Bigger, Leaner, Stronger Summary

Want to know the real deal on how to get bigger, leaner, and stronger?

In this book, Legion Athletics founder and fitness author Michael Matthews dispels plenty of popular myths and shows scientific, tried and tested ways on how to lose weight, gain muscles, and become stronger.

Who should read this?

  • Anyone looking to build muscle and stay fit
  • Anyone looking to shed pounds without complex steps 
  • Anyone looking to learn how the body gains muscle or loses mass with scientific explanations.

Bigger, Leaner, Stronger Key Ideas

  • If you want to build muscles or lose weight, the energy (food) consumed must be less than the energy you burn.
  • 70 to 80% of how you look is a reflection of how you eat.
  • Calories, fats, and protein are essential to body growth.
  • Muscles grow only if they're forced to
  • Most of what you read in big body magazines are useless

Quick Summary of Bigger, Leaner, Stronger

Genetics don't play a role in molding your body into how you'd like it to look. With the right understanding and execution of simple steps, you can lose weight, stay fit, and gain muscles.

The biggest fat loss myths and mistakes are:

  • Counting Calories is Unnecessary

  • Do Cardio = Lose Weight

  • Chasing the Fads

  • Doing Low Weight and High Reps Gets You Toned

  • Spot Reduction

The real science of healthy fat loss revolves around 3 rules:

  • Eat Less Than You Expend = Lose Weight

  • Eat on a Schedule That Works Best for You

  • Use Cardio to Help Burn Fat

The 6 biggest muscle growth myths and mistakes are:

  • More Sets = More Growth

  • You Have to “Feel the Burn” to Grow

  • Wasting Time with the Wrong Exercises

  • Lifting Like an Idiot

  • Lifting Like a Wussy

  • Eating to Stay Small or Get Fat

The real science of muscle growth revolves around 4 rules:

  • Muscles Grow Only if They’re Forced to

  • Muscles Grow from Overload, Not Fatigue or “Pump”

  • Muscles Grow Outside the Gym

  • Muscles Grow Only if They’re Properly Fed

The Bigger Leaner Stronger Weight Training Method

  • Train 1–2 Muscle Groups Per Day

  • Do Sets of 4–6 Reps for Nearly All Exercises

  • Do 9–12 Heavy Sets Per Muscle Group

  • Rest 2–3 Minutes in Between Sets

  • Train for 45–60 Minutes

  • Train Each Muscle Group Once Every 5–7 Days

  • Take a Week off Training Every 8–10 Weeks


The Best Quotes from Bigger, Leaner, Stronger

“No matter how bad you might think your genetics are, no matter how lost you might feel after trying and abandoning many types of workouts, you absolutely, positively can have the lean, ripped body that you dream about”.

“70–80% of how you look is a reflection of how you eat”.

“Most personal trainers are a waste of time and money”.

“A calorie is a measurement unit of the amount of energy that can be produced by food. One calorie is enough energy to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Thus, when you’re referring to the calories contained in food, you’re referring to the potential energy stored in the food”.

“Every time you buy one of the big bodybuilding magazines, you’re paying to be lied to”.

“By lifting weights, you are actually causing tiny tears (known as “micro–tears”) in the muscle fibers, which the body then repairs, adapting the muscles to better handle the stimulus that caused the damage. This is the process by which muscles grow (scientifically termed hypertrophy)”.

“For optimal muscle growth, you must lift in such a way that causes optimal micro–tearing and then you must feed your body what it needs to grow and give it the proper amount of rest”.

“The amount of sleep that you get plays a crucial role in gaining muscle”.

“Fats are the densest energy sources available to your body”.

“Each gram of fat contains over twice the calories of a gram of carbohydrate or protein”.

“Fats help your body absorb the other nutrients that you give it, nourish the nervous system, help maintain cell structures, regulate hormone levels, and more”.

“The Institute of Medicine reported in 2004 that women should consume about 91 ounces of water—or three–quarters of a gallon—per day, and men should consume about 125 ounces per day (a gallon is 128 onces)”.

“There are two main sources of protein out there: whole food protein and supplement protein”.

“Whole food protein is protein that comes from natural food sources, such as beef, chicken, fish, etc”.

“The best forms of whole food protein are chicken, turkey, lean red meat, fish, eggs, and milk”.

“When you finish training, your body will absorb glucose, glycogen, and amino acids at a higher rate than normal”.

“It’s important to eat within an hour or so of finishing your weight training, and to eat a substantial amount of carbs, and a moderate amount of protein. For most guys, this means about 80 grams of medium–to–high–GI carbs, and 30-40 grams of protein”.

“Most everything you see in the world of workout supplements is utterly worthless”.

“Whey is especially popular with athletes and bodybuilders because of its amino profile, which is high in leucine, an essential amino acid that plays a key role in initiating protein synthesis”.

About the Author Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews is the founder of Legion athletics and is a best selling author.