90 Day Challenge: Muscle vs. Fat

90 Day Challenge Week 3

Since jumping on board with this 90 day challenge, I’ve been stricken with the thought that I might be going about getting in shape all wrong.

From the start, I’ve been working out 5 or more days a week at Blitz Conditioning and have seen little to no change in my body measurements. After 3 weeks of whole body workouts, isolation workouts and a decently strict meal plan –  my weight, body fat, hydration and muscle mass have barely changed (see bottom of post for results).

I’ve been so frustrated seeing NO results when I’ve been working so hard…

Until… I started writing this blog post and compared the photos from when I first started this adventure to today:

90 Day Challenge
I can see a CLEAR difference in mass and even a little definition between day 1 and day 20 (today). What do you think?

I discussed my frustrations with Chris, and we came to the conclusion that everybody’s body burns fat and builds muscle differently. While for some people all these high intensity workouts might just burn fat, for me (and thanks to the combo of high intensity + heavier isolation workouts that Chris, Brett, Steve & Paul have helped me with) I’ve actually added and lost all at the same time. AMAZING!

Here’s another great example…

Picking the back photo apart (and looking at it as simple as possible), you can see that after only 20 days my ‘love handles’ are quickly disappearing and the ‘V’ shaped back that I’ve been striving for is slowly showing itself.

As I move forward into the next few weeks and months I’m hoping to see a few more things happen:

Get a better handle on my diet

I’ve mentioned that Revive Wellness was kind enough to help me out with a full meal plan. After following the plan for a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that there are some food groups that my body doesn’t appreciate; the most significant one is dairy. The amount of dairy in this diet has been hard on my stomach. From now on, I’m going to try and avoid it as much as possible while working with Revive to come up with an alternate solution to this.

More water

I’ve heard so many times that I should be drinking 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day and that it actually helps (a lot) in the fat loss process. I’m currently consuming about 2-3 glasses a day – so I’ll need to focus on that goal some more.

Much much more sleep

I work long hours, I am currently  in the midst of packing my house, I’m heading out for a mini vacation (you’ll hear about that next week) and I’m also trying to enjoy the summer nights with friends and family. Trying to get ample amounts of sleep is difficult for me.  I maybe averaged 4-5 hours of sleep a night lately, but I’ve been told that getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night can help with weight loss and muscle building. Over the next few weeks, my goal is to increase the amount of sleep I get at night, from 4 hours to 8.

Results

Week 3 – 214.6 pounds  |  Body Fat 21.5%  |  Hydration 60.2%  |  Muscle Mass 43.8%
Week 2 - 215.6 pounds  |  Body Fat 22.7%  |  Hydration 60.1%  |  Muscle Mass 42.6%
Week 1 - 214.8 pounds  |  Body Fat 22.5%  |  Hydration 60.2%  |  Muscle Mass 43%
Week 0 - 214.0 pounds  |  Body Fat 22.3%  |  Hydration 60.3%  |  Muscle Mass 43%

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About Paul Letourneau

I'm Paul and I help plan the digital world you see in front of you. From digital brand strategy, website development, search engine optimization and blogging... Learn more about me at paulletourneau.com

Comments

  1. How are you measuring your BF%? The stats you’re giving makes me think you’re using one of those electronic scales…
    If you’re doing Blitz 5 days a week, I could see your mass swinging from fat to lean fast enough to not drop your weight a whole lot. But your BF% should be down more than 0.8%!! Especially considering your pics, you can see a big difference.
    (Congrats, man. Don’t ever let the numbers discourage you)

    • Hey Paul,
      I am using one of those scales and I’m starting to think it’s the problem with the numbers. In the end, I’m more looking at the way I look/feel. My weight is of course in there as well but as far as the body fat, muscle mass, etc I’m really not too concerned. Thanks for the compliments bud! Means a lot.

      • I’d put money on it being way off. Go buy a body fat caliper (found one at GNC for $10), and use this website to calculate it:
        http://www.linear-software.com/online.html
        (I used #3…you can do it yourself, I didn’t want anyone else to pinch my fat :p)
        Might not be 100% accurate, but it’ll give you consistent results that you can track. Those scales are thrown off by everything.
        Keep it up!

  2. Lisa Watt says:

    I see a noticeable difference. You look leaner and a bit bigger in the back and shoulders. Keep it up! I know it’s easy to be so focused on the numbers. For the dairy have you tried unsweetened almond or rice milk instead of dairy in your shakes? You probably wouldn’t even notice the difference with all the other stuff that’s in there. Proud of you bud!

    • Thanks Lisa!
      I’ve actually gone away from using any dairy in my morning shakes. It’s usually berries + water + peanut butter + protein powder. I found that using water instead of milk actually gives the shake flavor way more punch!

  3. Hi Paul,
    First of all, I want to say congratulation on your 90 day challenge and your transformation of your weight loss. I am curious since I am on a program called Body by VI and I am almost done my 1st 90 day challenge and will be going on a 2nd 90 day challenge to work on increasing the activity level. I just met you and other guys Brett and Chris the other day when I stop by to check out your fitness site. I wanted to thank you for being presentable and approach me as a customer. I really appreciated that. Having said that, I am also looking forward to do a fitness session with one of your guys. I am also interesting to hear more on your success and to hear your experience. I sure would like a few tips and advice on how to get in shape.
    Again, congratulation.

    Regards,
    Angie Hoyer

    • Hi Angela!
      Thank a for the kind words about Blitz! We are very much like a giant family and it’s important to us that everyone feel that way :)

      As for Body by Vi, I’m not nutrition expert (i would talk to one before trying Body by Vi) but I’ve learnt enough in the past few years of reading and on and off training to know that its not the way I’ve chosen to go with my nutrition. I’ve chosen to focus on long term eating after my 90 days is done and for me that means a balance of healthy (with the least amount of processing as possible) foods and physical activity.

      This 90 day challenge isn’t just about getting in great shape for me… It’s about staying in great shape on day 91, 157, 835 and so on and so on. The best thing I ever did was start asking a lot of questions and talking to real experts. Do that and you’ll be well on your way :)

  4. Hey Paul, love reading about your progress! You are doing great! How can you not be doing great with such a fantastic team working with you? Honestly we get so hung up on numbers that we forget that journey is about finding the awesomeness in us, rather than some scale or calipers telling us we’re awesome. You can definitely see the changes in muscle mass – don’t you love that? I won’t lie. Sometimes I flex in front of the mirror LOL Anyways, am looking forward to reading about the rest of your story!

    • Hi Miranda!
      Thanks so much for the compliments! You’ve got a bald man blushing!
      You’re right about the scales and numbers and I’m learning that as I go. It’s really about feeling and looking great and not necessarily hitting a target weight. Keep flexing :)

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