Hi, My weightloss has been going really well. I've lost over 30 lbs and I now weigh 12 st 13 lbs. My body fat is 25%. I do a lot of walking and cycling as well as 20 minutes of weights twice a week. I'd ideally like to get my body fat below 20%. I don't want my weight to fall below 12 st 7 lbs though and I don't want to put on a lot of extra muscle. Could you tell me how I could adjust my routine to fine tune my results? Regards, Simon
Firstly, well done on your weight loss to date – that’s a fantastic achievement. To decrease your body fat to 20% you will need to shed a few last pounds. You need to be in a calorie deficit which should be achieved through a combination of consuming less calories and burning extra calories through exercise.
A further 5% body fat loss will probably correspond to a bit more than the 6 lbs you are happy to lose (to avoid falling under 12 st 7lbs). So what may end up happening is that your fat loss is a bit more than 6 lbs yet the muscle you will gain through exercise will counter it as muscle weighs more than fat.
Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to burn calories, so continue this and continue to challenge yourself with regards to the intensity and effort. Consistency over time will get you your fat percentage goal.
When doing weights, to avoid increasing the size of your muscles (hypertrophy), you should be completing 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions per exercise and ideally try adjusting the format of your weight training workouts so they are more circuit-based. Try putting 2-3 of your exercises (i.e. press ups, back row, bicep curls) back-to-back so you complete them without rest inbetween. By minimising rest you maximise the cardiovascular effect during your weight training which assists your fat burning goal.
Hope this helps,
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