Having just finished week six, marks the half-way point in my Body for Life experiment. It definitely hasn’t gone as well as I initially expected. Either that or my measurements are way off. I’ve calculated that I’ve lost a total of 4 lbs of body fat and gained 2 lbs of muscle. I guess that’s not bad in the sense that it’s a healthy change, but I figured by now, at the half-way point, I would have made a lot more progress. Possible reasons? Well, let’s discuss them:

1. I had to deal with a setback in my eating plan due to my first baby being born

I mentioned in the last update that being stuck in the hospital while my wife and baby recovered didn’t help with keeping me on track with my diet. My workouts didn’t suffer, however the eating plan did, and you can see that I actually went up a little bit in body-fat percentage between weeks four and five.

However, that’s not the main reason for my slow progress, in fact it’s more like an excuse, this is the real reason…

2. I entered into this experiment without a clear goal in mind

I think this is the biggest reason for my lack of progress. I originally started the Body for Life Challenge, to test out the theories and techniques that Bill Phillips puts forth in his Body for Life book.

That’s great and all Erich, but arriving at the half-way point without some other clear goal isn’t going to gain you anything. What am I trying to test? To see if I can lose fat and gain muscle? Well, I’ve done that so should I quit now with the conclusion that it works? No, I need to set some clear goals, in numbers, for how much fat I want to lose and how much muscle I want to gain.

Having said that, I realize I have six more weeks ahead of me. So with that being the case, let me tell you exactly what my goals are:

“On April 9th 2007, I plan on weighing 160 lbs having 8.5% body fat.”

This means, that I will lose a total of 17 lbs of body fat and gain 5 lbs of muscle! Now that there’s a clear goal, where does that leave me at the half-way point? Well, surprisingly not at a bad spot. I’m going to need to lose around 13 more lbs of body fat and gain 4 more lbs of muscle. That equates to a gaining of .7 lbs of muscle and a losing of 2.2 lbs of fat a week. The fat-loss part will be a bit of a challenge but hey, if you don’t set big goals, don’t bother setting them.

As you may have noticed, my progress for gaining muscle weight is moving along at a good pace, it’s the body fat which has been slow going (no pun intended ;) ). This is easily explainable when you consider that I wasn’t as consistent with sticking to the nutrition program like I have been with my workouts. This next six weeks I will need to make a more concerted effort in keeping up with the eating part.
That’s quite a big difference compared to the last six weeks! Hey, if you don’t set big goals, you might as well not set them at all.

So that’s what I’m shooting for. Will I do it? We’ll see. Stay tuned for my progress over the next six weeks…

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