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Michael Matthews: Bigger Leaner Stronger Book Summary


The Book in Three Sentences

  1. “Building muscle and getting stronger requires lifting heavy weights, and doing short, intense sets of relatively low reps”.
  2. “Eating enough protein every day is rock–bottom fundamental to building muscle and increasing strength”.
  3. “Most everything you see in the world of workout supplements is utterly worthless”.

The Five Big Ideas

  1. “Every time you buy one of the big bodybuilding magazines, you’re paying to be lied to”.
  2. “70–80% of how you look is a reflection of how you eat”.
  3. “If you don’t eat enough calories and get enough protein, carbs, and fats throughout the day, you simply don’t grow”.
  4. “For optimal muscle growth, you must lift in such a way that causes optimal micro–tearing and then you must feed your body what it needs to grow and give it the proper amount of rest”.
  5. “Getting ripped boils down to nothing more than manipulating a simple mathematical formula: energy consumed versus energy expended”.

Bigger Leaner Stronger Summary

  • “No matter how bad you might think your genetics are, no matter how lost you might feel after trying and abandoning many types of workouts, you absolutely, positively can have the lean, ripped body that you dream about”.
  • “Every time you buy one of the big bodybuilding magazines, you’re paying to be lied to”.
  • “Most personal trainers are a waste of time and money”.
  • “70–80% of how you look is a reflection of how you eat”.
  • “A calorie is a measurement unit of the amount of energy that can be produced by food. One calorie is enough energy to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Thus, when you’re referring to the calories contained in food, you’re referring to the potential energy stored in the food”.

The 6 Biggest Muscle Building Myths & Mistakes

  1. More Sets = More Growth
  2. You Have to “Feel the Burn” to Grow
  3. Wasting Time with the Wrong Exercises
  4. Lifting Like an Idiot
  5. Lifting Like a Wussy
  6. Eating to Stay Small or Get Fat
  • “If you don’t eat enough calories and get enough protein, carbs, and fats throughout the day, you simply don’t grow”.

The Real Science of Muscle Growth

  1. Law #1: Muscles Grow Only if They’re Forced to
  2. Law #2: Muscles Grow from Overload, Not Fatigue or “Pump”
  3. Law #3: Muscles Grow Outside the Gym
  4. Law #4: Muscles Grow Only if They’re Properly Fed
  • “By lifting weights, you are actually causing tiny tears (known as “micro–tears”) in the muscle fibers, which the body then repairs, adapting the muscles to better handle the stimulus that caused the damage. This is the process by which muscles grow (scientifically termed hypertrophy)”.
  • “For optimal muscle growth, you must lift in such a way that causes optimal micro–tearing and then you must feed your body what it needs to grow and give it the proper amount of rest”.
  • “Building muscle and getting stronger requires lifting heavy weights, and doing short, intense sets of relatively low reps. This type of training causes optimal micro–tearing for strength and growth gains, and forces the body to adapt”.
  • “Studies have shown that, depending on the intensity of your training and your level of fitness, it takes the body 2–5 days to fully repair muscles subjected to weight training”.
  • “The amount of sleep that you get plays a crucial role in gaining muscle”.
  • “You could do the perfect workouts and give your muscles the perfect amount of rest, but if you don’t eat correctly, you won’t grow—period”.
  • Matthew’s rule of thumb: Lift hard, lift heavy, get sufficient rest, and feed your body correctly.

The 5 Biggest Fat Loss Myths & Mistakes

  1. Counting Calories is Unnecessary
  2. Do Cardio = Lose Weight
  3. Chasing the Fads
  4. Doing Low Weight and High Reps Gets You Toned
  5. Spot Reduction
  • “In order to lose fat, you must keep your body burning more energy than you’re feeding it, and the energy potential of food is measured in calories”.
  • “What people are actually objecting to with counting calories is trying to figure out what to eat while on the run every day or what to buy when rushing through the grocery store”.

The Real Science of Healthy Fat Loss

  1. Law #1: Eat Less Than You Expend = Lose Weight
  2. Law #2: Eat on a Schedule That Works Best for You
  3. Law #3: Use Cardio to Help Burn Fat
  • “Getting ripped boils down to nothing more than manipulating a simple mathematical formula: energy consumed versus energy expended”.
  • “When you give your body more calories (potential energy) than it burns off, it stores fat. When you give your body less calories than it burns throughout the day, it must make up for that deficit by burning its own energy stores (fat), leading to the ultimate goal, fat loss. It doesn’t even matter what you eat—if your calories are right, you’ll lose weight”.
  • Matthew’s recommends eating 4-6 meals per day to begin with.
  • “Before you lift a weight or cut a calorie, you must have specific, tangible goals set in your mind as to why you’re doing it”.
  • “What does your ideal body look like? What would your ideal state of health be like? Why do you want to achieve these goals?”
  • “If you can get one more rep on an exercise than you did last week (while maintaining proper form), pat yourself on the back, because you’ve made progress”.
  • “There are six aspects of nutrition that are of primary concern when trying to build muscle and lose fat. They are calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, and vitamins and minerals”.
  • “Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are known as ‘macro–nutrients’ (macro means ‘of great size; large’), and how you structure these in your diet is vitally important to your overall results. Of secondary concern to success are vitamins and minerals, which are known as ‘micro–nutrients’, and these are essential for body’s performance of many different physiological processes connected with building muscle and losing fat”.
  • “A gram of protein is 4 calories, as is a gram of carbohydrate”.
  • “A gram of fat is 9 calories. You can calculate the calories by multiplying the protein and carbs by 4, and fats by 9”.
  • “Eating enough protein every day is rock–bottom fundamental to building muscle and increasing strength”.
  • “Not eating enough protein each day is the easiest way to prevent muscle growth, get stuck in a rut, and quit”.
  • “Regardless of what type of carbohydrate you eat—broccoli or apple pie—the body breaks it down into two substances: glucose and glycogen. Glucose is commonly referred to as ‘blood sugar’, and it’s an energy source used by your cells to do the many things they do. Glycogen is a substance stored in the liver and muscles that can be easily converted to glucose for immediate energy”.
  • “When you lift weights intensely, your muscles burn up their glycogen stores to cope with the overload”.
  • “The glycemic index is a numeric system of ranking how quickly carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body”.
  • “A GI rating of 55 and under is considered ‘low GI’, 56 to 69 is medium, and 70 and above is high on the index”.
  • “A ‘simple’ carb is one that converts very quickly (is high on the glycemic index), such as table sugar, honey, and watermelon, while a “complex” carb is one that converts slowly (is low on the glycemic index), such as broccoli, apple, and whole–grain bread”.
  • “Studies have linked regular consumption of high–GI carbs to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity”.
  • “Fats are the densest energy sources available to your body”.
  • “Each gram of fat contains over twice the calories of a gram of carbohydrate or protein”.
  • “Fats help your body absorb the other nutrients that you give it, nourish the nervous system, help maintain cell structures, regulate hormone levels, and more”.
  • “Trans fat is a scientifically modified form of saturated fat that has been engineered to give foods longer shelf lives”.
  • “The Institute of Medicine reported in 2004 that women should consume about 91 ounces of water—or three–quarters of a gallon—per day, and men should consume about 125 ounces per day (a gallon is 128 onces)”.
  • “There are two main sources of protein out there: whole food protein and supplement protein”.
  • “Whole food protein is protein that comes from natural food sources, such as beef, chicken, fish, etc”.
  • “The best forms of whole food protein are chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish, eggs, and milk”.
  • “Protein from meat is particularly helpful when you’re weightlifting”.
  • “I recommend that you stick to the lean varieties of meats as eating a lot of saturated fat just isn’t necessary. That means fish, extra-lean cuts of beef (95% lean ground beef, or extra-lean cuts like top sirloin steak, and top and bottom round roast and steak), chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, and so forth”.
  • “NPU (net protein utilization) and digestion speeds are important to know because you want to rely on high-NPU proteins to meet your daily protein requirement, and you want a quick-digesting protein for your post-workout meal, and a slow-digesting protein for your final meal before you go to bed (to help you get through the fasting that occurs during sleep)”.
  • “I recommend eating a fast-digesting protein like whey after working out to quickly spike amino acid levels in your blood, and stimulate muscle growth”.
  • “Eat carbs in the medium-high range of the glycemic index (70–90 is a good rule of thumb) about 30 minutes before you train and within 30 minutes of finishing your workout”.
  • “The reason you want some carbs before training is that you need the energy for your training. The reason you want them after is that your muscles’ glycogen stores are heavily depleted, and by replacing it quickly, you actually help your body maintain an anabolic state and not lose muscle tissue”.
  • “My favorite pre- and post-workout carbs are bananas and rice milk, but other good choices are unprocessed foods on the high-GI list above, such as baked potato, white rice, instant oatmeal, and fruits that are above 60 on the glycemic index, such as cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon, dates, apricots, and figs”.
  • “All other carbs you eat should be in the middle or low end of the glycemic index (60 and below is a good rule of thumb)”.
  • “If you’re unsure about a carb you like, look it up to see where it falls on the glycemic index. If it’s above 60, just leave it out of your meals that aren’t immediately before or after working out”.
  • “Keep your intake of saturated fats relatively low (below 10% of your total calories). Saturated fat is found in foods like meat, dairy, eggs, coconut oil, bacon fat, and lard. If a fat is solid at room temperature, it’s a saturated fat”.
  • “Completely avoid trans fats, which are the worst type dietary fat. Trans fats are found in processed foods, such as cookies, cakes, fries, and donuts. Any food that contains “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil” likely contains trans fats, so just don’t eat it”.
  • “Get much of your fats from unsaturated sources sources such as olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, avocados, flax seed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, or cottonseed oil. If a fat is liquid at room temperature, it’s an unsaturated fat”.
  • “The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day as the adequate intake level for most adults, and an upper limit of 2,300 mg per day”.
  • “According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the average American aged 2 and up eats 3,436 milligrams of sodium per day”.
  • “A teaspoon of table salt contains a whopping 2,300 mg of sodium”.
  • “According to the Institute of Medicine, we should be consuming sodium and potassium at about a 1:2 ratio, with 4,700 mg per day as the adequate intake of potassium for adults”.
  • “There are many natural sources of potassium, such as all meats and fish; vegetables like broccoli, peas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans; dairy products; and nuts”.
  • “Much of your daily carbohydrates should come before and after training, when your body needs them most. I eat about 10–15% of my daily carbs before training, and about 30–40% after, in my post–workout meal”.
  • “About 30 minutes before training, you want to eat about 30 grams of high–GI carbs and about 30 grams of fast–digesting protein (such as whey)”.
  • “The carbs will not only give you energy to fuel your workout, they will trigger the release of insulin, which counteracts the effects of cortisol and, according to a study done at the University of Oklahoma, increases blood flow to the muscles and protein synthesis”.
  • “The protein will get amino acids into your bloodstream, immediately available for repair as you start to break down the muscle fibers by lifting weights”.
  • “Research has shown that eating carbs and protein after weight training leads to greater muscle growth, and improved exercise performance in subsequent workouts”.
  • “When you finish training, your body will absorb glucose, glycogen, and amino acids at a higher rate than normal”.
  • “It’s important to eat within an hour or so of finishing your weight training, and to eat a substantial amount of carbs, and a moderate amount of protein. For most guys, this means about 80 grams of medium–to–high–GI carbs, and 30-40 grams of protein”.
  • “A slow–digesting protein should be the last meal of the night, and should be consumed immediately before going to bed”.
  • “Research has shown that this keeps amino acids elevated while you sleep, which can then be used to continue to repair your muscles while you sleep. This speeds your muscle recovery”.
  • “I like egg protein powder or 0% fat Greek yogurt or low–fat cottage cheese for my pre-sleep protein, but casein is another common choice”.
  • “If you follow a strict diet and exercise program, you can expect to lose 1–2 pounds per week”.
  • “Studies on overfeeding (the scientific term for binging on food) show that doing so can boost your metabolic rate by anywhere from 3-10%”.
  • “More important, however, are the effects cheating has on the hormone leptin, which regulates hunger, your metabolic rate, appetite, motivation, and libido, as well as serving other functions in your body”.
  • “When you’re in a caloric deficit and lose body fat, your leptin levels drop26. This, in turn, causes your metabolic rate to slow down, your appetite to increase, your motivation to wane, and your mood to sour”.
  • “When you boost your leptin levels, this can have positive effects on fat oxidation, thyroid activity, mood, and even testosterone levels”.
  • “When you’re bulking, two or three cheat meals per week is totally fine”.
  • “Cutting is when you adjust your diet and usually also add cardio to your training routine in order to maximize fat loss with the usual byproduct of minimal muscle growth”.
  • “Bulking is when you adjust your diet to maximize muscle gains with the usual byproduct of gaining some fat along the way”.
  • “Maintaining is when you adjust your diet to enable you to make slow muscle gains without the addition of any fat. (This is also known as body recomposition)”.
  • “When you want to gain significant amounts of muscle (ten pounds or more), bulk until you’ve gained the size you want, and then cut to lose the fat”.
  • “My recommendation is to bulk to a size that’s a little bigger than what you want and then cut”.
  • “Calculating your bulking diet is actually very easy. What you do is calculate a starting point and then adjust as needed. Here’s how to determine your starting point: Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Eat 2 grams of carbs per pound of body weight per day. Eat 1 gram of healthy fat per 3 pounds of body weight per day”.
  • “Depending on whether you’re new to weightlifting or experienced, you’re expecting to gain anywhere from 0.5 to 2 pounds per week when bulking, with a minor, gradual increase in body fat”.
  • “If you aren’t gaining weight or strength or your energy levels are low after a couple of weeks of bulking, you should up your calories by about 300 per day for another week or two and see if that fixes it. The easiest way to add the calories is to eat about 70 more grams of carbs per day”.
  • “You should also adjust your calories up by about 200 for every fifteen pounds that you gain. You can add these calories however you’d like (protein, carbs, or healthy fats)”.
  • “Eat at least about 30% of your daily carbs in your post–workout meal. This is about 80–100 grams for most guys, but feel free to go higher you’d like. Remember that the post-workout feeding ‘window’ is a great time to load in the carbs”.
  • “I always eat two servings of meat every day (lunch and dinner), and when I’m bulking, I eat at least four servings of red meat each week”.
  • “As a general rule, try to get at least 50% of your daily protein from solid food. It makes a difference”.
  • “Here’s how to calculate your starting point: Eat 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
  • Eat 1 gram of carbs per pound of body weight per day. Eat .2 grams of healthy fat per pound of body weight per day (1 gram per 5 pounds of body weight per day)”.
  • “[Maintenance Diet] Here’s how you determine your starting point: Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Eat 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight per day. Eat 1 gram of healthy fats per 4 pounds of body weight per day”.

The Bigger Leaner Stronger Weight Training Method

Formula: 1–2 | 4–6 | 9–12 | 2–3 | 45–60 | 5–7 | 8–10

  1. Train 1–2Muscle Groups Per Day
  2. Do Sets of 4–6 Repsfor Nearly All Exercises
  3. Do 9–12Heavy Sets Per Muscle Group
  4. Rest 2–3Minutes in Between Sets
  5. Train for 45–60Minutes
  6. Train Each Muscle Group Once Every 5–7Days
  7. Take a Week off Training Every 8–10Weeks
  • “When you can do a set of 6 reps with perfect form, you should add weight to your next set—5 pounds for dumbbell exercises, and 10 pounds for barbell exercises”.
  • “In order to maintain anabolism, you want to end your training within about 60 minutes, and let your cortisol levels come down along with your testosterone and growth hormone levels”.
  • “The rep timing I recommend is known as a ‘2–1–2’ timing. This means the first part of the rep should take about two seconds, then there should be a one–second pause, followed by the final portion of the rep, which should take about two seconds”.
  • “Cardio, when done correctly, actually helps you build muscle, and it should be a regular part of your exercise routine, whether you’re bulking, cutting, or maintaining”.
  • “The purpose of the warm–up is to infuse enough blood into the muscle and connective tissues so that they can be maximally recruited to handle the heavy sets”.
  • “Your first warm–up set, you want to do 12 reps with about 50% of your “heavy set weight” and then you rest for 1 minute”.
  • “Your second set, you use the same weight as the first and do 10 reps this time at a little faster pace. Then rest for 1 minute”.
  • “Third set is 4 reps with about 70% of your heavy weight, and it should be done at a moderate pace. You follow this with a 1–minute rest”.
  • “The fourth set is the final warm–up set, and it’s very simple: 1 rep with about 90% of your heavy weight. Rest 2–3 minutes before starting your next sets”.
  • “Most everything you see in the world of workout supplements is utterly worthless”.
  • “Whey is especially popular with athletes and bodybuilders because of its amino profile, which is high in leucine, an essential amino acid that plays a key role in initiating protein synthesis”.
  • “The three forms of whey protein sold are whey concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate”.
  • “A high–quality whey protein is easy to spot: whey concentrate, isolate, or hydrolysate listed as the first ingredients, and a scoop size relatively close to the amount of actually protein per scoop”.
  • “Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are the three ‘building blocks’ of your body: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They make up about 35% of your muscle mass and must be present in the body for muscle growth and repair to occur”.

 

Shout out to samuelthomasdavies.com for doing this written summary

 

To buy the book, click the link in the image below to purchase from Amazon

 

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