ANOTHER reason why you need to build muscle vs losing fat for best results
At lot of the emails I have been receiving lately have been geared towards ‘how to focus on improving certain body parts’. How to get more toned arms is a common question.
It’s quite ironic really, as a lot of the things I have been talking about this past month have been about how to progress past that 6 or 4 week training period.
You know, that period where you got your first taste of fitness. Where your body ached for 10 days straight. AND… where you experienced your first explosive results!
But then something happened. The results stopped coming. You lost your thrill. Followed by your motivation. Which is understandable. After all, you had nothing to look forward to every time you worked out.
What happened Fitbuzzers, is that your body adapted.
You see, your body is very smart, in a sense that it is very good at adapting to any environment that you place it in. Lifting weights is a prime example of this.
Youll lift weights and your body will adapt to ‘the lifting of weights’ after several weeks. That is also the reason why it’s hard to achieve noticeable results thereafter, because in order to change how your body looks, you have to lift weights. But your body already knows how to lift (and respond to) weights!
So how do you progress?
You lifted weights, you got your ideal body, but yet. Your arms lack in size or tone. Or your legs/butt are still too small or not toned enough for your liking (The 2 common problems for Fitbuzzers).
So how do you progress?
Well there’s 4 things you can focus on (And one thing to cut back on)
#1 Interval training (keep the body guessing)
As I mentioned earlier, your body is quite smart with it’s ability to adapt to change. So your goal is to out pace the pace at which your body adapts to change. Even when you feel that you are NOT experiencing a plateau.
The first point I have to make though is to again, state the goal of a typical Fitbuzzer. That is…
To get strong, lean and sexy for both men and women
And for the most part, that will be coming from an initial goal of fat loss.
Now, the idea of interval training whether that be in the weights room or on the bike, is to keep your body guessing. You will do this by changing the number of sets, reps, rest periods and other variables. Doing so will demand for your body to keep on adapting which in turn will force it to use more energy and burn more fat.
Why resistance training?
I talk about this in depth, namely throughout No Nonsense Butt Building. But I talk about it across the board. Nevertheless, the short version is this…
- To increase your metabolic rate
- For more calorie burning (Without losing stacks of lean muscle mass)
- To promote protein turnover
With a focus on shorter workout periods. It’s simply the best form of exercise that will improve your body composition.
More energy used AND more muscle growth (Problem areas are now starting to wave goodbye)
#2 Specialization (cycling periods for better gains)
The base Fit Buzz workout for all of our workouts are based on strength training on the quest to getting strong, lean and sexy. You’ll start your training with light weights and then progress to heavy training. However, if you keep on progressing and lifting to your limit, one of the following things may happen…
- You’ll burn out
- Develop an injury
- Or face a plateau
If you have become a victim to any of the above, then introducing a cycling approach to your training may just be your savior.
The 6 week time frame is enough time for a top level athlete to be taken from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’ (It will probably take longer for you, but that’s OK). But if the training is too prolonged, they may become over trained and lose energy and well, not ‘look’ so ‘great’.
So the natural thing for you to do in your training is to take a step back after an initial 4-6 week push, start again with lighter weights after about a week before going full throttle again, steadily increasing the weight over the next 3-4 months. Keep repeating the pattern, but starting the new cycling with a heavier weight than the previous one every time.
I’ll cover this topic in a lot more detail throughout the specialization monthly updates in each of the related programs, simply because it’s too much to cover in a post like this. And because results will vary from person to person. Which is something I can address throughout the course of those programs.
#3 Muscle targeting (Shifting the load)
If you follow Fit Buzz on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, email or any other platform that we use. Then you would have recently noticed a lot of talk about shifting the load. This basically means to perform common or specific compound movements in a way that targets a desired muscle group.
This works for muscle building, because unlike fat loss, you can spot reduce to some degree. We know this is true because you only have to look at the majority of guys who lift weights to build muscle for size. Huge upper body’s, yet tiny little chicken legs. This is because they focused on the muscles that they wanted to improve. Not an ideal way to train. Yet, a factor that you can use to your advantage in order to fix those lagging body parts.
Even our recent interviewee Alice Matos from Brazil uses our approach in her training. Which is why we have given her the name Quad Queen.
Because she knows about how to shift the load. No B.S. going on here Fitbuzzers. Shifting the load works. You just need to track and note everything on your journey. And be patient. Creating a near perfect body can take anywhere between 12-24 months. But of course, we want to get you there in the quickest time possible, which is why we create program’s for that specific purpose.
If you still, for what ever reason fear the weights, then read this post and fear no more!
#4 Take extra supplements
The only reason that you need to take extra supplementation is to fuel your body of the nutrients it lacks from your natural everyday meals.
An example of this is your quest to refuel your body with ALL of the proteins that your body requires.
If you have had a read of the lifestyle diet ebook, you would have learned about ALL the common foods that you can consume and how they are rated from a health perspective, with A being the most highest rating and with F being the lowest. Now, you probably know that 70% of your results will be due to what you do in the 20 something hours when you DON’T workout (The workout is simply the trigger for change). Which means 70% of your results will be down to what, how and when you eat. You can follow the lifestyle diet ebook and get ‘good’ results. But in order to get ‘GREAT’ results, supplements may just be the way to go.
Well, most of the meals that you eat will contain ‘most’ of the nutrients required to refuel your body and supply it with sufficient energy. But those meals (for the most part) won’t contain ALL the nutrients that you need. Taking the right supplements at the right time can be the key to taking your physique from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’, by supplying your body with the nutrients that it lacks to gain from your everyday meals.
One example of this is when you consume foods such as fish on the quest to supply your body of good fats Omega 3 and Omega 6. In general, you need a balance of both. But it’s very rare for any natural food source to contain a good balance of both. In which case, you turn to a fish oil supplement for the solution, which of course, should usually be consumed with your natural food source.
Supplements may sometimes get a bad rep in the fitness industry. But the fact of the matter is, they will work when consumed in the right way and with the right intentions and may just be what your body needs to go from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’ (No, you cannot use supplements to COMPLETELY replace your everyday meals :P).
Less calorie cutting and more strength training
The reason why it’s a better idea to focus on strength training opposed to cutting calories to get lean, is because when you cut calories, you run the risk of cutting lean muscle mass along the way. And it’s not something that can easily be avoided. One of the main reasons is because you can’t spot reduce where you lose fat. So there’s a very high probability that you’ll lose some lean muscle mass if you decide to cut calories (Even when you cut them based on a percentage *The better option* opposed to cutting by a base number such as 500, 750 or 1000 calories per day).
Of course, you have to begin your journey by creating a caloric deficit. And of course, it’s best to create a caloric deficit AND weight train to get lean. But a long the way, try and make the shift towards maintaining a base caloric intake while performing strength training workouts to stay lean.
Doing so will at least reduce the risk of you regaining fat over the long term. Which for some Fitbuzzers may be the cause of the problem in regards to stubborn body parts.
Less lean muscle mass = more fat gain = you don’t know where that fat will end up = harder to lose it the next time you try
You don’t have to implement each of the above points in one go. Set some goals or simply use one of our programs to change your body from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’. There’s only one major specialization program in place at the moment, which is for No Nonsense Butt Building (Get it firm/Grow your glutes/Grow your quads).
(The other main programs can be accessed via the page you’re on now or the lifestyle diet ebook page HERE)
However, each program that you see will come with special monthly updates, which will help you change your body from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’. Improvements are introduced week by week, so it only gets better for you and all fellow Fitbuzzers.
One final tip…
‘‘Don’t run if you can walk, don’t walk if you can stand, don’t stand if you can sit, and if you sat, might as well lie down and take a nap.”
”Cut back on your workout frequency, sleep a couple of hours more per night, take a nap every now and again. And like magic, you may notice your body change from ‘good’ to ‘GREAT’ ” – REST
What are your stubborn body parts?
Have you recently faced a plateau?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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Knowing that one must stretch really is old news that we all picked up back in our physical education days. But as the years go on, it seems more and more people seem to forget not only that they need to stretch, but the importance of doing so. A scenario for you:
”You workout at the gym and your friends Tom, Dick and Harry all start their workout after you at every session. You notice (subconsciously) that Tom and Dick stretch at the end of every session, but you also notice (subconsciously) that Harry doesn’t. A few months pass and one day you are having a conversation with Tom, Dick and some other gym friends and in-between that conversation some one asks ‘By the way, where’s Harry these days?’ and Tom would say ‘ I think he’s injured…pulled a muscle or something not to sure why or how!’.
Deja vu for anyone?
I’ve seen this scenario time and time again at every single gym I’ve been to, and I believe that this is a no.1 reason for interruptions and injury in the gym (along with doing it all wrong). But in this case it’s about what people aren’t doing right!
Like most people I learned early on, the importance of stretching before taking up any high performance activity, as I saw first hand the results and damage caused from not doing so from other family members activities. But one must act on that knowledge once it’s acquired. It seems that some people think they are either invincible, lazy or for guys, they may have an immature or stubborn view that stretching is for girls or wimps! This unfortunately happens quite often, and when it does, you’ve got a Harry on your hands.
So what does stretching do for you?
Stretching improves joint range of motion, improves the function of your muscles and improves neuro-muscular control or efficiency.
Flexibility is the range of motion around a specific joint or a set of joints. Every movement you make from daily activities, exercise and sports require your joints to move through a full range of motion. Therefore a lack of flexibility will lead to muscular imbalances and eventually injury. (Harry)
The good thing about stretching is that it can be done anywhere, at home, on the track or at the gym, but it’s important to first understand the principles of warming up and warming down.
Is what you do after you exercise. Doing this will help your muscles recover and reduce soreness.
Just be sure not to stretch for more than 30 seconds on any one muscle and to never bounce. Always hold firm and still.
What stretches should one perform?
All of the above are stretches that you should perform, there are of course others too (I’ll update this page soon). My favorites have always been quadriceps, calf, standing hamstring and hip flexor stretches.
What will stretching improve?
- Improve you flexibility
- Feel better overall
- Improve your posture
- Reduce your risk of injury
- Relieve pain
- Counteract aging
- Improve muscle recovery after workouts
- Reduce stress
That’s really all there is to it and is aimed mostly at all the ‘Harry’s’ out there (You know who you are)! Be a Tom…. or be a Dick! 😉
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Learn how rising star Alice Matos is dominating the Brazilian fitness scene, is building solid muscle, yet is still able to look like a ‘female’.
Stay-Fit Buzz: First things first, you’re from South America, Floripa, right?
Alice: That’s correct, I’m originally from Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.
Stay-Fit Buzz: How does the fitness industry work there compared to the North of America. Are the opportunities to create a name for yourself still the same?
Alice: In Brazil, the fitness industry is just beginning to take off. It is not as popular as it is in the U.S. But I like what I do and I usually have an affect on people who live with me and even those who do not know me personally.
Stay-Fit Buzz: It appears that you have travelled to quite a few places, which is a great way to spread your personal brand in my opinion. What countries have you visited to date?
Alice: I traveled to 3 competitions in October 2011. First to Spain-Madrid and then to US-Ohio in March 2012.
Stay-Fit Buzz: There are a good number of inspirational fitness icons from the South American region, especially women. Have any of them inspired you to take the journey that you have taken?
Alice: I started to compete with the invitation of my coach Waldemar Guimarães. Brazilian women who inspire me are Gal Yates, Larissa Reis, Natalie and Nicole Melo Eccel.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Most people just want to be involved in fitness to stay active, healthy and to of course stay in shape and look great. What gave you the desire to want to compete and what was the experience like when you first hit the stage?
Alice: A year after searching for my coach, I simply kept to a basic training principles and keeping good form, as this is what was required for me to begin competing. He invited me to participate in the IFBB Championship and I have been a runner-up in Brazil. The feeling of going on stage and to represent Brazil is indescribable and only motivates me to improve.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Let’s speak about your physique for a moment, because one of the reasons for inviting you over to Stayfitbuzz was because of your strong, yet still very feminine build. You clearly achieved that by not being afraid to apply resistance training to your workouts. But how did you look before you got into fitness? Was it your goal to develop the type of physique that you have today?
Alice: I never imagined participating in a bodybuilding championship at first. I did not want to lose my femininity. But I decided to take my chances and favorable genetics for bodybuilding. And now I love the physique that I gained from it!
Stay-Fit Buzz: On Stayfitbuzz, we talk a lot about ‘the specifics’ of building a strong, lean and sexy body. Because we know that there are many factors that can affect how one person will look and develop compared to a next person. Factors such as age, sex, race, experience, genetics. What are your strong and weak points? Do you find building strong legs easy compared to your upper body? Have you had to fight to keep a high metabolism to maintain the body that you’ve built? Was building muscle as hard as they say compared to the relative ease at which men build muscle?
Alice: My abdomen is a strong point and my weak point is my quadriceps. My upper limbs grow more easily than my legs. In preparation for competitions, I do not do much exercise for the abdomen and for my legs, I have to work the quadriceps hard and perform more aerobic exercise to avoid looking too bulky, but defined. Building muscle is hard for men and women equally, without regard to the biological factor that is more favorable for men.
Stay-Fit Buzz: It looks like you’re about to perform a variation of a lunge exercise in the picture above (Although it does look like a photoshoot). Is that one of your favorite exercises?
Alice: My favorite exercise is the eighth abdominal
Stay-Fit Buzz: In fact, how do you find the photoshoot process. Is it something that you enjoy to do?
Alice: I love doing photo shoots and see my progress over time.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Some ‘genetically gifted’ women sometimes find that the big compound lifts such as deadlifts and squats build too much mass on their legs than they would like. Do you find that to be the case in regards to your body? Have any of your peers/associates complained about those exercises affecting them in that way?
Alice: A good exercise to not get the bulky looking leg muscles and develop in a way so that they’re more slim and toned is doing this exercise.
Stay-Fit Buzz: We can agree to that. This is actually one of the exercises that we include throughout our No Nonsense Butt Building Specialization reports
Stay-Fit Buzz: Eating clean is just one of the things you have to do if you want to get in shape. But what are some of your favorite meal plans. Are there any popular ‘healthy’ foods from the South American region?
Alice: I love to eat omelet with one egg yolks, six clear and solid light tuna. Pancake protein: http://blog.labellamafia.com.br/?paged=6). In addition to fruits and vegetables. I also love eating sushi-sashimi.
Stay-Fit Buzz: Finally, how do you keep fitness fun? As the saying goes, ‘love what you do and you will never work a day on your life’.
Alice: I try to enter my workouts into my daily routine. That way, it becomes a part of my lifestyle and not an ‘extra thing’ to do. For me it is a commitment to go train and it made me addicted to endorphins, the feeling of pleasure of work well done.
About Alice Matos
Alice Matos is an upcoming IFBB BIKINI INTERNATIONAL Fitness model from Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, southern Brazil.
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Got a question?
Got a question about the topics covered in this interview?
Then be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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As a Fitbuzzer, your body is simply made up of Central Nervous System trained muscles with a tiny layer of fat on top. And since the goal is to lose fat and not weight (Because that would include losing lean muscle, which you need to help you ‘stay’ lean), it would be in your best interest to keep that layer of fat low. But how low should you go? What’s the best way to measure body fat %? What methods are deemed useless? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out.
The lose fat vs lose weight challenge
It was in this video post where I spoke about the effects of lifting weights to get lean. In fact, lifting weights to get lean while maintaining your current diet may just be a better option than actual dieting. Because typical dieting may cause you to lose lean muscle (Up to 50%). You know, dropping 5-10 pounds of weight in a matter of days by dehydrating yourself. But that’s pointless, because you know you’re going to gain all of that back again. Keep on repeating that process and you’ll gain back MORE each time you do it, because each time will result in a loss of even more lean muscle, which you now know helps you keep the fat off. So when you hear the terms ‘weight loss’ and ‘fat loss’, be sure to understand that both terms mean two different things.
- Weight loss = Crash dieting (Why America is FAT) – Lose fat and muscle
- Fat loss = 3 Key formula (food intake based on percentage + structured weight training and cardio) – lose mostly fat and no muscle
The goal of fat loss is obviously a more challenging one to accomplish. I know because…
- You’re always looking for an extra formula (I’m not going to say magic pill. I respect you a bit more than that :)). Besides, that’s part of the approach to tweaking what works best for YOU.)
- You, me and everyone else on this planet is never happy with how they look. Even if they look fantastic in the eyes of the masses.
Now, there is a reason I named this post a ‘challenge’. The reason is because most people make the mistake of worshipping the scale first before anything else. But think about this (Especially ‘lean’ guy Fitbuzzers)…
How many times have you walked up to the scale, been disappointed with the weight on the scale (You wished you were heavier) but then looked in the mirror and found that you’re actually happy with what you see?
How many times have you walked up to the scale, have been happy with the weight, but disappointed with what you see?
Well, there’s nothing confusing about either of those scenarios really. But it does highlight the reasons why you shouldn’t be using the scale as your no.1 judge for progress. The reason for the confusion is that the scale doesn’t tell you how much of your weight is fat and how much of your weight is muscle. To add to that, your weight will flucuate throughout the entire day. Which basically means the reading on that scale can never be completely accurate. It will always be a tool for gauging. As I’ve said before, it’s better to judge by what you see in the mirror and the measurements based on your body fat percentage and lean body mass.
Back to the video above…
These two charts are taken from that same page mentioned above. However, I want to clear up a few things regarding some of these charts. Namely the bodyweight vs body fat percentage charts.
The true break down of the height/weight/sex chart
You may have seen charts like the ones above before. Some charts only include what weight you should be in regards to your height. However, I’m not going to post one of those for you to see. Why? Because just like the scale, these charts are not a totally accurate.
- Height: 5′ 9″
- Weight: 110lbs
- Actual BF%: 29.8% (Going by our chart)
According to that chart (Some differ by a few percentages more) this women is considered obese. Which is wrong, because this women simply has more fat than muscle, but she is definitly not obese, because she only weighs 110lbs.
- Height: 5′ 7″
- Weight: 205lbs
- Actual BF%: 10.8% (Going by our chart)
He would be considered obese in regards to his height and weight ratio. But as you can see, he has a very low body fat percentage, probably has stacks of lean muscle mass (Which aids to his weight – This is the kind of weight gain that you want by the way. Especially for those on the No Nonsense Butt Building program who want to grow their glutes) And most likely looks like this…
Photo credit: Chad Shaw
Just like the scale, these height and weight only charts don’t factor in your actual body fat percentage. If you was a foolish person (One of the above two examples), you would go and cry yourself to sleep if you judged your progress by weight only. So if you’re using these charts as a tool, just understand that the devil is in the details.
The Body Mass Index (BMI)
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is another well known method to determine whether you’re at a “healthy weight.”
How it works
- Female: BMI is 27.3
- Male: BMI of 27.8
If you’re BMI is higher than the figures you see there, then you’re considered ‘obese’. Well one way to test how efficient this is, is to test our male and female subjects from the above example:
The BMI formula
- 110lbs = 49kg
- 1.75 sq meters = 3.06 meters
- 49kg/3.06 = 16.01
- 205lbs = 93kg
- 1.70 sq meters = 2.89 meters
- 93kg/3.06 = 30.39
Well, as you can see, the female subject from above has a favorable BMI rating of 16.01. So she’s ‘healthy’, right? Not quite, remember, this is the same lady that has a body fat percentage of 29.8%. Which is totally bad, but isn’t exactly ‘healthy’.
Then we have the male subject who is completely shredded, has stacks of lean muscle mass, a low body fat percentage, yet BMI states that he’s ‘unhealthy’. Which we know he is not. So it’s quite clear that this form of testing will not favor everyone. What we need is a solution that can be applied by anyone.
We have covered the non-effecient ways to measure your weight and body fat percentage, let’s start looking at some of the better solutions for a more accurate reading.
”The mirror is a better judgement of progress than the scale, because what you see is what you get… right?”
Wrong (Kind of..)
You might have heard me say something along those lines before. But the truth is, the mirror can also become your worst enemy. Because when we talk about the mirror, we’re talking about the mirror using only your eyes to gauge progress. And you won’t be able to notice your real daily and weekly changes, unless your body is changing at light speed, which is never a good thing, wether that’s losing or gaining weight. Honestly, the only real world method of knowing if you’ve changed or not is when your peers tell you that you have. Of course, you can always take progress pictures when you KNOW you have reached a new goal weight (From being in a near obese state) and then analyse the changes. But it’s always best to include a practical and accurate method of testing your body composition for measuring progress.
Underwater Weighing (Hydrostatic)
”Hey, I thought you said practical. This doesn’t look or sound practical at all”
OK, this method isn’t totally practical in terms of measuring your body composition. But it has been labeled as the ‘holy grail’ in comparison to some other methods. The main reason for this is because when you are dipped under water, the fat on your body will float and the muscle on your body will sink. However, there are some disadvantages to this method…
- Men have denser bones than women.
- Young people have denser bones than older people.
- Some races have denser bones than other races.
- You have to be able to blow all of the air out of your lungs before going in the water, otherwise your body fat percentage will appear to be higher than what it really is.
- It can be expensive.
But overall, it’s worth doing once in a while. Or just to have a little bit of fun :). But for a more practical approach, the next method is what you may want to add to your mirror solution.
Skin fold measurements (Pinch, pinch, pinch)
Before I get into this, let’s first understand our types of fat.
You’ll find essential fat in your liver, heart, bone marrow, nerves, brain and in all other organs of your body. It’s called essential because your body needs it to insulate and protect against heat loss as well as storing energy. It’s ‘internal’ fat, which is why it’s almost impossible to drop to zero BF%, despite how much you hear that term thrown around.
This is the fat that deposits right underneath your skin and is where most of your body fat is stored.
With the later, it therefore makes for a near accurate measurement of body fat testing by pinching folds of fat in 3 or 4 locations around your body.
But how accurate is it?
Well it is true that you can use this method doing it yourself by purchasing skinfold calipers. However, you do have to be ‘skilled’ to get the best results. Which is why for some newer self testers, it may be best to start with an experienced professional.
However, once you do become fairly skilled using this form of self testing (After a bit of practice and avoiding human errors such as taking a horizontal fold when it should be a vertical fold), the next step is to ensure that your testing method is reliable and consistent. Because this is a game of progress. And if you can’t measure your progress effectively, then you’re wasting your time. So, here’s a few pointers…
- Make sure you use the same tester, wether that is yourself or a professional
- There will always be room for error. It doesn’t matter if your body fat percentage reads 15% when it’s really 19%
- The only thing that really matters is that you notice a reduction or increase in body fat percentage. That’s what this process is all about
This method works best for those who are in the 15-35% body fat percentage range. The selling point being that this method is practical in addition to using the mirror and progress pictures to track progress.
Now, I’ve talked about how to calculate your lean body mass and overall desired weight before. It’s not something that you should overaly obsess about. However, it is important to work these figures out in terms of goal setting.
How to calculate your lean body mass
To kill all kinds of confusion with these terms, your lean body mass is simply the total weight of your body minus the fat. I always talk about that maximum 50% of lean muscle that you could lose if you screw up and start crash or starve dieting, and by using this formula, you will be able to tell if you’ve gained or even lost muscle.
- Your body fat percentage (Acquired from using one of the above methods)
- Your bodyweight (The scale)
Lean body mass calculation
- Bodyweight: 170lbs
- Body fat percentage: 14%
- Multiply your body fat by your weight to find the pounds of fat
- 0.14 x 170 = 23 pounds of fat
Then minus the fat from your total weight for your lean body mass
170lbs – 23lbs = 147lbs
Calculating your ideal weight
”Heeey, I thought what I weigh doesn’t matter, or isn’t as important as I once thought?”
Well, that is true. However, it’s important to calculate these for goal setting purposes. After all, you have to know your destination before stepping out on the journey right?
- You are female
- Your weight: 170
- Your body fat%: 14%
- Your fat weight: 23 lbs.
- Your lean mass: 159.1 lbs. (total weight – lbs. of fat)
- Your target body fat percentage: 11% (.11)
- Determine your percentage of lean mass at your target body fat by subtracting your desired body fat from 1: (1 -.11 = .89)
- Divide your current lean mass by your percentage of lean mass at your target body fat percentage to yield your ideal weight: (147/.89 = 165)
- Your ideal weight at 11% body fat is 165 lbs.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the goal is. You can simply plug your details into this formula and start working towards your goal weight.
You now know that it’s better to be ‘obsessed’ about what your body fat percentage is than what your weight on the scale is. In fact, don’t obsess over anything, that’s a horrible word. But in short…
- The mirror
- Progress pictures
- A practical way to measure your body fat percentage
- The scale
- Height and weight only charts
- Strictly using BMI
There are also tons of other methods to measure your body fat percentage. Many of which I haven’t even listed here, such as:
- Bio- Electric Impedance Analysis
- Total body potassium
- BIA Body Fat Scales and hand grip tests
- Total body electrical conductivity
- Isotopic dilution
- Urinary creatine excretion,
- Total body calcium
- Total body nitrogen
- Total plasma creatinine
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Neutron activation analysis
- Dual photon absorpitometry
- Circumference & Anthropometric
Many of these are high technology methods that can give some very accurate results. But for the sake of your sanity and to ensure that you don’t ‘obsess’ over anything, just keep it simple on your quest to lose fat vs losing weight on this fitness journey.
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