Week #1 of my 2012 cutting program is complete, and it’s time to check my progress and make any necessary adjustments to my diet and training.
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 Bioelectrical Impedance 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 189.8 pounds. That’s a 3.8 pound loss since last week’s weight of 193.6 pounds, and a 3.8 pound loss from my 2012 cut starting weight of 193.6 pounds.
My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 11.2% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a -0.8% change since last week’s body fat reading of 12%, and a -0.8% change from my body fat reading at the start of my 2012 cut, which was 12%.
Using my scale weight along with my body fat reading I can easily calculate how much of my weight change was fat, and how much was lean mass (note: JSF BodyShop™ makes these calculations for you automatically). Over the past week I’ve lost 1.97 pounds of fat and lost 1.83 pounds of lean mass; since my 2012 cut started I’ve lost a total of 1.97 pounds of fat and lost a total of 1.83 pounds of lean mass.
My tape measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) indicate that over the past week I’ve lost a quarter inch from my waist, a half inch from my thighs and a half inch from my hips. Since the start of my 2012 cut I’ve lost .25 inches from my waist, .5 inches from my hips and .5 inches from my thighs while all other measurements have remained the same.
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.
The first week of my 2012 cut has gone extremely well! My diet, training and rest/recovery have been 100% spot-on this week. No missed workouts, no missed meals, no cheat meals, no alcohol, plenty of water and 8+ hours of sleep each night. Over the past week I lost 1.97 pounds of fat, which is textbook aggressive fat loss progress. Nice. I also lost a couple pounds lean mass, and that was simply water weight from my pre-cut, multi-week junk food extravaganza. I was also pleased to see that I lost 1/4 inch from my waist and 1/2 inch from each my hips and my thighs; I really was bloated when I took those starting measurements!
Clearly no adjustments to my diet and training are required at this time. Steady as she goes…
I know I’ve mentioned this many times before, but with so many people new to fat loss visiting this site it is worth repeating again now: one very common misconception is that lean mass is synonymous with muscle. That is not correct. Lean mass includes muscle, but it also includes everything in your body that is not fat. In other words, your brain, heart, water, blood, bone, fingernails, muscle and so on are all considered lean mass. When you lose lean mass it could be muscle loss, but don’t automatically assume it. This week, for example, I lost 1.83 pounds of lean mass, but that was all water weight. This is why tape measurements and keeping track of your strength gains and losses are also important components of evaluating your progress. Body fat readings are invaluable, but they are just one part of the total picture.
HRrest: 45 BPM
HRmax: 196 BPM
Heart Rate Reserve: 151 BPM
Heart Rate Recovery: 76 BPM
VO2 MAX (Uth—Sørensen—Overgaard—Pedersen equation): 65.33 ml/min/kg
I talk a lot about momentum, and how critical it is to successful fat loss. I’m going to devote a blog next week to this important subject, so look for that if you want some insight into how I’ve achieved my summer fat loss goals (generally 6% – 7% body fat) without fail for more than nine years.
Have a great Sunday!