Week #9 of my 2011 cut is complete, and it’s time for my weekly progress report.
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.
Here is this week’s progress report…
My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 184.8 pounds. That means I’ve lost 2.6 pounds over the past week and a total of 18.4 pounds since I started my cut nine weeks ago.
My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 9.3% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a 1% drop from last week’s reading of 10.3% and a 6.6% 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 2.11 pounds of fat and .49 pounds of lean mass. I’ve now lost a total of 15.12 pounds of fat and 3.28 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, 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: 3.5 inches from my waist, 3.25 inches from my hips, 2 inches from my thighs, .25 inches from my chest 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, first of all I mentioned yesterday that Lisa had to leave very early this morning, so we took my body fat reading yesterday morning (it was 9.5%). Turns out Lisa didn’t have to leave this morning after all, so we took the body fat reading again this morning and it was 9.3% (twice). Very cool. That’s a full percentage point drop since last week!
Obviously this has been another excellent week of fat loss. In fact, 2.6 pounds of scale weight loss is a little too aggressive. My total lean mass loss on this entire cut is only 3.28 pounds (most of that is water), so I’m not worried. It’s hard to complain when a single week of progress at this late stage of the game takes me from 10.3% body fat to 9.3% body fat, another quarter inch of fat is gone from my thighs, another quarter inch of fat has been burned from my waist and another half inch of fat is history from my hips! Right now I only have 17.19 pounds of fat on my entire body. I only need to lose another 4.5 pounds of fat to reach my goal of 7% body fat. If I don’t stall and my progress continues as it has so far I could very well have this cut wrapped up by the end of the month.
Here are my cardiovascular statistics for this week (as measured by the Timex Ironman Heart Rate Monitor). Please note that I didn’t start measuring this stuff until February 14, 2011, so those are my base stats. For more information on these statistics, please check out my February 14, 2011 blog.
HRrest: 45 BPM (-1 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
HRmax: 193 BPM (Unchanged since Feb 14, 2011)
Heart Rate Reserve: 148 BPM (+1 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
Heart Rate Recovery: 71 BPM (+3 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
VO2 MAX (Uth—Sørensen—Overgaard—Pedersen equation): 64.33 ml/min/kg (up from 62.93 ml/min/kg on Feb 14, 2011)
Once again I forgot to test my resting heart rate before I started drinking coffee. Even with a cup of coffee in me my resting heart rate is at 45 BPM, but it’s probably a tick or two lower than that sans stimulants. Next week I have to remember to take this test before my morning coffee!