A Review of ‘Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger – The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, and Getting Strong’ a 2012 book by Michael Matthews.
I. Almost Everyone Wants a Ripped Body
Everytime you go on the internet and maybe visit one or two social media platforms, you are constantly bombarded by images of celebrities looking ripped in preparation for a movie or just for the heck of it.
The usually claim by these celebs is that they were able to achieve their six-pack, bulging biceps and quads in a short period of time and without the use of anabolic steroids.
The mantra from most of these celebrities is – ‘it’s all hard work and lots of time in the gym!’. Yeah right!! While the uninitiated fan would obviously fall for the claims of their most cherished and beloved superstar celeb, those in the bodybuilding community tend to know better, but that’s by the way and a story for another day.
What you should know is that there are many routes to achieving a Herculean type body, but the safest and most enduring is the natural route. This is what Michael Matthews a fitness coach, mentor and author of many books would want you to believe in his 2012 book – ‘Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger – The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, and Getting Strong’.
I must say that at first I was sceptical of what he had to offer, but I soon found out that he was genuine in his bodybuilding claims (unlike many celebs). Once I started reading his book, I found it hard to put down, until the end of course. Well, I decided to provide a review of Michael Matthews book in this post.
Hopefully this should give you an idea of what’s possible without steroids and should encourage you to also give the principles in this book a try today.
II. What to expect from Michael Matthews ‘Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Building Muscle, Staying Lean, and Getting Strong’ Book
First off, this 246 paged book consists of 25 chapters. I liked the way Michael Matthews began with giving readers an insight into his own personal bodybuilding experience. It was his story that got me hooked to the book.
In ‘My Story: How I Transformed my Body, and How you can Too’, he talked about how he had tried everything from using supplements to hiring trainers and spending loads of hours in the gym, but to no avail. I was inspired by his story in truth.
After some of you have shed a tear or two from reading Michael Matthews story about his journey from an average Joe to enjoying bodybuilding gains all naturally, he then introduces you to his book by giving you hope that you too can move from being a regular guy to becoming eye candy.
This is his promise to you, so he aptly titled this part of the book – ‘The Promise’. He then goes on to the introduction ‘Bigger Leaner Stronger vs. Beyond Bigger Leaner’ before taking you to ‘Chapter 1’ titled ‘Why Working Out makes you Better at Life’.
In the first chapter the author explains the benefits of working out and why you should stay committed to spending time exercising if you want to live a long, healthy life. From chapter 2 right up to chapter 4, he talked about how you can build your muscles, strength, and naturally maintain a healthy body.
In ‘Chapter 5’ titled ‘An Introduction to Advanced Training Principles: The Science of proper Periodization’ Mr. Matthews introduces those tenets that you need to abide by if you seriously want to achieve sustainable muscle gains naturally. He also let’s readers into the science behind periodization.
As you read through chapter 5 all the way to chapter 14, you are taught how and when to periodization your training program. You are also introduced to a tried and tested, scientifically proven beyond bigger, leaner and stronger training program with insight into your first ever beyond bigger, leaner and stronger workout routine.
I especially learned a lot from ‘Chapter 9’ titled ‘How to Improve Weak Points in your Physique’, as it taught me how to maximise my workouts for optimal benefits. In ‘Chapter 10’, I learned how I could maintain my strength and lean muscle mass without over exerting myself in the gym, but with just minimal exercises.
Flexibility and mobility is important, so by the time you arrive at chapters 11 and 12, you will learn how you can improve the flexibility and mobility of both your lower-body and shoulders.
I was never one to use foam rollers when exercising, but I soon realised what I had been missing when I read through ‘Chapter 13’ titled ‘How to Use the Foam Roller to Improve Performance’. Miahael Matthews even provides valuable tips on how you too can break through weight lifting plateaus in chapter 14 of his book.
What I also learnt from reading this book is that you can’t build muscles and strength without also incorporating a proper dietary plan. Fortunately, you will be introduced to advanced nutrition strategies, the science of metabolic speed (losing or gaining weight), proven strategies to control hunger pangs, how to maintain a low body fat, guides to intermittent fasting, carb cycling and paleo diet when you read through chapter 15 right up to chapter 22.
If you are a busy executive and you travel quite a bit, this book would work well as a travel companion as you will learn how to stay in good shape even on your travels. This knowledge is available in chapter 23 of the book and Michael Matthews rounds up with useful tips on how you can start your own bodybuilding journey like thousands of people out there (myself included) that have decided to apply the principles acquired from this book to our training program.
The road ahead is never easy, but this book sure provides a guide to help give you a lift whenever you are discouraged, tired or just frustrated. This book serves as a shortcut, not to life or training, but to all the BS (forgive my Spanish) that celebs and many trainers would want you to believe about bodybuilding the natty way.
III. In Conclusion
What I gathered from Michael Matthews book is that you really don’t need to use expensive supplements in order to bulk up and have a physique that ladies admire and men envy.
Also, you don’t have to constantly alter your training and workout program as this can indeed cause your muscles to react indifferently to the constant disturbance in your workout routine.
But what surprised me the most from reading this book is that you don’t even need to maintain a “boring” repetitive diet in order to maintain a lean body structure. That’s right!! You really don’t have to quit chowing down on sugars and carbs to keep your weight in check and you don’t have to stick with the false notion that eating meals consisting of small amounts of food several times a day is the best way of boosting your rate of metabolism.
Finally, if you are like me and you really don’t like spending all day in the gym, then you will find this book to be very helpful. It will completely change the way you workout and eat while you witness tremendous bodybuilding gains that would simply leave you in awe.