Up until now, I haven’t really had any problems losing weight or leaning out. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, but the effort I put in was always directly correlated with my results. Back in July, I pretty much stopped my normal workout routine and joined a new gym to train MMA. I’ve been averaging 5 or 6 days a week ~2 hours a day. I feel like I’ve sweat more in the last 2 months than in my entire life combined – and I’ve had some very sweaty 2 a day conditioning practices. I’ve been eating just as clean as I had before and following my macros, but I’ve lost 0 pounds and my body doesn’t look any different than when I started.
I didn’t care at first, because I didn’t join just to get in shape, I just wanted to learn. But, about a month ago, I set a stretch goal to be able to do my first jiu-jitsu tournament towards the end of October. I felt like I would do much better competing at a weight of 135lbs (I’m 145lbs right now), so I actively started cracking down and even more strictly following my macros and staying away from junk – still no change.
Frustrated, I finally went and got hydrostatic body composition, VO2, and resting metabolism tests done yesterday at Leader 1 Nutrition.
Body Fat %
The only one I actually knew existed was the hydrostatic body composition analysis. This is one of the most accurate ways to measure body fat % that there is. For the test you basically lay on a scale underwater and expel as much air from your lungs as possible. Underwater weighing uses the Archimedes Principle states that the buoyant force placed on a submerged object, is equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.
My body fat % is 19.1%. That’s about what I expected. I had used body fat calipers back in March when I had my coach and from that I estimated I had about 17.5% body fat – and I knew I wasn’t as lean as I was then.
VO2 Max Results
I surprisingly had never heard of this one before – or maybe I had and hadn’t paid attention – at any rate it’s an extremely popular measurement/test. They put a heart monitor and breathing mask on me while I ran on a treadmill. It started with a light walk and every minute they upped the intensity in speed and/or incline for about 11 minutes until I basically hit my max heart rate. The mask measured how much oxygen I was consuming. That along with my heart rate and some math spits out my VO2 score. My VO2 Max was 48.
Resting Metabolism Results
This one was easy, just sit and breathe in a tube for 12 minutes. But it gives some really important insights: See how efficient my body is at converting food to energy and using fat or sugar as fuel and finding out if I have a slowed metabolism.
This one is probably the most important, because it is the answer to why I wasn’t losing weight or leaning out. The reason being one that I preach about all the time, but didn’t take my own advice – I was essentially starving myself.
I was still eating about 1700 calories a day from back when I had my coach. That was okay back then because I wasn’t doing nearly as much high intensity endurance work as I’ve been. The exercise calorie total above isn’t accurate – it’s just a basic estimate based on an average workout time/intensity. The nutritionist, taking into account my other scores and type of workouts, estimated that I’m likely burning about 400 calories more than that. His recommendation to me was to eat 1900cals on rest days and 2800cals on my highest workout days. He also recommended magnesium, MCT oil, and increasing my fat (avocado, nuts, coconut oil, etc) and salt intake. The salt and magnesium being due to my low levels from constantly flushing my body – i.e. drinking a gallon of water a day and sweating it all out like a pig on a regular basis.
Going to slowly climb up to 2800cals and see what happens. I’ll be posting updates as usual on here and more regularly on my instagram. 🙂