So, as of now I weigh around 87 -87.5kg. That’s around 190lbs or 13 stone 10 in old money.
Now, according to the NHS BMI calculator that gives me a BMI of 26.2 which classes me as overweight.
On the other hand, I tend to think BMI is an utter nonsense as a means of assessing one’s weight/health, so am quite happy to ignore that entirely. To be honest that is a weight I would be perfectly happy with.
But I’m not.
This is where scale weight versus body composition becomes a thing. A year ago, when I was training hard I weighed around 81kg. I was very lean, probably around 10% bodyfat, and very fit. In actual fact I did dip down after that to around 77kg briefly, and my bodyfat was super low, I’m guessing maybe 6% or something, but that was a temporary aberration due to stress and not eating and so on, and was not a sustainable size – not a weight/look I would want to sustain either. Although I did for that brief period have really defined abs. For the first time in my life. And I sat around looking at them in amazement all the time. I found excuses to walk around with my shirt off or open all the time. it was shameless. Sadly, of course, my chest was equally skinny, and although my arms looked ripped and there was clear muscle striation everywhere, I had no mass at all to speak of so the effect was more Justin Bieber’s Granddad than Jacked and Tan.
However, that 81kg mark when I was training hard was the benchmark for my lean body scale weight. The 6 kg I have put on since then, whilst being inactive and eating less clean, are not muscle mass. If it were I would have a brilliant winning formula for Gainz and would be a millionaire. No, clearly that 5 or 6kg has just gone back on as fat. I can see that on me. I can’t see my abs at all any more, I can pinch a bit of belly, there is no definition to any of my muscles.
My longer term plan is to build mass. I want to build my chest and upper body in general. But I don’t particularly want to start bulking while I am carrying essentially a stone of extra fat around with me. I have been experimenting recently with a weight vest while running and just wearing it around the house. It is 15kg (33lbs/ 2 stone), and it has amazed me how tiring it is to be 2 stone heavier. I want to get back to being lean first, then start working on Gainz.
The other side of this, as I discussed in my previous post is that, while my strength has not diminished that drastically, my cardio fitness and conditioning has really suffered, so the two things go hand in hand really – I am going to initially focus on putting in some hours at cardio and metcons, burn some calories and cut some bodyfat. I reckon a 9 week programme to begin with, then review where I’m at.
I’m going to carry on lifting in that time, to keep working at getting my technique back, and not to lose muscle as much as possible, and hopefully then when I start on the next stage my form will be back… errm… on form. I am also conscious that I don’t want to run too much of a calorie deficit: after I felt so exhausted when I first started adding Crossfit back into the mix – it really wiped me out for a couple of days, 2 weeks in and I was deeply fatigued for a whole week afterwards – I am wary of underfuelling while training hard again. I’d rather lose the flab at a slower rate than burn myself out.
So initially I am going to go for around 2000 cal/day and see how that feels in terms of energy levels. Macrowise, I’m going to go for 1g protein/lb because I don’t want to be losing any muscle during my cut. Carbs and fat, I am not so worried about, as long as they fit in around that 190g of protein a day. I tend to be pretty anti carb in general. Most of my meals are pretty LCHF. There certainly won’t be much in the way of starchy carbs in there so whatever carbs I do get will be veg and so on. I am going to set a target of 4 litres of water a day as a minimum too. Again, I tend to be a big water drinker normally, so that won’t be too much of a change, but it is a set requirement.
And last but not least I am going to make sure I stay accountable by religiously logging every last morsel in My Fitness Pal to keep track of it all.
I’m actually feeling sort of excited about it. I don’t eat badly at all normally. Almost everything I eat I prepare myself from scratch, I am pretty anti-carb etc, but since I have come back to it all, it has all been a bit haphazard. I haven’t had a set plan or tracked what I eat at all. Having set a concrete goal and devised a strategy to achieve that feels good. It feels like progress.
Let’s see what transpires…