Recently, I entered into a 6-week body transformation challenge at the gym I belong to. It’s called KDR Fitness. Great place. It began February 10th and ended March 22nd. It was technically 41 days long. I decided to enter because I needed a kick in the butt to get back to the gym. In the previous year gym days were hard to come by. With a brand new baby and practice, my gym time was way down. To top it off, I had a neck injury that took me completely out of the gym for 3 months at the end of the year. As a consequence my body fat had increased to 21.7%. Not ideal for me. During the contest, I recorded my diet and exercised in order to lose body fat and gain lean mass. I wore a heart rate monitor for all of my workouts to calculate my calories burned and generally keep track of my workouts. Here are the things I learned:
- I started at 21.7% body fat.
- By the 4th week I was down to 19.4%
- By the end of the 6th week, I was down to 18.4%
- I gained 3.7 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks.
- I lost 7 pounds of fat in 6 weeks.
- I missed the gym.
- I worked out 25 times in 41 days.
- That’s 4 workouts per week with an occasional 5th thrown in.
- I ate MORE food than I had been eating and was able to lose fat and gain muscle.
- I burned 15,655 calories in 25 workouts.
- Each workout was about 1 hour.
- Each workout burned an average of 626.2 calories.
- The range of calories burned was 273 all the way up to 958.
- It is not that hard for me to avoid grain.
- I can count on one hand how many times I ate grain in 41 days (and it’s less than the whole hand).
- Cheat meals are important.
This was a typical day in terms of food intake:
Wake Up: 6:15 Food for the day: Breakfast: 6:45 – 3 eggs, mixed veggies, and cheese cooked in butter. Coffee with organic half and half. Snack: 10:15 – 3 large beef and veggie meatballs, carrots, celery, and hummus. Lunch: 12:20 – Chicken breast, mixed peppers, 1 whole avocado. Snack: 3:30 – Protein shake, steamed broccoli. Workout – 60 minutes – protein/carbohydrate workout drink Dinner: 6:45 – Meatloaf, steamed broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil. Snack: 9:15 – Greek yogurt and banana.
- Food preparation is key.
- Eating 6 times per day isn’t that hard IF you’re prepared.
- Eating a lot of vegetables is fairly easy IF you’re prepared.
- You don’t necessarily have to count calories if the quality of your food is good.
- You can eat A LOT of food if you are working out hard and still lose weight.
- Burpees get easier the more you do them.
- Working out more consistently makes you want to workout more consistently.
- Using the scale to measure your progress is a bad idea.
- My weight changed from 190.9 to 187.6 in 6 weeks. Hardly encouraging if you’re just looking at the scale.
- Body fat analysis is far more informative.
- You only have time for the gym if you make time for the gym.
- You don’t need to be in the gym 7 days/week.
- Two busy people (my wife and I) can each take turns working out during the week and get great results.
- You should be willing and able to do an extra workout or two from home if you need to.
- You can turn snow blowing and shoveling your driveway into a workout quite easily.
- Body mass index (a measure of height to weight) is a terrible health assessment tool. According to it, I am “overweight.” This is because my lean mass is high, not because I am actually overweight.
- My basal metabolic rate (calories I burn at rest over 24 hours) increased from 1,835 to 1,870 over six weeks.
- The area of my body that gained the most muscle (as percent growth) was my left arm.
I was on a team of three and our entire team (Bro’s before Hoho’s) did very well. The winning team will win $3,000. I’ll find out in a couple of days which of the 18 teams won the contest. That’s not the important part, but it sure would be nice!