Week #6 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 181.0 pounds. That’s a 2.2 pound loss since last week’s weight of 183.2 pounds, and a 12.6 pound loss from my 2012 cut starting weight of 193.6 pounds.
My 7-point body fat reading this morning is 7.7% (the digital caliper I use is no longer sold, but this manual caliper will do fine if you need one). That’s a -1.1% change since last week’s body fat reading of 8.8%, and a -4.3% 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 2.18 pounds of fat and lost 0.02 pounds of lean mass; since my 2012 cut started I’ve lost a total of 9.29 pounds of fat and lost a total of 3.31 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 1.75 inches from my waist, 2 inches from my hips and 2 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.
WOW! I had an idea from how I’m looking in the mirror that this had been a very good week, but I sure didn’t expect it to be my single best week of fat loss so far on this cut! This week’s measurements and stats are considerably better than I’d anticipated: I’m down another 2.2 pounds of scale weight (all of which was fat), I’ve lost an additional quarter inch from my waist and I’ve lost another half inch from each my thighs and my hips. Outstanding!
Last week’s workouts were not only the best workouts so far on this cut, I’m lifting significantly more weight than I was last year when I was 20 pounds heavier.
Over the past six weeks I’ve not had a single bite off my ultra-healthy diet (no cheat meals or cheat snacks), I’ve consumed absolutely no alcohol, I’ve not missed a single workout (I train seven days per week: 3 day weights, 4 day cardio), I go to bed early every night, my attitude has been extremely positive and my strength has improved consistently each and every workout without exception.
If you’re wondering what my “secret” is, re-read that last sentence over and over until it sinks in.
Comparing my this morning’s stats to last year’s stats when I was at almost the same body fat percentage (7.9% last year vs. 7.7% this year), it seem that over the course of my 2011 maintenance phase I added roughly 2 pounds of muscle. Two pounds of muscle may not seem like much, but keep in mind that I was not trying to add muscle, I was doing tons of anaerobic mountain biking and I’m 43 years old. I’ll take it.
Am I thinking about stopping my cut soon? The answer to that is “No!” My strength is showing no signs of faltering, I’ve lost no size from any of my muscles, my energy is still fantastic and I’m feeling great. I honestly feel I may be able to lose 8-10 more pounds. With only 14 pounds of fat left on my entire body, I realize that if I do lose another 8-10 pounds some of that scale weight loss will include lean mass, but so long as it doesn’t affect my functional strength I’m OK with that. I’m going to let my performance in the gym and on the trails guide my way.
HRrest: 42 BPM (-3 BPM since January 9, 2012)
HRmax: 196 BPM
Heart Rate Reserve: 154 BPM (+3 BPM since January 9, 2012)
Heart Rate Recovery: 87 BPM (+11 BPM since January 9, 2012)
VO2 MAX (Uth—Sørensen—Overgaard—Pedersen equation): 70.00 ml/min/kg (+4.67 ml/min/kg since January 9, 2012)
I’m going to get my cardio out of the way and then go do some spring projects around the house. Have a fantastic Sunday!