Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Kids in America know that one of the standard measures of fitness as learned in their Health or PE class is the BMI (Body Mass Index). It is a calculation that tells you whether or not you are within normal weight range based on your height. While this assessment can be useful, it can also be misleading (I'll elaborate in a future post).
Six years ago, I was skinny, weighing 140 at my lowest. Standing at 5'10", that meant my body mass index was 20.1...which was in normal weight range. But even though I was scrawny, my body fat composition was still high (nutritionists call this skinny fat).
About 4 years ago, during my last semester of college, I began to work out. There were multiple reasons for this change, but the purest of reason was this: I wanted to look good shirtless! My weight skyrocketed as my muscles grew, along with a bunch of fat, and I ended up 180 lbs by the end of my first year of working out. My BMI was slightly 'overweight'.
While I was happy to become stronger and fitter, the head-turning physique (likes those of the men featured daily on this blog) was still not within my reach. For one, my 15%+ body fat hid any muscle definition. Secondly, I didn't have big enough muscles to be impressive even if I could cut down the body fat to show them off.
All the experts on youtube say that it was next to impossible to gain muscle mass while losing body fat simultaneously (unless you use steroids), but I didn't really take in that advice. I still experimented way too much with my body. Therefore, the last three years has been a mess of yo-yo mass gains and loss. After dieting down to 160 lbs with 11% body fat, I tried to build more mass again, but only ended up gaining 10 lbs of fat.
I was frustrated! Having reached what I think is a plateau in muscle mass gains, the effort I put in at the gym is too much for me to still look unimpressive in a swimsuit. So once again, I decided to get leaner, and this time, stay lean.
Starting May 1st, I decided to avoid carbs after 6 PM. That means, if I want to eat pizza, it'll be lunch...not dinner! With a freer schedule, I've also upped my frequency at the gym (from 3 days a week to 5). Right now, after doing some morning eliminations, I step on the scale and read 162 lbs. With my body fat monitor, I'm about 11.5% body fat. My upper four blocks of abs are visible without much flexing, but those lower blocks of abs are still tricky to unveil.
If you care to know my progress, I'll keep you informed in the future.