Morgan Lost 20lb+ of Fat in 8-Weeks | BuiltLean Review

/ 4.23.12 / Medically Reviewed

I have below a Q&A with Morgan Mclellan who as a journalist living in Toronto completed my BuiltLean Program with some impressive results. Despite having a busy job and being completely out-of-shape when he started, Morgan lost over 20lb of fat in only 8 short weeks*.

As Morgan completed the program, we exchanged some emails to help him get the most out of the program. The before/after photos speak for themselves. To learn more about Morgan and his insights into successful body transformation, check out the Q&A below.

I hope you find his story inspirational!


Results, Testimonials, & Risks Disclaimer


Age: 24

Occupation: Journalist

Residence: Toronto, Ontario

Hometown: Toronto

Why did you get out of shape? What happened?
In all honesty, I’ve always struggled with my weight. I would get on a fitness routine for a few months, then just slack off. I attribute this to a lack of clear set goals and a plan to help me reach them. When I finished college a few years ago, I peaked at just over 200lbs, and that was unacceptable. I had to buy new pants, NEW shirts, the works. Yet that was not enough to motivate me to change my life. Over the course of a year, I dropped some here and there but never anything significant or to be proud of. This persisted until I came across BuiltLean.

What sparked you to make a change?
Something just clicked and I took a look at myself and said “enough is enough”. It’s time to kick my ass into gear and transform my body into the one I’ve always dreamed of. No more excuses.

How did you come across BuiltLean?
My cousin Max Hazan turned me onto the program. Max is the definition of what being ‘built lean’ is all about. And you can catch some of his delicious recipes on which I encourage everyone to try out.

BuiltLean Program Review

What results did you get with the BuiltLean Program?
Unbelievable results! Way more than I had anticipated. I’m telling you this program packs a fat-busting punch. When I look at myself in the mirror, there’s always a ‘holy sh*t’ moment. And I get the same reactions from friends and family who are thinking the same thing. And the best part is after 8 weeks… it’s just the beginning. If I can transform my body this much in two months, imagine the results in six months. I can’t wait to keep this success rolling.

How did the BuiltLean Program help you reach your goals?
The structure of the program helped keep me on track and keep me motivated. Being able to log and track workouts was a huge advantage to making sure I was pushing the limits every time I hit the gym. Not to mention the detailed workout instructions, this program challenges you in every way shape and form.

What did you like most about the Program?
Where to begin? I just want to say off the bat that Marc has been a phenomenal help. If I had any questions at all, I could fire him and email and he’d respond with more than just the answer. It’s almost like having him as a personal trainer even though we live in separate cities.
What are the workouts like?

These are killer workouts that maximized my time at the gym. What I was getting done in 45 minutes to an hour was more intense than anything I’ve done in the past. For me, the program put a stop to any breaks between sets which so many people do.

Can you elaborate on how your eating habits changed?
I’ve always been a health conscious guy, but this program widely increased the depth of my knowledge when it comes to nutrition. I also love to cook, so being able to get creative while making some incredibly tasty and healthy meals was just awesome and I enjoy it every time I fire up the kitchen.

What have your friends thought after seeing your results?
All their jaws just drop. Everyone, even people I see on a daily basis are just amazed with the results. And I can’t wait to show off my progress in another two months. I couldn’t be happier with the reaction I’m getting.

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence considering the BuiltLean Program?
Just do it. This program has changed my life in every aspect. I feel more confident, I look great, it even encouraged me to quick smoking. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet. The only thing you’ve got to lose is a lot of fat.

Results, Testimonials, & Risks Disclaimer


* 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.

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  1. profile avatar
    Birinder Apr 23, 2012 - 10:01 #


  2. profile avatar
    Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 23, 2012 - 10:27 #

    Awesome job, Morgan. Very inspirational! Also, thanks for the kind words in the video. Much appreciated.

  3. profile avatar
    Morgan McLellan Apr 23, 2012 - 10:39 #

    Thanks guys. Stoked about the results and it only gets better from here!

  4. profile avatar
    Rose Apr 23, 2012 - 12:05 #

    WOW~ very inspirational you look great!

  5. profile avatar
    Grey Apr 23, 2012 - 12:40 #

    Hello Marc.

    I have been working out once every few months with push ups and crunches off and on for the last several years. Only until recently this last week have I started being serious about getting in shape. I have come up with a three day routine that utilizes pull, push and lower body exercises for each day with circuits and pyramids – I also fit in one full body workout a week.

    With my body type, I have very thin arms and thin legs but all of my fat tends to be concentrated on my torso area with some on my face. I’m 5’10 and about 140 lbs.

    Please help me with advice on how to evenly distribute my fat throughout my body.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 12:01 #

      @Grey – Fat distribution is genetic, so it’s not possible to “evenly distribute” the fat across your whole body. With that said, if you lose fat without losing muscle, you will likely lose the body fat in your problem areas. From there, you can focus on more muscle building to help refine your physique if that’s what you are looking for.

      1. profile avatar
        Grey Apr 29, 2012 - 12:09 #

        Thank you so much, Marc.

        One thing I would really like to know then: Would you recommend the carb/calorie deficit initially to lose fat in those areas or will I always have to do that while continuously building strength and endurance since I’m assuming I’ll never get bigger?

      2. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 15:36 #

        @Grey – you can start on a fat loss program by creating a calorie deficit for a couple months, then switch over to a muscle building program where you eat a calorie surplus while trying to limit fat gain. In other words, you focus on your primary goal for a given time period.

      3. profile avatar
        Grey Apr 29, 2012 - 16:06 #

        Very good. Just the clarification I needed. Although, I think you meant calorie surplus after the deficit. Your advice has helped me out immensely.

      4. profile avatar
        Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 18:48 #

        @Grey – ok, happy to hear that was helpful and yes, meant calorie surplus.

  6. profile avatar
    Paul Apr 23, 2012 - 22:13 #

    Hi Mark,

    Quite interested with what you can offer. Only one thing that hasnt made me decide yet. In your exercise manual. On average, how long are the work outs per day? Would you say 2 hours? Can the daily exercise be done in less than an hour?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 12:11 #

      @Paul – The workouts are structured as 3x per week for around 45 minutes. Daily workouts are not required. Thanks for your interest!

    2. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 12:11 #

      I should add the program is best suited for busy guys that don’t have two hours to workout per day.

  7. profile avatar
    Emilia Apr 24, 2012 - 22:30 #

    Hey Marc, just wondering… do you have some differentiated plans for women? do you think is it necessary to have a different approach?

    Wonderful job Morgan! I hope to be back on track soon, I’m out for a while cause I broke my left elbow, but this has inspired me again.

    Thank you very much and greetings from Chile.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Apr 29, 2012 - 12:19 #

      @Emilia – I don’t have a different program geared toward women. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, BuiltLean is male oriented, but I also try to speak to women who want a lean and athletic figure. This website is definitely not for the type of women who wants to look “skinny”! With that said, I do think men and women can use very similar programs to get a lean and athletic body. In fact, most top exercise authorities believe that an exercise program that is focused on fat loss does not need to be materially different for men/women. At the end of the day, losing fat without losing muscle is a very similar process for both men and women, although it’s usually harder for women vs. men. In my mind, the major difference has to do with appealing to sensibilities and marketing. I chose to make the brand male oriented because I think it’s important to draw a line in the sand so-to-speak, but I could have very easily packaged the program for women. Also, many women have successfully completed the program. Hope that makes sense and I hope your elbow has a speedy recovery!

      1. profile avatar
        Emilia May 01, 2012 - 09:05 #

        Yeah, I kinda noticed that, lol. But I like the site because of the quality of the information you manage to put together. I think it has already been quite helpful to me, and now that you said that there’s no real reason to have a different program for women I feel more confident with the approach I have been taken lately.

        My elbow is getting better so fast, my doctor is very amazed! I’ll be on my 100% soon 🙂

        Thank you very much and keep up your excellent job.

  8. profile avatar
    Morgan McLellan Apr 25, 2012 - 14:20 #

    Hey Emilia… thanks for the positive feedback. Glad I could be of some inspiration. I know the feeling of getting off track, I’ve had a few hockey injuries over the years and getting to scratch that itch of getting back into shape is the best feeling ever. Good luck with your recovery.

  9. profile avatar
    sandra May 01, 2012 - 13:28 #

    Marc, I am a 64 yr old woman and I work out at the gym almost everyday for 1-2 hours. 2-3 days cardio/spin, 2-3 days total body work out class, weights on my own, yoga, walking some etc. A pretty well rounded program I think. I’m 5’5” and have dropped 9 lbs in 2 months…now I weigh 135. My Fat Percentage has dropped from 40% (shocking!) to 33.8%….still too high. I don’t know what to do. I eat most anything I want but try to keep calories under 1490 a day. Any suggestions? I am getting frustrated and have plateaued in weight and fat loss….even gained a couple. I don’t know if I can work harder. Maybe smarter? I’m listening. Thx.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT May 07, 2012 - 09:33 #

      @sandra – eating whatever you want is not a good strategy to get a lean body. I would seriously consider shifting your foods to all whole, natural, and unprocessed foods, and eat as many fresh veggies as you can. Also drink plenty of water. You may also need to go even lower in calories to the 1200 range to lose even more fat, because as we age, our body fat increases, which means our LBM decreases, which means our metabolism decreases, which means we don’t need to eat as much food to power our bodies! Just make sure not to lose muscle, which becomes increasingly important as we age. Strength is literally like a lifeline. Gotta keep strong!

  10. profile avatar
    Hank May 04, 2012 - 16:49 #

    What an amazing change. Awesome!

  11. profile avatar
    Daniel ODonnal May 04, 2012 - 17:13 #

    This is amazing and so true. Congrats Morgan and Marc is the man. He is knowledgeable and knows what he is doing. Keep it up and live lean and clean.

  12. profile avatar
    andy May 04, 2012 - 17:24 #

    i am going to start in the next few days , i just need to get my motivation back , i have done the london marathon twice and a lot of training years ago , since my father retired from my family retail business i have been working night and day , but over the years i have put 3 stone on , 250 lb at the moment , aim hoping this training will do the trick ,
    christmas , brought me pneumonia after working 2 weeks between 15 and 22 hour days
    i am now motivated into losing 3 stones with this routine
    keep you posted on my loss , fingers crossed ,

  13. profile avatar
    mj May 05, 2012 - 11:46 #

    Hey Marc,

    I am one of those “fence sitters,” trying to figure out if your program would work well for a woman without too many adjustments. Of particular concern is the nutrition part. Also, the workouts are 3X per week. Do you recommend cardio or something on the days in between or just the three days? Finally, do you talk in the program about when to eat as well as what to eat?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT May 07, 2012 - 14:17 #

      @mj – thanks for the questions/comment. I’m sure there are a lot of people like yourself who are “on the fence”.

      The short answer to your question is women can certainly use the program, and have done so successfully. You can check out the BuiltLean Program FAQ for more information.

      The nutrition section has meals, snacks, and menus for both men and women that range from 1200 calories and go up to around 2200. The nutrition guide was reviewed and improved by Christy Maskeroni, MS, RD, CPT. We tell you A LOT more than just when to eat and what to eat in the program, we also discuss tons of smart nutrition strategies to make implementing a healthy eating plan easier.

      The ONLY workouts that are necessary/required for the BuiltLean Program to be successful are the 3 workouts per week for 45 minutes. If you want to do extra cardio on the days in between, that’s totally cool, just make sure you listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Lifting weights on any more days than what is outlined in my program is highly discouraged.

      Keep in mind we have a 60-day money back guarantee, so if you are not satisfied, you get a refund! Let me know if you have any more questions.

  14. profile avatar
    Miles May 05, 2012 - 19:03 #

    Hi Marc,
    I am a 53 year old overweight male in decent shape. I have lost 45 pounds in the last 7 months. I see a trainer once a week and my commitment with him will be over in July. So I will be looking for a program to do then. I still need to lose about 55 to 60 pounds and was wondering if this program will work for someone like me. It seems that most of the clients are younger guys who are moderately overweight. By the way, my body fat is currently 32%. Presently I weight train 3 times a week and do about 250 minutes of aerobics per week. I eat 2340 calories per day or less with the goal of losing about 1-1-1/2 pounds per week.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT May 08, 2012 - 07:20 #

      @Miles – congrats on your progress so far! It sounds like you have very reasonable goals – 1-1.5lb of fat loss per week. Very smart. I rarely see that.

      I don’t think age is a factor as a ton of guys in their 40’s/50’s+ have done very well with the program. One of the cool things about the program is that there are different levels that can be completed that range from easier to very difficult. With that said, you could likely start now, but it’s up to you. You may also consider losing another 20lb, or so. Keep up the great work!

  15. profile avatar
    Frank May 14, 2012 - 14:52 #

    Hi Marc. Do you think it is possible to do 1000kcal deficit diet without loosing muscle? I do weight training and cardio aswell(4-5times a week) and also trying to do excersises that cause more afterburn affect. I know how important to maintain the mass of the muscles so i am trying to be reasonable when i am organizing my weight loss.Thank for your help!

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT May 18, 2012 - 08:30 #

      @Frank – Check out this article which delves more into the size of the calorie deficit you should have – How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Weight?. It depends on your body size/calorie burn.

  16. profile avatar
    asti May 30, 2012 - 03:53 #

    Hi Marc, i am one of those “on the fence” women mentioned in above comments. I am very much interested in your program, but my worries is mostly because i have never lift weights before, is the built lean exercise safe for me to do without a trainer?

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Jun 03, 2012 - 15:56 #

      @asti – I would recommend getting a trainer first before completing the BuiltLean Program if you’ve never lifted a weight, or done a body weight exercise before. Certainly some beginners have done the program, but they had some base of athletic experience in their life, whether it was playing some sports, or having done body weight exercises in the past.

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