I'm Jonathan M. and this is my story
How many months’ progress do your pictures represent? What were your stats for each picture?
It took about 3 months to drastically change my physique from the more underdeveloped, slower, and weaker body I had to the bigger, leaner, and stronger body I now have.
My before pictures range from about 308 lbs at about 35% body fat to 225 lbs at 20%+ whereas my after pictures got down to 218 lbs at about 7% body fat.
What has happened so far on the program?
When I first began, I was 308 lbs and ate probably on average two pizzas a week along with about 12 sodas a day and polished off a gallon of milk just about everyday too.
I started counting my calories just to see what I was eating. I dramatically lost weight very, very fast. I lost a lot of fat, but also muscle and was left with the very unappealing skinny-fat look.
I thought in order to be lean, I needed to do hours of cardio and barely eat anything until one day I would wake up and be shredded like the cheese on a freezer pizza.
Luckily, my mind was changed from believing this nonsense when my older brother recommended the Bigger Leaner Stronger book to me. He lent it to me via Kindle for a week and then I ended up buying it and reading the whole thing the following week.
The first thing I did was trial balance my macros. I started by giving myself no limit/boundaries on what/how much I could eat, as long as it fit my homemade macro goals (which looking back now, I don’t recommend) of 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats.
I probably was eating anywhere from 3,200 calories to about 6,000 calories a day. I tried this in conjunction with the 4-6 rep/9-12 set compound lifting program shown in Bigger Leaner Stronger for the first 3-4 weeks and saw my performance in the gym just skyrocket, and I started to see my abs.
They soon disappeared because of the sheer volume of calories and dietary fat I was eating. I told myself that once I could max out at 225 lbs on the bench press, I would start cutting. I made it about a week and a half after I set that goal and began my cut throughout the summer.
It took about 2 months to go from 22% body fat down to single digit body fat. I ended up simultaneously gaining muscle and losing fat because I was such a newbie to lifting, aside from the bench press and biceps curls, of course.
My max was about 155 lbs on the flat bench press and I am now repping 225 lbs pretty easily. I incorporated the incline press, my deadlift went from non-existent to now maxing at 405 lbs.
My squat max went from injury-prone-terrible-form-zero to 315 with ass-to-grass, and my military press max went from 95 lbs to about 165 lbs as of late.
I now have the fabled six-pack that I used to wish for. So yeah, everything has kinda changed.
What workout split from the book did you use?
5-day because I’m a gym junkie for life!
What, if anything, almost kept you from buying the book or starting the program?
I came into it with a pretty open mind because I had personally been through just about every single crash diet and 5-second abs and beach body fad workout plan available to the human race. I was really ready and hopeful to see something real and I found it with Bigger Leaner Stronger.
What do you like most about the program?
My favorite things about the program are the RESULTS, as well as how nothing is sugar-coated or being beat around the bush. The results were much, much faster than I thought.
The program is the easiest I’ve ever done because it’s the only one with no confusion or grey areas. I believe more people/everyone should live this way of life.
With that said, it’s simultaneously the hardest one because there’s no confusion. It’s just you versus some heavy, intimidating weight, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How does this program compare with others you’ve tried?
The diet is by far the easiest diet I’ve ever tried. There’s always more I’m learning on a daily basis about my body.
For example, my body/aesthetic does really well with a higher-fat diet, but my performance in the gym has drastically changed since I started upping my carbs and lowering my fats.
The diet is by far my favorite thing because I can eat dinner with friends, cook and know what I’m cooking and how it’s going to be processed by my body, and further, enjoy food on a daily basis.
How has what you’ve achieved with your body changed other areas of your life?
The biggest change that’s happened is my mindset. I used to struggle with depression and anxiety pretty severely. I was very self-conscious because of the loose skin from my weight loss.
What I’ve realized is that lifting is an incredibly therapeutic activity, and has taught me so many lessons that I apply to other areas of my life.
I stopped myself one day and asked myself, “Why are you working out?” And I pondered that question for about a week.
Finally, my answer arose as clear as day and it was so simple. “I am lifting for my own confidence.” And that was and still is the reason that I work out.
Nothing has ever felt as good as looking in the mirror and loving who I see. I do have so much more energy, positivity, and an all-around sheer enjoyment for life.
Who would you recommend this program to and why?
I have recommended, would recommend, and will continue to recommend this book and program to every single person who asks me about fitness, health, weight-lifting, bodybuilding, being happy, etc.
This program should be implemented at a world-wide level.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’m so thankful for this book. This book did help me to lose fat and make weight to join the United States Air Force. I am now an Air Force cop, and I couldn’t be more thankful for Mike and the Legion team.