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Neil’s Transformation: From Average to Ripped

By Marc Perry / February 20, 2016

This video interview features Neil Mack who completed the BuiltLean Program and dramatically transformed his body in only 8 weeks. For more details on Neil, check out the video and read the text below.

About Neil

Age: 38

Occupation: Musician/Entrepreneur

Residence: New York City

Story: Finding himself overweight and out of shape after working several years in the corporate world, Neil decided to make fitness a priority in his life in his late 20’s. He took up activities like martial arts and bodyweight exercises.

Whenever he tried to lift weights in the gym, he would get some results, but would invariably plateau and not get to the next level. He thought he was in reasonable shape before starting the BuiltLean Program, but he had no idea how far he could take his body.

Neil started out as a Level 3 exerciser (Level 1 is beginner, Level 2 is intermediate, and Level 3 is advanced).

Fitness Goal: To help build muscle, learn more about lifting, and reshape his body

Favorite Food While On The Program – Buffalo!

Results: From average to a six pack! Neil was able to a lose considerable fat and build solid muscle in only 8 weeks on the BuiltLean Program. The exact numbers are pretty shocking so I would rather not even include them. These results are atypical because he worked very hard, ate very well, and his body put on slabs of muscle (my belief is lifting his legs intensely for the first time helped create a very favorable hormonal response).

If you want to change your body, the BuiltLean Program will NOT disappoint. I want to feature YOU as a success story!

What do you think about Neil’s results? Leave a comment!

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* Results may vary. Proper diet and exercise are necessary to achieve weight loss and muscle definition. See our Results, Testimonials, & Risks Disclaimer for more information.


  • Mary says:

    Very impressive results. My husband has been using your program and is getting fantastic results. He looks very fit and very strong. It has been a life changing program for him. I have also been using many of your techniques and nutritional advise. I am not as dedicated, but I too have been very happy with my results. I would hate to think what I would look like if I did not make the effort. Thanks for the info.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @Mary - Thanks for sharing! That's great to hear. I'm amazed that people all over the world are emailing me to tell me about the great results they are getting and how much they've learned.

  • Rhonda Smith says:

    I am very glad I took the time to watch Neil's video. I actually stopped the program due to illness and now cannot wait to begin again. I would love to see a success story from a female. Way to go Neil!!

    • Marc Perry says:

      @Rhonda - Sorry to hear you got sick, but thrilled you are starting the program again!

  • Toni says:

    Eight weeks is not a lot of time to invest in yourself, if you really think about it. Obviously, if he was way out of shape, it would follow that it would take that much longer. From my observation though, he wasn't seriously out of shape - just not very defined. Considering his age, he really does look better than most of the people I know who are much younger. Good for him!

  • W.C. says:

    We have got to be honest here, achieving this in only 8 weeks is AMAZING !

    Given the improvement on your abs section, I think the main focus was fatburning and conditioning workouts?

    I think Neil has become a walking advertisement for marc :-)

    Great job man

  • christ says:

    I've always wondered. Are those after pics of the guy holding in his stomach/abs? Or are they just like that all the time. Because I have a body fat of 12% and I've always been able to hold in my stomach and expose abs ever since my teens. But I've never been able to have abs without holding it in.

    Maybe this is a stupid question. But when you "have abs" is that from sucking it in or with a relaxed stomach?

    Like in your "After" pic are you holding it in? Or does it really look like that all the time?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @christ - you are definitely not alone. I've seen some people who have average looking abs, but then they flex and it's like crazy ripped. I would say as I'm walking, my abs are slightly contracted to keep my posture upright, but in the photo of me and Neil, we are definitely "flexing" our abs. If we are sitting down, or lying down in a completely relaxed position, it will not look the same because the abs will not be flexed.

  • mj says:

    Marc, will you ever come up with an eating plan for plant-based eaters like myself?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @mj - that's a great question. I do plan on adding a vegetarian section to the BuiltLean Program and in fact, it's on my list of the top 5 things I need to add to the program.

  • JMC says:

    Hi Marc, I've been working out for a couple of years and on the whole happy with my progress. I'm currently 6ft, 86kg with a body fat percentage of 9-10%. I'm following your advice of losing the fat before putting on any more muscle because I want to look more ripped.

    While my stomach is flat and defined its not as ripped as I'd like it to be - I've been doing a lot of cardio and stomach exercises while I've been cutting down. Is there anything else I can focus on (like specific stomach exercises or cardio) or will I not get 'ripped abs' until I've cut to around 7% body fat? And if so should I aim to drop to 82-83kg and then go back to adding muscle?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @JMC - your question is a common one for guys who are around 9-10% body fat. In short, men (and women) have different body fat distributions so some guys have a six pack at 12% body fat, while others have trouble seeing a six pack at a lower body fat level. It depends on where you carry your fat. If you carry the fat on your stomach, then you may have to get even leaner to see your abs. In terms of getting the last bit of fat off, I would recommend intense interval training and NOT traditional cardio, which could have the opposite effect. Additionally, as I've mentioned in my How to Get Ripped article, you may have to add precision to your nutrition regimen and also tweak your carb intake judiciously. The leaner you get, the harder it is to lose fat of course. Finally, I would consider doing supersets of abs, so choosing two exercises, doing them back to back, to really get a serious abs burn. I also wouldn't go above 15 reps. Going under 15 reps and adding resistance when necessary can help your abs "pop". One more thing, you can check out this Q&A about How Lean is Too Lean?

  • Gregor says:

    Hi Marc, this article is inspiring and depressing at the same time!

    I've been following the program and I'm at week 6 now, but have plateaued. I made really good progress in the beginning, making it down to 18% body fat and 77.7kg from 22% and 84kg. I'm 35 and 5 10". However recently I just can't shift any more fat. I follow the exercise program to the lettter and also run for 25 mins every other day at a steady 8.5mph. Should I run further? Whilst I am toned and muscular around the upper body, and my torso is flater than it ever has been, it just doesn't show ay six pack. Or even a two pack!

    I am a profressional whisky taster (really) so on average I do drink a total of 1 or 2 whisky's per day (made up of small sips)- is this the problem? Can alcohol be consumed in any quantity but still achieve a ripped physique?

    In terms of diet, I have a hearty-ish breakfast of oatmeal normally, with an apple and some nuts. I try and have a small mid mornng snack and for lunch will generally have a chicken salad or a lean turkey sandwich with a piece of fruit. For dinner I generally will have beef, chicken etc. and rice with salad. Should these portions be bigger or smaller? I eat with my family so it is difficult to have different evening meals from the kids, lthough we do eat early at 6pm. I avoid crisps, fries, white bread, butter, cheese, chocolate etc.

    Any advice you can give to get me back on track would be gratefully received. Thank you, Gregor

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Gregor - thanks for the comment and I apologize for the late response. you can use this contact form and indicate you are a customer for a more speed answer to your question. There are a number of reasons why a plateau can happen and in fact, I wrote a large article dedicated to that exact subject here - See Weight Loss Plateau: Tips on How to Break It. I suggest you read over that article because there's a lot of helpful info in there for you. Keep up the good work and no need to get discouraged. You are doing a great job!