Muscle for life

Muscle For Life Success: Kathy V.


"Eating the correct balance of macros has given me more consistent energy and I no longer have crashes."

Kathy's Progress

Progress Image Before
Progress Image 7 Months

What has happened so far on the program?

I am 30 years old and in 7 months I went from 157 lbs. at about 23% body fat down to 141 lbs, and am around 16% body fat now. 🙂

Coming out of two back-to-back dance injuries when I started the program, I cut for 4 months, and then maintained for 4. I then reverse dieted out of my cutting phase because my fat loss had really stalled at that point.

So far I have lost 16 lbs, and before this I had never weighed below 145 as an adult. I started deadlifting at 60 lbs in March, and am now up to 115 lbs.

My bench press has increased from 30 lbs to 65 lbs, and my military press has increased from 30 lbs to 45 lbs.

My squat has actually stayed the same at 120 lbs, because before I read Thinner Leaner Stronger, I didn’t realize that by only going about halfway down, I wasn’t squatting correctly.

So for the first few months I had to back the weight off to build up the strength for a full squat, and am now back to 120 and doing it correctly!


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

Having worked as a professional dancer for 10 years, I was already accustomed to pushing myself in high levels of physical activity, but this program was unlike anything else I had done in the past.

Dancers typically rely on cardio, pilates and yoga for their cross-training outside of dance, and any weight-training tends to be on the lighter side.

I wasn’t sure how lifting this heavy and decreasing cardio would affect my body, but since I was already out of shape from coming out of injury and was frustrated with my old gym routine, I figured it was worth a shot!


What do you like most about the program?

I love that I now have all the information I need to have consistency. It’s my job to be in shape, and in the past, coming back from an injury or a vacation was more of a guessing game than anything, and often resulted in giant weight fluctuations and unhealthy choices.

The bounce-back from this injury put me in better shape than I was in before, and I’m now able to maintain my shape because I understand so much better about how what I’m putting in my body directly affects it.


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

The focus on overloading your muscles to facilitate growth is the most intelligent part of this program, as other weight-training programs I have tried didn’t address this and eventually caused me to plateau.

The diet is extremely different from what I have done in the past. I have always tried to simply eat clean to help fuel my body as a dancer, but I really had no idea how much I was preventing muscle growth by limiting my carbs.

The understanding of macro balance has changed my life!


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

The program allowed me to bounce back from my injuries with total body health, and I feel great going into auditions knowing that I look my best and feel strong.

Eating the correct balance of macros has given me more consistent energy and I no longer have crashes.


Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I would recommend this to everyone! Multiple dancers I know have already bought the book because of my progress, and they love it, but my boyfriend, who is not a dancer, has been doing the Bigger Leaner Stronger program and he loves it! He has already lost close to 20 lbs.

I’ve also been using the Legion Fortify joint supplement for a few months, and I used the Phoenix Fat Burner for the second to last month of my cut, to get over a fat loss plateau.


Want to become a success story too? Here's how she 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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  • tweets32

    I’m impressed! So happy to see a female success story. I’m a 54 year old woman and I’ve been doing your program for over a year. I had already been lifting for years before I began your book but never got beyond a certain point. But the book is great and I’m happy with the changes that I’ve seen in my body since starting the program. However, this woman’s changes are remarkable. It proves to every woman out there that lifting heavy will not make you look like a man. If anything it gives you curves that make you more feminine. I get tired of women walking by me in the gym and saying “my goodness! you shouldn’t lift all that weight, you’re going to get too big!” I always respond that I’m 5’3″ and 105 pounds and I’ve been lifting for years. I don’t think I’m ever going to get big and look like a man. If it were that easy I’d be signing up for some bodybuilding competitions. This young lady looks very feminine but fit and could probably win a fitness competition. If more women saw this, they’d be heading to the gym. Great job Kathy!

    • Awesome! Keep up the good work, stay consistent with your exercise and diet, and always be pushing for progress every week to keep those good changes going. 🙂

      • tweets32

        Thanks Mike. Reading articles like this help to keep me motivated. I am dealing with some physical problems so I can’t lift as heavy as I’d like. But for my age I feel good about my body. I continue to keep pushing forward even though it may take longer than younger people. I get compliments all the time on my body and most people can’t believe I’m 54 years old. Yes I’m happy 🙂

  • Wow congrats Kathy! Amazing what can be achieved in just 7 months.

  • Jay

    Wow, great transformation! Testament that this program works if you put in the work!
    Hi Mike, I did your TLS program about 2 years ago and saw amazing results. Unfortunately over the past year, I have put on 10lbs as a result of not counting calories or weighing myself regularly, and being a little nonchalant with my training. Now, I want to cut and do TLS again, and was wondering if you could recommend how to best stack Pheonix and Forge to help kick the fat loss into high gear.
    How many servings of Phoenix per day if I’m taking Forge, and can they be taken together at the same time? And another question, morning fasted workouts are not an option for me, my workouts are usually around 6pm. If I have 40-50g of whey protein and little fat or carbs for lunch around noon, would that still be considered fasted training by the time I train at 6pm? Or would Forge be useless in that case? Thank you as always for your help!

    • Sounds good starting TLS again, Jay. Take 2 caps of Phoenix in the morning, and 2 in the late afternoon or evening.

      No problem if you can’t train fasted in the morning. 6pm should just about do it if you eat at noon.

  • StrongBacks

    Okay, I don’t know if you will see this but I hope you do. I’ve been following you via newsletter for about 1-2 years now and listening to these podcasts you have up with all these people. The one I enjoyed most was Lylie McDonald female fat loss and I considered buying his books but it was over my budget. I am 17 years old, in high school, and female. I take weight training class and have improve strength- wise. My goal is body recomposition. However, I do not go to the gym outside of class. I can’t anyway since I don’t have a car. I just do calisthenics at home during my break. I have considered about buying your books and program but I don’t know if I’ll benefit since I don’t have free weights around besides the one in my weight training class. Is it possible to gain muscle weight on calisthenics? I am about 90lbs now. When I started the class, I was 87lbs. I’m not sure if it’s actual muscle or it’s just water weight. All I know is that I’ve gotten stronger. What do you think I should do? I really want to look like Kathy in the picture. Also, I know I’m skinny. My problem is skinny fat. I look skinny but I have a squishy tummy of fat. That’s why I want to gain muscle weight. Please help.

    • Hey! Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying my content. No problem if you can’t go to the gym outside of class. Are you able to lift as per TLS protocol while at school? I suggest you do that, and keep progressing with your weights. I don’t suggest you cut right now since you’re still a teenager. Instead, pack in all the exercise activity you can if fat loss is your primary goal. If you want to gain muscle, just keep at it and eat a good healthy diet.

      • StrongBacks

        What is TLS Protocol? I searched it up and found: “Transport Layer Security (TLS)… ensures privacy between communicating application…”
        Also, thanks for replying. I understand that as teenagers, it’s not a good idea to cut since we are still growing and we have all these hormones. Because of my weight, I’m hesitant to cut anyway and over the months that I’ve taken the class, I’ve adjusted the ratios of my macros. In the past, I ate a lot of carbs and not a lot of proteins or fats. So I fixed that up and increase my protein while my source of carbs is from vegetables such as potatoes, leafy greens, etc. In the meantime, I’ll continue reading your articles. They are no nonsense and I really like that.

  • Jen

    Hi Mike. Thank you for sharing your female success stories also. Kathy did a great job! I hope this doesn’t take away from anyone’s story bc I don’t mean for it to. But I have noticed most of the female success stories seem to be former/current athletes, or ladies who were “skinny fat” and just needed the proper education to get where they wanted to. I wold love to see a feature on someone who maybe started out with a higher bodyfat and no athletic background and see their success too (if, of course, you have any participants who fit this mold and who complete a transformation). And if not, maybe I’ll try to be the first 🙂 I am beginning TLS in March after I finish with a challenge I joined for New Years and I cannot wait to get started.

    • My pleasure! I hear you.

      I’ve helped plenty of women who didn’t come from athletic backgrounds or that were more than just skinny fat. You can see more successes here:


      I’d love for you to be a before and after success as well. 🙂

      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.

      • Jen

        Thank you. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to always help. I will certainly be sending you a transformation at the end of the year I guarantee it!

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