Muscle for life

4 Strategies for Losing Stubborn Fat for Good

4 Strategies for Losing Stubborn Fat for Good

Forget “flat belly diets,” “weird tricks,” and other nonsense about how to lose stubborn fat. Here’s the real story and science of losing it for good.


Meet Chris and Jennifer.

They’ve been working hard to lose fat for several months now and have made progress but the good times seem to be coming to an end.

Chris still has a “pooch” covering his abs and his pudgy love handles are driving him nuts. Jennifer can’t understand why her upper body has thinned out nicely but her hips, thighs, and butt fat are holding on for dear life.

Well, Chris and Jennifer aren’t alone. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably experiencing the same. And what you do next is extremely important.

You can turn to fad diets and snake oil supplements and never have the body you really want, or you can learn the science behind why some fat stores are more “stubborn” than others and what to do about it.

I’d prefer the latter for you, which is why I wrote this article.

You see, there are very specific reasons why certain areas of your body get leaner faster than others and why some fat just refuses to go away.

If you’re a guy, chances are you’ve struggled with your stomach area (and particularly the lower part of your abs and your obliques), and the lower back region.

If you’re a woman, it’s probably your thighs, hips, and butt, right?

Well, don’t worry.

  • You’re not genetically cursed.
  • You don’t need to do special exercises.
  • Your hormones are probably fine.
  • You’re not eating the “wrong” foods (no, carbs aren’t the problem).

Once you have a good physiological understanding of how “fat burning” actually works, and what stubborn fat really is, you’ll never struggle with it again.

So let’s get started.

The Simple Science of Fat Loss

how to get rid of stubborn belly fat

The overarching principle of dieting…the one that dictates your weight gain and loss more than anything else…is something known as energy balance.

Energy balance is the relationship between the energy you feed your body and the energy it expends. As you probably know, this is often measured in kilocalories.

The bottom line, scientifically validated, unexciting reality…the one that book publishers and TV producers yawn at…is that meaningful weight loss requires you to expend more energy than you consume, and meaningful weight gain (both fat and muscle) requires the opposite: higher consumption than expenditure.

You can also look at it this way: every day, your body stores fat when you eat food and burns fat when it runs out of food energy. Visually, it would look something like this:

stubborn fat loss

The green portions are the periods where your body has excess energy due to eating food. The blue portions are the periods when the body has no energy left from food and thus has to burn fat for energy.

If the green and blue portions balance out every day–if you store just as much fat as you burn–your weight stays the same. If you store more fat than you burn (by overeating), you get fatter. And if you burn more fat than you store, you get leaner.

Fat stores are simply energy stores and, as the body can’t create excess energy from nothing, they can’t increase unless the body has additional energy to store beyond what it burns (also known as a calorie surplus). By the same token, they can’t be reduced unless energy intake is less than expenditure.

That’s why research has shown that so long as people eat less energy than they burn, they lose fat equally well on high-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate diets.

That’s also why professor Mark Haub was able to lose 27 pounds on a “convenience store diet” consisting mainly of Twinkies, Little Debbie cakes, Doritos, and Oreos: he simply fed his body less energy than it was burning.

Now, if you’re shaking your head, thinking I’m drinking decade-old Kool-Aid , answer me this:

Why has every single controlled weight loss study conducted in the last 100 years…including countless meta-analyses and systematic reviews…concluded that meaningful weight loss requires energy expenditure to exceed energy intake?

Why have bodybuilders dating back just as far…from Sandow to Reeves and all the way up the line…been using, and continue to use, this knowledge to systematically and routinely reduce and increase body fat levels?

And why do new brands of “calorie denying” come and go every year, failing to gain acceptance in the weight loss literature?


















A century of metabolic research has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that energy balance, operating according to the first law of thermodynamics, is the basic mechanism that regulates fat storage and reduction.

The Simple Science of Stubborn Fat

stubborn fat solution

When you eat food, your body breaks it down into various substances and releases insulin in the blood to shuttle the nutrients into your cells.

When you’re in this “fed” state, no fat burning occurs, and depending on how much you eat, this can last for several hours.

This mechanism makes simple physiological sense. Why should your body burn fat for energy when it has all it needs from the food just eaten? It has no reason to and holds onto its valuable fat for when food energy runs out.

To that point, as the nutrients eaten are absorbed, insulin levels decline, and the body senses that its post-meal energy is running out. The body then shifts toward burning fat stores to meet its energy needs.

Day after day, it juggles these states of storing nutrients you eat, and burning its stores when the temporary supplies run out. You can see this depicted in the graph in the previous section.

To burn, or “mobilize,” fat, your body produces chemicals known as catecholamines. These molecules travel through your blood and “attach” to receptors on fat cells, which then triggers the release of the energy stored within the cells to be burned for energy.

Now, fat cells have two types of receptors for catecholamines: alpha- and beta-receptors. To keep this simple, beta-receptors speed up fat mobilization, whereas alpha-receptors hinder it.

And here’s the big difference between “regular” and “stubborn” fat:

Fat that is easy to lose has more beta-receptors than alpha-, and fat that is hard to lose has more alpha-receptors than beta.

This ratio of alpha- and beta-receptors in individual fat cells determines how easy or hard it is to mobilize the energy stored inside.

Thus, when you’re losing fat, you immediately start seeing reductions in fat masses with high amounts of beta-receptors, but the masses with high amounts of alpha-receptors are slow to respond.

For most of us guys, this means steady fat loss in places like our arms, shoulders, chest, face, and legs, and slower fat loss in our stomach area and lower back. For most girls, the stubborn fat is grouped in the hips, thighs, and butt.

So, if that’s the science behind the stubborn pudge, what can we do to get rid of it faster?

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

4 Strategies to Help You Lose Stubborn Fat Faster

lose stubborn belly fat

Some people don’t need to do anything special to lose their stubborn fat. They just follow a proper diet and exercise routine and have some patience and voila, they reach their goals smoothly.

They seem to be in the minority, though. I’ve worked with thousands of people and most find that as they get leaner, it gets harder to keep getting leaner. There are various reasons why people can hit weight loss plateaus, but one of the major ones is the fact that as you reduce your body fat percentage, more and more of what remains is stubborn fat. And it can be really stubborn.

That’s why when I cut, I do everything I can that naturally and safely helps the body burn stubborn fat, which is what I’m going to share here.

And in case you’re wondering how well these strategies work, here’s my “summer look,” which I achieve doing exactly what I teach in this article:

how to lose stubborn fat

I’ve gotten to the 7% body fat range both with and without the strategies discussed below and I can say definitively that they noticeably speed the process up.

How Fasted Training Helps You Lose Stubborn Fat

Your body is in a “fasted” state when insulin is at a low, baseline level and fat stores are the primary source of energy.

The size and composition of a meal as well as various physical factors determine how long it takes for your body to process and absorb the food you eat and enter a fasted state.

There aren’t hard and fast rules but here’s what you should know:

The bottom line is the larger the meal, the larger the insulin response and the longer it will take to come back to a fasted state.

This is why most people that train fasted do so first thing in the morning, after at least 8+ hours of time has elapsed since their last meal.

If you can’t do that, then I recommend you eat no more than 30 to 40 grams of protein (whey is particularly good because of how quickly it’s processed) with only trace amounts of carbohydrate and fat (10 grams or less) and wait 3 to 5 hours before exercising.

Now, why bother with fasted training? Because it accelerates fat loss…and especially if combined with a few supplements.

Weight training a fasted state is particularly effective and training first thing in the morning has an added benefit, as fasting for longer than 6 hours increases your body’s ability to burn fat.

Before we dive into the details, I want to make one thing clear: fasted training doesn’t let you somehow “cheat” the laws of energy balance. If you’re not a calorie deficit, no amount of fasted training is going to help you get leaner.

That said, fasted training does “optimize” fat loss in several ways.

Insulin blunts lipolysis (the breakdown of fat cells for energy) and fat oxidation (the burning of the fatty acids resulting from lipolysis), and that’s why the higher your insulin levels are during exercise, the less fat you’ll burn in those workouts.

This is why research shows that exercising when insulin levels are at a baseline levels burns slightly more fat than exercising with higher insulin levels.

(Remember, though, that the workouts will burn large amounts of glucose, which will cause your body to have to turn to its fat stores for energy sooner than if you hadn’t exercised. This is why exercise done in a fed state (elevated insulin levels) is still effective for losing fat.)

Furthermore, blood flow in the abdominal region is increased when you’re in a fasted state. This means that catecholamines can reach the stubborn fat easier, resulting in more stubborn fat mobilization.

This is why many fitness competitors swear by the strategies outlined in this article for getting rid of the final bits of stubborn fat that take you from “lean” to “shredded.”

Fasted training does have one significant drawback, however: accelerated breakdown of muscle tissue

This is undesirable because a calorie deficit, which is necessary for losing fat, puts you at a protein turnover disadvantage. Thus, higher amounts of protein degradation can result in more muscle loss.

Fortunately, you can prevent this with proper supplementation.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I want you to know that the supplements I recommend in this article are not just what I personally use but they are from my supplement line, LEGION.

As you probably know, the supplement industry is notorious for its lies and shenanigans. The truth is the majority of the supplements you see in the magazines and on the shelves aren’t going to help you reach your goals faster.

That’s why I decided to create the products I myself have always wanted: science-based formulations, clinically effective dosages of all ingredients, no fillers or unnecessary junk, and natural sweetening and flavoring.

You can learn more about LEGION and my goal to change the supplement industry for the better here.

And if you like what you see and decide to support my work…you’re awesome. 🙂 It’s because of people like you that I get to spend my time writing articles like this that help others get into the best shape of their lives.

HMB and Muscle Preservation

target stubborn belly fat

The supplement β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (also known as HMB) is a substance formed when your body metabolizes the amino acid leucine, which is an amino acid that directly stimulates protein synthesis.

HMB is often sold as a muscle-building aid but the research purported to demonstrate these benefits is shaky at best, hindered most by design flaws. Thus, I’m not comfortable making any claims about muscle growth.

There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent.

That is, it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness (and the free acid form shows the most promise in this regard).

It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which means it can’t break your fasted state.

This makes HMB perfect for use with fasted training. Its powerful anti-catabolic effects and non-existent insulin effects means you reap all the fat loss benefits of training fasted without any of the problems relating to muscle loss or insulin secretion.

It’s also worth noting that HMB is superior to leucine in suppressing muscle breakdown because it’s more anti-catabolic than its “parent” amino acid.

This means it’s also more effective than branched-chain amino acid supplements because they rely on leucine for their anti-catabolic effects (isoleucine and valine are very weak in this regard).

In terms of which specific HMB supplement I recommend, I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.

FORGE is a fat burner made specifically for use with fasted training and it contains clinically effective dosages of…

  • HMB. As you now know, HMB is very good at preventing muscle breakdown, and this means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness.
  • Yohimbine. Research shows that yohimbine enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
  • Citicoline. CDP-choline (also known as citicoline) is a chemical that occurs naturally in the brain that increases levels of another chemical called phosphatidylcholine, which is vital for brain function.

Research shows that supplementation with CDP-choline improves attentional focus, and I included this in FORGE because most people find fasted training more mentally draining than fed training and CDP-choline can help counteract this.

The bottom line is FORGE helps you lose fat–and “stubborn” fat in particular–faster, preserve muscle, and maintain training intensity and mental sharpness.


Caffeine Helps Burn Fat (and Stubborn Fat)

As weight loss boils down to energy consumed vs. energy expended, caffeine helps you lose fat by increasing your body’s daily energy expenditure.

Caffeine also improves strengthmuscle endurance, and anaerobic performance, and also reverses the “morning weakness” experienced by many weightlifters.

Part of maximizing the fat loss benefits of caffeine is preventing your body from building up too much of a tolerance, however. The best way to do this is to limit intake, of course.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Before training, supplement with 3 – 6 mg caffeine per kg of body weight. If you’re not sure of your caffeine sensitivity, start with 3 mg/kg and work up from there.
  2. Keep your daily. intake at or below 6 mg per kg of body weight. Don’t have 6 mg/kg before training and then drink a couple of coffees throughout the day.
  3. Do 1 – 2 low-caffeine days per week, and 1 no-caffeine day per week. A low day should be half your normal intake, and a no day means less than 50 mg of caffeine (you can have a cup or two of tea, but no coffee, caffeine pills, etc.).

Personally I get my caffeine from my pre-workout PULSE, which contains a dehydrated and concentrated form of caffeine (caffeine anhydrous) shown to be more effective for improving performance than what is naturally found in beverages like coffee.

PULSE also contains clinically effective dosages of 5 other ingredients scientifically proven to improve workout performance:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.






















The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.


Yohimbine is a Powerful Stubborn Fat Loss Aid

Yohimbine is made from the Pausinystalia yohimbe plant, and it helps the body “tap into” fat stores.

(Not a very technical explanation, I know–if you want to know exactly how it works, check out this article of mine on how to lose stubborn fat.)

Yohimbine accelerates weight loss, but only works if you’re training in a fasted state. Elevated insulin levels negate yohimbine’s effects.

I’ve cut both with and without fasted training and yohimbine and I can say with absolutely certainty that with is noticeably faster. So much so that I think the biggest benefits of fasted training are that it lets you use yohimbine and it makes the other supplements discussed in this article more effective.

By itself, fasted training will make a slight difference in how quickly you lose fat. Combined with these supplements, however, it’s quite dramatic.

In terms of dosages, research has shown that 0.2 mg/kg of body weight is sufficient for fat loss purposes, and that ingesting it prior to exercise is particularly effective.

Some people get overly jittery from yohimbine, so I recommend you start with .1 mg/kg of body weight to assess tolerance. If you feel fine, then increase to the clinically effective dosage of 0.2 mg/kg.

Furthermore, yohimbine can raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, I don’t recommend you use it.

In terms of which specific yohimbine supplement I recommend, you’re probably not surprised that I’ve included a clinically effective dosage in every serving of my pre-workout fat burner FORGE.


PHOENIX Fat Burner

PHOENIX’s caffeine-free formulation is quite different from FORGE’s and is actually meant to be “stacked” with it (taken together).

PHOENIX helps you burn fat faster in three different ways:

  • It dramatically increases metabolic speed.
  • It amplifies the power of fat-burning chemicals produced by your body.
  • It increases the feeling of fullness from food.

It accomplishes this through clinically effective dosages of several ingredients, including…

Through these mechanisms, naringin also works synergistically with synephrine and hesperidin to further accelerate the basal metabolic rate.

Research has shown that supplementation with forskolin accelerates fat loss and increases testosterone levels.

  • And more…

The bottom line is if you want to lose fat faster without pumping yourself full of stimulants or other potentially harmful chemicals…then you want to try PHOENIX.phoenix-bottle

How to Use These Supplements Properly

Here’s what I take before my fasted training sessions:

(NOTE: Taking green tea extract, which is in PHOENIX, on an empty stomach can make some people nauseous. If that happens to you, take it with food and you’ll be fine.)

When I’m dieting for fat loss, I lift weights in a fasted state 5 days per week and do 25 to 30 minutes of HIIT cardio in a fasted state 3 to 4 times per week.

On the days where I’m doing both weightlifting and cardio, I take the above before both training sessions and have no issues.

The Bottom Line on Losing Stubborn Fat

tone stubborn fat

Make no mistake–stubborn fat can be a real pain in the ass.

Depending on your genetics and circumstances, it can cling to your bones for dear life. Or, if you’re lucky, it can melt away with relative ease.

Either way, rest assured that you CAN get rid of it. Follow the strategies in this article and you’ll get there. Let me know when you do. 🙂

What’s your take on losing stubborn fat? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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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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Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

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Leave a Comment!
  • Sam

    This is the first article Ive read that actually explains very simply how eating and insulin, etc works in the body. Thanks

  • Eric Farto

    Great tips! Thanks so much! I’m starting to see the results (I bought your book two weeks ago), and with the proper information, we realize that is not that hard to achieve the body we always wanted. Dedication, hard work and doing it with the proper direction and methodology! That’s the recipe for success!

    I leave here my contribution. I watch it everyday before and after training. Search this video: So you want to be successful, huh?

    • Thanks Eric!

      And thanks for picking up my book! I’m glad to hear you’re already seeing results on the program.

      Yup, once you know how to do all the little things right, it’s just a matter of showing up every day and putting in the work. 🙂

      Keep it up!

      Oh and great video too. Thanks for sharing!

  • George

    Mike you rock bro. Thanks for the great info.

  • Joninwm

    Good article. I have a question, which would be more beneficial working out in a fasted state or having a pre-workout meal as described in BLS?

    • Thanks! I’m glad you liked the article.

      Check out my reply to Jake’s comment for the answer. 🙂

  • Jake

    You mention fasted training, but in your book, you talk about eating pre and post exercise meals. What is the balance between the two? Thank you!

    • Good question Jake!

      It really just depends on your immediate goal. Pre-workout carbs and protein are good–there’s no question. The former will give you more energy for lifting, and the latter will help with muscle growth and recovery.

      That said, if you want to maximize your fat loss, then fasted training does speed it up. Many people DO notice they have less energy, however. And you will have no trouble losing weight if you have pre-workout protein and carbs (as long as your daily caloric intake is correct).

      Hope this helps!

      • mrcamp

        Hey i enjoyed the article and i have a question that noone seems to be able to answer. i am a male on a very good diet and weigh 135 pounds. I do tons of cardio. however i have a bad problem with chest fat. back in high school i used to bench press a lot. i got to where i could bench 220 pounds. As a result my chest got big and bulky. i stopped lifting weights about 4 years ago but my chest is still big, despite my cardio. i tried for 2 months to lift light weights on bench press and seemed to get no cossmetic results. if anything it made me a little bigger.
        How can i make my chest flat again??? (By the way, i have really good genetics for muscle building , just for an fyi)

        • Michael Matthews

          This just sounds like an overall body fat issue. Check out this post of mine and tell me where you think you’re at:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/

          • muhammed jamaal jallow

            Hello mike, I also have the same issue. It does sometimes look like man “boobs” which is quite embarrassing for people who dont know.. what ways can we use to get chect flat again

          • Michael Matthews

            Yeah I understand. It’s definitely a body fat issue, and it could also be related to hormonal imbalances (too much estrogen) and lack of muscle.

      • sp

        After doing fasted weightlifting(30-40)min should I also do 15mins hiit cardio on elliptical cycle.

        Secondly what should i eat after fasted training. Should i take simple carbs like dextrose with whey protein. And should i take immediately or wait for 30-40mins so that body use fatty acids that mobilized in the blood after training.

        I usually take bcca 15-20grams with10 grams glutamine acid during intra workout. Bcca is 8:1:1 ratio.

        My main goal is to remove last few inches fat from my stomach.

        My weight is 185lbs and height is 5feet 10 inches.


        • Michael Matthews

          I like doing my cardio separate to my lifting.

          What to eat: https://www.muscleforlife.com/guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

          You can eat immediately. Doesn’t really matter.

          10 grams BCAA is enough. Leave the glutamine out if you want to remain fasted. Have after.

          Hope this helps! Talk soon!

          • sp

            Thanks for prompt reply.
            I have read what to eat topic.

            Ok you tell me which is better food to take after fasted training of 50 to 60 mins with moderate to high intensity.

            1. Low fat yoghurt smootie with 35 grams whey with or without banana.
            2 skim milk with whey protien .
            3. Simple carbs 40gms waxy maize starch with whey protein.
            Should i talke complete whole meal.
            Please advice me.
            Thanks .

          • Michael Matthews

            Totally up to you. Honestly post-cardio nutrition doesn’t really matter so do what you like.

          • sp

            I means fasted weight lifting and (not the cardio) with moderate to high intensity.

          • Michael Matthews

            Oh, normal post-workout meal then.

  • Hey Mike! Love your picture. So for how long do I have to do 6-day workouts to see an effect? I usually do only 3 days because I rest every other day. Thanks!

    • Thanks Esther!

      You don’t have to exercise 6 days per week to lose weight. 3 is plenty, actually. It’s more about diet.

      That said, when you’re doing it right, you should notice steady, slight improvements every week (slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs per week). Sometimes things slow and speed up (weight loss can be strangely non-linear sometimes), but that’s what it evens out to be.

      I hope this helps!

  • Kate

    Thanks Mike, GREAT article!
    You are the Alton Brown of Nutrition/Exercise

    • Haha thanks Kate! I didn’t know who that was but I like his website!

  • Oli

    hey, a realy good article. fasted training seems legit, but i’ve tried this before. the problem is just, that if I do so, i can’t lift as hard as with some pre workout meal. what would you recommend? I’ve the same problem with cardio, it’s even more worse… I’m now trying to eat just a little snack before workout (slice of bread or banana), so I have enough energy for the training. i hope that the whole effect wont get lost…

    • Thanks Oli! I’m glad you liked the article.

      Yeah, that’s common. It’s really up to you.

      Pre-workout carbs and protein are good–there’s no question. The former will give you more energy for lifting, and the latter will help with muscle growth and recovery.

      That said, if you want to maximize your fat loss, then fasted training does speed it up. Many people DO notice they have less energy, however. And you will have no trouble losing weight if you have pre-workout protein and carbs (as long as your daily caloric intake is correct).

      If you’re going to eat something before cardio, I recommend making it protein so as to keep the insulin response as low as possible.

      In the end remember that you WILL lose weight so long as you’re in a caloric deficit every day. Things like fasted training are just tips for speeding it up.

      • Oli

        Cool, thanks for the fast reply! I think I’m going to try some different pre-workout foods and see whats best for me. Who doesen’t want to speed things up 😉

  • nicky

    Mike I’m all up for fat loss and fasted training. I am happy to forgo the muscle gain to loose fat first but my question is, can I go straight to the gym, do weights and hiit straight after waking in the morning with no food? Also should I still have post workout meal? Thanks in advance. Nicky.
    Ps love the new site.

    • Awesome! If you supplement with BCAAs before, you won’t be sacrificing any muscle gains (although you generally won’t be building muscle while dieting to lose weight).

      Yes, wake up, have your BCAAs and pre-workout drink if you want (no food though), train, and then have a proper post-workout meal.

      Thanks on the new site! I’m glad you like it. 🙂

      Let me know how the fasted training goes!

  • Jim

    Good stuff brother. I kind of want to give this a try, but since getting your book a couple weeks ago, my muscles look fuller and i feel good. Problem is, I don’t think I’m losing much fat! It might be time to incorporate fasted training for a month or so…. Are you still hitting your target daily even if you’re on a fasted training plan? Would you have to have an extra meal in the day to make up for the 250-350 calories you’re not taking in pre workout?

    • Thanks Jim!

      I’m glad you’re noticing positive changes in your body. How much has your weight changed since you’ve started? Are you body fat testing?

      If you’re not losing somewhere around 1 lb per week, and aren’t visibly leaner (it’s also common for guys to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously for the first month or two, which can be confusing if you only go by the scale), then we need to tweak your diet.

      Let me know and we can work it out.

      And yes, you just shift those cals to later in the day to ensure you hit your numbers.


      • Jim

        Mike, thanks for the reply. I’m using an electronic body fat tester. My poundage went down by half a pound in about 12 days or so… I “think” I look better in the mirror but I dunno. I’m at 1900-1950 cals a day and i weight 190 pounds. Not sure what the deal is….. Body fat went down but only like .2 percent…. macros are solid, everything is in check. 190 protein, 190 carb, 35-45 fats…

        • My pleasure on the reply.

          FYI electronic devices can be really finicky based on hydration levels, and when you last ate and worked out. I prefer calipers (AccuMeasure’s is good) because they’re just easier to use.

          That said, a drop of 2% body fat in 12 days is actually incredible. The fact that your weight hasn’t changed much can be due to muscle growth (if you’re new to this style of lifting) or water retention, which I will be writing about soon.

          The bottom line though is if you’re dropping bf%, you’re doing it right. Look out for my upcoming post on water retention. It will be relevant to your situation.

  • Hey Mike, The article was nice but the only use for fasted training would be if someone is in the cutting stage. I assume that would be the time to lose stubborn fat. It seems to me that most of the people commenting are worried about not having the energy to lift heavy. BLS spesifies the diet for each stage of training. So right now I am in the bulking stage, losing fat right now is not what I would want to do. I want to consume as much as I am allowed to before my workout, in this stage. Correct?

    • Thanks Tony!

      Yes, fasted training is specifically for accelerating fat loss and targeting stubborn fat.

      No need to do it while bulking. Pre-WO carbs improve weightlifting performance, so keep that in.

      And when you do go to cut, you don’t HAVE to do fasted training. It just speeds things up.

  • Scott

    Mike, I am very interested in this fasted training but I have one question. I take MusclePharm Assault preworkout and it has BCAA’s in it, and I also have Scivation Xtend BCAA. How much BCAA is recommended to limit muscle lose while working out? Is just the preworkout fine or should i mix in some of the Xtend as well? Thanks!

    • 10 grams of BCAAs is good, so just make sure you get that amount between the PWO and Xtend product.

      Oh and FYI Assault is garbage–it’s horribly under-dosed, like all MP’s products.

      • Scott

        Oh thank you. I have been using it for a while now and thought it was good but I guess i will give others a shot. When I finish what I have with Assault I will try the ON Pre- that you recommend in the year one challenge. My last questions is does PRE- have creatine in it? Or should I add the ON creatine supplement to that as well? Thank you.

        • You’re probably just feeling the caffeine because it doesn’t have enough of anything else to really matter.

          Let me know when you try the ON PRE- and how it compares for you.

          No, PRE- doesn’t have creatine, so get that separately.

      • Jody H

        Hey Mike, I’m just wondering how you know Assault is under-dosed? Are you saying their claims on their products are patently false? Just wondering because I’ve been taking it for months and I LOVE the Cherry Lime flavor. Thanks

        • Hey Jody,

          Because the nutrition label makes it clear:


          A 23-gram proprietary blend with like 30 ingredients? Lol.

          If you want to protect yourself as a consumer, don’t buy any prop blends–the only reason companies use them is to hide their horrible under-dosing.

          Assault might taste good, but it’s not going to do much in terms of ergogenic benefits beyond the caffeine.

          Hope this helps. I’ll be blogging more about this kind of stuff soon…


  • Nick

    Hi Mike!! Great article. I’m just entering the 2nd phase of the year-long workout program laid out in “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger” and I must say the program is going great. I do have one quick question. In preparation for a great summer I’m planning on entering my cutting phase. Is it OK to continue taking my pre-workout supplementation “Jack3d” in addition to those supplements you recommend for cutting. I just don’t want to overdo it with caffeine or anything else. Again, great program, I’m seeing amazing results and can’t wait to shed some fat to show them off.

    • Thanks Nick!

      Awesome on the program. I’m glad to hear it’s going well.

      If you’re going to take a fat burner like VPX Meltdown, I’d recommend taking those in the place of the pre-WO as each pill has 100 mg of caffeine.

      Or you could do one scoop of PWO and 1-2 VPX pills, and then 1-2 (to total 3) VPX pills later. Up to you based on your caffeine tolerance…

      Keep me posted on how your cut goes!

  • Nishan

    Hi ,

    My weight is 96kg . I am doing 10 minutes kettlebell swing using 20kg kettlebell in the morning (fasted) and in the evening again 10 minutes(after meal).

    I am following a balance diet too.

    I was doing 30min cross training machine at the beginning and I moved form 103kg to 96kg.

    Now I am only doing kettlebell , but doesn’t seems to wight is losing like before but feel more strength.

    Could you please give me an advice?

    Isn’t my current workout is more effective than cross training machine ?

    What should I improve?

    Thank you in adavance.

    • Hey Nishan,

      Thanks for writing! Cool on your weight and KB routine. Great job on your weight loss so far.

      The key to losing more weight is going to be getting exact on your diet (following a set meal plan that provides a moderate caloric deficit), first and foremost. Your exercise routine might be totally fine.

      Are you familiar with how to do this?


  • H

    Useful article and nicely written, I have some questions:

    Instead of taking BCAA’s before a cardio workout, is whey protein an option for suppressing the muscle breakdown?

    Also in terms of burning fat what is the optimum amount of time to wait to eat the first meal after a cardio session? And what should it consist of?

    Lately I have been doing my weightlifting for the first 3 days of the week eating more carbs to aid muscle growth on those days, and then being in a calorie deficit for 4 days doing 30mins HIIT but keeping an adequate protein intake. I have been doing this for 2 months and so far it has been working but only slight gains and fat loss. Do you think I would progress more by just doing 1 month cutting then 1 month bulking?

    • Thanks! Glad you liked the article.

      Whey protein is an option but not as good as BCAAs, because it raises insulin levels (temporarily ruining the fasted state). If you need to, have the protein about 30 minutes before.

      You don’t necessarily need to eat after cardio, but if a meal falls in that time slot, wait 30-45 minutes. And eat whatever you normally have (some protein carbs and fats).

      I’m not a fan of cycling calories like that simply because it makes things more complicated for no big benefit. If you want to get leaner, then just cut. If you want to get bigger, bulk, or maintain (you’ll make gains, albeit slower than bulking).

      I hope this helps and let me know what you think!

      • H

        Ah ok, I will give the BCAA’s a try. Yeah that makes sense, I will just cut first while maintaining my strength. I appreciate the reply, I am hoping there will be some more useful info in your book [B.L.S] that is on the way and it is good to see your claims backed up with studies/external info.

        • Michael Matthews

          Wow somehow missed this. Sorry for the late reply. But let me know how things are going!

  • patrick

    hey mike,

    I am currently cutting and taking a CLA and fish oil. I was wondering if I should incorporate them into my total fat intake for the day.


  • If I were to do a fasted cardio training in the morning, would it be best with HIIT training? And then how long afterwards before eating breakfast? This might be what I need to boost my fat loss, I’m pretty much in the home stretch of where I want to be, but it’s definitely not budging! Also, would it be best to then do cardio again later after weights? I usually do my weights first, and cardio afterwards while I’m still at the gym (around 4pm).

    Thanks! Loved your books by the way!

    • Hey Madison,

      When you’re looking to maximize fat loss, HIIT is always the best choice, fasted or not. You can eat right after or wait a little, it’s up to you.

      I wouldn’t recommend cardio twice per day and lifting. That plus the caloric deficit will put a lot of stress on your body, and is just unnecessary.

      Let me know how this goes for you and write me if your weight remains stuck. I can definitely help you reach your goal.

      And thanks on the books! I’m really glad you liked them. 🙂


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  • Trab5

    Hi Mike. How long prior to your workout should you take yohimbine and vpx?

    • Good question. I take the Meltdown about 15 minutes before and the yohimbine right before because it’s only in your system for about an hour.

      • Trab5

        Great thanks!

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  • Gio

    Hey Michael, a question regarding the supp your taking in your cutting phase. You put your taking 10mg of yohimbe for preworkout (lifting) and 16mg later in the day for your per workout (cardio) session. I finally got a hold of the primaforce yohimbe. Each pill is 2.5mg and says on there not to take more than 2 pills a day. So are you taking 4 pills in the morning and 6 or 7 in the evening cardio session? Forgive me for asking a stupid question but I know you said to be cautious and not to abuse this product, I’d rather ask and play it safe to make sure I’m on track.
    Thanks in advance and thank you for BLS, it is hands down the best motivational fitness book I have read. Keep up the good work. Your inspiring many of us.

    • Hey Gio,

      I base my dosing on the actual studies on yohimbine and weight loss, which you can view here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/fat-loss/yohimbine/

      Some people get too jittery on the recommended dosage of .2mg/kg, but most are fine. You would have to take a lot more than that to get a seriously negative reaction.

      Hope this helps!


      • Gio

        Got it, thanks, sorry I totally failed to see the pills were effective in .2 per kl (kilograms) not pounds. Thanks again Mike,

        • Gio

          And verify are you including into account the 9mg of NorEpiphex (which is std to Yohimbe HCI) already included in the VPX pills to your Yohimbe “total” consumption for the day.

          • Michael Matthews

            Wow so sorry on the late reply. I never got an email notification of this and so missed it.

            Honestly I don’t account for the YH in the MD product, so I take a bit more than .2mg/kg before lifting (when I take MD). My body just does really well with stimulants though so it doesn’t bother me.

  • Maritza

    I’m 5’6″ and weight 120lbs, already very skinny. I cycle 4 or 5 times per week, between 60 and 90 miles a week (40-50 on Saturdays) and do core exercises and squats with 50lbs at the gym. I would like to get more muscle mass (bigger legs) without loosing any more weight. I do have a bit of belly fat and cellulite in my legs. How do I get bigger legs and loose stored fat without getting skinnier? Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow, that’s some INTENSE cycling! Would you consider reducing your cycling and doing some weightlifting instead? I would to get you lifting 3-5x per week and cycling 3x per week. What we would go for is a body recomposition–lose some fat and build muscle.

      What do you think?

      • Maritza

        This could work. I’m new to lifting, so do I lift 3-5x per week for legs only or all body? how often do I lift for legs? thanks.

        • Michael Matthews

          You would want to train your entire body. I’m biased, but I’d love to get you on this program:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /books/thinner-leaner-stronger/

  • Ken

    Hi Matt, i have been following the training book and its been amazing so far. After reading this post I purchased body fat measurement and realize I am my fat percentage is about 21%( I am 6’3, 177). I do want that number go down to 10%. I have some questions

    1. When we talk about fat percentage, is that weight or body composition? If I want to loose the 11%, does that mean I need to loose 11% of body fat in terms of weight? What’s the best way to measure it so I can make calorie in take plan.

    2. What is a realistic time frame to achieve such goal? Now I lift weight about 4-5 days a week early in the morning and do cardio for about 30 minutes after work around 5pm, 4 times a week. With generally controlled diet, should I set the goal for 2 month? 3 month?

    Thank you!


    • Ken

      Also a follow up question, I will start trying fasted training, but when I am hungry my strength reduce significantly and things get shaky, what’s your idea on that? or should I reduce weight when I am cutting? will caffeine help?

      • Michael Matthews

        Fasted training does help with fat loss but some people find it really saps strange. You need to have BCAAs before, and yes caffeine will help.

        In the end if your strength/energy really takes a dive from the fasted training, skip it.

        • Rajith

          Mike, I take BSN Amino X which contains 10g of BCAA per serving and I take it during my workout. Does it needs to be take before my workout? or during my workout is fine?

          • Michael Matthews

            10-15 min before is best.

        • michelle

          Will BCAAs help with lightheadedness associated with training while hungry (not fasted)? This is a pretty common problem for me, especially on weekends when I haven’t eaten much.

          • Michael Matthews

            It can for some people but doesn’t for others. It’s interesting.

        • Jon

          I can struggle with fasting for too long and then attempting to workout. I think we all would one way or another depending for how long we’ve fasted. Another consideration besides skipping the fasted training altogether is to try out a light activity to do after fasting (but before eating). i.e. go for a several-mile brisk walk. You can train and improve your ability to handle working out in fasted conditions just like anything else!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for writing! I’m glad you’re enjoying the program.

      Cool on your stats and goal.

      Fat percentage is a matter of body composition. It’s the percentage of your weight that is fat. So yes, you will need to lose about 11% of your current weight to lose 11% body fat (the actual math isn’t that simple but it’s good enough).

      To keep tabs on this you can test yourself every week or two but it won’t be necessary. You’ll see the results on the scale and in the mirror.

      You should be able to lose 11% in 3-5 months depending on genetics and how strict you are.

      Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!

    • Justin

      I am 6’2″ and 186 lbs and I calculate about 11-12% body fat currently. As I just started training a few months back I know I cant have that much more muscle to make our percentages so far off. I imagine one of us is off.

  • mick graham

    Hi Mike, very interesting article i have lost 2 stone in 6 month using your articles and the shredded chef but have this problem of fat deposits in my lower back region and finding it difficult to shift i swim and do cardio training at 7am weekdays but always eat before hand, reading the majority of articles it seems it best to train empty and eat afterwards is thsi correct ?? I have tried so many supplements when training can you suggest which supplements are best and when to take them, i.e is it best to take whey protein or creatine before a workout or after ?? please can you clarify..

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Mick! Great job on your weight loss! That’s awesome.

      Regarding the stubborn fat, check this out:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-truth-about-stubborn-fat-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

      Fasted training can help with fat loss, yes, but isn’t NECESSARY.

      Regarding supplements, protein before and after a workout is a good idea. Creatine is best taken with carbs because it increases muscular uptake. Other supps I recommend are a good multi-vitamin and fish oil:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/general-health-supplements/

      In terms of fat loss, a fat burner can help if your diet is right:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /recommendations/supplement-recommendations/fat-loss/vpx-meltdown/

      • Uri Kleiman

        Hi Mike,
        A little question here:
        So creatine is taken with carbs before the workout, but with fasted workout you shouldn’t eat carbs (especially if you take yohimbine) so does it mean that with fasted workouts you can’t use creatine?

        After reading your articles – bought the books. Just finished Bigger Leaner Stronger. In couple of minutes I’ll do the first workout according your book (after religiously following the Sixpack Shortcuts program and getting some result- but not as expected)

        • Michael Matthews

          Best is taking creatine AFTER your workouts, with your post-workout meals.

          Thanks for your support! I really appreciate it. Do let me know how it goes!

          • parv

            Creatine after workout sure???

          • Michael Matthews


  • Rob

    You mention BCAA in pill format. Is the ON BCAA powder mixed with a pre-workout drink an acceptable/equal substitude? – http://www.amazon.com/Optimum-Nutrition-Instantized-5000mg-Unflavored/dp/B002DYIZIU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1372673116&sr=1-1&keywords=bcaa+powder

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah definitely. Warning though: unflavored BCAAs are HORRIBLE tasting. Not sure if a pre-w/o will be enough to mask it.

  • Jeremy

    Hi Mike, I have brought 3 of your books and they have been amazing

    I have a quick question regarding alcohol. I can work out till I die during the week but at weekend I just can’t control my alcohol intakes. I find it really hard to do when you are out with colleagues and friends. And the next week I will be really upset with how much calorie I consumed via beer and wine and mixed drinks during the weekends.

    Do you have any recommendation how to deal with this? or, what is the number of alcohol I need to keep in mind if I am cutting?



    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jeremy! Really glad you liked the books.

      Good question! Check out this article:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /does-alcohol-consumption-affect-weight-loss-and-muscle-growth/

  • Ashwani

    Aren’t nitrogen losses
    from protein breakdown more than doubled when training in a fasted
    state? And isn’t this bad for those seeking to maximize muscle mass?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes, muscle loss is accelerated in a fasted state, which is why you supplement with 10 grams of BCAAs (which provides ~3 grams of leucine) to stimulate protein synthesis and counteract this.

  • Jessica

    You say to take about 150-200 mg of caffeine, but do you just drink coffee or some kind of energy drink or is there like, caffeine supplements or something?

    • Michael Matthews

      I like to do a pre-workout drink, but you can drink coffee or take caffeine pills. Up to you.

  • António Alves

    Would whey protein mixed in water before fasted training have the same benefits as supplementing with BCAAs instead?

    • Michael Matthews

      It’s a good source of BCAAs BUT the calories will break the fasted state. It’s not ideal…

  • Craig

    Very good read , I’ve been staying away from fasted training for the very reasons you say but will chuck some bcaa’s in my pie hole before hand 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. Lemme know how it goes!

  • Karen Calungsud

    for this, i will basically lose fat all over? is it really impossible to lose more in one part from another?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes and more or less yes. You can’t “spot reduce” (lose fat just from thighs, stomach, butt, etc.) but you CAN help your body get rid of the stubborn stuff more effectively…

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  • Igi

    Your blog is very much helpful and interesting to read, but I just have few questions. I’m 5’6″ in height, weighing 145lbs. I’ve been working out for almost 3months now. How can I lose my belly fat and gain muscles at the same time?Is there anything you could recommend?

    Is it also okay to take BCAA for pre-workout and have WHEY protien for post-workout for muscle recovery? Or should I just take BCAA only?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I’m really glad you like it.

      You should be able to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously simply because you’re new to lifting.

      That said, you’re going to have to train and eat properly. Are you following my program or?

      Yes that’s fine if you want to train fasted. Make sure to have carbs post-workout too though…

      • Igi

        I’m following your program. I take the supplements(Yohimbe2.5mg, Greentea extract315mg-, caffeine200mg, and I also add L-Carnitine) in the morning around 6. I go to work by bike (roughly 25mins). I have breakfast at 8am, and have WHey protein after lunch.

        I start fasted training after lunch then after 3hours I take the supplements(Yohimbe2.5mg, Greentea extract315mg-, caffeine200mg, and I also add L-Carnitine) again. I hit the gym at 5pm to 7pm 3 times a week. I go home by bike, and have a little dinner simultaneous with Whey Protein. I’m into this practice for almost 3 weeks now except weekends. I would like to ask for your opinion if I’m doing the right thing?

        By the way, on top of those supplements I take. I also have fish oil twice a day (lunch and dinner)

        • Michael Matthews

          Oh okay cool. Few things:

          1. Make sure you’re having BCAAs before the fasted training.

          2. Make sure you’re eating enough every day. It sounds like your calories are very low?

          3. Make sure you’re having a proper post-workout meal with protein and a good amount of carbs.

  • Dany

    Hey Mike, Great article! it realy simplify it all! just one question, 400 mg of caffeine, is that a safe dose? because it’s like 5-6 LARGE SPOONS of soluble coffee! Thanks 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Dany! Yeah, that’s totally fine. I have that amount before training every day.

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  • Pedro

    Mate, do you mean fasted trainning just for workout(wheighlifting) or also for aerobic ???

    • Michael Matthews


  • davort

    Hi Mike, another great article! I have a question about GTE. In the article, you recommended taking 600-900 mg daily. I got myself this product from MyProtein http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/mega-green-tea-extract/10530148.html – however the manufacturer recommends taking just 1 capsule daily (450 mg).
    I’ve also noticed that for the product you’ve recommended in the article, the manufacturer also recommends taking 1 capsule daily (400 mg).

    What could be the undesired sideeffects from exceeding the recommended daily dosage anyway?

    Thank you!

    • Michael Matthews


      Suggested usage directions are rarely in line with actual scientific research. My guess is they’re just playing is really safe, or just don’t know.

      Not sure what the effects would be–never seen any research on it. But 600-900 mg daily has been proven safe and effective, so nothing to worry about there.

  • Daniel

    Really good info Mike! I’m gonna try to find those supplements, what type of cardio do you recomend to contribute to fat loss without compromising muscle loss?

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  • Seamus Wall

    HI Matt with regard to Yohimbine. On the the pack of the Primeforce brand (The one pictured here) it says to take one or two capsules. For your protocol you say to take 0.2mg per kilo of body weight. As each capsule is 2.5mg for a 70kg (154 lbs) man that would be approx 6 capsules to take in a fasted state. I’m confused; should I take as per instructions on the pack (1-2 capsules) or 6 capsules with your protocol?

    • Michael Matthews

      Follow my instructions as they are based on actual research. The bottle instructions are based on some random person’s idea, haha.

      • Diogo

        Hi, Mike
        Should i take this amount of yohimbine per day or before each workout (cardio and weight training)?

        • Michael Matthews

          I do. It doesn’t bother me at all.

  • Erica Glasser Lancaster

    Awesome info!!! One question…when talking about using yohimbine in a fasted state…I work out in the morning fasted, would I take the yohimbine then workout and then eat my post workout meal (which I usually wait about 30 minutes)? Or does the PWO meal inhibit the fat burning effects of the yohimbine? Any other helpful hints for a mom of 4 who needs to lose that last little bit of lower body stubborn fat would be much appreciated 😉 haha


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Good question. Yohimbine is in and out of your system in under an hour, so you don’t really have to worry about that. Eat within 60 minutes of finishing your workout and you’ll be fine.

      • Erica Glasser Lancaster

        Great thanks 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          YW 🙂

  • Peridot Green

    hi mike! thanks for the great info!! Looking forward to start training in a fasted state. i generally train about 5 hours after having my last meal. One question though, im just wondering if i take a pre-workout whey protein shake(around 200kcals) will it break my fasted state? thanks very much! looking forward for your reply

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much! Cool on the fasted training. Yeah the protein will. BCAAs are a better choice (10g).

  • paula

    Thank you for your articles, I have lost over a hundred lbs but this has been an ongoing battle my whole life, I’m down to 132 lbs but my body is so disgusting I get so frustrated trying to figure out what to do and eventually I give up for a while cause I never see results. I just recently started going to the gym again trying to do more weight training but I did the skin test on my problem areas and my guess it’s fat. I’m getting married in 6 months and would love to be comfortable and confident in my own skin. My goal is to be able to wear an actual bathing suit w/o coverage and the only surgery I want is a breast enlargement since those those were the first to go 🙁 please help me out; thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Paula!

      Great job on your weight loss so far! That’s awesome. I highly doubt your body is “disgusting”–we’re always our own worst critics.

      That said, you should DEFINITELY be hitting the weights. Check out this article of mine:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-ultimate-fitness-plan-for-women/

      If you like that, then you should really give my book Thinner Leaner Stronger a read next:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /books/thinner-leaner-stronger/

      You’re in a perfect place to get on the program and kick some ass.

      Lemme know what you think!

  • Marshall

    Great article Mike, i was curious about one thing. Obviously getting bodyfat into the 10% range when starting from the overweight or even obese stage is difficult, but assuming it gets done and there is excess skin, is there a timeframe on when it would tighten up? or is it more likely there wouldn’t be very much if you dropped your body fat low enough? BTW im 23 and starting at around 400 pounds, shooting to get down to 250-260. I’m 7 feet tall so the weight seems high, but it is mostly due to my structure.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Marshall!

      Loose skin can be tricky. I talk about it here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-get-rid-of-loose-skin-after-weight-loss/

      In my experience genetics play a big role. Some people can loose huge amounts of weight and thanks to very elastic skin, not have much loose skin to show for it. Others can loose half the weight and have much more loose skin.

      My recommendation would be to get to the 10% range, maintain it for a few months, and then see how things are…

  • Richard Reeb

    I’m 30 pounds into a planned 75 pound loss goal. Thanks for the fasting exercise idea. Every tool I can use!

    • Michael Matthews

      Great job! Fasting can definitely help!

  • sonam

    should i go for a walk of 1 hour or shud do cardio????

    • Michael Matthews

      Personally I would stick to HIIT, but some prefer/do better with LISS.

  • chuck

    Mike, you neglected to mention drinking the correct amounts of water your body needs to assist in the absorption of nutrients and moving the waste out.

  • Alistair

    Hi Mike, that article made good reading, thanks. Do you have suggested exercises to support loosing fat in this area?

    • Michael Matthews


      Specific exercises don’t matter. But heavy weightlifting in conjunction with HIIT cardio are great for losing fat fast.

  • Ken

    hi Mike, I have been doing ur bigger leane routine for more than 3 month now, it is incredible, I have lost about 15 lbs, gained clear lean muscle and as a guy growing up obsese till 17, I for the first time can see abs definition, so THANK YOU.

    here comes the problem, 1. My weight stayed, and I have problem letting go the last stubborn fat in abs, which is an area of 7 inch long 2 inch or so wide and 1 inch sick, i guess i should try better diet, my problem is i can do pretty well on weekdays, and on weekends, it is rough when i work in new york and have to meet friends for dinner drink and party. I feel awful every sunday night feeling I wasted a whole week of diet, any suggestion for me to get over that?

    2. I am developing fatigue in my work out routines and I am not excited about going to gym anymore. This is freaking me out because I am scared of letting go, my size and definition also stopped improving. I am also as suggested by friend start doing more reps and less weight and it just bores me. Please help

    Thank you!


    • Michael Matthews

      Wow awesome Ken! That’s amazing!

      Hmmm to get rid of the last bits of fat you’ll definitely have to settle down on the weekends. No binging and alcohol is a problem too. Read my article on the alcohol here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /does-alcohol-consumption-affect-weight-loss-and-muscle-growth/

      That said, it sounds like it’s time to stop cutting.

      After a few months and getting leaner, your body needs a break. Switch to maintenance for a month or so and you’ll feel good again. Also, take a week off if you haven’t already.

      Hope this helps. Talk soon!

      • ken

        Hi Mike, thanks, I remember you said there is a one year program, idea where can I find it?

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah the link to it is at the end of Bigger Leaner Stronger. Do you have the book?

  • John

    Hey Michael I just bought a GTE pills I have question I have read that when you have high caffeine intake it has a negative effect on vitamins stored in your body as B vitamins also calcium magnesium and so on and I was further looking at this product and I noticed it has 16mg Caffeine any comments on this ?

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s possible. I’ve heard the same but haven’t verified it.

      That said, unless you’re seriously abusing caffeine, it shouldn’t be an issue that you can’t correct/avoid with healthy eating.

      16 mg caffeine is VERY little. It won’t do anything.

  • Osher Barda

    I’m bulking right now should I worry about fat loss yet?

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, you just want to try and minimize fat storage. This article can help:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-best-way-to-gain-muscle-not-fat/

  • John

    Would fasted training only be beneficial if you were cutting then lol?

    • Michael Matthews

      Mainly. I suppose you could do it if you wanted to maintain sub-10%. Might help.

  • Mike

    thanks for your help Mike…I do the fasted training and caffeine (coffee-one cup)..need to stay away from the others due to my sensitivity to stimulants..I do however add a little cayenne pepper on my food for some metobolic boost as well..and use other foods to assist as well Week 1 of my cut, 12.5% bodyfat at my start. Goal is to get to 9-10% bf. I’m 5’11 1/2 and 194 pounds currently. I’m guessing I’ll land in the 180s weight wise when I get there, guess we will see.

    • Michael Matthews


      Cool on your routine and plan. I like it.

      Make sure you’re taking BCAAs (10g) or leucine (3-5g) before your training though.

      Lemme know how it goes!

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  • HomeGymSuccess

    Kudos….you have some good information that is presented well.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thank you!

  • Serena

    Great article. Very informative. I could lose a lot of weight and or gain muscle and still have love handle lumps. Really weird. Was contemplating lipo. But I will give this a shot along with a slimming belt. Heard it helps to get blood circulating in that region. Thx 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Serena!

      Unless it’s a loose skin issue, you can get rid of the love handles. You just have to get lean enough…

      Slimming belt won’t do anything.

      Check out this article series of mine. It will help you:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-lose-weight-fast/

  • Art

    Great article! So I ordered the Yohimbine, Green Tea Extract, BCCA+G Reload as well as an organic/non GMO Whey protein shake (Defense Nutrition – Warrior Whey – Vanilla) over the weekend.

    I have been fasting state training for the past few months and have seen decent progress.

    My question is – Between the Yohimbine, GTE and BCCA, what would you recommend for a supplement schedule.

    It sounds like take the Yohimbine ~30 minutes before workout, the BCCA+G ~15 minutes before the workout and the 600-900mg of GTE throughout the day. An of course follow the workout with a shake within an hour followed by solid protein and moderate carbs within 3-4 hours of my workout.

    Does that sound right/safe?

    What are your suggestions?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Art!

      Yup, you got it. If it doesn’t make you nauseous, do 300ish mg of GTE before training.

      I would get your post-workout meal in within an hour or so of finishing your workout:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      Hope this helps!

    • Yohimbine is ~30 minutes before workout? Oops, I’ve been taking it 5-10 minutes before workout.

      • Michael Matthews

        You want the yohimbine right before training because it’s out of your system in 30-45 min.

  • Nikky

    Hi, Mike! Great article! What do you consume on a day before your fasted training session? Lots of carbs/low fat/protein? Do you have a protein shake after your session or some protein + a carb?

    When you try to gain muscles, what is your favorite pre-workout meal that you find most effective? Thank you.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Nikky! I don’t do anything special the day before. I just eat as I normally would.

      Yeah, I will have a normal post-workout meal after. You can read about this here:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /guide-to-post-workout-nutrition/

      For pre-workout, I keep it simple: a scoop of protein in a cup of rice milk with a banana. 🙂

      Hope this helps!

      • Osher Barda

        Hey mike sorry to butt in lol
        Shouldn’t a banana be enough for pre workout jw bec sometimes I do feel weaker by just having one banana but I thought that having more carbs before the gym is not good so I usually have one banana but I always fel like it’s not enough

        • Michael Matthews

          You can do 30 – 50 grams carbs before a workout. I do notice a slight difference between 30 and 50 in terms of energy and strength.

  • asivnkid

    hello im 15 and 146 ibs and 5.7/8 i lost major weight this yr like like 14 kg the problem of mine now is idk how to lose this last fat or lose skin i can see my abs underneath and its quite visible when flexing but this skin is annoying so should i do cardio on empty stomach or pull ups?? please answer bro

    • Michael Matthews

      Great job on the weight loss! Check out this article of mine:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-get-rid-of-loose-skin-after-weight-loss/

  • Jen

    Hello Mike,
    I just stumbled across your articles due to my struggle with the appearance of cellulite. I love your straight forward writing. I’m 18yrs old, female , 5′ 7″ and around 124lbs. I am thin but I’ve been trying to build muscle in my legs, butt and thighs to try and reduce the cellulite issue. I’m thinking fasted training might help with the stubborn fat I have down there…any tips? I may be interested in your books after these articles 🙂 Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jen!

      Cool on your stats and yes, building muscle will definitely help. Let’s definitely get you in the gym if you’re not already lifting!

      Fasted training can help. There are other strategies too:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-truth-about-stubborn-fat-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

      Start with Thinner Leaner Stronger. I’d love to get you going on that program!

      • Jen

        Thank you for the prompt response 🙂 You say green tea extract will help..will green tea itself have the same effect? Thanks for your help.

        • Michael Matthews

          YW! Yes, but a cup of green tea has somewhere around 40 mg of catechins so you’d have to drink a LOT to get enough, haha.

  • Jen

    Forgot to mention I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian and I eat pretty well 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool. 🙂

  • Osher Barda

    Should I worry about this while bulking and should I bulk the whole year one challenger I’m 13 weeks in and I love it I just want to know what youWoul think

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, this has to do with cutting. 🙂

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  • Shaggy

    Yo Michael!
    I’m very concerned about drawbacks of this tehnique on health.
    I need to study a lot and I need to be concentrated on many tasks,
    My goal is to burn some visible amount of stubborn fat and then to just eat healthy and train regularly. Could I fast myself after breakfast for about 5-6 hours then take BCAA supplement and train in fasted state for about hour, also could I eat normally after that like just regular healthy dinner like brown rice, lean meat, veggies or would it completely ruin fat burning possibilities?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes you could definitely do that. That’s totally fine. Remember though that you must be in a calorie deficit or you won’t lose fat regardless of how much you fast or exercise…

  • Nick

    Hi I’ve lost 85 pounds and been weight training. I am thin every where except lower abs. I want to fast but does fasting hurt your metabolism? And will I lose muscle mass while fasting?

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow great job! No, fasting is totally fine. Check it out:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /the-definitive-guide-to-intermittent-fasting/

  • Keith

    Mike, how many hours between a small feed and doing some afternoon HIIT do I need to leave it to get to the right state so fat burning occurs. (a meal being 100g chicken breast with salad (30g avacado/cherry tomatoes/50g spinach leaves). Currently I have 2.5hours between eating and HIIT. Is that long enough?

    • Michael Matthews

      2.5 hours is pretty good, yeah. Your insulin levels should be fairly close to baseline.

      • Keith

        Thanks for this Mike. Extended to 4 hours yesterday and 3 hours today. See how we go. 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          Cool let me know. 🙂

  • shirazul hoque

    hi, i have lost 4 stones in 6 months, and started weight training in between. i am thinking of stopping that as i want to lose belly fat, u say if i fasted for over 6 hours and did a 1 hour session of cardio? will this work and what if i have fast over 6 hours? thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Wow amazing job! That rocks. I would definitely keep the lifting in as it will help.

      Check out this article of mine:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-lose-belly-fat/

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  • Nick

    Does taking caffeine before working out in a fasted state defeat the purpose?

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, it helps you lose fat faster. 🙂

  • Mara

    Hi Mike, once again, great article! I’m a female and want to lose fat. I’m on week 4 of the 1YC and I have been doing cardio 5x a week (30 minutes and HIIT one day and another cardio on the next) and I just want to know what is best to do first thing in the morning (while fasted): cardio or weightlifting. I’ve been doing the Cardio first (and lifting weights later in the afternoon), but in the article you said that weightlifting is particularity effective while in a fasted state. So I want to know what you think its best. 🙂 Thanks again!!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Mara! Great on what you’re doing. That’s plenty. I like lifting first (fasted) and doing cardio later. More energy that way. What do you think?

      • Mara

        I don’t feel lethargic, like, I don’t feel I perform less if I do my cardio in the morning. It was just a matter of waking up my body with a “blast” and giving me a boost of energy for the rest of the day. I really don’t mind lifting later either, I just want to maximize my efforts. 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          Ah okay. Then it’s up to you, really. Try both and see which you like more.

  • Jon

    Hi Mike,

    When cutting and doing fasted training taking BCAA pre-workout, is it ok to have a protein shake pre workout too? Or is it better just to have protein post workout?

    I’m into month 2 of your program and really enjoying it and seeing good results.

    Cheers, Jon

    • Michael Matthews

      Nope, that will break the fasted state. Save the shake for after.

      And great, I’m glad to hear it!

  • Jen

    I’m a 19 year old female, 5’4, 112 pounds, workout at least 5 times a week and eat good, but I can’t seem to get these little rolls on my legs under my butt to go away. I read this article and I bought the yohimbine, and am going to start trying the fasting exercise along with taking these supplements but I was wondering how much you think I should take? and also can I eat after I work out “fasting” style?

  • Guest

    Hi Mike,

    Dr.Oz do not recommend Yohimbine and says it can cause serious heart problems. Here the link:


  • Guest

    What is your comment about the list of supplements that Dr.Oz would never take. Yohimbe is in the list.

  • Guest

    Why there are 185 comments but only 171 are visible? Do you delete comments that you don’t like such as Dr.Oz’ s comments about Yohimbie’ s side effects to the heart. Give an answer here pls. so everyone can see. Otherwise I will think different about your reliability really.

    • Michael Matthews

      Oz is a troll that promotes all kinds of unreliable crab (garcinia, ketones, green coffee, etc.).

      If you read what I said about yohimbine, I note that research shows it can raise blood pressure and thus shouldn’t be used if you have high blood pressure.

      Otherwise the clinical research we have available shows that it’s 100% safe. I listen to science, not Dr. Oz.

  • Guestern

    Yeah Mike,
    What’s this yohimbie, yohimbine or what ever indeed? We know you are reading scientific researches before you advice anything but Oz is a professor who directs a Cardiovascular Institute at NY anyway.

    • Michael Matthews

      Oz is more or less a troll. He promotes all kinds of useless crap.

      I explain what yohimbine is and what it does in the article. Not much else to say?

  • sevalle

    Hello…great article…I’m just curious if you would do something
    different for the eating part for a diabetic considering how if we fast
    before working out it can be really bad for our blood sugars…also do
    you have suggestions for pre and post workout meals that don’t need
    supplements? Currently after working out I do a juicing… (kale,
    cucumber, celery, apples and lemon). Thanks…really loved the article

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I believe you emailed me on this? Or FB msg? Or Twitter DM? Haha. Either way I replied. 🙂

  • Ashley Ward Buchmiller

    How much BCAA’s do you recommend before fasted weight training? Also, is there any benefit to fasted cardio? I just can’t seem to get through cardio without breakfast, it makes me feel ill. Ive plateaued with my fat loss though, so I’m willing to try your tips and see what happens. Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      10 grams is good. What you really want is 3 – 5 grams of leucine.

      Yes, fasted cardio helps accelerate fat loss. Try the BCAAs 15 min before it should help with the nausea.

      Remember also that DIET is the big key:


  • Pedro

    Hi Mike – first of all congrats for your website! Great complement to your books. Just wanted to ask if you take high GI carbs after weightlifting when cutting fat, and the recommended dose in this phase. I am 200 lbs and was taking around 45 gr. As I workout during lunch time, this carbs along with the proteins (35 gr.) are actually my lunch.
    Thanks Mike!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Pedro!

      Yeah I do. My post-workout meal is a smoothie with rice milk, frozen bananas, cinnamon, and raw fiber.

      • Pedro

        Thanks Mike!

        • Michael Matthews


  • GabiGol93

    Hey Michael I am a soccer player I usually train twice a day morning and afternoon but no weight lifting just the hard training cardio and ab workouts How much BCAA (pills) should I take to cut fat percentage

    • Michael Matthews

      Depends how long you’re training for. I would do 10 grams before and 10 grams an hour later (if you’re still training).

  • Angel Ayon

    Hi Michael! I need your help on something. Since it’s almost summer, I want to lose my belly fat, but I want to preserve the muscle I put on over the past couple of months. Is there any supplement/workout that might work for me? Thanks!

  • Amy

    Mike, wow, you rock! Love the articles. Being a woman, it is hard to lose that little bulge in the lower belly. I’ve had two children and am in good shape. My down fall is late night evening and sugar. Is there anything safe I can take when I do, in deed, overindulge, to help negate some of the effects of this bad habit until I can find the motivation to say enough is enough. Thank you so much!

  • Amy

    Mike, that is late night/evening overindulgence in sugar…sometimes right before I go to sleep.

    • Michael Matthews

      Sorry is this a reply to another thread?

  • Brandon P.

    Hi, Michael! I am joining up in the Air Force (VERY excited and been looking forward to this for a while). However, I have a tiny bit of weight to lose before I can begin and go to my MEPS station to start the process. I am 5’11 20 years old and about 205 pounds. For my height I can only weigh 197 which really won’t be a big deal. My downfall was that I work for the USPS as a city carrier and long story short I suffered an ankle injury for about 2 months and set me back a little.

    As far as nutrition/workouts/supplements, I love Biotrust and I love John Romaniello. I can see that you are huge on the hormone game of weight loss and muscle gain and I love that so I will definitely start following you as well!

    So my dilemma is that I have built up some muscle doing his Final Phase Fat Loss. Still have a little belly fat and my main trouble areas are my love handles/lower back fat. I have had to start running (not a big fan of cardio but I am good at it). The recruiter was nice and told me; however, that I should lay off the weights for awhile until I get down to at least 188 range. I REALLY love lifting weights and don’t want to exactly give it up so here is my example workouts for now. I plan on doing cardio 2 days a week, MMA/weight lifting for 2 days a week, possibly another day of cardio, and then Pilates on Sundays just to relieve some of the tension. Any thoughts or suggestions for a future airman? =)

    Anyways great article and it definitely coincides with the advice I have followed before and thanks for keeping us all informed and most importantly being HONEST. Look forward to your reply!

    • Michael Matthews

      Congrats! That’s exciting. And thanks for the kind words and support! I really appreciate it.

      You don’t have to give up the lifting. It sounds like we just need to work out a proper meal plan?

      Check this out:


      Let me know what you think!

  • Bryson

    Hi mike im 15 years old and I have always been kind of heavy not over weight , but I dont have the body I would like , Im a dual sport athlete (football, baseball)!!I would like to loose chest fat and get pecks but dont want to use supplements yet !! How can I loose the chest fat and gain pecks naturally ?? By the way I work out as much as possible and I also am 5’11 prob bout 210 pounds !!

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey man!

      Cool man I like what you’re doing. You’re exercising plenty so it’s probably just a matter of eating a bit less. That said, we don’t want to reduce your calories too much as it can interfere with your body’s growth.

      So, can you tell me what your diet is like? Are you drinking a lot of calories? Eating junk food? Do you eat much protein?

  • bart

    Hi Mike,

    This week I decided to buy the fish oil and green tea supplements you recommended and I was just wondering, do you take these supplements every day of the week or just on training days?

    Cheers, Bart

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! Yup, every day.

  • Natalie

    Hi Michael,

    I’ve just finished reading Thinner, Leaner,Stronger. It’s very simple and approachable. Thank you for writing this book. My question regards the GTE supplement. In the above article you suggest 600-900 mg/day based on the articles (which is what the subjects consumed). However, when I “click here to learn more about GTE” that post states that the recommendation is 400-600mg/day.

    1) What “dose” should I use?
    2) When should I take my first and possibly second dose?
    3) Does it matter if I am fasting?


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      I’ve played with intake, from 400 – 900 mg and 600 mg seems to be a sweet spot. 400 IS effective though.

      I like to take all at once or in two dosages before training.

      It’s more effective if you take fasted before training but it can cause feel nausea.

  • Alejandro Salamanca

    Hello..I just found out about your website and what you do and I find everything very helpful so thank you. My question is if I was to start taking the supplement you suggested to lose weight, am I supposed to take all of this fastened? I workout in the mornings really early and my concern is, is it healthy to take this cocktail of supplements on an empty stomach? Sometimes I feel like throwing up when I take Just a pre workout on an empty stomach, I can’t imagine taking all this stuff at once on an empty stomach.


    • Michael Matthews


      Yes. You can take the GTE with food if it makes you nauseous when you take fasted.

      If you take with BCAAs or leucine it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • Melissa

    This article is fantastic! Thank you! I’m a 26 year old female and have major issues with loosing the stubborn fat on my belly. I lost 12 kgs of fat over a period of 2 years so it has stayed off but I am now struggling to reach the next step! I have truly tried everything.. My diet is fantastic and I have tried many different styles of training. Definitely going to try the green tea extract. Thanks again

  • Katie Mcallister

    Question about yohimbine, I see it works well for stubborn fat. My
    Problem is that I store fat like a man. It’s all in my love handles, lower abs and my back. My legs and glutes tend to drop weight fairly quickly. Does it “target” areas with most fat, or because I’m a woman, will it naturally target my lower half?

    • Michael Matthews

      It helps with overall fat loss but yes it targets the “stubborn” fat wherever it is.

      • Katie Mcallister

        Thank you Michael, great article by the way!

        • Michael Matthews

          YW! Thanks!

  • Alex

    Hey Mike, I know you say to take .2 mg of yohimbine per kg of body weight, so for me that would mean taking about 5 of those 2.5mg pills….does that seem like too many pills at one time, or is that fine? Thanks for your great articles by the way.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yup, that’s correct. You can start with 2-3 and see how your body responds.

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  • Travis Berg

    Considering your told to eat every 2.5 hours in small meal portions, should you throw that whole concept out the window? If your working out in a “fasted” state, how long do you go without eating? you wake up, workout with an empty stomach, eat…then wait about 5-6 hours and workout again on an empty stomach? im confused i feel as if you wouldnt be getting enough nutrients and youd lose too much muscle? i’m a boxer and i’ve come from 195-158 and i’m finding the only place with fat left is my stomach. if this trick works i’m interested as to what i have to follow to accomplish this! I dont want to eat 2 small meals all day and then lose muscle? hopefully you can explain your daily routine food wise!

  • Henry

    Hi Mike, I’m going to be working long hours this summer as a carpenter trimming platforms and painting them(can be very taxing and sweat is involved), and I was thinking of trying Intermittent Fasting to lose some stubborn fat that I have had around my waist for quite some time, is it ok to do IF along with my work days and treat the work as cardio? the main thing that is on my mind is that working in a fasted state could cause catabolism, and make me lose the muscle that I have built up so far. What is your opinion? and do you have any tips of losing the stubborn fat while keeping most of the muscle?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey man! I replied to your other comment on this.

  • 10 lbs to go

    I started working out in December 2013. My weight was 242 at this time. Started by running 7 days per week and doing some push-ups planks 3 days per week. Started lifting weights about 2 months ago and continuing to run 5 miles post weight training 6 days per week. Most parts of my body are lean but some stubborn chest fat remains? Abs are starting to show but how do I get rid of that chest fat? Below is my workout and meals. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Monday – heavy squats 4 sets, bent leg dead lifts 4 sets.

    Tuesday – chest, flat dumbbell, incline, decline, flys

    Wednesday- straight bar curls, seated dumbbell curls, incline curls,

    Thursday- just cardio 5 miles in treadmill 40 min
    Friday – dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell front raises and side raises. Dips. I run 5 miles on treadmill after all of the above workouts it takes me about 40 min. On weekend I run 4 miles each day. I eat mostly same thing each day protein shake at breakfast, piece of fruit, large coffee with skim milk, and sometimes cliff bar, lunch after workout is a big grilled chicken salad with a lot of vegetables and balsamic dressing with a protein drink. Protein bar and piece of fruit for afternoon snack and usually fish or baked chicken with veg or salad for dinner. Taking multi vitamin and b active along with vitamin d. Any input would be appreciated to get me over the stubborn chest fat hump. Thanks again.

  • sandra Guerrero

    I really enjoyed this article I have a question I would like some help with …
    im 5’1 – I started in jan at 167lbs 44% body fat. Im now 125lbs 32% body fat even after losing so much weight I dont feel like my body fat is moving fast enough…
    I have been on a strict diet and my exercise is gym about 3 days a week in the mornings I do about 1-3 miles jogging as a warm up n then do some basic weights like squats and leg press some arms , but my real exercise is bootcamp on the othe 3-4days of the week …I really want to get down to about 20% but I don’t want to keep losing so much weight because once I get to 110 I look sick. I know I just have to drop fat and build muscle so I can be lean but not too skinny.. but how do u suggest I drop 12% body fat.. I eat well( im on herbalife) and I work out 5-7 days a week n im at a plateau.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Great job on your weight loss. That rocks.

      I like what you’re doing. Don’t worry about WEIGHT so much–focus on body composition and let your weight do what it will.

      The fact is women look awesome once they get below 20% body fat, so let’s just shoot for that.

      That said, are you currently losing fat or are you stuck?

      • sandra Guerrero

        Thanks for the response! I just started your book hopefully that will help.. but to answer your question.. I continue to drop weight but my body fat will not even move … so I stopped taking my HERBALIFE supplements and started a shredz fat burner and Multi Vitamin for women to see if maybe introducing something new would do the trick..I Know nothing about fitness or nutrition, before my pregnancy I had a killer body, super lean and tight I even had somewhat of a 4 Pack lol but ive never eaten healthy or worked out In my life , good genes I guess! But now I just feel like I have to much body fat for my size and weight.

        • Michael Matthews


          Shredz is a shit company with 100% shit products. Stay away from them.

          Let’s start with diet. Check this out:


          • sandra Guerrero

            Thanks for the link, ive actually been reading alot on your site its great, and your womens book thinner leaner stronger, the calculator says my 20% calorie deficit is 1347 I usually eat 1200 with my macro at 40% protein 40% carb 20% fat but im such a terrible picky eater I can never hit my numbers the way I would like to , I actually just started this concept about 3 weeks ago as advice from a friend and also a reefeed day to increase leptin since I hit a platue .. I think my biggest issue is hitting my protien since I drink most of it thru my herbalife products but my carbs and fats I hit good. Just if I try to eat more protein to hit my numbers I end up going over on fats! It has me crazy really lol im going to look into a meal plan made by u guys , its just like I said I dont eat to many different things :/ it makes it really hard on me and thats why I started herbalife so id have less meals to worry about

          • Michael Matthews


            Ah okay. 1200 is a bit low IMO. Best is creating a meal plan that contains foods you like and hits your numbers. Don’t try to figure it out on the fly every day.

            I would try to get at least half of your daily protein from food, not powders. And honestly I’m not a fan of HL or any MLMs–mediocre products for a lot of money.

            We could definitely do a meal plan for you.

          • sandra Guerrero

            Thanks, I replied to u on Facebook. Id love some info on the meal plans, the reason I love HL is because I enjoy the shakes they provide me with the nutrition I need which I know I wont eat, when I say im picky u really have no idea lol and as a memeber I get my products 50% off so its fairly cheap for me, way cheaper then all the groceries needed to meal prep atleast. I know I wont eat right without the simplicity my products offer.

          • Michael Matthews

            Honestly if you’re fine living off HL you’d love a good meal plan, lol. Much more enjoyable.

            Check this out:


  • Caroline Clarke

    I have recently finished Slim in 6 and have now moved onto Insanity. I wake up around 6 AM and have a glass of water but am never sure whether (or what) I’m supposed to eat if I work out at 7:45 AM (busy mom, y’know). I’ve been having a banana or an orange about 45 minutes before my workout but am not sure if I should have anything at all? Any thoughts?

  • Jessica

    Hi Matthew! I am fairly new to this concept (fat loss / muscle growth). I am a female, 32 yo, 5’2 115 currently but I have a super small frame and my guess of my body fat is around 25% based on caliper measurements. I have been doing P90X and am on my last week. I love the muscle growth I’ve seen in my arms and such but haven’t seen much results on fat loss around my inner thighs and stomach. I would like to try the fasted training when I start my 2nd round of P90X in a few weeks, to help speed up the fat-loss portion.
    Anyway my question is, how soon after the workout can I have nutrition (of either the whey or whole food variety) if I take yohimbine, since it says that post-meal insulin spikes negate the effects?

  • Duong Phat

    Hi Mike,

    Great article! I’m wondering if I’m able to do weight training in the morning in fed mode then do cardio in the afternoon in fasted mode, would it be more effective?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I’d reverse that.

  • Chris

    Question, I like to eat something before I workout/run because I get very dizzy and faint during my workout if I don’t (due to a lower BP ) is it going against the
    “fasting” state if I have fruit/protein, not a huge amount, pre-workout? Then consume normal sized lean meals after workout and at dinner time? Ideally, id like to eat a breakfast between 9-10 am, workout at 11:30 am and continue the rest of my day normal meals.. will this prevent weight loss? Im really trying to cut down on body fat

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah it will but that’s fine. If you can do just one scoop of whey protein, that’ll be best. It does spike insulin but not as much as carbs and such.

      No it won’t prevent weight loss. Fasted training isn’t necessary for losing weight.

  • Marcy

    Hello, I have a quick question, after I stopped lifting wts,,,, my quad muscle shrunk, atropy… now I see saggy loose skin. is this because the size of the muscle created this space in the leg and once the muscle was removed the space is empty and loose. or is it just fat or a combo of both? should I do heavy or light wt to remove this saggy skin. I am female and prefer not to have the thicker muscle I had before.

  • Jay

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for this article. I’m 25, female, and over the past few years I’ve lost 50 pounds and kept it off, using a combination of diet and exercise. I’m now at 180 pounds, but my body fat percentage really alarms me (47%!!). I eat right, and I’ve recently (about a year ago) started working out with Fitness Blender programs, so my workouts are well structured and vary between moderate cardio, strength, kettlebells, and HIIT. I feel amazing, and have seen tremendous improvement in my body shape, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. But I feel that my body fat percentage is skewed by this old stubborn fat and the fact that I am naturally very bottom-heavy. I can feel my muscles but I can’t see them as well as I would like, and it’s very discouraging, since I workout harder, lift heavier, and eat better than any ‘skinny’ person I know! I should add that my blood work is great, my visceral fat is at 7%, I have a flat stomach and a thick lower body (pear-shape), and nobody even believes that I weigh 180 pounds. So my question is, am I doomed to be at this high percentage because of my body shape and stubborn fat? I know I should know better, but the truth is, that number really depresses me.

  • Jay

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for this article. I’m 25, female, and over the past few years I’ve lost 50 pounds and kept it off, using a combination of diet and exercise. I’m now at 180 pounds, but my body fat percentage really alarms me (47%!!). I eat right, and I’ve recently (about a year ago) started working out with Fitness Blender programs, so my workouts are well structured and vary between moderate cardio, strength, kettlebells, and HIIT. I feel amazing, and have seen tremendous improvement in my body shape, cardiovascular endurance, and strength. But I feel that my body fat percentage is skewed by this old stubborn fat and the fact that I am naturally very bottom-heavy. I can feel my muscles but I can’t see them as well as I would like, and it’s very discouraging, since I workout harder, lift heavier, and eat better than any ‘skinny’ person I know! I should add that my blood work is great, my visceral fat is at 7%, I have a flat stomach and a thick lower body (pear-shape), and nobody even believes that I weigh 180 pounds. So my question is, am I doomed to be at this high percentage because of my body shape and stubborn fat? I know I should know better, but the truth is, that number really depresses me.

    • Michael Matthews

      Great job!

      Let’s take a look at your diet first:


      LMK how it compares…

      • Jay

        Compares pretty poorly, in terms of caloric requirements 🙂 I eat high quality food (all the stuff on your list is in my pantry!), but definitely too much of it, based on the calculator you link in your article. All the other calculators I’ve used usually put me in 2,200-2700(!) range when I factor for physical activity, and yours had it at 1750, which is a huge difference and definitely enough to hinder progress. I’ve bought your book, and along with this, should be a good starting point for my next round of weight loss. Thank you, and will check back in with you in a couple of months!

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah, I figured. 😉

          Most other calculators are WAY off. The activity multipliers are just too high.

          LMK how everything goes!

          • Jay

            Great book! It was reassuring to know I was training right, after years of ‘trainers’ telling me to put the heavy weights down. But I needed a course in fat-loss nutrition. 1 week in and I’m 2lbs down on 1550-1650 calories, but I’m having some trouble fitting in the protein requirements in that calorie range and I’m terrified of losing muscle. So I got the AccuMeasure caliper, and it shows my body fat in the 25-30% range (I still suck at taking a good reading), while that bio electric impedance scale showed it at 47%, could it really be THAT far off?! I’m not complaining, the 30% reading made much more sense to me as it is very close to what I see in the mirror. Thank you!

          • Michael Matthews

            Thanks! Yeah bioimpedance can be REALLY inaccurate in certain testing conditions.

            This should help you get a more accurate idea of your bf%:


  • Sebastian

    Hi micheal, I’m Sebastian and I’m 15 years old. Im born in Februari. Especially this year I went into fitnessing and want to get lean like the athletes you see daily. I play in the regional volleyball team and my wish is to become just like them. Ripped abs for this year and after this year os school I’m planning to go to the fitnesscenter to make some muscle mass. But for now my problem is that stubborn fat. I do a very clean diet of eating 5-6 times a day, fresh food and lots of protein, i avoid fats and i avoid carbs since 1-2 weeks. I wake up in the moring snd do my daily workout on an empty stomach. The abs keep on getting bigger but my fat does not decline I dont know what to do, what do you think?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey man! Great on your sports. Honestly at your age I wouldn’t recommend focusing on “getting ripped.” It’s more important to ensure you’re feeding your body plenty of food for overall development reasons.

      For instance, you wouldn’t want to be in a calorie deficit at your age.

  • Jules Noneofyourbiz

    I have third stage kidney disease and have trouble absorbing the nutrients I need. This also makes it important for me to maintain a healthy weight. I unfortunately gained weight due to Resperdol and was able to get down to 160 and maintain it, I am 5’6″. Is this going to be a healthy option for me? thanks in advance 😀

  • eva


  • eva

    hello.your articles are very interesting and great job by the way but i have a question for you and i really hope you can help..objectivly someone could say that i have a nise lean body but when it comes to my calves i have muscle and also fat around them that make them look big ..my calves were not always like that but there was a period when i lifted a lot of weights in the gym without knowing that i should be cerefull and they now look like swollen.i have been told that cardio helps and some exercises but the fat on them is’nt easy to burn and i would really like to know your opinion.thank you very mush..

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Hmm interesting. You’ll definitely want to cut out any calf training and are you sure it isn’t just a body fat percentage issue?


      • eva

        hello michael. thank’s for responding and you are probably right but i would like to know how could i make my legs leaner and not loose body fat from all over my body?in other words is there any excersise that could reduce body fat and muscle from my legs and calf?i heard a lot of jogging is great but i would also like your opinion before i do anything..

  • Grant

    Hi Michael,

    I’m 19 years old, and I lost about 110 lbs over the past 6-7 months (I’m 6’1″ and 195 lbs right now). I’m pretty sure that during my diet I consumed too few calories per day, which is why I’m dealing with some stubborn fat and loose skin. I am beginning to do cardio in the mornings while having fasted, and I also am looking to drink some caffeine before doing cardio to increase fat burning. But to me, that seems to defeat the purpose of fasting, since drinking the caffeine would break up the fast. Does drinking caffeine actually interfere with the benefits on working out after fasting?


    • Michael Matthews

      Great job! Caffeine doesn’t break the fast. Calories can. If you keep your calorie intake around or below 30, you’ll be fine.

  • Talal

    Hey Michael.
    First of all, I’m a big fan of your articles that are extremely detailed and easy to understand! So, thanks for that! 😉
    I’m a 16 year old guy and 5’8, I’ll turn 17 in less than 2 months, I weigh about 150 lbs and I have gained quite a lot of fat over the past year while i was busy studying!
    I need to lose some fat and build some muscle while I’m at it.
    I plan to try fasting and training in the morning while fasting with BCAA’s, but my mom, how mom’s usually are, is a bit apprehensive.
    My questions are: Are BCAA’s safe for me to take? Are there any side effects?
    Is there anything else I should know before supplementing with them?

    I’d really appreciate your advice!
    Thanks again so much in advance!

    • Michael Matthews


      Cool on your stats. Yes they’re safe for you. What you DON’T want to do is drastically restrict your calories, BTW. It’s important that you eat enough for overall development and growth. I’d recommend a small deficit (10%).

  • JonGaxi

    Hi Mike, thank you for all the recommendations on the supplements. In regards to caffeine, should that be obtained through coffee, green tea or chocolate? or do you recommend a certain product that worked for you?

    Thanks for all your great work. I love the natural approach!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I like to get my caffeine from my pre-workout. 🙂

  • Renier

    Mike If you are doing heavy workout of chest, and abs( the ultimate workout that is on your web) how many calories do you burn in that workout? and how many in the ultimate leg workout(including the optional exercises)?I know that if might be different for everyone, but how many more o less? Thanks

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question. This seems to be fairly accurate:


      That said I don’t worry much about exact cals burned per workout. I prefer this for dieting:


      • Renier

        So with that method you don’t need to track the kals burned per workout right?, but what do you do if you add some cardio that day, and how do you eat the days that you rest? do you eat the same amount of cals everyday?

        • Michael Matthews

          Exactly. The only people that have trouble with a general TDEE calculation type of approach are people that are very active throughout the day.

          For them honestly buying a simple activity tracker is best–it gives a good snapshot of total cals burned.

          Yes you eat the same amount every day.

          • Renier

            I will give it a try to see how it goes, I’m not very active so I think it will work for me, and is by far an easier thing to do than tracking the kals burned per workout, at the end of the week my caloric deficit will be 3500 regardless if I track the kcals burned per workout or not, thank you very much for you help sir.

          • Michael Matthews

            Great sounds good. LMK how it goes.

  • jjw

    I currently take Isopure protein powder, a BCAA, and L carnitine prework out. if I was to do the fasting workout should I not take the Isopure protein powder pre workout? and can I take the L carnitine with yohimbine pre workout?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes that’s right. You can take the L-car as a pre yes.

  • sagar

    Hey. My question is about yohimbim, if we take it with a pre-workout drink would it be oaky. and this is if i go to the gym right when i wake up

    • Michael Matthews

      Yes so long as the pre-workout doesn’t have more than 30-40 cals.

  • BlueRunnerSs

    Hey Mike!

    I just read your thinner, leaner stronger book and it was a great read. I can’t wait to start your workout plan after I’m done my current one!

    I have a question though about the yohimbine. It’s illegal in canada so I was wondering what alternatives there are?

    I’ve been taking apple cider vinegar pills and I’m not really sure if I’m wasting my money on them or not. I’ve also heard a lot about Garcinia cambogia. Do you know much about that as a weight loss pill?

    I’m 21, 5’4, 135lbs, and 24% bf. I’m trying to get down to 18-20% and hoping to get there with your help! Thanks for the great site!


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Sarah! Definitely let me know how you do on the program.

      Hmm no direct replacement for yohimbine.

      Yeah the apple cider pills are a waste of money for weight loss purposes. Garcinia too:


      Cool on your stats and goal. That’s very doable! Thanks for the support!

  • Pingback: The Definitive Guide to Intermittent Fasting | ragymwise()

  • Daman

    My height is 5’9 inches and my weight is 57. I have a lean structure but not toned and I have a little fat in my tummy.. I have no access to the gym but want to tone my body and get rid if my tummy fat as I need a flat stomach….whatever I eat d whole fat accumulates on my stomach.. Help me out

  • J. Porter

    Hey Mike, this has been great info!!!! I’ve received my supplements and I can’t thank you enough (GTE, Caffeine, Yohimbine and my BCAA’s). I’ve been following your weight lifting protocol in “Bigger Leaner Stronger.” I noticed you left the GTE and Caffeine out of your pre workout routine. I’m asking because I need to be dropping serious fat. I’ve lost over 60Ibs over the last 6 months using IF, then I purchased your book and realized I have a ways to go. I’m 5’5 weigh 168 lbs with a BMI of 28.2 and around 26.5% fat. I’m on the cutting phase and I am using your HIIT protocol 3 days a week as well. I just wanted to know should I include the caffeine in the morning with my BCAA’s and Yohimbine? I’m assuming the GTE should be taken with food?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Let me know how everything goes!

      Yeah definitely on the caffeine and technically GTE would be best taken with the caffeine and yohimbine but it makes me nauseous on an empty stomach…

      • J. Porter

        Thanks Mike, I really do appreciate you always finding the time to answer not only my questions but everybody who reaches out to you. I truly feel as if I got a lot more than just a book. You are a PARTNER on this journey with me. I’m in week 1 day 3 and I’m beyond committed. I’ve just purchased “Thinner Leaner Stronger” for my wife who like me has struggled with weight her entire life. Thanks for all you do!!!!! I’ve been sending every and anyone who listens to me to check you out. This is amazing!!!!

        • Michael Matthews

          Thanks man, I really appreciate it and really do enjoy keeping in touch with everyone. Seeing all the results is the real pay off! Great with your wife! Talk soon!

  • Kaborna

    Hi Mike, do you think you can help me out here? I’m a female, I weigh 134 lbs and I’m 5’7. I look pretty good all over except for my butt. I was born with a genetically big butt which sticks out like a sore thumb due to my slim figure. I don’t weight lift or run but I dances a lot which helps me to stay fit. I eat healthy food and put myself on a strick diet for the time being to try to lose weight off my stubborn fat butt. I even tried running at one point but it only made me lose weight off my legs making my butt look bigger then it actually is. What can I do to lose a few lbs off my butt?

    • Michael Matthews

      Definitely! It sounds like we just need to address your overall body fat %. Check this out:



      • Kaborna

        Thanks Mike for the help, however, now I have another problem. I now know what my daily calorie deficit is, my body fat percentages (between 24-26 %) and the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate I need to eat daily. I’m pretty solid on the fat and carbohydrate however I’m not consuming enough protein. For me I need to comsume 244 grams of protein, 84 grams of fat, and 108 grams of carbohydrates daily. I only eat about little over a hundred grams of protein daily let alone 244 grams of protein. What my problem is trying to maintain the amount of fat I eat daily while trying to increase the amount of protein I eat daily. Do you know of any food and or drinks that has a high source of protein but also at the same time has a low source of fat?

  • Wayne Scott

    Hi Michael, thanks for the great articles, I’ve been wondering as I turn 50 this year if i’d ever be able to get that fat off without a knife. I’ve managed to loose 27kg (about 59lb) in the last 12 months just cutting a lot of junk out of my diet (white bread, energy drinks and full cream milk just to name a couple of evil things)

    You’ve given me some hope that I might be able to get lean. My main problem though is I’ve got some issues with my back, arthritis and degenerative disk disease, so i’m wondering if you have any recommendations for some effective work outs that don’t require much stress on that. As I don’t have much to spend on expensive supplements and products any suggestions along that line would be greatly appreciated.

  • lalita

    Hi Mike, I have issue with my hips as my upper body is totally perfect, but my thighs and hips have lot of fat stored:( So just want to know from you whether losing that fat, cardio is better or floor exercises. Please help !!

  • AbsNOW

    Awesome article Mike! All of these recommendations are perfectly on target! “fasted training” in moderation definitely helped me speed up my fat burning process, as well as getting in those supplements you mention in the article. As long as you take BCAA’s as you point out, you should be good!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man! Yes fasted training has really sped up the process of going from 8-9% to 6%. I don’t lose much strength either, which is nice.

  • Andrew

    Mike, do you perform BOTH weight training and cardio in a fasted state?

    • Michael Matthews

      When I’m cutting yes.

  • Jose

    I’m a 17 year old guy. I’ve been obese my whole child hood weighed about 195 seven months ago with 25% body fat. I’ve been on a clean diet since January and now I weigh 145 and dropped down my fat percentage to 13.65% I have upper abs but can’t seem to see the lower ones due to the excess amount of skin that I have. I exercise about 5 times a week, weight lifting and abs mostly. Why do I still have extra skin?

  • Dean

    Mike where do you stand on taking CLA for weight loss?

    • Michael Matthews

      Unfortunately it’s unreliable. It seems to help some people and not others. I don’t think it’s worth it.

  • Pingback: The Definitive Guide to the “Fat Burner” Supplement: What Works and What Doesn’t and Why | Muscle For Life()

  • Adel-Alexander

    Hey Mike, I know this is a weird request, but I was wondering if you could make an article on how to be a bodybuilder with IBS? I love reading your articles about various of stuff and I wanted to know your intake on it. I have a slight well.. bad digestion, my doctors told me I have a mild case of IBS. it’s not bad but still, I wanted to know if there’s something I can do to get the best of both worlds

  • Anja

    Hi Mike,

    Tried to post earlier but my post has disappeared.

    I’ve unknowingly been following Leangains, but after reading your articles I’ve started supplementing with BCAA as recommended.

    However, I’m a little confused to when I have to take it.
    1. Before any type of workout?
    2. Between pre-workout and training?

    Also, your book and articles have inspired me to finally shedding the last pregnancy kg’s and get fit for a second pregnancy.


    • Michael Matthews

      Doh! Not sure what happened there.

      You only need BCAAs before fasted training:


      That’s awesome! 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.

  • SkateboardT

    Hi Mike,

    Can I train the same way when I’m cutting and bulking? I am wanting to start the StrongLifts 5 x 5 programme, I’m going to cut first and then when I get to 10% BF, I will bulk. I will eat less then my maintenance when cutting and I will eat a surplus when I’m bulking. When cutting I will do HIIT cardio everyday and when bulking I play basketball one a weeks and train 3. Will this work?


    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah you can. Train heavy and try to make gains.

      I wouldn’t doing HIIT every day. I would do 2-3 x per week with your bball and lifting…

      • SkateboardT

        Thanks for that Mike. I will do HIIT only 3 times a week then.

        Can you help me here? I’ve got a Weightwatches scale that measures my weight and body fat by sending electrical signal through my body. I’ve also got a Accu-Measure Body Fat Caliper. The WeightWatchers scale says I’m 19.8% body fat and the Accu-Measure says I’m 11.6% body fat, this is a huge difference, which is more accurate?


  • hello Michael,
    I am 6f 1in. I started working out a year ago and i lost fat pretty much every where and muscle growth is also good. I am happy about it.
    I am working to get abs and since 2 months, i have completely checked my diet.
    The abs are visible and if i take picture they look good. But my stomach skin is loose. It can be fat as u said above. I want abs and i want stomach to be tight also. as you have in the picture
    please give me a solution. I have attached my pic also. Thank you

  • Chris Vera

    Hi Mike, I am really depressed and sad about my body weight. I am very insecure with my chest fat as I am sure many men are when they have excess fat on their chest fat. I recently completed the master cleanse 10 day lemonade diet and lost 18 pounds but the stubborn belly fat on my belly and chest will not go away. I am trying to do the best I can to lose weight in those areas. Can we email each other and talk about your transformation? I really want to learn from you and apply that to my life. I am so tired of feeling down. If so, thank you so so so much. My email is [email protected].

  • Debi

    Mike, just saw ur web site. Very informative. My question: I weight train 4X week – 2 upper / 2 lower days and people say Im in awesome shape – but we r more critical of ourselves – Im not a big breaky person, except I do like my coffee in the morning. I try to have some protein b4 I go work out but see that u r saying to fast b4 workout and I will burn more fat as long as I take BCAA’s and Yohimbine HCL. How much Yohimbine should I take as I weigh 125 lbs? Also, Im not much for cardio. Is it really necessary to do cardio to lose fat or is it more for the heart? What do you recommend for toning the thighs – its a tough area and I don’t seem to have any luck 🙁

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Cool on what you’re doing. If you’re already lean then yes fasted training can really help get rid of the last bits of stubborn fat.

      Yohimbine = 0.2 mg per kg of body weight.

      Cardio becomes important for fat loss as you get leaner because you simply need to burn more energy…

  • Tom

    Hi Mike, wasn’t completely sure where to put this, but continuing the theme of supplements. Do you know anything about/ever looked into supplementing and stretching to grow taller?

    I’ve heard things such as L-Arginine and Melatonin being used but looking to you as a reliable source do you know anything about increasing HGH levels, or exercise to promote growth in height?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Tom! I’ve heard of things but haven’t heard of anything actually helping or working, including GH.

  • victoria

    I’m new to your website and I haven’t checked out all your articles yet so you might be able to answer my question by pointing me to a different article. Can you tell me what your ‘exercising 6 days a week’ consists of as far as weight training, cardio (low intensity, high intensity), etc? I’m working on body recomp and trying to bring my body fat percentage down a good 5-7%. I’m currently weight training 5-6 times a week and a workout session almost always leaves me too tired to think about additional cardio. Could you tell me your opinion on how I should be dividing a week’s worth of exercising as far as how much and what type of cardio I should or shouldn’t be including? Thanks a ton!

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Victoria!

      Yeah my schedule is currently weightlifting Mon – Fri and cardio Sun, Tues, and Weds.

      I’ve been cutting, which I’m done with now, so I will probably add some lifting on Saturday.

      Here’s what I like to do for cardio:


      • victoria

        awesome, thanks for the response. gonna start sprinting this week.

        • Michael Matthews

          YW great LMK how it goes

  • Nicole Walker

    Hi I have so many questions and I’m hoping you can help please. I’m 21 I started working out at 17 and lost about 115 -130 pounds withing 2 years but then I got an eating disorder ( anerexia) and things went downhill as I’m trying to get on a healthy path and get ahold of my life I noticed I still have fat to lose and want to be able to do it proper with minimal to no excess skin. I was wondering if you would be able to tell me what excercised could help ( mainly abdominal,back,legs and arms) so pretty much everywhere. I have worked very hard and find it difficult to not see the results I was hoping on. Any help you can offer aside from the great article would be amazing thank you very much!!

  • maik

    Jacqui L., New Zealand

    I stumbled upon Mike’s website while searching for a
    solution to the ‘post-baby belly’. He seemed to be talking a lot of sense but I
    still wanted to be sure this book would be right for me before purchasing. So I
    emailed Mike my questions. He answered right away and was friendly,
    knowledgeable, positive, encouraging, and trustworthy.

    So I purchased the book, read it, and have now begun to
    implement the advice. In only two weeks I can already see results. Although I’m already fairly lean, I’ve struggled for six years to get rid of the last bit of
    stomach fat caused by pregnancy. But finally there’s been a breakthrough.

    The area is noticeably firmer and I’m already feeling so much better about myself. I can see that if a person follows all of the advice in Mike’s book, then they will achieve results. He knows what he’s talking about and it is so refreshing to have someone pass on the knowledge that’s actually going to work.

    I leave the page here: http://tinyurl.com/nlg7xcd

  • Tom

    Hi Mike,
    I just purchased your book Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. I’ve mapped out a diet plan based on the cals/macros you recommend, but I have a concern about what my “maintenance” calories are. I work a physically demanding job where I’m physically active most of the day, plus lifting 3 days per week. Should I up my calories or stick to the guidelines you recommend?


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Good question. This will help you:


      • Tom

        Cool, just added those numbers into my spreadsheet. I managed to get down to about 13-14% bodyfat, with decent strength (can do 12 pullups with bodyweight and incline dumbbell press 80% of my bodyweight for 12reps). I’m 5’11 and 166.4, so now I’m looking to bulk up to around 178. Thanks again for all the helpful info.

        • Michael Matthews

          Great! Let me know how it goes!

  • mathew

    hi mike, I used to way over 85kilos and have dropped to 72kilos from cardio and dieting, I have only fairly recently started muscle gaining by doing pump classes at the gym, but I was just wondering if you had any strategic exercises for me to loose the stubborn fat in my chest and lower stomach it just doesn’t seem to go away and its so frustrating because it is almost summer and I am not at my goal look. 🙂

  • Luke Denyer

    Hey Mike, thanks for all of this. I’ve followed your weight gaining program to the T and now I’m on the cutting cycle. Its has worked well for me and I’ve been recommending you to all of my friends. (Expect a rise a in your new book orders soon!)

    Quick Question about Yohimbine:

    You say “… post-meal insulin spikes completely negate the weight loss benefits of yohimbine, so it should only be used in a fasted state.” If I take Yohimbine 20-30 minutes before a workout (along with some BCAA’s and caffeine), how long do I need to stay in a fasted state after my workout before eating my post-workout meal to get the full effects from Yohimbine?

    You’re the man.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Luke! I really appreciate it.

      You can eat after. The yohimbine is working while you’re training. Its effects only last about 30-40 min.

      • Luke Denyer

        Thanks for the promptly reply. Cheers

        • Michael Matthews


  • Tupac

    Hey Mike!
    I went from 101kg (january) to 85kg (today) but now i have problem to lose the stubborn fat.

    I do 30min HIIT training (sometimes abdominal exercises too) every morning before work (been doing it for a month) while fasting, only thing im having is a fatburning pill.
    After work i go weight training for about 90min.

    Is this the right way to go or should i change something?

    I eat oatmeal with proteinshake(milk) after the HIIT training, for lunch i usually have chicken and rice, between dinner and lunch i usually eat 500g of quark(low fat & carbs) and after the gym i also eat something like chicken and rice plus a proteinshake(no milk).

    Would appreciate if you could give me any advice 🙂

  • daygoro polvon

    Do you have a date on supp for fasted training?

    • Michael Matthews

      Not yet as I’m working on getting my existing products restocked but I will say Jan/Feb. May be earlier.

  • Okay Mike! We’ve emailed each other. I am trying to gain 5-10 pounds of lean mass on pec/delt/lat/biceps. My only concern is gaining fat weight where I store it, which is obliques and lower back. I’m 6′ and about 188. I would guess 8%-10% max. I’ve always been scared of carbs, but have recently upped them. I also started Yohimbine, but have not seen a difference yet. It’s been about 2 weeks or so. Your thoughts?

  • David

    Hey. This all has seemed quite helpful and I just started this fasted training after about a month of dieting and cutting with my own methods. Now that I’m doing this fasted training for a little while I just wanted to know if I could do my cardio in the morning (which would be a 1.5 -4.5 mile run with body weight exercises.)as well. I would alternate with gym work outs most likely but I just wanted to know if there would be a big difference.

  • Motivated Guy

    Hi Mike,

    I plan to use Phoenix to lose stubborn fat.

    Here is my plan:
    HIIT days: Fasted state, 2 capsules, 10 oz coffee before HIIT; 2 capsules around dinner
    Weight Training days: Fasted, Pulse pre-workout (it has carbs); 2 capsules around dinner

    Does this make sense? What I am confused about is if I should take fat-burner along with pre-workout drink?


    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the support!

      That’s totally fine. I like it. You don’t have to take it right when you take caffeine as caffeine stays in your system for several hours but you’d want it within 3 hours or so.

  • Joseph Dieuvil

    Awesome article bud … Been struggling with this problem for years; information has been truly helpful

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Let me know how it goes!

      • Joseph Dieuvil

        Thank you bud; what’s the best way to keep you in the loop? Email? FB?

        • Michael Matthews

          Either or. 🙂

  • Rajith

    what about the possibility of gaining muscles when training in a fasted state? while cutting I agree that can’t expect much of muscle growth. But may be can gain to no to little muscles at least. But does that chance eliminated when doing the workout in fasted state even though consume BCAA? may be this is not a good idea to do for “Skinny Fat” guys? what do you think?

  • Hi Michael!
    Totally LOVE your books and articles! I’ve been weight training 7 months now and seeing some results 🙂 Does all your info re: nutrition for gaining/cutting/fat burning and supplements apply to women too? I know we have ultra stubborn fat but is that the only real difference (along with the daily calorie intake requirements obviously)? Many thanks!!! 😀

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Julia! That’s great!

      Yup, the physiology is the same!

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Morgen

    Hi Mike!

    Are there any potential drawbacks to doing an AM workout consisting of 20-30 min weight lifting followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio fasted AS WELL AS doing an PM workout in a fasted state?

    I’m thinking of trying something like this (below). I usually eat more throughout the day but would it be more beneficial to do my second workout in a fed state (as I’ve been doing).I’m not sure, would two fasted workouts a day be too taxing and possibly hinder my results? Also, should I consume some complex carbs 1-2 hrs pwo on a cut? I’ve read that if you wait 30-60 minutes after working out to consume carbs your body will still use fat as source of fuel but if this is true, then what about replenishing your gylocen levels/spiking insulin pwo? Is this not desiresable when cutting?

    8:00-930am weight lifting + cardio
    Afterwards: Protein Shake (I’ve been using trutein) + apple

    1215 chicken (25 grams of protein) and 3oz veggies

    2pm 1/4cp oats with cottage cheese

    3 Crossfit class
    Afterwards: protein shake (also use pro supps tc-f isolate whey) with mixed berries, small banana and cottage cheese

    630 fish or meat (25g of p) plus 3 oz veggies

    Snacks (as needed): hardboiled egg whites

    I typically do lighter weights/more reps in AM with a run, fasted. I’ve never done CF fasted. I always have pretty big meals (lots of good carbs-oats, wild rice, sweet potato, etc) before because it’s really intense : heavy weights and HIIT.

    Thanks a bunch! 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Hmm how many days per week are you doing this? This is going to take quite a toll on your body when you’re in a deficit…

      • Morgen

        I workout 6 days a week. Would it be better to just stuck with an AM run fasted (no weights) and then crossfit in the PM? I’m living abroad right now and, for lifting heavy weights, my options are either cf or a crappy gym with a few dumbbells, etc.

        • Michael Matthews

          Running and Xfit 6 x per week? Again this would probably be too much for me unless your Xfit workouts aren’t too intense.

          • Morgen

            On average, they are not as intense as my old CF gym. When I trained there, I did CF every morning and in the evenings ran 3-5miles depending on how I felt. But, I was eating upwards of 2000 calories ( prob closer to 2200 actually). At this gym, I’d say maybe 80% we do a pretty tough WOD. For me the intensity really depends on if the WOD is endurance based (not very intense) or we’re doing something like thrusters or cleans (which are more intense). Do you think running 4x fasted plus CF 6x is still too much( eating 1630cal daily)

          • Michael Matthews

            Ah okay. Honestly I would think that’s too much if you’re in a deficit. I would start with 3 – 4 x Xfit and 3 – 4 x cardio per week and see how your body responds…

  • Harsh Singh

    Mike – What an article. I have been addicted to fitness and training over the past 3 years or so and in my usual routine I tend to read about min 4-5 different articles a day on several different strategies/topics covering stubborn weight loss, muscle growth and workout techniques etc., but I have never read such an effective and to the point explanation of how to get to single digit body fat. It aligns closely with IF (Intermittent Fasting) principles, but in most of the IF related articles the whole idea is explained with a lot of complexity as oppose to highlighting the simple things that actually works.

    I would like to add this for the readers that all of the strategies that Mike has put together are the best way to loose body fat. If you’re on a path to get to a shredded state, look no further and apply the above to see faster results.

    I am currently following most of the pointers mentioned above with an exception of a few which I will implement into my routine from tomorrow on wards. (Switching the source of caffeine, HIIT instead of Less and only BCAA prior to weight training)

    I am currently at approx 10% body fat and still holding fat around lower abdomen, love handles and lower back and working towards getting into 6-7%

    I am super tempted to buy your books and do a thorough reading on additional tips.

    Thank you for sharing this great article and helping all the learners. 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much! I appreciate it.

      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.

  • mohmmed shabana

    Finally solve the fat and stubborn fat mystery: what it’s, why you’ve got it and the way to get rid of it.

    – Discover your own personal fat set point: the purpose at that fat becomes visible. learn the way to each increase your purpose|point} and stay under it point thus fat isn’t any longer a difficulty.

    – management your harmful surroundings: however the environment and bound chemicals and hormones have an effect on your body composition and health – why you’re harmful and the way to avoid and offset the injury. i am going to teach you to regulate all that.

    – recognize what foods to eat and foods to avoid: a comprehensive list of fat smoothing superfoods and acid/alkaline foods, at the side of a special category of foods that fights stubborn fat


  • Morgen

    Hi Mike!

    Should you cycle off the caffeine and yohimbine for a week or so before running another cycle? Or can you just keep taking it until you achieve desired results…?


    BTW, love, love, love the Q&A videos! Please keep ’em coming 😀

    • Michael Matthews

      Great! Yeah they’re more effective when taken together.

      Caffeine you don’t have to cycle but I usually run yohimbine for 4-5 weeks and then take a week off to rebuild “sensitivity” to it.

      Thanks man! Definitely more to come.

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  • Laurie
  • Svardkvinna

    Hi Mike. I found your website just recently. It’s very interesting and I really like the fact that you actually answer people who have problems they need to overcome. So here’s mine. I’ve been lifting and doing HIIT for over a year, 5’6”, *was* about 133 lbs., 18% BF. However a month and a half ago, the hubs and I needed to remodel our basement to get the house ready to sell at the end of this month. We’d been working all weekend, every weekend, and all evening, every evening after getting home from work. And no workouts for me for three weeks until this week. And being tired and the hours being late, we’d also been eating crap for dinner during this time, with the result of my having gained about 5-6 lbs., *every bit of it* on my waist. So I literally look pregnant and physically feel like shit. I started back at the gym this week and eating my usual intake (whole foods, proper portions of each macro) and I also started on Phoenix today. What else can I do to fix this? Please help, I really need to get this off fast because this is really physically uncomfortable! Thanks for any advice you could give me.

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  • victoria

    When is a good time to take Yohimbine since you say it’s supposed to be taken in a fasted state? I guess my question is once you take it after being in a fasted state, do you have to wait awhile before eating?

  • Diegocar24

    Great job on all your articles! You’re really helping people out on getting fit and healthy without much BS, and most can’t claim the same, so congrats!
    Regarding the cathecins, is it possible to drink green tea cups instead of taking the pills? If yes, how many tea bags/cups equal to 600 mg on pills?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man!

      Unfortunately you’d have to drink a ridiculous amount of tea to hit 600 mg of catechins. If I remember correctly it’s like 40-50 cups, lol.

      • Diegocar24

        I have a big bladder so no prob. lol.

        • Michael Matthews


  • victoria

    for the yohimbine, you say to use it in a fasted state meaning don’t eat before taking it, but do you also have to wait to eat after taking it ? if so how long ?

    • Michael Matthews

      It’ll stay in your system 30-40 minutes.

  • Sussan

    I achieved eliminate my belly fat by following this
    method:> http://tinyurl.com/p3yzz4l

  • emily

    is it true that eating carbs at night is not the best choice? i usually mix a scoop of whey with egg whites and ciniomon to avoid carbs before i sleep

  • Fernando

    Hey Mike, I was wondering if it’s safe to take caffeine tablets with black tea and vitamin c’s drinks. Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews


      • Fernando

        k thnx

        • Michael Matthews


  • steve


    I was recently told about this site from a friend, and having been looking around the past few days. Appears to have a lot of good and interesting info. I have since spoke to another friend, and we are going to experiment with a couple suggestions above. We both picked up Modern BCAA+ and a new pre-workout supp from GNC called Accelerator (with the 5mg of Leucine already mixed in it). The only other item to add will be in the form of the yohimbine HCL. My friend is a weightlifter and I am doing BJJ 2-4x’s per week. Obviously the effects and results will be different, but should I still carry out the stack as listed above with the BCAA and Accelerator (with the already added Leucine) as well as the yohimbine for BJJ training ?

    I also plan to incorporate weightlifting at work when time permits, mostly minimal weights and sets, should I include the same stack or modify it ? I would appreciate any other suggestions you may have as well.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Steve!

      Cool on your plan. I like it. You won’t need the BCAAs if the pre-workout has 5g leucine though. Just an FYI. Yohimbine helps with fat loss but remember you must be fasted for it to work.

      Yes you could do the same before your weightlifting.

      • Steve

        Great. I’ll keep you posted. Also, thanks for the quick reply. Just got the yohimbine and will be putting it all together starting today. Again, thanks for the info.

        • Michael Matthews

          Sounds good and my pleasure!

  • Catherine

    I am from Cyprus, i want to use this medium to testify of how i got back my ex boyfriend after breakup, i and my boyfriend have been together for the past 3 years, recently his behaviour and character towards me changed and i later found out that he had another girlfriend who he was talking to on facebook, when i confronted him it led to quarelling which eventually led to breakup, i was emotionally down, i did all i could to get him back but all to no avail until i saw a post on a relationship forum about a spell caster who help people get back their lost loves, re-unite broken relationship and marriages at first i doubted it but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this spell caster via email, he helped me cast a re-union spell and my boyfriend came to me apologising for all his misdeed, we are happily together again. Contact this great spell caster for your marriage or relationship problems via this email [email protected] Goodluck

  • Diana

    I lost more than 17 pounds and literally re-shaped my body by
    following this treatment:> http://6-minutes-toskinny.blogspot.com
    I could not remove fat from my belly. But then one of my friends,
    He showed me a simple solution that I had never heard about on TV or read in any magazine. I followed this treatment for 3 weeks and lost 17 pounds in weight. I recommend this method to all my friends who have accumulated fat in the belly ..

  • Monica

    How would you suggest suing green tea extract? First thing in the morning, before workout?

    • Monica


    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah or with food if that makes you nauseous.

  • Peter C.F.

    Hi Mike. Quick question: do you recommend fasted HIIT cardio, or just fasted weightlifting? I was thinking of waking up and doing 30-40 minutes of HIIT in a fasted state. Then, during the afternoon, weightlifting (not fasted). Would you recommend this? If so, should I take BCAAs before doing the HIIT? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews
      • Peter C.F.

        Excellent article, Mike. Now I know all I need to know 🙂
        Thanks, great work as always.

        • Michael Matthews

          Great! Thanks!

  • Muhammad

    Hey Michael;
    Thank you so much for your detailed article about body metabolism. I have been fighting stubborn fat for a while now . Am 179 cm tall and 74 kg in weight. I have lower abdominal fat (that looks like skin folds/sagging appearing more while am in sitting positions). So I started your fasted plan along with supplements you recommended but I have two concerns:
    1. I got BCAA + G that you recommended but I read in one of your comments that this won’t be putting me in a fasting state anymore (though I fast for 8 hrs) and I just need to have BCAA (10-15 min before) plus its written that I should be taking it intra work out and you say before work out? what’s the case regarding having glutamine and its effect in weight loss and taking the BCAA + G intra work out?
    2. One of your comments you said that you do cardio and weight lifting separately? what did u mean? As I work out in fasting state followed by Cardio (4 days per week).
    3. What should be best protein supplement Nitro tech or Golden Standard 100%?
    Please help me as its affecting me psychologically (lower abdominal fat + side fat) though am average person closer to be slim and I need to lose body fat without losing muscle mass?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks for the comment!

      1. The insulin response is minimal. You’ll be fine.

      2. I lift in the mornings and do cardio at night.

      3. I prefer GS.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Muhammad

        Thank you so much ! Yes it will help, Your reply is highly appreciated … 🙂

        • Michael Matthews

          YW! 🙂

  • Greg

    Mike, this is a great article! I appreciate all of the information. I began my body transformation about 6 months ago. I’ve gone from 195 to 175 in that time and grown a little stronger. I am a 26 year old male, 5’6″
    Recently, I’ve really wanted to accelerate my fat loss and muscle gain (something I hear is nearly impossible to do simultaneously). I’m on a restricted calorie diet (about 1000 cal/day) and I workout twice a day 6x per week (Heavy lifting MWF AM plus T25 cardio PM). I’ve heard that this is a bad formula for weight loss and lean muscle retention, because my body will go into “starvation mode” and begin holding on to fat particularly in my midsection while tearing down my muscle.
    Please offer some advice on if I’m doing something wrong and what I can do to make sure that I do the right thing to get the results I want.


  • acirpr

    Mike thanks. Out of Phoenix right now. So I take caffeine and yohim be 2gether in a
    m. Fasted?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah take them before a fasted workout with your leucine/BCAAs.

  • Mo H

    Hi Mike, great article as always. Just a quick question, does Legion ship to the UK and do you know of any recommended suppliers for Yohimbine HCL supplement for the UK and finally do you recommend any particular brand of caffeine tablets? Thanks

    • Michael Matthews


      Yep we do and no I don’t because yohimbine isn’t approved for sale in the UK (lame).

      Any ol’ brand of caffeine tabs gets the job done.

      • Mo Hezwani

        Thanks for the reply,
        That is a shame that its not supplied here, i guess it would have to be shipped in from the US 🙂
        Thanks again.

        • Michael Matthews

          Exactly. YW.

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  • Sweaty Jain

    You have convinced me to do fasted. I only work out some mornings but mostly at night so how do i go about “Fasted” for mywork outs that are between 730-9 PM. how many hours before should I stop eating and are liquids still okay? Also, I am goign to look into getting BCAAs, for a female what is a greatt brand that is reasonable to get and what am i looking for in this brand or any to achieve maximum resutls with a good ratio? i keep seenig 8:1:1 but ive seen different ones that are better. Also i want to start taking Glutamine, when do you recommend taking that

  • Sweaty Jain

    And if i work out sometimes at 11 am, and wake up at 8 am, should I not eat for those 3 hours till i go in at 11? or how does that work. what is allowed or considered fasted?

  • Angelo

    First off, I really enjoyed the article, but secondly: I recently lost about 50lbs doing a low carb diet without really any exercise. While I lost a large amount of weight, I am still left with large thighs, a large gut, and excess skin around my arms and chest. I recently got a gym membership and at first began focusing on cardio while still remaining the low carb diet consisting of one or two meals a day with no snacks, and to my dismay nothing really changed. So about three weeks ago I switched to a more carb focused diet and now spend less time lifting weights than cardio. I still haven’t noticed any change in my excess fat or skin and am concerned whether I am doing anything wrong or should change how I’m attempting to go at losing at it. I hate looking into the mirror and not seeing any benefit from my effort.

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  • Aneudy Abreu

    Hi mike, Do you think i can grab your some your arcticles and translate them to spanish to use them in a facebook group and tag you as the author?

    • Michael Matthews

      Sure, thanks!

  • estrellita

    Jacqui L., New Zealand

    In only two weeks I can already see results following this

    method:>> http://tinyurl.com/nlg7xcd

    I stumbled upon Mike’s website while searching for a
    solution to the ‘post-baby belly’. He seemed to be talking a lot of sense but I
    still wanted to be sure this book would be right for me before purchasing. So I
    emailed Mike my questions. He answered right away and was friendly,
    knowledgeable, positive, encouraging, and trustworthy.

    So I purchased the book, read it, and have now begun to
    implement the advice. In only two weeks I can already see results. Although I’m
    already fairly lean, I’ve struggled for six years to get rid of the last bit of
    stomach fat caused by pregnancy. But finally there’s been a breakthrough. The
    area is noticeably firmer and I’m already feeling so much better about myself.
    I can see that if a person follows all of the advice in Mike’s book, then they
    will achieve results. He knows what he’s talking about and it is so refreshing
    to have someone pass on the knowledge that’s actually going to work.

    Tips:>> http://tinyurl.com/m4pz5ee

  • Casper

    Hi Michael.

    First off, thank you for a great article and site in general!

    I’ve been following the steps you outline here, for a month or so. I’ve lost 4 cm around the waist and approximately 2 kg, but my weight fluctuates a lot, and I no longer seem to lose any fat or weight. Which is why I’m writing here.
    Sorry for the lengthy post, I just want to make sure I give all the information.

    I’m 176 cm and my weight today at the gym was 69.6 kg. One month ago I was at 71.5 kg. 3 days ago I was at 68.7 kg. I don’t have a weight, so I can only measure my weight in the gym.

    I’m working out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, doing approximately 1 hour weight lifting followed by 15 minutes of spinning. When spinning I do 2 min warm, then 9 x 30 sec sprint with 60 sec slow biking in between, and then I end with 2 min cool-down. I keep the slow biking above 60 rpm at level 4 (I don’t know how different this is from bike to bike) and then crank it up to level 12 and stay above 110 rpm. It’s enough to make me unable to walk properly for a few minutes after. According to the bike’s measurements I’ve spend approximately 140 calories each time.

    I’ve only been working out for some months. Started in September doing calisthenics only, and in mid October I started in the gym. I was bulking (or tried to) until approximately one month ago.

    I’m doing fasted training now, and just take a caffeine tablet and some BCAA. I make sure I drink more or less the same amount of water before going to the gym and checking my weight. So, it can’t be the water that makes the difference.

    When I get back from workout I make a whey (Golden Standard) shake with 2 bananas, 20 almonds, 4 grams of creatine and some rice milk.
    I later eat 2 slices of bread (100 grams) with 140 grams of tuna.
    In total that should be 986 calories.

    For dinner I might eat some meat with potatoes or brown rice. Some days I might just eat a pizza, or a pita sandwich. But I’s unlikely to ever be more than 1000 calories for dinner.
    Even if I eat a banana or some dark chocolate as a snack, if I feel too hungry, I should still be under or close to 2000 calories. I don’t snack otherwise. (Never been a snack person.)

    I’ve been thinking that I’m just eating too little, but I haven’t lost muscle at all, on my upper body. I have on my legs though, but that was in the beginning when I found out I was too low in calorie intake. (1400-1500 calories.) Whenever I try to eat slightly more my weight will increase with something like 400 grams. When 1 kg of body fat is said to be approximately 7700 calories (even if it’s a very rough estimation and highly individual) it still doesn’t add up. I would have to eat at least 2000 calories in surplus to gain that much, which I definitely don’t. I just can’t eat that much, and I never drink anything but water, and the whey shake. Except for a piece of dark chocolate I’ve cut away all processed sugar.

    Outside of the workout, where I estimate I burn around 500 calories in total, including my 15 min bicycling back and forth, I’m as sedentary as you can possibly get, since I’ve been working for a blog for a while now, and that is what I spend all my time on, at the moment.

    I’ve been used to always just eat whatever I wanted and never gained weight. I worked as a paver and of course burned tons of calories allowing me to eat 2 pizzas a day and drink soda all day long and still maintaining weight. Since I stopped working as a paver body fat slowly accumulated over the years.

    Another problem I’m having is the huge differences in the recommended calorie intake I find on the various websites and nutrition sites. Also the difference in how many calories a particular type of food has is very big, sometimes more than 100 calories, per 100 grams, for the same food.

    Do you have any recommended calorie estimations based on weight (or anything else) you find to be accurate, or is it impossible to give a general estimation?
    Am I not eating enough? Or am I eating too much, when my weight increase, so I’m actually gaining some muscle mass? How is it possible for me to gain almost 1 kg in 3 days when I’m eating way less than I ever did before?

    I’m sorry for the very long post. I hope you can help me out.

    Warm regards.

  • Shariff

    Hi Mike,
    have been “listening” to you forever!(u do make sense!)
    i’m 46, 1.7mt, 67kg.
    will all these including you BLS go same to me?
    what more should i do?{i’m not even as close as anyone else in here)
    anyway, still waiting for your QuadPack to arrive.
    good job Mike, CHEERS!
    Shariff from Singapore

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I really appreciate the support.

      Sorry but I don’t quite understand your question. Could you elaborate?

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  • Ryan

    Hey Mike I am 145lbs about 10% bf. Before my morning fasted workout i take 5g bcaa/5g glutamine/scoop of pre-workout/5g Creatine as well and the same exact blend after except take out the pre and add a scoop of protein. For the pre-workout blend should I take out the glutamine and add the yohimbine?

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool on what you’re doing. Slight change:


      10g BCAA


      5g crea
      10-15g glutamine

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  • hey! i am 49 years old, i create good habits like wake up early in the morning and do some exercise and workout is also in my routine, but while passing with the age factor i felt that doing some little workout is becoming very difficult for me, i also use Maximum Shred for supporting the energy level of my body, but i feel nothing great. what should i do now?

  • Bogdan

    Should i bulk or cut some fat first?

  • Katie

    Hi, Im a woman trying to lose the stubborn fat around my waist. I just don’t know what exercises to do that will burn the most fat effectively and the fastest. Im on a budget so taking supplements is not an option for me.

  • Neil

    Hi Michael. Just found your site and loving the articles especially as I’m new to all this. Can you clear something up for me as I am finding conflicting articles. If I was to start an intermittent fasting program, eating beteeen 11 am and 7 pm with my weight workout at 6 am should I have a pre workout protein shake, a post one, neither or both for best results at muscle building/fat lose combination.

    Also if doing 4-6 reps with heavier weights how many sets of each exercise do you recommend and what rest period onvetween to start with?

    Thanks in advance

    • Thanks Neil!

      If you’re going to IF on an 11-7 schedule and work out at 6, you’d need 10 grams BCAA before, 10 g after, and 10 g around 9AM, and then eat at 11.

      9-12 heavy sets per major muscle group per week. Check this out:


      Rest 3 minutes in between each set.

      • Neil

        Thanks mike. Almost finished your book enjoyed so much also got the audio version!

        • Neil

          Also, I will be working out at home not at a gym so what exercises would you recommend to replace the ones that require machines (such as leg press, captains chair, cable crunch etc) for each day on the 5 day routine. I have a bench that allows preacher curl, leg curl and leg back curl, a squat rack, and obviously barbell and dumbells.

          • Here’s a handy list of alternatives:

            Cable Crunch: Hanging Leg Raise (you can snatch a DB in between your feet to add weight)

            Leg Press: Front Squat

            Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown: Pullup (use a dip belt to add weight as you get stronger)

            Close-Grip Lat Pulldown: Chinup (use a dip belt to add weight as you get stronger)

            Tris Pushdown: Another triceps exercise of your choice (my favorites are close-grip bench and overhead DB tris press)

        • Thank you!!

  • Zach

    Hey mike, so if I wanted to do fasted training (both HIIT and weights) how long is too long? Mostly I’m just wondering like if I did HIIT right when I woke up then went to weights for around an hour and a half would that be too much? I would use BCAAs pre workout.

    And also what does weight training look like for u? I’m in the middle of p90x and was wondering if I used that as my weight training would that work?

  • Torrey Penn

    Hey Mike ?

    Where would you put the yohimbine and GTE if currently I’m doing whey + simple sugar 15-30 min pre workout as both of those you say take fasted?

    Thank you,

    • Hey!

      You’d have to save the whey and carbs for your post-workout meal. Nothing pre.

      Check this out:


      • Torrey Penn

        Thanks Michael for the reply, so that article talks about fasted cardio so if I am doing HIIT separated from my workouts that would be the optimal time to take yohimbine then correct?

  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Naief Qureshi

    Hi Mike
    Can you kindly explain how to choose the right BCAA while there are so many BCAA products in the market. Thanks

  • Tim

    Hi Mike,
    I’m 6’3” at 19 years old, in college, and weigh 203lbs. I’ve been trying to lose weight and gain muscle and get in shape on and off. I’ve also lifted on and off with sports in high school and a little alone since i was younger but haven’t really been able to be anywhere close to 10% (obviously) . Some history, i was a very chunky kid. I have an overweight family and being out of shape is somewhat of a family tradition and I’m sick of it and want to look good and not be embarrassed. As of Jan. 30, 2015, I’ve been eating at what i think is an good caloric deficit, 1780 cals. with a 40/45/15 breakdown of carb/protein/fat. I workout with a 3 day split on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday because it’s the best i can fit in with my schedule and I do HIIT on Monday Wednesday and Friday for about 30 then i go to work. I’ve just always been confused and never really knew where to start and never had a great program or plan to stick with. I would appreciate if you could help me out with calories, supplements, how long it will take, and you think would work for me. I, again, really appreciate it and have been a long time listener, reader, and newly subscriber. You have really made me realize that i can do this and i’m in it for the long-run this time.

    Thanks again,

    • Hey man!

      I like what you’re doing. Let’s start with checking out your diet:



      • Tim

        Thanks so much, I will! I plan on buying Bigger Leaner Stronger as well. Thanks for no B.S.

        • YW. Thanks Tim. 🙂

          • Tim

            Hey Mike,
            I need some advice. I read your book BLS and want to follow it as closely as possible but I’m already getting very frustrated in counting calories not because the counting part is hard, it’s the calculating. I’m in college and on the meal plan and they don’t have the nutrition facts for lots of their foods. When i guess how much is in them, it feels like i’m eating alot more than i’ve calculated i am. I was just wondering if you had any tips for this. Thank you. Oh and so before i read your book i was eating 1750 calories and wasn’t really losing weight? And after i did the calculations you suggest in the book i’m eating 2120? Do you think i should just go with the new one and see what happens? Thanks alot, I’m trying to lose fat btw. Thanks

          • Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

            I email with quite a few college students and what we’ve worked out is larger breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with little on-the-go snacks like protein shakes, fruit, almonds, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.

            We also stick to foods they can quantify with an app like My Fitness Pal. We avoid stuff with sauces and other “hidden calories,” you know?

            Check this out:


          • Tim

            Thanks so much!

          • YW!

  • Crateria

    Mike the instructions for Phoenix say to take it with a meal, however I’ve seen you recommend taking epigallocatechin gallate+yohimbine before doing fasted cardio for maximizing fat loss….

    So.. is it alright to take phoenix before fasted cardio? Basically, are there any negatives to taking phoenix in a fasted state on an empty stomach? (other than possible nausea)

    Thanks again

    • If you’re going to train fasted then yes you can maximize fat loss with caffeine, yohimbine, and EGCG. So yes, you can take Phoenix before fasted training. No downsides.

  • Jon

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve got a Phoenix dosage question with regard to this stubborn fat burn plan, but first, let me fully explain my situation:

    I’m entering week 4 of a 6-week weight loss challenge of which the results have been pretty good for myself so far (20+ lbs lost to this point — started at 242 lbs, I’m 5’9″). I’m working out 6 days a week at a high clip (1 hour workout, ~1000 cal per hour… it’s intense and draining). As far as I can tell I’m running anywhere from a 10-25% calorie deficit per day.

    Running down the stretch, my muscles are starting to ache more than normal, and it seems I need more than 1 day for recovery after all this intense work!
    Since I do have/had high blood pressure, no Yohimbine. I actually get GTE in Sparkling ICE drinks. So I ordered the MRM BCAA and Phoenix products you recommended, and got them in the mail today.

    In general, I’ve never been a supplement guy. I just eat my Greek yogurt after workouts and try to get as many lean proteins in as I can. But it’s getting tougher to recover.

    I’m a bit concerned being so close to the end of this challenge (only 2 weeks left) that these supplements could actually screw things up for me and make it worse. Would you recommend waiting until after the challenge is up or do you think this could positively boost my performance as I enter the stretch if I start on BCAA and Phoenix right now?

    Why does the BCAA product you recommended state it’s post-workout recovery but you are recommending pre-workout?

    The other question for you: I’m confused about when to use Phoenix with regards to this stubborn fat burn plan. It seems like in this article you recommended to take the supplements as close to before the workout as possible, but the Phoenix directions state you should take twice a day with meals? But if I take Phoenix with a meal before a workout, then I can’t workout in a fasted state…. Can you clear up what the plan should be here?

    Also, I know BCAA is supposed to be on workout days only, but what about Phoenix? Should I take Phoenix on my off days or only on workout days?

    Sorry for the deluge of questions — but I think this could be useful to several people if they read this and you provide quality answers. Thanks for all the insight!


    • Hey Jon!

      Sorry I get a LOT of emails and comments and such every day and need to move through them quickly or I get nothing done all day, haha.

      Can you summarize your questions for me?

  • Dee Kay

    i want to loose my body and belly fat so i got scivation xtend is it good to use?
    (whey and Amino 10,000 is using from 2 days)
    if any futhur to get lean muscle then please suggest me ..
    i am 26

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  • Nour

    If I were to drink a glass of milk before a workout instead of a BCAA, would that prevent muscle loss? Would it still count as fasted training?

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  • cam_cr

    What kind of exercise did you do to get rid off the fat layer? (Body fat %)? It woukd help me so sooo much

  • David

    Hey Mike thanks for the article and all your helpful advice I’m 46 years old and I’ve been training for 14 years I’ve been at 6% body fat however I’m finding it hard nowadays to try to get to that point again I am supplementing in testosterone and trenbolone and what I’m noticing is it still very hard to get rid of that stubborn fat any suggestions

  • Jorge Tovar

    Mike, I read that you should not eat for 3-4 hours after taking Yohimbine. I was planning to take the full dosage in the morning when I wake up and head to the gym in order to compliment my fasted weight lifting.

    I was planning to have a protein shake after the gym and start my feeding window. This would mean I would be eating 1.5 hours after taking Yohimbine. Will this render it useless? I am now in a calorie deficit and feel it is important to eat a good meal after my fasted weight lifting.

    • It’s only in your system for 30-45 minutes so I don’t quite understand that advice…

      • Jorge Tovar

        Gotcha, so would you recommend taking some of the dosage pre-workout and then the remainder, later in the day when I am back in a fast? My plan is to wake, lift fasted, start a 5 hour feeding period and than fast again.

  • Miguel Rodrigues

    Hi mike you mentioned that you can remove body fat simply by dieting with patience what I don’t fully understand is if it’s very hard to lose this predominantly b2 receptors stubborn fat or even impossible for some and for that reason your deficit will be mainly muscle creatin a situation where you inevitably will have to apply special strategys other than the regular calorie restriction in order to attack your stubborn fat and therefore retain as much muscle as possible,or I am completely wrong and the stubborn fat will never be permanent and eventually will fade away with a regular no Bs diet without needing to apply nothing special just by beeing patient.my main concern is retaining muscle mass here and assure bw lost is mainly fat so what of those two scenarios it’s the case of stubborn fat

    • Yeah you’re right. You’re not going to get really lean and look good without also exercising.

  • Mohamed

    Hi Mike, I am a male who just turned 40, my problem areas are belly, side and lower back fat. I have started HIIT not so long ago, but i don’t have enough energy to complete a full workout. i have lost a little belly fat but my sides(love handle) don’t seem to get smaller or reduce in size. Any suggestions to burn these fast? I also read that you can’t spot reduce fat, is this true?

  • Brian Giffin

    Mike I’m totally frustrated using my fat calipers. I have read how to use them, watched your u-tube on it several times and get different numbers all the time.
    I know how you push down until you here the click however i have found I get different readings depending on how much force I use to push down. My current goal is to get down to 8%. I just started my second cycle of cutting after reverse dieting back up to TDEE and I’m 1 pound heavier than my last cut. I started this cut minus 25% of my last TDEE and haven’t lost at all. I guess I need to be more patient this is just the first week and i should only loose 1 to 2 lbs per week right? Can I just keep continuing to diet down to BMR, reverse diet back to TDEE and back as many times as it takes me?

  • Brian Giffin

    I look like 13-15% goal look like 8-10%

  • Mimmy


    I reduced 7 kilos of my belly fat in just 6 weeks of using

    this method: >> http://tinyurl.com/p3yzz4l

    Now my waist is much smaller and firm I am very happy

    Greetings from Miami.,.,.

  • Jacob

    Mike I have stubborn far. My six pack shows but I don’t have that “tight” look.

    I work out at 5:30AM. You suggested working out while fasting. However, I find sometimes I lack the energy to complete the workout and start feeling weak.

    Is this normal? Or should I stick to working out, but not fasting.


    • Don’t we all. 🙂 Some people find fasted training really draining. I’m okay with it. Do you use a pre-workout of any kind?

    • Nathan Hanak

      I find I feel more lethargic training fasted but realized it was all mental. I feel a little dopey and literally a little sad/demotivated up until the moment I’m actually picking up the weight – in which the actual numbers are roughly the same but taper a little over time. BCAA’s and a little of caffeine help prevent feeling lethargic or too “drained” in the gym.

  • John Paul

    Hey Mike!

    Do you recommend taking Pulse as well as BCAA’s pre workout if you’re going to be doing a fasted state workout? Thanks!

    • Yup. That’s what I do. Plus yohimbine.

      • John Paul

        Thanks so much!! I’m 5 weeks into the 1 year challenge and I’m loving it!

  • Logan

    Hi Mike, I read your books and I wanted to say that they are awesome. anyway, I have been dieting down for about 3 weeks and noticing the scale drop pretty quickly, and kind of beginning to see my abs. (220 lbs to 185, ending up with 11% bf). my question is, how detrimental is it to your metabolism (obviously different for each individual) to be in a caloric deficit for longer than say, 2 months? or 3 months? what is the time frame that you recommend to restrict calories then return to maintenance? should i continue dieting until i am satisfied, then maintain or bulk? or would that ruin my metabolism? thanks!

  • Asai

    Hey Mike i got a question… I stopped taking creatine about a month ago. I weighed 165 before I got on it and now I am still sitting around 171-172. I was only on Creatine for 2 weeks. I took note of how my body was reacting to it and didn’t like it so I got off it. My question to you is how long will it take for my body to dump out all that extra water it was holding because of the Creatine??
    I am 5’11” and at around 8-9% body fat right now.
    Thanks for everything, love your site. I check it every day.

    • There isn’t that much additional water. That’s not a big problem anymore.

      2 weeks isn’t enough time to get the full benefits of creatine either unless you loaded for the first week.

  • Rhian

    Hi Michael, I have a real problem with stubborn fat on my thighs and bum – I train 4-5 times a week and eat very healthily but obviously I am doing something wrong. I have lost a lot of weight over the years and with adding in lots of weight training recently I have developed some a good lean/strong upper body and whilst fully clothed I look pretty athletic, I still suffer from lower body fat. I feel like my lower body belongs to a different person! I am currently training for a marathon and running about 50mile weeks but even that training isn’t helping me shift this excess lower body fat. Normal daily diet is – eggs and veg for breakfast, salad for lunch with fish and quinoa and lean protein dinner with low GI carbs and loads of veg. From your article I think I need to do more fasted training but I wondered if you could give me some more advice please? Thank you in advance – Rhian (a very frustrated female)

  • Diego

    Is it all or only one of these at a time?

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  • Brett

    Hi Mike,
    I recently ordered Legion Phoenix to help me with that stubborn fat along with my cut and workout routine. I wanted to know how many days you recommend taking Phoenix before stopping/cycling off of it? Thanks!

    • Thank you! Personally I take for 30-45 days and then come off for 2 weeks(ish) to reset sensitivity to the synephrine.

      • Brett

        Awesome, thanks Mike. Also, do you still recommend taking the full dose (4 pills) on rest days and days off?

  • Nathan Hanak

    Mike, just wanted to check – following a lot of your advice on my cut:

    20-25% calorie deficit
    taking Green tea extract
    Training fasted with BCAA’s beforehand
    Religiously tracking calories and hitting the Macros properly

    I’ve gone from 184 to 168 (my pre-bulk weight). It took me a year of bulking to get that high and 6 weeks to come back down. Am I losing weight too fast? My lift weights are tapering just a little, but staying mostly the same. I feel like I had more definition (clearer abs) at this weight prior to beginning the bulk. I’ll admit I was a bit sloppy on the bulk – but not in terms of eating too much junk food, just didn’t track the calories. Any idea as to why I had more definition then?

    • Great on what you’re doing. That’s pretty fast but if you’re maintaining strength you’re maintaining muscle so it sounds like you’re good.

      Not sure on the definition point. Have you clearly gained muscle?

      • Nathan Hanak

        Forgot to reply on this, but maybe figured it out. In October (mid way through bulk) I tore my left labrum and it prevented me from being able to bench press, OHP, do pullups, and a few other necessary upper body lifts until about 2 months ago, or when I started my cut. I could still deadlift and squat just fine. Regardless, that’s why the upper body definition has been elusive. I also forgot to photograph my legs in my pics (D’oh!), and I see they look fairly big now, as I worked those pretty regularly. And now that I look at a regular series of pictures, I think the definition is coming out. But follow up question, I only began to take really hit the abs hard at the start of my cut as you suggest here and they’re starting to show now: http://www.muscleforlife.com/how-to-get-six-pack-abs/

        I’m wondering if I’m at the limits of where I can get with definition via a cut and really just need to work on developing the strength in the core in order for the definition to really show in the abs? Here’s pics of my progression: http://imgur.com/a/ExYdm

        • Arg I’m sorry to hear about the injury. That sucks.

          You’re progressing really well. That rocks.

          You definitely need well developed abs to have the “six pack” look. It takes time.

          • Nathan Hanak

            Sounds like a plan, but…. Mike said I’m, “progressing really well”?! Holy cow, that makes my day.
            But it’s all done according to your advice really. Thanks again for all the great articles and BLS – and for replying so frequently on here. I wouldn’t have made it this far without it.

          • My pleasure man. You know the game at this point. Now it’s just a matter of consistency and persistence.

  • yayy

    Thanks for a very good article, I have had a very bad stress for a couple of months now, this made me do a few decesion’s into my diet, to get rid of these few pounds that are stuck on me. If you have any good advice to get hormones to balance, I’d be very gratefull ! From; a gal from Finland.

  • Josh

    Is it safe to take the Yohimbine with the Phoenix Fat Burner?

  • Tyler

    Hey Michael I have a question and I want to say before hand I’m not doubting your abilities, I’m just wondering. I am 36% bf at 255 pounds. I’m not so concerned about the pounds I’m more concerned about the bf% (although I’m always told I don’t look like I’m 255 or 36%. Anyway I’ve looked at your success stories but I haven’t seen any that seemed to need as much work as I do. Do you have any success stories that are close to my situation? I’m hoping to get down to about 15% maybe add some muscle (I don’t look good skinny, found that out after boot camp). Then I would like to live my life between 10-15%.

  • Soffy

    hello friends

    I and my husband went down in weight with this
    method:> http://tinyurl.com/p3yzz4l

    we reduce belly fat and our health improved significantly I
    recommend it,.,,,

  • Lauren B

    I’ve been a health-focused individual for 4.5 years now. I leaned out to about 12-12.5% body fat and am the strongest I’ve ever been. Growing up I played 3 sports and danced (ballet). I’m 5’1″ with slightly shorter legs and a longer torso than most girls my height. I had gained weight after high school, and at around 20 I started my fitness journey. I lost fat around my arms, stomach and face.

    That being said, as long as I can remember (going back to age 15 or so even when incredibly active), I’ve had very stubborn fat below my ankles. While the rest of my body lost it, my lower legs didn’t change a bit. I combine multiple forms or cardio plus weight lifting and some plyo 5-6 days per week. I try to eat as healthy as possible. I just don’t know what to do at this point, I’ve tried many different workout routines and different diets, and I don’t see change. Any advice or tips? I feel like I’m just going in circles and making no progress in this area on my body.

    • Great job Lauren! That’s really impressive.

      Hmm can you post a picture? Can just be the area you’re talking about for privacy ofc. 🙂

  • As a health and weight loss specialist, I’ve helped hundreds of people lose weight, and it can be done… fast. As long as you are committed, with the right expertise and guidance… anything is possible. I have created a unique program that maps out everything you need in order to successfully lose 23 pounds in just 3 weeks! (a step by step guide, if you will).

    If you are serious about losing weight you can check it out at http://www.3weekfatburner.com

    Also if you have any questions or need any advice, just let me know. You can send me a message or find me on social media.

  • carmen

    Mike, I see alot of comments from men. I am a 52 yr old woman in pretty good shape. Loved the article. I need to definitely loose fat on my legs, buttock, and I do have some loose skin on my stomach with a little fat. When I bend I see some dimples too. Following what you mention, will that work for a woman. BCAA will that bulj me up. I am small waisted. Could be better. My true goal is to really gain lean muscle, tighten all over, lose fat as I am reshaping my body.
    I could send you pics separately. Be nice if you could train me but I doubt you are in Atlanta. 🙂

  • Coffeeforever

    Hi, I was interested in purchasing your Legion Pheonix supplement. On the label it says 5-HTP Seed Extract, but on the wall it says 5-HTP comes from different sources and one including meat. I just wanted to confirm that the source of the 5-HTP in this product does not come from any meat. I keep kosher and that would prevent me from buying this.
    Thank You!

    • Yes the label specifies where it came from. Thanks for your interest in Legion! 🙂

      • Coffeeforever

        Thanks, I just ordered some from Amazon. This is my 2nd week following your 5 day workout plan from TLS. Ive been doing the 5 day lifting plus 5 days of HIIT for 25-35min. Been eating between 1300-1400 most days. I still feel like my body is stalling . I’ve been lifting and doing cardio for years…I know you’d probably recommend reverse dieting, but I’m kind of scared andvreally don’t want to gain any more of anything until I cut at least 5 lbs of fat first. The thing is I reversed dieted from 1200 -1600calls in Feb and actually lost body fat doing so but then gained in a short period of time just from eating around 1800 calls for a couple weeks. So I don’t know if i should lower to below my BMR and then reverse to get the same result this time around. My stats are 5’4 (117lbs) I think Im at about 18% body fat may be less. I’m hoping the Pheonix will kickstart the fat loss along with the TLS program.

        • Thanks! Let me know how you like the products.

          Awesome on what you’re doing. That may be a bit much exercise though and your food intake may be a bit low.

          Check this out first:


          LMK what you think…

          • Coffeeforever

            I’ve read this before and made sure I’ve been consistent with my calories and their sources. Even if I’ve “cheated” I’ve been staying within 1400 calls, I don’t necessarily feel like I’m gaining but feel like these stubborn areas such as my lower body and lower back ( love handle) aren’t going away. I really just want to lean out. Could increasing my intake slightly as in a reverse diet (lets say 50 cal increase a week) maybe speed up my metabolism. Also I’ve been really trying to dedicate myself to getting results . I don’t even have my weekly Jalapeño Margarita (which consists of tequila , limes and jalapeño . No sugar crap added). I’m just kind of desperate for something to work! The fact that I had positive results in body fat loss during reverse dieting the first time, could it have a positive effect this time? Or is it just a gamble?

            Thank you for taking your time to respond,

          • Oh okay cool well then yeah it may be time to reverse diet to TDEE and then go into a deficit and get rid of the last bits.


          • Coffeeforever

            yeah, I thought so…was trying to avoid this as i would like results sooner. Funny thing though I think I may be slimming down a little. Just tried on a pair of jeans this morning and they’re slightly loser at the waist than 10 days ago..So maybe I just need to take this slow and have more patience. Ill stay consistent with the workout plan, keep my macros as 1400, take the Pheonix sups when they finally arrive and see what happens.
            I was wondering how does Phoenix do with reverse dieting?

          • I hear you. One other option is to see if there’s anything you can do to squeeze out last bits of weight loss from what you’re doing:


            Phoenix increases BMR and “optimizes” fat loss mechanisms and thus is best suited to cutting.

          • Coffeeforever

            I’m pretty much doing everything on your list minus the supplements which I will start to take once they arrive. By the way, when I go to my gym I’m noticing more than ever the trainer and client duos and how month after month they seem to look the same , as in no progress aesthetically at least . And I have this urge to walk over to some of these gym members and tell them to check your book out. Just the other day aI overhears this woman in her late 30’s complaining about how she spends hours working her ass off with and without her regular trainer and how nothing is really making a difference, yet she still comes in and does that 45 min on the elliptical each day and meets with her trainer 3+ times a week (Lord know how much she’s spending)and still gives it her all. ) I just have to figure out how to approach her without insulting her…
            I’m grateful for your site muscleforlife.com which is an encyclopedia to the human body , your book and your quick responses regardless if it’s a paying customer or not

            Thank you,

          • I know it sucks right? And people will rarely listen unless they actually ASK for your help, which is equally rare, haha.

            I think you’ll like my most recent article BTW:


          • Coffeeforever

            Great article,

          • Thx 🙂

          • Coffeeforever

            As I mentioned earlier the first time I reversed I had a great response with fat loss as long as I was taking the increases slow. I know that ppl respond differently. But does this mean I will always respond this way , or could the body respond differently at different times?

          • Hard to say really. We will have to see. As body comp changes many things can change.

  • Saad Shafiq

    Hi Mike,
    I wanted to know that should I take green tea pre-workout and secondly that can I drink milk post-workout.
    (P.S I am not using any supplements because I want to have a natural body)

    • You can yes but they make some people nauseous. Sure you can have milk.

  • Jirrell
  • Jirrell

    This really help you loss a lot of weight

  • Barry Gordon

    Hi Mike
    I’ve just spent the last few nights reading through you book and looking at the articles on your site and I just want to say thanks for all the information!!!
    I’ve be trying to lose weight and more importantly body fat since March I have manage a bit but not much!!
    I am 40 years old 200 lbs with about 24% body fat I think (long way to go ;0)
    I do kickboxing three times a week and have just started your lifting program from your book.
    I’m on 2000cal a day with one cheat meal a week, with 45 %protein, 30%carbs and 25%fats.
    Do you think is is a good start or is there any other advice you could give.
    Ive always carried fat around my middle and sides since I was young and would love to get rid of it!!
    Thanks again for your advice and tips.

  • Juan Leon

    I have been lifting and doing HIIT fasted. I have lost lots of fat, but I reached the stubborn stripe that won’t budge. I have been using BCAA+ Caffeine tablets+ Green tea extract. It has worked but somehow now seems not enough. I have just bought yohimbine. My question is : can I take in fasted state BCAA + Yohimbine+ Caffeine ? Or is it better to use only Yohimbine and drop the caffeine? what is the safest and most effective way to enhance the fat loss?

  • Tahir Khan

    Hey Mike, I had 29% fat with working out in a fasted state 6 mornings in week 1 and week 2, week 3 i did 3 fasted work outs, week 4 and 5 again 6 fasted workouts in 7 and week 8 3 fasted work outs. I managed to reduce my overall body fat to 12%… However, now I’m struggling to shift the stubborn belly fat I work out 4 times a week and I vary my training. I bike ride 2 times per week approx 15-17 miles each time around 1 hour, 1 fasted training in the morning consisting of dead lifts, clean & press, squats, kettle bells, boxing pads and ab work and once a week I do hill sprints ie 3 sets of 8 x 80 metre hill sprints…. So I guess I do work hard I am lean approx 9-10% everywhere except the belly approx 14%…
    I’ve been trying fat burners prior to workout Grenade, very little carbs in my diet eat mainly protein, fresh veg and fruit…..Any ideas how I can get red of the stubborn belly fat and loose skin?

  • sheryl

    how do i get rid of my flabby tummy from post partum… I don’t want to lose weight fast as I will just have a loose skin hanging.. Will your book help me with that?

  • Logan

    Maybe this question has already been asked, but I feel like its an important one… What sort of sweeteners will negate the benefits of fasted training? I bought a huge tub of BCAA powder from NOW nutrition, but it tastes awful. Can I dump a teaspoon of sugar in the drink and still be okay? Wht about honey? Splenda? Milk? Anything else in the kitchen that will allow me to swallow the bcaas without wanting to vomit?

    • What matters is calories. You could put a bit of sugar, and it wouldn’t break the fast, but you have to be careful. I recommend a 0 calorie sweetener like Stevia or erythritol.

      Hope this helps! LMK.

      • Logan

        Awesome. Had a bunch of crystal light drink mix in the cupboard, says its zero calories and tastes great so I think I’ll stick with that unless its got some weird hidden ingredients

  • Gábor

    Hi Mike 🙂 I’ve been watching videos and reading articles all over the internet because i’ve been working out for quite some time now, but the results have always been very very bad because i didn’t pay attention to my diet. But now i decided i’m going to, but i need just a little help setting up my kcal and macros properly because every article says different numbers (not very different, but you know, i don’t know what is the absolute correct answer). So i am about 185lbs and 6’4″, 23 years old (i’m from europe, so that is 84kg and 193cm approx) and 13% body fat. How much do i have to eat per day to get to 8-9% while gaining some muscle (or not losing, at best)? I am on a 2500 kcal diet, around 190g protein, 300g carbs and 40-50g fat. I’ve started eating like this 2 weeks ago, intermittent fasting style. I’m doing 2 one hour long trx classes a week, and 2-3 weight lifting sessions (one hour each). Are these numbers correct to get under 10% or should i eat less, like 2200-2300 kcal, like some other articles say? If so, how would my macros change? Thank you for your time. I’ve really read a lot about it, but now i am worried that i’ll follow a bad advice. So I’d just like advice from someone who actually looks like he knows what he’s talking about, because then i’ll just have to follow a good plan, without worrying about the results. Thank you!

    • To set up your cals and macros, use this:


      Once you get your numbers from there, we’ll see your results. As long as you’re losing 1-2 pounds a week, keep the cals/macros the same.

      If you’re not losing that much, you’ll have to adjust your cals accordingly.

      LMK what you think!

      • Gábor

        Thanks for the meal planning article. Yeah, these activity multipliers seem more sensible than the ones i see on other sites. This gave me around 2100 kcal per day, whereas it was 2500 elsewhere. I’m gonna go with 2300 for a week or so, and adjust from there.

        • YW. Sounds good on the cals.

          Just adjust according to results. 🙂

          • Gábor

            Hi again 🙂 So, i’ve been eating 2100 kcal for a while, then updated it to 2000 because my weight wasn’t changing fast enough. I’ve started eating to lose fat at the beginning of june and i was eating 2300 (other website… wrong numbers) for 2 weeks, then 2100 for a while then 2000. So it’s been one month 22 days and my abs are getting more and more visible and when i flex everything look good 🙂 But, i’m wondering, as i’m losing weight does my TDEE change. It has to, right? I recalculated my BMR and it was about a 100 kcal less or so. Or i just messed up the first time. Anyway, my question is, if i’ve lost 4 kg = 8,8 lbs in a little more than 8 weeks then everything is okay and i should continue this diet until i get the results i want? You’ve said in one of your videos to bulk 4 months and cut 2 months. well, i am nearing 2 months now, but i was on a little higher kcal diet for a while, than necessary. Also, online calculators say my bf is 14%, which means i messed up something when i started, cause i thought i was 13% coming in, but that is impossible. So anyway, i am losing weight now, the only question is, should i keep this up for as long as necessary or should i get more aggressive (1900 kcal) with my diet to fasten weight loss. I only ask because you said you should be done with cutting in 2 months. Thanks for your time and answer in advance 🙂 Having said all this, though, i appreciate your knowledge in the matter, cause finally i feel like i’m doing proper training and diet for the first time, even if i had a few miscalculations in the beginning 🙂

          • Thanks for all the info!

            As long as you’re losing 1-2 pounds a week, don’t change anything.

            If you stop losing that much, you can lower cals.

            If you get near or hit BMR, reverse diet to speed up your metabolism and then continue cutting. Check it out:


            What do you think?

  • Sufian

    Hello, great article. I have a question..

    I am a Muslim and Ramadhan is coming soon. I am interested to train
    before I could break my fast (I plan to do 3 to 5 compound exercises and
    finish my workout when it’s time to break my fast). In my country the
    fast will last 14 to 15 hours (depending what time I eat during
    “pre-dawn” meal).. clearly I cannot eat small intake of water or
    anything at all before workout.. will it be Okay if my goal is to shed
    my fat while maintaing my muscle as long as I eat enought during
    pre-dawn meal and eat as quickly as I can after workout (breaking my
    fast aka Iftar)?

    • Cool on Ramadhan brother!

      You’re totally fine to train towards the end of your fast and eat post-workout.

      Even if you’re fasting, to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. To set up your cals for a deficit, check this out:


      Thanks for the measurements. Let’s get you some results. 🙂

  • Ryan

    Hey Michael,
    After losing 40 lbs (18 kg) I’m at around 150 lbs (68 kg). Looking good but lost a lot of muscle that I initially had gained when I started lifting. I have started trying to gain some weight again but am concerned that after 2 weeks I already look like I’m putting on some chub around the lower stomache. I probably should not be too concerned at this point. But since I just lost a lot over about a year I don’t want to put it on quickly.
    I would like to continue trimming around the stomache and lower back while gaining about 2 lbs (a kg) per month for steady muscle growth. I do believe intermittent fasting could work well for me but I’m still concerned it could inhibit my muscle growth, what do you think?

    • Great job on the weight that you lost!

      I hear you on the fat being put on from bulking.

      As to building muscle and losing fat at the same time, check this out:


      If you’re not able to do the above, make sure you’re only gaining .5-1 pound a week. Any more and you’ll be putting on fat too fast.

  • Jon

    Hi Mike,

    I think I’ve read your entire site thus far. Appreciate the
    help a lot. I’m on week 17 of my first followed thru cut. Have gone from 185 to153.5 lbs (5’8” tall) and have made great progress fat loss wise while
    maintaining strength. My plan is to finish the cut on the 4th of
    July hopefully then reverse diet into slow bulk. I’ve been at 17-1750 calories for about a month now, and hit a plateau this past weigh in. Not freaking out yet, as I’m not looking to adjust things potentially for another week.
    Realistically around 10-12% BF w/ab visibility. However, I’m not happy
    yet w/current leanness and want to keep pushing on until satisfied but don’t
    want to run risk of Metabolic damage from drawn out cut. I feel totally fine
    and mood/energy/libido all healthy. In your opinion, will I be able to cut anymore CALS and/or increase training moving forward to reach my end goal?? I’ve worked my a** off to get where I’m at now and feel I’m really close to going from good to great. Also, I remember reading/hearing from you to never drop CALS below BMR on cut? Does this refer to original BMR calculation or adjusted BMR calc. since weight has greatly changed?
    Thanks again!

  • Tony DD Pinal

    Hi Michael, I am a 28 years old male, 5’9 tall, 152 pounds, with 11% body fat, (although my belly does seem bigger and rounder than this, it is 33.5 inches, so I wonder how can my body fat be so low, I have already measured it several times). My TDEE is 2377 calories for maintenance level. I am working out 5 days a week for at least 1 hour, and this includes 3 sessions of weight lifting, and HIIT/kickboxing. I have just restarted working out after 1 month of rest due to a lower back/glute injury. My goal is to build muscle and lose the fat in my belly. I was wondering should I cut or bulk first? What would you suggest for my daily calorie intake, and the macros?

    • Thanks for all the info. The first step is to make sure you actually have an accurate number for your BF%. Check this out:


      LMK how it goes!

      • Tony DD Pinal

        Thanks for the reply Michael! I have actually used the same body fat callipers you use (Accu Measure), and keep getting between 10.6 and 12.7, so I guess around 11%, although I still feel my belly is too big, don’t know if it is because i retain water or something. (Sorry don’t know why the images get uploaded sideways)..With my goal above in mind, what do you recommend?

  • muse

    Can I use only grean tea exract and still lose belly fat ?

  • Azouri

    Hey mike great article, I was wondering for the HMB supplement what’s the preferred dosage to take and when’s the best time to take it before training fasted or during?

    • 2-3 grams is good and you want to take it before fasted training.

  • Carson

    Hey Mike, I’m cutting pretty early on in the BLS plan and have a lot of weight to lose (but have already lost weight too!), I’m currently 5′ 10″, 230 lbs with around 30% body fat. I lift 4 days a week in the morning plus cardio later in the day. I’m currently drinking a whey shake with a GNC multivitamin powder before I work out, it’s about 36 grams of protien, 20 of carb, and 9 of fat, 300 cals total with the two combined and almond milk. In addition I eat a piece of whole wheat toast with polymer grape jelly, another 4 gs of protein, 20 of carbs, and .5 fat, 95 calories. I just read this article about fasted training and now I’m wondering if I should cut all this out, or any of it. In the book and other articles I recall the 30 to 40 gs of protein and carbs 30 minutes before the workout being really good so that’s what I was shooting for, but I’m rarely hungry in the morning and don’t think I would have a hard time doing the fasted training first thing if it was better. I also drink another whey and water shake post workout on the way to work.

    What do you think is best, keeping the morning cal intake or fasted training? Or a mix sometimes?

    • Mark Holland

      I will share with you what I have been doing (following Mike’s advice) and it works really well. I am losing weight at 1 pound/week and I’m about 10-12%body fat and about 6 pounds from goal. Definitely train fasted if you can (I do at least 3 times a week, the other two are fed trainings but it’s all I can fit in my schedule). Supplement with caffeine (around 200-500mg), yohimbine (up to 0.2mg/kg) and HMB (2-3g) preworkout. Assess your tolerance to the yohimbine and caffeine combo by starting at a low dose and working your way up to the doses I gave. After your workout, continue your protein drink, and take EGCg (200-300mg) with that drink and another dose later in the mid-afternoon. This will help with appetite too. Take EGCg with food to avoid nausea. And of course, make sure you are targeting an appropriate calorie goal with sufficient protein. Like I said, I got all of this strategy from Mike but definitely wait to see what he says. Good luck on your cut, I am certain if you follow his advise you can accelerate it and be successful.

    • Good job on the weight you’ve lost so far. I look forward to seeing your results.

      For the pre-workout nutrition, there are definitely benefits to both eating and staying fasted. Check this out:


      LMK what you think.

  • Roberto Eduardo Rojas

    Hi Mike,
    I am currently on week 12 of your BLS 1 Year Challenge. I´ve been following your advice form the book and my regular routine consist of eating a banana with protein (24grms) 30 min. before weighlifting. I also take a post workout protein (48 grms) shake with rice milk (16 oz) and a banana. I usually train at 5 am in the morning. I have been reading about FORGE for a couple of days, however, I am not sure I can take it following my current routine, since I take my pre-workout meal right after I jump out of bet (at 4:45am).
    Is it better to do Weights in Fasted State? or should I continue to have a preworkout meal? Any advise?

    • Cool you’re moving on the program.

      Your pre and post-workout meals look good.

      If you’re focus is losing fat, fasted training would have benefit, and you’d take out the banana and protein you normally have. However, if you’re focusing more on strength, I don’t recommend fasting.

      Check this out:


      LMK what you think.

  • Alvaro

    Hi Mike, all your advices are working great. thank you. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds in a 4 month cut phase, lost some muscle too but nothing tragic i feel ready to start bulking phase but now i’m struggling with last traces of stubborn fat in torax (belly, waist) and tights. i’ve tried some fasted training but if i don’t take a cup of coffee and/or a cup of green tea i feel very weak and cannot input progressive overload. besides i have acid reflux, coffee mixed with green tea are no good to me. so i think i need to try extracts if i can get them to fit into my budget or just try harder mentally (can some extra focus work?). as for muscle breakdown, don’t know if HMB will fit into my budget so I wonder if a quick fix of 50grams whey protein (+4,6G of glutamine + 11 mg of BCAA) and 50 grams complex carbx post workout will do the trick? Thanks

    • Great job on the results you’ve gotten! You’re killing it.

      It’s totally fine to take coffee and/or tea before fasted training. You just can’t use much cream or sweetener with calories or else it’ll break the fast.

      Totally fine on HMB. Leucine or BCAAs would be able to do the job too.

      As for the whey protein with BCAAs, that’s good. But for fasted training, the BCAAs, leucine or HMB needs to be taken beforehand, and whey protein would break the fast so it doesn’t really work.

      • Alvaro

        Thanks for your quick reply Mike. Some days I might not want to train fasted because of a more demanding routine or to minimize muscle loss. can the “traditional” approach get the job done too? should I just increase deficits to speed up fat loss? for instance I’m regularly at 300-400 cal deficit. what about metabolism plateauing when in cut phase, it’s true? should there be a progression of deficits for stubborn fat? Thanks!

        • My pleasure!

          Totally fine on the days you don’t want to fast.

          I would keep the cals and macros the same as long as you’re losing 1-2 pounds a week. If you start losing less than that, you can rework and lower your cals.

          Once you start approaching BMR, you can reverse diet to speed up your metabolism and then continue cutting. Check this out:


          • Alvaro

            Just to be sure I get the idea, I need to slowly decrease the deficit once I am near BMR, and then when I reach maintenance level I start creating deficit again? Slowly or straight to 300-400 deficit? Thanks!

          • Exactly. You will reverse diet up to maintenance cals. Then, when you’re ready to continue cutting, you go straight into the deficit.

            Check this out:


          • Alvaro

            Thanks again Mike! one last question and then I’ll go back to the gym! haha. What do you think about Cyanidin 3 Glucoside as a nutrition partitioning agent? I stumbled upon this web site:

          • Very hypothetical product that won’t work, heh.

  • John

    Hi Mike. Quick question about fasted training and artificial sweeteners’ effect on insulin levels… Can I use a whitening mouthwash and toothpaste in the morning before my workout? They have saccharin in them, which I’ve read can trigger insulin production (not that I swallow my mouthwash or toothpaste). On a related note, there’s a less expensive version of MRM’s BCAA+G that I’ve been avoiding because it has sucralose instead of treevia. Am I overly concerned, or is these smart moves?


    • That’s totally fine.

      A bit of sucralose every day shouldn’t cause any issues. You may like my FORGE supplement as well.

  • Vladimir Leonov

    Hello Mike, you sure have a killer body !
    Thanks for the well-written article.
    I’m a girl, 24, went down from 177 lb to 105 lb. But my body still looks as if I weigh 140 lb with sagging breasts and big belly, thighs and bottom. I drink about 44 oz of green tea a day, cut down on everything except cucumber, carrots, milk and yogurt. I walk for exercise for 30mn at 4.5 mph, nothing works to reduce the belly and thighs. Which exercises should I do for the these particular areas? And does massage help?

    Thanks a lot !!!

  • Diana McMoore


  • Diana McMoore

    Hi Mike, I want to follow your program in fasted state but for me it’s not until 9 am. Am I still going to be in that state? Thank you!

    • It takes 3-6+ hours after eating to be in a fasted state.

      I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. What’s not until 9am?

      • Diana McMoore

        Sorry. What I mean I can’t go to gym first thing in the morning. My schedule allows me to do that only after 9. I normally don’t eat breakfast so I was wondering if its still ok to take forge and do my workout after 9 am? Thx for reply

  • Tim Aldredge

    Mike, thanks. So I’ve been cutting for about 3 weeks now and my BF is around 14-14.5%; however, my waist size dropped the first week but has stayed the same since…even though my BF has fallen each week. Typically, my waist size falls as I lose fat. My weight has remained the same over the last week too (I measure weekly). My target calorie deficit is 600/day (except for Sunday’s when I stay neutral). Not sure what’s going on now.

  • Vespin

    I see! Currently I’m taking 100% Whey isolate with 2.7g of Leucine per scoop.
    So is it safe to say I should take my whey first thing in the morning just before my fasted training?

    And if so, how many grams of Leucine should I be taking for fasted training then?

    • That’s fine but the whey will break the fast.

      If you want to be fasted, you need to take just the leucine. 5g is good.

      • Vespin

        That’s too bad then, because my Leucine comes with the whey 😐

  • Kris

    Hey Mike, I enjoyed reading all of your articles and I was just wondering if it was possible to build pink muscles? It is said to possess the red and white muscle fibers.

    • Thanks Kris but sorry I have no idea what you’re talking about…

      • Kris

        Haha! It’s okay 🙂 so… I’ve been doing HIIT for about 4 weeks now, and I’ve only been losing fats at my stomach (at a very slow rate), but I want to lose the fats around my thighs and at my lower back. So what should I do to lose those fats without using th

      • Kris

        the supplements*

  • Paul

    Wow – I was really hoping there was an option that didn’t require spending a ton of money. Wonder how people lost fat before these supplements.

    • You definitely don’t NEED supplements but they help.

      That said, if you continue getting leaner through proper diet and exercise you WILL lose the stubborn fat.

  • Lakshmi Toledano

    Hey Mike, i wanted to stop by and tell you: THANK YOU very much for sharing your knowledge with all of us. I just finished your book and found it MIND BLOWING. You’re more than a fitness and health coach, you’re a life coach. I like the way you talk about everything, because it really reflects how you want to change people’s life not only on the fitness matter. I’ve been consistently involved with fitness for around 4 years more or less and like you, i wasn’t getting the results i wanted. Now, call me crazy, but i started applying some of the tips you give through the book before finishing it and even with that i started to feel different. Now I’m going to fully follow this plan and come back with the results. 🙂

    Ps: Sorry if my comment is too long, i like to write too. :p

    • My pleasure! I’m happy to do it. 🙂

      Glad you’re getting results!

      Keep up the good work and keep me posted!

  • Jennifer Kitchens

    I was so excited to read this to hopefully get some answers and all it said was to take supplements. 🙁 if I could I would have done this already but I have a heart condition and can’t supplement with all these because they interact with my medication. I have stubborn fat on my midsection that just won’t go away and I train 6-7 days a week and diet very strictly. I’ve lost 85 pounds and can’t seem to get the body I work for yet.

    • You definitely don’t NEED supplements but they help.

      That said, if you continue getting leaner through proper diet and exercise you WILL lose the stubborn fat…

  • Andres Angarita

    Hey Mike, Andres here talking to you from Colombia. I am a 15 year old boy thats 5’7 and 145 pounds. I have a normal student life, i need to study from 7AM to 3PM. I go try going to the gym everyday from about 4:30-5PM to about 6-6:30 PM i go at least 5 days a week and practice Volleyball 3 times a week. I consider myself someone with a pretty clean diet. I wake up at 5AM and eat 4 egg whites with a glass of water, after that at 9 i eat a green apple with water, then i have lunch at about 1PM and eat a protein ( chicken, meat, or fish ) with any clean carbohydrate i find ( rice-potatoes-cassava ) and the vegetables i can eat with water, then at 3PM i eat a protein bar and that holds me till i finish my workout at about 6-6:30 and when i finish i drink my whey protein shake, then i get to my house at about 7PM and eat any protein again and a salad thats it. I train 1 muscle a day and it goes like this. Monday-Chest, Tuesday-Back, Wednesday-Triceps, Thursday-Biceps, Friday-Shoulders, Saturday-Legs. I work on my abs about every day and do a 20 minute steady cardio 3 times a week. My problem is i have been stuck with this layer of belly fat that covers my abs. I can feel them i know they are there and it frustrates me not being able to see them. I read the article but i cant quite do fasted training, so i wanted to know if there are any tips you would give me or anything i could do to finally be able to show my abs, i have been going to the gym for about 2 years ( i started as soon as i turned 13 ) and when i began i was fat and small i have grown i like all of my body, except for the abs that wont show. I want to know what can i do to finally get rid of the fat and show my abs. This is essentially all i do and how my life is can you give me any advice or tell me how to finally get rid of this stubborn fat that wont let me show off my abs. PLSSS.

    Thanks a lot, from Colombia
    Andres Angarita

    PS: There are buddys of mine that eat whatever they want and dont exercise like me but are really ripped and can show off their abs at the pool at stuff

    • Hey man!

      Great on what you’re doing.

      At your age you don’t want to worry about getting “shredded” because it’s just not good for your health.

      You don’t want to be in a calorie deficit and you don’t want to maintain very low body fat percentages.

      Instead, be active, play sports, lift weights, etc. and eat plenty of nutritious foods.

      Wait until you’re older and your body isn’t in this crucial development phase to get really lean.

  • Jenn

    Great article Mike! However I am a female with stubborn lower body fat. Is this guide for all areas?

  • Oliver Rindestig

    Hi again!
    I’m just wondering what you eat after a fasted training session? Directly after I take a proteinshake with raisins(approx 30 grams) and a banana. 1h later I eat a larger meal. Do I need more carbs after or is that enough?

  • Dee

    A very informative article. I am a 23 year old female with PCOS which has also caused insulin resistance. this has made it harder for me to lose weight. Any guidelines that could help me?

  • neda

    Hi mike,Im a 18 year old girl and I’ve been trying freaking hard to get rid of my stubborn belly fat,I can not work out in the fasted state cause I can not buy your supplements due to my country location and not being able to order it,can you help me how should I get rid of belly fat without working out in fasted state?how much cardio should I do?there’s a tiny layer of fat on my abs and it hinders my abs from poping up!please help me!

  • marios

    Hey Mike I need some advice. I started at 104kg in MArch now I’m 96kg. I’m 181cm and around 19% bf

    I’ve been stuck here for over a month now. I’m doing SS cardio 5x400kcal per week and I lift 3 times per week and I haven’t lost shit man.

    I eat around BMR now and I don’t know if I can eat less.
    I don’t want to reverse diet because my goal is to reach 10% by january so I can bulk.
    Any ideas? Thanks 🙂

    • Good job on the results you’ve gotten so far!

      To help continue the weight loss, check this out:


      LMK what you think.

      • Marios

        YEah I’ve seen that article many times. Basically I’ve dropped the SS cardio and went to BLS 3 times/week 25min HIIT and see how that works. Increased my calories a bit as well. I’ll update you in a few weeks.

        I’ll increase cardio igradually and if I don’t lose anything in a few weeks then I’ll reverse diet.

        If I increase my calories from BMR to maintenance instantly will I put on fat?

        • Sounds good. Let’s see how it goes.

          Yeah, I don’t recommend jumping straight to TDEE because of possible rapid fat gain.

          If you don’t get results, let’s reverse diet.

  • Vespin

    Mike, I can only afford either FORGE or PHOENIX. Which is more effective than the other?

  • mi

    hi mike, i’m a girl but unlike others i have stubborn fat mostly near my arms i have stubborn fat around my arms i did my workout for 3 months flat it reduced but not that much its still there , now i changed my exercise I’m swimming 5 times a week for 45 minutes i normally do arround 30- 32 laps in a 25 yard pool ,(i’ve been swimming since i was a a kid,but left it after a while ) does it help reduce there arm fat ,i already use whey protein as a supplement by muscle blaze i stopped weight training since 1 month since my gym was done ,please share your advice

  • Lasse

    You say it is recommended to take 0.2 mg of yohimbine. I am 80 kg, so that that is 16 mg. One capsule contains 2,5 mg so should i take 6 pills a day, eventhough they recommend only 2 pills a day on the bottle?


    • Check the bottle again. It recommends starting low to assess tolerance and then moving up.

  • Fahad Al Mutlaq

    Hello Mike,
    I’m on week 5 of your BLS cutting program and I love it, i’ve been increasing weight resisting by 5lbs average so far, for example I started the program lifting 25lbs bench press, now on week 5 im lifting 30lbs, does this sound like fair progress or do I need to push it more?
    also, my cloths are getting loose which is making me happy and proves that indeed i am losing fat but visually I am not seeing it, it is still that ugly old muffin top on my lower ab looking back at me. so what I want to ask is, on average, how much BF% a person would lose a week with your program? 1%?
    lastly, I don’t mind a slow process if there is a progress, and I am currently so comfortable (too comfortable actually) with my meal plans, so if I am not seeing a visual results after a month of cutting, does this mean i need to cut on my intake more?
    I am trying to avoid supplements and fasted training because im weak enough as it is, and don’t want to mess with little muscles I have,

    • Totally fine on the supps. They aren’t required to reach your goals.

      Glad you’re rolling on the program and enjoying it!

      Yep, sounds like you’re building muscle and losing fat. That’s great! As long as you’re gaining strength and your clothes are fitting looser, don’t worry. You will notice the visual results.

      You should be able to lose .5-1% BF per week if done correctly.

      The amount of strength gain is totally normal. It is important to remember that you won’t gain muscle as quickly while in a deficit.

      Let’s keep up what you’re doing for a couple months and see where you’re at.

      • Fahad Al Mutlaq

        Roger that! will take photos every couple of weeks or so, and keep you updated on the results!

        • Sounds good. I look forward to seeing your results!

          • Fahad Al Mutlaq

            Here are a comparison between my first day of BLS program and Week 7. I can’t measure body fat but from your experience, how much do you estimate BF% I had in day 1 and how much I have now?
            Also, from week 5-7 I noticed little change, do I need to reduce intake? Or increase workouts?
            Your thoughts?
            Thank you and I’ll email you full progress pictures if you wish to include in your books, articles,…etc when I finish the program.

          • Great job man! You’re definitely making progress.

            Check this out on the bf%:


            Keep up the good work brother. Keep me posted.

  • Ctoa N

    Hey Mike I’m a male 16, 5″5 63kg I lost fat so rapidly that I lost so much of muscle. now my upper 4 abs slightly show but too much fat covering the lower 2 what should I do to get rid of it? Intermittent fasting or fasted training in the morning? (I can’t afford losing more muscle)

  • Adam J

    Hi Mike,

    Firstly, thanks for being the guy that has literally changed the way I train i’ve been lifting on off for a few years now but only in the last 6 months (since I bought your book) have I really seen results.

    I have just started cutting a few months ago. I dropped from 87kg to 80kg and approx. 17% to 13% bf. I have now been sitting at these stats for a few weeks now. I have tried reducing calories to BMR (but never less) all I did was feel exhausted and not well rested. I lift weights in morn 4 times and HIIT in the evening 4 times at present unless I feel overtrained (2 times at least). I cannot switch these as my current gym isn’t practical to train in the evenings. I do not respond well to caffeine (anxiety).

    Am I missing the trick on something here?

    Timing of my meals? Because I measure every crumb following the percentages in your book and follow a IIFYM diet.

    Or should I keep going and hope its just really slow progress?

    Bit lost here!! Help please! 🙂

  • GT

    Hey Mike,
    I’ve taken your advice on the weighted ab work and in a couple of weeks it’s really made a difference. I’ve combined it with fasted HiiT in the morning using forge/pulse and it seems to have got me pretty close to the % I’d like to maintain for my age. Do you think it’s feasible to drop another 2% BF in a month as 7% sounds like the mark I could maintain and from what you said I’d already be under 10%. Attached is a couple of pics a fortnight after your tips, I just take them in the morning so there is no unrealistic bro party pump.
    Also I read a couple of designers comment that your site layout/design didn’t stick to the rules of design/typography making it hard to navigate. I’m in the same industry and rule of thumb is if average joe consumers outside the industry aren’t giving that feedback then that is the true gauge… as they aren’t looking or nit picking it from that perspective. People just want easily accessible info… which you provide in spades.
    Cheers again

    • Dude great job. You look fantastic.

      I’d guess you’re around 7 to 8% and yes you COULD get to the 6% range but it’s pretty grueling if you’re not on any drugs. It’s not sustainable either.

      IMO, hang out where you are. Reverse diet up and enjoy.


      • GT

        Thanks Mike. Seriously if I didn’t stumble across all the information, you’ve put out there, I would never have got beyond the plateau I had hit… so super grateful.
        That sounds like a plan. I’ll do that and then might try to gain a little more after our summer in Australia. Plan is to be in my best maintainable body composition when I hit 50 in 2 yrs. I’d definitely never even consider drugs to do that… as where is the feeling of achievement if you cheat.
        Thanks again I’ll keep you posted.

        • NP! Happy to help.

          I like your goal and way to stick to the drug-free path. 🙂

          Talk soon.

  • Vero

    Hey Mike,

    I am a big fan of your Thinner Leaner Strong book. I recommend it to all of my friends and I just purchased all three of the supplements you mentioned above. I’m a Big fan.

    I had a quick question: Is it okay to do a fasted HIIT training immediately after I weight train so that I don’t have to hit the gym twice in a day?


    • Hey! Thanks for the support. Glad you like my book and thanks a ton for spreading the word and picking up the supps too!

      Yep, totally fine to do fasted HIIT right after the weightlifting. In order to be fasted for the HIIT you’ll have to do the weightlifting fasted as well though.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • D.N

    Hi Mike!

    I know you say we cannot be genetically cursed, but let me tell you, I DEFINITELY am lol..

    I have been reading your book TLS, and have been following the 5-day split program + doing 3 30-45 min HIIT sessions per week. I am 5’3″ and weigh around 105lbs, with approximately 16-18% body fat. I have been working out on and off for the past year, but started getting more serious with my weightlifting and being more conscious with my nutrition for the past 5 months or so. I also started -about a month ago- tracking every calorie that I consume using MyFitnessPal and have been in a calorie deficit of about 80% of my TDEE. I have been losing about 1/2 pound/week for the past 5 months.

    My problem is that I’m losing weight in all of the wrong places, and I know you can’t spot reduce fat, but I was hoping that by the time I hit the 17% body fat mark, I would have gotten rid of the stubborn fat on my thighs and lower abdominal. My shirts are fitting me a lot looser, but my jeans are just the same if not a little tighter (which I’m assuming is from muscle gains). I’m not sure what to do from here, and how much more weight would I have to drop before I get to these stubborn fat pockets? Should I continue to lose weight? or would focusing on building muscle and maintaining my current weight be the optimal option to reach my genetic potential? I’m starting to feel like giving up, so any help/advice would be highly appreciated.

    Thank you so much!!

    • You’re not! 😛

      Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Cool you’ve been rolling on the TLS program and getting results. Good job!

      Keep up the deficit and you will lose the fat in those areas. Are you doing the things I mentioned in this article?

      If you still want to lose the fat, let’s keep going with the weight loss.

      Hope this helps! LMK what you think.

      My pleasure!

  • Adam Rozen

    MIke — been through this article and your pre-workout guide as well. They seem to contradict themselves here. This article mentions training fasted with very few carbs (with protein) pre-workout, which the pre-workout guide says to carb up (with protein) before working out. How do I know which is right, or when to do one vs. the other? Thanks!

    • It depends on your goal. Proper pre-workout nutrition will improve performance in the gym, and I definitely recommend it when maintaining or bulking. I don’t recommend fasted training while bulking or maintaining.

      Fasted training isn’t required for cutting either. You’ll get results without it. Fasted training will help accelerate the fat loss while cutting though.

      So, it’s up to you!

  • Joshua

    Hey Mike! Great stuff as always. I was wondering : Is losing stubborn body fat for the first time harder? Say you’re trying to get to 8% bf for the first time versus getting to 8% bf the second time.. Is there any difference on a physical perspective? Thanks in advance! Also, the content you choose for your articles and your way of delivering it are always on point, you make everything a great read. I wish you the best!

    • Thanks Josh!

      Great question and after working with a LOT of people it definitely seems to be the case.

      Stubborn fat can come off quite slowly the first time you lose it but quite a bit faster in future cuts.

      I’m not sure why.

  • NoApoloG

    Hey Mike
    I started reading a sample of your book on iTunes and immediately went to buy it after I finished. Unfortunately it wasn’t in stock so I had to order it. Can’t wait to finish reading it!

    But I’m relatively new to weight training. I’ve been lifting for about 8 mos now. I took the wrong approach, instead of educating myself before I got into this new lifestyle I took advice from different guys in the gym. No need to go in detail on how I was training because from the portion of your book I’ve did read explained how I was over training and doing it all wrong. Although I can say I have gained muscle but I also gained a hideous gut right along with it. Not the plan! I’m measuring right at 20% BF and I hate it! I was on a 3000 calorie meal plan when I first started lifting and gaining muscle. How many calories should I consume daily now that I want to get rid of BF but keep gaining muscle?

    • Sorry about the stock! Glad you like what you’ve read so far! Thanks for ordering. 🙂

      Understood on the way you were training. Glad you were able to at least get some results! Sorry to hear about the gut. Time to do it right!

      To continue building muscle while losing fat, check this out:


      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Billy Roberts

    So if the green tea extract in Phoenix makes one sick (like me), and one has to eat food with it to keep from getting sick, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of fasted training?

    • Nope. Fasted training will still be effective for accelerating fat loss, and Phoenix will still be effective in accelerating fat loss as well. You just won’t be able to take it before fasted training is all.

      You can just have the 2 servings with meals as suggested on the bottle.

      • Billy Roberts

        So you can Phoenix anytime of day and it’s just as effective? What about Forge?

        • Correct!

          As long as you’re fasted and about to train, Forge will be effective.

          • Billy Roberts

            Thanks Mike. I want to let you know something. I’m 41, and like you I’ve spent most of my adult life in the gym working hard and not getting the results I wanted. I’m on week 8 of phase I of BLS, and I’ve seen more progress relative to time invested in the last 8 weeks than at any time in the previous two decades. Also, aside from whey and creatine, I’ve always shunned supplementation of any kind, having nothing but disdain for supplement peddlers. In a first for me, I just spent a few hundred dollars on Legion supplements. Why? Because what I’ve gotten out of BLS and your online articles, and the results I’ve seen from them thus far, have convinced me beyond a doubt that you’re the real deal. You’ve made it clear that supplements are no substitute for proper training (which I also believe obviously), but if you say these supplements can make a small but significant impact then I believe it and am willing to give them a shot. I’ve read a lot of fitness books and magazines over the years and tried a lot of different workout programs and “diets” and none of them were worth the paper they were printed on. You’ve waded through a lot of BS to sort out the real gems of fitness information, and compiled it into a highly readable, thoroughly digestible, and extremely effective book that is BLS. You’ve done a real service. Kudos to you. I wish you all the success in the world.

          • Welcome!

            I’m really glad to hear about the results you’ve gotten since being on my program. It’s pretty crazy what proper training and dieting can do huh? 🙂

            Thanks a ton for picking up some Legion products and for all the kind words and support! I really do appreciate it man. Happy to do what I’m doing!

            That’s right, supps are not required to reach your fitness goals, but supps with scientifically proven ingredients at their clinical dosages can help you reach your goals faster.

            Definitely LMK what you think of the products and 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.

            Thanks again!

  • Sam K

    Mike. Let’s say I get to my desired BF%.
    1. Should I remove PHOENIX and FORGE from my diet and just have PULSE and RECHARGE?
    2. Or would you recommend fasted training if I want to maintain?

    • 1. Yup. That’s what I do.

      2. Not unless you enjoy it (most people don’t).

  • NaiKang He

    Hi Mike ,
    i have a question regarding my diet plan . i am currently cutting and when i count the calories i see that i have a slightly more calorie than i should consume , idid the calculation again and see that i need to cut the pre workout meal in order to get the calorie right and the macronutrients . is it fine to cut it or should i cut something else ? mine look like this 2500 calorie , 210g protein,250g carbs ,60 g fat . after the cut it should be 2175 calorie , 180g protein , 200g carbs and 60g fat .

  • Carlos N

    Hi Mr. Matthews, first off I would like to sincerely thank you for sharing this valuable information with us! A little background about me, I’m currently 30 years old and weigh 172lbs, however I was not always this thin. Around fall 2010 I hit a breaking point, rock bottom. I had gotten fired from my job, dumped by my girlfriend, & weighed 276lbs!!! Instead of wallowing in self pity, eating, & playing video games, I decided to hop on the treadmill in my garage, after just 5 minutes of jogging at the moderate speed of 5mph I was beat, but I kept at it & as time went by my endurance increased exponentially! Then I stated hitting the weights and got bulked up a bit, some nice definition. Fast forward today & I completely transformed myself, family & friends, especially those that hadn’t seen me in a long time were astonished at my transformation! However, I still have that stubborn fat around my lower abs. With this priceless information you have selflessly provided us, I will follow religiously & I know this is the key to finally reach my goal & complete my transformation. With the utmost sincerity & gratitude, thanks Mike!!! 🙂

    • My pleasure Carlos!

      Thanks for all the info. Sorry to hear about everything that happened in 2010.

      Way to do something about it and start training! Really happy to hear about the results you got. 🙂

      I hear you on the stubborn fat. I look forward to seeing your results after applying this info!

      My pleasure for everything. I’m happy to help!

      • Carlos N

        I’ll keep you updated! Just ordered Forge & Phoenix, can’t wait to get them & hit the fasted training even harder!

        • Sounds good!

          Awesome you ordered the products.

          Definitely LMK how the training goes using them!

  • Sara Svensson

    Thanks for a great reading!

  • Onur

    Hi Michael,

    Do you recommend us to try to increase the weights of our liftings or keep it stable during cut period?


  • Wilson

    Do you still recommend a post workout meal of protein and carbs when using fasted training along with the recommended supplements?

    • Absolutely!

      • Wilson

        Alright, and do you simply take the serving size of 4 capsules of phoenix pre workout despite the directions stating to split phoenix into two 2-capsule intakes in the day? Also, when you recommend 2 servings of forge, are you referring to the bottle’s serving size, the full dosage (1 pill/ 25lb), or the first time dosage (1 pill/ 50lb)? Regarding rest days during a cut, how do you recommend one supplement? (phoenix and creatine whenever is convenient?)

        • I like it pre-workout because it’s maximally effective that way (combined with caffeine) BUT the green tea extract makes many people nauseous. So keep that in mind.

          My body does well with stimulants so I do two full servings of yohimbine (about 16 mg for me) per day when cutting. Again, that’s me though.

          On rest days, I do Phoenix and Recharge, yes.

          • Wilson

            Awesome, thanks! I really appreciate that you take time to reply to everyone.

          • Happy to do it. 🙂

  • Schmidt

    I have a question regarding fasted training. I want to try it but if I train in a fasted state to get that increased fat burn, but then go home to immediately make breakfast, and thus spike my insulin levels, does that end the increased fat burn from that workout? if so, how long should I wait to eat after a fasted training session?

    • That’s actually what I recommend. If you’re focus is on fat loss, and you’re okay with fasted training, I recommend training fasted and then getting the proper post-workout nutrition. You’ll still get the fat loss benefits from the fasted training.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Madeline
  • IW Transformation

    Started IF two days ago. Been reading about differences between men/women and am going to modify my IF to be more low-key and ramp up over time if necessary. Going to start Phoenix/ Forge/ Pulse with fasted training tomorrow. Probably will create a routine that does fasted training 3x/week for this month and assess progress with BF dunk test in early Feb. Will keep you posted on how it goes. Thanks for this article. It is very inspirational and offers concrete actionable steps to achieve my goal of losing belly fat.

    • Cool! If you enjoy IF, and it helps you stay on track with your diet, go ahead. Otherwise, it’s not some secret to weight loss. Check this out:


      Awesome you’re starting with those supps. LMK how you like them!

      Sounds good on the fasted training. To measure your BF%, check this out:


      My pleasure!

      And yeah, 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.

  • Elijah Laughinghaus

    Two questions. One, can I avoid muscle loss from fasted training simply by doing fasted cardio, and fed muscle training, separately?

    Secondly, if HMB prevents muscle breakdown, wouldn’t that mean it might impede my muscle building?

    • 1. Sorry I don’t understand. You can elaborate?

      2. No, the effects are not nearly strong enough to impair the muscle damage that occurs while you train.

      • Elijah Laughinghaus

        Ok, what I mean is, the downside to fasted training is muscle loss, correct? But what if I don’t lift weights on my fasted workouts and stick to cardio. Then the next day, I eat before lifting?

        • Fasted cardio is probably more catabolic than fasted weightlifting…

  • Bas van Manen

    Yo Michael, Question: There seem to be quite a few faster and slower
    energy sources in the body available with different amounts of storage.
    Such as Blood glucose, Liver Glycogen Muscle Glycogen, Free fatty acids,
    triglycerides, muscle triglycerides, adipose tissue and muscle protein.
    Some sources/people claim that these sources are burned in sequence.
    This doesn’t make sense to me and doesn’t feel like how the human body
    would do things. Isn’t it more like your body taps in these stores based
    on the type of activity you’re performing and the type of state your
    body is in. And isn’t the energy flow more like a percentage based
    action rather than an on or off kinda thing? Hope you can shed some
    light on this. Peace

    • That’s right–your body is pulling energy from multiple sources in different amounts depending on what you’re doing.

      Weightlifting, for example, relies heavily on glycogen (anaerobic energy system) whereas walking relies heavily on our aerobic system (and pulls mainly from fat stores).

  • Guest

    Hello great article, but as toxicologist cannot agree with your statment”And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:
    No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
    No artificial food dyes.
    No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

    but this is little incompetence compared to others and what more important most of your article contain correct information.

    • Thanks. 🙂

      LMK your thoughts on the Pulse statements?

      • Guest

        Maybe I wrote this in wrong manner. I understand that you must do such because of internet quackery and people simply demand this. But in other hand if people will do that they will be belive that they have right. Anyway one more time great article

        • Oh okay. Well I’m open to any and all feedback so just let me know if anything comes to mind.

  • L

    Hi. If you’ve managed to mess up your metabolism and it’s been so for months or even years, is 2-3 weeks of eating on maintenance level sufficient to get it back to normal or what would you recommend? I’d love to try out Forge but the shipping costs to Europe is pretty expensive. Do you have a European retailer? Will the yohimbine work if I start my days off with a fasted 10-20 minute at home HIIT cardio workout. Then eat breakfast and a few hours later go to the gym to lift weights? Thanks

  • Andy Eleazar Saavedra

    Hi Mike, once I’m done cutting how would I go about going into a bulking phase. I wouldn’t want to gain fat so quickly, how long should I take making transitions from what I currently eat to my TDEE then to bulk?

    Bmr: 1650
    Currently eating: 1750
    tDee: 2200

  • ernestgrimes

    Hey Michael,

    I’m glad I came across all of your stuff. Thanks for making
    products with integrity that work. For a little info, I’m turning 30, 5’11, 306lbs,
    37.5 bf%. I’m cutting and am doing the 1 yrs challenge from BLS (just finished
    wk 3) – 5 days weight lifting and will add HITT cardio this week. I calculated
    my macros using the sources you provided (243 pro, 243 carbs, 54 fat – just over 2400 cals) and
    taking the Phoenix, Pulse, Recharge, Vitamin D, Spirulina, Fish oil, Multi
    vitamin (rainbow light 1 a day), and just purchase Forge as recommended by your

    Given that I want to start training fasted (Weight lifting
    and HITT cardio) I’m trying to plan out my meals so that I remain in fasted state. So I do have a few
    questions (Trying to cater to my work schedule):

    1. Would it be fine for me to have 4 large meals on training days (fat
    and carbs will vary in each meal)? Ex. 4 meals per
    day on training days:

    Meal 1 (6:30):
    60.75g Protein
    46.5g Carbs
    20g Fat

    Meal 2 (1pm Directly after fasted HITT):
    60.75g Protein
    75g Carbs
    7g Fat

    Meal 3 (7:30 directly after Fasted weight
    60.75g Protein
    75g Carbs
    7g Fat

    Meal 4 (10:30 – hr before bed):
    60.75g Protein
    46.5g Carbs
    20g Fat

    2. Is there anything that I can snack on in-between meals that will NOT take me out of fasted state (I
    would adjust meals to allow for snack)? List of foods or natural herbal teas,
    etc. I was thinking about BCAA’s but they don’t taste good. I mean I can power
    it down but would like to know all possible things I can eat or drink the will
    help with hunger. No coffee because my caffeine will come from the Pulse.

    3. What foods cause me to
    stay in a fed state closer to the 6+ hours? Do you have a list of the foods and
    how long it takes the body to break it down? I want to make sure that I’m in
    fasted state. Also, how would I know that I back to fasted state. How do I know
    my baseline? Etc.

    4. I read that when taking
    Beta-Alanine its good to also supplement with Taurine to avoid becoming taurine
    deficient. Is this recommended? If so, how much, how often?

    5. If I do the given
    workout would it be okay to add other exercises or would it hinder progress.
    Example. Chest day do more bench or push-ups for reps after normal workout.

    6. What products in your
    line are safe for breastfeeding mothers? Also, what products that you recommend
    are safe for bf moms? Ex. Spirulina, fiber, etc.

    I believe that’s all for
    now. Sorry so long. Thanks again.

    Ernest Grimes

    • Hey man!

      Glad to hear you’re doing well. Thanks for the support.

      1. Sure.

      2. Anything that is 0-calorie is fine. I like green tea personally.

      3. Adding fat to a meal slows down the absorption of everything but the biggest factor is meal size. If you eat a large meal (30g+ pro, 100g+ carb, 30g+ fat), it’s going to take quite a while to process.

      When will you be training?

      4. Not necessary unless you were taking a HUGE amount of BA.

      5. Not necessary IMO.

      6. Obviously no stims but protein, Triumph, and Fortify would be fine. Creatine is questionable. Generally speaking, you want to keep supplementation to a minimum when breastfeeding.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • ernestgrimes

        Great. Thanks for the info.

        3. I will be eating a large meal around 6:30 am doing HIIT cardio around 12:30pm eating a large meal right after and weight training around 5:45 – 6:00pm. Is that enough time to break down a large meal?

        5. Yeah, I know its not necessary but i have my cousin doing the program with me and he would like to get a couple sets of exercises in with more reps. Not too many though. It won’t interfere with progress from the normal workout correct?

        New question:
        If I lift early in the morning on some days is it okay to do HIIT 3-5 hours later or is it always better to do HIIT first. Some days I may have to do HIIT several hours after lifting.


        • YW.

          3. How large? Foods and macros?

          5. That’s fine.

          Totally fine.

  • Kam Barnes

    Hey Mike,

    I’m wanting to know how many forge pills I should take on days where I do both cardio and weight training?? I weigh 180 lbs and I take 7 pills on days where I only do lifting or cardio but I’m unsure if I should take the full dosage of 7 before weight training and 7 more before cardio when doing them on the same day or if I should take 4 before each instead.

    Since forge is meant to be taken 15 min before training is that 15 min before I start my warmup which takes ~ 10 min or is that 15 min before I start my first heavy lifting set??

    Lastly, How long would it take to enter a fasted state if i consumed 150 g of Oikos non fat plain Greek yogurt with 29 g legion chocolate whey + & a scoop of recharge??? Macros are 183.2 Cals, 36.8 G protein, 9 g carbs & 0 g fat.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • You’d take a full serving before each fasted training session. So, 7 capsules before fasted weightlifting and then another 7 capsules before fasted cardio.

      15 minutes before warm-up is fine.

      3-4 hours should be enough to be considered fasted after a snack like that.

      My pleasure! Hope this helps. Talk soon!

  • P Mort

    I’m thinking of trying supplements as I currently do fasted morning training (hopefully strength & cardio during the same session is no big deal) but my concern is the caffeine. I generally avoid the stuff (I *HATE* coffee), and don’t want to become dependent on it.

    • Cool!

      No worries on the caffeine. Phoenix and Forge are both synergistic with it, but they are still effective without it. For fasted training, the only thing you REALLY need is Forge.

      Phoenix will help accelerate fat loss, but it isn’t necessary for fasted training.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • P Mort

        You know, since I made this post I have been contemplating splitting my strength & cardio, strength first thing in the morning (as I said, fine with it) but I might put cardio later so I can do longer HIIT sessions…would that make a difference regarding the supplements?

        • That’s totally fine.

          You’ll just need to make sure you take Forge before both if you’re doing both fasted.

  • Captain Morgan 94

    Hey Mike, I’m a pretty scrawny guy (22 years old, 133 pounds) and I wanted to be able to add some muscle and get rid of the inch of belly fat that won’t go away. I have found it is difficult for me to gain weight, but it’s also difficult to gain muscle as well. Will doing this give me the push I need to start bulking up a little?

  • SexiRich Mi


  • MJ Briones

    Hello! First, let say that I really enjoyed your article and the actual explanation of how/why plateaus occur and techniques to use to overcome them. Second, my question is do you recommend your products EXCLUSIVELY for fasted training?

    • Thanks! Happy to hear it.

      Forge is exclusively for fasted training. Phoenix and Pulse can be used both for fasted and non-fasted training.

  • Joa Bohorquez

    Im a little confused on how may pills of the yohembine HCI I should take – I just got the supplement form your website and I just took one pill – I’m going to my do my cardio in a little bit – You said you take 16mg? I weigh 60 kg – how many pills should I take with my coffee before my fasted cardio? also, is it ok to throw a little almond milk in my coffee?

    • Start out with 8mg of yohimbine. If you do fine with it, work your way up to 16mg. Once at 16mg, stick with that dosage.

      Some almond milk before fasted training is fine. I recommend keeping it below 30-40 cals.

      My pleasure. Glad you enjoy the books and are happy with Whey+.

      Thanks for the kind words and support! 🙂

      Talk soon.

      Oh and would you mind taking a minute to write a blurb about the books where you bought them (Amazon, Apple, etc.)? You don’t have to write much if you don’t want to and I’d really appreciate it. 🙂

  • VK

    Mike, what kind of workout is recommended for a women after breast cancer, which required a mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes? I have been restricted to no more than ten pounds on my left side and will always be at risk for lymphedema. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • That’s something you should check with the doc on. I’m not sure what you’re limitations are, and I don’t recommend any type of training that isn’t directly approved by your doc.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  • Storm

    Hi, Mike. Great, informative article. I’m 6’3″ and about 190 lbs now, toning up but I’ve had stubborn belly fat for months. I work on legs Monday, cardio Tuesday, biceps and back on Wednesday, more cardio Thursday, and chest and triceps on Fridays.
    I was originally 155lb before this regime. I usually exercise around 9:30 pm due to the time I get home from work, settling in, having a quick snack, etc.. I take whey protein post-workout, have a pre-workout mix, and throughout the day take things like l-carninite, fish oiil, yoshimbe bark, ZMA, etc.. I’ve noticed changes but my belly fat is still present. What would you recommend to help? Thanks in advance.

    • Thanks! I hear you on the stubborn belly fat.

      Cool on your exercise routine and supps you’re taking.

      Awesome on the weight you’ve gained since starting the program too.

      Have you tried applying the points from this article? They will help.

      My pleasure. Talk soon!

  • Matt

    Hey Mike! I recently got a custom meal plan from your team and I’m loving it. It’s helped me start to plan out my own meals. So kudos on the precise meal planning. I also have been using Forge for a couple of days because I’m at the point where I need to lose the last 5 or so pounds of my stubborn fat, and I really enjoy the focus I get from it. However, my question is: is it bad or not recommended to be doing strength training AND cardio in the same session? I just don’t have much time during the day to do two workouts. I could if I had to, but I would prefer not to, you know? I usually do my weightlifting and then 20 minutes of HIIT right afterwards (while on Forge, of course). Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, man.

    • Hey Matt! Awesome you ordered a custom meal plan and are enjoying it!

      Cool you’re using Forge too. I hear you on those last 5 pounds. Let’s get rid of them!

      Totally fine to do weightlifting and cardio in the same session. Just make sure you keep doing the weightlifting first.

      Welcome! Talk soon.

  • Livo

    I don’t have so much time for doing 5 times fasted training, but I do it Saturday and Sunday without taking supplements. I am following the One year challenge for women, and in your book do not say any type of cardio to be done during the program. But then you said you do 3 to 4 times a week, HIIT 20-30 minutes. So, shall we do or not cardio? It matters or not to do cardio for getting rid off of stubborn fat? or I will follow the program and I will reach the goal.

    • Hmm. I don’t recommend doing fasted training without the supplements. Check this out:


      Cool you’re rolling on the 1YC!

      Regarding how much cardio you should do, check this out:


      Hope this helps. LMK what you think!

      • Livo

        Hello Mike thanks for your answer, I try to buy FORGE through Amazon but they don’t have, then I found out, that since Forge has Yohimbine, Yohimbine is not allowed in Norway. So I wonder if I use HMB or BCAA with coffee (wihout sugar without melk) in the morning before my fasted training can work for me?

        • Yep, sorry about that!

          HMB or BCAAs with coffee would work great!

  • Tyler

    Hey Mike, just wanted to ask a few things. So I’ve been in a deficit for a some time now. Probably 4-6 months of regularly being in it. Well the past month and a half I’ve been real serious with and started weighing my food and all and went from about 14-15% body fat to finally getting down to 10%.I’m looking to get down to about 8% before I start my calorie surplus. Just wondering if it is okay to stay in a calorie deficit for that long. Also my chest and back acne is pretty bad and I literally am having to take 3 showers a day and still not helping. Just wondering if that could be connected or not or if you’ve heard of anyone having something similar.

    • Great job on what you’ve done. Hmm if you don’t have to drop below BMR to continue losing fat I’d say you can keep going. If you do, then I would reverse diet first.

      The acne is likely related to hormonal changes but I can’t say I’ve come across that before with just cutting (most of the time it involves drug use).

      • Tyler

        Could be that I use to be big my whole life and first time that I’m ever at or below 10% body fat causing the hormonal changes? Which im only 18 but I’m not to sure, but I do know I’ve never done any drugs haha.

        • Possibly. It may be related to your diet, though. Have you started eating more dairy and/or simple sugars than before?

          • Tyler

            No I dont believe so. Not sure what all simple sugars would be but really only dairy I really have is my 1% milk with protein shake. Maybe some swiss cheese every now and then as well lol.

          • Okay and were you having the milk and cheese before you were cutting?

          • Tyler

            Cheese yes. Milk no. But if you think it’s the milk is there anyway I could do like dairy free milk for my protein shakes and not break out?

          • I would try cutting out all dairy and high-GI carbs (simple sugars and such). Try for 10 to 14 days and let me know…

  • Miguel NetReg

    Hi Mike, love this write-up. I noted your comment on HMB, that it does not disturb your fasted state due to zero insulin impact. Does that mean when doing Intermittent Fasting, HMB would be a good supplement to take first thing in the morning with water and black coffee, until breaking fast 4-6hrs after waking up?

    • Thanks!

      Eh. There’s no need to supplement with HMB unless you’re training fasted.

      • Miguel NetReg

        Thanks. The thought was really just whether having HMB first thing to prevent potential catabolic state would be any benefit to muscle recovery while fasting for another 6hrs. Good to hear that it doesn’t matter.

  • joseph

    Hi Mike!!

    Just had a clarification to ask on 2 things. In podcast 44, you talked about cutting, coming from a maintenance.. you know, going 25% below what you are currently eating, rather than 25% below your actual tdee.. what if im coming from a bulk..? do i drop to maintenance first, then cut? or is it alright to go 25% deficit from TDEE after bulking? or is it like going 25% below what im currently eating on my bulk..?
    what i was planing on doing after my next bulk was to just go down to 25% below tdee, just like i did this time.. but I was planing to up the ante every few weeks or so by; not dooing cardio the first 2 weeks, then adding it in, then adding in 30 more minutes per session at the gym, then adding fasted training. im hopong that i get better results with that, than with this current cut. any opinion on this..?

    and the other thing was just something i’d like to know, what you’d do in this situation. Most, if not all calorie counter apps will give calories that may vary depending on the food, even if the macros are the same from one day to another. do i follow the calories, like lets say, 2721 ckal everyday even if the macros are off, or do i follow the macros everyday of lets say, 30g fat, 400g carb, 160g protein, even if the calories differ..?

    • NP!

      Nah, you should go straight to a 20-25% deficit from TDEE.

      Rather than increasing cardio each week, I recommend keeping intake and activity level consistent weekly until you stop getting results (losing 1-2 pounds a week). Then you increase activity level and/or drop cals. Repeat that until you reach your goal BF% or are at BMR and not losing 1-2 pounds a week.

      What’s most important is cals. So, make sure you’re within your allotted cals. Check this out:


      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • joseph

        thanks for the helpful insight. the article was great. so just a clarification, so does it mean that, if i’ve met my macros but still have calories to “spend” i can still say, up my carbs til the calorie limit?? or inversley, if ive met my protien and fat but not carbs, but calorie limit was met for the day, do i stop eating?

  • AnnaD

    Hey Mike! Just wondered if there is any measurable correlation between body fat % and scale weight? I weight 60kg at the moment, 173 cm tall and estimate around 20% body fat. I started a cut about 4 days ago – my goal is to get to about 17% body fat. Would this translate to any particular number on the scale? Or should I just go by measuring waist and the mirror? Thanks for your help!

  • Stephen Williams

    Hello Mike. Just wanted your opinion on a cut that I’ve just started. I’m 186 lbs and approx 12-14% bodyfat. I’m consuming 2,800 calories a day which doesn’t provide a deficit according to the bmr calculators and formulas. However I feel significantly hungry and am appreciating every mouthful so much (even unspiced chicken breast tastes incredible)! Also I am feeling quite sluggish almost like my body doesn’t want to move around much. Do you think I’m likely in a calorie deficit despite bmr calculators suggesting I’m not?
    Thanks, Stephen

    • Hey Stephen! NP. Thanks for all the info.

      It all depends on results. Are you losing 1-2 pounds a week?


  • Cleon Gionet

    Mike Mentzer training works great for fasted state workouts! Fast, intense and productive! Building muscle isn’t an endurance contest, but a intensity ONE!


  • Cleon Gionet

    Hey, Mike

    I noticed when I eat like a lion. I get tight! No counting of anything. Just clean food. Two big meals daily.. after a 16-20 hrs fast. And I get lean and I don’t lose muscle or strength! I train 3 times weekly. 15-25 minutes long. Most of that time is warming up! I preform 2-3 heavy-duty sets and done! Last night my workout was 1 set of pullovers 400x9reps/1 set of dead lifts 500x13reps! Done back training for 8-9 days. Hahaha.. people still live in a black hole today.. with all that volume. Anyways, good article. I live this way. It’s not a diet. But what I do. 😉


  • Michael West

    Hi Mike. Been working the BLS program for a few weeks and go 5-7 days per week. Good motivation and no symptoms of overtraining. Always lift and do a variety of cardio which may be HIIT or moderate intensity. Cardio very rarely is longer than 30 mins. Began working out about 9 months ago with resistance and cardio with significant caloric restriction. I dropped almost 60 lbs and unknown amount of fat. Prob muscle too but been lifts are stronger. Started eating more and no weight gain but no loss either. Currently 6 ft and at 191 lbs. Protein is at 218, carbs at 191 and fat at 38. Total of 1974 kcal a per day. BMR is about 1909 so not much room. I feel ok while on severe restriction but better when eat. I am very close to the macros daily. BF has been stalled at 17% for months (using Omron impedance monitor). Know accuracy may be off but think it should be relatively accurate. That is, going up or down with changes. Any ideas how to get the BF to begin dropping? Thanks. Mike

  • Michael West

    Thanks Mike. I was a day premature as I whooshed the next 2 days. BF dropped to 16.3% the next day and weight to 189. Do you know if whooshing is a one time thing and progress will be steadier or once a whoosher always a whoosher? I am sticking with everything and adding creatine to my post work out. Never used it before and never had a program like BLS. Will keep you filled in.

  • juliana Osorio

    What are your recommendations on this subject without supplementation?

    • Without supps, just stick to a moderate calorie deficit of 20-25% from TDEE with a proper macro breakdown, hit the heavy, compound lifts and do HIIT.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • Celeste F

    Hey there! I was wondering if fast working out also includes not having coffee. Before each of my workouts I have a shot of espresso with sugar so I was thinking of just having the coffee by itself without any sugar. Would that be fine?

    • Totally fine to have coffee or espresso before your workouts. If you want to sweeten it or add cream, just make sure to use a calorie-free sweetener and don’t use more than 2 tbsp of cream. Anymore and you risk breaking the fast.

      • Celeste F

        Thanks Michael! Not having coffee before working out really kills my stamina. I’ll avoid sugar and cream from now on.

  • John

    Hello Mike! I have just discovered your blog and podcast and I’m loving them! I’m 17 and I have been fasting for 6 months now. 8-16 intermitent fasting. My bodyfat has decrease A LOT, everywhere but my love handles, they even seem to be bigger. My weight is going down but not this stubborn fat area. What could it be?

    Thanks Mike!

  • Lakshay Jindal

    Thank you so much for this article Mike.
    I have been following similar regime for past 6 weeks. Intermittent fasting and keto diet. Getting good results with fat reduction but due to no anti-catabolic agent I lost some muscle mass as well although that might just be glycogen depletion from muscle. I wish I had stumbled upon this article sooner and tried HBM and BCAAs.

    Whats next? How do I stay lean and make slow and steady gains after this program?
    Does apple cider vinegar prior to meals help control insulin spike?

    Testimonial- These tips are gold an not many trainers tell you these without buying their packages. Hooked to your articles. Keep it up!

  • Lakshay Jindal

    Thank you so much for this article Mike.

    I have been following similar regime for past 6 weeks. Intermittent fasting and keto diet. Getting good results with fat reduction but due to no anti-catabolic agent I lost some muscle mass as well although that might just be glycogen depletion from muscle. I wish I had stumbled upon this article sooner and tried HMB and BCAAs.

    Whats next? How do I stay lean and make slow and steady gains after this program?

    Does apple cider vinegar prior to meals help control insulin spike?

    Testimonial- These tips are gold an not many trainers tell you these without buying their packages. Hooked to your articles. Keep it up!

  • CoreyK

    Mike – I am trying to lose stubborn chest fat. I’m 12-13% body fat but can see a lot of lower abdominal veins.
    My question is, which would benefit me more : forge or Phoenix?
    I lift and do cardio fasted ( 16hrs into my fast) so how would I take either of these products?
    Note-I do take bcaas prior to fasted training .
    Thank you in advance

    • You must have good genetics for vascularity. Lucky. 🙂

      If you’re training fasted and can only get one product, you should definitely pick up Forge.

      Awesome you’ve been taking BCAAs before fasted training. No need to take them if you have Forge, though.

      Welcome! Talk soon.

      • Michael Gobaud


        I thought you wrote somewhere else that you should take BCAAs before fasted lifting to prevent muscle breakdown so I’ve been taking that with the Forge, but I just read somewhere else that BCAAs actually raise insulin and thus inhibit the fat mobilization effects of yohimbe-driven (Forge) fasted training. So what is ideal? Why aren’t BCAAs needed if using Forge?

        Also, I always take Pulse before fasted training but read that ANY calories can hinder those fasted benefits, so are those 5 calories an issue?


        • Hey Mike! I do recommend BCAAs. Other options I recommend are leucine, or HMB. Of the three, HMB is the most effective, which is why it is in Forge. If you’re taking Forge, you don’t need the others.

          Although BCAAs do create an insulin response, it’s not significant enough to break a fast. Same goes for Pulse.

          YW! Hope that helps.

  • Onur

    Hi Michael,

    Is this kind of a counting nearly correct while creating a fat loss strategy?

    According to 1 gr of fat = 9 calories equation; for instance:
    Is a 500 calori deficit equal to 55 gr of fat ?

  • Max

    Great article! What are your thoughts on alpha-yohimbine/rauwolscine? Yohimbine can make me a bit jittery, and I’ve heard that rauwolscine has milder side effects, and has the same mechanism of action.

  • Josh Hewett

    Great article! I’m using many of these strategies currently (fasted HIIT, as well as intermittent fasting with Leucine, ephedrine, Yohimbine, caffeine, EGCG) with great results… question is what do you recommend to KEEP this stubborn fat off after cutting? Damn low back / love handles come back slowly once back at maintenance calories it seems. Thoughts? Keeping up this protocol indefinitely seems taxing.

    • Thanks! Glad you’re getting results!

      For that, I recommend doing an RD after finishing your cut and then hanging out around maintenance and setting up a new body weight set point. No need to continue training fasted or doing IF. Check these out:



      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Josh Hewett

        Yes, excellent articles. That’s pretty much the approach I had planned out (RD, gradually increasing carbs, training days first, etc)… but I found your info interesting on higher carb, lower fats being more successful at maintaining low body fat. I will take that into account. At my current lower bf% I expect my insulin sensitivity and hormonal profile will be better, and I plan on taking supps to improve insulin sensitivity (for favorable nutrient partitioning) with my carb meals at least initially. Thanks again!

  • Nikki C.

    As always, I love your articles. I was a cardio bunny FOREVER – with no real results because I rarely monitored my food intake (or when I did I didn’t take into account foods that could benefit me more than others, etc. basically I always half assed it). Back in Feb. I started seriously lifting and still doing cardio, but not to the point of being in cardio hell. I have (of course) seen great results and I use Forge and love it! Of course, as a woman, that hip, butt, and thigh fat is coming off way more slowly than in my other areas, but at least it’s coming. Love my Forge by the way (worth mentioning again). As with everything, it take patience…always come to your articles when I have questions. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Nikki. Glad to see you came around and started lifting! Great job on the results so far, and I’m happy to hear you’re loving Forge so much.

      Yup, it takes patience. Keep up the proper training and dieting, and it’ll be gone before you know it. 🙂

      YW! 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.

  • davd

    hi mike
    im now starting my cut , im at 22% fat. (I started my bulk at around 15%-mistake I know) .
    should I do fasted training now ? or start fasted after I get to 17-15% percent?

    • Cool! If you want to train fasted and do well with it, no need to wait! You can start doing it now to help accelerate fat loss.

      • david

        so just after finish the workout eat as desrice in the book ?(30 protein and 80 high medium gi carb) ?

        another theoretic question – if we don’t take carb before workout isn’t we will have a problem push high weight ? and then we lose fat but also lose a lot of muscle because we cant preserve it as we can with the carb the gives us power ?

        • Yep, that works!

          Not having carbs will affect energy and not eating anything will result in muscle loss without the proper supplements to prevent muscle breakdown. However, that’s why I recommend picking up BCAAs or even better, Forge. Check this out:


  • Kakarot

    I thought this article was good, until you tried selling your supplements one after another. I understand you may be genuine and aren’t just scamming people into buying all your stuff. However, I still felt like you had your own agenda rather than actually trying to ensure everyone could get rid of stubborn body fat, WITH OR WITHOUT supplements. What would you say to those who can’t afford or don’t have access to these supplements? I’d like to lose stubborn fat without having to buy $105 worth of supplements (forge, pulse + phoenix) each month, or even any supplements. After looking at the serving sizes and servings per container those supplements would only last 1 month, 2 months at max. It seems like you have a real good business going here…

    I’ve read some of your other articles and I enjoy them as you appear knowledgeable and successful. However the way you push these supplements just makes me think you’re not that trustworthy.

    • Thanks for the comment and I hear you.

      You definitely can lose stubborn fat without supplements BUT it’s faster with them, that’s all.

      I really do try to make it clear in all articles though that supplements are NOT necessary for anything. The right ones can help, though. That’s all…

      • Kakarot

        I appreciate your response and apologise if I came off harsh. It’s hard trying to find the few people in the fitness industry that you can trust.

        The majority of the article was fine as I was going through it – the 1st supplement I was like ‘that’s pretty great’ and the 2nd ‘hmm.. thats pretty convenient…’ and then when the 3rd came along I was like ‘oh ffs, some shady guy trying to sell a bunch of shit again’ haha.

        After looking you up some more (you were great with Greg O Gallagher on the road to ripped podcast a while ago) I realised you have a higher price and smaller servings because your products seem to be of superior quality to a majority of the industry – no artificial sweeteners, having scientifically proven dosages, natural sugars and flavours etc.

        For that I believe it is justified. However I would still like them to last AT LEAST last 4-5 month, so maybe increase the servings. Also I would recommend not pushing your supplements so hard (but who gives a shit about me, I’m just some guy on the internet, right?) because whilst I now know your stance on supplements I would have not have guessed it from this article.

        Finally, I’d like to ask for your help. Im 17% body fat right now and I’m cutting at a 10% deficit. In short, I have a skinny fat physique and so I want to lose the stubborn fat (alpha receptors). I’ve calculated it will take me 4-5 months to get into the 10-12% body fat range as I aim to keep my testosterone high – hence the small deficit. I live in the UK, so what supplements could you recommend that I take? I can’t afford yours as shipping here is too much and I’m a teen so am tight on money.

        I train fasted and use plain black coffee as a pre workout if I work out in the morning.

        • I hear you and totally get where you’re coming from. In fact it’s GOOD that you’re skeptical. You should be.

          My products cost me 3 to 5 times what other companies spend on them but I do try to match servings and keep my prices on par with other top-tier brands/price points.

          If you read a bit more of my stuff you’ll see my position on supplements. Hell, I even explain on my supplement company’s website that supplements are NOT necessary, haha.

          Hmm 10% deficit is too small IMO. Check this out:


          You’d be better off sprinting to your goal and then reverse dieting back to normal.

          Regarding supplements, unfortunately there aren’t many great options over there. Caffeine, of course, and see if you can get your hands on some yohimbine to take before your fasted training?

  • Phil Burton

    Hi Mike, I’m currently 12 %, trying to get to 8-9. My maintenance is 2400. I’m cutting on 1800. If I do a hiit session I burn 3-400 calories in the session. Should I eat those back or just keep the larger deficit, which would almost end up at 1400 ish. Many thanks

    • Hey Phil! Cool on your goal to get to 8-9% BF. Let’s make it happen.

      You wouldn’t eat those cals back, no. You would count that HIIT session towards your hours of weekly activity though which is used to determine your intake. Check this out:


      Welcome! LMK what you think.

      • Phil Burton

        Thanks, just worked out completely different macros to what I was on. I race motocross so that’s quite quite intense and takes 1500-2000 calories up on a race day, would I eat any of those back? Also what about long cycle rides I have to do burning 1000 calories or so? I don’t want to to burn out or loose strength, thanks for the reply

        • YW! Again, you’d just count those hours towards your hours of weekly activity when determining your intake. However, if the races are too infrequent, you can just eat the cals back on the days you race. Make sure you’re not overestimating the calorie expenditure from the races, though.

          Same goes for the bike rides.

          NP! Talk soon.

          • Phil Burton

            That’s brilliant thanks for the advice. I wear a watch 24/7 that tracks my movements, plus use the Heart rate function when doing any exercise so can keep an eye on caloric expenditure

          • Welcome! Unfortunately, activity trackers can be really off on the expenditure estimates. That’s why I don’t recommend people determine their intake based off the numbers they get from them.

          • Phil Burton

            I used 15 X BW in lbs for my maintenance and the watch gives me the same result. It’s a not a cheap fit bit it’s a polar v800, tracks sleep and all sorts

          • If it’s working for you go ahead! There are a lot of cases where they’re completely wrong though so just keep your eye on it and adjust things based off results.

          • Phil Burton

            Ok great thanks again. I’ve dropped 0.6 % BF in 17 days so I guess that’s not a bad rate of loss. 11.3 now. According to the callipers anyway. Thanks for the advice.

          • Welcome! Hmm. You should be dropping BF% faster than that. Let’s make sure you’re tracking your BF% accurately:


            And how much weight are you losing weekly? I recommend losing 1-2 lbs a week when cutting, so adjust intake as necessary.

  • Kasse Clarke

    Hi Mike, I really liked reading your article I found it very helpful. I am a PT myself and struggle with stubborn fat I do regular weight training and think that I eat well but still typically as a woman seem to keep hold of that stubborn fat on the backs of the thighs and butt! I was really keen to try your pre-workout formula however when I got to the checkout it was going to cost me $44 for one bottle to be sent to Australia is this right??

    • Thanks! Happy to hear that.

      Yep, stubborn fat is a pain. This will be good to keep in mind too:


      That’s the cost of international shipping, unfortunately… Your best bet is to order here:


      He’s a guy that orders whole sale from us and sells in Australia. So, you won’t have to pay the international shipping rate.

      Hope that works for you!

      Welcome. Talk soon.

      • Kasse Clarke

        That’s awesome thanks Mike! I have already checked out his website 🙂 Am always looking to learn more so will be doing more reading of your articles

        • YW! Oh nice!

          Sounds good. LMK if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

      • Thanks for giving us a mention Mike! 🙂

  • Georgia

    Hi Mike,
    I am a fit girl when it comes to my exercise 6 times a week ( roughly 1 x 10 k a week, 2 HIIT sessions, More light weights squats, plyometrics, resistance mixing it up) and I feel like I eat pretty healthy wholemeal, quinoa all the health stuff out there! , though may have a bigger appetite that I improved alot. But I guess I am social and eat out for breakfast etc. but I always try to pick the healthiest option that I would enjoy. While my upper body looks so lean, my legs are pretty bulky. I think it could be more muscle then fat ( inner thigh fat) but it doesn’t look nice muscle it looks very chunky not defined. Even on a leg press i know my legs are strong ( press at like 85 kgs) but they look chunky and not lean and tone which is what I desperately want. I don’t mind having a butt its more just the thighs. Do you think I should just do fasted cardio not weights? I get people telling me my legs has muscle so dont do any squats, lunges etc. and then people say do it. I even have family members saying I need to practice ” starving” more. But it just feels like no matter what I do it isn’t enough and starts to make me feel frustrated and not motivated, Cause I just want my hard work to show for it.
    If you have any advice that would be great!

  • rachel

    Hi I like your article good reading but it has left me in a very confused state as this goes against everything my pt has trained me to do i admit that it make logical sense but its still making me confused about what i should be doing and how i should really be eating i push myself extreamly hard at the gym and do a full 1 hr intense sesh every day except sundays and there a mixture density dynamic strength and hiit how can you work out on no food ? and how do you eat if you were to do this rountine ie at the min i have b s L s D bed for 8 hrs and for women when you fast do you not have a tendenacy to store fat if you could write back i would be greatful as i have issues with my lower body thanks

  • Kris

    Hi Mike,
    I am currently cutting. Since it doesn’t suit me to workout in the mornings,I train in the evenings after at least 6h of fasting. I take phoenix during the day. Since I went from bulking to cutting I’ve lost 3kg in 4 weeks. I’ve noticed that I am sweating like crazy after only the first warm ups. Is that normal when training fasted? I naturally sweat quite a lot but never that much. Is it the cutting itself that causes it? or the fasted training? or phoenix? or a combination of all of these factors together??? Also when I finish my cutting and want to go back to bulking. I will be using reverse dieting to slowly accelerate my metabolism. Should I then start eating pre workout meals or should I stay on fasted trainings for a while? Thanks in advance for your answers. Cheers!

    • Tom

      On the profusive sweating comment – I take a different kind of fat burner, and I’m sweating by the time i finish the first set of my first warm up set. It’s a great feeling. I’ve also noticed that when cutting, if you can lift relatively heavy still (8-12 reps) and superset literally everything you do; that HIIT factor, coupled with heavy lifting + 20 minutes HIIT cardio on treadmill after weights session works wonders. I’ve lost over 4kgs of body fat (91.5kg to 87.3kg), all whilst maintaining size and muscle. Best of luck.

      • Kris

        Thanks for your reply Tom. Looks like that’s quite normal. I’m still working out in the 4-6rep range on a 3day split and do my cardio on off days. I’m happy with the progress. My abs is starting to be visible again. I know I could speed up the process but don’t want to be mad about it. Can’t wait to be back on bulk though. Less planning with eating,less cardio and less stress for the body. Good luck with your progress mate.

        • Tom

          Nice one mate and you

      • Thanks for sharing Tom 🙂

    • That’s great progress! Congrats. Yeah that makes sense since Phoenix is a mild stimulant, but we haven’t had reports of that happening. With Forge, on the other hand, we have.

      If you train fasted, I suggest picking up Forge, which prevents muscle breakdown…unless you’re already taking HMB, Leucine, or BCAAs.

      When reverse dieting, you can do either.

      Thanks Tom for chiming in with your experience!

      • Kris

        Thanks for the reply Roger. Yes I am using hmb before fasted training. I am one of those guys who have to eat 4k+ kcal at 180lbs to gain weight. It’s actually easier for me to lose weight than to gain it. Thanks for the advice with reverse dieting. Cheers!

        • You’re very welcome!
          Haha you are the envy of all those who struggle or don’t like to cut.

          • Kris

            Hehe yep,but on the other hand stuffing myself with 4300 kcal (that’s the amount i eat when bulking)of healthy,whole foods everyday is also not an easy task. I need to drink mass gainer shakes to get enough calories in or i eat sweets. Otherwise it just wouldn’t fit in

          • Crikey! 4300kcal. Let’s trade bodies. I like the sound of that challenge haha

            I hear ya though. Mass gainer and sweets (including whole fruit juices) are good options to hit your carb requirements.

          • Kris

            Hehe let’s do it. For a month..I wonder who suffers more haha..
            Currently i’m cutting @ 2.8k lol. Thanks for the advice on whole fruit juices my friend.

          • Lol would be fun to see.

            No problem. LMK how it goes.

      • Shawnda Kovacs

        When reverse dieting and fasted training, can I still take forge? Can I take forge for fasted training long term?

  • Tom

    Hi Mike – Great article. Fed up of hearing bs from people who sprout diet plans for lazy people. This is great, honest advice and not shying away from the fact that you have to eat right, and train in the right state… And train HARD! It’s definitely not easy to achieve, but is 100% achievable if you are disciplined and focused. Cheers

    • Thanks Tom! That’s exactly right. And once people are informed, they’ll be able to get the results they want.

  • Vinay

    Hi mike,
    Even though fasted training burns more fat during a workout than being in a fed state, I read somewhere that over the course of 24 hours the net fat loss isn’t much different? Basically, overall energy balance in the end dictates fat loss.
    Do you agree that it’s not absolutely necessary for the average trainee to do fasted training to get ripped?

    Thoughts appreciated as I’m still in 2 minds as to weather fasted training is worth trying.

    • Fasted training isn’t required, but it certainly helps makes the results come faster. Of course, energy balance will always be at play. However, during fasted training, your body mobilizes and uses more fat for energy, which really helps in reducing areas of stubborn fat.

      • Vinay

        thanks. I want to play devil’s advocate! Does it really make it faster in the long term though? Are there reputable studies in this regard over the long term? Compared to another diet with same calories, if you don’t eat those calories before the work out , you will have to eat them afterwards anyway, so why would it make a difference over the long term if you are either way working out hard and on the same deficit?
        Plus less risk of losing muscle (can we guarantee the supplements will work 100% to keep muscle whilst training fasted, not sure I’d want to take the risk.plus I’m sure I wouldn’t feel at my best training hard on an empty stomach!).

  • Ron

    I’m trying fasted training and seeing opposite results. Now I am only in week two. I reduced my cal. from 2850 to 2400ish. I train weights and HIIT. The mornings I am fasted training. I take Forge and Pulse 15 mins prior and 30 mins after Whey. I have dropped from 215lbs to 212ibs but my body fat has gone up from 18.7 to 20.2 is this normal in the beginning?

    • Hey Ron,
      That’s a great routine, and good job dropping the 3 lbs. First, how are you measuring body fat? Take a look at these two articles:


      LMK what you think.

      • Ron

        I use the Fitbit aria scale and I know it is not perfect but believed it was a good benchmark. I believe I may have found my error or error in the measurement. I have been watching me food and getting the 20,40,40 but I was not watching my salt. I checked it and it was through the roof. Averaging 4K. I have made changes and not averaging 1600 a day. I have continued to lose. I am down to 209 but the body fat from the Aria is still up now 21%. I know it will take like a week to get rid of all the salt I took in the pass two week. I check the links you gave and will get a cal and check it soon. Thanks a bunch Mike.

        • Good catch on the sodium, Ron.
          Sounds good. LMK how it goes.

  • Justin

    Hey Mike!! Question for my wife. She is 121 lbs 10.4% body fat (tested single point and multi-point caliper) She still is holding some stubborn fat in her butt, hamstring and calf area that drives her crazy. Do you recommend she cut until she is content? At what point is a female body fat unhealthy low? BTW, 10% body fat is her walk around body fat percentage without cutting, just eating healthy (genetics?). She does TLS 3-5 times a week with very limited cardio.

  • Paul

    Mike, do you have a recommended a recommended HMB supplement that doesn’t have the Yohimbine? I have some mild chronic kidney disease, and looking around the internet, Yohimbine is less than recommended. Interestingly enough, it looks like HMB is actually good for CKD, so I’d like to find some of that.

    • Hey Paul! Bulk Supplements is good.

      And that’s great. A win-win. 🙂

  • Andrea

    If I only have money for one supplement, of those three, which would be the most helpful to burn that stomach fat/and to take in fasted state/cardio?

    • Hey Andrea, for just one: Forge to preserve muscle and burn the stubborn fat.

  • Darshna Hirani

    Hi my body fat is 38% am female. I do high intensity wotkout and beisk walk but it doesnt reduces much. My weight is 52kg so i hv to increase muscle n reduce fat. Please help

  • Mike Dee

    Hey Mike!
    Found your article because I’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to manage losing the rest of my fat on belly, hips and chest.
    Do you have any advice on calorie deficits? I know my resting calorie demands (2.2k) – is there a threshold under which I should NOT reduce my daily intake because of adverse effects on fat reduction?

  • Carmel Lucas

    Hi Mike I have read so many articles the past few months regarding how to shift stubborn fat & most of them make no sense to me. I found your article & really enjoyed it. I still could do with some advice tho. I’m 41, 64kg, 5ft3inc & my BMI is just under 25, the last time I checked my bodyfat 3 months ago it was 37% which is very high I know, I did get it down to 31% last year, but I’ve been struggling to get it down ever since. I do HIIT workouts 5 days a week & 2/3 days of weight training for a half hour, but that half hour I feel the burn. I keep a diary of my calories with an app called My Fitness Pal & that keeps me in check everyday. I don’t even care to much about the weight I just want to shift the excess fat & keep my muscles. What do you suggest. Thanx Carmel

  • Gabriella Leu

    Hi Mike, I was wondering what your thoughts are on IF for women. I have read that it can mess with hormones and other important parts of the body, but I was just wondering what your take was on it.

  • sakib800

    HEy mike, i havent been able to word my question out exactly but now i have a way of explaining to you what my question is…

    OK lets say there are 2 separate dimensions or universes you exist in. Lets say its universe 1 and Universe 2

    You in both universes weigh 170 and want to get down to 160

    But In universe 1, lets say the you mainly lose those pounds by dieting.

    And in Universe 2 you mainly do it through fasted cardio or High intensity cardio

    And then after a certain period of time you both reach your goal weight

    So my question is will you from both Universes look similar? Or will you from Universe 2 look a bit different since you mainly lost those weight through fasted cardio instead of just plain dieting. ????

    • Universe 2 will look much better because of the exercise and training. Better muscle tone and definition.

      • sakib800

        Yeah but in terms of just fat lost, since they both lost 10 pounds of fat, will universe 2 lose it from other areas like maybe the stomach since he did fasted training which burns stubborn fat??? Or will they both lose fat from the equal places.??

        • Muscle development will make Universe 2 look better because that individual has been exercising.

        • Geovany

          Universe 1, will take a longer process, but will eventually lose that stubborn fat. Universe 2, by the way, will lose the stubborn fat if you incorporate the right dieting and the right timing for fasted training. They will look different. Use Mike’s supplements for that!

          • sakib800

            Thanks! hmm this was what i was also wondering.

  • Mark Patterson

    Instead of doing mindless exercise for long hours, i suggest using blue fat freeze system to freeze off any fatty part of the body while resting at home. But healthy eating is a must and there is no replacement for that.

  • Mark Patterson

    It’s not that easy to lose belly fats as suggested here but for me blue fat freeze system was more effective and convenient. It’s a high end UBL backed neoprene wrap that you put over the fatty part of the body which freezes the fat under the skin with the help of dual action gel packs.

  • Miz Eloise

    hello. i a lm losing fat but alo muscle. my lifts have suffered.

    is it ok to substitute arms and shoulders day with back or legs? i feel like i should do most compound exercises to get out of the cutting phase quickly.

    how detrimentql is it not taking quick absorb protein like whey after a workout. im budgeting my calories and i allow everything in food.

    also how detrimental is having 50 30 20 split of protein carbs fat macro vs the recommneded 40 40 20 here? i am cutting calories and infwel so sluggish because of this split.


  • Gabriel Hernández

    Hi. Excellent your article. Congrats. Do you think Taurine can raise insulin levels in a fasted state before training? Thanks

    • Nope! Not at all.

      • Gabriel Hernández

        Thanks. I was reading about taurine benefits and studies done and found that it helps regulate blood sugars due to insulin sensitivity.

        That said, I’m afraid of using taurine before HIIIT in a fasted state for fat loss.

        • Won’t be an issue. If you’re worried, then just take it after you complete your training session.

          • Gabriel

            Good. Thank you!! O had fantastic results. You can check it Out through my instagram if you want gabrielh1607

            Greetings from Venezuela.

          • Nice work!

  • Taylor

    Hi Mike, I’ve been eating a calorie deficit meal plan solidly for the last 12 months and exercising 4-5 times a week (running, HIIT and weight training) with no weightloss. I’ve had all the tests in the world done to gain an understanding as to why I’m not loosing weight (particularly around the mid section) to no avail. I’m a 45 yo female desperate to shred 5-8 kilos. Any advice?

  • sakib800

    Hey Mike This is a a question about you but i have noticed that you have chubby cheeks (in your videos) Like if you only saw your face i think people would assume you stored more fat in your body.

    But i thought if you are around 8% body fat you should be like really leaned out and stuff. Or are those your cheek muscles you have been exercising ??? LMAO

    • Hahah yup, I’ve always had fat chipmunk cheeks. Oh well.

  • Nicky

    Hi Mike,

    First off: WOW there is a ton of amazing content on this site. I only just discovered it, and I’ve been reading for a few days now and feel like I have only scratched the surface. I have an inadequate number of thumbs to fully express how awesome of a resource this is.

    Ok, so fasted training. I’ve had a few coaches try (and fail) to help me lose the last 10% of body fat that I want to lose. They all told me that it was important to eat as soon as possible after waking up in the morning, because if I didn’t, I would spike my cortisol levels, which leads to belly-fat storage. Now you’re saying that the best way to lose “stubborn” fat is by NOT eating in the early AM, and training in a fasted state instead. So which is right?

    I have also read that it is important to consume protein no less than 2 hrs before training in order to “get the most” out of your lifting session. Is this recommendation to prevent muscle breakdown, a problem that you more or less solve by taking Forge as a pre-workout?

    Finally.. Pulse is a pre-workout. Phoenix is a fat-burner. Forge is a pre-workout fat-burner. Why take all 3? Do they not have conflicting and/or the same ingredients?

    Thanks in advance for your input!

    • Heya Nicky! Glad you’re exploring the website and enjoying the content.

      The reason you’re not losing the last 10% of your body fat is because you are not in a big enough calorie deficit. It always comes down to energy balance. So, increase your exercise activity (HIIT cardio is great!) and/or decrease your calories. Your coaches are missing the point entirely.

      Fasted training might not give you your most productive workout compared to having preworkout nutrition, but it is very good for fat loss. Any muscle loss during fasted training is prevented by taking Forge. The Yohimbine in Forge also targets stubborn, hard-to-lose fat.

      Pulse gives you endurance and extra “pep”
      Phoenix raises your metabolism to increase calories burned.
      Forge is specifically for fasted training and targets stubborn fat.

      Each are unique in their function, do not conflict with each other, and have different ingredients.

  • Israel

    Hi Mike!

    I just recently got on my maintenance diet, but i am paranoid about gaining any kind of bodyfat back as i have worked very hard and was extremely discipline on my cut to get to where I am. Would it still be ok to take pulse and do fasted cardio every other morning to keep off any kind of excess bodyfat?

    Thanks so much!

  • sakib800

    HEy I just re read this article and was confused on one thing

    Are you saying that fasted cardio can technically spot reduce fat? (since it targets from stubborn body fat more than traditional dieting)

    • Kinda-sorta-yes. It’s not purely spot reduction, but it’s the next best thing.

      • sakib800

        Hmm thats very interesting

        Can you explain a bit more

        So instead of just cutting calories from my diet,..

        i should instead opt to burn them through fasted training to maximize fat loss from stubborn areas?

        • Absolutely not! You must be in a calorie deficit. The fasted HIIT cardio helps to reduce stomach fat, but it’s not a magic bullet. There’s no wiggling out of being on a cutting diet.

          • sakib800

            No No lol, i meant to say that I will still be in a calorie deficit

            but instead of just straight up not eating, lets say 500 calories, i should instead try to burn about 500 calories through fasted training?

            Like the latter one will have a sort of ‘spot reducing’ effect?

  • Marie Price

    Hi Mike.
    First and foremost, great website! I’m a 38-year old female, 110 pounds. Per an InBody analysis: BMI 21.7%, Body Fat 20.8%, Skeletal Muscle Mass 48.9 lbs, Visceral Fat Low (Level 3), BMR 1232 kcal. I do fasted HIIT 3x per week (a class called Tribe FIT) and strength training on my own 3x per week. I’m also a 5k race runner so I log around 15 miles every week.
    The issue: I have stubborn fat on my lower body and my upper body has gotten extremely lean. In fact, I really cannot afford to lose anymore from my upper body.
    Thinking that diet may be my issue, I’ve been using two meal services (Prepped Delivery and Muscle Meals 2 Go) to ensure the right calories and macros. I typically eat about 1400 calories…some days I still feel like I’m starving and haven’t had any results. What should I be doing differently?

    • Hey Marie,

      Your exercise activity looks great, though 15mi a week on top of 3 HIIT sessions is a bit much:


      If you’re not losing weight, it’s because you’re not in a big enough deficit:


      If you are certain all calories are accounted for accurately, then reduce your calorie intake by 100. I recommend choosing high fiber, high fluid content, and bulky foods to stay full. It also helps to drink a lot of water, drink coffee, or chew gum. You can also try spreading out your meals.

      • Marie Price

        I understand the concept of too much cardio, however, the miles are key to running competitively. HIIT is M-W-F for about 35 minutes; typically things like jump rope, box jumps, burpees, plank rows, kettle bell swings, etc. According to my TomTom, most sessions burn between 400 – 600 calories. On T-TH mornings, I do a strength circuit to target specific muscle groups for about 30-40 minutes (about 250 calories). I follow-up on T-TH evenings with my runs (about 200-300 calories). I’m typically racing on Saturday or Sunday morning. On race day, I’ll do a late afternoon strength session while the other day is dedicated to rest. Honestly, I don’t see how calorie deficit is an issue and I haven’t made any substantial progress in leaning out my lower body in nearly a year. My thighs have only decreased by 1/2″ and my hips by 1″ – it’s maddening.

        • Gotcha. No problem!

          Fat loss will only happen with a deficit, and leanness and tone comes with a combination of having both enough lean muscle mass as well as a low enough bodyfat percentage. Sounds like you’re holding on to stubborn fat. Have you tried fasted HIIT cardio?

  • kara van arsdale

    Hi MIke i love your articles! you have opened up my eyes.
    I’m female who is starting to get my weight under control and trying my best to get at 20% body fat percentage.. I was just wondering how can i incorporate weights without making my legs bigger ? while maintaining a butt? Ive asked around and no one really has answer for me. I want to lift heavier but i dont want my leg muscles to get big. If you have any advice i would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Hey Kara, start cutting, and your legs will start to look smaller. Also, if you are satisfied with your size and strength, you can reduce your leg training volume and stop making weight increases. That will soon stop progress from happening. For your butt, focus on glute isolation exercises like the barbell hip thrust or butt blaster machine.

      • kara van arsdale

        I just want to say that i took your advice and wow i see a huge difference! thank you! i’ve lost 20 pounds since and my butt is getting there! lol i still need 20 more pounds to go to ht my ideal weight. IF is a game changer! I dont think i can ever go back to traditional way of eating. My goal now is to get rid of these last 20 pounds and get stronger overall while maintaining and improving muscle.

  • Kyle J

    I’m 18 and kinda nervous about the uses of supplementation. Can stubborn body fat be burned fast without it? What would be the best way to do this?

  • sakib800

    Hello team muscle 4 life!

    If my workouts really suck and i dont feel like doing fasted cardio and do fed cardio (HIIT) instead, what will be the drawback?

    Less fat loss from stubborn areas and more from other areas?


  • Nigel

    If training fasted and using the supplements you recommend, should you eat post training or give it an hour or 2?

    • You can refuel right after. If that’s not possible, then eating an hour or two afterwards is okay too.

  • Daniel Breez

    Hi Mike,

    I’m at around 12% body fat and I think I’m at the stubborn fat, lower abs and lower back (love handle) areas. I want to try using the stack. I’m going on vacation in a month, so hopefully it’ll get here before then.

    My biggest concern is that I can’t get to the gym until around 6PM. I do intermittent fasting and my eating window is between 4-12. I get most of my calories in after the gym (most of my protein as well), so I won’t have a problem pushing my meal back a bit and just eating some higher calorie foods. Is there anything wrong with this plan?

    • Hey Daniel, that’s great you’re down at 12%! If you want to push your first meal to after you finish up in the gym, that’s fine.

      • Daniel Breez

        If I get really hungry during the day, would I be able to have an apple or even a small meal a few hours before? How long would it take to be back in the fasted state if I only have 200-300 calories or just a medium apple?

  • Caroline

    Hi Mike I’m at 21% and I’m a female and the thing is I’m so tired and fustrated of how I should eat now trying to lose a bit more to see abs and lose the stupid flab. For one I like the sound of fasting but I feel like I’ll make a mess out of my diet

  • Andy Bourgeois


    Hi Mike. I have been on a cut for almost 2 weeks. I am 5’6″ and 160lbs with a 33.5″ waist. I estimate my body fat is around 18% at this point, would you say that’s accurate based on my pic? So far, I’ve lost .5″ off my waist and about 2 lbs. I’m currently eating 1800 cal/day, with a little over 6 hours/week of lifting/HIIT/running/swimming. No cheats or straying at all. I haven’t done any fasted workouts at all. I am wondering if I should start fasted cardio and supplements at this point or wait until I get to the point where I’m plateauing and not seeing progress. My goal is to get down to 10-12% body fat. I’m leaner than I’ve been before and this is uncharted territory for me. I’d appreciate your advice.

  • Angela

    Hi Mike! You wrote an extremely great article but I am not a fan of supplements and partly, I am female. I chanced upon this page.. and I am not too sure if this is a good read or worth investing… Would love to hear your comments about it..


    Thanks so much!


    Hi Mike,
    I’m following your custom meal plan with the required supplements – cutting. A couple of questions:
    – is fasted state HIIT cardio better or fasted state strength training to reduce more fat?
    – is it ok to not have a pre-workout meal? Based on the book and diet program, it seems like a pre-workout meal is important – is that not the case if you’re cutting?

  • Darrin Leahy

    Hey Mike, great article! I have almost finished reading your book BLS and have one question that may have been covered in the book but perhaps I missed, when recording fat content of food do I record the total fat or the sat fat?

    • Great, Darrin! Glad to hear you enjoyed the article and picked up a copy of BLS! Record total fat.

  • Neil Saunders

    Hi Mike,
    Good article and I have both your books BLS and the follow up BBLS.
    I do worry about these supps though, basically they are stimulants, am I correct? in particular Synephrine has an awful reputation in the UK. Thoughts?

    • Thanks Neil!

      Synephrine and yohimbine are stimulants, yes, but are completely safe for most people to use.

      Many supplements are unfairly demonized in the EU/UK. Not sure why. That’s the culture over there…

  • Rich Wainwright

    hi gang, to get the best effect, how long should you wait after taking Yohimbine before eating?

    oh, and will taking HMB, a Caffeine pill and/or Omega pill dampen the effect og the Yohimbine, for example, when I’m doing a fasted workout I take Yohimbine, HMB and a Caffeine pill.

    Many thanks, Rich

    • 4-6+ hours after a meal will put you in a fasted state. As long as those supplements are calorie-free, you’ll stay in a fasted state. The Omega will definitely take you out of it, however.

      • Rich Wainwright

        omegas, the little buggers!!!

        So will the Yohimbine work only up until I first eat, after that, they stop working?

        Or is it that Yohimbine needs a certain amount of time to get into your system to then work on the food you eat? If so, how long to wait after taking Yohombine and then eating?

        thanks again Mike!

        • Haha yup. The Yohimbine will work only up until you eat something. You can wait about 3 hours. I assume you’re taking Forge?

          • Rich Wainwright

            thanks Roger. My first batch of forge (and triumph and phoenix) are being delivered and due in a day or two, cheers, Rich

          • Good to hear your supps are on the way!

  • Laith Shahin

    If I am taking CLA and L-Carnintine is it okay to take it at fasted state early in the morning to play cardio and then weights later in the afternoon.

  • Anthony

    Hey Mike I bought two of your books and they’ve been helpful. But I have some problems with ny results, prior to your advice in your books but relative to them. I have a bad tendency to lose muscle when I cut or maintain, despite eating nearly 200g of protein (I weigh 158lbs). When I started lifting a year ago i was doing starting strength by mark rippetoe but likely due to diet Ive lost 10lbs muscle since my peak. I was 145lbs lean the first month and ive gotten down to 128 according to my scale! I recovered since then but my issue is losing stubborn fat. I started at 35lbs of fat and I got down to 20lbs but for the life of me I couldnt get down to 19lbs. I was doing admittedly light cardio and ab exercises and weight training but I have a tendency to lose muscle so I dont want to do cardio and lose more muscle. So my goal is to get down to 15lbs fat, currently at 23lbs because of a short bulk but im at 14.8% so its time to cut again. If i run into the issue of not getting below 20lbs (13.5%) what do you suggest I do? I sat in a calorie deficit for 3 months and even gained fat in some measurments. I know you suggest heavy lifting while cutting but I’m afraid I’ll just lose more muscle and that happened between a couple measurments. Ive read your article on plateaus but these last 5 (now 8 but hopefully soon 5) stubborn pounds of fat are troublesome to me since i primarily want to bulk
    and also I need to better maintain my muscle mass while losing the fat. Thank you for all your help.

    • Anthony

      Here’s my fitbit graph

    • Hey Anthony, glad to hear you found my books helpful! As long as you’re lifting heavy, eating enough protein and calories, you won’t be losing much muscle during a cut. If you want to better maintain your muscle mass during a cut, that’s exactly what you need to do.

      • Anthony M

        I’m lifting heavy every day now, and though I did get below 20lbs fat, my garbage monitor says I lost almost 3lbs of muscle this week. I went from 137.5 to 134.9. And my fat went up less than a lb. Im eating around 1600-1900 calories (i do snack at night some nights) but im supposed to be burning over 2500cals a day (i think your books estimations said like 2700). So while i lost 3lbs in one week which sounds good the majority of it was muscle according to my scale. Im thinking about getting anti catabolic acid and I might have to use my other inaccurate monitor that says im 8% bodyfat, which once said I’m 6%, just to track my change in lean mass. My protein is around 178g a day while my body mass is 154 currently so why I am losing muscle is beyond my knowledge. My only guess is anomalies in the scale, like today I took second piss and it said I lost .5lbs lean mass lmao.

        • Hey Anthony,

          Have you seen this article? It can help you track your body composition better:


          If you’re weights and reps aren’t going down consistently, I wouldn’t worry.

          • Anthony M

            Thanks, well according to calipers I’m between 4-6% bodyfat and the omron monitor said I’m 6%. Fitbit still says 12.9%. I’m still not sure what to believe, I don’t have a six pack unless I flex and visibly I look 12% maybe. If the fitbit scale is accurate I’m losing too much muscle and if the other methods are accurate I’m just lacking muscle definition in my abdominal region. I’ve been taking forge, not for long but I’ve been in a calorie deficit for 7 months with a few bulk periods to keep muscle up and only went below 20lbs fat according to fitbit for a day, it doesnt budge below 20.1 now. However my lean mass will decrease or increase between .5-1lbs every couple days or stay the same. Maybe its water. If i lost pure fat and not muscle I’d definitely be like 6% by now for sure but I have a hard time believing that I currently am.

          • Use the photos for reference for now as you work on your caliper technique. I wager you’re around 13-14% and just need more abs development.

            If you’re not losing fat or inches off your waist, look at this:


          • Anthony M

            Yeah my problem I’m having is relative to the scale but it’s not that I’m not losing weight; it’s that I’m not losing fat. I was 140lbs lean 19.8lbs fat about a month ago and now I’m 135lbs lean 20.5lbs fat. So the scale, however accurate it is, says I’ve lost 5lbs and that being muscle. I’ve been training with Mike’s 5 day schedule but I’ve been using helpful strength training anatomy books by frederic delavier to train which muscle groups Mike says to train on what days. I’ve been doing the lifts Mike has in his book but I’ve just added additional exercises. Maybe that’s causing me to overtrain? For example I do 6 different exercises for forearms/biceps/triceps doing 6 reps 6 sets of each for a total of over 200 reps basically until my arms are numb and I have to stop. Maybe that’s causing me to lose more muscle than fat but according to Mike’s article on “How long does it take to get six pack abs” I should be 4% by now overall and in the short term I should have at least been 12.5 or 11% instead of 12.9-13 for 3 weeks. Also, yes i do have cheat meals at night but no more than 300cals and sometimes I feel like I do need those cals just to lose less muscle overnight because that’s my pattern. Anyway I started a bulk hoping to increase my metabolism and break my fat loss plateau and I’m gonna strictly follow my excel sheet and not cheat and see if Mike’s graph gets me to 10% somewhere around the time it says it will and I’ll be back if I get stuck again 🙂

          • Dude why the volume? Check this out:


            Also, if your lifts are going up, you’re not losing muscle. You’re gaining. If your lifts aren’t going down week after week, you’re not losing muscle either.

            Electric devices are notorious for inaccuracy as well.

            Assuming your targets are on point, 300cals is a massive cheat if you do it several time a week. That will hold back your progress. Tighten up that discipline! If you don’t want to lose muscle, then don’t eat below BMR and eat sufficient protein.

          • Anthony M

            Thanks, I’ve read that article and I’ve taken notes on it. I realize I might be training towards cellular fatigue and I probably should ignore some of my friends that tell me to train for reps instead of emphasizing weight. What I am trying this week is the 500 method so I’m increasing carbs but leaving a 500 deficit below my tdee so I’ll land around 2100cals but hopefully burn the fat instead of starving it through a better workout, aiming to lose a pound a week still. Still using 1.2g protein as Mike suggests but I’m gonna use heavier weights progressively like I should and aim for a hour every day hopefully not running into cellular fatigue necessarily. I actually lost weight using Mike’s bulking suggestion eating at 2400cals which gave me this idea in addition to rereading another book. Also the ~230 reps consisted of reverse/wrist curls, supinated curls, concentration curls, reverse barbell curls, tricep extensions, etc. Cant list it all there’s over 200 exercises but I’d do 6 reps 6 sets of each that I have equipment for (I workout at my home gym) and I make the mistake of judging how good my workout is basically on how much lactic acid I build up. Obviously a newbie mistake but I’m trying every day to improve haha.

          • Anthony M

            Also here’s a picture of my progress so far, I’ve lost 15 lbs of fat since I started and I know I have a loong way to go towards my goal of 180lbs 10% but thankfully I like the process when it works out correctly. For abs I do hanging knee/leg raises and the 100 exercises Jeff Cavaliere has in his app six pack promise. I’m debating whether a short lean bulk will benefit my abs more than cutting at this point but my goal was to have something of a sixpack by summer. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/99b65f5f9b4cb1cc246a01b9d0b76a6febc0324f35f4c3176f840f222c3a9dcd.jpg

          • Sweet. There definitely is such thing as too much. Your recovery ability is finite. Past a certain point, you’re just digging yourself a deeper hole to recover from. Glad to hear you read the article!

  • Taylor Kuzik

    So fasted training is the way to burn stubborn fat combined with Pulse and Forge. Might have to adjust my eating schedule to compensate for it. I generally have breakfast before working out because of the energy to power through my workout. Doing Athlean-X Inferno Max Size where you do strength training for 5 days and conditioning one day per week with one rest day. So a total of 6 workout days. I added an additional conditioning day to keep my conditioning up. I know you wrote a book about why cardio sucks but there’s nothing wrong doing some. Your cardiovascular system needs to be worked on as well.

  • KP

    Three weeks ago, me and a few colleagues started the P90x3 lean routine, by Tony Horton. Prior to that, we had a fitness specialist visit the office three days a week, But the funds dried up, so we turned to the P90x3. Before we started all of this, I reached my peak weight of 168 pounds.

    I gradually changed what I eat, and now taking time for myself to exercise 5:00 at the office everyday, with minimal/no equipment. Everything I eat nowadays, is all fresh, whole wheat, frozen or fresh protein, and Lean-Fit whey protein blend. No junk whatsoever, and I’m a big potatoe chip and gummy candy freak. And I’m fine with that, drives my girlfriend nuts sometimes. To date I have lost 15 pounds, and I feel like I can get to 150.

    With all that said, I feel like getting 10%-ish body fat will be very difficult. I’m going to finish the 9 remaining weeks on this routine to see how it goes. But to keep my schedule, I guess I’d fast from lunch hour, take a forge fat burner about 4:45, do my workout, then a high protein meal post workout, or a shake if I have to run some errands.

    Sorry, but I really need things dumbed down for me, in a step by step format. Hope u can help.


  • Mike

    Mike, when you say you take 2 servings of Forge for your fasted training are you saying you take 2 servings of the recommended full dosage? Or that you take 2 servings of the first time use, which equals a full dosage serving?

    • Each serving is 4 caps. Depending on your bodyweight, the number of caps for your full dosage will be different than mine.

      • Mike

        Right, Thanks for all you do!

  • TheWalkingDon

    Good morning, Mike. Help me understand possibly what I am doing wrong. In July 2016 I weighed 396lbs. I started a high protein low calorie diet. My morning breakfast was a whey protein shake (1 scoop to 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk), mid morning snack of 3oz of carrots, a lunch which consisted of 4 to 8oz of Chicken or fish, 1 serving of broccoli and for a treat sugar free jello, I’d have a mid afternoon snack of carrots or celery and then my dinner was another whey protein shake. My calorie intake was any where from 900 to 1000 calories a day. Dangerously low, but I was feeling good and the weight was dropping off. Since then I’ve lost 108lbs. I’ve gotten away from the protein shakes and now substitute a protein bar for my breakfast and dinner, but my lunches haven’t changed. My calorie intake is at about 1000 to 1100 now. I started walking a few weeks ago every morning before work. I started at 1.5 miles, but now do 3 miles every morning. The only thing I do before I walk is drink some water before walking. I do my 3 miles, come home and take my vitamins, drink more water with Mio +Electrolytes. My vitamins are a Men’s One A Day, Neugenix Testosterone Booster and Garcinia Cambogia. I then eat my protein bar about 90 minutes after my walk and when I’m at work first thing. I feel great but stepping on the scale my weight loss has gone from 3 to 4 lbs a week to 1lb, 2lb or not at all. I weigh myself once a week. Am I doing this right or do I need to change up my routine? Any help and advice is greatly appreciated.

  • nhr215

    Oh great, another fitness guru whose entire business is based around selling expensive, overpriced and absolutely unnecessary nutritional products. Selling standard cheap synethetic nutrition in nice little packages at huge mark-ups is the best business around. This is because it is a total rip-off for the consumer and very high profit margin for the business.

    Every claim about supplements is at a minimum a huge exaggeration and at a maximum an outright lie. Now if you remove the crap in this article about supplements, you’ve got advice. But that’s how they got you, since the rest of the fitness advice is solid, the supplements must be, no? Don’t fall for it. Don’t be a punk. This is the most common scam on the interwebs…The modern version of snake-oil salesmen…

  • Shea Matthew Kennisher

    tl;dr fasted exercise + stimulants

  • Mikel

    Hi mike. Im new in this site and very enjoying reading your articles one question tho
    Isnt it dangerous giving the body chemicals that it doesnt suppose to produce in some conditions?
    I mean its not like taking some extra proteins its chemicals we talking about here.
    Many thanks

  • Lea

    Hey! Love your site and your program! I have gained muscle and definition in my glutes, legs, and shoulders, but my belly fat will not budge. I have been in a moderate deficit for 3 months and have seen little change in the last bit of fat over my abdomen. Following the Thinner, Leaner, Stronger program and doing HIIT cardio 5 times per week. (started out with just 3 15 min sessions and since seeing small progress in my belly fat, have increased it to 5 30 min sessions). I feel leaner, but not much visible change in pictures with abdominal fat. Any suggestions?

  • Cyrus Dastoor

    Hi! Thank you for the info!
    Post the faster HIIT Cardio sessions (with supplements me at for fasted cardio – like your products or SANs BCAA Boosted) – what would be the ideal poat workout nutrition plan, along with timing!?

    Please and thank you!

  • Oli

    Hey Mike,

    Im back again for some more solid advice but this time on behalf of the wife.

    I have her on a macros worked out from the calculator on your web site. Also she now does fasted training whenever her schedule allows with young kids.

    She does hiit circuits 3 x week + an all over weight session 1 x week. Shes getting good results but she feels the results are not significant enough. After trying to explain that things wont happen overnight she needs a drastic fat loss plan.

    Is there anything out there that is short term to really get the fat loss tumbling then swith back to her controlled caloric deficit from the macros?

    There are so many studies and trains of though but 99% are BS. Is this even a realistic question or can this unrealistic demand actually be met?

    I say no and things take time but said i would at least ask a man that woukd know.

    If you could help me draw a line under this one or throw out some discusting 10 day program that drains you but also drains body fat really fast then im all ears.

    Fat burners?

    Ultimately mate, were going on our family holiday in 6 weeks time and shes paniking.

    Any advice welcome, even if its a get a grip of yourself message to pass on. Lol

    Cheers mate


  • Oli

    Hey Mike,

    I have a question about calorie burn whilst training so i can accuratley calculate my weekly target.

    I typically do an hour of what i would say was hard weight training 6 x a week. When i say “hard” i mean i get on with training, lift at 80% max rep on sets of 10 reps. Rest periods are recovery only. No tv watching or flexing in the mirror.

    I read that weight training typically burns 250 kcals for every 30 mins of training for a male of 160 lbs average. Is that about right?

    Also how would i factor in fasted training? Would this increase calorie consumption at all?

    Thanks for the info.

    Cheers Mike

    • Hey Oli, it’s pretty hard to accurately assess calorie burn from exercise. That’s why I recommend sticking with a set calorie amount based on an activity multiplier, and adjusting your intake based on your results. Check this out:


      • Oli

        Thanks again Mike.

        Didnt see this article first time round. Answers my question nicely.



  • Djimon The Beatmaker

    I think something is totally inaccurate in this article…. it’s not ALL ABOUT (and only about) caloric deficit….why ? because the first source of energy for the body is carbohydrates (glucose actually) and then it uses fat stored. If there’s any left over, it goes to the liver and muscles, where it’s stored as glycogen.

    Lets take a very simple example :

    case 1 : you eat 300g of carbs. This is 1200Kcal…and you burn (in the gym) 2000 Kcal.
    You will burn 1200Kcal of cabs first and then you will burn 800Kcal of fat.

    case 2 : you eat 300g of proteins. This is 1200Kcal…and you burn (in the gym) 2000 Kcal.
    You will burn 2000Kcal of fat.

    Of course this is just an example but you get the idea…. This is why low carbs consumption is much more effective in term of FAT LOSS (not to confuse with WEIGHT LOSS)…

    So YES, being in a caloric deficit is mandatory BUT this is defiantely not the only thing to do to lose FAT.

    I have seen a lot of guys eating “high” carbs and never losing a single percent of fat and I, myself have gone from 27% to below 15% of body fat by keeping my carbs religiously below 100g per day 5-6 days a week (carbs loading, mandatory for energy level, hormone level, mental health, muscle shape…etc…)

    There is an exception though…. Moderate/high carbs diet will work very well for those who NATURALLY have a very high metabolism (ie ectomorph and ecto-mesomorph body types)… They usually look for muscle mass and should stick to volume training and decent amount of carbs.

  • Truman Groves


    Great articles, thanks for all the info! I have a question for you (or for anyone else that can answer for that matter…)

    I just got out of prison 3 weeks ago. Did a lot of walking and started weight training for the first time in my life. Was there for 10 months. Lost almost 30 pounds, have started to bulk up a little bit. Now that i’m out, I’m trying to establish a workout routine, but I am VERY busy. I like the idea of fasted training, but only have time for working out in the morning. I only do fast walking for cardio, about an hour a day, and then I do weight training 5 days a week, following the same routine I used while I was in prison.

    I will be ordering all of the supplements from Legion Athletics this week. My question is, will it be effective to do my fasted weight training and cardio in the same session? Example:

    Wake up – take Pulse & Forge.
    Weight training.
    Walk for 30min – hour.
    Come home, take Whey+ and eat cereal for breakfast.
    Go to work.

    Will fasted weight training and then cardio in the same session be beneficial or detrimental? Will waiting an entire hour after weight training minimize the benefits from the protein? Maybe better to do the walking first?

    There won’t realistically be any other windows of time during the day to be in a fasted state except in the morning.

  • Axl Salvator

    Hey man i really need help!
    I’m 6’5 and i weight around 69 kilos i been working out my entire lifetime,i dropped from around 100 kilos to 69 for 3 months,basically workout has become my lifestyle.
    I run around 6-8%body fat the last time i measured,i’m shredded and stuff however my stubborn areas are my thighs and butt,no matter how hard i tried i would never burn fat from tho’s areas.
    I used to split my workout into 3 days of strength training and 2 days cardio,however i added squats and deadlifts on my routine probably tho’s two things made my butt look bigger.
    I really wanna lose this fat from my thighs,hips and butt it’s kinda pissing me off.
    I decided to start a really intense routine which includes 7 days a week cardio i don’t care about muscle lose and stuff,since i prefer to be lean and that’s all,i mainly work with Jump Rope been working out with it my entire life,i even hold records jumping with it,basically standing in a master level of jump rope,i decided to split the cardio routine into 5 days of HIIT basically 30 seconds of slow jumps and 30 seconds of 100% and 2 days of normal jumps using a sauna suit,it helps me also detox and makes the workout even harder.
    My diet is very clean i eat on calorie deficit i cut the carbs to almost 0,mainly my diet would consist of chicken breast or any white meat and salads,with plenty of water and green tea on it and some apple cider vinegar,almonds and barely nothing else,the carbs do not bother me that much i can finish my workouts no problem and i can stay consistent to it.
    I sleep really late and wake up in the middle of the day meaning that i’m almost fasting the whole night,when i wake up i work out fasted meaning that i don’t eat anything after i finish the workout i then eat my salad with the lean protein chicken breast,the question that i’m trying to ask is should i follow this pattern i mean i wake up in the middle of the day mainly working out then eating my clean diet on the night,would it be a problem.
    Please man any of your advices would be much appreciated.
    Peace up Brother.

    • Hey there! Sounds like you’re on the right track with doing fasted HIIT. As long as you’re in a calorie deficit and losing weight, the stubborn fat will come off. You can try incorporating Forge as well. It should help target the stubborn fat 🙂

      • Axl Salvator

        Thanks a lot for your reply man it means a lot.
        I just wanted to make sure if it really matters when i eat since i fast for around 18-20 hours, but you made it clear as long as it’s calorie deficit it does not really matter if i eat at day or night.
        I keep the meals really healthy 1 meal after 20 hours of fasting:2 plates of salad,chicken breast some almonds and barely sometimes a banana if i feel really exhausted from the workouts,then again i follow the same pattern 20 hours of fasting with my workout.
        I will definitely order the Forge just checked it out,thanks again for making it clear it means a lot!

        • That’s a pretty long fast! In terms of building muscle and optimizing growth, you’ll probably get better results with shorter fasts, and eating more than one meal in a day. Check this out: https://legionathletics.com/intermittent-fasting/

          • Axl Salvator

            I’m aiming for the lean skinny look man, let me actually check it out, i don’t really like being buff like i was back in the time.
            I’m a bit confused about the carbs part, i’m so sorry if i’m boring you so much i really need to ask this one because it keeps bugging my mind
            So fast forward it’s a nutrition question.
            I fast for around 18-20 hours like i mentioned, the glycogen levels start to drop after 8 hours of fasting on the 18th hour i do cardio on fasted state, i do hiit for around 7 times a week.
            The question that i wanna ask is:When i eat 1 big meal which includes 2 plates of salad, chicken breast,now i’m adding some egg whites like 3 of them a bunch of almonds, now here comes the question sometimes i feel really tired from the intense workouts and i add 2 bannana’s alongside with the foods that i mentioned above and a sweat potato for the carbs, is it alright am i overeating so much the carbs?I mean wouldn’t i be still on a calorie deficit with 20 hours of fasting and HIIT that burns around 300-500 calories ??
            To sum it up hopefully i don’t bore you with lots of questions, should i cut the banana part completely and should i at least cheat once a week??I don’t know maybe i should replace the banana with a green apple since it feels like i’m not creating a calorie deficit with a meal of:2 plates of salad, 3 egg whites, a bunch of almonds, chicken breast, a soup and 2 bananas sometimes with a sweat potato alongside with 20 hours of fasting and 7 times a week hard HIIT.
            If you could answer this, it would mean the world to me thanks a lot man!

          • Hey man, eating carbs is fine, but if you want to be positive you’re still in a deficit, you’ll need to add up the calories from that meal. You’re probably still in a deficit, but it wouldn’t hurt to weigh out the ingredients and log them to see how much you’re really eating.

            These articles might be of interest:

            I hope this helps!

          • Axl Salvator

            Man i need to bother you again, sorry for your valuable time.
            I lost lots of weight lately, people barely recognize me, using the forge and stuff.
            The thing is in the past few weeks the progress slowed down and my body fat in total increased.
            So as you know i fast around 20-24 hours and do HIIT for around 7 times a week, but i switched my diet to a bigger deficit meaning for my height and weight, i’m 6’5 i weight around 70 kilos i need to consume around 2790 calories for weight lost and i burn around 600 with the HIIT, i was consuming around 1378 calories alongside with the HIIT -600, i think this slowed my metabolism down since it’s combined with 20-24 hours of fasting, intense HIIT and the deficit is bigger then 1k calories, counting it with MyFitnessPal app, so i dropped weight but started gathering up fat also following the keto diet where there were no included carbs.
            Basically my 1378 calorie diet was, fasting+hiit on an empty stomach+ a really low carb keto diet which includes:
            2 salmon fillet, 5 olives, 30g of labneh, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 mixed vegetable soup, fresh squeezed lemon, apple cider vinegar, some almonds, a lil yogurt and that’s it.
            Today i did a switch increased my calorie intake to 2309 and it feels better,also i added 2 bananas since i have not been eating fruits for months, i think the carbs kicked my metabolism a bit.
            So what is going on man in a theory way, was keto and removing the whole carbs with a big deficit slowing down my metabolism?Today i feel more relaxed that i ate some fruits.
            Todays meal was:
            Fasting 20 hours.
            HIIT on fasted state 45 minutes.
            1 cup of yogurt.
            Fresh Squeezed lemon juice.
            Apple Cider Vinegar.
            Vegetarian Soup.
            Hard boiled eggs 2.
            Labneh 30 grams.
            5 olives.
            2 plates of mixed vegetable salads.
            A bunch of almonds.
            2 bananas(extra add after months of no carbs).
            4 chicken thighs(the main source of protein)
            Basically with today’s plan i’m on a deficit of 700 calories.
            I know i been asking so much but i really need your help and i’m really sorry for your time, should i follow this deficit adding a bit of fruits like bananas it seems to work better, smaller deficit seems to burn more fat, rather then going full keto with a large deficit and gaining bf in general, i mean even if i eat some fruits i still fast for 20 hours and the insulin levels will drop max after 8 hours and i’m doing the cardio after 16 hours of fasting, when my insulin levels are really low, would it make any difference in fat burning process if you add some fruits especially on the stubborn spots??
            Any answers would be much appreciated man, thank you again for your valuable time.

          • It all comes down to being in a calorie deficit. Eating fruit will not prevent fat loss unless it puts you into a calorie surplus. I’m personally not a fan of the ketogenic diet if you’re an otherwise healthy individual. I explain why here: https://legionathletics.com/ketogenic-diet/

            Increasing your carbs and calories in general should help reduce your stress levels, which can affect water retention, sleep, etc. You might like this article: https://www.muscleforlife.com/stress-cortisol-weight-loss/

            I wouldn’t worry about any insulin spikes from fruit, assuming you’re eating it after your fasted exercise. Check it out:

  • Lauren

    Hi there!

    I read through your article and I was
    wondering if I could get your input on something. I too am at a place
    where my stubborn fat isn’t coming off. I started doing kickboxing a few
    months after graduating from college and 9 months later I had lost a
    lot of my college weight and got down to around 128. That’s when I
    plateaued with those last few stubborn pounds. I worked hard and
    adjusted my diet and finally got down to 125, but to my dismay it came
    from ALL the places I didn’t want to lose fat (i.e. my breasts and a
    little from my butt). The flab on my stomach and thighs had barely
    changed. So at this point I’ve put on those 3 pounds again to get my
    curves back but now I’m looking for strategies to lose stubborn fat.

    Here’s where my question comes in. I’ve never heard the term “fasted training”
    until this article, but in the past I have tried to exercise first
    thing in the morning without eating, and it’s ended terribly every time.
    I was so weak and became very nauseous and couldn’t even get half way
    through my workout. And then I was basically useless for half the day recovering from that haha.
    If fasted training is the only thing that will get that stubborn fat, is there anything I can do to ease the nauseousness?

    would HIIT give me the desired results instead of fasted training?
    That’s what I’ve been looking into a lot lately. Do you have any
    recommendations for that?

  • Vishruth

    Hi Mike,

    Do you recommend taking Yohimbine before fasted HIIT cardio or before fasted weight training?

  • Priscilla Ferreira

    Hi Mike! I loved your books (read both for Men and for Women as the one for women was not available in Brazil by the time I read the one for men) and I am in the second month of applying (most of ) the knowledge of them, with good results actually! I totally see the benefits of fasted training and will give it a try – not sure if it will work well for me as I usually wake up starving, so would you recommend a more robust meal the night before, to not feel “weak” during the fasted training the morning after? And is there a specific recommendation for how long after working out fasted we can eat? I mean, is there an issue eating right after working out fasted or should I wait a little longer? Thanks a lot!

    • I’m glad you loved my books and are finding them useful! Thanks 🙂

      If eating a bigger meal the night before helps you, go for it. You’ll probably get used to not eating in the morning before the workout, but some people just don’t do well with fasted training. You’ll just have to assess how you feel and adjust as needed. Fasted training has benefits, but it’s not necessary to lose fat.

      You can eat right after your workout – no need to delay. Check this out:


      I hope this helps and let me know how it goes!

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