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This article is an excerpt from the new third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, my bestselling fitness books for men and women, which are currently on sale for just 99 cents.

Chapter 15: Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys

Be first and be lonely.

—GINNI ROMETTY

People with vague, unrealistic, or uninspiring fitness goals (or none at all) are always the first to quit. 

These people are easy to spot too. They show up to the gym sporadically to sleepwalk through workouts, barely breaking a sweat. They constantly complain about how situations and circumstances “made” them fall off the wagon (pesky office potlucks!). They’re always on the lookout for the newest fads and magic bullet fixes.

If you’re going to succeed where the masses fail, if you’re going to get into the best shape of your life and become a paragon of health and fitness, you need to inoculate yourself against these attitudes and behaviors, and that’s why we’re going to do a little soul-searching in this chapter.

Different people have different reasons for eating well and working out. Some like to push their bodies to the limit. Others just want to impress the opposite (or same) sex. Many want to boost their confidence and self-esteem. Most want to improve their general health and well-being. 

These are all perfectly valid reasons to get fit—looking great, feeling great, having high energy levels, being more resistant to sickness and disease, living longer, and so forth—but it’s important that you isolate and articulate your reasons. 

In the last chapter, you learned about the power of visualizing your future, and how doing so can greatly enhance your ability to navigate your life more skillfully.

Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!

Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys - YouTube

Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!

Let’s put this into practice right now, starting with the dimension of fitness that most people find most alluring: the visual.

What Does Your Ideal Body Look Like? 

Let’s face it: a major reason why you’re reading this book is you want to look a certain way. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Every single fit person I know—including myself—is motivated just as much by the mirror as anything else, if not more so. I value my health, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about how I look nearly as much as the many other benefits of regular exercise.

Don’t mistake that for narcissism, either. There are plenty of self-absorbed fitness twits out there, but I don’t see anything wrong with playing a bit to our vanity if looking great also helps us feel great (and it does).

So, let’s talk about you. What does your ideal body look like? 

I want us to go beyond trite words and hazy daydreams, too. I want us to establish this visually and precisely by finding a picture or two (or three or four!) of exactly what you want to look like. Then, I want you to save these pictures somewhere that’s easily accessible, like your phone or Google Drive or Dropbox.

In other words, when you’re on my Bigger Leaner Stronger program, I want you to feel that you’re working toward a very real, very desirable body that’s as concrete as the page you’re reading, not an imaginary physique that could be described as “jacked” or “shredded.”

If you already know where to go to find pictures of the type of body you really want, go collect them now. If you don’t, head over to my “Great Male Physiques” board on my Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/mikebls/great-male-physiques), and you’ll find a large gallery of fit guys of all types to choose from.

What Does Your Ideal Body Feel Like?

This question asks you to explore one of the many “hidden” benefits of fitness. 

Few people are aware of it when they begin their transformations, but a fit, healthy body is far more pleasurable to inhabit than an unfit, unhealthy one. 

The more in shape you are, the more you get to enjoy higher energy levels, better moods, more alertness, clearer thinking, fewer aches and pains, and higher-quality sleep, to name just a few of the advantages.

And then there’s the deeper stuff like more self-confidence and self-esteem, more productivity and self-fulfillment, and more intimate and satisfying relationships.

I want you to take a few minutes now to imagine what this will be like for you, and then write it all down in the form of individual affirmations.

In case you’re not familiar with affirmations, they’re positive statements that describe how you want to be, like, “I’m full of energy all day” and “My mind is always quick, clear, and focused.”

This might seem a bit woo-woo, but research shows that writing and reading affirmations can benefit you in several ways. For example, a study conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who practiced affirmations exercised more than people who didn’t, and research conducted by scientists at the University of Sussex found that performing self-affirmations improved working memory and cognitive performance.

For the sake of completeness, you can organize your health and fitness affirmations into four broad categories:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

Physical affirmations are all about bodily function and physical energy levels, and they can include statements like, “I wake up rested every day,” “My joints are pain-free,” and “I rarely get sick.”

Mental affirmations concern your mind’s ability to remember and compute and your ability to focus on the present and tune out the “noise.” They can include statements like, “I can focus deeply on the task at hand,” “My memory is sharp,” and “I can control my thoughts.”

Emotional affirmations relate to your feeling of positive or negative sensations, and they can include statements like, “I find joy everywhere I go,” “I bounce back quickly from bad news,” and “I give and receive love openly.”

Spiritual affirmations involve your sense of purpose and motivation, and they can include statements like, “I’m driven to build the body of my dreams,” “I feel I’m on the right path,” and “I know I will succeed.”

Here are a few pointers for writing more effective affirmations:

  • Keep your affirmations short so they’re easier to process and remember.

    Even four or five carefully chosen words can be powerful.
  • Start your statements with “I” or “My.” 

Affirmations are all about you, so it’s best to start with you. “I have no aches or pains in my joints” is much better than “The aches and pains in my joints have disappeared.”

  • Write your affirmations as though you’re experiencing them right now, not in the future.

    For example, “I fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rejuvenated” is superior to “I will fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rejuvenated” or “Within three months, I’m falling asleep quickly and waking up feeling rejuvenated.”
  • Don’t begin your statements with “I want” or “I need.”

    You don’t want to affirm needing or wanting, but being
  • Make sure your affirmations are positive statements.

    In many cases, realizing your affirmations will require discarding negative behaviors and thoughts, but you don’t want your statements to reflect this.

Think, “I’m calm, confident, and contented” and not “I’m no longer anxious and insecure,” and “I wake up on time every day feeling refreshed” instead of “I don’t sleep in anymore.”

  • Inject emotion into your affirmations by including, “I’m [emotion] about . . .” or “I feel [emotion].”

    For example, you could say, “I’m excited to do my daily workouts.”
  • Create affirmations that are believable.

    If you don’t think your statement is possible, it won’t have much of an effect on you, so make sure you can fully buy into it. 

If you find a certain affirmation particularly incredible, you can start with a qualifier like, “I’m open to . . .” or “I’m willing to believe I could . . .”

So, are you ready to write your affirmations? Take as long as you need! I’ll be here when you’re done!

What Are Your Whys?

One of my favorite things about being fit are the moments where you just stop for a second and think, “Wow, it’s awesome I did that with my body.” 

These are the things that put a smile on your face and a spring in your step, and sometimes even make your day. 

I’m not talking about stuff like “turning heads in the coffee shop” but rather “having my doctor ask me for fitness advice”, “feeling way more productive,” and “keeping up with my kids without getting tired.” The small but meaningful things that confirm you’re on the right track.

I’ve worked with thousands of guys over the years, and here are a few examples of the fitness wins they’ve shared with me:

  • Getting asked for advice in the gym
  • Getting more attention from the opposite or same sex
  • Feeling more confident and competent inside and outside of the gym
  • Being more productive at work
  • Eating desserts guilt-free
  • Looking fantastic in a suit
  • Setting a good example for their kids
  • Enjoying outdoor activities again
  • Eliminating aches and pains
  • Trying new physical challenges like a hiking, biking, or running

I love these. They’re real, specific, and meaningful, and they’re great examples of the more sincere and personal reasons to get into great shape.

How about you? Why do you want to achieve everything you just laid out in your affirmations? 

Maybe you want to boost your confidence? Play sports better? Be more attractive? Enjoy the overcoming of physical barriers? Be more active with your kids? Avoid disease? Stay active well into your retirement years? Slow down the processes of aging and retain a youthful vitality? Just have a body that works the way it’s supposed to? Heck, beat your friends in arm-wrestling matches? 

Brainstorm your reasons for getting in shape and write them down until you feel pumped up and ready to get into action, because in the next part of this book, you’re going to learn how to use my Bigger Leaner Stronger program to make it all a reality.

#

Remember the work you’ve done here whenever you need a pick-me-up, and it’ll help you find the power to persevere.

Recall it when you’re feeling too tired to train, when you’re out with friends watching them stuff and drink themselves silly, when sugary treats are cooing your name, and when you roll out of bed in the morning like a log off a truck.

Regularly look at the pictures you’ve saved, read the affirmations you’ve written, and review the whys you’ve formulated, and you’ll always feel a wind in your sails, propelling you ever closer to your best body ever.

And then, once you’ve achieved everything you’ve created here, repeat the process anew, charting another more exciting course for the next phase of your fitness and life.

To help get you there as quickly as possible, we must now return to the “outer game” and learn once and for all how to use food, exercise, and supplementation to transform your body and mind. 

Key Takeaways
  • People with vague, unrealistic, or uninspiring fitness goals (or none at all) are always the first to quit. 
  • Different people have different reasons for eating well and working out—but it’s important that you isolate and articulate your reasons.  
  • Establish what your ideal body looks like visually and precisely by finding a picture or two (or three or four!) of exactly what you want to look like and saving these pictures somewhere that’s easily accessible, like your phone or Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Take a few minutes to imagine what it’ll be like to be in the best shape of your life, and then write it all down in the form of individual affirmations.
  • Affirmations are positive statements that describe how you want to be, like, “I’m full of energy all day” and “My mind is always quick, clear, and focused.”
  • You can organize your health and fitness affirmations into four broad categories: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
  • Physical affirmations are all about bodily function and physical energy levels, and they can include statements like, “I wake up rested every day,” “My joints are pain-free,” and “I rarely get sick.”
  • Mental affirmations concern your mind’s ability to remember and compute and your ability to focus on the present and tune out the “noise.” They can include statements like, “I can focus deeply on the task at hand,” “My memory is sharp,” and “I can control my thoughts.”
  • Emotional affirmations relate to your feeling of positive or negative sensations, and they can include statements like, “I find joy everywhere I go,” “I bounce back quickly from bad news,” and “I give and receive love openly.”
  • Spiritual affirmations involve your sense of purpose and motivation, and they can include statements like, “I’m driven to build the body of my dreams,” “I feel I’m on the right path,” and “I know I will succeed.”
  • Brainstorm your reasons for getting in shape and write them down until you feel pumped up and ready to get into action.
  • Remember the work you’ve done here whenever you need a pick-me-up, and it’ll help you find the power to persevere.

This article is an excerpt from the new third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, my bestselling fitness books for men and women, which are currently on sale for just 99 cents.

The post Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys - YouTube

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more…

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway ends on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

People with vague, unrealistic, or uninspiring fitness goals (or none at all) are always the first to quit. 

These people are easy to spot too. They show up to the gym sporadically to sleepwalk through workouts, barely breaking a sweat. They constantly complain about how situations and circumstances “made” them fall off the wagon (pesky office potlucks!). They’re always on the lookout for the newest fads and magic bullet fixes.

If you’re going to succeed where the masses fail, if you’re going to get into the best shape of your life and become a paragon of health and fitness, you need to inoculate yourself against these attitudes and behaviors, and that’s why we’re going to do a little soul-searching in this chapter.

Click the player below to learn more!

Mentioned on the show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Finding Your Biggest Fitness Whys appeared first on Legion Athletics.

  • Show original
  • .
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The 10 Absolute Worst Fat Loss Myths and Mistakes - YouTube

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness books Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more…

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway ends on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch or www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

For thousands of years, a lean, toned, athletic body has been the gold standard of physical status and attractiveness. It was a hallmark of the ancient heroes, gods, and goddesses, and we still idolize it today.

With obesity rates over 35 percent here in America (and steadily rising), it would appear that achieving this type of physique and becoming one of the “physical elite” must require top-shelf genetics or a level of knowledge, discipline, and sacrifice far beyond what most people are capable of.

This isn’t true. Your genetics can’t stop you from getting superfit; the knowledge is easy enough to acquire—you’re going to learn everything you need to know in this book—and it doesn’t require nearly as much willpower as you might think. While you won’t be able to eat large pizzas every day and get by on only a few workouts here and there, you will be able to build lean muscle and lose fat eating foods you love and doing workouts you enjoy.

Click the player below to learn more!

Mentioned on the show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post The 10 Absolute Worst Fat Loss Myths and Mistakes appeared first on Legion Athletics.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This article is an excerpt from the new third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger, my bestselling fitness books for men and women, which are currently on sale for just 99 cents.

The road to nowhere is paved with excuses.

—MARK BELL

For thousands of years, a lean, toned, athletic body has been the gold standard of physical status and attractiveness. It was a hallmark of the ancient heroes, gods, and goddesses, and we still idolize it today.

With obesity rates over 35 percent here in America (and steadily rising), it would appear that achieving this type of physique and becoming one of the “physical elite” must require top-shelf genetics or a level of knowledge, discipline, and sacrifice far beyond what most people are capable of.

This isn’t true. Your genetics can’t stop you from getting superfit; the knowledge is easy enough to acquire—you’re going to learn everything you need to know in this book—and it doesn’t require nearly as much willpower as you might think. While you won’t be able to eat large pizzas every day and get by on only a few workouts here and there, you will be able to build lean muscle and lose fat eating foods you love and doing workouts you enjoy.

That’s what I want for you. That’s why I wrote this book. Together I want us to upgrade not just your body, but your life.

Fat loss is a major component of this vision. If we’re going to make it a reality, you’re going to have to finally break free of fad diets, yo-yo dieting, and all the nutritional nonsense that keeps guys weak, overweight, and frustrated. To master your body, you’re going to need to know how to easily and consistently lose fat and keep it off.

To help you develop that ability, I want to start with debunking 10 of the worst fat loss myths and mistakes. Chances are you’ve heard or even bought into at least several of them, and if we don’t address this first, you might be skeptical of or even reject the core tenets of the Bigger Leaner Stronger method of dieting.

Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!

The 10 Absolute Worst Fat Loss Myths and Mistakes - YouTube

Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!

So, let’s dispel these harmful fallacies and errors once and for all so they can never again block your progress toward the body you want.

Myth #1: “Calories In Versus Calories Out Is Bad Science”

“Calorie counting doesn’t work,” the overweight MD says in his latest bestselling book.

“It’s a relic of our ignorant dietary past,” the pretty woman who has been skinny her entire life tells Oprah.

“It’s time we moved on and realized dieting is all about food quality, not calories,” the former triathlete turned guru says on his blockbuster blog.

The sales pitch sounds sexy. Eat the right foods and you can “unclog and supercharge” your hormones and metabolism, and your body will take care of the rest. This is music to many people’s ears who want to believe they can get lean and fit without ever having to restrict or even pay attention to how much they eat, only what.

This is malarkey. In fact, it’s worse than that. It’s a blatant lie because, as far as your body weight is concerned, how much you eat is far more important than what you eat.

Don’t believe me? 

Just ask Kansas State University Professor Mark Haub, who lost 27 pounds in 10 weeks eating Hostess cupcakes, Doritos, Oreos, and whey protein shakes. Or a science teacher, John Cisna, who lost 56 pounds in six months eating nothing but McDonald’s. Or Kai Sedgwick, a fitness enthusiast who got into the best shape of his life following a rigorous workout routine and eating McDonald’s every day for a month.

I don’t recommend you follow in their footsteps (the nutritional value of your diet does matter), but they prove an indisputable point: you can lose fat and gain muscle while eating copious amounts of junk food.

The key to understanding how this works—and to understanding what really drives weight loss and gain—is energy balance, which is the relationship between energy intake (calories eaten) and output (calories burned).

Various foods contain varying numbers of calories. For example, nuts are very energy dense, containing about 6.5 calories per gram, on average. Celery, on the other hand, contains very little stored energy, with just 0.15 calories per gram.

If you add up the calories of all the food you eat in a day and then compare that number to how many calories you burn in the same period, you’d notice one of three things:

  1. You ate more calories than you burned. (Do this often enough and you’ll gain weight.)
  2. You ate fewer calories than you burned. (Do this often enough and you’ll lose weight.)
  3. You ate more or less the same number of calories as you burned. (Do this often enough and you’ll maintain your weight.)

Your checking account is a good metaphor for how this process works. 

If you “put” (eat) more calories into the account than you “spend” (burn), you create a positive energy balance, and your body will “save” (store) a portion of the surplus energy as body fat.

If you put fewer calories into the account than you spend, however, you create a negative energy balance, and your body will turn to its “energy savings” (body fat, mostly) to make up for the deficit and obtain the energy it needs to keep functioning.

Remember that our bodies require a constant supply of energy to stay alive, and if they didn’t have these handy energy deposits to tap into (body fat), we would have to provide that energy through a carefully regulated feeding schedule. If we missed a meal, the energy would run out and we would die. The only reason we don’t have to live like that is our bodies can break down body fat (and other tissues when necessary) and burn it for energy when food energy isn’t available.

What do you think happens to your body fat stores, then, if you eat considerably fewer calories than you burn for weeks or months on end? That’s right—they get whittled down to lower and lower levels, and you look leaner and leaner. 

These aren’t hypotheses or debunked theories, either. This is the first law of thermodynamics at work, which states that energy in a system can’t be created or destroyed but can only change form. This applies to all physical energy systems, including the human metabolism. When we eat food, its stored energy is transformed by our muscles into mechanical energy (movement), by our digestive systems into chemical energy (body fat), and by our organs into thermal energy (heat). 

This alone explains why every single controlled weight loss study conducted in the last 100 years has concluded that meaningful weight loss requires energy expenditure to exceed energy intake.

This is also why bodybuilders dating back just as far, from the “father of modern bodybuilding” Eugen Sandow to the sword-and-sandal superstar Steve Reeves to the iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been using this knowledge to systematically and routinely reduce and increase body fat levels as desired.

So, the bottom line is: A century of metabolic research has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that energy balance is the basic mechanism that regulates weight gain and loss.

All that evidence, however, doesn’t mean you have to count calories to lose weight, but it does mean you have to understand how calorie intake and expenditure influences your body weight and then regulate your intake according to your goals.

Myth #2: “Carbs and Sugars Make You Fat”

People love simple explanations and compelling conspiracies, and these two quirks explain the popularity of most mainstream diet trends.

The formula for a fad diet is simple:

1. “It’s not your fault you’re overweight and unhealthy.”

“Jerks keep saying it’s because you eat too much junk and food in general and move too little, but they’re wrong. You’re not lazy and undisciplined. You’re a victim of bad science and worse food.”

2. “New research shows you what to blame.”

“And we’ve strung it up like a pinata for you to bludgeon into ribbons. Strike it down with all your hatred and your journey to the dark . . . er, light . . . side will be complete.”

3. “Avoid this thing at all costs and you’ll live happily ever after.”

“Celibacy is the only way to escape this bogeyman’s wrath. Renounce it and take charge of your destiny.”

These emotion-based tactics are how marketers sold us on low-fat dieting a decade ago and how they sell us on low-carb and low-sugar dieting today. Cut the heinous carbohydrate and sugar molecules out of your life, they say, and the pounds will just melt away. 

It all sounds so neat and tidy until someone like me comes along and points out the glitches in the matrix, like the professor and science teacher I introduced you to earlier in this chapter, or the well-designed and well-executed studies that have found no difference in weight loss whatsoever between low- and high-carb and low- and high-sugar diets.

For instance:

  • Scientists at Arizona State University found no difference in weight or fat loss between people consuming 5 and 40 percent of their calories from carbohydrate for 10 weeks.
  • Scientists at the Medical College of Wisconsin found no difference in weight or fat loss between people consuming 4 and 30 percent of their calories from carbohydrate for six weeks.
  • Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found no difference in weight loss between people consuming 65, 45, and 35 percent of their calories from carbohydrate for two years.
  • Scientists at Stanford School of Medicine found no difference in weight or fat loss between people who consumed 50 and 25 percent of their calories from carbohydrate for one year.
  • Scientists at Duke University found no difference in weight or fat loss between people consuming 4 and 43 percent of their calories from sugar for six weeks.
  • Scientists at Queen Margaret University College found no difference in weight loss between people consuming 5 and 10 percent of their calories from sugar for eight weeks.

Later in this book, we’ll talk more about why carbs and sugars aren’t nearly as dangerous or fattening as you’ve been told, but for now, know this:

If you consistently consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight, regardless of how much carbohydrate or sugar you eat.

There’s a corollary here, too:

No individual food can make you fatter. Only overeating can.

If you consistently consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight, even if those calories come from the “healthiest” food on earth.

Look around for easy proof of this one. How many people do you know who are overweight despite their obsession with “clean eating”? Well, now you know why.

Myth #3: “Some People Just ‘Mysteriously’ Can’t Lose Weight”

The number one reason most people “inexplicably” can’t lose weight is they’re eating too much. 

Seriously. That’s the climax. The big reveal. The way out of the haunted house. The rub, however, is they often don’t realize it. 

For starters, studies show that most people are really bad at estimating the actual number of calories they eat. They underestimate portion sizes, assume foods contain fewer calories than they do, measure intake inaccurately, and, in some cases, simply lie to themselves about how much they’re actually eating.

A particularly egregious example can be found in a study conducted by scientists at Columbia University. They found that obese people who claimed to have been eating 800 to 1,200 calories per day for years were underestimating their true daily calorie intake by a whopping 2,000 calories, on average.

That’s right, on average, these people were eating about 3,000 calories per day while claiming to have been eating just 800 to 1,200 calories per day.

This inability to estimate calorie intake accurately is why so many people fail with diets that deal in rules and restrictions instead of hard numbers. You can lose weight without counting calories but it’s a bit of a crapshoot, and it becomes less and less viable as you get leaner and leaner.

There are plenty of ways to screw up calorie counting too. 

If you eat a lot of prepackaged and prepared foods, it’s fairly easy to accidentally overeat because the calorie counts we’re given for various restaurant and packaged foods are often inaccurate. In fact, food manufacturers can underreport calories by 20 percent and pass FDA inspection, and you’d better believe many are unscrupulous enough to use this to their advantage. Maybe those “low-calorie” cookies aren’t so low-calorie after all?

People who know this and stick to foods they cook and prepare themselves are often no better in the end because they don’t measure their foods properly. Here’s an all-too-common scenario:

It’s mealtime and you break out the oatmeal, peanut butter, blueberries, and yogurt, and the measuring cups and spoons. You measure out one cup of oatmeal, one tablespoon of peanut butter, and half a cup each of blueberries and yogurt. You cook it all up, scarf it all down, and move on with your day. Unfortunately, you’ve just eaten a couple hundred more calories than you thought.

How did this happen? 

Well, that (slightly heaping) cup of oatmeal that you scooped out contained 100 grams of dry oats and 379 calories. The “cup” on the label, however, contains only 307 calories because it assumes 81 grams of dry oats. That’s 72 more calories than you thought. And your tablespoon of peanut butter? You packed in 21 grams for a count of 123 calories, but your app’s tablespoon assumes just 16 grams and 94 calories. There’s another 29 “hidden” calories.

Make these types of errors meal after meal, food after food, day after day, and this alone can be the reason you “mysteriously” can’t lose weight.

Myth #4: “You Can Eat and Drink Whatever You Want in Your ‘Cheat Meals’”

“Cheat” meals are a staple of many weight loss diets, and they usually entail eating more or less whatever your hungry little heart desires.

There’s merit in this idea, and as you’ll learn later in this book, Bigger Leaner Stronger also allows for “cheat” or “normal” meals, mostly as a way to relieve psychological stress and cravings.

There are, however, right and wrong ways to “cheat” on your diet, and many people who struggle to lose weight do it very wrong.

For instance, they often cheat too frequently. To understand why this is a problem, we only have to look back to the big picture of calories and weight loss. If you moderately overeat just a few days per month, your overall results aren’t going to be much affected. If you do it a few times per week, however, you’re going to slow down your weight loss considerably.

Another common mistake is indulging in no-holds-barred cheat days. If you let loose for just one meal, you can only do so much damage. Your stomach is probably going to be begging for mercy by the 2,000-calorie mark. Eat everything in sight for an entire day, however, and you can easily put down many thousands of calories and erase your weight loss progress for the last several days, if not the entire week.

Yet another way to screw up individual cheat meals is eating too many calories and dietary fat in particular. I know I just said you can only do so much damage in one meal, but if you’re of the hearty eating type, it can be enough to noticeably impact your weight loss. 

The worst type of cheat meal is one that is very high in both calories and dietary fat, which is chemically similar to body fat and thus requires very little energy for conversion into body fat (between 0 and 2 percent of the energy it contains). 

Protein and carbohydrate, on the other hand, are chemically dissimilar to body fat, cost quite a bit more energy to process (25 and 7 percent of the energy they contain, respectively), and are rarely converted to body fat under normal conditions.

This is why research shows that high-fat meals cause more immediate fat gain than high-protein or high-carbohydrate meals.

This information is particularly relevant when you’re lean and wanting to get even leaner. You simply can’t afford to be in a large calorie surplus very often, especially not when the surplus is primarily from dietary fat.

Drinking alcohol while cheating is also generally a bad idea. While alcohol itself basically can’t be stored as body fat, it blunts fat burning, which accelerates the rate at which your body stores dietary fat as body fat, and it increases the conversion of carbohydrate into body fat.

In short, it’s not the calories from alcohol that can make you fatter, but all the delicious food most people eat with it, which is hard to resist when you’re hammered.

Myth #5: “You Can Burn the Fat Covering Your [Body Part]”

Pick up just about any fitness magazine and you’ll find workouts for getting ab definition, slimming the thighs, eliminating back and arm fat, and the like.

If only it were that simple. 

While research shows that training a specific muscle increases blood flow and lipolysis (the breakdown of fat cells into usable energy) in the area, the effects are far too small to matter. Training your muscles burns calories and can result in muscle growth, both of which certainly can aid in fat loss, but it doesn’t directly burn the fat covering them to any significant degree. 

Instead, fat loss occurs in a whole-body fashion. You create the proper environment (a calorie deficit) through diet and exercise, and your body reduces fat stores all over, with certain areas leaning out faster than others (more on why this occurs later).

This is why studies show you can do all the crunches you want, but you’ll never have defined abs until you’ve adequately reduced your body fat levels.

Myth #6: “Dieting Can ‘Damage’ Your Metabolism”

According to most theories, “metabolic damage” refers to a condition where various physiological systems have been disrupted, and as a result, your metabolism burns less energy than it should.

In other words, it’s a hypothetical state wherein you burn fewer calories than you should based on your body weight and activity levels. Furthermore, the story goes, once you’ve “damaged” your metabolism, it can remain hamstrung for weeks, months, and even years.

It’s called “metabolic damage” because the idea is your metabolism is literally “broken” to one degree or another and requires “fixing.” 

The common causes of metabolic damage are believed to be remaining in a calorie deficit for too long, starvation dieting, and doing too much cardio. Therefore, when you’re restricting your calories and stop losing weight for no apparent reason, or when you’re struggling to stop gaining weight after a period of dieting, some people will say that you probably have metabolic damage that needs repairing.

The evidence to support this hypothesis is almost always stories. Stories of people failing to lose weight on a measly few hundred calories per day, and even worse, stories of people gaining weight on very low-calorie diets and intense exercise routines.

And so people everywhere have become convinced that dieting has screwed up their bodies—maybe even irreversibly—and that their only hope for returning to normalcy is special dietary measures.

What does science have to say on the matter?

Well, several studies have shown that the metabolic decline associated with dieting, including long periods of very low-calorie dieting, ranges from less than 5 to about 15 percent. 

Furthermore, it took about a 10 percent reduction in body weight to produce the larger, double-digit drops, and most of the research on the matter was conducted with people who made the cardinal diet mistakes of eating too few calories and too little protein and doing no resistance training.

We also know that while these metabolic adaptations can persist long after weight loss has stopped, they can also be easily reversed by raising your calories, lifting weights, and eating a high-protein diet.

And that’s true even for people who have already gone to extreme measures to drop pounds in the past. No matter what they’ve done, it can only produce a relatively small metabolic dip that can be easily reversed with proper diet and training.

Even more encouraging is research on what happens to your metabolism over time when you do things correctly, which we’ll discuss later in this book. 

Myth #7: “Dieting Can Send Your Body into ‘Starvation Mode’”

The idea behind “starvation mode” is similar to metabolic damage.

It goes like this: if you’re too aggressive with your calorie restriction, then your metabolism will slow to a crawl, making it more or less impossible to continue losing weight without eating like a runway model. 

The way most people describe it, starvation mode and metabolic damage work together to stymie your progress in a process that looks like this:

  1. You eat too little and lose weight too fast.
  2. You plunge your body into starvation mode, and weight loss stops.
  3. You eat even less and move even more, which further aggravates the problem and causes metabolic damage.
  4. The longer you remain in starvation mode, the less and less weight you’ll lose regardless of what you do, and the more and more damaged your metabolism will become.

One of the only ways to avoid this metabolic carnage, we’re told, is losing weight slowly through very mild calorie restriction. If we get greedy, they say, we’ll pay for it later. 

There’s a shade of truth here, but like many of the things that “everybody knows” in the fitness space, it’s more wrong than right. 

Your body responds to calorie restriction with countermeasures meant to stall weight loss, but there’s no..

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This article is an excerpt from the new third edition of Thinner Leaner Stronger, my bestselling fitness book for women, which is currently on sale for just 99 cents.

If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

—ERICA JONG

Nine of ten people you see in the gym don’t train correctly.

I could write an entire chapter cataloguing their mistakes, but here are some of the more common ones:

  • They spend too much time on the wrong exercises.
  • They undertrain and overtrain various muscle groups.
  • They use poor form, especially on the more technical exercises.
  • They use too light or too heavy weights.
  • They rest too little or too much in between sets.

In fact, what most people do in the gym doesn’t even qualify as training but is merely exercise

What’s the difference?

Well, exercise is physical activity done for its own sake—to burn calories or improve energy levels or mood—whereas training is a systematic method of exercising done to achieve a specific, longer-term goal, like increased strength, muscle definition, or athleticism.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with exercise (it beats sitting on your keister), but only training can give you the type of lean, toned physique that most women really want. 

Exercise can make you healthier, but it guarantees nothing in the way of fat loss or muscle gain, the two biggest physiological levers you need to know how to work to build the body of your dreams.

Unfortunately, most gymgoers don’t understand this, and that’s why days, weeks, months, and even years can go by with them doing the same old exercises, lifting the same old weights, and looking at the same old bodies.

In the last chapter, you learned why so many women struggle to lose fat, and in this chapter, you’re going to learn why building lean muscle is far more difficult for most women than it should be.

Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!

The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Women - YouTube

Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!

Let’s get to it, starting with myth number one.

Myth #1 “You Can ‘Tone,’ ‘Shape,’ and ‘Sculpt’ Your Muscles”

Tone those arms!

Shape that butt!

Sculpt those abs!

It sounds so nice and feminine. Nothing like the brutish gym talk about “gaining size” or “adding mass.”

Phrases like these make for snazzy marketing, but they’re often used to sell nonsense.

You can’t “lengthen” and “tighten” your muscles, fundamentally change how they’re shaped, or selectively strip fat away so they look more defined. 

You can, however, add muscle to your frame and remove body fat. Nothing more or less. If you do that right, you get the right amount of muscle definition, curves, and lines in all the right places.

The claims that certain forms of exercise produce “long, lean” muscles, like a dancer’s body, while others produce “bulky, ugly” muscles, like a bodybuilder’s, are bogus. 

Whether you do Pilates, yoga, or heavy weightlifting to strengthen and build your muscles, their shape will come out the same. The only difference is the rate at which they will grow.

What this means is that while you can absolutely have a great butt, shapely legs, and sexy arms, you can’t necessarily have the same butt, legs, or arms as your favorite model or celebrity because their muscles are structurally different from yours. Who knows though, maybe you’ll like yours even more!

The exercise advice generally given for “toning,” “sculpting,” and “shaping” is also hogwash.

The key, so many women are told, is a lot of high-repetition, low-weight resistance training. This is about as wrong as can be because you should do the exact opposite if you want a toned, defined body as quickly as possible—a lot of lower-repetition, higher-weight resistance training.

“But wait,” you might be thinking, “won’t that make me ‘bulky’?”

Yeah, about that . . .

Myth #2 “Heavy Weightlifting Makes Women ‘Bulky’”

If there’s one mainstream misconception that causes more harm to women’s physiques than any other, it’s this one.

At first glance, it sounds plausible. Heavy weights are for the boys who want bulging biceps, right? Why would women, who want sexy, defined, feminine muscles, train in the same way? 

Apparent proof of this myth can be found at any local CrossFit gym, where you’ll see at least a few women with figures that would make an NFL linebacker jealous.

Here’s what you don’t see, however: it’s very hard for women to build a big, bulky body. It doesn’t happen by accident or overnight. It takes elite muscle-building genetics and years of concerted effort in the gym and kitchen. Anabolic steroids are often involved as well, and especially in the case of professional athletes.

That said, there are still enough women in gyms everywhere who hit the weights regularly and look “bulky” enough to give you pause. And that’s why you need to know what really gives women that look: too much body fat. 

Harsh, I know, but let me explain.

Take an athletic woman with an enviable body. You know, toned legs, curvy butt, tight arms, and flat stomach. Now add 15 pounds of fat to her frame, and you might be surprised how “blocky” she looks.

This is because fat accumulates inside and on top of muscle, and the more fat and muscle you have, the larger and more amorphous your body looks. Your legs turn into logs. Your butt gets too big for your britches. Your arms fill up like sausages.

Reduce your body fat levels, however, and everything changes. The muscle you’ve built is able to shine. Instead of looking large and fluffy, you look lean and toned. Your butt becomes round and perky. Your legs have sleek curves. Your arms look cut.

Thus, a rule of thumb for women who want to be lean, toned, and defined: the more muscle you have, the less body fat you must have to avoid looking bulky.

For example, a woman with little muscle might feel scrawny at 18 percent body fat—the percentage of body weight that is fat—and comfortable at 25 percent, whereas a woman with a significant amount of muscle will probably love how she looks at 18 percent but feel a bit roly-poly at 25 percent.

This is why most women I’ve worked with are happiest when they’ve gained 10 to 15 pounds of muscle and dropped their body fat percentage to about 20 percent. 

If you’re not sure what that looks like, think Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Want to see what different body fat percentages look like? Go to

www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/bodyfat.

My observation about most fitness-minded women’s preferred look has been borne out in scientific research as well.

In a study conducted by female scientists at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, pictures were gathered of scantily clad “fitspiration” women from Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr with varying degrees of muscularity and thinness. 

Then, the researchers digitally modified the pictures to make the women look even thinner but less toned and defined.

Next, they showed both the original and modified pictures to a group of 30 female undergraduate students and asked them to rate the women in terms of muscularity, thinness, and attractiveness.

65 percent of the women surveyed thought the fitter (unmodified) women looked more attractive than the thinner but less athletic (modified) women.

In the same study, the scientists did an analysis of the last 15 winners of the Miss USA beauty pageant. They found that the winners in 2013 were about 10 percent more muscular and 20 percent leaner than the winners in 1999. 

In the final analysis, the researchers concluded that “although they [women] continue to find a thin female figure to be attractive, they prefer the appearance of a thin and toned female body.”

All that isn’t to say that you can’t be attractive if you aren’t sporting an extra 10 to 15 pounds of muscle, of course, but it does indicate that most women nowadays think this will make you look better, not worse. 

Myth #3 “Heavy Weightlifting Is Dangerous”

Many people think weightlifting, especially heavy weightlifting, is inherently dangerous, and I understand why.

When you compare deadlifting, squatting, and bench pressing large amounts of weight to other forms of exercise, like jogging, cycling, or calisthenics, weightlifting looks more like a death wish than a discipline.

Poke around on internet forums and you’ll find plenty to feed your anxiety. Personal stories range from the tame—mild joint and muscle aches and the like—to the downright horrific, with some long-time bodybuilders so incapacitated that they can’t even tie their shoes until the ibuprofen kicks in.

And so weightlifting, and strength training in particular, has been saddled with a bum rap for decades now. Thankfully, the tides are turning and strength training is gaining more and more mainstream popularity, but many people still think that its dangers far exceed the benefits.

While weightlifting does have its risks, they’re not nearly as bad as many people think. Ironically, research shows that when done properly, it’s actually one of the safest kinds of athletic activities you can do.

For instance, in one review of 20 studies conducted by scientists at Bond University, it was found that bodybuilding produced an average of just one injury for every 1,000 hours of training.

To put that in perspective, if you spend five hours per week weightlifting, you could go almost four years without experiencing any kind of injury whatsoever.

Researchers also noted that most of the injuries tended to be minor aches and pains that didn’t require any type of special treatment or recovery protocols. In most cases, a bit of extra R & R won the day.

As you’d expect, more intense and technical types of weightlifting, like CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting, result in more injuries, but fewer than you might think. These activities produced just two to four injuries per 1,000 hours of training.

For comparison, studies show that sports like ice hockey, football, soccer, and rugby have injury rates ranging from 6 to 260 per 1,000 hours, and long-distance runners can expect about 10 injuries per 1,000 hours of pavement pounding.

In other words, you’re about 6 to 10 times more likely to get hurt playing everyday sports than hitting the gym for some heavy weightlifting.

The payoff for weightlifting is also tremendous. It delivers a number of health and fitness benefits that you simply can’t get from other types of sports and exercise.

Here’s a short list of what a well-designed weightlifting routine can do for you:

When you compare all that to the rather negligible risk of injury, and the generally mild nature of the injuries that do occur, the choice is clear: choosing to lift weights is far better than choosing not to out of fear of getting hurt.

If you’re adamant about experiencing no physical injuries whatsoever, then your only surefire option is to never leave your bed (and even then you’ll have to contend with bedsores!). Remember that every time you step into your car, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or, heck, type on a computer, you’re flirting with one kind of injury or another.

Dealing with risk is just part of life. All we can do is weigh the probabilities and potential upsides and downsides, make choices that are most likely to play out in our favor over time, and do everything we can to create positive outcomes.

Myth #4 “Women Can’t Gain Much Muscle”

You may have heard that women don’t have the physiology to gain muscle effectively, and that they should stick to Zumba and stretching instead.

A reason commonly cited for this is the well-known (and immediately obvious) fact that women produce a lot less testosterone than men—about 15 to 20 times less, to be exact.

Testosterone is the primary hormonal driver of muscle growth, so it’s fair to assume that a body with very little testosterone flowing through its veins won’t be able to build much muscle, right?

Wrong. 

While women’s low testosterone does put them at a hormonal disadvantage for gaining muscle, testosterone isn’t the only hormone heavily involved in muscle building. 

Another major player is estrogen, which women produce much more of than men, and which provides several muscle-building benefits, including stimulating growth hormone production, which significantly aids in postworkout recovery, and preventing muscle breakdown.

Women also produce more growth hormone throughout the day than men, which further helps with muscle gain.

This is why research shows that women can gain muscle more or less as effectively as men, and why many elite female athletes have about 85 percent as much muscle as their male counterparts.

Why, then, do you rarely see women who are anywhere near as jacked as many guys?

Because women start out with about half as much total muscle as men and can’t gain as much whole-body muscle, thanks mainly to differences in hormones and anatomy.

In other words, it isn’t so much that we men have far superior muscle-building machinery as it is we have a huge head start.

Myth #5 “If You Do the Same Exercises Too Often, You’ll Get Stuck in a Rut”

How many times have you heard that you need to constantly change your workout routine to continue making progress?

That you have to “confuse” and “shock” your muscles into growth by regularly subjecting them to new exercises and workouts?

This sounds sensible. If we want to improve something, whether a skill or a muscle, we have to continually push the envelope and challenge ourselves in new ways, right? And what better way to challenge our muscles than subject them to new types of physical demands again and again?

While it’s true that doing the exact same workouts every week will eventually result in stagnation, the “muscle confusion” theory misses the forest for the trees.

Your muscles have no cognitive abilities. They’re not trying to guess what workout you’re going to do today and can’t be “confused” by fancy workout programming. Muscle tissue is purely mechanical. It can contract and relax. Nothing more.

That said, there’s validity to the basic premise that for your muscles to keep growing in both size and strength, they must be continually challenged. Where muscle confusion goes astray, however, is with the type of challenge it emphasizes.

You can change up your workout routine every week—heck, every day—and hit a plateau because “change” doesn’t stimulate muscle growth.

Progressive overload does, and more so than any other single training factor. 

Progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and the most effective way to do this is by progressively increasing the amount of weight that you’re lifting. 

In other words, the key to gaining muscle and strength isn’t merely changing the types of stimuli your muscles are exposed to—it’s making your muscles work harder. And this is exactly what you do when you force your muscles to handle heavier and heavier weights.

This is why your number one goal as a weightlifter should be to increase your whole-body strength over time, and why that is one of the primary goals of my Thinner Leaner Stronger program.

Myth #6 “You Must Use Bands, Machines, and Other Contraptions”

You’ve just learned a major part of my plan for you: I want to make you as strong as possible. 

To do that, I’m going to have you train very differently from most of the women—and men, for that matter—in the gym. 

Instead of telling you to work with big rubber bands, superset every machine in the gym, or play around with the Bosu ball or other toys, I’m going to have you focus on just a few basic things:

  1. Pushing
  2. Pulling
  3. Squatting

Not only that, but I’m going to have you spend most of your time in the gym with a barbell or pair of dumbbells in your hands, because free weights give you the most muscle-building bang for your buck.

Some people would disagree with that statement, pointing to studies that have shown that machines and free weights are equally effective for gaining muscle and strength.

You can’t take such research at face value. You have to look deeper to get the whole picture.

For instance, in almost all cases, the subjects in these studies—at least all the ones I’ve seen—are untrained individuals, meaning they’re brand new to resistance training. 

This is important because your body and muscles are hyperresponsive to resistance training in the beginning. This “newbie gains” or “honeymoon” phase generally lasts three to six months in most people, which means that for a little while, you can do just about anything in the gym and see progress and results. 

Once that mojo runs out, however, it’s gone forever, and what has been working can suddenly stop producing any change whatsoever. 

Furthermore, a number of studies have demonstrated that free weights are superior to machines for gaining muscle and strength. For example:

  • In a study conducted by scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, the free weight squat produced 43 percent more leg muscle activation than the Smith machine squat.
  • In a study conducted by scientists at California State University, the free weight bench press produced 50 percent more shoulder muscle activation than the Smith machine bench press.
  • In a study conducted by scientists at Duke University Medical Center, the free weight squat produced 20 to 60 percent more quadriceps activation and 90 to 225 percent more hamstring activation than the leg press.

Anecdotal evidence agrees here as well.

For decades now, the most successful bodybuilders have almost always emphasized free weights over machines, and I’ll bet that the strongest people in your gym do the same. 

Myth #7 “You Should Spend Most of Your Time on Isolation Exercises”

If you want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible, it’s not enough to just do any type of free weight exercises. 

You have to do the right free weight exercises, and for our purposes, the best ones we can do are known as compound exercises.

A compound exercise involves multiple joints and muscles. For example, the squat involves moving the knees, ankles, and hips and requires a whole-body coordinated effort, with the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes bearing the brunt of the load.

On the other hand, an exercise like the Nordic hamstring curl involves moving the knees and focuses on strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.

That’s why the Nordic hamstring curl isn’t considered a compound exercise. It’s an isolation exercise, which involves just one joint and a limited number of muscles.

The biceps curl is another example of an isolation exercise because the only joint involved is the elbow, and the biceps muscles do more or less all the work.

One of the biggest fitness mistakes people make is underestimating the importance of compound exercises. They deserve a lot of your time and effort for several reasons: 

1. They train many muscles at once.

The more muscles you can effectively train in a given exercise, the more muscle you can gain as a result.

This also makes for more time efficiency. One compound exercise can do the work of several isolation exercises.

2. They allow you to lift heavier weights.

The best compound exercises put dozens of muscles and multiple joints through large ranges of motion. Consequently, they enable you to move more weight than isolation exercises and thus better progressively overload your muscles. This means faster muscle growth.

3. They significantly raise testosterone and growth hormone levels.

The magnitude of postworkout elevations in anabolic hormones is influenced by the total amount of muscle involved in the workout. This is why research shows that compound exercises produce larger increases in both testosterone and growth hormone than isolation exercises.

These effects don’t influence muscle gain as much as some people would have you believe, but they do have other benefits as well.

I attribute much of my success with my physique to the fact that, after learning about the power of compound exercises, I’ve made them 70 to 80 percent of the work I do in the gym. And I’m going to have you do the same.

Myth #8 “Progressive Overload Isn’t That Important”

If I could go back in time and share just one bit of workout advice with 17-year-old me, it would be this: whatever you do, make sure you progressively overload your muscles.

And I would have gotten bigger muscles a lot faster (*single tear*).

We recall that progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and that it’s the primary mechanical driver of muscle growth.

This sounds simple enough, but how do you actually accomplish it? 

Most people don’t. Instead, they go through more or less the same motions for weeks and months on end and wonder why they have so little to show for it.

You must do three things if you don’t want to be one of these people:

  1. Follow a proven progression model.
  2. Track your workouts.
  3. Adjust your diet and training as needed.

And later in this book, you’re going to learn how to do each of these things correctly, and when you start Thinner Leaner Stronger, you’re going to experience their transformative power firsthand.

Myth #9 “You Don’t Need to Eat a Lot..
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The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Women - YouTube

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness book Thinner Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more…

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Thinner Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.thinnerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.thinnerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Exercise can make you healthier, but it guarantees nothing in the way of fat loss or muscle gain, the two biggest physiological levers you need to know how to work to build the body of your dreams.

Unfortunately, most gymgoers don’t understand this, and that’s why days, weeks, months, and even years can go by with them doing the same old exercises, lifting the same old weights, and looking at the same old bodies.

In the last chapter, you learned why so many women struggle to lose fat, and in this chapter, you’re going to learn why building lean muscle is far more difficult for most women than it should be.

Check it out!

Mentioned on the show:

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Women appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Men - YouTube

This episode is one of the 37 chapters of the new third edition of my bestselling fitness book Bigger Leaner Stronger, which is now live everywhere you can buy books online.

I’m thrilled to release this new edition of the book because it has been in the making for about four years now, and has been reorganized and rewritten from scratch to make it as clear, practical, and effective as possible.

Even more exciting, however, is the eBooks are currently on sale on Amazon for just 99 cents and when you forward your purchase receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com, you’ll be entered to win over $6,000 in free prizes, including . . .

  • An all-expenses-paid trip to meet me and my team in Washington DC.
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones
  • NoBull training shoes
  • And more…

To get in on this deal, search your local Amazon site for Bigger Leaner Stronger and navigate to the Kindle book or simply go to www.biggerleanerstronger.com and you’ll be automatically forwarded to it.

Then, buy the book for just 99 cents and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com and you’ll be automatically entered into the giveaway.

You have to act fast, though, because the sale and giveaway end on July 22nd, so don’t put it off for later and then forget! Head over to Amazon now!

Oh and you can also gain additional entries in the giveaway by helping spread the word on social media. You can learn more about that at www.biggerleanerstronger.com/launch.

Alright, let’s get to the episode. I hope you like it!

Exercise can make you healthier, but it guarantees nothing in the way of fat loss or muscle gain, the two biggest physiological levers you need to know how to work to build the body of your dreams.

Unfortunately, most gymgoers don’t understand this, and that’s why days, weeks, months, and even years can go by with them doing the same old exercises, lifting the same old weights, and looking at the same old bodies.

In the last chapter, you learned why so many men struggle to lose fat, and in this chapter, you’re going to learn why building muscle is far more difficult for most guys than it should be.

Check it out!

Mentioned on the show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Men appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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This article is an excerpt from the new third edition of Bigger Leaner Stronger, my bestselling fitness book for men, which is currently on sale for just 99 cents.

If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

—ERICA JONG

Nine of ten people you see in the gym don’t train correctly.

I could write an entire chapter cataloguing their mistakes, but here are some of the more common ones:

  • They spend too much time on the wrong exercises.
  • They undertrain and overtrain various muscle groups.
  • They use poor form, especially on the more technical exercises.
  • They use too light or too heavy weights.
  • They rest too little or too much in between sets.

In fact, what most people do in the gym doesn’t even qualify as training but is merely exercise

What’s the difference?

Well, exercise is physical activity done for its own sake—to burn calories or improve energy levels or mood—whereas training is a systematic method of exercising done to achieve a specific, longer-term goal, like increased strength, muscle definition, or athleticism.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with exercise (it beats sitting on your keister), but only training can give you the ripped type of physique that most guys really want. 

Exercise can make you healthier, but it guarantees nothing in the way of fat loss or muscle gain, the two biggest physiological levers you need to know how to work to build the body of your dreams.

Unfortunately, most gymgoers don’t understand this, and that’s why days, weeks, months, and even years can go by with them doing the same old exercises, lifting the same old weights, and looking at the same old bodies.

In the last chapter, you learned why so many men struggle to lose fat, and in this chapter, you’re going to learn why building muscle is far more difficult for most guys than it should be.

Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!

The 10 Absolute Worst Muscle-Building Myths and Mistakes for Men - YouTube

Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!

Let’s get to it, starting with myth number one.

Myth #1
“Heavy Weightlifting Makes You Stronger but Not Bigger”

If there’s one mainstream misconception that causes more harm to men’s physiques than any other, it’s this one.

The idea that heavy weightlifting is purely or even mostly for strength and not muscle gain is absolutely incorrect.

In fact, the most reliable way to gain a considerable amount of muscle is to gain a considerable amount of strength. There are several reasons for this that we’ll discuss in more detail later in this book, but they can be summarized like this:

1. Heavy weightlifting produces large amounts of mechanical tension in your muscles.

As you’ll soon learn, producing more and more mechanical tension in your muscles over time is the single most effective way to stimulate muscle growth.

2. Heavy weightlifting causes greater activation of muscle fibers.

Research shows that this results in a greater effect across a larger percentage of the muscle tissue.

This is why your number one goal as a natural weightlifter should be to increase your whole-body strength. And the most effective way to do that is heavy weightlifting.

“Wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “if that’s true, then how can you explain those guys who are way stronger than they look?”

Many people chalk up these outliers to steroids, superior genetics, or flawless technique, and while these things can be factors, the most important one is something most people don’t consider:

Anatomy.

While we all have the same muscles in our bodies and they’re all located in the same general regions, there are differences in how they’re attached to our skeletons.

These discrepancies are usually small—only a centimeter or two—but they can translate into huge differences in natural strength.

We don’t need to get too technical for the purposes of this discussion, but what it boils down to is mechanical advantage. Because muscles function as levers, where they attach to your bones greatly impacts how much force they’re able to produce and thus how much weight they’re able to move.

These effects on strength can be staggering. Studies show that, thanks to anatomical differences, strength can vary by as much as 25 percent among people with identical amounts of lean mass.

In other words, one person can be up to 25 percent stronger than another with the same body composition.

Similarly, some people’s muscles and bones are arranged in a way that allows them to lift far more than you’d expect based on their musculature. 

For example, if someone has short upper arms, they have a major advantage on the bench press (the bar doesn’t have to move as far), and if someone has long arms and short legs, they’re going to be particularly good at deadlifting.

Some people are just born to push, pull, and squat tremendous amounts of weight, and some aren’t. 

If you’re worried that you’re in the latter camp, take heart because all this should only seriously concern you if you’re trying to become a competitive strength athlete.

If you’re in the gym to build a strong, muscular, lean, and healthy body, though, you can achieve your goals with or without an anatomical leg up.

Myth #2
“Some Guys Just Don’t Have the Genetics to Get Big and Strong”

For many, “genetics” is an unpalatable word.

It’s often associated with things you want to change but can’t, and I’m not going to blow smoke—muscle building is one of those things. We all do have hard limits as to how much muscle we can gain.

There are many physiological variables in play here, but you can get a fairly accurate estimate of your muscle-building potential by analyzing your bone structure.

Research shows that people with larger bones tend to be more muscular than people with smaller frames. Bigger-boned people also tend to have higher testosterone levels and gain muscle faster when they start lifting weights.

What this means, then, is “big-boned” people have more genetic potential for strength and size than smaller folk. What qualifies as “big boned,” though, and how do you measure up?

Two of the best indicators of your overall bone structure are the circumferences of your wrists and ankles. Height being equal, people who have wider wrists and ankles tend to be naturally more muscular and have a higher potential for muscle growth than those with narrower ones.

If you’re like me and you don’t even need to measure anything to know you have slender bones, don’t worry. Again, unless you want to be a top-tier bodybuilder or fitness competitor, you have nothing to worry about. You can gain more than enough muscle to look fantastic. 

Realize that most guys only need to gain about 20 to 25 pounds of muscle to have an impressive physique, and literally anybody can do that, no matter how skinny and weak they are when they touch a barbell for the first time.

Myth #3
“Heavy Weightlifting Is Dangerous”

Many people think weightlifting, especially heavy weightlifting, is inherently dangerous, and I understand why.

When you compare deadlifting, squatting, and bench pressing large amounts of weight to other forms of exercise, like jogging, cycling, or calisthenics, weightlifting looks more like a death wish than a discipline.

Poke around on internet forums and you’ll find plenty to feed your anxiety. Personal stories range from the tame—mild joint and muscle aches and the like—to the downright horrific, with some long-time bodybuilders so incapacitated that they can’t even tie their shoes until the ibuprofen kicks in.

And so weightlifting, and strength training in particular, has been saddled with a bum rap for decades now. Thankfully, the tides are turning and strength training is gaining more and more mainstream popularity, but many people still think that its dangers far exceed the benefits.

While weightlifting does have its risks, they’re not nearly as bad as many people think. Ironically, research shows that when done properly, it’s actually one of the safest kinds of athletic activities you can do.

For instance, in one review of 20 studies conducted by scientists at Bond University, it was found that bodybuilding produced an average of just one injury for every 1,000 hours of training.

To put that in perspective, if you spend five hours per week weightlifting, you could go almost four years without experiencing any kind of injury whatsoever.

Researchers also noted that most of the injuries tended to be minor aches and pains that didn’t require any type of special treatment or recovery protocols. In most cases, a bit of extra R & R won the day.

As you’d expect, more intense and technical types of weightlifting, like CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, and powerlifting, result in more injuries, but fewer than you might think. These activities produced just two to four injuries per 1,000 hours of training.

For comparison, studies show that sports like ice hockey, football, soccer, and rugby have injury rates ranging from 6 to 260 per 1,000 hours, and long-distance runners can expect about 10 injuries per 1,000 hours of pavement pounding.

In other words, you’re about 6 to 10 times more likely to get hurt playing everyday sports than hitting the gym for some heavy weightlifting.

The payoff for weightlifting is also tremendous. It delivers a number of health and fitness benefits that you simply can’t get from other types of sports and exercise.

Here’s a short list of what a well-designed weightlifting routine can do for you:

When you compare all that to the rather negligible risk of injury, and the generally mild nature of the injuries that do occur, the choice is clear: choosing to lift weights is far better than choosing not to out of fear of getting hurt.

If you’re adamant about experiencing no physical injuries whatsoever, then your only surefire option is to never leave your bed (and even then you’ll have to contend with bedsores!). Remember that every time you step into your car, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or, heck, type on a computer, you’re flirting with one kind of injury or another.

Dealing with risk is just part of life. All we can do is weigh the probabilities and potential upsides and downsides, make choices that are most likely to play out in our favor over time, and do everything we can to create positive outcomes.

Myth #4
“You Can’t Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time”

Yes, you absolutely can. Well, most people (including you!) can at least.

The major determining factors here are your training state and history. Here are the rules of thumb:

  1. If you’re new to weightlifting or are just getting started again, you shouldn’t have any trouble building muscle and losing fat at the same time.
  2. If you have at least six to eight months of heavy weightlifting under your belt and aren’t coming off a long break, you probably can’t do both and will have to optimize for one or the other (muscle gain or fat loss).

Why are those the rules? Why can’t everyone gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, regardless of their circumstances?

Physiologically speaking, fat loss and muscle growth have “irreconcilable differences.” Their mutual incompatibility stems from their relationship to the body’s energy balance.

When you place your body in a calorie deficit, your body fat levels drop, but so does your body’s ability to create muscle proteins. Testosterone levels also decline and cortisol levels rise when calories are restricted for extended periods of time. 

This is why it’s easier to lose muscle while dieting, and why most people can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. By restricting your calories to lose fat, you also restrict muscle growth.

Why can people new to weightlifting successfully get bigger and leaner at the same time, though?

Research shows that when you first start weightlifting, your body is hyperresponsive and can gain muscle at a very fast rate. For instance, many guys can gain up to 25 pounds of muscle in their first year of weightlifting, whereas the best someone like me can hope for is a pound or three of muscle gain in the next year.

This “newbie gains” or “honeymoon” phase generally lasts six to eight months for most people, and it can simply overpower the muscle-related disadvantages of a calorie deficit.

In other words, a calorie deficit can still slow down muscle growth when you’re new but can’t halt it altogether.

Eventually this advantage fades, however, and with it goes your ability to effectively “recomp” (short for recomposition) your body. 

From that point on, your goal will be to lose fat and not muscle while in a calorie deficit and to gain muscle with minimal fat while in a calorie surplus (more on this soon).

Myth #5
“If You Do the Same Exercises Too Often, You’ll Get Stuck in a Rut”

How many times have you heard that you need to constantly change your workout routine to continue making progress?

That you have to “confuse” and “shock” your muscles into growth by regularly subjecting them to new exercises and workouts?

This sounds sensible. If we want to improve something, whether a skill or a muscle, we have to continually push the envelope and challenge ourselves in new ways, right? And what better way to challenge our muscles than subject them to new types of physical demands again and again?

While it’s true that doing the exact same workouts every week will eventually result in stagnation, the “muscle confusion” theory misses the forest for the trees.

Your muscles have no cognitive abilities. They’re not trying to guess what workout you’re going to do today and can’t be “confused” by fancy workout programming. Muscle tissue is purely mechanical. It can contract and relax. Nothing more.

That said, there’s validity to the basic premise that for your muscles to keep growing in both size and strength, they must be continually challenged. Where muscle confusion goes astray, however, is with the type of challenge it emphasizes.

You can change up your workout routine every week—heck, every day—and hit a plateau because “change” doesn’t stimulate muscle growth.

Progressive overload does, and more so than any other single training factor. 

Progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and the most effective way to do this is by progressively increasing the amount of weight that you’re lifting. 

In other words, the key to gaining muscle and strength isn’t merely changing the types of stimuli your muscles are exposed to—it’s making your muscles work harder. And this is exactly what you do when you force your muscles to handle heavier and heavier weights.

This is why your number one goal as a weightlifter should be to increase your whole-body strength over time, and why that’s one of the primary goals of my Bigger Leaner Stronger program.

Myth #6
“You Must Use Bands, Machines, and Other Contraptions”

You’ve just learned a major part of my plan for you: I want to make you as strong as possible. 

To do that, I’m going to have you train very differently from most guys in the gym. 

Instead of telling you to work with big rubber bands, superset every machine in the gym, or play around with the Bosu ball or other toys, I’m going to have you focus on just a few basic things:

  1. Pushing
  2. Pulling
  3. Squatting

Not only that, but I’m going to have you spend most of your time in the gym with a barbell or pair of dumbbells in your hands, because free weights give you the most muscle-building bang for your buck.

Some people would disagree with that statement, pointing to studies that have shown that machines and free weights are equally effective for gaining muscle and strength.

You can’t take such research at face value. You have to look deeper to get the whole picture.

For instance, in almost all cases, the subjects in these studies—at least all the ones I’ve seen—are untrained individuals, meaning they’re brand new to resistance training. 

This is important because your body and muscles are hyperresponsive to resistance training in the beginning. This “newbie gains” or “honeymoon” phase generally lasts three to six months in most people, which means that for a little while, you can do just about anything in the gym and see progress and results. 

Once that mojo runs out, however, it’s gone forever, and what has been working can suddenly stop producing any change whatsoever. 

Furthermore, a number of studies have demonstrated that free weights are superior to machines for gaining muscle and strength. For example:

  • In a study conducted by scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, the free weight squat produced 43 percent more leg muscle activation than the Smith machine squat.
  • In a study conducted by scientists at California State University, the free weight bench press produced 50 percent more shoulder muscle activation than the Smith machine bench press.
  • In a study conducted by scientists at Duke University Medical Center, the free weight squat produced 20 to 60 percent more quadriceps activation and 90 to 225 percent more hamstring activation than the leg press.

Anecdotal evidence agrees here as well.

For decades now, the most successful bodybuilders have almost always emphasized free weights over machines, and I’ll bet that the strongest people in your gym do the same. 

Myth #7
“You Should Spend Most of Your Time on Isolation Exercises”

If you want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible, it’s not enough to just do any type of free weight exercises. 

You have to do the right free weight exercises, and for our purposes, the best ones we can do are known as compound exercises.

A compound exercise involves multiple joints and muscles. For example, the squat involves moving the knees, ankles, and hips and requires a whole-body coordinated effort, with the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes bearing the brunt of the load.

On the other hand, an exercise like the Nordic hamstring curl involves moving the knees and focuses on strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.

That’s why the Nordic hamstring curl isn’t considered a compound exercise. It’s an isolation exercise, which involves just one joint and a limited number of muscles.

The biceps curl is another example of an isolation exercise because the only joint involved is the elbow, and the biceps muscles do more or less all the work.

One of the biggest fitness mistakes people make is underestimating the importance of compound exercises. They deserve a lot of your time and effort for several reasons: 

1. They train many muscles at once.

The more muscles you can effectively train in a given exercise, the more muscle you can gain as a result.

This also makes for more time efficiency. One compound exercise can do the work of several isolation exercises.

2. They allow you to lift heavier weights.

The best compound exercises put dozens of muscles and multiple joints through large ranges of motion. Consequently, they enable you to move more weight than isolation exercises and thus better progressively overload your muscles. This means faster muscle growth.

3. They significantly raise testosterone and growth hormone levels.

The magnitude of postworkout elevations in anabolic hormones is influenced by the total amount of muscle involved in the workout. This is why research shows that compound exercises produce larger increases in both testosterone and growth hormone than isolation exercises.

These effects don’t influence muscle gain as much as some people would have you believe, but they do have other benefits as well.

I attribute much of my success with my physique to the fact that, after learning about the power of compound exercises, I’ve made them 70 to 80 percent of the work I do in the gym. And I’m going to have you do the same.

Myth #8
“Progressive Overload Isn’t That Important”

If I could go back in time and share just one bit of workout advice with 17-year-old me, it would be this: whatever you do, make sure you progressively overload your muscles.

And I would have gotten bigger muscles a lot faster (*single tear*).

We recall that progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and that it’s the primary mechanical driver of muscle growth.

This sounds simple enough, but how do you actually accomplish it? 

Most people don’t. Instead, they go through more or less the same motions for weeks and months on end and wonder why they have so little to show for it.

You must do three things if you don’t want to be one of these people:

  1. Follow a proven progression model.
  2. Track your workouts.
  3. Adjust your diet and training as needed.

And later in this book, you’re going to learn how to do each of these things correctly, and when you start Bigger Leaner Stronger, you’re going to experience their transformative power firsthand.

Myth #9
“You Have to Get a Big Pump to Get Bigger”

How many times have you heard guys in the gym telling each other to really make it burn and hurt, because “no pain, no gain”?

There’s some truth here.

Every time a muscle contracts, metabolic byproducts like hydrogen ions build up in and around the cells. This causes the burning sensation you feel when you lift weights. 

Your body then pumps more blood into your muscles to carry these compounds away, which makes your muscle cells swell. These compounds..

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Finally! My New Books Are Here and They're Just 99 Cents! - YouTube

Today is the day.

Today is the official launch day for my new fitness books, the third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger (men) and Thinner Leaner Stronger (women).

Books that have helped thousands of men and women gain and lose tens of thousands of pounds of muscle and fat.

And even better, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the books (eBooks) are on sale for just 99 cents.

And no, there are no strings attached.

For the next few days, you can get exact, step-by-step blueprints for building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy faster than you ever thought possible for less than a buck.

Click the player below to learn more!

Mentioned on the show:

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Oh and if you like this episode want to be notified when new episodes go live, then head on over to iTunes, Stitcher, YouTubeSoundcloud, or Google Play and subscribe.

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Finally! My New Books Are Here and They’re Just 99 Cents appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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Today is the day.

Today is the official launch day for my new fitness books, the third editions of Bigger Leaner Stronger (men) and Thinner Leaner Stronger (women).

Books that have helped thousands of men and women gain and lose tens of thousands of pounds of muscle and fat.

And even better, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the books (eBooks) are on sale for just 99 cents.

And no, there are no strings attached.

For the next few days, you can get exact, step-by-step blueprints for building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy faster than you ever thought possible for less than a buck.

Click here to save 88% on Bigger Leaner Stronger (for men)

Click here to save 88% on Thinner Leaner Stronger (for women)

(Protip: When you buy an eBook on Amazon, you can add the audiobook for just $7.49 and listen along.)

I’m also giving away over $6,000 of glorious goodies to make the pot even sweeter, including an all-expenses-paid trip to DC to hang out with me and the team, Legion gift cards, a private Skype call, an Apple Watch Series 4, and more!

You can enter to win it all in three ways:

1. Order Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger on Amazon now and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com.

This will get you 5 entries into the contest.

2. Enter your first name and email address below, and you’ll immediately gain another entry.

Great! You're subscribed!

Looks like you're already subscribed!

3. Share this page on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with the hashtag #biggerleanerstronger or #thinnerleanerstronger (so I can find them) to earn one additional entry per share.

And then, on July 29th, my team will collect up all the entries and randomly choose the winners!

It’s that simple!

Let’s check out the prizes!

GRAND PRIZE

One lucky winner is going to win the grand prize and get over $1,500 of awesome stuff shipped directly to their door…

…AND is going to get flown to Washington DC to hang out with me and the team for an entire day!

  • An all expenses paid trip to hangout with Mike and the Legion team
  • Choice of shoes from NoBull 
  • A $200 Lululemon Gift Card
  • A $150 Legion Gift Card
  • Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller 
  • Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm) 
  • Bose Soundsport Headphones 
  • YETI Tumbler
  • One month of Legion VIP coaching
RUNNER-UPS

Two lucky runner-up winners are going to get their choice between one of the following prize packages, each valued at over $1,500:

  • 30 min Skype call with Mike
  • $150 Legion Gift Card
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • Jabra Elite Active Headphones 
  • Versa Gripps
  • Fitbit Versa Lite
  • Instant Pot
  • Withings Smart Scale
  • One month of Legion VIP coaching
OR 

  • 30 min Skype call with Mike 
  • $100 Legion Gift Card 
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Airpods
  • 36oz Huracan Stainless Steel Shaker Bottle
  • Inzer Belt
  • One month of Legion VIP coaching

So what are you waiting for?

  1. Order Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger on Amazon now and forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com to claim your first 5 entries.
  2. Share the giveaway on social media using the share buttons above to get even more entries.
  3. And come July 29th, you’ll be notified if you’ve won!
“Why the new third editions and what’s new, exactly?”

Good questions!

I released the second editions over four years ago and have been keeping an ongoing list of reader suggestions and questions ever since, as well as my own list of things to add, change, and remove based on my continued researching and writing.

This list ranged from minor stuff like typos and awkward wordings to major revisions like new meal plan procedures, workout modifications, implementation checklists, and more.

And then, when I started in on the third editions, I realized that to really do them justice and create something I was really proud of, I needed to start from square one and reorganize and rewrite the books from scratch.

So that’s what I did, and I’m absolutely tickled with the result. In short…

  • The new books are better organized and as I’m a much better writer now than I was a few years ago, they’re also even easier to follow, understand, and apply.
  • The exercise programs have been tweaked and improved based on a TON of feedback from readers, coaches, and coaching clients.
  • Some material that was interesting but not vital was removed and replaced with stuff that more directly addresses actual questions and concerns that people write me about.

Here’s the bottom line:

If you’ve read a second edition and are on the fence about the third, you won’t be disappointed.

And if you are, you can simply refund the book and get your 99 cents back.

So here are those links again:

MEN ⇒ Click here to save 88% on Bigger Leaner Stronger

WOMEN ⇒ Click here to save 88% on Thinner Leaner Stronger

And then don’t forget to forward your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com to be instantly entered to win over $6000 in prizes.

Go for it!

P.S. Between you and me, my goal is for these books to become generally recognized as the absolute best fitness books for men and women ever written and that’s where you come in.

I’m not just trying to sell you a book. What I really want is to hear your feedback and then hear about your results.

Still today after nearly seven years of working in fitness, I thrill at emails and DMs from people who use my teachings to change their bodies and lives for the better.

Believe it or not, that’s what keeps me going more than anything else.

So, here’s my wish for you:

  1. You buy a book.
  2. You email your receipt to launch@muscleforlife.com to get entered into the giveaway.
  3. You read the book and share your thoughts with me.
  4. You use the book to build your best body ever and share that with me too.

High fives?

*smacks computer screen*

LET’S BEGIN! I’M SO EXCITED!

The post Finally! My New Books Are Here and They’re Just 99 Cents! appeared first on Legion Athletics.

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