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In the book summary of Bigger Leaner Stronger, we’re going to cover the main foundations of the book, which are the overarching principles on weight training, cardio, and nutrition. This should handle everyone’s main concerns which is how do we lose fat or how do we gain muscle?
What is Bigger Leaner Stronger about?
Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body is all about building muscle and losing fat and It gives you a blueprint for how to do it properly. Everything the book covers is backed by science and as it goes along, it points out certain myths about diet and exercise and lets you know if there’s any truth to them.
Should you eat six meals a day? Three meals on the big one? The book covers everything include goal-setting, tracking, nutrition, obstacles, supplements to general health.
Bigger Leaner Stronger is a book that is geared towards men. However many of the principles are similar to changing your body composition if you’re a woman, but in case you’re a woman looking to pick up Thinner Leaner Stronger
Mike Matthews is a bestselling fitness author of Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef, as well as the founder of Legion Athletics.
His simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy has sold over a million books and helped thousands of people build their best bodies ever, and his work has been featured in many popular outlets including Esquire, Men’s Health, Elle, Women’s Health, Muscle & Strength, and more, as well as on FOX and ABC.
Summary of Bigger Leaner Stronger
A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet required in relatively large amounts. Specifically, these are protein, carbohydrates, fat, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
We will cover the importance of macronutrients soon but in the meantime, just remember these are going to be the main parts of a diet you want to track: Fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
If you don’t track what you eat that’s equivalent of you covering up the amount of gas you have in your car is to go for a cross-country drive. Wouldn’t do that because it’s dumb. When we do this all the time with our meal tracking.
If you want real results, you have to do the monotonous task of tracking your meals. Another thing with losing fat many people swear by is that cardio is the key to fat loss. You’ll see people at the gym every day, running on the treadmills or peddling all day on stationary bikes.
Cardio can help by burning calories and speeding up the metabolic rate, but if you aren’t eating right nothing will save you.
“HOW OFTEN YOU SHOULD DO CARDIO In terms of frequency, here’s how I do it: • When I’m bulking, I do two 25-minute HIIT sessions per week. • When I’m cutting, I do three to five 25-minute HIIT sessions per week. • When I’m maintaining, I do two to three 25-minute HIIT sessions per week. • I never do more than five cardio sessions per week, as I’ve found my strength begins to drop off in the gym if I do.
So how do we lose weight properly? The goal of healthy fat loss is to have as little muscle loss and metabolic slowing as possible. Both of these happen a lot and crash diets try to make you lose weight fast. You can lose weight quickly, you lose a lot of muscle, become skinny fat, lose your energy and have a major drop in testosterone and a rise in cortisol levels. So if you use the four laws, you have to follow four healthy fat laws:
Law #1: Eat less energy than you burn to lose fat
Let’s say your base level of calories burned in a day is 2,000 and you just add that to lose some weight you’re going to take in only 1,500 calories per day. You stick to this, you’ll lose weight. No matter what, it’s science.
Track the energy you take and make sure it is lower than the energy you have spent, you will lose weight. We haven’t talked about macronutrients here at all yet, because even if you were snacking on Oreos and potato chips all day, so long as you stay below the amount of energy your body uses every day, you’ll still lose weight.
“Organic Oreos are perceived to be lower in calories and more suitable for daily consumption than regular Oreos.46
Law #2: Use macronutrients properly to optimize body composition
Now although a calorie is a calorie for weight loss purposes. A calorie is not a calorie for body composition. So even though you would lose weight on the diet we discovered, it would mostly be muscle and you would become what we like to call skinny fat.
If you eat too little protein while cutting you lose more muscle than you play. If you eat too little carbs your training will suffer. The muscle recovery will be impaired and you’ll be lacking in energy. If you eat too little fat, you’ll find a significant drop in testosterone levels and other undesirable effects.
When we balance out our macronutrient levels, you want to have enough of each so you maintain your energy; don’t lose much muscle and keep your home on levels and cell functions as healthy.
Law #3: Block eat on a schedule that works best for you
If you’ve been training for any amount of time in the past and you’ve heard that instead of eating three large meals a day, you should eat six smaller meals a day, this speeds up your metabolism and makes your body not store fat; but the truth of the matter is essentially a small meal causes the small short metabolic spike and a big meal causes a big long metabolic slate. At the end of the day it balances out there’s no evidence for one style over the other. So just eat whatever works best for you and makes your diet the most enjoyable and don’t worry about meal timing too much.
Law #4: Use exercise to preserve muscle and accelerated fat loss
Weight training can cause a major afterburning effect that will allow you to burn through fat after you finish your workout. Although you can lose weight by just restricting calories you should the very least add in a resistive training routine to your schedule.
Cardio is the negotiable thing in there; you don’t need to do it but doing a combination of healthy eating resistance training and a bit of cardio will put you in a crazy upward spiral of results.
Growing muscle and weight training
It’s a lot of myths about weight training that people fall into and in this book summary of Bigger Leaner Stronger, we will break some of those to give you the truth of the matter and then discuss how to grow muscle.
To start though we need to define isolation and compound.
Isolation lift is a movement that only requires one joint.
compound lift is a movement that requires more than one joint. for example the bench press. This is important because compound lifts would take the most energy for you to do with.
“Muscles Grow Only if They’re Forced to”
That being said here the three laws to muscle growth:
Muscle growth Law #1: Progressive overload overall
Although having a big pump is great psychologically and maybe a good indicator of muscle growth, the real proof of muscle growth lies in a little thing called progressive tension overload.
Gaining muscle is strenuous and takes a lot of energy, so if they’re going to grow, you better give them a good reason too; That good reason is lifting continuously heavier weights. This leads us back to track. Track what you lift so you beat that weight every workout.
“What drives muscle growth, then? The answer is known as progressive tension overload, which means progressively increasing tension levels in the muscle fibers over time. That is, lifting progressively heavier and heavier weights. You see, muscles must be given a powerful reason to grow, and nothing is more convincing than subjecting them to more and more mechanical stress and tension.2”
Muscle growth Law #2: proper rests is just as important as proper training
One of the major problems in many weight lifting programs out there today, is they simply have you doing too much. The fact is that when you train with weights you causing tiny micro-tears in the muscle fiber, what your body then repairs. If you train too much, your body will fall behind with repairing it. It can take between two and seven days to repair the damage you’re doing to your body. So you need to rest muscle groups and allow them to fully heal before you train them again.
“lift hard and heavy, get sufficient rest, and feed your body correctly.”
Muscle growth Law #3: Muscles will only grow if they’re properly fed
If you’re doing the perfect workouts and giving your body the perfect amount of rest, good! But if you aren’t eating correctly, your muscles simply will not grow. It’s that simple.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
You need a proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to make your muscle growth. Already in this book summary of Bigger Leaner Stronger, we noted that you need to feed your body in order to lose weight. The opposite is true for muscle growth.
You’ll need to feed your body more energy than is burning so it has the proper stores available to repair your damaged muscles and pack on some lean muscle.
Now that we know we need to do heavy compound lives to grow muscle, we need to focus on these four big motives:
- The bench press
- Military press
- The squat
- The deadlift
If you can do these properly with the full range of motion, you’ll enjoy a full development of your muscles, have steady strength gains and won’t be unnecessarily injuring yourself.
Seven Aspects of Nutrition are Calories, Protein, Carbs, Fat, Water, Vitamins & Minerals, and Calcium. Also, there are two main sources of protein: Whole food protein and Supplement protein.
Whole food protein is a 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.
“A high-protein diet is absolutely vital for building muscle and preserving it when you’re dieting for fat loss. A low-protein diet is absolutely good for nothing. End of story. One”
Matthew’s recommends that you stick to the lean varieties of meats as eating a lot of saturated fat just isn’t necessary.
“Oh, and if you’re afraid that the cholesterol in eggs will increase your risk of heart disease, this myth has been thoroughly debunked by both epidemiological and clinicalresearch.4 With”
A diet high in soy reduced sperm count in men and increased estrogen, so avoid soy!
Sugar is a class of sweet-tasting carbohydrates that comes from various plants, fruits, grains, and other sources. The danger of sugar is that it’s fast absorbed and leaves you hungry soon after, even in high-calorie doses. glucose is a sugar that occurs widely in nature and is an important energy source in organisms. Glucose is a component of many carbohydrates.
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.
“Keep your intake of saturated fats relatively low (Less than 10% of your total daily calories). Saturated fat is found in foods like meat, dairy products, eggs, coconut oil, bacon fat, and lard. If a fat is solid at room temperature, it’s a saturated fat.”
It is difficult to build any muscle while in a fat loss calorie deficit. The goal while on a fat loss diet is simply to preserve muscle. Get much of your fats from unsaturated sources such as olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, avocados, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, or cottonseed oil. More body fat also drops testosterone (male hormone) and raises estrogen (female hormone) Most people get too much sodium (salt) which causes bloating.
Most people get too much sodium (salt) which causes bloating. You should have a 1:2 ratio of sodium to potassium, so 4,600mg potassium a day.
How to Plan Your Meals
“\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).
“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.”
What did you learn from the summary of Bigger Leaner Stronger? What was your favorite takeaway? Is there an important insight that we missed? Comment below or tweet to us @storyshots.
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Text shot is adapted from Jeffrey Marr and 9to5Strength Youtube channels.