Last weekend I did some math…

“According my my calculations, since March 17th, I should have lost 10.64 pounds based on the difference between the calories I’ve eaten and what I’ve burned.”

On Tuesday of this week, I went to get dunked.  The hydrostatic weigh-in was inconclusive – no new info.  So the next day I had another DXA scan.  It’s certainly easier to compare to the same scan done on March 17th.   According to the numbers on the two scans, I lost 9.4 pounds of fat and gained 3.6 pounds of muscle in the last 12 weeks.  My body fat percentage is now 21.8%.  The over all percentage drop was 5.4%.

While the fat-loss is slower than I need it to be if I’m going to be stage ready on Aug 25th, I’m happy with it.  It’s interesting that it is fairly close to the 10.64 number I calculated.   There was no way for me to calculate muscle gain.  I’m relieved that my research-based evil plan to gain muscle while losing fat is working, even if it’s working slowly.  I don’t know if I can speed this up a little without losing muscle, but I’m going to do my homework and see what I can make happen.

Got a little time this morning to dig into the numbers.  For me, this is like diving into a bouncy house full of bouncy balls!  Weeeeeee!!!  I LOVE NUMBERS!!

Observations about what happened over the last 3 months…

About 3 pounds of the 3.6 pounds of muscle gained were in the “trunk” region.  No explanation provided about what’s included in the “trunk”, so I’m assuming that would be chest, back and abs.  Makes sense.  For the last month, I’ve been doing that Madcow 5 x 5 routine which is mostly squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and rows.  Arms grew a tiny bit and that also makes sense.

I have lost a tiny bit of muscle in my legs.  Not surprised, either.  My leg workout used to be a lot more intense.  Sure, I do a lot of squats, but I they weren’t my mass building exercise.  Leg presses, baby!  That’s my thing.  But I will tell you this – my butt is getting very hard from those squats.  I LOVE doing squats three times a week.

Fat was burned off everywhere, but most of it came from the “trunk” region.  Six pounds from the trunk!  The “Android” region (waist) lost 1.5 lbs of fat.  So the rest came from my boobs and back.  Duh.  Any woman will tell you that if you are going to lose 9 pounds of fat, a lot of that will come out of the bra.  That’s just fine.  There is no way the body is going to burn the fat I need it to burn until it uses the boobs first.

I apparently have almost as much fat in my left arm as I do in my waist.    That’s a surprise.

I love having my lifts on a spreadsheet prior to doing the workout.  I trust the math.  If the paper says I have to lift x amount of weight y times, I do it.  I don’t think about it.  And by following the plan, I’m getting stronger and building muscle.

I have apparently found the right combination of nutrition, supplements, cardio intensity, massage, and what I call my “meditation cool-down” to keep the coritsol from running amok.  Nice.  I know this will require constant adjustments as my body changes over the next couple of months.

I could continue, but I’ll bore everybody.

Here’s the big “take-away”.  I honestly thought I hit a plataeu.  You know this – I blogged about it.  The scale was not changing much.  I was frustrated.  Once the sizes of my clothes started to change, I realized something was happening.  But remember last fall?  I shrunk.  I lost weight and sizes.  Because I lost 9 pounds of MUSCLE!  That was the last time I blindly followed advice from people I shouldn’t have trusted.  I cannot stress the importance of not giving your power away.  Do your own research!  Your trainer/coach should be doing research on your behalf, but you should do it, too, so you will be able to get an idea if something is going to work for you or not.  And if they aren’t doing the research, if they have a “this works for everybody” sort of attitude and they aren’t trying to tailor your plan to how your body is reacting or how your life needs to work, fire ’em.  Now.  I was told “it’s not personal, it’s just business” – and that’s exactly right.

Countless times I’ve been told that I won’t be able to grow muscle and lose fat at the same time.  Didn’t believe it.  Researched, read, researched, planned, implemented… and look.  I did it!  The box I needed to think outside of is this – the body isn’t like a bank account that processes deposits and withdrawals at the end of the day.  It’s always working.  I found a few people who knew this already.  I talked to them or I read their books and/or online articles.  My working theory was based on their research and experience.  If I fed the muscles what they needed when they needed it, and let the calorie deficits accrue when the muscles weren’t in their most critical need for nutrients, I’d burn fat.  Nutrient timing works!

And I rested.  I didn’t lift massive volumes every day.

So now what?  My confidence level is very high today.  I have good results.  But I’m concerned about the size reduction in my legs.  I really like the Madcow routine and how it’s changing my body, but I need more leg work.  I also need more deltoid work.  I don’t have the details of my new routine worked out yet, but since I want to start it tomorrow, I will be thinking about this all day.  I know I need to take what’s working from the Madcow 5 x 5 (strength & size gains, form improvement, spreadsheet organization), what worked from the 3-day split (isolation work, leg growth), address what didn’t work as well from those routines (back didn’t recover on the 3-day split, legs are shrinking on the Madcow) and come up with some kind of hybrid routine for me.

I would love some input on this.  If you have a suggestion or a question, please leave a comment below.  You guys have been a great resource for me.  Thank you!!

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