Muscle for life

Muscle for Life Success: Jorel R.


"I lost a total of 8-9 pounds in 5 months while gaining strength!"

Jorel's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 5 Months
Progress Image 5 Months

What has happened so far on the program?

My body fat was at 12% when I first started the program and finished at a 6.5% body fat. The first picture my weight was 185 and the end result was 176.3 lbs.

When I first started the program I felt like all the workouts were very short. I was used to long workouts and significantly high amount of reps. I thought that producing lactic acid was a sign of a good workout. So I lived like this many years. I trained like other athletes did but never got in shape like them.

So as far as the program it was not hard to follow because Mike made it simple and flexible. My military press has been my biggest issue but I still increased strength significantly. I went from 90 pounds to 185 pounds for four reps. My bench press I went from 195 to 285 one rep max and my squat I went from 225 to 345 one rep max.

I lost a total of 8-9 pounds total in 5 months. My cut was very slow which allowed me to maintain most of my mass and my strength.

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

At the beginning I was very skeptical. So many people sell books with these magical workouts and diets that will make you burn fat like it is juice. I was very disappointing to find out that the top athletes I followed and admired were mostly steroid abusers. So I had a conflict to either buy the book or keep failing at it.

I was looking for a natural athlete so I decided to keep looking. I found Tom Venuto but it seemed like even him had something that I was skeptical about. Once I found Muscle for Life website, I started reading some of the articles written by Mike.

All the science was there to back it up and actual real results from him to prove it. So, I decided to buy the ebook and read it while on post in Afghanistan. I read the Bigger Leaner Stronger and the Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger as well.

What do you like most about the program?

I think the program is very effective and easy to follow. Following the program was extremely easy. I didn’t have to be hunting machines at the gym because I knew I had to stay away from them and I had a set workout ready for the day.

My results were fast. I didn’t use any supplementation, just food. I consistently trained and counted my calories for the whole period. Consistency made my transformation a lot faster than what I thought.

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

Compared to other program this one has been the easiest I have ever done. The diets well very flexible if you knew what to eat and when like Mike explained in the book. The workouts were short and efficient. They were intense because working at your 80% it I was tiring and heavy.

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

I have always been a very confident person but getting the body I wanted obviously improved how I saw myself. My productivity definitely went up. I was able to go in and out the gym no problem. Before I use to take two hours and never accomplished anything by doing that.

Who would you recommend this program to and why?

I would definitely recommend this program to anyone and I already did. I have most of my friends doing the BLS program and they don’t even know. I always preach what I have learned. I show them my transformation pictures and they get motivated and start working out next day.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would like to say that new good habits could always replace old bad habits. Start a new habit of taking care of yourself and educating yourself about your body. Eating healthy should be a pleasure not a burden. Taking care of yourself should be a pleasure not a burden or a job. It should be something that you like to do because it does well to you.

Be discipline, if you truly want to do something you will find a way if you don’t you will find an excuse to why you didn’t do it. If you want transform your body look out for people like Mike Matthews and other natural body builders that spread the healthy word out and teach us how to take care of our bodies.

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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  • Tom

    Great results! Nice job.

  • JJ McClinton

    Excellent job man!

  • denvercoder10

    Impressive results, nice job!!

    When he says “My cut was very slow which allowed me to maintain most of my mass and my strength.” does it imply that a “slow cut”, perhaps on a less aggressive deficit (15-20%) helps preserve lean mass? I always try to keep cuts as short as possible, to reduce the time in which I’m not significantly building muscle and preventing my metabolism from slowing down too much (and requiring reverse dieting).

    I’d be interested in knowing how this prolonged cut (5 months) works out.

  • Kevin

    I’m very skeptical about this. I truly believe that this is a very rare case. All lift up 100lbs or more, muscular and defined to single digit bf in just 5 months!?! He obviously didn’t platue at any point…unlike everyone else. He doesn’t look like he takes part in any weight training of any sort in first pic…or fit even…but then in 5mo he’s in peak condition!?!

    • Tom

      Just my opinion…I know it’s an impossible task to satisfy skeptics, but 5 months is a long time. (It’s also simultaneously a short time if you get all philosophical). I made a visible change to my body in only 8 weeks dropping from 13% bf to 9%, mainly by paying attention to the nutrition part. I didn’t think it would happen either, and was pretty amazed.

      I can’t speak for his lifts, but I’d say he looks like he works out in the first pic to me. It just looks like he has fat covering everything up and either didn’t know how to eat properly, or was just ignoring food and hoping weights would give him the results he wanted.

      Either way, Jorel, I’d take Kevin’s comment as a mark that you succeeded. Who of us wouldn’t want to get results where people question if it’s even possible afterwards? Congratulations and keep up the good work!

    • He had plenty of muscle in the before and had been lifting for quite some time.

      He was new to heavy, compound lifting, though, and that’s why his strength went up so quickly. He also clearly responds well to lifting (good genetics).

      There’s no reason to plateau when going from 13% to 8%. Check this out:


      And to be fair this isn’t peak condition. It’s very maintainable.

  • Chin

    What’s that muscle that cuts in to the middle of the torso from the obliques? Transversus abdominis? I don’t think I’m very fat, I can see a lot of the upper abs flexed, but I’ve only seen the oblique without the diagonal bulge. I’ve tried digging around the area with my fingers but can’t feel anything like that. Either I’m not lean enough or I have never worked that muscle. Something wrong with my training? I’ve seen that diagonal slope in every after picture and also among some who are not very lean.

    Another thing that bothers me is how the first pic is supposedly him at 12%. Do you think that’s accurate? If that’s the case, I’m probably around 10% or below right now. It could also be that he has a lot more muscle overall and/or his not pictured lower body was extremely lean. More power to him if he started out at a much higher fat %. I’m just slightly obsessed about where I’m at with my own fat %. Objectively speaking, it shouldn’t matter that much, but the itch to find out is strong. I’ve been cutting half blind and relying on the weighing scale, tape measure and mirror to gauge progress.

    • denvercoder10

      I find the simple 1-point caliper method to be good and consistent for this purpose (just measures abdominal fat). Since the midsection fat is the last to go away once that measurement is giving you < 10% you know you're set.

    • Yeah I’d say 13% give or take. Check this out:


      I think it will help you in several ways.

      • Chin

        I thought it was more like 15-17%. But what do I know.

        Thanks! Finally managed to order that caliper. I can’t wait to give it a shot. I was quite surprised that DEXA still had such a large error margin. I always thought it was the gold standard for body fat estimation.

        • Haha, YW!

          Yep, I used to think that about DEXA too. On the bright side the calipers are accurate within 1-2%, and they’re cheap!

  • Nate

    Hi Mike. How long should it take to cut from 15% BF to 8% BF if maintaining a consistent 20% – 25% calorie deficit?

    • It depends on your starting weight and how much you lose per week, but if done properly you should be able to do it in 8-16 weeks.

  • Jeremiah

    Hi Mike, this is where I am at, and unfortunately, I have been stuck here for about 2-3 months. I’m sitting around 12%, not getting any stronger, not gaining or losing weight, just kind of stuck. Trying to get down to about 6-7% by April and hopefully still get stronger. Any advice?

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