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Muscle for life

Muscle for Life Success: Derek J.

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"I lost 20lbs over the course of about 4 months. My strength increased a ton!"

Derek's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 4 Months

What has happened so far on the program?

Before – 175 lbs 18%-20% body fat.
After – 155 lbs 8% body fat.

I lost 20 lbs over the course of about 4 months. My strength increased a ton! Incline Bench 185 lbs, Seated Military 150 lbs, Chinning with 55 lbs attached, and Split Squat with 80 lbs (low back gets cranky from back Squat due to previous injury).

All at a very lightweight of 155 lbs. I’m more than satisfied!

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

Nothing. I had heard Mike on various podcasts and read his work on Muscle for Life. He keeps it real and tells it like it is. I’m easily drawn to a healthy dose of reality. Deception bores me.

I had tried other programs. They got me here and there, but nothing like Bigger Leaner Stronger.

What do you like most about the program?

The biggest thing was training 5 days a week. I was more than happy to do it, but you here all kinds of garage of impaired recovery on a frequency of 5 days. This is far from true. I enjoyed training those 5 days. Got in, got out, loved it!

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

I liked having one focus per day. Chest, then back, then shoulders, etc. It made very quick, easy, and focused training.

The diet was great! In the past having overcome episodes of binge eating, hitting macros via flexible dieting is seemingly heaven sent. I ate healthy foods 80%-90% of time, and threw back some great beers and burgers and moved on. Simple.

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

I love the way I look. I love understanding that body composition is a numbers game. What I loved most about this program is that training became part of my lifestyle. My morning routine you could say. It kept me disciplined and that carried over into my business, and work life.

Wake up, train, get things done. Wake up, get things done, train. Either or, it just became part of setting myself up for success. A healthy habit.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, I’ve been training for 5+ years trying to get to where I am now (there’s plenty more to go but…).

If I could encourage everyone with one tip it’s stop reading. By that I mean pick no more than two fitness writers, bloggers, etc. to listen to. The one thing that crippled me most was reading and trying to apply every person’s idea of how to achieve your dream physique. I finally decided to stop reading. I largely resonated with Mike’s message, so it was time to go 100%. Vuala…

Make sure Mike is one of them, if not the only one.

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.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.

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13 Comments
  • Matt

    That’s an awesome work Derek. But is that picture ‘before’ taken when your BF% was around 18-20? Coz your abs looks terrifc even in that pic too n anyways stories like these give lot of us newbie folks confidence to keep pushing ourselves n work hard to get that extra pound of muscle and keep ourselves as fit & toned as possible…

    • Ben Castle

      Yeah, that Before pic looks much more like about 10/11% body fat to me at most. Either that or I need new calipers..

    • If i’m being honest I’ve always been blessed with abs that stick out even at higher body fat percentages. Both these pictures were BOD POD Tested. The before tested at 20%, which did seem high to me too. But the after tested at 8% which made sense to me, so I took that as both being accurate.

  • Brian

    Very inspiring as I’m roghly the same build and strength level. Sometimes I’m frustrated that i can’t incline over 200LBS yet but this shows you can still look awesome on your way. Good job man.

    • Right on Brian! Thats the point “on your way.” Building an awesome physique takes time. You can build strength overnight, but that usually results in gaining a ton of fat. Not my style…

  • Erik Sandoval

    Fantastic job, bro! Great results 🙂

    Disclosure: Pubic hairs in after pic optional, lol.

    • Yeah… not my best showing hahaha. Honestly I was snapping a shameless selfie that I didn’t expect to show. But then the angles and definition caught my eye and the rest is history

  • marioromano

    well done but the before picture there is no way it’s at 18/20% fat at most it was at 12-13% if that high which makes sense since loosing 10% body fat in 4 months is very difficult if you are not obese

    • Thanks man. Yeah the thing with body fat testing is it’s very finicky…
      Both these pictures were tested by the BOD POD. The after pictures measured at 8% which made sense to me. But I too was thrown off by the before measuring at 20%

  • Kelsey

    Great job!!

  • Tony Man King Hoong

    Hey man this is impressive work! Keep it up! I got similar numbers to you in weight and macros. What were your macros while you were on the program? And any tips besides the ones from the article to get your body?

  • Thanks Tony! 180 P/180 C/ 40 F. In the gym: Focus on progress, but be patient. In the Kitchen: Hit the numbers in an enjoyable way, and be patient.

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