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         FITNESS TIPS FOR 11/26/2003                

Are Your Gains Muscle Or Fat? 5 Easy Steps To Finding Out!
by The "Muscle Nerd" Jeff Anderson

How do you know if your current bodybuilding program is working 
or not? 

Well, most guys and gals use a combination of the mirror and the 
scale. However, BOTH of these methods can be deceiving to say 
the least.

The mirror often shows us exactly what we want to see ("Man! Just 
LOOK at the size of my chest after only ONE WORKOUT!")

And those ups or downs you see on the scale may mean gains in 
FAT, or even worse...loss of MUSCLE!

Bodybuilding Progress Sheet 

So how CAN you determine your progress?

If you really want to know if your gains and losses are muscle or 
fat, there's a simple formula you can use. Don't worry...you won't 
have to break out your old algebra books for this one. 

Just follow along with the Muscle Nerd...

Step 1: Step on the scale.

You need a baseline measurement of your weight for figuring out 
the rest of the formula.

Step 2: Measure your bodyfat.

While there are several ways to accomplish this, one of the easiest 
and least expensive ways is to use a bodyfat caliper. Nowadays, 
you can pick up one up for around $20 that will do the trick. Follow 
the instructions with the device to determine the ratio of lean 
weight to fat in your body.

Step 3: Multiply your weight by your measured bodyfat percentage 
to find out how much fat you're lugging around. Record your answer 
for future measurements.

Example: 185 lbs. X 17.5% (or .175) = 32.4 lbs of fat

Step 4: Subtract the amount of fat (in pounds) from your original 
bodyweight in Step 1.

Example: 185 lbs. (original weight) - 32.4 lbs (of fat) = 152.6 lbs 
lean weight

This calculation WILL tell you how much LEAN WEIGHT you're 
currently carrying. However, this first measurement will NOT tell 
you how much muscle you have since your lean weight is also 
made up of bones, organs, hair, etc. 

What it DOES give you is your baseline measurement to compare 
with future measurements since any gains you make in LEAN 
bodyweight should only come from MUSCLE. 

Step 5: Perform Steps 1-4 again approximately 3-6 weeks later. 
Then compare your results with your previous reading.

Example: Let's say your first measurements were...

Weight - 187 lbs
Bodyfat % Reading - 17.5%

187 x 17.5% = about 32.7 lbs of fat
187 - 32.7 = 154.3 lbs lean bodyweight

Now, for your second measurements you get...

Weight - 190 lbs
Bodyfat % Reading - 16%

190 x 16% = about 30.4 lbs of fat
190 - 30.4 = 159.6 lbs of lean bodyweight

If you now compare your second readings with your first, 
you can see that...

You've GAINED 5.3 lbs of muscle (from 154.3 lbs lean in first 
reading to 159.6 in the second); and you've LOST 2.3 lbs of fat 
(from 32.7 lbs of fat in first reading to 30.4 lbs in the second).

Short of breaking out the slide rule from my pocket protector, 
this is the easiest way I can teach you how to determine if your 
current program is helping you meet your goals. Just use this
 formula at regular intervals in your program (every 3 or 6 
weeks is recommended) and you won't have any problems.

Editor's note: Jeff Anderson better know as the "Muscle Nerd"
is the author of "The Optimum Anabolics Program".

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