Saturday, October 7, 2017

It Can Be Done 1: Tracking

I posted this Like-bait, brag-post over at FB and Twitter:

“Slashed my body fat% by half from last month. Gained muscle mass of 3kg. I AM doing something right.”

First, the disclaimer. I realized I have my math wrong. I went from 8.7% to 6.7% pala in one month. Hardly ‘slashing by half’. The ‘half’ was achieved in 3 months, coming from 11+% in June. Muscle mass did increase correctly. So I still AM doing something right.

So what is it that I have been doing. Well, this will be a series of posts to try to document what this 51yo has been doing to show It Can Be Done. It has to be a series because it is not just one thing. It can’t be, not just diet, or exercise, etc. It is a combination of many things. So I have to discuss this one at a time.

For the record, Day 1 of this quest was June 16, when I went back to my FF personal trainer in Trinoma (after staying away for almost 5 months).

I’ll start by saying that this journey is highly personal. What worked for me may not work for you. Hence, the most basic first step for me is a commitment to track and measure as much as possible, as obsessively as possible to know what will work.

This is relatively easy for me, being OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) LOL. But applying it to this quest for health and fitness did not come easy.

What do I track?

My workouts. My diet. My weight. I track this on a daily basis using the most basic of tools: a worksheet. Yeah, there are so many apps out there that will do this for you. But somehow, something I ‘assembled’ from ground up makes me more committed to it. Other stats like body fat %, muscle mass and even actual body measurements are tracked on a monthly basis.

Why track?

This is the only way you would really know if something works or doesn’t. There are just too much stuff out there on working out, on eating right, most of them conflicting with one another. You just have to try it out and see if the results are there. Tracking the results give you immediate feedback. Pouring over the data, seeing correlations allow are all part of this.

Workout

I never tracked my workout. I had always left this up to my personal trainer. I never actually saw him write anything down. LOL. I did that for years and years. And I never really knew if I was actually gaining strength due to one workout or the other. So on day 1, I told him I wanted my workout written out so we could monitor progress. This includes poundage, reps. I am using a good old Excel worksheet for my workouts. He updates the worksheet during our session.

Diet

This is easy enough to do. I see people using myfitnesspal app by Under Armour. But I do this crudely, again on a worksheet. I made mine based on the computations of the nutritionist I consulted about 5 years ago. I track my caloric intake, with emphasis on protein servings. I am able to estimate, with fair accuracy, what caloric intake would burn calories. (About 1,700 to 1,800 for my height and build).

Weight and Stats

This is the ‘outcome’ part that I relate to the first two. I weigh myself every morning, right after my morning pee, without clothes. Every month, my PT uses the machine at the gym to weigh me. He also measures body parts (chest, hips, biceps, thighs) using my own tape measure.

That’s Part 1. Commit to track the input and the output.



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