A little over 7 weeks has gone by since my dreadful DXA scan.
If you remember, it was the scan that ended my brilliantly thought-out 7 week experiment of “what would happened if I stopped training and stopped fasting?”.
Nothing good happened in that experiment – I lost 7 pounds of muscle and gained 5 pounds of fat.
But now, I’m back in form.
And I’m going to take this opportunity to really explore the importance of knowing your body. Specifically, I want to talk about the importance of knowing your measurements.
Most people know their weight… some even guess at their body fat, but it’s still the minority of people who actually track their measurements…. which isn’t a good thing.
Case in point – It’s been about 7 weeks of fasting and training, and my weight hasn’t changed…at all. It has fluctuated between 174-176 for the last 7 weeks. Which would drive me absolutely crazy, except I know my measurements. And because I know my measurements I know where my waist and shoulders and arms and legs ‘should’ be. I know my perfect body blue print so to speak.
I know my circumferences when I look my best, and I know my circumferences I’m not at my best. Over the last 7 weeks, even though my weight didn’t change my measurements did. So I knew I was moving in the right direction. The lack of weight change was a non-issue.
The benefit of this knowledge is that after a while you can use these measurements to estimate what’s going on inside your body.
This morning my waist was 32.5 inches (it was 34 inches when I ended my last experiment). I know that according to the Adonis ratios my ‘golden waist’ for my height is ~31.5 inches. And, I know that at that waist circumference I am around 10% body fat.
I also know that for every inch I go up or down in my waist circumference it is equal to about a 5 pound change in body fat.
With the Adonis Index we use predictive equations to estimate a person’s weight at roughly 10% body fat based on their measurements. For me, these equations suggest I would be around 10% body fat at around 172 pounds with a waist of 31.5 inches. So if I’m ~10% at 31.5 inches at a weight of 172, and I’m 32.5 inches now at a weight of 176 pounds then I am roughly 12.5% body fat right now…. Down almost 7 pounds from my July DXA despite being the exact same weight. This means that at 34 inch waist at 175 pounds I was probably over 17% body fat (remind me to never take 7 weeks off again).
Now, if I’m 12.5% body fat at roughly 176 pounds, then that means my Lean Body Mass is around 154 pounds, possibly as high as 156, which would be very high for me.
However, my shoulder circumference is holding at above 50 inches, which for me is very good, almost an inch above where it was in my last photo shoot (at the time my Lean Body Mass was 152 pounds). My chest measurement (42.5) is also high for me, so this 154 is reasonable and 156 may be possible (it would be the highest it’s been since I started doing my DXA scans).
My arms measured at 16.25 inches, (which is slightly bigger than normal for me) and my thighs are around 25 inches, still about an inch and a half under where I think they ‘should’ be, but also not bad considering my training was slowed by a couple bulged disks in my back (non training related). Both of these measurements support what I’m guessing based on my waist and shoulder measurements – fat went down, lean muscle went up.
Bottom line – Because I knew my measurements I didn’t need to freak out that my weight didn’t change in the last 7 weeks. As a result, I was able to stay the course with my plan, and it resulted in some great changes in my body. In fact, if my estimates are right I’ve lost about 7 pounds of fat (about a pound a week) and gained between 7-9 pounds of muscle, possibly gaining almost 2 pounds over my normal amount.
PS – I’ll do a DEXA tomorrow to confirm these results.