6 Week Experiment



  • As many on the board will know, I busted some fat about 4 years ago (28 Kilos or so) Did it all by extreme calorie counting. At the same time I went from being a very mobile prop to being a pretty decent openside and a sub 3:10 marathon runner.

    Well after all that there has been one thing that is bugging me! How is it I still have no real tone in my torso, specifically my sides and stomach.

    I have decided it can only be one thing. I still have too higher body fat percentage. So I have been doing some research, I have read the threads of Bart and NTA, as well as another blog NerdFitness. I combined this with a good bit of reading from other sites mostly body building ones as they seem to 'Cut' as they call it.

    Here is my plan, a 6 week experiment that breaks down into 3 parts Eating, Exercising and Measuring.

    [b]Eating.[/b]
    I eat fairly well and I don't drink much more then the occasional glass of wine. I don't have too many cheats and normally eat between 2000 and 2300 Cals per day Its all I need to maintain my current weight. But I don't eat very clean. (Thanks Bart) To much bread, potato, rice and pasta.

    So I am going to try and clean this up following the Paleo principles. So will keep to under 100g of carbs per day, I will also be dropping my calories down to 1500 per day, until I get back to 78.5Kg currently at 79.9 (Every time I visit the US the same thing happens) so should be pretty quick, then I will raise it again, as the goal here is to lose fat and add muscle. It seems to me the hardest part of this is going to be breakfast, better get used to eggs.

    [b]Exercise[/b]
    As I said above I run, quite a bit. So I will keep that up 4 runs per week.
    2 * 8Kms before work.
    Long run Saturday,
    Slower medium distance with the wife and baby on Sundays.
    I have to see the doctor next week about the partial tear in my achilles tendon, basically if its not repairing I may need a small op, but that wont happen till after the experiment so should not interfere.

    Then the new part. Strength training.
    Looking at doing 3/4 * 45/30 minute body weight workouts. I am still working on the plans now happy for input but the core of it will be pull ups, push ups, squats and planks. In some sort of circuit.

    [b]Measuring.[/b]
    Weight taken daily plotted in phone App 9 day rolling average (As I have for the last 5 years)
    Body Fat taken once per week Will just straight plot it for now.
    Strength circuit recorded in notebook I can plot it at the end if needed.
    Photo once per week
    Update this thread, Realistically 2 or 3 times a week.

    I start on Monday the 20th so 6 weeks from then is the Monday the 1st of July. Hopefully the calipers arrive in time and I will get all the vital stats up on Monday, I have never done a body fat measure before so should be interesting.

    Mooshld



  • Good luck mooshld.

    From my research and experience, the stomach and love handles is all about the clean eating and drinking - green veggies are the key and heaps of them to keep both the energy levels up and the appetite in check.

    With the amount of running your doing combined with the body weight work (as long as that's done at a high intensity - a number of studies done to suggest fat burn well after your workout is completed), I think you'll really see some changes.

    Don't be afraid to lift heavy weights (or work towards that) as well - squats and dead lifts. They are very much about the core. Additionally targeting the biggest muscles in the body (glutes, quads etc) will have the heart racing which means the body will be calling on those fat stores to work overtime.



  • And the cat vomits to tighten the waist. Too many ab exercises promote crunching which pops your abs out, but "vacuum" style exercises are better IMHO. There are YouTube videos for this (search for Elliot Hulse abs), but my method is:

    1. Hands and knees on the floor, let your gut hang out in a completely relaxed fashion, with your vision focused on the floor just in front of your hands, back straight.

    2. Exhale out your mouth as much as you can in a short, hard breath (like 1 second), and at the same time try to make your belly button touch your spine. Hold that for 8-12 seconds.

    3. Relax the gut, breathe in through your nose, then out through your mouth, and in through your nose. All breaths are deep, full, and you should feel them in your gut, not in your chest.

    4. Repeat 2 & 3until you reach ten reps.

    I aim to do 12s for step 2, then 8s for step three (breath cycle being 4s), giving each rep a 20s execution time.

    As I still have too much body fat to see my abs, I have to go by feel and it definitely works, particularly in combination with push ups and pull ups. Really helped pull in the "girdle" muscles too, and only takes 3-4 minutes out of your day.



  • Thanks for the tips guys, I don't have access to heavy weights. Hence the body weight stuff but I have read that lifting heavy is vital to cutting. So will see what I can muster up around the house. The baby weighs about 10Kgs, but the next heaviest thing is probably the wife. Its a bit of a step up though. For dead lifts I thought about getting them both to sit on the bed and lifting that. Its not perfect but the action is similar.

    I don't see the eating being a big problem, and am cutting out some carbs already in preparation. So it should not be too much of a shock.



  • Good stuff mate.

    Like Bart will say Calories in vs calories out is key but I noticed a huge difference when I cut back on the carbs in conjunction with being on a calorie deficit. Never got calories as low as 1500 though as I was training heavy most the time and dont know if I would have lasted too well on only 1500.



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1368693932' post='366051']
    Good stuff mate.

    Like Bart will say Calories in vs calories out is key but I noticed a huge difference when I cut back on the carbs in conjunction with being on a calorie deficit. Never got calories as low as 1500 though as I was training heavy most the time and dont know if I would have lasted too well on only 1500.
    [/quote]

    I used Calories in vs Calories out to lose the 28Kg for that I ate 1300 every day for about 7 months. Was fine so 1500 is luxury compared to that. Like I said weight is no issue now at 78.5Kg and 1.78M I have the weight under control. Its the Fat percentage I want to sort. Thats the idea of dodging the carbs. and doing the heavy strength work, seems popular opinion is this is how they 'cut' in the body building world. If it does not work I will just find something else to try.



  • Well my body fat pincers did not arrive in time so not a good start, then cut the sole of my foot on a loose board in the apartment, so no running this week till it heals. I spent most of Sunday preparing food, and sorting out the exercise plan. The eating has started okay, easily under 100 grams of carbs and 1500 calories. Will be difficult to increase the calories once I hit 78.5Kg. If you don't eat many carbs its hard as hell to pad out your calories. So would be interested in any higher calorie low carb foods. Otherwise I will just have to start eating butter.

    The stats
    Height 1.78
    Weight 79.5kg
    Body Fat TBC (Will update when the pincers arrive)

    Strength training starts tomorrow.



  • High calories and low carb means lots of fats and protein mate. Plenty of good fats out there - almonds (natural) and other nuts - peanut butter, avocado, salmon and other fish

    Might get a bit boring though but hey just load up on green vege etc. Must say that I enjoy this diet much more in summer!

    Good luck with the training!



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1369124443' post='367136']
    High calories and low carb means lots of fats and protein mate. Plenty of good fats out there - almonds (natural) and other nuts - peanut butter, avocado, salmon and other fish

    Might get a bit boring though but hey just load up on green vege etc. Must say that I enjoy this diet much more in summer!

    Good luck with the training!
    [/quote]

    Cheers for the tips what is your policy on cheese? Its only milk, bacteria and time and low in carbs so I am thinking of allowing it but want the groups consensus before making a decision.

    Oh it is summer here or so they tell me. Hard to recognise through the sheets of rain.



  • I'm all for cheese mate but I'm no body builder that's for sure.



  • Go find a high protein cheese. Parmesan in block form is actually quite nice and the strong smell is due to the protein.

    Naturally the more processed it is, the worse it is for additives etc



  • [quote name='NTA' timestamp='1369137080' post='367176']
    Go find a high protein cheese. Parmesan in block form is actually quite nice and the strong smell is due to the protein.

    Naturally the more processed it is, the worse it is for additives etc
    [/quote]
    [quote name='JK' timestamp='1369134448' post='367170']
    I'm all for cheese mate but I'm no body builder that's for sure.
    [/quote]

    Thanks for that guys, quick bit of research has shown the harder cheeses seem to be higher in protein but all seem low in carbs. Comté seems as high as Parmesan so I have a few I can have regularly and a few I can have for a treat.



  • First strength session went okay need to adjust the program a little some exercises are too easy.

    Weight is falling quickly at this stage will be at goal weight in a week or so, so need to start thinking about how to up calories adding cheese and fruit will help.

    Body pincers still not arrived damn you ebay!!!



  • Second strength session done program a bit more balanced now so everything is tough at the last few reps. Only issue is a weird pain in my forearm during pull ups. A bit of googling says that its normal when you start activating these muscles. The other issue is the baby trying to climb on my back when I am doing planks. He thinks he's helping but seriously they are hard enough as it is.

    Eating is about to become an issue, the graphs say I am under eating at 1200 calories per day. Yet I am stuffing my face with meat and veggies at every meal. Not actually hungry at all. So when I hit the goal weight I am going to need to add Cheese, more fruits and nuts to get it up to parity. Either that or pad it out with protein shakes, not sure about doing this though any recommendations of high calorie low carb foods I have not through of would be appreciated.

    Mooshld



  • The stats after 1 Week
    Height 1.78
    Weight 78.7kg
    Body Fat 17.7%

    Strength stuff going well will probably make a few more tweaks to the program adding weight to some of the leg exercises this week.

    Running due to restart tomorrow, foot looking better, but will start slow as I don't need another week off from it.

    Eating going well added cheese over the weekend to try and decrease the rate of weight loss. If this does not do the trick will top up with protein powder.

    Mooshld



  • Target weight reached today 78.5KG Run went okay foot started to open up a bit so keeping them short for now.

    Now to increase Cals but keep carbs low should be testing.

    Mooshld



  • [quote name='mooshld' timestamp='1369383448' post='367603']
    Second strength session done program a bit more balanced now so everything is tough at the last few reps. Only issue is a weird pain in my forearm during pull ups. A bit of googling says that its normal when you start activating these muscles. [b]The other issue is the baby trying to climb on my back when I am doing planks. He thinks he's helping but seriously they are hard enough as it is.[/b]

    Eating is about to become an issue, the graphs say I am under eating at 1200 calories per day. Yet I am stuffing my face with meat and veggies at every meal. Not actually hungry at all. So when I hit the goal weight I am going to need to add Cheese, more fruits and nuts to get it up to parity. Either that or pad it out with protein shakes, not sure about doing this though any recommendations of high calorie low carb foods I have not through of would be appreciated.

    Mooshld
    [/quote]Harden up, I sometimes have to do push ups with a 3 and almost five year old on my back !!



  • Mooshld,

    Can you post what a 1500 calorie diet might look like (types and quantities of food) over a day, I'd be pretty interested but have no idea where to start,



  • [quote name='VV' timestamp='1369732513' post='368509']
    Mooshld,

    Can you post what a 1500 calorie diet might look like (types and quantities of food) over a day, I'd be pretty interested but have no idea where to start,
    [/quote]

    Sure have not been bang on 1500 though so here is what I ate yesterday I was not hungry after any of this but that could just be because I am getting used to it.

    Breakfast
    2 mini egg bacon and mushroom frittatas 140 Cals
    1 Banana 100 Cals

    Lunch
    Big salad of lettuce, tomato, picked onion, gherkins 150 Cals
    Smoked Sausage 200 Cals

    Dinner
    Massive bowl Curried Mince and Veggies. 600 Cals
    1 Peach 40

    So 1230 yesterday, no surprises I am losing weight quickly. Some days its more some its less. As you can see I eat 3 good meals so adding calories but not carbs is no simple task.



  • Strength training going well the pullups are the killer. Adding weight to some of the other exercises now to make life more difficult.

    Below goal weight so eating hard but clean to try and stop the drop.

    Mooshld.



  • Eating getting better weight still dropping but I think its slowing now. Exercise going well.

    The stats after 2nd Week
    Height 1.78
    Weight 78.1kg
    Body Fat 14.5%

    *Body fat has dropped massively, not sure if the measuring was less accurate then I thought it would be. The future weeks will determine that. From the visual test the wife says chest and stomach are the big losers abs getting more prominent especially lower ones, the love handles are being determined, we will see how much longer they can hang on for.

    Mooshld



  • Eating still on track. Not really missing the carbs, and quite enjoying the scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning.

    Exercise on track as well foot healed and getting back into the 4 runs per week has been great. The strength stuff is plodding along nicely.

    The good news is weight has started to stabilise.

    Mooshld



  • The stats after 3rd Week
    Height 1.78
    Weight 78kg
    Body Fat 12.9%

    Progress slowing weight is stabilising, eating a lot more cheese,nuts and fruit to make up the calorie deficit. Exercise is improving almost able to complete all the pull up sets!

    Mooshld



  • Run today, everything is tracking well and the weight has stopped dead at 78Kg so about where I want it.

    Need to get scan on leg surgeon is thinking opp to tidy up an old scarred achilles.

    Sounds like down time to me. Not good.



  • Thats a big drop in fat loss % without any real change in weight mate!



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1371384140' post='372814']
    Thats a big drop in fat loss % without any real change in weight mate!
    [/quote]

    Yeah I suspect the accuracy of the Callipers is not great. But short of paying 100 euros a throw for a tank test I could not find anything more accurate.



  • The stats after 4th Week
    Height 1.78
    Weight 78kg
    Body Fat 11.9%

    Stomach proving the most stubborn still. Only 2 weeks to go so will double down on the efforts and if I lose a bit of weight won't worry about it too much.



  • The stats after 5th Week
    Height 1.78
    Weight 77.6kg
    Body Fat 11.0%

    Good progress in all areas except the stomach measurement its the most stubborn. I wonder if its the last to budge for some reason. Anyway one week to go, has not been too difficult. The weight is sliding again so need to hammer more food. Getting a bit tired of cooking all the time.

    Mooshld



  • I'm impressed with the fat loss mate. Would love to drop it that quickly!



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1372063826' post='374657']
    I'm impressed with the fat loss mate. Would love to drop it that quickly!
    [/quote]

    Cheers but you got to have it to lose it I guess. Also I think the start was quite dramatic as its the first real strength work I have done in 15 years.

    Mooshld.



  • Will have to get myself some fat % scale thingees. This could be interesting


    I hate autocorrect ...



  • [quote name='NTA' timestamp='1372074765' post='374688']
    Will have to get myself some fat % scale thingees. This could be interesting


    I hate autocorrect ...
    [/quote]

    3 euro pincers off ebay ,and a website to calculate it. Was what I used, by all accounts its just as accurate as the electronic doo dads.

    Mooshld



  • I sure have it to lose it. Am at about 14% now and lowest I got down to last summer as about 12%. That took alot of hard work!



  • Experiment finished, missed my last strength session as have been sick over the weekend.

    Results to follow.



  • Okay I have attached the chart of all the results here I have all the individual measurements and the overall calculated body fat percentage using the Jackson Pollock 7 site method. I used a website to do the calculations for me.

    Big picture weight went from 79.7 Kg to 77.9 Kg so 1.8Kg drop, more then I would have liked but just struggled to keep the calories up.

    Body fat went from 17.76% to 10.24% Or 14.15Kg to 7.98 Kg

    So assuming no muscle loss in the experiment (Probably not realistic but have to make some assumptions).Then the equation for fat to muscle transfer is (Starting body fat - ending body fat) - ( Weight lost) or
    6.17 Kg - 1.8Kg = 4.37Kg.

    Which is pretty impressive if that number is even close.

    Caveats,
    I had done no strength work before this experiment for 10 years at least so I would expect that his number would taper off pretty quickly.
    I am not that sure of the accuracy of the measurement method, but as it was kept the same the whole way through the ratio between start and finish should be close.
    I was near on as militant as I could be with the test conditions.
    Assumed no muscle loss on the weight drop to make the calculations simpler

    Cheats,
    In the 6 week period the only known cheats were 2 small glasses of red wine, 1 small portion of boiled rice approx 75g cooked, 1 medium sized potato. I may have ingested other things with higher carbs unknowingly but was pretty careful so am confident that I did not exceed 100g of carbs on very many occasions and if I did it would not have been by much.

    Results.
    Well to me I think the accuracy could be tightened up a bit on the body fat measurements but it seems that the method is solid, mix strength work with a low carb high protein and fat diet. To build muscle at the cost of body fat. If you want to maintain weight you will need to eat a lot or get some protein powder to top up with some extra low carb calories. Sadly the pictures are not as dramatic as I had hoped. Though the wife seems to think they are impressive so not sure if there is some self perception psychology tricks going on there.

    Thoughts?

    Mooshld



  • Interesting stuff mate.

    Any before and after pics?



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1372755267' post='376391']
    Interesting stuff mate.

    Any before and after pics?
    [/quote]

    Geez your quick, I was debating putting them up as I don't think they show much I also don't want this to turn into a thats not X% body fat type of thread as I don't think the number is as important as the change.

    Also I wanted to check if I could delete them, not a huge fan of posting pics of myself in my undies, at least not on this website.



  • well while they may not support 10% etc they sure do show some decent progressive. Pretty impressive for 6 weeks mate!



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1372756320' post='376394']
    well while they may not support 10% etc they sure do show some decent progressive. Pretty impressive for 6 weeks mate!
    [/quote]

    Yeah like I said I doubt the percentages are very accurate, but short of shelling out a 100 Euros a week for a body tank test. I used the most accurate method at my disposal, which I assume is the method that takes the most site readings.


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