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2011 cut weekly progress report: Week #4

Sunday, January 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

January
30
2011
The Myotape

The Myotape

Week #4 of my 2011 cut is complete, and so it’s time to check my progress and make any necessary adjustments to my diet and training.

If you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle it’s absolutely critical that you check your progress–and not just with a bathroom scale. I recommend that once every week you check your scale weight, your body fat percentage (using a caliper, not an inaccurate BIA scale) and your soft tape measurements. For maximum accuracy, it’s important to take these measurements at the same time and under the same conditions every week. I recommend the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale, the MyoTape body tape measure and a basic Skin Fold Caliper. With the exception of the skin fold caliper (the one I use was discontinued) these are the exact products I’ve used for years. These tools are indispensable if you’re serious about reaching your goal, will last a long time and are not expensive.

This weeks stats are interesting. Let’s take a look.

My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 195.6 pounds. That means I’ve lost .2 pounds over the past week and a total of 7.6 pounds since I started my cut. Am I concerned when I step on the scale for my weekly weigh in and see just a .2 pound drop? Nope. Scale weight doesn’t mean much without tape measurements and a body fat reading…

My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 13.5% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a .10% drop from last week’s reading of 13.6% and a 2.4% drop from my starting body fat reading of 15.9%. Now, using my scale weight along with my body fat reading I can easily calculate how much of my weight loss was fat, and how much was lean mass (note: JSF BodyShop™ makes these calculations for you automatically). Over the past week I’ve lost .22 pounds of fat and gained .02 pounds of lean mass. I’ve now lost a total of 5.9 pounds of fat and 1.70 pounds of lean mass since the start of my cut.

Now for the tape measurements. Tape measurements are a great way to keep tabs on your typical body fat storage areas (thighs, hips, waist), but they are also helpful in determining if you’re losing muscle mass. As you cut you will lose some fat from areas like your upper arms and chest (especially if you tend to store fat in those areas) but, generally speaking, these loses will not be as dramatic as, say, your mid-section.

My tape measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) show that over the past week I lost another quarter inch from my waist, while all the rest of my measurements remained the same. Actually it was very close to a half-inch from my waist, but I never round. So my total tape losses and gains on this cut now stand as follows: 1.75 inches from my waist, 1.25 inches from my hips, .5 inches from my thighs and +.25 inches to my calves.

My detailed stats (including all tape measurements) and food logs can always be found on JSF BodyShop™. Just create a free account (existing JSF Forum members should simply log in using their forum username and password) and search for me.

OK, this has obviously been a pretty lackluster week of progress. One thing I’ve learned over the past eight years is that when you’re cutting body fat occasional weeks with little to no progress are absolutely normal. The worst thing you can do when you don’t make much progress after a week of hard work is become frustrated or use it as an excuse to go off-plan. Sometimes adjustments to diet and training may be in order, and sometimes you need to just stay the course. Personally I feel like I’m retaining a little water this morning, which could be throwing things off a bit. The fact that I lost close to half-inch from my waist this week bolsters that theory (more proof that you need more than a scale to evaluate your progress!) I feel that cutting calories or increasing cardio at this point would be premature, so I’m not going to make any changes right now. If I’m indeed holding water, I expect next week’s results to be above average. If by next Sunday I’m still not seeing progress, I’ll make some adjustments to my diet.

I know this is a tall order, but some of the best advice I can give you is to separate emotion from your progress check-ups. Becoming frustrated, angry, upset or irritated is extremely counterproductive. Stay positive and make logical choices based on the facts. Fat loss is not an art, it’s a science. Above all, remember that if you continue to work hard you’re going to reach your goal–it’s a fact–so be patient and enjoy the process.

Look for a new Favorite Things item later today!

If you want to get in on Mastover’s January 15% Off Sale, time is quickly running out! If you are ready to put in the work, then I highly recommend Mastover’s services. Mastover provided my complete diet and training program when I dieted down from a post-bulk 236 pounds/19% body fat to a shredded 186.6 pounds/6% body fat. If you are willing to put in the effort, that there’s no question that you’ll reach your goal under Mastover’s wing.

Just a few more days to get registered for the February “100 Challenge”. These challenges are a great way to keep your fitness goals front and center. Registration is easy – keeping your 100 points is not.

Remember, you can always find any sales, promotions or registrations that are currently running in the brand new section Current Promotions.

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “2011 cut weekly progress report: Week #4”
  1. Thanks for the insight John. I had two of those lackluster weeks in a row, I cant stand it when I lose less then a pound a week. I got all frustrated, ate a big cheat meal then felt really guilty, its a big vicsious circle. Then I lost 1.2 pounds on the first recovery week of P90X where usually I only lose a tenth of a pound. Moral of the story is your body does strange things. I found a new digital caliper that works pretty good as my old one died:
    http://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Digital-Caliper-OrbiTape-Measure/dp/B002DZPOB0

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    • Craig, that caliper looks like it’s only a 3-point caliper – is that correct? I stopped using the 3-point method a couple years ago because I found the measurements to be pretty inaccurate (low) compared to the 7-point tests.

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  2. Nice post!

    I think you touched on a very valid point — that fat loss is a science and not an art, and that you WILL reach your goal eventually if you stay on course. Some people project their negative self image onto their expectations, and forget that the body doesn’t “take sides”. In simple terms, your body will continue to use a few thousand calories of energy every day, whether it comes from food, fat, or lean mass, and ultimately you can control the source.

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