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2011 cut weekly progress report: week #10.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Slim Guide Skin Fold Caliper

Week #10 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 180.2 pounds. That means I’ve lost 4.6 pounds over the past week and a total of 23 pounds since I started my cut ten weeks ago. That’s a crazy amount of scale weight to lose in just one week–especially as lean as I am. I’ll talk more about that a bit further down.

My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 8.8% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a .5% drop from last week’s reading of 9.3% and a 7.1% 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 1.33 pounds of fat and 3.27 pounds of lean mass. I’ve now lost a total of 16.45 pounds of fat and 6.55 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 quarter inch from my hips and another half 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: 4 inches from my waist, 3.5 inches from my hips, 2.5 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.

A few thoughts about this week’s progress. It was a good week of progress, but obviously the extremely high scale weight drop of 4.6 pounds stands out and requires some analysis, as does the 3.28 pound lean mass loss. Here’s what I can come up with:

  • Last week my body fat dropped a full percentage point (from 10.3% body fat to 9.3%). It’s possible that last week’s body fat reading was incorrect, and a bit low. Calipers can be very accurate, and we’re pretty consistent with them, but there is always a margin of error there.
  • Water weight loss. Water is lean mass. I was out mountain biking half the day yesterday. It was warm outside, the exercise was intense and I sweat a lot. Despite drinking around 1.5 gallons of water, I still feel extremely dry this morning.
  • Muscle loss. A little muscle loss at this late stage is almost unavoidable, but my strength has remained good and there were no tape measurement reductions in my arms, chest calves, forearms, etc.
  • Over the past two weeks I’ve cut my calories (slightly) in an effort to stay ahead of the curve and avoid a stall. This may have been premature–especially considering the length, frequency and intensity of my cardio sessions.
  • The time change. While this doesn’t make any sense at all, I like to blame this #%$@*#! time change for everything.

… and you guys though I’d skip whining about the time change this year just because it’s my stats day? Not a chance.

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: 43 BPM (-3 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
HRmax: 193 BPM (Unchanged since Feb 14, 2011)
Heart Rate Reserve: 150 BPM (+3 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
Heart Rate Recovery: 77 BPM (+9 BPM since Feb 14, 2011)
VO2 MAX (Uth—Sørensen—Overgaard—Pedersen equation): 67.33 ml/min/kg (up from 62.93 ml/min/kg on Feb 14, 2011)

Some excellent improvements to my cardio stats were made this week! First, my resting heart rate has dropped an additional 2 BPM to 43 BPM. The reduction in my resting heart rate positively affects my Heart Rate Reserve and V02 MAX scores. The most dramatic change this week was the improvement to my Heart Rate Recovery: already excellent at 71 BPM, this week’s reading was an outstanding 77 BPM! I always perform the Heart Rate Recovery test immediately after the final set of 4×20 Bulgarian split squats (1 minute rest between sets). This week when I completed the final set my heart rate was 180 BPM; 2 minutes later my heart rate was 103 BPM. Nice!

As I mentioned above, yesterday I spent half the day out at the trails. I decided to go to Soldiers Creek, and I wore my heart rate monitor. My heart rate was almost maxed the entire time (I really push the pace out there), but I felt great! I can’t describe how good it feels to ride that hard and feel like I could keep it up all day. The difference between the shape I’m in now compared to 10 weeks ago is huge.

If you’re struggling because you are not staying committed to your plan (be honest now), I want you to give some thought to what you’ve seen me accomplish in 10 short weeks: 23 pounds gone, a drop in body fat from 15.9% to 8.8% and a total of 10 inches of fat gone from my waist, hips and thighs. I’m in excellent general health, I’m positive and happy, I have lots of energy and I’ve whipped myself into fantastic cardio shape. Anyone can do these things, but it takes hard work, dedication and commitment. Just imagine what you could accomplish by the end of May if you stopped making excuses and committed yourself 100% to your plan.

John Stone Fitness Comments

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