So many of you know that I am in a “lean gain” phase. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means I am trying to put on as much muscle as possible while gaining as little body fat as possible.
It’s easy to gain weight. But it’s gaining mostly muscle and as little fat as possible that is the tricky part. So my weight is up about 10 pounds over the last 2 months. I am happy with that, but I think my body fat might have gone up a little more than I want it to. How do I know this? By measuring my body and looking in the mirror.
Keep track of your body fat
I measure my body fat with a caliper called the Accumeasure. It’s probably about $10 on Amazon. It’s very simple to use by yourself and it’s pretty accurate. In the near future I will do a video of how to test your body fat with the Accumeasure, so you guys can see how it’s done. It’s very simple and takes about 5 seconds.
Just going by the scale and/or the way I look is not the most reliable way to track something like this. That’s why it’s so important to keep track of your body fat. It’s the only way to know if you are gaining or losing muscle or fat. And isn’t that what the goal is: to gain muscle (not fat) and to lose fat (not muscle)? Yes, of course it is. So what do I do now with this information? Well, it gets a little tricky for me.
The “lean gain” phase and the “cutting” phase
I’m still in a “lean gain” phase and I had planned on this phase lasting until March 31st. In April, May, and June I would be going through a “cutting” phase in which I would try to lose any fat I had gained during the lean gain phase. So, I will continue with that plan and I will do a better job of tracking my body fat each week to make sure I don’t gain any more fat.
See, the more fat I gain, the more fat I will have to lose during my cutting phase. And I don’t want to have to lose a lot of fat. So I will keep my calories the same for the month of March,
with maybe a slight increase during the last week or two. But I will keep track of my weight and my body fat each week to make sure I am on schedule. Because if you aren’t keeping track, you’re really just guessing.
Remember, it shouldn’t be about just losing weight. It should be about losing FAT.
Losing weight and losing fat are 2 different things.
If you need to lose 30 pounds or more, however, don’t get too caught up in the “losing fat or losing muscle” issue. At that point you can/should just start to move more and start losing weight. But if it’s less than 30 pounds that you need to lose, it would be a good idea to keep track of your body fat % and make sure that number is going down and not just the scale.