Michael Matthews: Bigger Leaner Stronger Book Summary





#1 International Bestseller

This book has helped tens of thousands of men build their best body ever.

Will you be next?

If you want to get bigger, leaner, and stronger without steroidsgood geneticsextreme dieting, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym . . . you want to read this book.

Because here’s the deal:

Building lean muscle and burning stubborn fat isn’t nearly as complicated you’ve been led to believe.

This book is the shortcut.

And guess what?

You don’t need to: Spend hundreds of dollars per month on the worthless supplements that steroid-fueled bodybuilders “swear by.” Most pills, powders, and potions do absolutely nothing.

You don’t need to: Constantly change up your workout routine to gain lean muscle in all the right places. Muscle building is much simpler than that.

You don’t need to: Waste a couple of hours in the gym every day grinding through grueling workouts you hate. In fact, this is a great way to get nowhere.

You don’t need to: Slog away at boring cardio to shed ugly belly fat and get a six-pack. In fact, you probably don’t have to do any cardio to get the body you really want.

You don’t need to: Obsess over “clean eating” and avoiding “unhealthy” foods to get ripped. Instead, you can get and stay fit eating the foods you love.

Those are just a few of the harmful lies and myths that keep guys from ever achieving the lean, muscular, and strong body they truly desire.

And in this book you’ll learn something most guys will never know:

The exact methods of eating and exercising that make gaining 10 to 15 pounds of lean muscle a breeze . . . and it only takes a few months.

Here are just a few of the things you’ll discover in this book:

  • The 10 biggest fat loss and muscle building myths and mistakes that keep guys fat, weak, and confused.
  • The 3 scientific laws of muscle growth and fat loss that literally force your body to get biggerleaner, and stronger. (And no, they have nothing to do with “muscle confusion,” “functional training,” or any other pseudoscientific nonsense.)
  • How to create flexible meal plans that empower you to transform your body eating the foods you love—and without ever feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • A paint-by-numbers training system for building a full chest . . . wide back . . . powerful legs. . . and bulging arms . . . with only 3 to 6 hours of exercise per week.
  • no-BS guide to supplements that’ll save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on useless (and sometimes even dangerous) pills, powders, and potions.
  • And a lot more!


Imagine . . . just 12 weeks from now . . . being constantly complimented on the changes in your physique and asked how the heck you’re doing it.

Imagine enjoying higher energy levels, fewer aches and pains, and better spirits.

And imagine feeling like your fitness is finally under your control . . . and permanently.

The bottom line is you can get that “Hollywood hunk” body without following boring, bland “bodybuilder” diets or living in the gym.

This book shows you how


Key Takeaways

Many men struggle to lose weight because they follow diets, workout routines, and supplements that are not rooted in science.


Progressive tension overload is important for building muscle. This principle is a fundamental component of the Bigger Leaner Stronger program, which focuses on building muscle and reducing fat. The key to achieving an ideal male physique is bulking and cutting by eating properly before workouts and after them while exercising regularly.

Free weights and heavy weightlifting are necessary to build muscle. Performing fewer repetitions with more weight is better for building muscle than the widely touted method of performing many reps with lighter weights. While excessive cardio can cause muscle loss, moderate amounts of cardio done properly can help build more muscle over time.

It’s important to track progress while following the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

Key Takeaway 1: Many men struggle to lose weight and build the ideal body because they follow fad diets, workout routines, and supplements. Most of these are not rooted in hard science, so they are ineffective.


Many health and fitness magazines are sponsored by supplement companies, so they may have a bias in their content. Most of the articles and advertising aren’t meant to inform readers about science-based regimens; rather, they’re designed to sell products. However, these magazines are often people’s primary source for diet and exercise knowledge. To keep readers hooked on reading them every month, the magazines introduce new fad diets or trendy training methods in each issue. Although many of these fads haven’t been proven through reliable scientific studies to be effective for fat loss or muscle gain, men continue trying them because they hope that something will work eventually.

What these fitness magazines don’t tell you is that professional bodybuilders may die prematurely. They put too much strain on their bodies, which could be why they’re unhealthy and have diet related illnesses more than the average American citizen. If people knew this, then maybe they wouldn’t trust these magazines as much or buy their products because of a lack of faith in them. This would make it easier for plans like Bigger Leaner Stronger to get into the market by using strong science to help people achieve an ideal male body with large muscles and low levels of fat.

Key Takeaway 2: Progressive tension overload is the key to building an impressive musculature and a fundamental component of the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

Progressive tension overload means lifting more weight over time, which increases the tension in muscle fibers. This is what causes muscles to grow larger and stronger so they can withstand heavier weights. If you don’t keep adding weight to the bars you lift, no amount of proper dieting and exercise will build muscle like progressive overload does. You should be increasing your reps or adding a little bit more weight from last week’s workout to ensure that you are constantly encouraging muscle growth.

Health and fitness experts have known about progressive overload for a long time. It’s when you gradually increase the amount of weight or repetitions as your body grows stronger. The ancient Greek hero Milo is said to have carried a heifer on his shoulders every day from childhood until adulthood, which increased both their strength. He became an Olympic wrestler and had legendary strength.

Progressive overload is a common practice for dancers, gymnasts, and yoga devotees. Over time, progressive stretch overload strengthens connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments so they can perform the steps and poses needed for their routines and workouts.

Progressively increasing weights can have physical benefits and mental benefits. It helps us see that we’re making progress, even when we aren’t seeing it on our bodies yet. Progressively increasing weights also releases dopamine, which changes the way our brains work so that they expect to be rewarded for working out regularly.

Key Takeaway 3: Pre- and post-workout meals are the only times that an eating schedule matters.

Many fitness experts recommend eating certain foods before exercising to maximize the effects of that exercise. For example, many of them suggest having a light carbohydrate snack before sprinting because it is easily digestible. However, some experts disagree with this recommendation and instead advocate for protein-rich snacks or high-carbohydrate meals before working out. The constant variation in recommendations provides fodder for the magazine industry, as they can publish articles about which food is best paired with which exercise.

If you want to build muscle, eat a lot of protein before working out. Protein provides amino acids that your body uses to build muscles during the workout. Eating carbohydrates before a workout is not necessary, but it does provide extra fuel for your body so you can work out longer and harder. After you finish exercising, eat foods rich in both protein and carbohydrates to help with recovery and growth of new muscle tissue.

When men are trying to improve their endurance, the availability of carbohydrates during and after exercise is more important. The right foods will optimize those effects. A man’s body can’t achieve peak benefits from exercise on its own; he must provide his body with nutrients that it needs to burn fat and build muscle.

Key Takeaway 4: Proper application of gaining weight and muscle and then reducing fat, known as bulking and cutting, is the key to obtaining the ideal male physique.

Some fitness experts believe that bulking and cutting is ineffective. However, this is due to improper methods of bulk-and-cut. If a man follows the proper method, he can build muscle and lose fat without losing muscle mass.

Research has focused on not just the bulking and cutting phases but what happens in the transition period between them. One study examined participants who went from a calorie-restricted diet during the cutting phase to a high-calorie diet for the bulking phase. Researchers found that their bodies were able to gain lean muscle mass quickly because of increased levels of anabolic hormones, such as IGF-1, testosterone, and insulin. This supports recommendations by Bigger Leaner Stronger to cycle through periods of bulking and cutting for effective muscle growth.

Key Takeaway 5: Free weights and heavy, compound weightlifting are the necessary components for a muscle-building workout regimen that produces results.

The machines often seem less intimidating than free weights, but they don’t build muscle in the same way. Free weights are great for compound exercises, which involve multiple muscles at once. They’re better than isolation exercises that only work one muscle at a time. However, isolation exercises can be good because they help strengthen certain smaller muscles and keep your body balanced overall.


Compound exercises are more taxing than isolation exercises, and they lead to a larger release of anabolic hormones. Testosterone is one such hormone that helps improve muscle growth. One study found that the presence of testosterone was crucial for increasing lean leg mass.

Although it was once thought that compound exercises should be performed in combination with isolation exercises, research has shown otherwise. It’s now known that you can gain muscle by performing only compound exercises or through a combination of the two.

Key Takeaway 6: Performing fewer repetitions with more weight delivers better muscle-building results than the widely touted methods that call for many repetitions with lighter weights.

Much debate surrounds whether lifting heavier weights is better for building muscle than lifting lighter weights. However, studies do show that people who work out with a higher percentage of their one-rep maximum and fewer repetitions will get the best results in terms of both increased strength and muscle mass. While this method does require longer resting periods between sets, it allows you to lift more weight in each set rather than fatiguing your muscles too quickly.

Some fitness experts say that you should use lighter weights and do more repetitions to build muscle. However, a study shows that maximum weightlifting provides the best results for advanced lifters. Additionally, lifting heavy weights for fewer repetitions could maximize outcome with minimal time and effort since another study showed no difference in oxygen consumption between groups of people who lifted 70%, 80% or 90% of their one-rep maxes.

Key Takeaway 7: While excessive cardio can cause muscle loss, moderate amounts of cardio performed the right way can help build more muscle over time.


Some bodybuilding magazines suggest that the amount of cardio a person does when trying to lose fat or gain muscle may vary based on their body type. An ectomorph, who is naturally slim and struggles to build muscle, should not do as much cardio because it will take away from his recovery energy. On the other hand, an endomorph tends to be heavyset and has no problem losing fat but struggles with building muscle. He should do more cardio while he’s trying to lose weight so he can offset his tendency to put on extra body fat during times of caloric surplus.

Many factors influence how often and for how long a person should perform cardio exercises, but it’s generally accepted that some are necessary to get the best results. The Bigger Leaner Stronger program agrees with this belief. Cardio exercises don’t build muscle mass, but they can help facilitate muscle growth in other ways. Intensive exercises like those in the BBS program damage muscles fibers, which then need to be repaired during recovery time. However, since cardio mainly works on legs rather than upper body muscles—like running or cycling—the benefits of faster recovery times mostly affect leg muscles instead of helping out with upper body muscle recovery processes as well.”

Key Takeaway 8: Tracking progress while following the Bigger Leaner Stronger regimen is essential for optimum results.


If someone records the details of his workouts in a journal, he can determine if he is making progress by using quantifiable data. Without this method of tracking his progress, it would be impossible to tell what’s working and what isn’t. The man should record how many calories he has eaten every day, as well as how much weight he lifted during each workout. Other numbers such as weight, body fat percentage and measurements are also important for determining success over time. Seeing these figures week after week will help maintain motivation and ensure that no mistakes are made along the way.

Scientific evidence shows that people who track their fitness progress are more successful at losing weight. A study from 2011 found that the more frequently a person tracked his or her progress, the better he or she was at losing weight. Self-monitoring methods included paper diaries and electronic digital scales.

Technology can help people monitor their progress in terms of diet and exercise because devices like mobile fitness apps and wearable fitness bands are getting better at recording data. These devices often provide specialized analyses that show trends in progress, which helps you determine the most effective elements of your workout plan. Technology is great for helping with weight loss and muscle gain when using the Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

Book Structure

In addition to providing scientific information about his own diet and fitness strategies, Matthews dispels many of the myths that are being perpetuated today. He includes chapters entitled “The 7 Biggest Muscle-building Myths and Mistakes” and “The 5 Biggest Fat Loss Myths and Mistakes.” This provides evidence that negates each myth or mistake so that readers can understand why his method is better than other methods for building muscle or losing fat.

Many men are unable to build muscle mass because they lack proper form. This can be difficult for them to get help with from a book, but the author provides detailed instructions on how to do this through images and descriptions of body placement and movements. He also outlines weekly workouts that he used to build his own body.

About the Author

Matthews spent years trying to build his ideal body using fad diets, ineffective workout programs, and supplements he learned about from magazines and TV gurus. He reached a plateau and decided to change his methods by conducting research on scientific papers, consulting the work of natural bodybuilders who don’t use steroids, and working with premier strength coaches. Based on what he learned, Matthews changed his diet and exercise habits to create an effective program that helped him achieve his goal of building the ideal body. Other people saw how well this worked for him and asked for help in getting started with their own workouts based on what he taught them. After teaching these exercises to others for some time, Matthews realized that writing books would be a great way to share those lessons with even more people around the world so they could achieve similar results as well.






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