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Philph's "reach 8% body fat" challenge

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by philph, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    :lol: Funny thing is, my office adjoins (and has an unnoticed doorway into) one of the most stereotypical dark allies to be found in Kings Cross.

    Thanks for saying so - that's very encouraging! My program has evolved a lot, along with my changing goals and aspirations. Over roughly the last year there has been a greater prominence of low reps, and a continued use of compound exercises. I've used 4-way and 3-way splits of various combinations for most of the last 2 years. For some of last year, after my initial obesity-zapping period, I did SwoleCat's SUP2 lean mass program, which paved the way in a lot of positive respects.
     
  2. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jo and Garvic - hope you're having a good lean day today! Did you dream endlessly about food like I did last night?

    I got the result of monday's body fat measurement this morning. Despite my trainer's undoubted experience, and the fact that he uses something like 8 body sites, the result is a bit absurd. I'll explain more when I write again tonight.
     
  3. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    My workout today was reasonably good - energy wasn't as low as it sometimes is for me, which suited the change of pace:

    Wide grip pronated pullups 3x8
    Narrow grip supinated pullups 3x8
    Cable pushdowns 3x15
    (Tri-sets)

    Bent over BB row 3x12
    Flat BB tricep extensions to chin 3 x 12
    (Supersets)

    Single arm DB row 3x8
    Bench dips 3x15
    (Supersets)


    Monday's body fat measurement came out at 7.2% - which to me just shows that calipers, just like any other widely available method, has an unpredictable margin of error. Although I anticipate I'm going to have to achieve a very low overall body fat level in order to reach my current "good ab definition" goal, I'm not near to that yet.

    And in a way, if this reading were accurate, it would be bad news because it would highlight just how low I would need to be to reach my goal!
     
  4. jo8216

    jo8216 Active Member

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    philph - when i get my body fat % checked my trainer normally does both and they are not usually that far off each other. So quite surpising result.

    Ive not had the best of weeks this week need to make sure i eat enough at meals. Need to get my head focused back to what i am doing and trying to achieve. Apart from that workouts are good, finding the gym quite busy in the evening at the moment and its not the largest of gyms. So i might look at joining a different one, i dont get any sort of support or encouragement anymore where i am currently
    going.
     
  5. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Today was chest and biceps day. I've lost a fair bit of muscle volume and strength. On the other hand, though I'm not seeing increased definition on the abs, I can feel a big difference there even after this short time.

    Low/moderate carbs (and a calorie deficit) doesn't feel good so far, and I get dizzy when I stand up. I've also been pissing like a racehorse and I suffered a (rare) bout of cramp last night, so I haven't got my fluid and electrolyte balance quite in line yet. Maybe my body will adjust in due course. On the plus side, it is supporting my dietary discipline, which was my main reason for trying this approach. And my mood and cognitive state are great.

    I'm not frightened by the possibility that I might lose some lean mass during this program (though obviously I hope to minimise that - and in fact I feel that most of my loss of muscle volume so far has been glycogen and water). I won't know the longterm effect till I complete this challenge, and I will learn from the outcome however it works out.
     
  6. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    I've just been looking back over my old statistics, and I can see that two years ago my weight was about 17 lb less than it is today - and my waist was about 2½ inches bigger. My body fat percentage back then was in the mid 20s.

    Ironically, if I went to my doctor today she would say I am less healthy now because I am more overweight.

    Thank god I stopped taking their dietary advice when I did.
     
  7. Garvic

    Garvic Active Member

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    Hi there guys,

    Phil, I also had a look at your old footage. WOW, you look great, what a change!! I guess we can talk about it later but I admire your determination to turn it around!

    OK, I have been OK in general. I am still getting my act together on the food front as I feel I have some under eating days followed by over eating days. My hip is getting better as I have rested from the cardio. It was just getting pounded and I hate running slow!!

    Had my b'day over the weekend and did farly good job of avoiding over eating although I do not feel that I was in deficit over the weeknd. So Phil, I was not dreaming of food, more trying to avoid it as everyone kept putting in in front of my face!

    I have uploaded 2 photos to show my status. Hopefully you guys can see it. I may start using the digital camera as the blackberry has a dosgy camera. I believe I am on about 15% by my electronic calipers and my prior experience. What do you guys think? I can actually see my upper abs without flexing but the lower ones, well let's just say that I am trusting the anatomy books by assuming they are there beneath some protective cushioning! I have a way to go in % terms But by my calcs it is only 5-6 kgs which in otself is not a big deal.

    I am def getting there as I can now re-fit into some of my suits so that is a good thing.

    Hope you all had a good weekend!!
     

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  8. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Garvic, I'm no great judge but it seems like from your pics you are getting some notable upper ab defnition - in the first pic, especially, it appears you're getting this even without having to flex or do vacuums, so you're ahead of me on that as I need posture, lighting AND flexing to get the top two layers to show!

    Though I can't be sure, it looks like you're built similar to me in the ab region, with most of the fat on the lower part of the upper abs and the lower abs, and less fat on what will hopefully eventually be revealed to be quite decent obliques.
     
  9. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    To help raise my game a little, I gave myself a little challenge for today's workout - 100 squats in as many sets as it takes. I told myself that if I succeed, I get to eat a whole 1kg carton of low fat plain yogurt. Well, I got through it, despite a little dizziness, and have just enjoyed my reward, all 700 calories of it.
     
  10. Garvic

    Garvic Active Member

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    I have also decided I am going to harden up on the strength exercises. I will do 200 push ups per night. Otherwise I will never get my upper body strength back up.
     
  11. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Monday morning weigh-in: no net weight change this week. Not to worry, we'll see what the coming week brings.
     
  12. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned previously that if I wanted to increase my activity level, I would do this by adding an extra lifting day. Today, other than being slowed down by aching legs, I have felt less of the fog caused by the calorie deficit and restricted carbs - and, given my apparent energy balance over the last week, I've decided to take this step now rather than later.

    The one issue I had in increasing my training from 4 to 5 days a week was muscle group frequency. If I kept a 3-way split (for example the one I've been doing for some time), some of those big exercises are just going to end up to frequent for me. And if I changed to a 4-way split, some of the upper body is not going to be hit as frequently as I'd like.

    So in my new program, each 40-minute workout will contain two parts; in the first part, I will do either squats, BB rows, deads, or lunges, alternating in a 4-way pattern. And in the second part of the workout, I'll do a superset of one of the following duo of muscle-groups: bis+tris, delts+lats, pecs+rhomboids/lower&mid traps, alternating in a 3-way pattern.

    Thus, the "big" exercises which I currently wish to do will be repeated with somewhat less frequency the remaining exercises.

    My choice of stuff in the big and small exercise groups reflects some specific priorities that I have, such as an increased focus on thoracic extension and less on chest.

    I've not included specific ab work, which I think would just take up valuable time and effort - those deadlifts are going to already be doing the necessary work. There's no calfs, because my calfs are of the kind that can be whipped into shape very quickly should I want to do that at any stage, and there are no upper traps isolation exercises because I tend to over-use them at the expense of other muscles.

    Today's workout was rows followed by supersets of bis and tris. The work rate was very satisfying. I think I'm going to enjoy this!
     
  13. TeMpTeD

    TeMpTeD Well-Known Member

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    Phil, I've also just had a look through your thread and compared the pics here with those in your April 2005 post and I really have to say at this point "WOW".

    You're an absolute legend and another inspiration that I will add to my list from this website :tucool: Your build is very much what I am looking for myself and from your first pictures - it just goes to show how different one can look with a lot of hard work. Well done old boy!

    It's also nice to see a fellow UK member showing how it's done! Keep up the good work - I will definitely pop back to see your abs at some point in the inevitable near future.
     
  14. user786

    user786 Active Member

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    Ditto ..from a Brummie Beginner.
    Truly Inspirational..Awesome work...:tucool:.
    I,ll be keeping a close watch on your cut as ill hopefully be starting my 1st cut end of jan ..after Carguys Bulked us into shape...
     
    #54 user786, Nov 5, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  15. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tempted and User, thanks a lot for your messages. It helps to remind me I'm on the right track and not going mad :)

    Jo and Garvic, how have your week been so far?

    I went way over this morning's calorie amount, mostly because I ate some whole grain bread with chicken and later with cottage cheese. Naughty but nice. Hopefully those big carbs contributed at least a bit to my workout, which was deadlifts followed by supersets of lats and delts exercises.

    You know - normal guys are said to think about sex something like 5,000 times a day or something. In my case, I think about the food I'm going to eat when I'm bulking again.
     
  16. Garvic

    Garvic Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    The good news is that my hip is now much better but it took me out of action for most of this week. I have been just following the diet and push-ups etc as my main plan of attack this week.

    I am back into the boot camp running tomorrow so that should boost the BMR up quite a bit and help burn the calories.

    The clothes still feel OK on me so i feel like I am doing OK, like you though I am looking to get a HUGE week where the scale drops and things are hanging off me!
     
  17. jo8216

    jo8216 Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Garvic glad to hear the hip is getting better.
    I didnt have such a great week, training was good but everything just seemed to fall apart last week, which really annoyed me. What with halloween everything that is usually routine ended up out of the water.
    So my weight didnt change either last week.
    Got back on track this week, continuing to work really hard on my weights in the gym. Decided to add in a couple of boxercise sessions from next week because i havent been doing as much cardio.
    The only thing was last nite i had the opportunity to do thirty mins cardio so i took it, the only thing was i did it on a no carbs day and today i feel absolutely shattered, and lacking energy. Just probably need to pay more attention what im doing on days where i have no cabs.

    Feel loads better this week, and loads happier that im back on track.

    A bit like Garvic, clothes are still feeling ok so looking forward to the next weigh in.
    Hope everyone has a good week. I have been having a real busy one.

    Jo
     
  18. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    Garvic, that's good news about the hip. Well done on the press-ups - that kind of encourages me to go ahead with my idea of finishing the day with some (= a very few!) lunges.

    Jo, sounds like you're fighting back quickly. I think there are always going to be some times when holidays or other social needs have to take precedence, and if you can enjoy those for the important benefits they have AND get back with the fitness goals swiftly afterwards, that's probably the very best way all round.

    I've had a kind of up and down week so far, made tougher to cope with by some work and other stresses. I was starting to feel a bit discouraged about my fat loss progress, and then irritated myself by having an unscheduled big calorie excess last night. Also, my training yesterday was supposed to be at home, and I got aggravated because the clutter in my gym room was getting in the way of my lunges. Worst of this was the large four-poster bed that was taking up space there (long story), and which I kept bumping into with my dumbells. In the end, I spend a couple of hours dismantling the bloody thing and re-arranging things. I liberated a lot of space, and managed to do a few sets of forward lunges but was too tired by this time to do much of my workout at all.

    Following that, and my over-eating session, I had a fitful night and kept getting cramp in my foot,. When I slept, I dreamt about cramp, and about various bizarre ways of losing fat.

    Today, on the other hand, I feel good again, and had a very satisfactory workout at the gym. Energy was improved (if not genuine endurance) and I had far less dizziness on standing up.
     
  19. philph

    philph Well-Known Member

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    I had a fair workout this evening at home (squats + triceps + biceps).

    Looking at my weight on and off during this last week, I can see that there has been no significant weight change over 2 weeks now. I'm still reluctant to add cardio as yet, and I don't want to change my exercise program so soon after the most recent change. Very probably I will reduce calories starting from next week, following a "zig zag" pattern which worked well for me in the past.

    Discipline is going to be difficult now, and I'm going to take measures to lower my appetite so that it doesn't interfere so much with my concentration at work, etc. The "zig zag" will likely help (despite what most people say, I believe its primary effects are psychological rather than strictly metabolic).

    I have increased my water intake. This doesn't seem to change my appetite in the way some people find, but it seems to be helping in other ways. The only two problems it causes are an extreme increase in pee frequency, and a tendency to feel colder soon after drinking. The first of those effects is very annoying - but since the bathroom is three floors below my office it gives me some extra exercise at least.
     
  20. Garvic

    Garvic Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I get the feeling we are all at the same spot - really wanting it but still not 100% on the road to getting there

    For me, my hip is now really well, still can't do sqats but running is now OK. I had some magnesium salts and my body feels really good and is no longer cramping at all when I run or do anything. So the weekend was spent running, weights and swimming with the kids.

    As for food, I had a bit of a blow-out on Sat night but have been pretty good on the whole. I feel that my midset is 80% there so just need to tighten up a bit.

    The main think I am aiming for is to get some snackfood that I can have that is noce so that I do not stray from the path

    Take care all
     

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