I want to thank everyone for all the positive feedback I’ve received on my new “Fat Loss 101” series of articles (the latest, “Maximizing fat loss progress” was published yesterday). I’ve truly enjoyed writing these articles. The words come effortlessly, probably because fitness has been a major part of my life for almost a decade now, and it’s something I continue to be passionate about. When people tell me that the new “101” series has helped them get excited about fat loss, health, nutrition and muscle building that means a great deal to me. Even after all these years when someone emails or posts to the forum describing how they’ve changed their lives through health and fitness I get the exact same rush that I did when I first started this site back in 2003. Those are the stories that help keep me inspired to get up every morning and write these blogs. Thank you!
I had another excellent workout (chest/triceps/delts) yesterday afternoon, adding weight and or reps to every exercise for the third consecutive week of my cut. My strength continues to increase, and my energy level continues to be very high.
During yesterday’s workout I snapped my first progress photo of 2012. I’m about 187 pounds and 10.4% body fat here. My abs are showing a little bit, but are not very defined at my current body fat percentage. Like most men, my abs don’t really start to look cut up and defined until I’m in the single-digit body fat range.
I’m only a little more than two weeks into my cut right now, and I’m very happy that by this Sunday it’s highly likely that I’ll already be below 10% body fat. This is definitely the leanest I’ve ever been at the very beginning of a cut!
I need to talk about my current goal, and how that might not be the smartest goal I’ve ever set…
My goal for this cut is to get very light for mountain biking: 165 pounds (or less). According to last Sunday’s stats I’m presently 187.6 pounds @ 10.4% body fat. That means I have slightly less than 20 pounds of fat on my entire body right now. In order to get down to 165 pounds, muscle loss is obviously inevitable (even if I were to finish my cut at an impossible 0% body fat :lol:). I’ve been considering the wisdom of losing muscle just to be light, and I’ve decided that doing so would be a real bad return on my investment. That’s not to say a little muscle loss (from the “show” muscles) would be a bad thing, but I absolutely do NOT want to lose strength. Losing strength just to be a little lighter would be highly counterproductive from an athletic standpoint.
So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m going to continue to diet down and get as light as possible, but as soon as I start losing strength I’m going to pull the plug. I’m positive that I’ll be able to continue dieting down to 7% body fat (or even less) without sacrificing “functional” muscle, but I’m going to be very guarded about lean mass loss after that point. I don’t know where I’m going to wind up at the end of this cut, but I’ve decided that purposely losing muscle (especially at the age of 43) would be extremely foolish.
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