Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fat Chance!

Hola bloggies!
As we crest the half-way point of the week, how's it lookin'? Good one? If not, i challenge you to make the active decision with me right now to try to make the rest of the week better! It's amazing how much happier I am when I just tell myself to be happy. (hey, at least this didn't happen to you on your way to a Costco convention!)
I am in a great mood today {which probably has everything to do with knowing the killer Wednesday morning cardio sesh is over}. Since starting training with Team Bombshell I do cardio 6 times a week in the morning, with Sunday being a completely off day for working out (the good news). For my AM cardio sesh, I usually use the CybexArc machine - which is like an elliptical on roids - but Momma Bombshell has years of experience and I am sure she  knows how to sculpt a booty by making mixing it up!
Cardio for M,W,T,Thurs
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, I do a treadmill cardio workout: intervals of lunges, side shuffle, walking squats and sprints; all at a incline which increases incrementally by the end (the bad bad news). More good news though!! I dominated the treadmill... until we meet again on Saturday! I will be well recovered by then :) 

In other gym related news, I measured my body fat percentage today. Click here to read more about body fat, how/why to measure it. Now, obviously excess body fat is unhealthy, but did you know we all have a necessary amount of body fat for healthy body function? According to The American Council of Sports Medicine, the ranges of acceptable and recommended percentage body fat are as follows:

Essential Fat10-12%2-4%

I have never been interested in what my "body fat percentage" was per-say, I mean it's just a number - like weight - I could care less what it is as long as I look and feel healthy. But yesterday my friend {and marathoner!}, Doug Park, mentioned that they do body fat testing at the base gym here at PSNS, and it got me curious... so I figured I'd check it out!
Before my killer cardio this morning I had my tests done by the calipers method. There are many different methods of fat testing, with varying degrees of accuracy.

How Do Calipers Work, & How Are They Used? 
Calipers work by pulling subcutaneous fat (fat directly under the skin) away from the muscle with the tongs situated at their ends. Several predetermined sites are measured by a gauge that records the thickness of the pinch created by the tongs. An equation can be used to determine body-fat percentage, or the skin-fold thicknesses, on their own, can be used to gauge progress. The caliper testing method of body-fat measurement works on the notion that 50-percent of total body fat lies under the skin.
The caliper test is moderately accurate: depending on if the measurements are properly taken, and if the test subject falls within the specific age/weight/sex/ethnicity/ect group used to find the ranges referenced for the test. For example, comparing the measurement/percentage data of a 5' 2" American woman to a 6' 2" Samoan man would not provide accurate results. 

Vs. Man.
Based on the equations used for 5' 10" females under 22 years old, my body fat percentage is: 11% (or 11.2% if the 22 age was used) This puts me way below the average "acceptable" percentage range, and am below the "athlete" range, and actually low for the "fitness" range too. I am right smack in the middle of the "essential fat" range, but again - the 'big IF' being IF the test was accurate.

Have I gotten you curious about body fat percentages now? As you well know by now, I find A LOT of info from Dr. (heh-heh :p) You can find a good article that puts a visual to the % here, and you don't even need calipers!

What Does Your Body Fat Percentage Look Like?

Based on this article, I would place myself between the "Lean" and "Ultra Lean" categories, which would mean I am at about 19-15% body fat - not 11%.

So, What does this all mean? I am definitely at the lower end of the healthy range, but that is to be expected since I am in contest prep. It is quite common for bodybuilding women to be down to 7-8% when in the competition phase, and many fitness models hover around 15% all year to be ready for photo shoots and appearances at any time. The fitness model below is at 15% body fat.

An athlete pictured at 15% body fat

As you can see, comparing her physique to mine {pictured below as of 6/12/2011} my calculated measurement of 11% seems a little low. 

Yeah I'm skinny, but I'm not 11% skinny!!

Like I said, I think I am at about 17%. BUT the real point of taking the fat test was to track changes in my body fat not the number itself. I plan on having the trainer remeasure my bod fat, with the same caliper technique, closer to competition day (7/23/2011) and note any changes. Using the numbers as a guide to track the (hopeful) decrease in body fat as I near competition day will be a useful tool :)


Another random thing about my training/dieting that I learned this week is eating half of my dinner in the middle of the night. Explanation? I think so.
  • I have been eating half of my dinner (asparagus or a large green salad, some chai tea, and a sugar-free 30 cal fudge bar) at about midnight every night. I know I know, why am I waking up in the middle of the night to eat, and then go back to sounds weird right? Well let me explain:
    • Because I am supposed to chug two tall glasses of water before bed (and because my bladder is teeny tiny!) I end up waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Trust me - I am 100% sure I will wake up at midnight every night.
    • Also, because I go to bed so early, 8:30pm, I am always hungry when I wake up to nature's call. My body has adapted so well to frequent meals that it's hard for me to go 8 hours without FOOD! So what's a girl to do? I tried to just fight the hunger and just go back to bed, but that led to no sleep OR a late night raid of the next morning's oatmeal = Not good. So this week I stumbled into this teqnichue of eating half my dinner in the middle of the night after realizing I had forgotten to eat my asparagus at my last meal. Since I am allowed to have tea, and a sugar-free fudge bar, I added those two to round out the meal. Ha-ha yeah I know it's a weird combo but at midnight thats just what a girl wants! As you can imagine, as much as I love food, I totally look forward to eating in the weee hours of the morning :)
    • I'm not the only one eating late, check out the Fitnessista's blog post about the topic of "Breakfast Before Bed." I competely agree with her that I have had way more energy at my morning workout after starting to eat later. I think it's a solid tactic to provide energy for an intense early morning workout (a la my cardio interval workouts at 5 am). The Fitnessista originally mentioned "Breakfast Before Bed" here.


To conclude this post I thought it would be fun to share with you guys some Things that I dream about at work :)

Till next time!

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