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I’m cutting weight in 2014…

Thursday, November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog



My scale weight (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) has hovered around the mid-to-low 170s all year long, and my body fat percentage (as measured by the FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Caliper is right around 7% (my last weekly stats measurement was 6.8%).

I’ve mentioned this often, but it still bears repeating: digital calipers–even in well-trained hands–have a margin of error +/-3%. I get extremely consistent readings from my caliper, but there’s no doubt in my mind that those readings are low. Consistently low, but low. I don’t care enough to go have a more accurate body fat test done, but if I had to guess I would estimate that the readings are about 3% lower than my actual body fat percentage. In other words, my current body fat percentage is probably somewhere close to 10%. I think starting next year I’m going to manually adjust my caliper reading so it more accurately represents what I believe is my true body fat percentage.

Why? I’m getting to that… 🙂

I’ve decided that next year I am going to cut some scale weight. My goal? 160 pounds.

Dropping ~13 pounds of scale weight at 173 pounds and 6.8% body fat (which is less than 12 pounds of fat) sounds counterproductive due to the lean mass loss. Some lean mass loss is fine (remember, lean mass is not just muscle, lean mass is everything that makes up your body except fat). So now you see why I’d like to manually adjust my body fat reading to be more accurate. 173 pounds @ 9.8% body fat is 17 pounds of fat, so dropping 13 pounds is more realistic (which is not to say that all of that weight loss will be fat–it won’t).

I’ll keep a close eye on my watts/kg ratio while I’m cutting. I want to be lighter, but not at the expense of power. I think I’ll do fine: I’ve done enough cutting cycles to know what works for me and what doesn’t. In fact, during the past couple cuts I enjoyed some pretty nice increases in the weights I was lifting as I dropped body fat.

I have not decided how I’ll approach this cut yet. Right now I’m leaning towards doing an “old school John Stone” cut. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s basically this: 100% clean foods, no cheat meals, no alcohol, no missed workouts, 8 hours of sleep each night and NO EXCUSES.

As we approach 2014 I’ll detail my approach in another blog.

John Stone Fitness Comments

5 Responses to “I’m cutting weight in 2014…”
  1. I was waiting for you to post the goals for 2014. Funny we have basically the same goal. I’m shooting for 160 lbs as well, right now I’m 175. Weight has been falling off me since I started training for the Ironman. I havent been lifting weights at all and the swimming is leaning out my normally muscular upper body. My Tri coach doesnt want me to get that light, he feels you should always have between 3-5 lbs of fat on your body for use as fuel if you are doing long enduance events, he feels there is much less of a chance of hitting a bonk when your body has fat to burn. Good luck, I have no doubt you will hit your goal.

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        • I’m sure your trainer is better qualified in that area than I am. That said, I don’t see how anyone–even the most hardcore endurance athlete–could burn away several pounds of fat at a time. Not only is muscle glycogen the body’s preferred source of fuel during intense exercise, even if the body starts tapping fat stores for energy it still takes about 3,500 calories just to burn away a single pound of fat. So a fat “cushion” over and above the fat our bodies require to properly function seems superfluous.

          There are some ridiculously lean elite ultra-marathon runners out there (just to name one example).

          Maybe I’m missing something (and I very well may be), but what he told you doesn’t seem logical.

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        • I can see this applying perhaps to swimmers but less so to cyclists and runners, but even then it doesn’t ring true. The energy required to carry / move an additional eight pounds is significant over time, probably far more than the energy that would be available if the body were to get to the point where it were burning fat. IMHO, properly fueling and hydrating during a race or workout would yield more gain than relying on excess body fat.

          And I only mention swimming due to 1) temperature, and 2) I sink like a stone, which sucks when I swim. They used to use me as a dummy in lifesaving class. I can barely stay afloat.

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