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The next phase of my cut approaches: dropping below 8% body fat.
Posted By John Stone On February 18, 2012 @ 8:48 am In Daily Blog | 2 Comments
Now that I’m in the mid-to-low 8% body fat range (and dropping) the rest of my cut will be the most challenging, yet rewarding, phase.
I find that dropping below 8% body fat is challenging because that’s the time when cravings usually start to become more frequent and more intense. Also, I’ve been training very hard while in a caloric deficit for many weeks, and so I need to be very in tune with my energy and strength.
Some of you may recall that last year towards the end of my cut I completely bonked. When I hit that wall I was somewhere around 7.5% body fat, and only 1-2 weeks away from my goal of 7% body fat. Fighting through the extreme fatigue I was experiencing was certainly an option, but it would have been the wrong option. I decided to listen to my body (and ignore the well-intentioned, but ultimately incorrect, armchair quarterbacks) and took a few days to refeed.
To be clear, I define “refeed” as increased caloric intake (with an emphasis on carbs), but still eating 100% clean–no pizza or any of that kind of nonsense.
The refeed not only didn’t hurt my progress, it propelled me through the final leg of my 2011 cut: I reached my goal of 6.9% body fat a mere 10 days later.
I’m certainly not showing any signs of needing a refeed right now! I feel great, and I’m very excited about the next few weeks. Why? Well, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, this section of my cut is very rewarding…
As I drop below 8% body fat I love how my body looks: cuts become deeper, my muscles show through even when I’m not flexing, my face looks lean and my vascularity is greatly increased. Just over the past week I’ve seen a very noticeable difference in all of those areas, especially my vascularity. Yesterday while I was training the veins in my arms looked like they were about to pop through my skin!
I expect to cut for at least another 4 weeks. My goal this time around is not a specific body fat percentage, it’s more athletic based. I want to keep cutting until I’m very light, but not at the expense of strength. Once I notice a decrease in strength, rather than immediately pull the plug I may do a refeed and then try to eek out another few pounds of fat loss.
Tomorrow’s weekly progress report should be interesting. When I stepped on the scale this morning I was surprised to see that I’m down 2 pounds for the week so far. That’s a unusually large single week scale weight drop so close to 8% body fat. I didn’t change anything about my diet or training this week, either. I’m looking forward to examining the data when I take my full complement of measurements tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!
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