Week #7 of my 2011 cut is complete, and it’s time for my weekly progress report.
In addition to the usual stuff (scale weight, tape measurements and body fat percentage), starting this week I’ll be adding a number of measurements to evaluate my cardiovascular fitness. If you’re interested in learning more about the meaning of these new stats (and why you should also consider taking them), please give my February 14, 2011 blog a read.
NOTE: 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.
If you want to track your heart rate during workouts and also keep tabs on your cardiovascular health, then you’ll need a heart rate monitor. I use and recommend the Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor.
Let’s get on with this week’s progress report…
My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 189.4 pounds. That means I’ve lost 2.4 pounds over the past week and a total of 13.8 pounds since I started my cut seven weeks ago.
My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 11.1% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a .9% drop from last week’s reading of 12.0% and a 4.8% drop from my starting body fat reading of 15.9%.
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 2.0 pounds of fat and .4 pounds of lean mass. I’ve now lost a total of 11.29 pounds of fat and 2.51 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 half inch from my waist, another half inch from my hips and another quarter inch from my thighs. All the rest of my measurements remained the same. My total tape losses and gains on this cut now stand as follows: 3 inches from my waist, 2.5 inches from my hips, 1.25 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.
This was a fantastic week of progress! My scale weight loss was a bit on the high side at 2.4 pounds, but some of that weight loss was water weight (as evidenced by the .4 pounds of lean mass loss but no reduction in muscle size). I’m extremely dry this morning, and the reason for that is yesterday I went on a 3+ hour, 26 mile mountain biking adventure that was probably the most grueling cardio workout of my life. It was warm outside, and despite drinking more than 2 gallons of water yesterday there was a net fluid loss. So the .4 pounds of lean mass loss is not a concern. Remember, lean mass includes muscle, but it is not necessarily muscle: lean mass is everything in your body that is not fat (water, bones, blood, muscle, etc.)
Yesterday’s cardio workout was fun but extremely challenging. The improvements I’ve made to my overall cardio and muscle endurance over the past seven weeks have surprised even me. I’m going to go into more detail about yesterday’s cardio workout in tomorrow’s blog.
On that note, here are the new cardiovascular statistics I’ll be doing each week now (as measured by the Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor). Please note that I didn’t start measuring this stuff until February 14, 2011, and I’m using those measurements as my starting stats for today because they have not changed since then. For more information on these statistics, please check out my February 14, 2011 blog.
HRrest: 46 BPM
HRmax: 193 BPM
Heart Rate Reserve: 147 BPM
Heart Rate Recovery: 68 BPM
VO2 MAX (Uth—Sørensen—Overgaard—Pedersen equation): 62.93 ml/min/kg
It will be interesting to see how these numbers improve as my cut progresses.
Enjoy your Sunday!