is no matter your age, training history, genetics, or...if you have just a few hours per week to give to can get that “Victoria’s Secret body” faster than you ever thought possible and maintain it with ease...for the rest of your life.

Bold claims, I know, but Thinner Leaner Stronger delivers.

If that’s the case, you might be wondering,
why the second edition?

Well, the success of the book has not only helped me gather up a ton of success stories from people that have applied its teachings, it has also results in a ton of great feedback from readers on its strengths and weaknesses and how it could be improved.

Not only that, but as I continued to research, help others get in shape, and write for everyone here at Muscle for Life, I compiled my own long list of additions and clarifications to incorporate into Thinner Leaner Stronger to just make it the best possible book it can be and answer just about any question women might have about building muscle, losing fat, getting strong, and staying healthy.

The result?

The basic principles in the second edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger are the same as the first, but the book has been rewritten and re-organized from the ground up to make everything as concise and clear as possible.

This isn’t the same book with a few pages of additional content, relaunched as a second edition.

It’s a complete overhaul of the first edition, with the things that made it good even better and the things that needed attention completely ironed out.

For example, many readers suggested that the book be organized differently...and they were right. Many people wanted more information on proper meal I added it. I received many requests for more information on how to build up the willpower and self-discipline required to get into great I’ve added an entire chapter.

When you count it all up, “TLS 2.0” (as I’ve been calling it) contains nearly 100 pages of additional content, with absolutely no unnecessary filler. Every single page I’ve added was guided by reader feedback and suggestions.

In short, I believe that with the help of all my readers and followers, I’ve created my masterpiece, and I can’t wait to get it into your hands and see what you think.

What exactly will you learn in this book?
Well, here’s a “sneak peek”...


The 5 biggest muscle fat loss myths & mistakes that keep girls fat, weak, and frustrated.

These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers and include things like “Counting Calories Doesn’t Work,” “Do Cardio = Lose Weight,” “Chasing the Fads,” “Targeted Fat Loss,” and more...


How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”

Dieting” doesn’t have to suck.

When you know what you’re doing, it becomes a tool you can use to gain, lose, or maintain weight with ease. And you do these things without starving yourself...eating nothing but boring foods...or obsessing over “eating clean.”


How to make sure you never get “bulky” from your training, and that you get the long, lean muscles that you desire.

Many women are deathly afraid of weightlifting because they’ve been told so many times that it will make them “bulky.”

This simply isn’t true. Weightlifting can make women bulky...but only when done improperly and not combined with proper dieting. Train and eat correctly, however, and you can achieve the exact opposite look: lean, tight, sexy muscles that curve and pop, not overwhelm


An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts, helping you get a firm, round butt, toned, shapely legs, a flat stomach, and sculpted arms…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.

There are MANY ways to mess things up the gym: do the wrong exercises, do too much in each workout, change up your routine too often, focus too much on higher rep ranges, and more.

Well, in this book I’m going to show you exactly what you need to be doing in each workout and why, and it’s going to be very different than what you’re used to: short, intense workouts that you actually enjoy, and that build more muscle and strength than the grueling, knock-down-drag-out types of routines so many other people do.


A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.

The supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, the underdosing of key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

In this section of the book, I go over all the popular supplements out there and break down which do and don’t work and why and how to take use actually worth buying for maximum effectiveness.


How to master the “inner game” of fitness and develop the self-discipline and willpower it takes to build the body of your dreams (and actually enjoy the process!).

Just knowing how to eat and train isn’t enough--you need to be be able to stick to a plan and see it through. And that requires an “inner mastery” that many people lack, which ultimates dooms them to failure.

Learn the art of self-control and use it properly, however, and you’re guaranteed to succeed in building the body of your dreams.


In-depth guides to proper form for the most important exercises that must be performed every week to get the most out of your training.

I’m talking about the Big Four: the Squat, Deadlift, Military Press, and Bench Press. These exercises, when performed correctly, are the foundation of every weightlifting program worth a lick.

Unfortunately, however, most girls either avoid these exercises or do them all wrong, decreasing their effectiveness and increasing the risk of injury. After reading this book, you won’t be one of these people.

(If you can’t do these exercises due to injuries or other physical issues, don’t worry, I talk about how to work around this as well.)


Why pre- and post-workout nutrition is important and how to use these “feeding windows” to accelerate your gains in the gym.

There’s plenty of controversy over whether pre- and post-workout nutrition actually matters, and in this section of the book you learn what the latest research shows is best for maximizing muscle growth and how to eat in accordance with it.


How to get as lean as you’d like while still indulging in the "cheat" foods that you love every week like pasta, pizza, and ice cream.

No, you can’t pig out every day and get lean, but you certainly can enjoy these “evil” foods every week without setting yourself back in any way.


And a whole lot more!

Simply put, Thinner Leaner Stronger is 300 pages of neatly organized dietary and training lessons, insights, and principles…backed by decades of anecdotal evidence and over 270 scientific studies…and 100% geared toward helping you build muscle, lose fat, get strong, and stay healthy...for life.

So...imagine, just 12 weeks from now, being constantly complimented on how you look and asked what the heck you’re doing to make such startling progress. Imagine enjoying the added benefits of high energy levels, no aches and pains, better spirits, and knowing that you’re getting healthier every day.

Buy, read, and use this book now and begin YOUR journey to a thinner, leaner, and stronger you!


With this book you'll also get a free 75-page bonus report from me called The Year One Challenge for Women.

In this bonus report, you'll not only find an entire year’s worth of workouts for the program but you’ll also find my personal product and supplement recommendations and recipes from my bestselling cookbooks!

75 pages Special Report


When you download the bonus report you'll also get instant access to 6 exclusive interviews I did with some of the top minds in health and fitness.

An exclusive interview with author and founder of Evidence Magazine Armi Legge on why “clean eating” is overrated, how to keep your diet in check without planning/tracking food intake, metabolic adaptation, and more!

An exclusive interview with elite coach and powerlifter Dr. Layne Norton on how to preserve muscle when losing fat, how smart bodybuilders prep for contests, how to “reverse diet,” and more! (Not for sale! Book launch exclusive)

An exclusive interview with NYT bestselling author and triathlete Ben Greenfield on the difference between overreaching and overtraining, how to use heart rate variability to prevent overtraining, how to speed up muscle recovery, and more!

An exclusive interview with NYT bestselling author and Navy SEAL Mark Divine on how to cultivate mental toughness, how to get training when you really don’t want to, how to maintain your mental edge and prevent setbacks, and more!

An exclusive interview with bestselling author and elite strength coach Mark Rippetoe on how age affects training capabilities, how to preserve joint health, natural strength potentials, and more!

An exclusive interview with YouTube superstar and all-around cool guy Scott Herman on how to train for obstacle courses like Tough Mudder, how much muscle you can build naturally, how to break through weightlifting plateaus, and more!

By applying what you learn in the book and in this report,
you can make more progress in one year than most women
make in three, four, or even five (seriously!).


What makes this book different than the first version?
Is it worth reading if I've already read 1.0?

The success of the first edition of the book has not only resulted in scores and scores of success stories from people that have applied its teachings, it has also gotten me a ton of great feedback from readers on its strengths and weaknesses and how it could be improved.

Furthermore, as I've continued to research, help others get in shape, and write for everyone here at Muscle for Life, I compiled my own long list of additions and clarifications to incorporate into Thinner Leaner Stronger to just make it the best possible book it can be and answer just about any question guys might have about building muscle, losing fat, getting strong, and staying healthy.

The result?

The basic principles in the second edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger are the same as the first, but the book has been rewritten and re-organized from the ground up to make everything as concise and clear as possible.

This isn't the same book with a few pages of additional content, relaunched as a second edition.

It's a complete overhaul of the first edition, with the things that made it good even better and the things that needed attention completely ironed out.

For example, many readers suggested that the book be organized differently...and they were right. Many people wanted more information on proper meal I added it. I received many requests for more information on how to build up the willpower and self-discipline required to get into great I've added an entire chapter on this.

When you count it all up, "BLS 2.0" (as I've been calling it) contains nearly 100 pages of additional content, with absolutely no unnecessary filler. Every single page I've added was guided by reader feedback and suggestions.

In short, I believe that with the help of all my readers and followers, I've created my masterpiece, and I can't wait to get it into your hands and see what you think. And trust me--even if you've read the first edition of this book, the second edition is going to blow you away.

I don’t want to get big and bulky--I just want to be lean
and muscular. Will this work for me?


The idea that all weightlifting makes women “bulky” is a complete MYTH. Improper weightlifting programs and dieting is what makes women bulky.

Don’t believe me? Consider the following:

January 2011

May 2013

Here’s the shocker: she weighs the same in each of these pictures. That’s the power of proper weightlifting and dieting, which resulted in her losing fat and adding muscle, not just “losing weight.”

The bottom line is when you know what you’re doing, weightlifting is what gives you lean muscle definition and sexy curves, not “bulk.”

Is this program only for college-aged folk or can
middle-aged women do it too?

Since publishing the first edition in 2012, I’ve worked with hundreds of women in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s, and they not only do great on the program, they regularly come back to me after 4 to 6 months to report that they’re now in better shape than they were in their 20s!

Sometimes we make some slight modifications to the program, but I discuss these circumstances in the book.

If you’re still skeptical of what’s possible in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, check out this article of mine:

What type of training split does the program utilize?

It’s a traditional body-part split with some additional work for your legs and butt every week to ensure you get lower body you really desire.

If you’re worried that a body-part split is doomed to failure and that you have to train everything 2 to 3 times per week to make gains, I understand--I used to think the same thing.

Massive bouts of overtraining taught me otherwise, though, and I’ve since learned that a body-part split can be incredibly effective if it’s programmed correctly...and many such programs just aren’t.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take my word on it. The scores and scores of Thinner Leaner Stronger success stories speak loud and clear: this program gets results.

I’m new to weightlifting. Is this for me?


Many experts recommend that new weightlifters begin with a few full-body workouts per week, and this is a workable way to begin. It has a significant drawback, however: full-body workouts are very hard when you also emphasize heavy weightlifting.

Just try performing heavy deadlifts, squats, and bench and military presses in the same workout and you’ll quickly see what I mean.

Well, fortunately you can do just as well...if not better...on a well-designed body-part split program like Thinner Leaner Stronger. You can lose 35 to 45 pounds of fat in your first year, dramatically improve muscle definition and tone, and build more strength than you ever thought possible (and I can say this with confidence because I’ve seen so many women new to weightlifting do it on the program).

I’m an experienced weightlifter. Is this for me?

Possibly. It depends where you’re at.

If you’ve been focusing on heavy (70+% of 1RM), compound weightlifting for several years and have built a solid foundation of muscle and strength...and if you know exactly how to set up and manipulate your diet so as to lose fat or build muscle as desired...then this book may not be for you.

I say may not because even if you’re a seasoned veteran, I bet you’ll pick up some new insights in Thinner Leaner Stronger. It’s not written just for complete newbies.

How long does it take to see results?

All things considered, one of the best aspects of the Thinner Leaner Stronger program is how quickly it works.

You will see improvements in the gym and in the mirror within your first month, and it only gets better and better from there.

Do I have to take a bunch of supplements to follow the program?


You don’t have to take any supplements if you don’t want to, because the vast majority are a waste of money.

If you have the money, there are certain supplements that are worthwhile, which I cover in the book.

I’m short on time. Can I still do the program?


In the book I give you three training templates to choose from--5-day, 4-day, and 3-day options--and fully explain how to program your workouts for each (which are no longer than 70 to 75 minutes).

I also give you a year’s worth of workouts for each template in the bonus report.

I follow a special type of diet (vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, food sensitivity/allergy, etc.). Can I still do the program?


The diet principles I teach are very flexible and thus can be customized to fit any and all food preferences and limitations.

Have another question?
Submit it below and I’ll answer it!

  • Pingback: My New Books Are Finally Here (And You’ve Got to Check Out the Gifts & Prizes!) | Muscle For Life()

  • Megan Thieme

    Hey Mike, so excited about the book launch – Congrats! Cant wait for my new copy! Quick question: can I qualify for the 5 book buy package benefits if I get a couple of the men’s and a couple of the women’s books?? Thanks!

  • Tammy

    To add to Megan’s question, does mixing Kindle and BLS, THS still qualify?

  • Kevin Clark

    Can I order three Bigger Leaner Stronger and two Thinner Leaner Stronger which equals five total books for the giveaway and get everything that I would get if I order five of the same book? I really want to help me and my wife and our friends too. PS Congrats on the updates.

  • MissLauraQ

    I’d love to send the extra books to a donation! (yay tax deduction!) And I know our county library needs one. Where else would I send them?

    • Great idea! Libraries are a perfect idea. That’s what I would do personally.

  • Livefortoday

    I couldn’t purchase the Kindle version because I have the first edition. It kept saying that I purchased this book in 2012. Is there anyway to get the Kindle version without deleting the first edition?

  • Lo_Fi

    Hubby just ordered this for me from Amazon but did not receive the free report.

  • Tunet Koekemoer

    I read your first book and as an engineer I am always looking for the science to back up the facts! Thanks for the awesome work that you have done in releasing a new version of TLS! Didn’t even need think twice about buying it. Also bought the 1 year challenge for women. On a tight working schedule I’m making slow progress but at least it is progress 🙂 Keep it up!

    • Thanks Tunet! I really appreciate it! Let me know how everything goes!

  • Karla Medrano

    I don’t need to loose any weight or gain much more muscle but I need to tighten my skin I’m 48 years weight 114 and 5″1″ walk at 13% body fat, is there a section in the book that can help me?

  • Lynn Garofalo

    If I have a bench with olympic plates, leg curl/press, many plates and dumbbells, could I do these workouts at home? Joining a gym is not an option right now.

    • Livefortoday

      I workout at home. I have a pullup bar, dumbbells, barbells, adjustable bench, and resistance bands. You can alter the workouts to what you have. Check out for exercises you can switch to.

      • I can help you with exercise swaps too.

        Cable Crunch: Hanging Leg Raise (you can snatch a DB in between your feet to add weight)

        Leg Press: Front Squat

        Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown: Pullup (use a dip belt to add weight as you get stronger)

        Close-Grip Lat Pulldown: Chinup (use a dip belt to add weight as you get stronger)

        Tris Pushdown: Another triceps exercise of your choice (my favorites are close-grip bench and overhead DB tris press)

      • Lynn Garofalo

        Thank you!

      • Livefortoday

        You’re welcome.

      • Lynn Garofalo

        Thank you! Going to purchase the book now!

  • AshD

    On Google Play, did not have the option to add a quantity and now that I’ve purchased the “Buy” option no longer appears – how can I buy more :/

    • Oh yeah you can only buy one on GP because it’s digital. If you want to buy multiple copies you would want to buy paperbacks from Amazon, you know?

  • Dana

    I downloaded Thinner, Leaner, Stonger and Bigger, Leaner, Stronger to my Kindle app and discovered the One Year Challenge bonuses at the back. Awesome! However, When I access them it pops up, but is there a way to save them as a separate document so I don’t always have to get to it through the other book? Thanks.

    • Thank you! Yeah if you access those links on a desktop you can save them. They are PDFs.

  • Josie

    Hi Mike,
    On Google Play, it updated my 1st edition of TLS to the 2nd edition… did you mean this to happen? I’d feel bad if I’d accidentally sneaked the new one without paying! Thanks.

    • Yeah that was intentional. Thanks Josie. 🙂 Enjoy the second edition!

      • Josie

        Thanks Mike! Unfortunately, Google Play isn’t loading pages 406-463 of the book. I’m not sure if this is an individual problem or a global thing, should I contact Google Play directly about it?

        • Really? WTF? Yes please do contact them and let me know? The file is totally fine on my end so I have no idea what that is…

  • Ashley

    I bought the book and forwarded my receipt to the email address noted for the free content and digital book, how long until I have access to the additional free content?
    I am just about to finish Kris Gethin’s Body by Desifn program which I have enjoyed and gotten great results with. I was going to start with his daily trainer next but I think I’m going to have to go with your guide instead… With the excellent reviews and success stories and AMAZING website with tons of awesome information I can’t wait to start reading the book! This program that I am doing now has me absolutely loving weight training and I’m super excited that you are all for that too! I also started listening to the podcast. Keep doing what you are doing, changing lives by teaching people the right way to live is what it’s all about!! Yay for being healthy and strong!!!!!!

    • Thanks Ashley! You should get a reply within a day or so.

      Definitely let me know how you do on the program! I think you’re going to really like it!

      • Ashley

        I also had another question… could I email you? If so what is your email address? I feel like I saw it somewhere else on the site but now I can’t find it.

  • AMF

    Just purchased the second edition despite only buying & reading the 1st in the past month along w/the workout journal…but I can’t wait to get my hands on the new content! I’m so excited to have a regimented lifting and eating program after feeling lost for so long. I’ve made progress in the gym but am nowhere I want to be and now that I have a plan of attack I know I can get there. I was skeptical about reading a book about fitness initially when my best friend told me about this, but I was never bored and loved every second. Now I just need to pick my “Day 1” and start the journey to getting where I want to be!

    • Thanks so much! Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Judy

    Hi, I wanted to purchase the latest digital version. I have the first from Amazon…It won’t let me purchase it, saying I already have it in my archives. Any suggestions?

    • Thanks! Yeah google how to update kindle content and you’ll be good to go.

  • Noelle Long

    Hi Michael, I’m a youthful and active 62 years old woman. I’ve been been fit most of my life but slacked off about 5 years ago. I go to the gym 5x a week but generally use lighter weights and multiple reps. Work outs feel relatively easy. I’d like to up my workout program but I’m concerned that using heavier weights might stress my joints. Would you recommend your program to me or can it be tailored to fit my needs in some way?

    • Awesome! I think you can do great on my program. It’s not excessively heavy and you can always dial it back if you ever run into any issues.

  • Kayla Bryson

    Hey Mike! I’m super interested in purchasing this book, and I’m curious about what kind of equipment I’d need to do the workouts. A gym membership isn’t really an option at this point, and the only things I have at home are a pull up bar, dumbbells, and a 25 lb. kettlebell. (Not a whole lot to work with right now. Hahaha.) I’m on a budget financially and space wise, which means building up an entire home gym isn’t really feasible for me. Any suggestions? Thank you!

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  • Gina Jones

    Hi Michael, I’ve just been reading the book and feeling a bit disheartened as my gym which is the only one I can really get to and fit in with work doesn’t have a barbell. There is a bench and a good range of dumbell weights and a few kettlebells. There isn’t anywhere I could fit any equipment at home either. I had thought before buying the book that I would be able to sub any barbell exercises with dumbell equivalents but some workouts use both versions. Any tips or is it just pointless trying to use the workouts in the book with what I have?

    • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Hmm you CAN use only DBs but you’re limited mainly because you can’t barbell squat and can’t deadlift. Any way you can get into a gym with a BB?

      • Gina Jones

        I might be able to go once a week on weekend. The weekdays definitely not. Do you think it’s possible to structure it so I’m doing the barbell work one day and all the other days dumbells?

        • Yeah definitely. We would have you squat and deadlift on that day.

  • Chris

    Hi Mike. I’m new to your website and love the content and science. You rock! I also know a few guy friends who are getting great results. That said, I’m interested the women’s book but wondering why none of your testimonials are from women or mention women? There must be be good women killing it in fitness who could review the book. Also wondering if the book addresses hormones? With these 2 things it would be a no brainer purchase for me. Thanks

    • Thanks Chris! All the testimonials on this page are from women and you can find more here:

      Yes it talks about hormones but they’re more a scapegoat than anything else. Hormone imbalances are NOT why most people struggle with their weight.

  • Chris

    Hi Mike. I’m new to your website and love the content and science. You rock! I also know a few guy friends who are getting great results. That said, I’m interested the women’s book but wondering why none of your testimonials are from women or mention women? There must be be good women killing it in fitness who could review the book. Also wondering if the book addresses hormones? With these 2 things it would be a no brainer purchase for me. Thanks

  • David Zaitzeff

    I am guy and so I am not the usual person to prefer this program of yours, but I prefer a thinner look to a bigger look. I walk at Greenlake in Seattle in skimpy undies, which has gradually learned to tolerate the undies and gives me an incentive to look nice.

    I am 5’10” and weigh 133 with a very slight tendency to skinny fat, depending on the month. A member of a gym with an hour of cardio a day. I walk and run and have done intermittently presses with light weights. After intermittent exercises for the glutes in the last 3 months, been trying to make that more consistent. In fact, I found your website after a review of a book on the glutes also mentions your book favorably. Though, no squats or hip thrusts yet, but probably starting this week!

    I have three different than usual questions, cause I am persuaded that your program is good and I plan to start adopting it . . .
    1) my posture has problems and my head when I am not paying attention, most of the time, is about 5 inches in front of the shoulders . . . Do you wish to offer any ideas on correcting head-forward posture, which my chiropractor would appreciate?
    2) do you wish to offer your thoughts/experience/testimonials re the glutes, if any, in addition to the suggestions you might know from others? (I imagine you know the name and program of the fellow on whose amazon review I found the mention of your book . . .)
    3) In terms of upper-body, I would probably not tend to do the “bigger” program cause I am not inclined to like the bigger look of some of your testimonial guys, but I like the look of Nathan Adrian the swimmer or of Jeremy (one of your testimonial guys) after one year on your bigger stronger page. Suppose I wish the Nathan-Jeremy look, do I train for a year with bigger and then modify things or not go heavier? Though, the look of several gals above is also quite good . . .

    • Hey hey!

      Cool on what you’re doing.

      1. You know I haven’t looked into posture much so I don’t have any good tips on that.

      2. Lots of heavy squatting and hip thrusts is all you need, really.

      3. Trust me it’s hard to get “big,” even on BLS. It takes time. You could work that program until you have your ideal size and then adjust to maintain. Maybe that only takes 6-8 months, which would be cool for you! 🙂

      4. I would go with BLS.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • David Zaitzeff

        It so turns out that a few days ago, 4/8/15, the online email newsletter for Mens health which is called “the Mens Health daily dose” had 3 recommended exercises for correcting posture created by hours of sitting, and two of them are for helping head-forward postures . . . I will start including a “thoracic rotation” for posture and the “passive single leg hip raise” for glutes . . . my current workout now includes 25 minutes of exercises for the glutes . . . and your TLS workbook came in the mail . . . In the video demonstration, the “single leg hip raise” is like a bridge, but with heel down and toe up, and one leg almost pulled into the tummy . . . and this exercise is one of several done to combat glutes having gone flat from lots of sitting . . . If the trainers on the Mens Health videos have reasonable suggestions, then, these three exercises are a good place to start for correcting postural problems . . . I am writing them to thank them . . .

  • Linda

    Hello! I bought the thinner leaner stronger book and read it. Well, I’m a little confused. I am 5’6″, 177lb with 34.2% body fat. My body fat is too high to bulk so I’m cutting. Well, while I’m cutting do I follow your workout plan in the book since building muscle is impossible while cutting? (The workouts seem to be for body building.) I ordered the workout book but haven’t received it yet. Please help, I’m desperate lol 🙂 🙂

  • Linda

    Hello! I read your thinner leaner stronger book and am patiently waiting to get the one year challenge in the mail. I am confused though. According to your book, you can’t gain muscle during a cut. The workouts seem to be body building workouts (to gain muscle). I am 5’6″, 177lbs, 34.2% body fat. I have too much fat to bulk so I need to cut (according to your book) so while I am cutting do I do these body building workouts or am I wasting my time? I’ve been wasting my time for the past year at the gym doing everything wrong so I want to make sure I start out on the right path lol. Thanks! LOOOVE your book!

  • Emily

    I’m seeing on this page that “With this book you’ll also get a free 75-page bonus report from me called The Year One Challenge for Women”. But when I tried to order “Thinner Stronger Leaner” on Amazon it asked if I also wanted to purchase “The Year One Challenge for Women”. Is the bonus report included in the “Thinner Stronger Leaner” book, shipped with it, or part of the digital content I can receive when I forward my receipt to the email address listed?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • The link for the bonus report is at the end of the book but if you want a hardcopy of the workout journal, that’s what you can buy on Amazon. 🙂

  • Audrey

    Hi Mike! I purchased the first edition for my kindle when it came out a couple years ago. Now I purchased the updated second edition but it won’t deliver the second edition to my kindle, only the first. And I purchased it twice. Not sure what to do….

    • Audrey

      I contacted Amazon customer service and they’re working on the problem since it appears it’s a problem with the website. Not sure if it’s just because I ordered the first edition in the past or if it’s a general problem (everyone who orders the second edition kindle version gets the first edition in error).

      • Some people are having funky problems. At first Amazon thought there was no second edition, lol.

    • Doh! Have you googled how to update kindle content?

  • Amy Serra Albright

    Can I buy TLS 2.0 in hard copy or is it just available digitally?

  • Amy Serra Albright

    Where can I buy it in hard copy? In Amazon I can only find the first version. Can you send a link where I can order the new version?

  • Andrea

    Hi I has a few questions. Does this book contain an actual weekly workout plan? 2. Are the examples of how to do the exercises or is it all in text ?

    • Yeah it does. The bonus report contains a year’s worth of workouts as well. I link to videos for form.

  • Karlen Williams

    I enjoy cycling and going for long rides, 60-90 minutes. Hills and mountains are welcomed. Will I be able to include this in my new plan?

    • Yeah definitely. You’ll want to take it into account in your diet.

  • kim

    is your program usable for insulin dependant diabetics?

    • Yes you can adjust the diet to account for this. It usually just means following a lower-carb approach.

  • Dione

    I bought the book on audio book. Will I have access to a hard copy of the workouts?

  • matt

    Hey Mike I’ve been reading your bls book and love it and I want to get my girlfriend on the tls. However she is not fat, she is very skinny(hardgainer I think) it takes a lot to help her gain weight and I was wondering if this would be a good program for her to put on some weight. She’s currently around 13% bf which I know is on the low side for women.

  • NA

    You’re a sexist, stupid fuck.

  • Mary Lonergan Spidal

    Hi, I can’t find the calf workouts (A,B,C), abs circuit, or glute/butt buster workouts referenced in the 2014 Year One Challenge for Women. I also have the 2013 kindle version of Thinner, Leaner, Stronger for Women and can’t find mention of them there either. Thanks for your help!

    • Hey hey!

      They’re in the chapter that describes how to train each body part, which is in the new edition. You can update yours for free. Just google how to update Kindle content.

  • Helen Peter

    I began the 2:5 fast diet 3weeks ago, consuming one 500cal meal late in the day on 2days per week. Second fast day resulted in super heavy menstral cycle for2 weeks and My doctor just found my testosterone levels have shot up to 4x recommended level for women. Could this be the effect of fasting?
    Appreciating your advice and knowledge, thanks so much Helen☺

  • Amanda

    Hi Mike,
    I just bought your book, and I’m loving it so far. I can’t wait to start the program. I am trying to cut as I am not over weight. I am 5’7..142lbs right now. I am making gains, but I know I should be further along. So my question is about the food. How do you feel about eating canned veggies? I really love canned tomatoes and the zucchini that comes canned in tomato sauce…I love canned green beans…do you think this will affect me much? I usually like to mix with my chicken for more flavor. Any feedback is much appreciated!

    Patiently waiting to purchase some Legion Whey…its out of stock on Amazon! =(

    • Glad you’re enjoying the book. 🙂 LMK what you think when your’e done with it.

      The canned vegetables are fine. If you can, I recommend going for the frozen vegetables though.

      Whey+ will be back in 7-10 days! Sorry for the wait!

  • Amy Armstrong

    Do you have any support groups or fitness group challenges regarding the book’s program? I’ve been on your plan for about 11 weeks but I’m starting to wish I had someone to talk to or a group challenge to keep up motivation.

    • No I don’t BUT it’s funny you ask this now because I will be rolling this out soon. 🙂

      • Constance K

        Hey Michael, is the group available now? I brought the two books for women, and don’t know where to start for the Year One Challenge for Women

        • Not yet. 🙁 The reason being I need to hire a social media manager to make sure it gets done right. I can’t take it on myself with everything on my plate.

          That said, I’ll be happy to help. Let’s start with creating a meal plan?

        • Not yet, no. It’s on the list though, haha. In the mean time, I’d be happy to help get you going.

          I think we should start with a good meal plan. What do you think?

  • ceci

    I need help! I had a baby 1 year ago and I can not seem to get my stomach as toned as I want. I am 22, 5’4 and 113 lbs. I wouldnt mind gaining weight with muscle. I can,t ever seem to get full though. And im not sure what a good diet/fitness routine would look like. I constantly constantly hear dont eat dairy or wheat, too much protein is bad, ect… I’m at a loss.
    Thank you!

  • Dana

    So I just bought your book, which is exciting! Less exciting, however, is the fact that I just broke my pinkie. My doctor said no push ups, pull ups, dips, or lifting greater than 5lbs with my right hand for the next 2-4 weeks… This is a huge bummer because I wanted to dive right in to TLS. Any recommendations on what I should do? Definitely will be working on eating healthily but not sure what else I can do for the next month or so

    • Glad you’re excited about the book!

      Sorry about the pinky. :/

      Yeah I recommend eating at TDEE and maybe doing HIIT a few times a week?

      What do you think? Get better soon!

  • Jawsh Yoast

    We bought the book and downloaded the bonus report. Where is the one year’s worth of workouts like the ones you have in BLS?

    • Thanks for picking up my book!

      The bonus report starts going over the workouts on page 30.

      Check it out!

  • Karla

    Hi, will I have to join a gym to follow your programme or can it be done at home?

    • It could be done at home, but you’ll need the correct equipment. That’s why I recommend most people go to a gym.

      To do it at home, you’d need power cage or multi-press rack for squatting and benching, a barbell with plates, a set of dumbbells (I prefer adjustables), and an adjustable bench. If you want, you can get a utility bench for your Military Press. Check this out:

      Hope this helps. LMK.


    Hey Michael I’m 5 days into the workout you outlined in TLS and I’m hooked. I loved the book and I’m actually considering your bigger leaner stronger book. I compete in rugby and will be soon in MMA so I’m looking for much more than the average girl looking to “tone up.” I was wondering if you program workouts for people like me? Or does BLS have a more aggressive approach that would work for me? Or do I even need a more aggressive approach? If you want shoot me an email at Thanks!

    • Great thanks! I’m glad you’re doing well!

      Yeah I think you should hit the TLS program with the 4 to 6 rep work for a good 6 months and then we can talk about what’s next. I would continue the periodized training but include some heavier stuff.

      Let me know what you think!

  • jenny beckstead

    I just finished the book and started the one year challenge today! I’m excited and ready for the challenge! Thank you!❤

    • That’s awesome Jenny!

      I look forward to seeing your results. 🙂

      Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

  • Sally

    I was always outdoorsy and then had some physical things occurred that were not correctly diagnosed for years. Now I am very overweight/lots of water retention. I need to lose about 120 lbs. My concern is this program might be too much of a gradient for me. Do you take that into account on your program, is it something I can win at ?

    • It is absolutely something you can do and get great results doing. We may need to make some substitutions for some lifts depending on what you can do, but other than that you’re good.

      The key will be the diet, and you can definitely follow that. 🙂

  • Allison

    How do I get the Bonus Reports if I bought the Audible book?

  • maria

    i just got this book but i can’t see the bonus material..

  • Jean

    In your one year challenge some of the exercises simply say “3 to 6 abs circuits.” What are abs circuits? There isn’t a reference to it in your book or on the exercise list for the challenge that I can see.

  • Andrea

    I have some questions before purchasing the book. In the bonus stuff, you have workout plans. Are those in the book as well?? Also, that’s like a 5-7 week plan, that whole time should you be on a “moderately calorie deficit?”” Is it bad to maintain a calorie deficit for a long time and if so, what’s a good amount of time or how do you avoid ruining your metabolism??

    • The book will lay out everything you need to know about dieting and training. The training won’t vary too much, but the diet will change depending on whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle or maintain.

      You would cut until you reach your goal and/or aren’t getting results. In which case you’d reverse diet to speed up your metabolism. Check this out:

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Andrea

    And one more question: do you have to buy supplements to get results from the book??? I mean, as in no supplements. I can’t afford to add more supplements.

    • Supplements are not required to reach your goals. Good supplements will help you get there faster, but they certainly aren’t necessary.

  • Alex

    Hey I’m interested in buying your book but I had a question before! I’m female and interested in putting on muscle as quickly as I can not so much leaning out but it seems like this may be more focused on the losing fat rather than making muscle gains?

    • This book will help you with both. If you’re trying to build muscle you’ll just need to follow the diet protocols in the book for putting on muscle. If later you want to get leaner the book will show you how to do that too. 🙂

  • Cynthia Renteria

    I have very bad knees and need another knee replacement. Therefore I can’t do a lot of squats and no lunges. Also have kidney disease and lost a lot of muscle tone . I need help to build up my legs again and tone the rest . Can you help?? I am 58

    • Hey Cynthia!

      I’m sorry to hear about the issues. Do you know what you CAN do for your legs? Cycling? Leg curls?

  • Pierina Ortiz

    Hi! I just did my first figure competition and I want to make improvements for my next show (in about a year), will this book help me with that?
    Thank you in advance!

    • For sure! It’ll lay out everything you need to know about training and dieting to build muscle and lose fat. 🙂

      Cool you’re competing BTW!

  • Nicole

    Hi. I’m interested in buying the book but my cardio options are limited because of bad knees. I might be able to do elliptical (but questionable), possibly cycling. Will this work for me? I’m 42, decent shape, just have terrible joints and some disc disease. Thank you!

    • No worries! Either of those cardio options work plus several more. 🙂

  • Marilyn Espinosa

    I bought the book already, but I can’t seem to find the link where I can see the demonstrations for the workout 🙁

  • Nicole

    Hi – the kindle version seems to be missing the pictures of your sample menu plans. Is this available elsewhere? And is the bonus report available, or did I need to order through this site for that? Thx!

  • Erin

    Hi, I’m an endurance athlete and spin instructor who also loves lifting weights. I’m in great shape and lift heavy but I am always fighting a very stubborn fat layer that is hard to lose because of the endurance workouts. Mostly I struggle with calorie balance because of them. Can I use this system to lose the fat while keeping up with my endurance workouts? I really don’t want to give them up!

    • For sure. TLS will lay out everything you need to know to build muscle and lose fat.

      The amount of cardio you’re doing will make it harder to get results, but it’s still workable. Check this out:

      LMK what you think.

      • Erin

        Thank you so much for your quick response. Your article is on the head with what I understand is going on. I do lift heavy 4-5 times per week so for me it’s the calorie equation. I’ll pick up the book and see if I can finally balance the endurance races with a decent looking physique. Thank you again 🙂

        • My pleasure!

          Sounds good. LMK what you think of the book when you finish it, and LMK if you have any questions. I’m happy to help. 🙂

  • Bosly

    Hi, I just bought your book, and I’m very excited to get started. I’ve always wanted to be in “good shape,” lean and tone, but have never been able to get rid of jiggle. I’m curvy at 5’3″ and 132 pounds, and getting rid of fat in place of muscle is what I’m looking to do. I’ve always tried to remain active, even when I can’t go to the gym on a regular basis. For the past few weeks I’ve been working out twice a day, with heavy cardio and mild weight training in the morning, and interval circuit training in the evening while also doing a heavy HEAVY cut back on calories. I lost weight in my first week, but after that, it kind of just stuck near 132 and hovered. I’m much more concerned with my appearance than the number on the scale (though that doesn’t hurt either). I’m a little nervous that going from eating so few calories to what you recommend might cause a temporary fat gain. Also, I have a very busy schedule, but I make the time to make my own lunches and snacks to bring to work so that I can stay on track with whatever program I’m doing. Is there a meal plan provided in the book or just guidance tips to create your own? The book comes tomorrow, but I’m excited to get started and want to make sure I have all the tools I need to do so.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Thanks!

      We can definitely get you to your goal and you do NOT have to beat the shit out yourself and starve. Trust me. As you’ll see, my program will have you doing less and eating more and your body will respond better…

  • Natalie

    Hi Mike! Just spent the last hour or so engrossed in your articles and they’ve all been really informative. Thanks for writing them. I’ve been strength training for 9 months now and have seen good results in gaining strength and muscle growth however my arms have become disproportionately bulky which has baffled me because I don’t target them much, and also discouraged me because I used to love my arms – they were slender but quite defined. It’s always been my legs that were my problem area and now I feel the need to hide my arms too and while I enjoy strength training and love what it’s done for my body composition elsewhere, there’s part of me that wants to stop because I didn’t expect to end up hating my arms as a result. My plan is to see if fat loss will help them look less chunky but I’d like to know if your book will help me figure out where I’m going wrong and achieve a more defined rather than bulky look? Many thanks.

    • Glad you found the site and have been enjoying it! NP.

      The solution for the arms (and any other body part of concern) is simply getting leaner.

      Women who lift look great, but they have to be lean. If not, you can get that bulky look. Check this out:

      LMK what you think!

      Oh and yes, the book will lay out everything you need to know to build muscle and lose fat effectively. 🙂

  • Sarah

    Hey! I just read through a bunch of articles you wrote and was very interested in your book. But I was wondering if it would be right for me. I am very overweight and looking to lose weight and gain muscle but in a healthy, consistent way. I have seen a lot of people say your program is amazing but none of them were near the size I am. So before I went any further I wanted to make sure that this would be the right program for me, keeping in mind how overweight and out of shape I am. Any feedback would help immensely! Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for your interest in my book!

      The principles for weight loss are the same regardless of starting weight. You need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight.

      TLS will lay out everything you need to know to build muscle and lose fat.

      LMK if you have any other questions!

  • Roslyn

    Hi! I just began your workout and diet program today. The book got me really excited, as I think this might be just what I need because I have two things going on: 1) I seem to have plateaued with regards to weight loss. I can gain (fat) no problem (sadly) but losing past 135 (I’m 5’3″ by the way) has become an issue. I’ve never been thinner than that really, I was able to get down to 130 once, but since my latest gain cycle, haven’t been able to make it stick. So I’m looking for a program to get me through that plateau and hopefully down past it. 2) I have never been able to get the muscle definition I so desperately want. I don’t just want to lose weight, I want to be thin and lean. Hence, your book appealed to me.

    After doing the first workout this morning, I have some questions… I am new to weight lifting. I’ve done machines, and reps with light weights, but never barbell work and such, so this morning I worked with the bar only, no weights. It did provide a good amount of resistance, and I did 3 sets of 8-10 for each workout, but I found that I had to concentrate on my form quite a bit. Trying to keep the bar straight, and make sure I’m pushing up evenly with both arms. I just want to make sure that’s normal for someone just starting out. I can tell I did a workout, my arms feel like spaghetti, but is it ok to start at that low of a weight? I might be able to add 5 lbs to the bar next week, but I don’t want it wobbling all over the place as I workout, so thought I would start there.

    I also have a question about cardio work. I’m used to starting my morning off with an hour of cardio. I’ve switched to doing my weightlifting in the morning before work, but still want to keep some sort of cardio in my daily routine. I usually do two workouts a day: cardio in the morning with a circuit program in the evening that consists of light weights, cardio, and abs. Now that I’ve started your program, would that type of circuit work work against the program? Should I cut it out and do HIIT cardio in the evening instead? I’m unable to run because of a back injury, but I can work on the elliptical, which I usually do regularly. I just don’t want to be doing two workouts that are fighting each other.

    Thanks so much for your help, I’m looking forward to continuing with the program and (hopefully) seeing results soon.

    • Awesome to hear you got started on the program!

      The program will definitely help you reach your goals.

      That’s good you focused on form and stuck to weight you could work with. That’s smart for the first week or two. After that, while keeping good form of course, you want the weight to be heavy enough where you can’t get more than 10 reps and light enough where you can get at least 8. And your goal should be to add weight and/or reps to your exercises every week.

      Yeah, I don’t recommend the circuit training type work. The weight lifting and cardio (ideally HIIT) is what I recommend. Make sure you’re not overdoing it with the cardio either. Check this out:

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Roslyn

        Good to know. Thank you!

        What if I can’t do certain exercises with the barbell quite yet? I’m pretty sure I can’t do a military press with 45 pounds yet (the weight of the bar), is it ok to start with dumbells and work up to that weight?

        • YW!

          Totally fine on working with the dumbbells until you’re able to the barbell.

  • Noel

    Hello! I’ve been checking out your websites and listening to your podcasts too and from work. Even if some of the pods are not what I’m in too, they are very interesting and informative cause there is usually more information than what the title says they are about. I’m planning on ordering Legions supplements and am glad to find out they almost all back in stock. But if I could only get a couple of the fat burner products, which ones should I get first? I’m 5′ 7″ at 190 so I got at least 30+lbs of fat to lose. Also if I purchase the “Thinner” book on Amazon, will I get the updated version? And will I still get the Special Report and bonus interviews via Amazon? Thank you for your honesty and integrity in all you do, I so appreciate it!

    • Happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the site and podcast! Thanks for your support.

      If you can only get a couple of the fat burner products, I’d recommend Phoenix and Forge (if doing fasted training). If you’re not doing fasted training, you can do Phoenix and Pulse.

      Yup, if you purchase TLS on Amazon, you’ll get the newest version. And yes on the bonus report. You can also download it here:

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Noel

        Thank you for your reply. Sorry late acknowledgement. When you say fasted, is it always first thing in the morning with nothing but water? Or can be anytime also with several hours of no food? Thank you so much.

        • YW! No worries.

          Fasted doesn’t have to be in the morning. That’s when most people do their fasted training because you’re pretty much always fasted upon waking up.

          You can do fasted training at another time though. You just need to make sure you haven’t eaten in 3-6+ hours. Check this out:

  • Sydney Morgan

    I am about halfway through your book, and I had a question pop into my head that I cannot seem to find the answer for on your site. I am running cross country this year (or well trying to!) and I know that I will be running a lot we already have conditioning practices every tuesday and thursday. They are consistently doing about three miles with some light strength training thrown into the mix. We also do at least 20 minutes of light cardio in between days. However, once “actual season” starts I will be running those practices monday-friday and doing some light runs on the weekends. My question is how will that affect my lifting and diet? Should I change it at all from how you recommended it in your book? I know you said you wouldn’t do a ton of cardio just a few HIIT sessions every week, but I really like cross country and I would like to be able to balance that and lifting. How should I proceed? Thank you for your time

  • Nathalie

    I read the book and started training this week according to your program.
    So far I loved it but I have a question about it:
    I’m doing the 4-day split and it says
    1. calf workout a and b
    2. abs routine

    well so now I can’t find a description of those 2 anywhere. Neither in the book nor in the training schedule.
    Maybe it’s too obvious for me to see but I’m lost 😀

    Would appreciate your clarification a lot.

  • Talitha Jackson

    Hey Mike,
    After reading the sample copy of your TLS book, I went on Google Play and purchased the full copy. I have to say those first few chapters were insightful and intriguing, I found myself totally immersed in them. It was not only your knowledge but your straight forward and honest approach that drew me in and I am certain its what drew others in as well. I’ve been working out for about 1 year now with results but not the results I am capable of achieving. I’ve read articles upon articles about the best way to getting ripped and realized that majority of them didn’t emphasize the importance of how to feed your body properly. If it did, it was just some copy and paste version of what they thought was best. After months of frustration I just backed off from reading shelf top articles and magazines all together and after doing some research on my own found your website. I’ve read your book Fit is the New Skinny in the past but didn’t really incorporate it into my workout regimen. But now that I am on a new mission to be in the best shape of my life I am excited to introduce what I’ll learn into my life! Getting fit doesn’t have to be as complicated and dreadful as it is advertised and I am learning that right now. And your simple approach makes it worth trying and fun! Keep up the good work. Hopefully some day I will be able to motivate others to get into the best shape of their lives the way you do!

    • Thanks so much for all the kind words and support Talitha!

      Glad you enjoyed the book and are now enjoying your journey to getting in the best shape of your life.

      Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Louise

    Hi Mike, loving the TLS book. I’m a few months in and can squat 60kg so far! I love doing lower body exercises, but I’ve noticed these dents (I don’t know how else to describe it, it’s like a hollow?) on either side of my butt. I’m aiming for a more rounder booty. Are there any exercises I can do to fill these dents for the perfect round squat booty? Thanks.

    • Thanks! Great job!

      I think you’re just seeing the natural development of the glutes? Do you see the “dents” more when you flex your glutes?

      • Louise

        Hi Mike, yes the ‘dents’ do become deeper when I flex my glutes. I was a bit puzzled as I’ve never seen my butt like that before! If it’s the natural development of the glutes then that’s fine – was just worried I wasn’t doing the exercises properly!

        • Haha yeah just natural development. You’re building muscle! 🙂

  • glenna

    Hey mike. So why would it be different for women? Why would I need 8-10 reps instead of 4-6 as you recommend for the guys? I ask cause I been following the guys and see great results so far.

    • The main reason why is because women usually have a harder time working in the 4-6 rep range.

      If you’re comfortable lifting heavy in the 4-6 rep range and are able to progressively overload, go ahead!

      Glad you’re getting results. 🙂

  • Laurie

    Hi Mike. I rec’d TLS yesterday. I’m confused on calculating my protein, carb and fat. How many calories?? And also is there a site to visually see the exercises? Can’t wait to get started tomorrow.

    • Thanks for spreading the word! You rock.

      For help calculating your macros, check this out:

      To see the videos for the form on all the exercises you can download the bonus report! The link is on page 274 of TLS.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • lscarpello

    Hi Michael – I just bought the book and am already getting really excited to start (hopefully this week!) but I have a quick question: if I have a set of adjustable dumbbells (Select Techs going up to 50-ish pounds each), is that enough to start? Will I eventually need to invest in a barbell and more weights or a gym membership?


    • Thanks for picking up the book! Glad you’re excited. 🙂

      Working out with only dumbbells is a bit tough because you can’t squat, deadlift, bench press, or military press (and these are the most important exercises in any program, really).

      My first standard recommendation is to get a proper home setup (a power cage or multi-press rack with an Olympic bar and plates), or work out in a gym instead. Here are the products I like:

      That said, if neither are possible, you can focus on the dumbbell exercises given in the “approved exercises” section of the book.

      You can also add a couple exercises to make your legs day more challenging:

      Goblet squats are decent, albeit limited.

      One-legged squats are challenging even without weight.

      For your back, I recommend doing a lot of dumbbell rows and weighted wide-grip pull-ups.

      You also have the option of working in some modified body weight exercises, as discussed here:

      I hope this helps and let me know what you think!

      • Hi Mike,

        Thanks for your reply! I think for now I am going to take your advice and purchase a couple more things for my home gym – a barbell and items for an incline bench. My work is moving to a new building in January that has a gym, so I think if I can work out at home until then, I’ll be good. Thanks so much for your help and for your reply! I am very excited to get started this coming Monday and I will of course leave you a review on Amazon once I get a feel for the program. Thanks again!

        • YW! Sounds like a plan.

          I’m excited to see your results.

          Thanks a ton for the review. 🙂

          You should go to maintenance cals, when you’re happy with your BF%. You will want to reverse diet to your maintenance cals to prevent rapid fat gain. Check this out:

          • Hi Mike,

            I’m so sorry, one last question. (I hope!) I just re-checked the nutrition in the book and it says for a woman of 140 lb (my weight) the macros should be 170 g of protein, 140 g of carbs and 30 g of fat, but then in a sample diet plan for a woman of the same size, it says 140 g of protein, 140 g of carbs and 30 g of fat. Do you know which is correct? Want to make sure I’ve got it right. Thanks!

          • No prob.

            You can stick with the book and you’ll do well. If that’s too much protein for you (if you have a hard time getting it down), you can go down to 140 and up fats by 10 grams.

      • I’m sorry, Mike, I have one more question if you don’t mind. I just finished figuring out my meal plan for cutting, but when should I go to maintenance? After I reach my goal body fat % or weight? Should I increase gradually, or should I recalculate my numbers? Thanks!

  • Seren Matthews

    Hey, I bought the women’s book and found lots of useful information in there. However I’m struggling with the nutritional recommendations. I’m used to “paleo” style eating i.e I don’t eat grains so I’m struggling with 40/40/30 and 40/30/30, I’m also worried that low fat has links with depression. Because I’m trying to keep my fat down and I don’t eat grains I’m not meeting the calorie requirements. Also I’m struggling to eat enough protein, even wtih 3 – 4 shakes a day, it seems protein in my meal barley touches the sides. This is in part becuase natural protein contains fat, so I’m trying to keep the fat down. I can’t eat chicken breast 3x a day, and I miss eggs :(. I really like the workout guide book and I’m looking for something I can stick to long-term and I really enjoy the workouts, if I can get the nutrition side sorted, its a keeper!

    • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it. Anything you could do to spread the word would rock too! 🙂

      IMO drop the Paleo dogma. Check this out:

      What do you think?

      If you’re really wanting to stick with the high-fat, you can–you just have to reduce carb intake. For every 2 g of carb you drop you can add 1 g of fat…

      • Seren Matthews

        Thankyou so much for replying! I love the workouts. I must admit I think I panicked in the first week – regarding nutrition. I’ve found ways to make it work now. That link is really useful thanks. I’m not really paleo, I eat dairy etc, thats why I put it in quotes. Paleo seems a bit die hard. I just I don’t eat grains, they don’t sit with me well, bloating, energy crashing etc – even if weight loss works out the same, I’d rather stay away. Th whole point of this is to be healthy and feel good – as well as look good ;). Anyway thankyou so much for your input, already shared with my sisters.

        • YW!

          Okay cool. Avoiding foods that cause negative reactions in your body makes sense, of course. 🙂

          Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Larissa Calado

    Hi, Michael. I have the ebook version of Bigger, leaner and stronger and I really love it. I think maybe I have the first version and as you have mentioned on the FAQs, you have changed some things in the new version.
    Anyway….I’m trying to follow the instructions on the book but I’m afraid if I keep doing the exercises routines in this book I will get big as a man (ok.. Not that big but big for a girl). Do you think I can keep doing the exercises recommended on the “boys” book or not? By the way, I’m from Brazil and here we just have the version in Portuguese of Bigger, leaner, stronger… Maybe you could think to print some protrudes copies of your other books.
    To finalise, you say to us do cardio exercises on Sundays, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s but you don’t recommend no exercises. Could you help me (I hate run!!) ?

    • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it. Anything you could do to spread the word would rock too! 🙂

      Hmm I’d like to send you the female workout program because it focuses more on the lower body, which is what you probably want to emphasize in your training?

      Shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to help.

      You don’t HAVE to do cardio. Check this out:

      • Larissa Calado

        Hey, mike. Thanks for answer! This is awesome! I’d be dazzled in receive the female workout. My email is . I’ll read the article you sent me about cardio. And about a Portuguese version of your books? Give a think about it. Cheers

        • YW! Great I sent it to you! Yup I’m working on getting the rest of the books into Brazil. 🙂


    Hi mike, I have the audiobook version but am unable to view the attached documents that you discuss in the book…like sample meals can I get access to this. Thanks, Katie

  • Denise Alves Coelho Alves

    There is a version in portuguese about book Thinner learner strong?

    Please ask me.

    I have the book in portuguese Dieta da academia .
    Othwrs boojs i cant find in portuguese.

    Please help me.

    Denise Coelho

  • Elizabeth

    Hi! Im reading your book & getting my mind blown! I do have a question! Im an intermediate faster, last meal 8/9pm dont eat again til 11/noon next day. This really has worked for me and I hope I can continue! BUT I work out at 5am weekdays. Right now I just drink BCAA’s during my workout as they dont effect my fasted state. But im reading in your book 30-40 grams of protein is really important before/after weight lifting. Should I stop fasting like I am asap to get muscle gains??? Or can I drink 30-40grams whey before bed & then again when I eat at noon and still grow maximum muscles???

    • Thanks Elizabeth!

      Cool on the IF. You can keep it up. This will help you:

      • Elizabeth Abbinante

        Thanks Mike!!! I switched to your recommendation of only fasted training. Eating carbs/protein after work out and I feel great! Im day 10 in your 1year challenge journal & cant wait to share my transformation!

        • YW! Happy to hear it! I look forward to seeing your results. 🙂

  • Julie Essad

    I don’t want a gym membership. Is this something I can do from home?

  • Roslyn

    Hi Mike! I’ve been following your workout program for about a month now, it’s the best. I really enjoy weightlifting. I just had a few questions for you…
    First, I had to take a few weeks off due to being sick, but now that I’m getting back into it, I was really wanting to add cardio back into the mix. I didn’t do any for the first four weeks but really, I just enjoy it. Do you think 20 to 30 minutes of medium cardio (ie the elliptical) at the end of a weight training session would be detrimental to my progress? I work out five times a week, probably would do cardio 3 to 4 days. Thoughts?
    Second question… I’ve certainly noticed some weight loss in the first month, which I am thrilled about, I’m following your cutting plan. I hit a plateau about a year ago, and really didn’t think I could lose any more. BUT… the most important thing to me is getting toned and tight, and while I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten smaller, I don’t see any definition. With any workout program, I know patience is important, so I’m certainly not giving up, I’m just curious. I’m new to weightlifting, and workout alone, so I’m adjusting my weight slowly to make sure I can really handle it, but I’m definitely making improvements with each workout. I’m just still super jiggly to be blunt about it. Any suggestions or just wait it out and results will come, what do you think?

    Thanks so much!

  • Nicole

    Hi Mike! I loved the book and loving the program. I can honestly say that getting over the fear of entering the weight room in the gym has been one of the most challenging parts! The question I have is around diet… I am following the cutting program, I am currently about 161 lbs and 37% BF… I am eating roughly 1700 cals per day (190g Protein 160g Carbs 32g Fat) all from nutrient dense sources; and I am hungry… like all the time! And often fatigued. I have not seen a whole lot of movement on the scale only a few pounds in two months. Do you think I am eating too little? Or will I get past this hunger eventually? Will energy levels pick up? I feel like I hit that 3pm “brick wall” almost daily.

    Thanks for any help!

  • Lis

    Hi Mike,
    I’m very interested in trying the program and have been told by my Dr. I need to build muscle.
    Problem is I can’t get to a gym at the moment. Will this hold me back or can I do this program from home?

  • Kimba

    Hi Mike – My mom recently gave me your book hoping it would help me ‘snap out’ of my moodiness & get fit again. I’ve gained 30lbs in the last yr due to mentality, laziness & a sedentary job I started 2 yrs ago (I actually bought a timer to remind me stand & stretch every 45 min, lol) – Anyway, bottom line, I’m no longer ‘fit’ & have become what I call a jelly with a high % of body fat! Your ‘success’ stories are all fit people & who are looking for that cut. What about those who are ‘heavy set’ w/a high Body Fat%? Do you suggest they jump right in w/your weight lifting techniques? or, this isn’t the program for someone like me? My goal is to significantly lower my body fat %. I have a generic set up at home; punch bag, bike, tread, total gym, “machines” as you say. I started reading your book last night while on treadmill (on chap 4 now) & I’m at a loss on where to begin in getting back in shape now. I don’t want to build muscle over my fat, which is what I fear if I jump into weight lifting. I had planned on starting out w/what I use to do…but as you say, if I’m just wasting time & energy on the wrong things…then where does someone like me start? I have a dedicated room at home. If I need to get rid of the treadmill & total gym to swap for bench & weights, then so be it. But, if a jelly like me should be starting w/something else…then “Please” advise.

    • I hear you Kimba. Let’s get you back in shape. 🙂

      I recommend you start with reading the book. It’s going to answer a lot of your questions and address a lot of your concerns. It’ll lay out everything you need to know to build muscle (if you want) and lose fat effectively.

      From there, if you have any questions or need help getting started, I’ll be happy to help.


  • Lisa

    Hi Mike – first of all, highly impressed how much you’re engaging with the community and reviews of your book on here and on Amazon! Finished reading Leaner, Fitter, Stronger and it’s been very insightful indeed!

    Quick macro and calorie goals check: I weigh 156lbs and am looking to cut whilst gaining muscle, so I’m calculating my macros based on the 1.2g protein/1g carb/0.2g fat per pound of body weight ratios. This gives me 187.2g P /156g C/31.2g F, which seems to be approx 1650 calories overall? My bio-electrical body composition gave me a BMR of 1622 (15kg dry muscle mass) so I’m just wondering what the right calorie goals should be for me. A nutritionist advised that I could eat 1900 on a rest day and 2300 on days when I do physical activity.

    I’m mainly interested to know general ballparks on 1) what my caloric goals ought to be, and 2) what my protein intake should be.
    Any insight would be very much appreciated as I am a bit unsure of my goals and don’t know what to be aiming for, which is confusing and getting in the way of progress! 🙂


  • Valle

    Hi! I actually bought your thinner leaner stronger book and the year one training booklet, in the training booklet in the workouts it says to do calf circuit a, b, c and so on or to do the ab circuit but I can’t find these circuits listed anywhere so I don’t know what to do

  • Brian

    Hey Mike, I might have missed it in the TLS book, but I don’t see an explanation of why someone should train the non compound exercises in the 8-10 rep range on the TLS program, but in the BLS program its the usual 4-6 rep range. I’m assuming it’s to help you get thin, but do you have any evidence or studies to back it up?

    • The reason why I recommend 8-10 reps for women is actually simply because the majority I’ve worked with were already quite intimidated by the weight necessary to work in the 8-10 rep range. The 4-6 rep range was REALLY uncomfortable for them (generally speaking).

      The reality is 4-6 reps does work fine for women, but they can do great with the 8-10 rep range as well. There’s also the issue of overtraining to consider–women’s bodies can’t repair nearly as much muscular damage as guys’.

      So, if you’d like to work in some 4-6 training, I recommend doing no more than 3 sets in the 4-6 rep range, and using it on the following exercises:


      Military Press

      Bench Press


      What do you think?

      • Brian

        That makes a lot of sense, especially in regards to overtraining. Thanks for the response

  • Sara Weber Campbell

    What rep range am I looking to achieve and where is the ab circuit??

  • Carolyn Johnson

    I love reading through everything in TLS – and was so excited to start going and working out in my apartment gym, only to discover there’s no barbell! There is a smith machine, so I know I can translate some of the exercises – what else can I substitute for some of the barbell exercises??

    • Glad you’re enjoying TLS and were excited to get started on the program.

      Sorry to hear about the equipment! My first recommendation would be to sign up at a gym with the proper equipment. If that’s not possible, there are a few alternatives.

      All pressing can be done with dumbbells and an adjustable bench so no need for the Smith machine there. The only exercise you really need the Smith machine for is the squat. Instead of the deadlift, you can do hyperextensions, instead of barbell rows you can do extra one-arm dumbbell rows, instead of hip thrusts you can do lunges and instead of the barbell curl, you can substitute it with any of the exercises available to you in this article:

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • LadiKnight

    I purchased the first edition of your Thinner and leaner book, I’m trying to decide if I should purchase the second edition. Did you add a lot of new content in the second edition that will enhance my results.


    • Thanks!

      Yeah I did add quite a bit. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

  • Jason Jackson

    My girlfriend wants to gain (and keep) muscle to compete in figure competitions. She did her first recently and did great but I want to reinforce to her the need to eat and how well “heavy” weight lifting works compared to 2 hour, 12 reps x 4 set workouts for most people. Would BLS or TLS be a better book? Yes, she does want big, thick muscle. I love your fact-based statements and everything I see you writing is what I have seen work for me personally. Thanks

    • I recommend she picks up TLS. It’ll lay out everything she needs to know about proper training (mainly heavy, compound lifts) and dieting. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words and support Jason! I appreciate it. Happy to help!

  • Kimberly

    I want to gain muscle and get bigger in the legs and butt. I see a lot of women here have smaller legs in their before and after pictures. I want to be leaner, but not lose my legs!! I am finally getting the legs and butt I love!

    • I hear you Kimberly. That’s how those women wanted to look. If they wanted, they could put on more muscle. They’d just need to do a few more bulk/cut cycles.

      TLS will lay out everything you need to know about training and dieting to build the amount of muscle you want and lose fat. You’ll just be doing more bulking than they did. 🙂

      • Kimberly

        Great! Thank you so much! I will want the layer of day, but want to lose my gut first.

      • Kimberly

        Sorry, should’ve read first. Want the layer of fat, but want to lose my gut first.

  • Sulema Landa

    I recently purchased your Thinner Leaner Stronger book and will soon be changing my current workout program to follow the guidelines you provide in your book. I’ve been lifting weights for about two years now with little change, so I’m excited to begin. However, I’m currently training for a half marathon and run between 15-20 miles/week (2 days pace/tempo, 1 day long run, 2 days sprint). I’ve been told by many that I can’t build muscle while running so many miles, but I simply don’t believe it. What are your thoughts? Any tips?

    • Thanks for picking up my book!

      Cool on your plan to start following the program. 🙂

      That much cardio can effect your ability to put on muscle. Check this out:

      I recommend you follow the 3-day split from TLS and see how you do. You already have a lot of training volume from the cardio so doing more than 3 days a week of lifting could lead to overtraining.

      What do you think?

      • Sulema Landa

        Thanks for sharing that article! I’d much rather focus on building muscle, so I’m going to play around with my running program and find a good balance.

  • MelissaB

    Hi, I’m a mom of two kids–a 3 year old and a baby who was born premature and who has a lot of doctor’s appointments and other things that take up a lot of time. I also work part time and my husband works very long hours. I mention this to say that going to the gym is not an option. I love your book, I agree with most of your theories on nutrition and training and I’m excited to get started. But I need to be able to do the program at home during the kids’ nap time. I have a barbell, dumbells in plenty of weight variations, and a flat weight bench that it doesn’t incline. I have to admit that I looked at Week 1 of the Year One Challenge for Women and I got discouraged right away. I can’t do any of the incline exercises, and I’m a little intimidated to do really heavy barbell exercises by myself at home (bench presses, squats, etc.) Any advice you can give me would be great.

    • I totally understand. We can figure it out.

      Do you have a stand of some kind to squat and bench and overhead press on?

  • MelissaB

    I have both your Thinner, Leaner, Stronger book and the Year One Challenge book. Thinner, Leaner, Stronger has so much information and I love that it’s backed up by research. But why isn’t there more on how to do the actual workouts themselves? For example, Bent-over Rear Delt Raise on Week 1 Day 3. Where is the description or example of what this is?! Do most people just google every exercise that they don’t know? I’m a little overwhelmed. I just spent my hour that I had set aside to work out just trying to figure out what each exercise actually IS.

    • Thanks Melissa!

      Ah yeah you want to download the free bonus report in the back of the book because it links to videos that show how to do everything. I wanted to do it that way instead of stuff the already large book with a ton of diagrams and such.

  • Robin

    Hi Michael,

    I am a 22 year old girl, student. I came across your book through watching one of your Youtube videos about metabolism. I have been having issues with my constant bloated stomach, where I am suspecting it is because my digestion and metabolism is not working properly. I am very keen to heal my gut, and I understand that it might take a while. I have also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism since 2013, and I have been having trouble with constipation and eczema for years. I want to find a way of solving my issues, and I was wondering if this is the right book for the problems I want to fix? Or where do I go from here if I want to fix things myself? I just downloaded the 5 first chapters which I will be reading over the holiday season. I would very much appreciate your feedback and/or any suggestions of what I should look into. At the moment I am just very frustrated with my stomach and finding the right balance through eating and exercising right to be able to heal my gut. My goal is basically what the title of your book says: getting thinner, leaner and stronger.

    • Robin

      I realise maybe I should give you a bit more information about my current physique, training and eating situations and habits. I have always had quite an athletic body type, due to my athletic teenage years. The past 3 years I’ve been doing yoga regularly, however not as much the last couple of months. I have been going to the gym every now and then, approximately once a week or fortnight. So I realise that my training habits definitely has to change. I have been really getting into cooking, and have been cooking everything from scratch which I find fun and also good for me. Definitely eating more fruits and veggies than ever before, and having more control on what I put into my body. However, I have a weakness when it comes to sweets and chocolate. I believe I eat too much of it, and it is definitely affecting my eating habits and my body. I feel like I shouldn’t have any excuses for my current habits, and therefore I find it a bit hard to know what exactly to fix my problems. Since it is not my first priority in life at the moment, I become depressed and stressed about my body situation…

    • Hey Robin,

      TLS wouldn’t address your specific problems, no, but it would teach you the fundamentals of proper dieting and training.

      This may help you with your bloating:

      And this may be relevant too:

      Hope this helps! Let me know!

  • Christina

    I’m a stay at home mom of 3 kids, 3 and under. I still breastfeed. Is this for me? If not, is there a modification I can do? I’m mostly talking about the diet plan here because as a breastfeeding mom, I know I need more calories, but of what and how much, I’ve never been sure. I often feel hungry. 🙁 I desperately want to find a better way to care for my body and get in shape (never been that way) and find more energy (can always use more).

    • Absolutely. Breastfeeding burns 500 to 700 calories per day but otherwise nothing needs to change. I’ve worked with quite a few women in your position. You can do great.

      • Christina

        Hi Mike, thanks for the reply! I’m impressed that you respond personally! Much appreciated.
        I found the free first 5 chapters of your book Thinner Leaner Stronger and got through it pretty quick. It was soo informative and I started getting excited! And then I found the link to the custom meal plans and was reading some of the samples, and well I feel pretty discouraged now. I was never really taught how to cook, and I have small children, like I said, so they obviously want nothing to do with veggies, and obviously I do want them to end up eating well… But, how did you find a plan for other moms? I mean I usually just need something that I can prepare quick for my impatient kids, and then I just end up eating what they are… I really don’t want to try anything unless I can get everything going, you know? Like you’ve said, if I exercise but I’m not eating right, then there probably won’t be any results or I’ll be just gaining in all the wrong places. It sort of seems like I need to get the diet going first before the discipline of exercising regularly. As is, I go to the gym about 3 times a week for an hr each, usually to do cardio, but I plan to implement what I’ve learned. What do you suggest? How do I start? It sort of seems a bit overwhelming, and I want it really badly, but I’m really scared my hopes will “fall flat.”

        • Welcome! Happy to do it. 🙂

          Glad you enjoyed the first 5 chapters!

          No worries on the custom meal plan. Everyone has different food preferences, time availability, schedules, etc. Each plan is made completely custom, and we’ll be able to make a meal plan that fits your lifestyle.

          You can also set up your own meal plan and include the foods you like. You just have to make sure it fits within your cals and macros. Check this out:

          Cool you plan on implement some weightlifting.

          Let’s start with getting a meal plan set up either on your own or by ordering a custom meal plan and then following a standard TLS split. The 3-day split is good. If you can do a 4-day split or 5-day split, that’s better.

          What do you think?

          • Christina

            Hi Mike, thanks again for getting back to me! So you suggest getting the custom meal plan in place first. I will get on organizing that! The only problem is that I’m not certain what body fat % I am. I’ve given birth 3x in the last just over 3 yrs, so I’m quite stretched out… I looked up a bunch of different online body fat calculators and got a range of results from 50% down to 28%. So I averaged to my guess of 40 based on the body composition photos. Is that a good guess? How would I know to reevaluate if it was very off and say I was eating too little/too much?

            Also, *whispers* I’m really new to all of this. What exactly is a split? Is that your recommended workout plan? What makes a workout a split?


          • My pleasure! Yeah, let’s get the meal plan set up.

            To help get an accurate number on your BF%, check this out:


            Haha no worries. The split is just how the muscle groups are split up in your weekly workouts. On a 3-day split, you’ll have more muscles each day to workout because you only have 3 days to fit them all. On a 5-day split you have only 1-2 muscles per workout. Hope that clears it up!

            Welcome! Talk soon. 🙂

          • Christina


            So, I’m planning to start figuring out my calories and what foods I like to eat. Is there a website with # of calories for common food items? Like fruit? And other things that don’t come in a box with serving suggestions/# of calories listed?

            About body fat percentage, it really doesn’t sound like it’s easy to figure out or that any method is really accurate… I may have skipped over it somehow but I did spend quite a bit of time reading all of your articles and even some external websites on measuring the percentage. So correct me if I’m wrong, but the best suggestion you had was comparison with the pictures? So based on the photos in your article, I think I’m in the 30-35% range… But I also somewhat felt like the woman in the 35-40% slot perhaps was at a lesser body fat % than the woman in 30-35%, no? Maybe I’m just confused about what belly buttons would look like at different %s… Any other info or tips?

            About exercises, I’m very interested in the compound exercises (did I say that right?). I found your article on the 5/3/1 program and I’m seriously gearing up. I’ve done a bunch of research into 1RM and I’ve so far I’m fairly confident in my understanding of how much I can lift already for squats and overhead press. However, I’m not sure if overhead press is the same as military. It is a machine I’m using, also. My plan was to be at the gym M/W/F & Sat, but would only have a spotter for Sat, when my hubby is off work. Do you know of a machine (name/body part) that would work the same muscles so that I could do some upper body training without a spotter? I’m also pretty strong already, so I’m planning to work in the “3 sets of 4-6 rep” range. However, I have had some low back problems in the past. I think it’s likely due to it not being strong. Does that mean upper body is out of the question even with a spotter? Hopefully this info is helpful and not excess.

            By the way, I’m super excited about what I can lift already! I never would have thought it was possible. Today after slow progression and proper rest between I worked my way up to squat 50lbs + bar weight for 6 reps. I hear the bar is a standard 45lbs, is that right?


          • Christina

            Oh! This may be more helpful! I just did a little research and found out that the machine I was using for squatting in the Smith Machine. I know you often say that free weights are best and I definitely can understand the added benefits, but since I won’t have a spotter is this the best machine for me? Can I do all 4 exercises of 5/3/1: squat, deadliest, bench press and military press, on that machine? I started using it after I asked about a squat machine by one of my gym’s employees and they told me about the safety feature.

          • Cool! You can calculate that here:


            Yep, I recommend and

            To accurately track your BF%, check this out:


            Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of using machines for the main compound lifts. Check this out:


            Regarding the lower back issues, I just don’t recommend any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.

            Awesome to hear on your strength! Yep, a standard bar is 45 pounds.

            Regarding the spotting issue, what you want to do is end your bench, squat, and military press sets (the only exercises where you need a spot) with one rep still in the tank–that is, end your sets when you struggle for a rep and aren’t sure you can get another. You shouldn’t need a spot for any other exercises.

            Or you can always ask for someone else in the gym to give you a spot. I do it all the time. The last resort is the Smith Machine. 🙂

  • Sasha

    I’m a 27 year old female, 126lb and approx 19% body fat. I’ve read your book and am looking to cut a little more fat. Having worked out my calories for cutting to be 1333 a day, I’m concerned this is too low as it is below my BMR. If this is not enough, how much would you recommend I increase my calories by to avoid under eating?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hey Sasha! Thanks for the info and thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Hmm. Yeah I don’t recommend eating below BMR. What % of a deficit did you use? Also, what’s your activity level like?

      My pleasure! LMK.

      • Sasha

        Thanks for replying!
        I use the gym 4-6hours a week, doing a mixture or resistance and HITT training. Planning in the new year on starting your 4day a week workout plan in Thinner Leaner Stronger.
        I calculated my macros using calculations you give for cutting in TLS. I then worked out the calories on the on the basis of 4cals per gram of protein and carbs, 9 for fat, and came up with that figure, So didn’t come up with a calorie deficit myself. What would you recommend my intake be?
        Thanks again!!

        • Okay cool. The book’s formula is going to be a little low for you because of your body composition (you’re much leaner and more muscular than the average woman).

          This will help you:


          • Sasha

            Thank you so much! Can’t wait to get started!
            Really enjoyed the book btw, found it very informative.

            Thank you again.

          • Welcome! I look forward to seeing your results.

            Glad you enjoyed the book. 🙂

            Happy to help!

          • Sasha

            That’s great!! Thank you!

          • My pleasure! 🙂

  • Iva

    Hey Mike! Happy New Year! I bough the book and have made my way through 3/4 of it. Great stuff. Am having trouble, however, getting started. Is there a place where I can go and get a walk through (step by step, really) the #1 day? For example, if I wake up at 5 am and plan on getting to the gym by 6:30 am, what should I eat? Then, what’s the first workout for someone who has never done free weights and barely any weights at all? Then, what should I eat after my work out? Sorry if I am asking for really bush league stuff but if I don’t, I am afraid, I’ll never get the guts to get started. Thanks!

    • Hey! Thanks. 🙂

      Thanks for reading my book and writing too! I really appreciate it.

      I don’t have anyone to recommend to walk you through it, but I’m happy to answer any questions you have!

      Regarding what to eat pre-workout and post-workout, check these out:

      For finding your starting weight, honestly it’s just trial and error for your first week or two. As a general rule, for every 5 lbs you add to a dumbbell exercise, you’ll lose 2 reps. The same for every 10 lbs added to a barbell exercise. So if you put 100 lbs on the squat bar and do 10 reps, you should be able to get about 6 reps with 140 lbs.

      Just work with light weights at first and learn the form, and then increase. You’ll get your numbers within a week or two. 🙂

      Hope this helps! My pleasure.

  • Sarah Berwick

    Hi. Just about to start TLS and feeling very excited. I have just completed Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer with nice results but now want AMAZING results!! Quick question- any thoughts about some 30sec HIIT during the rest periods ie:mountain climbers, high knees, star jumps etc….for accelerated fat burn and stamina?? Thanks in advance. Sarah

    • Cool you’re about to get rolling on the TLS program! I look forward to seeing your results!

      Awesome on the results you got on Eason’s program.

      Nah, I don’t recommend doing those types of things while resting. The whole point of the longer rest periods is so that you have the energy to go as heavy as you can for 9-12 sets. Doing HIIT during your rest will effect your strength.

      I am a fan of HIIT, but it should be done separately.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Em

    Hi there, I am considering purchasing TLS. I have a ten week old baby (not breastfeeding) and gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy (about 27kgs). I have lost 17kg by eating clean (well actually I don’t think I’m eating enough each day) and I walk every night but have about 10 kg to go. I had a c-section and am wondering whether I will still be able to follow TLS? I feel totally back to normal and have had my 6 week check up with no problems. Also, we have a small gym set up at home, would I be able to use that? I’m not keen on going to a gym and need to work around the baby. Thanks in advance.

    • Good job on all the weight you’ve lost so far!

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to follow the TLS program, but I recommend checking with your doctor just to be safe.

      You would be able to follow the TLS routine at home with the proper home gym set up. Check this out:

      My pleasure. Talk soon.

  • Jen

    Mike, I just received TLS and so far so good but I’m getting wildly different numbers when calculating my daily calories for cutting. To start: I’m 32, 5’7, 117lb LBM, 184lbs total, with a bf % (at last check) of 36%. Using your calculators on Muscle For Life, I was getting a TDEE of around 2050 with 80% of that being 1650 cals. Well now I have your book and I read on p. 118 the example of a 180lb woman eating 1430 cals / day. There’s no way. So below that I used your formula for the 35%+ body fat example and that comes out to around 1800 (I used my bmr from your calculators). 1400 to 1800 is quite a range and I’m already having issues feeling wiped out in my workouts on even 1650 cals. I already have a history of metabolism issues and had to reverse diet last summer just to fix it. I’m very fearful of eating too little and causing that to happen again. Because I’m getting such wildly different answers from all of your methods I was wondering if you could please help me nail down my target cutting calories, and what multipliers to use for p/c/f. Thanks in advance!

    • Thank you!

      Sorry for the confusion! The formulas in the book err on the low end, but let’s start you at 1600 with 40% from protein, 40% carb, and 20% fat, and see how your body responds?

      Should be good to go. 🙂

      Let me know!


      • Jen

        Thanks Mike. I’ve been doing 1650 since Sunday with that same Macro split. Its an adjustment for sure and weaker lifts to be expected – I don’t know if I just need to get used to it or if I really am not eating enough. I weigh in on Friday though so I won’t know until then. Will keep posted. Thanks for the response.

        • Welcome!

          Yep, lifting in a deficit can be tough. Proper pre-workout nutrition and supps can help:

          LMK how the weigh-in goes. The goal is to lose 1-2 pounds a week. The first couple weeks can be more due to water and glycogen but after that it should level out.

          My pleasure!

          • Jen

            Hi Mike. Just checking in. Unfortunately I’m way past newbie gains as I’m nearly 11 months into it (but only 2 weeks officially on TLS). My progress isn’t as fast as I’d like but it’s about 1lb per week and measurements going down while keeping LBM exactly the same. Several personal bests lifted this week also. FYI I do take Phoenix. Tried Forge and I can’t handle fasted cardio. I also have whey and creatine daily post-workout. Gonna continue what I’m doing and see how it goes. Thanks for all your help.

          • I hear you Jen!

            I understand wanting it to go faster, but you’re right on track! Just keep doing what you’re doing. Awesome job on the PRs!

            Cool you’re taking Phoenix, creatine and whey protein. Understood on the fasted training. It isn’t for everybody.

            Sounds good! Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

            Welcome! Talk soon.

  • T.G.

    Hi- I recently started reading the Kindle version of your book and I find it very informative and helpful. However, I thought I had purchased the wrong book at first because of all the passages directed at males and passages that include male pronouns. Here are a few examples:
    “…the wink from the girl or the advertisement for the testosterone booster” (pg. 50), and “Write a letter to your future self about what you think he’ll be like, what your hopes are for him, and what you’re doing for him now that will pay off later” (pg. 59). I understand the point you’re trying to make, but the message does get lost when it’s not directed at your target audience. I picked up this book because it claimed to be written for the female body. I’m not sure if this is just a fluke on the Kindle version, but I would suggest hiring an editor to fix these passages. They were good for a laugh though 😉

    • Thank you!

      Whoa, that’s really weird. I wonder if something got messed up on Amazon’s end (did a file get swapped or something?). I’m going to get this fixed.

      • T.G.

        Thanks for your speedy reply! It definitely seems like it could have been a swapped file or something. It`s still a great resource even with these passages. I`m looking forward to the rest of it!

        • Welcome! LMK what you think of the book when you finish it. 🙂

    • Jen

      I noticed that also and I have the print version

  • Sharon P

    I’ve heard and read great things about your book but I have a congenital problem with my right shoulder which also affects my neck. Therefore I can’t do any upper body exercises without the pain flaring up. Even putting pressure through my shoulder or neck by doing the plank, sit ups etc causes pain. I tried using weights recently and even though I started with light weights I regretted it for days! Does this mean i wouldn’t get the benefits by following your book?

    I currently do 5 30 minute Hiit sessions a week on a treadmill without any problems as long as I keep my shoulder relaxed.

    Regards Sharon

    • Sorry to hear that Sharon. It won’t really be possible to follow the program from the book in your case.

      How about a bodyweight routine? Check it out:

      LMK what you think.

      Cool on the HIIT you’re doing!

      • Sharon p

        Thank you. I think I need to avoid upper body exercises. Would incorporating just a lower body exercise routine help me build muscle and loose fat? Maybe swapping one of my Hiit sessions a week for squats, leg press, leg extensions, etc. If so do you have a suitable routine?

        TIA, Sharon

        • YW.

          Yeah sure, we could work around the issues. For example, you could do 3 lower body workouts per week plus cardio?

  • Hi Mike! I’ve been plateaued in my weight loss for approximately one year (yes, A FRICKIN YEAR!). I eat very clean food, in my opinion (no sugar, no dairy, no wheat, no soy), and though I don’t count calories currently, I’m experienced enough with it to feel that I’m not eat too much. I’ve been working out consistently for the past 2 1/2 to 3 years, and after losing about 30 lbs, my body has failed to progress and lose the last 20 pounds since January 2015. I stumbled across your book, TLS, on Amazon, and I’m very interested to try your program!

    My concern is, I saw some reviews mention that a gym is pretty necessary, to be able to do the program as outlined in the book. I work out at home, and I’m very dedicated to keeping it that way (for several reasons that are too long to get into right now). I have dumbbells and kettlebells that range to fairly heavy weights (my heaviest set of dbs are 25#, then I have a lone 40# db, as well as 2 x 12kg bells, 2 x 16kg and a 20kg bell). I also have a barbell (not Olympic) with enough plates to get it to around 40 pounds (can’t quite recall; haven’t used it in a while), a doorway pull-up bar, TRX, step bench/high step, jump rope, and a few other bits and bobs that I’ve left out.

    With this kind of set-up, I was wondering if you feel that your book would be adaptable to a home exerciser? I just want to make sure it would even be possible to do the TLD program without a gym, because I’d really love to give it a shot to see if I can finally break this plateau. Thanks!

  • Megan Olvera

    Hi Mike! I’m on Week 2 of TLS, and my husband is working through BLS. Quick question for you: His regimen has him doing sets of 4-6 reps, while I’m doing sets of 8-10. The TLS book does make mention that eventually I’ll move to sets of 4-6 reps, but I wasn’t able to find any guidance on when it’s appropriate to make that adjustment for myself. Advice?


    • Hey Megan! Cool you’re rolling on TLS and that your husband is rolling on BLS.

      I recommend sticking to the 8-10 rep range for at least 6 months before moving on to the 4-6 rep range for the main compound lifts.


      My pleasure!

  • Sofia

    Hi Mike.. Am very thin and now that it’s getting too embarrassing when my friends makes fun of me.. I was fat before and then I lost some pounds and got back in a good shape but after some time I kept loosing and one of the factors include poor diet.. Now am 23 years old, 45 kg is my weight and am so much worried now.. Need help…

  • Eli

    Hello Mike, I just received this book today. Where can I download the bonus report from?
    Thank you

    • Eli

      I Got it!

  • Sue

    Mike, hello! I’ve tried ALL the programs out there and am so disappointed. There seems like I’ve done so much training volume that I end of overtraining and not eating enough. I just ordered your 3 books for women on Amazon (they will get to me on Wed) so I will start next week. Since I’m 43 and in the military, at 5’4″ weighing 165 I have access to gyms so no problem there. I have a few pressing questions that I am interested in YOUR opinions: 1) Don’t you need step-ups with dumbbells to really target your bottom half? 2) My form just suffers so much with the heavy barbell on all the exercises it seems. Can I use dumbbells until I get stronger? Or the shorter little barbell that doesn’t weigh as much (not sure what it’s called, it has a big dent in the middle but little plates can be added)? 3) Don’t you need to do exercises like leg abductor side lifts and lots of planks to help the core/lower body? 4) I’m always concerned my Deadlift form will cause injury…are there form pointers in the book? 5) What warm-up and cool-downs do I do? Sorry for all the questions. Something about your eating and workout plan just seems to fit with my needs and what has worked/not worked for me in the past. I tried the Strong Curves program and believe exercises for your backside are so important (really helped with my tight back/hips) but all the equipment (even on a military base, like the extension equipment, just wasn’t there!). I was all over the gym and with so many guys lifting so heavy at each rack (the gym is really packed every day) I wasn’t shy just felt like there were too many equipment changes to not be frustrated. Thank you in advance for your assistance and I can’t wait to start your program next week! It is just so devastating when all the programs I’ve tried just left me hungry (starved), getting bigger or seeing NO results, and do a number of my self-esteem. – Sue

    • I hear you Sue! Time to get results. 🙂

      Thanks for picking up my books.

      1. No, you don’t. Check this out:

      2. I recommend you stick to the heavy barbell exercises like squats, but go as light as you need to do the lift with proper form. Totally fine if you need to use the shorter/lighter barbell.

      3. Regarding the core, take a look at this:

      4. I understand your concern with the deadlift. Keep your form in, and it won’t be an issue. Check this out:

      5. For the warm-up, I just do lighter weight and higher reps of the exercise I’m about to do. Check this out:

      I don’t do any cool downs. If that’s something you want to do, go ahead.

      Let’s stick to the TLS routine for now and see how you do. Stick to the proper training and dieting and you will get results!

      My pleasure! Hope this helps. Talk soon!

      • Suzette

        Mike, It’s 1pm on Wed and my books just arrived from Amazon (TLS, Year Challenge, The Shredded Chef)! I have dedicated the next few days to dive into your books and create my workout and food plan for success.
        Thank you for your reply and encouragement! It means so much since I’ve tried so much in the past without sustained success :). Do your female clients get really hungry on your workout plan???
        And, One last question if you don’t mind (for now)…with your experience, what protein powder do your lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant female clients tolerate the most? By belly also does not like sugar alcohols.
        Hopeful to get started,

        • Sue


        • Nice! My pleasure. 🙂

          • Sue

            Great! TY! On week 2 and doing well figuring my new food and workout plan from your book.

          • Welcome! Nice!

            Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Monera Al Mudhaf

    Hello Mike,

    i’ve read your book and i’m going to start the cutting phase, but i’d like to ask a question, my weight is 121lb/55kg, and my body fat is 33.3% it’s impossible i know, it’s because i’m a mom of 2. and i got pregnant between the two in a short period of time, and i didnt have the time to exercise, my 2nd baby is 6 months now and i’m happy i got rid of almost 70% of the extra weight, but i’m not happy with the amount of fat my body carries, do i do the exact calorie calculation you gave in within that phase? or shall i cut less?

    • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Cool you’re going to be cutting. Awesome on the weight you’ve lost since pregnancy. Let’s lose the rest of it. 🙂

      Not sure what cal calculation you’re talking about, but you can calculate your exact intake here:

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Monera Al Mudhaf

        Thanks for your instant response! i’m happy to hear that! my question was, on chapter 14: Cutting Phase: calculating your diet section: you mentioned: 1.2g of protein, 1g of carb, 0.2g of fat per pound of body weight. My weight is 121 lb so it will be a total of 1282 calories per day am i correct? My exact question is, because i have a high fat percentage (33.3%) does this daily calorie intake will make me loose weight because of my fat %? will i be cutting? shall i reduce my calorie intake or it’s fine?

  • Amanda Bhikhari

    Hi Mike, I purchased your book, and I am not sure if I should be cutting or bulking or maintaining. I am 36 years old, 25% body fat, 116 lbs. I would like to be lean and toned and strong, but not sure if cutting would make me look skinny, or if bulking will make me look fat. I appreciate your suggestion. Excited about this program.

  • Cindy Mareska Craddock

    Hi, I am a runner of about 25miles per week. I love can I encore orate your program with my running? Thank you

  • Hey I just bought your book via the german amazon. How do I receive the bonus interviews and the report ? Thanks.

    • Thanks for picking it up! The bonus report link is in the back of the book.

      If you have trouble finding it for any reason, shoot me an email at with a receipt or some other proof of purchase, and I’ll get it to you. 🙂

  • Nina

    Hi! I’m gonna order the both of the books (TLS and one Year challenge) but would I need a gym or can I do it home? 😁

  • Nina

    Hi! I been thinking about ordering your books(TLS and one year challenge) and the meal plan. But I was wondering if I would need a gym or if I train at home?:) all new to it

  • Janell

    I bought your book and have started following the diet and exercise plans. So far, it’s been great. My Legion Protien powder will come in the mail tomorrow so I’m sure that will help me meet my protein requirements. I just have one question. Your book says that it doesn’t matter when you eat, but I’ve always been told “6 meals a day, 3-4 hours apart.” Would it be bad for me to skip out on breakfast and start eating around noon? I find that as soon as I eat in the morning I get hungry again soon and it feels like I have to battle hunger all day long so I prefer to just start the battle later. Will that hurt my progress?

  • Neva W.

    Hey Mike,

    I borrowed your book from a friend recently and am a month into my training. (I am already getting compliments at the pool–I’m a lifeguard.) I read the comment below from Cindy Craddock about being a runner. I don’t run 25 mi/wk, but I average about 15. I’m lifting 5 days/wk and running 3 days/wk. I see you told her you would recommend lifting 3 day/wk, but honestly I enjoy it too much to take off two days of lifting from the week. On the flip side, I love running and swimming too. I always lift first and never run on leg day. I also swim about 45 min one day of the week. Is the running/swimming still going to negatively effect my results? I also checked out your Cardio and Muscle Growth article (great by the way), but I thought I’d clarify these things.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world! People are living happier and healthier lives because of you.


    • Hey hey! Hope you enjoyed the book! Cool you’re rolling on the program.

      How many hours a week are you doing of cardio? The amount you’re may still negatively affect results.

      I completely understand not wanting to decrease to a 3-day split, and I’m glad you’re lifting first. Smart move.

      My pleasure! Happy to help. 🙂

  • Alex

    Hi mike,

    I was wondering if you ever did/ are doing or will do personalised diet plans? While your book give all the information I’m really no good at putting a diet together.

    Thank you for all your amazing knowledge!


  • Stacey S

    Hello, I just got the book in the mail and I was wondering why there are similar exercises for the same day. On chest and calves we are doing incline barbell bench press and incline dumbbell bench press? There are two inclines for chest?

    • Hey Stacey! Yep, most people have underdeveloped upper chest. That’s why I put more volume on the incline training.

  • JJ


    I have your book, haven’t started it yet due to some health issues I’ve had to get over, which I would like to ask you about in a more private section. if that’s possible. I’m a competent weight lifter and have been in the gym anywhere between 6 days to 3, have competed regularly as a bodybuilder for 4 years (no drugs) but haven’t been able to see or maintain the lean healthy look, instead (despite different coaches) I’ve ended up severely over trained. Would you recommend starting from a beginner level w/ your book?

    • Hey JJ! Thanks for picking up my book!

      I hear you. Feel free to email me at

      Yep, I recommend you read the book and start following the routine and set up a proper meal plan just as it’s laid out in the book.


  • Jennifer Barba

    Hi mike i am 163 cm and 49 kg with 18% body fat but my tummy is spongy from the babies, i do some intense yoga and cardio, but that is about it, I dont have a lot of time with two small kids, can your program help me all of the befores dont seem to have my tummy problem thanks!

    • Thanks for the info! Yep, the program can definitely help. It’ll lay out everything you need to know about training and dieting to build muscle and lose fat effectively.

      To help specifically with the belly, check this out:

      Hope this helps! LMK what you think.

      My pleasure. 🙂

  • Karen Henderson Jones

    I downloaded the TLS audiobook from ITunes but did not receive the accompanying reference guide or or the Year One Challenge. How do I get those docs?

  • Monika

    Hi Mike,

    My fiance and I both got the TLS/BLS books and really liked reading through the material. We’re excited to start working out – even went ahead and bought ourselves barbells, weighted plates, squat rack etc. Just 2 questions for you:

    1) We live in the country so we’re limited to the equipment in our new home gym. In the laid out routines, we saw face pulls and leg presses. What can we do in place of these since they need cables/machines which we don’t have? Skip it? Do a squat variation? Bands?
    2) I have a pre-existing membership at a yoga studio that I’d like to continue. My goal is to cut (F, 5’7″, 170lbs, ~26% BF). My plan was to start the 3 day lifting routine and add 3-4 days of HIIT training. Could a hot vinyasa class count as a HIIT session? Or should I still do 3-4 days HIIT and any yoga is “bonus.” I don’t want to overtrain (and a hot yoga/vinyasa class can be pretty intense at times).

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Hey hey! Glad you both picked up the books and enjoyed the reading. Great to hear you’re both excited to get started and picked up all the equipment. 🙂

      1. No worries! Instead of leg press, you can do front squats. Instead of the face pulls, you can do these rotator cuff exercises:

      2. Totally fine to continue with the yoga. Replacing 1 HIIT session for yoga works.

      My pleasure! Hope this helps. Talk soon!

  • Fi

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve just discovered MFL, been reading around the site loads, it’s ace. I’ve recently joined a bootcamp training program, where I’m training 3 times a week for an hour, doing HIIT/tabata training (lots of bodyweight exercises combined with sprints and jogs, very short rest periods).

    I’m struggling with the upper-body exercises at the moment because my arms and core are weak, but I know this will improve over time and with willpower! I don’t seem to struggle too much with squats/squat jumps etc., which I put down to the fact that I’ve been cycling regularly for several years now.

    At 31 years old, my goal is standard – to lose weight (aka fat) and tone up – and I’ve calculated my calorie intake for my weight (166 lbs)/ height (5’6.5″) / BF% (37.30%) at 1117kcal/day.

    I’d really like to follow the advice in your book in order to maximise the results, and plan on supplementing with whey protein in the mornings and pre- or post- workout (either/or, right? not both pre AND post?)…

    I notice there’s a lot of talk about weightlifting… Sooo, my question is… Do you think I’d be OK to continue with the bootcamp training while following the advice in your book, or would you recommend that I move my training program to a gym, for maximum results?

    Cheers, brilliant site.


    • Hey hey! Glad you’re enjoying it. 🙂

      Cool on the boot camp you’re doing.

      Yep, I’m sure the cycling helped with your lower body strength.

      I like your goal. Let’s make it happen.

      Whey protein pre-workout and post-workout is great. It isn’t required, but it’s a good choice to have specifically before and after training.

      You’re fine to continue with the boot camp, but you will get better results hitting the heavy, compound lifts.

      Talk soon!

      • Fi

        Cheers Mike, you said what I thought you were probably going to say! Would love to start weightlifting while continuing the bootcamp HIIT so need to work out what’s possible or what needs to give. Thanks a lot, speak soon. Fi

  • Jennifer Murphy

    How would you incorporate yoga into the TLS program? Thanks!

  • Aileen

    I just started your 5 day training plan on your website. I also started counting my macronutrient intake. I just ordered your Thinner Leaner Stronger book and should get in a couple of days. You say I can cheat but just looking at my macronutrients for the past couple of days I just don’t see where there is room to cheat.
    Also, I love to do yoga. Is doing too much yoga bad and would you classify yoga as strength training?

    • Cool you’re rolling on the program and tracking your intake! Thanks for picking up my book too. 🙂

      Every week or two you can eat over your intake. Check this out:

      Totally fine to do some yoga. How much are you doing weekly?

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Steph

    Hi, where in Canada can I buy the newest issue of this book in physical paperback, not n E version?

  • Tierra

    I’m a female and looking to gain some healthy weight while keeping my body fat at a minimum. Is this book right for me? I do not want to be “thin.” I want my legs to be bigger, my butt, my calves etc. Is this book right for me? I feel like I need to read the men version lol thanks

    • Absolutely. It’ll lay out everything you need to know about training and dieting to effectively bulk and cut to get to the size you want.

      No need to pick up the book for men. TLS has everything you need. 🙂

      Welcome! Talk soon.

  • Elly

    Hey Mike. I am 16 and my the last time I checked my body fat% was at 35%. It’s probably more now. I have a skinny figure but my belly is baggy and big. Will this program work for me?

  • Diedra-Anne B

    I recently got rid of 65 lbs, I know how to eat to melt fat but im stuck at 22-25% body fat. I have a stubborn areas of my lower tummy id like to flatten out and to grow my butt since thats the new thing these days, =P , I lack in knowledge of how to properly eat to gain muscle and not to just lose weight or lower the number on the scale, and how much time to focus on those too areas im most self-cautious about. Will this book teach me what i am missing? Ive struggled with being picked on on my life, and i never believed I could be where i stand today. 65 lbs lighter and writing you for guidance. Heeeelp me!!! hahah
    thank you for your time!
    Diedra-Anne B.

  • josephine

    Hi I would like to know if I need to join gym? Or is it sufficient to do exercises with adjustable dumbbells which I have at home or do bodyweight exercises? I am deciding whether to buy a book.

  • Cate Lloyd-Tam

    Hi Michael, I love the articles I’ve read of yours recently and previewed your book. I definitely want to buy it, but how do I buy a PDF version that I can download to my computer? I don’t have a kindle and would prefer to have PDF format so I can print and make notes on some sections. Thanks, Cate.

    • Hey Cate! Happy to hear it. 🙂

      I recommend just picking up whatever form of the book works best for you and shooting me an email with the proof of purchase, and I’ll send you the PDF free of charge.

      Does that work? LMK.


      • Cate Lloyd-Tam

        That sounds brilliant Michael! I have 2 proof of purchase items now – one from iTunes and one because I’ve actually purchased the hard copy book and am expecting delivery today – yeaaa!!! I’d still love PDF version too coz then I can print certain bits and make notes rather than photocopying pages out of the book (like the old days)!! Is there an email address I can forward the proof of purchase emails? I can’t see how to attach them to this forum. Thanks again MM – I’ve never been so convinced that I’ve finally found the sensible, “Magic bullet” that I’ve been looking for, for years!! 🙂

  • Nicole

    HI! I’ve read your book and have your one year challenge: Thinner, Leaner, Stronger in one year. My question: I’m 5′ 3″, 126 pounds with about 29% body fat (according to fitbit scale). Mom of 2 under two. What should my macros look like? Am I bulking, am I cutting?? It’s so confusing to me. Technically my body weight is ok, but my body fat is way too high. I want to be lean and strong, not skinny fat! Appreciate your feedbak.

  • Shylah Haldeman

    Hello, I just finished your book and I am starting the plan today. I am an old hat at counting macros so I am not worried about that part. I come from a history of extreme calorie/carb restriction and currently eat about 1500-1600 calories(better than 700-1000) a day without seeing weight loss or gain. I am a 36 year old mother of two coming in at 5’8″ and 155lbs with a 22% BF(fit bit scale). With extreme dieting in the past I was able to be 140# and I hope to get back to that. But as you can guess and know I started gaining weight with out changing anything and I was unable to (no matter how little I ate) loss it again (crazy huh). My question is with my goal of getting back to 140# I am going with the cutting version (1650 cal/ 186gms protein, 150 carbs and 31 grams of fat), I do crossfit with weight training about 4 days a week(30-45mins), yoga twice a week(1 hour heated sessions) and run about 3 miles a week ( I plan to add more running because we just moved to CA and now I can!!) I also plan to incorporate some of your training but I love crossfit and can’t give it up!!! Does this sound like the right plan for me? Thank you for the book and the advice.



  • Rachel G

    Hi, I’ve been “following” your workout for awhile now but have only recently been actually working the meal planning into it. Since I have started following your cutting meal plan I have lost around 6.5 lbs in the last 4-6 weeks as well as consistently going up on lifting weights! I’m currently deadlifting 140lbs not including bar(woman’s Olympic bar) and squatting 110 not including bar, 4-6 rep range. My question is how long do you recommend following the cutting diet for? I’m 29, 5ft 6in and 137lbs, I’ve been caculating around 1300-1400 calories, 146grams of protein and 130 grams of carbs a day. I’d say my body fat percentage is roughly 20-24. The calipers are tricky for me to figure out and get consistent readings off of them. I still know I have more fat to loose especially around my butt, just unsure of the best method for getting it off while maintaining muscle. Oh and absolutely LOVE the cookies n cream whey powder you recently came out with! Thanks!!

    • Hey Rachel! Glad you started actually following the meal plan and awesome job on the weight you’ve lost so far and the strength you’ve gained! That’s great. You’re strong.

      I recommend you continue cutting until you reach your goal BF% or until you reach BMR and aren’t getting results.

      To help make sure you’re using the caliper correctly, check this out:

      To help ensure fat loss and not muscle loss, take a look at this:

      Glad you’re enjoying the cookies n cream Whey+. 🙂 It’s my current favorite.

      Welcome. Hope this helps! Talk soon.

  • Mairead Fahy

    HI Mike,
    I have read your book and will be starting week five of the one year challah get tomorrow. I feel stronger but i find that I am eating a lot on the diet (I’m on 1460cals. 5.3″ and 138 pounds) my weight has not yet changed which Im not worried about. I am just wondering if I should be sweating a lot when I am lifting as of right now I am only sweating on leg day. Just looking for some reassurance that I’m doing everything needed

    • Hey hey! Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Glad you’re about to be rolling on the program.

      Hmm. You should be losing 1-2 lbs a week when cutting. So, if that’s not happening. Something needs to change. Check this out:

      Don’t worry about how much your sweating. That’s not an indicator of progress.

      Check out that article and LMK what you think!

  • Nimrah

    Hi Mike! Just got your book. Silly question-I have had 3 kids and am 32-I don’t want to be muscular like the “after” pics, but more toned and thick fit (like Kim K). I have the junk in the trunk and want to shape it-not be too cut. Will following the workout and meal plan in your book help with that? Thanks!

    • Thanks for picking it up! Don’t worry. Not silly!

      Yep, it will! It’ll lay out everything you need to know about training and dieting to get the body you want. 🙂

      Welcome! If you have any questions after reading the book, feel free to ask! I’m happy to help.

  • Maria

    Hi Mike, I just got your book and it is fantastic! I worked out for 2 years straight with great results until I got a stroke last year following an accident, which knocked me out for 11 months. I am now cleared to go back to the gym, but my doctor instructed me not to do barbell squats –my fav, so I am devastated. I can’t put weights on my shoulders and I cannot lift weights above my head 🙁 I looked at the training schedule, which looks pretty awesome, but how am I supposed to get great results if I can’t do heavy squats? I squatted 135 lbs before my accident and I love working out with heavy weights. I’ve tried to do front squats and goblet squats, but I can’t go super heavy on those, so I will reach my max soon. Right now I cannot do more than 65 lbs for front squat. So, my question is, what is the best squat variation I could get the best result with doing your workout plan that doesn’t involve putting weights on my shoulders? Thanks a bunch!!

    • Hey Maria! Thanks for picking up my book, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Damn. Sorry to hear about the accident and stroke. 🙁

      Glad you’re cleared to get back to the gym! Understood on your limitations. Front squats are the best alternative. Leg press and hack squat are good too.

      YW! Hope this helps! LMK how it goes.

  • Patricia Terrell

    Mike I love your book. I was a former bodybuilder and have not worked out steadily for the last four years due to lack of desire, which I will blame on menopause (gotta put the blame somewhere :-). Although I have not gained too much weight, I have lost a significant amount of muscle mass. I’ve decided to follow your cutting plan and my primary question is three-fold and relates to me (a post-menopausal woman.) (1) Since I used to compete, will muscle memory still kick in even though I am post-menopausal? (2) What special tweaks in my diet and exercise program will help? (3) If I do not supplement with hormone-replacement (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), will I still be able to cut the body fat and build lean mass? In a nutshell, I want to know about the special challenges post-menopausal women face and how we can overcome them. Thanks Mike!

  • Patricia Terrell

    Hey Mike, sorry for the huge picture. I thought I was adding an avatar pic.

  • Katie Redington

    I had this program recommended to me by someone I know. Would this program work for someone who is obese? I am currently 248 lbs. and 47% body fat. Obviously, I know it will take a long time to get down to 20-25% body fat, but I was wondering if there is anything in the book that I would need to adapt for my situation. I just started reading the free sample, but I was curious before I buy the book. Thank you!

  • Sherry owen

    Mike I am a 61 year old women and I was always athletic in school and after marriage and 2 children and when I began going through the change I began working out with a
    Train and loved it I didn’t gain the weight most women do . I weighed 130 ate 120 gr protein 100 gr carbs
    Less than 30 gr fat … I weighed and measured everything I put into my mouth …being in the gym was additive because I loved it but in 2009 I was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to take an eight week break but returned to the gym
    At a skinny stage but thanks to muscle memory I gained some back but not like I would like to be . When I started getting your emails it really fired me up because as I call it I am still a skinny fat !!! I can’t wait to get your book in hopes that all the things I have read and been told that when you reach my age it
    Impossible to gain muscle that you’ve lost . I was at one point 113
    Pounds but have gained 10 pounds luckily and in the gym 3 days a week ….will your book put me in the right
    Direction after all I have read it gives me hope …
    My fiancé says I’m a 61 year old women in a 18 year old body but he is you might say very partial !!!!😊
    Thanks for taking the time to read this extended question ( but I’ve been granted a second chance in life and I want to make the very most of it by being the best I can
    be!!!! Loving life,

    • Hey Sherry! Thanks for all the info!

      Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. 🙁

      Glad you made it back to the gym and have been able to put on some muscle, and I’m happy to hear the emails have helped get you fired up. 🙂

      Definitely LMK how you like the books once you read them.

      Nope, you can definitely put on muscle at your age. Take a look at this:

      And yes, the book will lay out everything you need to know to build muscle effectively.

      I’m sure he’s being honest. 🙂

      My pleasure! Happy to help! Talk soon.

  • Sarah Frost

    Mike, I’m a 51 year old woman, currently on the third cycle of the Body Coach Plan by Joe Wicks but am planning on following your plans when I graduate, as lots of people in the FB group I’m in have been talking about TLS and YOU!

    I bought your books ‘Thinner Leaner Stronger for women’ ‘The one year challenge workbook’ and ‘The Shredded Chef’ recently from Amazon. I am halfway through reading TLS and really enjoying it, however the cover of the book has an issue, I don’t know whether this is common to all the TLS books but the cover has curled both front and back, and this happened within days of me receiving it. I have tried weighting it down to get it to lie flat, but no luck. Have you heard of this happening before? Am pretty upset as its the kind of book I want to keep and refer back to often but it’s literally like it hasn’t got a cover at all in it’s current state, and the book is only a few weeks old. Any thoughts? Really keen to get started on your plan. Thanks for reading.
    Sarah UK

    • Great Sarah! Thank you!

      That’s no good. If you contact Amazon they’ll actually send you another one. I used Amazon’s print-on-demand service, CreateSpace, and sometimes the printing goes wonky.

      That said I AM working on switching over to proper print runs for the UK, which will produce higher quality books. I should have it up later this year…

  • Jennifer Wheatley Passaro

    Hi Mike! I’m following the ladies’ program and my husband is following the mens’ program. If I’m reading the ladies’ book right, I should be doing the big exercises with warmup sets in the 4-6 rep range for my working sets, but all the subsequent exercises in a day in the 8-10 rep range. Is that correct? The mens’ book says to do all exercises in the 4-6 rep range, and I wanted to make sure I haven’t misunderstood. Thanks! Jennifer

    • Great! Glad to have you two. 🙂

      Yeah I recommend that women start in the 8 to 10 rep range and, after several months, add in some heavier work if they’re comfortable with it.

  • Bart Ellebaut

    Hi Mike, just read through maximal muscles. But you explain how to calculate to loose weight with nitrition, but your trainingsplan is to build muscle. Experience taught me that those 2 don’t really go well together. Can you explain?

    • Sorry but I don’t quite understand your question. Can you elaborate?

      • Bart Ellebaut

        I just noticed i am under the wrong book. Sorry for that.
        I read maximum muscles, bigger leaner stronger. And the workout program is all for building muscle mass, yet the explnation of nutrition is how to calculate the correct macros for losing weight. Building mass and loosing weight at the same time is almost impossible. You can’t build muscle in a calorie deficit. Or am I wrong?

  • Claire Haughian

    Hi Mike. Bit confused…I’m working out my macros for cutting and used your 140 pound woman as an example to check I was doing my calculations right…when I multiplied 140 pounds by 1.2 for protein I get 168g not 170g…can you help? Am I doing something wrong? Thanks, Claire