Thinner Leaner Stronger (book review)

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Book review of Thinner Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body by Michael Matthews

I was first introduced to Mike Mathews and his work when I started listening to the Muscle for Life podcast. Just a few episodes in, and I knew he shared my philosophies about fitness and nutrition. It’s one of the best health podcasts out there!

So naturally, I couldn’t wait to read his book for women, Thinner, Leaner Stronger- the simple science of building the ultimate female body.

If you are ready to revamp or begin a workout program, start meal planning, or learn the basics of strength training; this book is a great read. Thinner Leaner Stronger Author, Michael Matthews, has been training and studying the science behind weightlifting for over a decade. He knows his stuff and paints a clear picture of how to get started and why his program works.

thinner leaner stronger by Mike matthews

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The basics of the book:

The book begins with the who and why. (Amazon link to the book here) You’ll learn about the credentials of author, Michael Matthews, and the why of his program.

Matthews spends considerable time letting you know why other programs are bogus. This is my only real complaint of the book because I feel like every workout/diet plan out there claims to be the best and only so I can skip that rehash. Otherwise, I felt the book was a great read that covers a lot of ground on the subject of building muscle and reshaping your body.

Matthews then goes into the science of losing fat and gaining muscle. He follows that up with a section on the “inner game” or mental part of weight loss and workouts (I loved this section!).

And then the practicalities of setting up diet plan, counting macros, workout training plans, suggested exercises, to-do list to get started, etc. The book truly gets anyone ready to eat and workout to build muscle.

Things I loved about the book:

  1. The writing style is simple and easy to read. Matthews does a good job of explaining the science behind fat loss and muscle gain in a way that is interesting and not overwhelming.
  2. The organization of the book is great! Each chapter ends with a list of key takeaways. It’s like he took notes for you and scanning the end of each chapter would be really helpful as you review and put a plan into action. Also, the kindle version is loaded with links to handy supplements like calorie calculators and helpful websites. I enjoyed exploring helps available on the internet that I wasn’t aware of.
  3. Again, I loved the “inner game” chapters. I believe the mental part of weight loss and workouts is key to success and he has some great tips.
  4. Matthew’s program is broken down and explained in great detail. This book has everything you need if you decide this type of program is what you are looking for.

The Thinner Leaner Stronger program

So what is Matthew’s program he describes in his book? Here is a quick overview of the program to help you decide if you want to explore it further.

  1. Flexible dieting: no food is off limits, it is about finding out how many calories per day you should be eating and then sticking to a calorie goal. The big focus is on macros or getting the right amounts of protein, carbs, and dietary fats. How you get those is up to you, although Matthews gives a lot of great suggestions many can also be found on the Health beet website here! Matthews’ plan isn’t about tracking, but more about planning ahead of time what you are going to eat and then sticking with it.
  2. Strength training: the workout plan focuses on heavy lifting with shorter reps. The book will take you through the how and why this method is best for muscle sculpting and growth. The workouts do not require huge amounts of time. Cardio is minimal and a gym membership would be very helpful to follow this program.
  3. Supplements: Matthews is not a big fan of supplements and explains the why’s of that. He does cover a broad range of popular supplements, including all types of protein powder, and gives recommendations for what you may or may not need.


Do I recommend this book? Yes! Even if you are not ready to go full steam into body building, this book has a lot of take-aways for a healthier lifestyle. It is written for a female audience, but I’m going to get my husband to read it too! There is just a lot of good information for anyone looking to improve their eating and/or workouts and learn more about how his/her body functions.

“We may or may not be able to fundamentally change ourselves through strengthening our willpower, but we certainly can improve our ability to conquer the demands of daily living with more mindfulness, effectiveness, and confidence. In many ways, fitness is the ideal training ground for these virtues because its challenges and difficulties are fundamentally analogous to the obstacles and barriers we face everywhere else in our lives.” (Thinner, Leaner Stronger, page 145)

Agree 100%

thinner leaner stronger book review

One Comment

  1. I agree with your review. Very self explanatory book on weight loss/ how to strength train. It taught me about mistakes I had made in the past

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