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Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body Paperback – September 2, 2016
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"I gained 10 pounds of muscle in 3 weeks good for me after a short plateau."
-Adam D. (Amazon Verified Purchase)
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"I was surprised to see fat literally fall off me (I lost 20lbs of fat in under 2 months) and muscle mass build up faster than I had ever seen it."
-Jeff K (Amazon Verified Purchase)
-"ACM" (Amazon Verified Purchase)
From the Author
I'm Mike and I believe that every person can achieve the body of his or her dreams, and I work hard to give everyone that chance by providing workable, proven advice grounded in science, not a desire to sell phony magazines, workout products, or supplements.
Through my work, I've helped thousands of people achieve their health and fitness goals, and I share everything I know in my books.
So if you're looking to get in shape and look great, then I think I can help you. I hope you enjoy my books and I'd love to hear from you at my site, muscleforlife.com.
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Top customer reviews
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I am a physician, I am 35 and I started working out at the age of 21 and I have been following this book’s recommendations since August 2017. I started out at 172 lbs with a body fat % of 16, now I am 164 lbs and Fat % of 10 being committed by about 90% ( I take 36 hours shifts once or twice a week and I will need a couple days to recover before I can work out, but my diet however is fairly committed).
Who is this book for? In my opinion, mainly for those who have no problem committing, like to exercise but never saw results because they did not know what the right things are regarding exercise and nutrition.
For beginners, this book is not enough, it is great and you should apply the concepts in it because you will maximize your gains without wasting time and effort but it won't tell you how exactly to perform the exercise itself and what the right technique is ( solution: search youtube for proper X exercise form and decide which one works the best for you, another solution is to work with a personal trainer solely for the technique and not for the program).
If you are a seasoned lifter, know how to bulk and cut and get your body fat % to below 10 , then you probably do not need this book, however, you can use it as a summary of all what you know.
Regarding the style, Mike is a talented writer and a smart salesman, he will try to sell you his products but he clearly states you do not have to. You will feel tempted though because things will work for you and you will want more.
The nutrition and the work out programs are all there in the book but they are kinda dispersed and you have to do a little extra homework so you build your own, BUT IT IS ALL THERE IN THE BOOK.
Some pieces of info are too basic for me but it is probably because of my medical background, it annoyed me a little bit because I could not skip it yet I did not want to hear it.
The articles that Mike will email you almost weekly or twice weekly are simply great, mostly revisions of sections in the book ( magnified if you will) plus additional stuff.
The negative reviews are true but I do not see them as necessarily negative points, yes the info are there online for free but so scattered and you will never know what to choose on your own.
The book serves as a great educational tool that will enable you to filter what is out there, whether products, exercises nutrition or supplements.
I care more about the exercise and diet prescriptions of a program rather than the readability of it but I will say that a beginner would be able to understand this and stay intrigued enough to finish the book. It also makes you aware of some other names who are talking about this stuff so I was able to go on YouTube and get some really good instruction videos by people like Scott Herman and Mark Rippetoe and see what else is going on in the community.
The training: This is my first time training in this rep range so it was a bit of a new world for me. Lifting heavy really makes you focus on form because if you mess up you're gonna have a bad time. I was able to add weights to the bar almost every week as promised. When that started happening I focused even more on my form and training with safeties on the rack for my bench so I could push it without fear. I did the 5 day split because I actually enjoy my time at the gym.
The Stacked app that Mike came up with is a good complimentary tool to track workouts. I recommend it to anybody actually following a program.
The diet: Pretty standard variety of calories in/calories out. Less fat prescribed than most sports nutritionists will recommend and I'm not really sure what the implications of that are. It's too early for me to judge. While I did go from 15.8% body fat to 12.8% while I was cutting, I also lost 6.5lbs of fat free mass. But then again I wasn't training because I had a broken thumb. Since starting the bulking program I've gained 17lbs and I'll be checking my body composition next week so will update on how much of that was fat free mass. My guess is that I probably got back to where I was pre-injury and maybe added a bit of fat. No big deal since I'm pretty happy with that recovery time. And to be honest I didn't track the carbs and fat like I did when I was cutting. I realized that to meet the macro/calorie prescription I pretty much just had to eat a lot and that's what I did.
I'll talk more about my gains later but should preface by saying that I broke my thumb playing hockey half way through Phase 1 so I had to wear a cast for 6 weeks and was completely off of training for 2 months.
My baseline stats were as follows:
January 4, 2017
36 years old
150lbs fat free mass
15.8% body fat
Overhead Press: 85lbs
January 25th: Broke thumb
I started doing the cutting diet as I wouldn't be able to do anything at the gym so thought I would try to shred some fat.
March 13th: Re-baseline stats
143.4lbs fat free mass
12.8% body fat
March 20: Resume training, start bulking diet
April 12-24: Took a vacation to Seoul and Osaka. Still hit the weights but maybe half tilt because the gyms were pretty weak. Definitely did not follow any meal plan. Pretty much just whatever ate was in front of my face.
May 24: Just finished the 2nd strength week of Phase 1. Had a lot of elbow pain in my final workouts - I think from tendinitis - so I'm very thankful that it's deload week.
Squat: 235lbs (but with better form and breaking parallel)
Overhead Press: 110lbs
Overall I'm pretty happy with the gains. I will update once I get the results from my body composition test and after each phase.
***Edit June 7***
Checked body fat percentage. 16.6% measured by a BodPod. So it went up a bunch as expected. I'll probably do another two months of bulking before I cut back down to 11-12%
Had a session with a lifting coach. Lack of shoulder mobility was putting pressure on my elbows while squatting which made pretty much every other lift pretty tough. Also had tightness and mobility issues with my chest and rear delts and have to work on my thoracic extension as I'm a bit hunched. I've found that putting more time (20ish minutes) in to warmup and stretching chest and wrists/forearms between sets helps a lot.
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