Muscle for life

Muscle for Life Success: Darren B.


"It still feels strange that my stomach is always flat; I do not miss having to suck it in."

Darren's Progress

Progress Image 3 Months
Progress Image 8 Months
Progress Image 2 Years

What has happened so far on the program?

December 2013
Age – 48
Weight – 190 lbs
Body fat – 23%
Complete with a fat pack

July 2014 (Nearly 8 months later)
Age – 49
Weight – 166 lbs
Body fat – 7%
complete with a six pack

I managed to shed 24 lbs and still gained muscle. I did this by following the advice given very closely. By using the advice on the program (Bigger Leaner Stronger) I calculated my macronutrient ratios and stuck to them precisely. As Mike states, becoming a creature of habit does work.

I initially used The Shredded Chef book and then adapted some of the recipes to offer meals that suited my macronutrients, and then stuck to them. And the advice offered on fasting works, man does it work.

My strength also increased very quickly; deadlifts and squats soon became my friends. I managed to double my starting lifts within a few months.

Now I have lost the fat and gained some muscle I intend to build on that over the next year and pack on some more muscle. Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger is going to help me get there.

The truth is what took Mike years to perfect I just duplicated; followed the program and information on MFL, and it simply works.

Sorry Mike but your pain is my gain.

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

I am a no nonsense kind of guy, so Muscle For Life was instantly appealing to me as the information was backed by science, and was honest and sincere. Basically it all made complete sense to me.

It also appeared achievable as it never tried to over complicate with ridiculous training regimes. I know Mike is sickened by the health industry and he has a right to be as I have read all the programs and workouts in the past and it is evident to me that they are only trying to fill their pages with more nonsense to sell magazines and supplements. I was amazed by the no-bull attitude of Mike, and that attitude hooked me from day one.

I have just ordered the new book and cannot wait to read it; but I also ordered the book as I truly believe I owe Mike & MFL because I gained so much more from the MFL website and podcasts that are offered totally free. Mike & MFL offer the facts and place the health of their LEGION of followers before making money, which is a extremely rare quality.

If anyone does not buy the book or follow the program they are missing out on what could possibly be a turning point in their life. It changed mine!

What do you like most about the program?

No nonsense easy to follow information. Every thing you need to gain muscle and lose weight is included. Assistance is always available and Mike always answers emails which is unbelievable as I am sure he must be a busy guy.

No magic pills and potions offered, just straight forward information that works.I also like all the extras that come with the program such as MFL website which is always interesting to log on to as there is new information added weekly. I have used the web site numerous times to search for information that I required to assist me with my goals.

The podcasts are also a bonus that I enjoy; I save them on my iPhone and then listen to them whilst driving.

I never expected to get the results I achieved so quickly; that’s why the photos are poor as it truly took me by surprise. The second photo is on my 49th birthday and was only taken to see how it was all going. It was a nice birthday surprise!

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

The program just works. The workouts are simple, and this is not a bad thing. I have read all the magazines offering the latest workouts all to fill pages full of nonsense just to sell magazines. All the advice on diets again just works.

Follow the diet guidance without cheating and you will lose weight. The science behind the diets is there, and it makes sense. When the dieting is explained it really is not that complicated unlike other ridiculous diets by companies trying to make a quick buck.

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

I believe I had good gains in muscle and excellent fat loss in a short period of time. At 49 I am back to the weight that I was in my early twenties. I did not cut corners and was strict with my diet, but I did all this using the information provided by Mike Mathews and Muscle For Life.

I have personally found that I get less aches and pains, such as back aches, now that I am training. It may sound crazy but the increased muscle mass I have achieved feels like it has opened me up, taking away the recurring pains I used to have. Also training in the morning keeps me alert all day; in fact if I do not train in the morning I begin to feel lethargic later in the day.

To be totally honest the ability to take my shirt off any time of day feels fantastic. And it still feels strange that my stomach is always flat; I do not miss having to suck it in.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The advice I would like to offer anyone that reads this is simply follow the program as written. If you do this without cheating or cutting corners you will get results. I state this without any doubt because I did it at the age of 49; so that must count for something.

Fasting works. I have fasted numerous times and each time I have lost and kept off 3 lbs on a 48 hour fast. Fasting sounds worse than it is; clear your mind and give it ago. The amount of times I have heard, “I will do anything to lose weight,” and then received a negative response when I advise fasting. I also truly believe fasting resets the body as I always feel great after the fast is completed.

Sit ups will not get you a six pack but fasting will.

And just to finish I offer a big thank you to Mike Mathews who is helping people around the world to gain muscle and lose weight.

Want to become a success story too? Here's how he did it

The program that made this transformation possible:

The meal plan that makes building muscle and losing fat easy and enjoyable:

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • diamondjimbo

    Nice work and inspiring. Question: how many cut/bulk cycles did you undertake in those 8 months? Was it cutting the whole time, to lose that much fat, but keeping/growing the muscle you had?

  • pat

    Great work. How tall are you? How many total years have you lifted prior to starting the program ? Thx

  • Shivam

    Congrats! You spoke highly of fasting, were you doing intermittent fasting daily? How often did you do a 48 hour fast? How did you get through 48 hours of pure fasting? Were there any other fasts that you did regularly?

  • Darren

    I received The Shredded Chef for Christmas and tried the recipes which I really liked. I ate healthy but did not count calories for about one month.

    Then one day I took better notice of The Shredded Chef and thought I would check this Mike Mathews out. I gained a wealth of information from MFL which really got me fired up.

    I bought Bigger Leaner Stronger, and armed with this and the information on MFL I got serious.

    I hit the weights for the following 3 months keeping my calories around my maintain level; some days I would be over, some days under.

    During month 4 I decided I was pleased with my muscle growth but did not like looking and being overweight, so due to this I commenced my cut. My new plan was to lose the fat first and then work on building muscle as I enjoyed weight training but was unsure how I would progress with losing the body fat.

    I worked out the required calories and macronutrients to lose fat and stuck to it for 3 months.

    I had no cheat days, and my idea of a cheat meal was palm oil free peanut butter on crackers or greek yoghurt with almond flakes and honey; thats about as bad as it got.

    I decided in month 7 that I would like to see how I could look on my 49th Birthday. I was still holding fat around my stomach and back, so I added fasting to my diet which worked extremely well for me. On my Birthday I had managed to get my body fat to 7% which just shocked me as I never thought I could achieve this.

    I did not weight train prior to starting the program, but I did during my twenties for about 4 years.

    I never managed to get this lean as the information back then was extremely poor.

    I am 5’ 10 tall.

    I was a 34” waist for about 20 years and now I am a 32” waist.

    I realise this is a grey area but I did personally continue to build muscle during the cut. I believe it was due to the program (heavy weight / low reps) and quality food I consumed. Basically the BLS principles.

    Eating was less about pleasure and more about purpose.


    The following is based on my experiences only

    I read about fasting on MFL and the science made sense to me. I realise it is not for everyone but after further research I knew I was not going to starve or die as some people would lead you to believe (normally fat people). I decided I would test it on myself and started with a 24 hr fast on a rest day. I only consumed water and green tea during the fast. You do go to bed hungry but I felt great after my fast and was pleased with the results. At this time I was not majorly concerned with muscle loss as I had made the decision to lose fat and then build muscle, but the fact is I did not see any noticeable muscle loss. I then did further research and learned that even a 48hr fast may not affect muscle loss, so I thought I would test my endurance and give it ago. I lost 3 lbs in 48 hrs and again felt great, as if my body had been reset. I only consumed water and green tea but did supplement BCAA’S whilst training. Through testing on myself and assisting friends and family lose weight you should expect to lose between 3 and 5 lbs on a 48hr fast. You will gain a pound when you eat again.

    I fasted for 24 hrs twice and 48 hrs twice. I also utilised 16-8 fasting for 2 weeks which I found easy and affective. Fasting was the key to losing the last remaining stubborn fat which achieved my 7% body fat.

    Tips and notes

    24 hr fast – You will feel hungry during the day and your stomach will be singing for food in bed at night, but go to sleep as you can eat in the morning.

    48 hr fast – As above day one. Day two you will feel great during the day as I believe the body releases adrenaline so you can go hunt and gather. That night you will feel drained and tired but get through it as you can eat in the morning.

    16-8 fast – I ate my last meal before 7.00pm and did not eat breakfast until 11.00am. Again debatable but I believe you can make this fast a way of life without losing muscle as long as you can consume the required calories in the 8 hr feeding window.

    I personally wake up hungry and enjoy breakfast so I am not so keen to fast like this continually.

    Prepare and plan the fasting days to suit your work life schedule.

    Eat excellent quality food either side of the fast, and stick to your fat loss calories when you finish the fast. Do not come out of the fast and stuff your face with junk.

    Fasting is a great way to shed a couple of pounds before a holiday for example.

    My wife followed the same BLS program and fasted with fantastic results. She was petite but skinny fat and suffered with cellulite for years. She had tried all the normal detox diets and creams but nothing worked. After lifting weights, counting calories and fasting she no longer has cellulite.

    Yes fasting seems to improve cellulite which makes sense really.

    I have been experiencing a shoulder issue which I am working around but currently sticking to my plan and training hard to add more muscle as I am determined to look better at 50 years old.

    I hope I have answered your questions and helped a little as I feel I owe MFL and Mike so I am just trying to give something back.

    • diamondjimbo

      Thanks heaps for the comprehensive response and congratulations.

    • Thanks for explaining what you meant by “fasting”

      I don’t think I could go 24 hours without eating… I’d turn into The Hulk. But I definitly need to lose stubborn fat because my body doesn’t seem to want to budge at this point.

  • What “fasting” is he referring to? It doesn’t sound like he’s talking about intermittent fasting… He mentions “3 days”

  • Darren

    Fasting was the key to losing the stubborn fat around my mid section. A 24 hr fast is not for everyone but if you prepare yourself mentally you will be able to do it. I have helped my family and friends lose weight utilising fasting and we all agree that once you have done it once, its not that bad. Also I believe there is no muscle loss within a 24hr fast. I prefer to get the fat loss done quickly rather than drag it out over long periods. Personally losing the fat was more important to me than anything else; and I was prepared to be a bit hungry to achieve this. I also wanted to challenge myself mentally; was I capable of not eating for 24hrs?
    Are you?

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