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2018 Cut – four week update!

Sunday, February 4, 2018 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

February
4
2018

Hi folks! I hope everyone is doing well. :mrgreen:

Today marks the end of the fourth week of my 2018 cut, and so I thought I’d post an update. TL;DR — things are going extremely well so far!

When I started this cut I said I was going to be completely strict, and I’ve made 100% good on that commitment.

  • No cheat meals or snacks
  • No alcohol
  • No missed workouts (3 days/wk strength training, 3 days/wk mountain biking, 1 day off)
  • No processed foods
  • Nothing off my planned diet
  • NO EXCUSES

The dedication and hard work is paying off: from a pure numbers standpoint I believe this is the most productive first four weeks of any cut I’ve done previously. 🙂

I’ll throw up some raw data, and then talk a bit about those figures.

EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale

EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale

METHODOLOGY:
A few words about my body fat test, scale weight and soft tape measurements

  • My body fat, tape measurements and scale weight are all performed while fasted (first thing in the morning before eating or drinking).
  • All measurements are taken “cold” (no pump), and flexed.
  • A 7-point or 9-point body fat caliper pinch test is the most accurate “at-home” method of determining one’s body fat percentage, but even in the most skilled hands calipers have a margin of error up to +/-3%. The key is consistent readings from one week to the next: the actual number is not that important (to me).
  • If you want the most accurate body fat percentage reading possible, go have a DEXA test done.

 

TOOLS OF THE TRADE:
This is the exact equipment I use to track my progress every week

 

RAW DATA

My scale weight this morning (as measured by the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale) is 200.4 pounds. That’s a –10.2 pound change since my January 8, 2018 starting weight of 210.6 pounds.

My 7-point body fat reading this morning (as measured by the FatTrack PRO Digital Body Fat Caliper) is 16.8%. That’s a –3.2% change since my initial January 8, 2018 body fat measurement of 20.0%.

Over the past four weeks I’ve lost 8.44 pounds of fat and lost 1.76 pounds of lean mass.

My tape measurements (as measured by the MyoTape) indicate that over the past four weeks I’ve lost 2.5 inches from my waist, 1.75 inches from my hips, 2 inches from my chest, .75 inches from my thighs and .25 inches from my calves. I’ve added .5 inches to my arms.

ANALYSIS

With 15 years of monitoring my stats while cutting, bulking and maintaining under my belt, not much surprises me anymore. Adding a half inch to my arms while cutting, and in just four weeks, definitely surprised me. After about 3 years and ~36,000 miles of road cycling while not really lifting, and a year of near total neglect (2017), I knew muscle memory might be a factor during this cut, but not to that degree.

Even though my lean mass shows a 1.76 pound drop over the past 4 weeks, that’s actually misleading. Water, of course, is considered lean mass, and I was holding about 4-5 pounds of water when I started this cut. I lost that water weight in the first few days, and since then I’ve added some lean muscle mass back on. I’m super careful with my measurements, and there’s no question my arms are up a half inch over the past four weeks. I figure I’ve also added some mass to my chest and other areas, but those gains have been offset on the tape by the fat I’ve lost.

RANDOM MUSINGS

Enough about numbers and stats for now. I feel better than I’ve felt in a long, long time. Part of the reason for that is because it’s awesome to be back on track, with my health and fitness priorities again. I’m really enjoying being back on my mountain bike, and training with weights again has been a total rush! The ultra-clean diet I’ve been following and avoidance of alcohol are also playing a significant role in how I’m feeling these days.

After so many years of being in great shape, I have to admit that it was hard for me to go public with this cut. I almost didn’t. But you know what, screw that. We’re all human, and life is full of surprises, changes, ups and downs. I’m glad I faced up to my situation and then ran it up the flag pole. When I took a hard look at things I got pissed off, and that inspired me.

So it’s one month down, probably another 3-ish months to go. I won’t let off the gas until I’m back below 8% body fat. While I’m excited about the prospect of being shredded up again, I’m also enjoying the process of getting there.

Here are some random pictures (with captions) that I’ve taken over the past few weeks while out on my mountain biking adventures. Click to enlarge. I’ll be taking some gym pictures as the cut progresses, but I don’t have any today.

From a chilly but fun ride before work.

From a chilly but fun ride before work.

Some singletrack mixed with long sections of sugar sand are whipping me back into shape. Awesome workout.

Some singletrack mixed with long sections of sugar sand are whipping me back into shape. Awesome workout.

A 45° pre-dawn slog through mud, roots and cypress knees.

A 45° pre-dawn slog through mud, roots and cypress knees.

A few water crossings made this 41° morning ride extra cold.

A few water crossings made this 41° morning ride extra cold.

This was the toll charge for hopping a razor wire fence. My leg also got a little shredded. Part of the fun.

This was the toll charge for hopping a razor wire fence. My leg also got a little shredded. Part of the fun.

From this morning's ride. Nice spot along the Wekiva river.

From this morning’s ride. Nice spot along the Wekiva river.

Also from this morning's ride. Some of the roots along the river are pretty gnarly. A mistake gets you a bath with the gators.

Also from this morning’s ride. Some of the roots along the river are pretty gnarly. A mistake gets you a bath with the gators.

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